Three Valley Gap is near Revelstoke, British Columbia in western Canada, and is part of a Historic Ghost Town.
This photo was taken from the Transcanada highway.
RuneE of Visual Norway participates in Weekend Reflections, which is where I got the idea from. James at Newtown Area Photo has started a meme called Weekend Reflections. Post a reflection during the week-end, then log on at his site.
Photo Credit: gordmckenna CC=nc-nd-flickr. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
Crowsnest Mountain, 2,785m (9,137 ft), is located in southwestern Alberta close to the Crowsnest Pass, the lowest pass through the Canadian Rockies. It was given its name by the local Cree natives due to the large number of ravens that nested there.
The Crowsnest mountain was first climbed by Tom Wilson on July 28, 1904, accompanied by two Swiss guides, Christian Hasler, Jr. and Frederich Michel. The trail to the top of the mountain is considered a moderate scramble, although Trailpeak.com lists it as moderate-difficult.
The photo is taken from the Star Creek Falls trail near Coleman, Alberta.
Johnston Canyon Trail is in Banff National Park, Alberta. From the town of Banff take the Trans Canada Highway west to the Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) turnoff and continue west for 18 km (11 miles) to the Johnston Canyon Lodge. Just past the lodge is a trail sign at the northern end of the parking lot.
The Lower Falls are 1.1km (0.7 mi) from the parking area on a good path with an elevation gain of 30m.
[2 - click to enlarge]
It is a good idea to bring along another layer of clothing as Johnston Canyon is shaded and moist. The early part of the hike can be a little chilly.
[3 - Peering down from a catwalk. Click to enlarge]
It is a good idea to bring a water bottle and a snack while keeping your walking pace slow.
Stay on the marked trails and pack any garbage out.
[4- click to enlarge]
[5 - Catwalk]
The catwalks I remember from childhood have changed from wood poled bridges to steel, and the newer catwalks are closer to the water surface.
The walls of the canyon are more than 30m (100ft) high.
[6 - First Lower Falls]
The Upper Falls is another mile with an elevation gain of 120m. It is recommeneded that the hiker wear proper hiking boots for this part of the trail as the grade becomes steeper.
[8 - click to enlarge]
[10- Fourth Falls]
[11 - Fifth Falls - click to enlarge]
[12 - click to enlarge]
[13 - click to enlarge]
[14 - Gray Jay - click to enlarge]
There are many species of wild birds to be seen on this hike, so bring your bird book.
[15- Near the Sixth Falls - click to enlarge]
[16 - Sixth Falls - click to enlarge]
[17 - Upper Falls - click to enlarge]
[18 -Above Upper Falls]
Once the Upper Falls are reached it is another 3 km (1.8 mi) to the inkpots which are well worth the extra walk. Elevation gain to the inkpots is 215m (705 ft).
[19 - Near the Ink Pots - click to enlarge]
[20- Mount Ishbel from the ink pots - click to enlarge]
[21 - Ink pots]
The inkpots are six green pools filled with springwater. Take care not to step into them as they contain quicksand.
[22 - Ink pots]
[23 - Johnston Creek - click to enlarge]
From here the hiker can continue north to join the Sawback Trail via Moose Meadow.
Although I have not quite completed reading THE GLASS OF TIME, I began sneaking quick reads in Diana Gabaldon’s new book AN ECHO IN THE BONE. Each time I open one of her books I feel like I’m visiting old friends whom I have not seen for quite awhile. The historical events, in each of the series books, draw me to them, and they are well fitted to the story lines within. This book promises new insight into the American Revolution through the eyes of Jamie and Claire Fraser, and those of Lord John Grey and his son, William. Several recently read sentences:
“William saw Mrs. MacKenzie glance quickly at the harbor, then away. She looked pale, he thought, and maneuvered himself slightly so as to block her view of the men and the brown flood of high tide, though since it was high, the corpse tied to its stake was naturally not visible. The stake was, though– a stark reminder of the price of crime. The pirate had been staked to drown on the mudflats several days before, the persistence of his decaying corpse an ongoing topic of public conversation.”
My own work pales in comparison, however, a writer strives to improve. Several recently written draft sentences from my dark fantasy WIP “The Shadowlands”:
“Brother Cristo recalled when his cousin, Wilhelm, became head of the family after the untimely death of his eldest brother, and paid a visit to the monastery. He had been present when Wilhelm spoke to the Abbott.
“My cousin Cristo is dear to me. If he suffers, my opinion of the Cistercian way is bound to change.”
The Abbott had allowed a change in the church, where Brother Cristo kept the ledgers, in fear that the donations Wilhelm made would cease and be provided to another order.”
[1-Vancouver as seen from the seawall at Stanley Park]
Stanley Park is located in the City of Vancouver, British Columbia containing an estimated half a million trees. It is slightly larger than New York City’s Central Park.
During childhood family trips, every couple of years, we would head through the Rockies via the fruit belt in the interior of B.C. to the coast where my parents would visit relatives and old friends. For my older brothers and I, there was the anticipated freedom of exploring Stanley Park and returning to the campsite for dinner. This was back in the day when it was relatively safe to allow children off on their own. Though I think there were times when my brothers considered leaving me lost in the bush to rid themselves of a pesky little sister.
There are several trails through the forested area leading to a variety of beaches and interesting sights such as the Western Red Cedars.
[2-Stanley Park forest path]
Until 1994 there was a zoo. There remains a children's zoo of barnyard animals and now a renowned aquarium. A favourite spot of mine is the collection of totem poles.
[3-One of several totem poles]
An 8.8km (5.5 mi) seawall circles the park which joggers, cyclists, skate board enthusiasts and walkers enjoy.
The angel of death in Chicago oversees all people in the megalopolis, making sure their deaths fit their lives. Though most deaths naturally do, those that result from serial murder do not, so the angel spends much time trailing a serial killer in his patch.
On the trail of one such man, he encounters a cop and falls in love with her. When he is assigned to kill her, though, he has to make a choice between divinity and humanity.
J. Robert King’s new urban fantasy Angel of Death from the HarperCollins new imprint Angry Robot Books is an unpredictable thriller, which is why I kept turning page after page until well past midnight.
The Angel of Death arranges death for people marked by God when their time comes in a fitting scenario. He has supernatural powers. He accompanies the murderers and serial killers during their hunts, often orchestrating the details.
The internal workings of the Angel of Death became fascinating when he began to have feelings that angels are not supposed to have. When love comes to him for the female investigator, Donna Leland, his angel existence is doomed as any union between angel and human is forbidden.
As the story progressed I began to consider whether the angel had really fallen from grace or was this character a mentally irregular person who had accomplices. There are incidents within the story that I found to be suspicious, at least for an angel. This stems from the Angel of Death assuming human form for the benefit of Detective Leland, resulting in a form of transformation for the angel which he finds alien. His thought and behaviour patterns begin to change to those that humans use which are in direct conflict with those of angels.
An interesting concept is put forward when the angel uses rationalization of the killings with the use of biblical references taken in a different light than others do. These seem reasonable when presented.
Although Detective Donna Leland is assigned to hunting the murderers and serial killers, there is not much depth to her character. She has a tragic family past that has a slight bearing on the plot as it influences her behaviour toward sick individuals. She soon faces a conflict with coming to terms of her love for a man who may be the serial killer.
Rather than go farther into the story which will certainly produce plot spoilers, the Angel of Death has interesting elements of human psychological behaviour between the characters. There are graphic scenes of violence that provided more horror elements than I cared to read. The ending may not suit all readers. I found portions of it to be contrived rather than provide a satisfying ending.
A riveting blend of high-tech thriller and fast-paced adventure. Packed with knife-edge tension, intriguing characters, and startling plot twists that will keep you turning the pages.
In the Fourth Realm trilogy, John Twelve Hawks introduces readers to a dangerous fantasy world inspired by modern technology that monitors our lives. The suspense series concludes in this powerful third novel, following the entire cast of this mesmerizing world that exists in the shadows of our own. Maya, the Harlequin who has pledged to protect Gabriel with her life, will face a situation from which there is no escape. Nathan Boone, the cold and calculating executive of the Brethren, will face Michael, a man who has gone over the edge for power. Hollis, living in grief and becoming a Harlequin himself, will have to choose whether to stay with Gabriel as he embarks on a journey that may lead to his own death. Publishers Weekly hailed the series as “a saga that’s part A Wrinkle in Time, part The Matrix and part Kurosawa epic.”
Although The Golden City is listed as a fiction book, in truth, it has multiple genres: fantasy with religious tones, science fiction, adventure, and thriller elements. The story involves a complex plot and setting with intriguing plot twists. This is the third book in the Fourth Realm trilogy, following The Travelers and Dark River.
Gabriel Corrigan, a Traveler, has opted out of the government system that keeps tabs on him by working with the Resistance. His vulnerability lies in Maya, the Harlequin, who has sworn to protect him. His twin, Michael Corrigan, has joined the Bretheren, whose sole purpose is to control the people of the planet while searching for the elusive Travelers. However, Michael is secretly working on his own agenda, to take over Nathan Boone’s position. Gabriel and Michael inherited their traveling ability between realms from their father.
A secret organization in the U.S. known as the Bretheren has different high-tech sensors to keep control of the population. There are a few small groups who oppose the control policy and they “live off the grid”. They are known as the Travelers, with a unique ability of being able to break through the light barriers to travel to other realms which are parallel realities. To cross over into another realm through a portal, a Traveler must pass four barriers: fire, water, earth and air. They are often accompanied by and have protectors called Harlequins.
The government runs an advanced technology known as the Vast Machine to keep track of the citizens through surveillance. They are searching to locate any Travelers to increase their own power by contacting the citizens in other realms.
Gabriel and Michael Corrigan race to reach the realm containing the Golden City where they intend to confer with the gods to be given power. What they find is not what they expected.
The story has intriguing elements to it like traveling to the other realms through portals which I would have liked to read more of. I had some difficulty in the beginning as this is the first of the trilogy I have read. The glimpses into some of the characters’ past experiences in previous books were almost non-existent which produced gaps. However, after finishing this book I now want to go back to the first books and read them. When going to John Twelve Hawks website I found interesting explanations about the other realms in the world he has created.
The author John Twelve Hawks leads a very private life where “he lives off the grid”. He has written a book to make the reader take another look at what goes on around them.
It's been such a hectic day finding just the perfect dress for Willow's Annual Ball. Finally I decided on a dress from the 1950s in navy blue with gold trim, similar to the green below.
[2-click to enlarge]
As a dance partner I tend to stick to the tried and true, and asked Prince Charming if he would give me a couple of spins around the floor like last year. The champagne tends to make me a little dizzy and with all that whirling around, well what better arms to fall into.
For those unable to view embedded videos, here's the link.
For other participants in this lavish affair visit here.
“The room below us, decorated in crimson and gold, is richly furnished and, though grandly proportioned, deliciously warm, even on this chill November evening, from the heat thrown out from blazing piles of pine logs in the two great stone fire-places.
“On every wall there are mirrors in gilded frames that give back endless reflections as you pass them.”
Although I had promised readers from last week I would post another two sentences from that particular sequence I have to pass in order to not reveal an important plot point. Another few draft sentences from my WIP “The Shadowlands” will have to suffice:
“Wilhelm was a gentleman, very tall, and too learned to be a merchant. He collected books, bound in leather; most were in Latin, a few in French and, a rarity, one from a Saracen trader. He made excursions into Italy and beyond to the Holy Lands, returning with exotic wares of metals, pots, bolts of cloth and various spices."
Today is Thanksgiving in Canada where we celebrate our bountiful feast, filling up on roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, gravy, brussel sprouts, yams, salads, bread rolls, and delectable pies and tarts: usually apple or pumpkin with vanilla ice cream.
[2-click to enlarge]
[3-The traditional wild turkey hen that the early settlers killed for their harvest dinners]
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving earlier than our American neighbours who wait until late November. We could be knee deep in snow at that time in frigid temperatures, at least in the northern areas above the south Ontario triangle or in the western provinces.
For all my Canadian neighbours and blog friends have a great feast and reflect on your blessings this year.
“SCIENCE / NEW THOUGHT Knowing or feeling that we are all connected to each other and to the cosmos by more than our eyes and ears is not a new notion but one as old as humanity. Traditional indigenous societies were fully aware of nonmaterial connections and incorporated them into their daily life. The modern world, however, continues to dismiss and even deny these intangible links--taking as real only that which is physically manifest or proved “scientifically.” Consequently our mainstream culture is spiritually impoverished, and the world we live in has become disenchanted.
In The Akashic Experience, 20 leading authorities in fields such as psychiatry, physics, philosophy, anthropology, natural healing, near-death experience, and spirituality offer firsthand accounts of interactions with a cosmic memory field that can transmit information to people without having to go through the senses. Their experiences with the Akashic field are now validated and supported by evidence from cutting-edge sciences that shows there is a cosmic memory field that contains all information--past, present, and future. The increasing frequency and intensity of these Akashic experiences are an integral part of a large-scale spiritual resurgence and evolution of human consciousness that is under way today.”
Einstein’s theory of relativity had been seen by scientists and physicists as a four-dimensional space time reality, while refusing any other explanation or theory that there might be another kind of energy within the space-time. Today it is accepted that there is a concept of an underlying dimension within the universe. This medium carries information while manifesting things and processes within the universe. It is through this medium of the Akasha that humans are connected to one another, the world and the universe.
In today’s Western world, many people dismiss other ideas of reality and consciousness as being fantasy or creative imagination. Modern people are conditioned in believing only what they can see or can be proven scientifically, not what they are capable of perceiving through an altered state of consciousness. Many who see through this altered state do so through an Akashic experience. Anyone is able to tap into this altered state or consciousness, not just psychics.
The Akasha contains records of the wisdom of the ages, a type of collective knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. These records contain all of the knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. There are philosophists, psychics, mystics and Reiki practitioners who are aware of the Akashic records and are able to read them in certain states of consciousness. The late American mystic Edgar Cayce was successful in reading the Akashic Records which he described as a type of library of a collective consciousness. This Akashic library contains every thought, word and action in the universe to which every life form contributes. For Christians the Akashic Records are known as the Book of Life as described in the Bible.
Akasha is the Sanskrit word meaning ‘sky, space or ether’, the term Akashic Records comes from Hinduism and is incorporated into theosophy as a meaning of a collection of mystical knowledge. According to the Hindu seers a cosmic source known as Akasha is the first of five elements while containing the memory of everything that has occurred in time and space.
Twenty people from respected fields provide their personal experiences with the Akashic to lend credence to this phenomena. Contributors are C.J. Martes, Swami Kriyanada, David Loye, Stanley Krippner, Jude Currivan, Guido Ferrari, Christopher Bache, Maria Sági, William Gladstone, Oliver Markley, Raffi Cavoukian, Alex Grey, Eric Pearl, Masami Saionji, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Pim van Lommel, Stanislav Grof, Fr. François Brune, Edgar Mitchell and Larry Dossey. Each of the experiences provides details on how they influenced and changed the life of the person.
Laszlo describes how the human brain has the ability to receive and exchange information from quantum-hologram fields. It is perceived that the human brain receives information from waves in the universe to which it is entitled. The brain does not receive everything but only that information for which it is encoded. Experiments have been conducted to show that several people are able to communicate through the Akashic field at the same time resulting in “shared dreams, common hunches and related insights”.
Remote healing has been analyzed after hundreds of cases and proven beyond a reasonable doubt by Maria Sági in Budapest. Another form of remote healing is used by Reiki practitioners where they send “healing energy” over a distance to their patients. Other varieties of the Akashic experience are near death experiences where the brain is temporarily not operating, out-of-body where the brain is obtaining information from outside the body, and after death communications where the brain is permanently not working yet is capable of receiving as well as sending information.
I recommend this book as invaluable to anyone who explores the areas of metaphysics and spiritual healing, as it has examples of “soul retrieval” during past-life regression, remote viewing, near death and out-of-body experiences, premonitions, communication with the dead and others; resulting in a new awareness of the cosmos.
ERVIN LASZLO, a leading systems theorist who was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is editor of the international periodical World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution and chancellor-designate of the newly formed GlobalShift University. He is the founder and president of the international think tanks the Club of Budapest and the General Evolution Research Group and the author of 83 books, translated into 23 languages. He lives in Italy.
It's been several months since I joined in on Two Sentence Tuesday, though I have been plugging away at work on my WIPs.
Two recently read sentences are from THE GOLDEN CITY by John Twelve Hawks, the third book in his Fourth Realm Trilogy:
"The Crossover Project was top secret, but Susan's team had been told that their work involved national security and the war on terror.
"Maybe that was true, but it was still strange to spend part of your workday staring down at a man lying on a table with wires attached to his brain."
These two draft sentences are from my second ms WIP “The Shadowlands”: “She followed the cloaked woman through the mortar and stone hallways, past an inner garden with a fountain spurting water into the air above, the spray sprinkling the corridor.
As they neared the dias, Maggie slowed to stare at the star-shaped mosaic on the floor; a celestial representation in interlocked stone.”
The Athabasca Falls are located in Jasper National Park, Alberta just off Highway 93. The waterfall itself is only 23 metres high, but it is known for the amount of water that rushes down the narrow gorge. The water in the Athabasca River comes from the meltwater of the glaciers in the Columbia Icefield.
[2-click to enlarge]
In the photo below, the mountain in the background is Mount Kerkeslin at 2984 m (9791 ft), named by James Hector when he traveled up the Athabasca Valley in 1859. At the time the mountain was named, Hector had been hunting a wolverine whose name by local aboriginals is “ker-kes-shu”. The notation had been made in Hector’s journal for the January 22, 1859 and February 14, 1859 entries.
I have been to these falls many times since childhood on family camping trips and later as an adult. They never fail to fascinate me with the amount of water that goes rushing down through the gorge. Every time I return there are stacks of rocks that are often washed away from the force of the rushing water.
UPDATE: A video depicting very foolish tourists at the Athabasca Falls. I had commented on this in the comment section.
These benches are located at Tofino where the Pacific Terminus of the Trans-Canada highway ends as related by the tourism department of Tofino. The sign in the photo speaks for itself. Tofino, British Columbia is well known for its whale watching activities from March through to September, when the gray whales make their migration.
Please visit RuneE of Visual Norway for this week's participants. RuneE began this informal meme of Bench of the Week.
Photo Credit: Mafue CC=sa-flickr. Click to enlarge.
NOTE: Trans-Canada Highway No. 1 ends in Victoria, B.C. Tofino is of the opinion that the highway ends there.
The story opens in 1866 with Thomas Brash traveling across the southern portion of what will become Saskatchewan in western Canada, leaving behind painful memories of the loss of his wife and children to cholera. During Brash’s journey, he encounters a youth, Frank Clement, who has left his own tormented life behind. The two men are opposites of each other: Brash, educated soldier and well spoken, and Clement, rash, expert marksman, illiterate, with an ability to survive in the wilderness. Through the contrast of their characteristics they form a tenuous partnership to travel in the North-West Territories, prime Blackfoot country whose violent reputation is well known.
It is through this partnership after witnessing the murder of two aboriginals, and the diplomatic means Brash uses to form an alliance with the Blackfoot tribe run by the warrior chief, Red Shirt, that the two men come to understand the benefits each provides the other.
As western stories go, The Partners provides a good foundation in the history of early Canada. I particularly liked the intricate details with the Blackfoot Confederacy in comparison with other First Nations, the descriptions of the land and culture differences in the time period. There is an incident about two-thirds of the way into the book where Brash uses a military tactic to offset the approach of the U.S. Army after they cross the medicine line (49th parallel) into the North-West Territories. A brilliant plot piece: loved it.
Mr. McGowan has excellent knowledge about the early history of Canada which is revealed in each page. The story moves well with progressing conflicts that are solved relatively quickly or a little later on. I recommend this book to anyone who wants an entertaining excursion into the past.