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#my366project | 2016

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” c. s. lewis

#my 366 project 2016  | and just like that i am done my project.  i’ll admit that for the first 100 days i thought about quitting it about 100 times but tomorrow i will post for the last time in this album. what a year it has been!

 

 

 

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Road Trips | Part 1 | Bella Coola

 “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing

what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

…..

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Bella Coola | July

this summer the girls and i took a road trip to Bella Coola where my family lived from the time i was 13 until my mid twenties.  it has been years (25 or 26) since we lived there and i left the valley when my three kids were little.  michelle and audrey had not been back since they were kids.

“This trip was all about the destination, but the journey was just as incredible.” Michelle

we drove to Williams Lake the first day planning to get an early start the next day for the second part of the trip over the Chilcoltin and down into the valley but on the way there we learned a few lessons: one | book ahead if you want to find a place to sleep in Williams Lake on stampede weekend.  every single hotel and b & b in town was booked up and we nearly ended up homeless for the night. two | we learned not to be surprised by the kindness of strangers.  thanks to the kind lady working in one of the hotels that saw our predicament and offered to share her home despite us being complete strangers. three | there is no limit to the kindness of friends.  thanks laureen for your hospitality and for saving our butts and giving us a place to stay the night.  ( check out laureen’s photography website here)

our adventure had started!

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there is something freeing about being on the road (dancing in the wind on the Chilcoltin).

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A whole day spent on the wide open road with the people I love the most, going to the place where my life began.” Michelle

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Nimpo Lake | probably the most traffic we saw on the road since we headed west at Williams Lake.

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The Hill | if you drive to Bella Coola there is no way to avoid it and it drops 5000 ft. from Heckman pass in a steep winding unpaved road, sometimes just a single lane, no guard rails, and on one side the mountain and the other a huge precipice, this picture does not do it justice. it’s beautiful and i’ve never liked it but the destination is worth it so i grit my teeth and say a prayer until we reach the bottom or the top on the way back.

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an old photo from when we first drove it and the right one we drove twice earlier this year.

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yield to oncoming traffic.

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another view of the hill. i found this one online.

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an old photo (right) that we recreated 27 years later at a switchback on the road.  i seem to have shrunk.

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once we arrived down the hill the first place we stopped was in Firvale where i lived in my teens.  a million memories flooded in and overwhelmed me.  our house is now gone.  all that is left is the old shed.

“i’ve been walking around with my heart in my throat from the minute we drove down into Bella Coola. it’s the immense beauty around but it’s more than that, this place is wrapped in memories from the time we moved here when I was 13 until i left 12 years later.”

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“This is where we came from and today we are back. It’s been both beautiful and haunting as an adult returning. There are no words to adequately describe the beauty of the Valley and our descent into it.” Audrey

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Clayton Falls above | a boat tour to Tahlleo’s Cannery below

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Hagensborg

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old memories. the Hagensborg church before and now.

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and we made new memories.

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“if we know where we came from, we may better know where to go. If we know who we came from, we may better understand who we are.” – anonymous
.

.this is the cabin we built when my family first moved to Bella Coola to homestead and the humble home we lived in during our first years there.  it was such a treat to see my friend marisa.  together we pored over her old photo albums from those early days — so many memories that now seem so far removed but played such a great part in who my brothers and sister and i are today.

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this was our home away from home while we were in the valley.  i highly recommend these cute little cabins (rip rap campsite) run by jim and amber.  they come fully equipped with everything we might need and a cozy wood stove that kept us warm on rainy days.

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it was the rodeo weekend so we checked it out.

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the Bella Coola townsite | this is the property where our home was brought by barge from the original Bella Coola townsite across the inlet.  the remains of our garden are still there and the little bridge in front of the house that the kids loved to play when they were small.

“…in Bella Coola, where my memories of white picket fence perfection, childhood freedom at the pedals of my bicycle, the candy store, the co-op, rootbeer floats with my sister … today it’s different with … faded siding on the houses, grown over brush swallowing them up, our own house gone. Not even a shadow in its place – just a space in a lot that seems too small to contain the memories. All of my perfect memories have melted away into this tiny town full of people who almost recognize us. … I love you Bella Coola, despite how sad I feel when I look at you…

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“…All being said, I can’t believe we come from here, this place that most will never know the way we do. It’s special that our memories live here.” Audrey

Tatla Lake | we stayed here on the way home.

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you can get pretty much everything you need in the only store in town.  pop, ice, a mechanic, gas, a bouquet of flowers, a notary public, a tire repaired, mail a letter or send a fax + more!

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the way home.

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Birthdays, Spring Break, Rock Climbing, a Wedding, and Kittens . . .

here’s a ton of photos of the kids + family lately.

morning time with griffin.

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and here he is with julian.  he loves his big cousin.

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for julian’s birthday we went rock climbing.  river and summer came too.

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these two got married.

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rehearsing for the big day.

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some photos by us and some thanks to @by Jacqueline.  there are tons more photos of the wedding : (click here).

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ruby surprised us with six tiny kittens.

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earlier in the year we took a trip to 100 mile so we got to see shannon and chayse too.

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and taze came and we got to meet ayaan for the first time.

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and then kinsey + mia came over for spring break.

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poor willow was sick.

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but then she felt better.

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river being goofy.

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we made coloured easter eggs.

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river and summer’s birthday party with the family.  great granny jan came to visit.

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a visit to granville island.

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a rainy day.

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the kittens are exploring around now.

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and summer wanted a yoga party.  it was crazy and fun.

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trying to get everyone in one shot.

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Jen Kessler - Love!! 🙂

Linda Wilde - Whole lot of Love in all these pictures……nothing like pure joy on the faces of your grandchildren in the precence of each of you. Great captures of your family Elizabeth and Mark…:)

Michelle Gemmel - Wow! What a post. The year is off to an amazing start!

Michelle Gemmel - Wow! What an amazing post! 2016 is off to a great start!

Tiffany Glasco - Awe, you two look overwhelmed with joy from all your grandkids. You can see the joy in all of your faces. One can’t help but smile when looking through your beautiful pictures.

Carla Alpaugh - Omg those are all so wonderful. Love seeing them.

Michelle Horsman - Just love them all! You are truly amazing at capturing the everyday so beautifully!!

Jessica Martinez - You have a beautiful family! 🙂 Great shots!!

Across Canada and Back – The Way Back. Our Boler Adventure (Part Four)

continuednew york and driving home through the states.
.
part one here (bc to ontario), part two here (quebec, gaspe peninsula), part three here  (pei, new brunswick, nova scotia, newfoundland)
.

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new york iphone selfies.

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everyday we walked for hours and hours to see as much as possible in the few days we had here.

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walking across the brooklynn bridge during a rain storm we learned that the umbrellas you can buy at the entrance to the bridge are not worth the five dollars we paid for ours, by the time we got to the middle of the bridge and it began to rain the umbrella instantly fell apart in the wind and we were soaked in a few seconds.  after the storm it was a cold, wet walk home to take the commuter ferry back to our “campground” in jersey city.

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“no day shall erase you from the memory of time” virgil (quote at the 911 site).  we were not prepared for how emotional it would be and the impact seeing the site in person would leave on us.

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central park new york city, and of course a hot dog, or two!

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we drove through maine, connetticut, michigan, wisconsin, south and north dakota, montana and washington on the way home.

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map or canada - boler trip the way back

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a small detour back up to ontario, stopped in toronto to visit family and friends and cross off going to a paul mccartney concert off the bucket list.  as we headed home the fall colour was gorgeous.

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no reds in the fall colour this year but the yellow tones, subtle or intense, are all beautiful.

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day 63 (october 25)  we arrived home late at night after traveling 20,000 kms there and back.  this has been the trip of a lifetime for us but we are so happy to be home.

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  • see part one here (bc to ontario)
  • part two here (quebec, gaspe peninsula)
  • and part three here  (pei, new brunswick, nova scotia, newfoundland)

Across Canada and back – Our Boler Adventure (Part Three) » This is our life. Living simply. - […] here’s this section of our route.  coming next the way back, back through the states and new york (see part four – the way back – here). […]

Tina MacPhail - Gobsmacked… as they say in Australia…. Just loving that last photo!

Angela Bernaldez - I love all your photos!