Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fort St. John, BC, Canada

Fort St. John, located at Mile 47 on the Alaska Highway is now referred to as “The Energetic City”, a very suitable name for the hub of the north with such a variety of resource-based industries.  This town of 19,000 people is bustling with trucks and shops that remind all that business continues but a drive in the countryside can be a calm contrast within minutes.
Peace River flows through the valley below the viewpoint
Peace View Point in Fort St. John, BC
The Peace View Point has had fencing and picnic tables installed since my visit many years ago, but in spite of the smoky haze from neighboring forest fires, the view is still incredible. Click here to see how the valley looked on our autumn visit in 2003.
The viewpoint gives a magnificant view of the Peace River Valley
Peace River Valley on Highway 29
We have spent time in Fort St. John in the past and I still enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds this town in northeastern British Columbia.  The rolling hills are so green until you find a crop of canola growing and the contrast makes for a beautiful sight.  This view of the Peace River is located on Hwy 29 between Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope.  A photo and more information is shown from earlier visits.
Yellow fields are the canola growing in the Peace River Valley
Fields of canola in the Peace River Valley
The drive between Fort St. John and Hudson's Hope takes us on a quiet drive along the Peace River and out to the WAC Bennett dam, which is an interesting sight to see, more on that later.  The canola fields are a common sight to see in the rolling hills and Peace River Valley.
The green fields spread out before us on the road to Beatton, BC
Prairie country in Fort St. John, BC
Farmland covers a large part of this prairie country of British Columbia.  There are 1700 farms that produce 90% of BC’s grains.  With this large grain production also comes high quality livestock production.  I had hoped to see a bison herd on our travels as we had done in the past, but although this is home to some of the largest herds in the province, I saw none.
Groves of aspen trees line the road
Aspen trees in Fort St. John, BC
No matter where we drive in this part of the country, we see groves of aspen.  I am not sure why, but these pictures are so popular (no, not poplar) that I see them in art galleries, so now I am also taking photos whenever I see a grove. These leaves create a beautiful colorful fall here, great for more photos.  See fall colors from the past visits.
The beautiful deer stands looking at me as I took his photo.
Our deer visitor in Fort St. John, BC
There is lots of wildlife that we see in this area.  We saw a moose on our drive but he hid before I could get a good picture.  This deer was eating right outside the window of the RV so I quickly got outside for better photos.  He appears to be a 3 year old by those gorgeous velvet antlers. He wasn’t going to let me get close but he posed for me until it was time to jump away into the tall grass to hide.
The Bonaparte's Gull and the grouse are two common birds seen here.
Birds of Northern BC
There are several unfamiliar birds and although I am not very informed on the different kinds, as long as they aren’t swarming me, I enjoy seeing them. This Bonaparte’s Gull was the first one I’d ever seen, but identified him with the leaflet “Birds of Northern BC” that I had picked up at the Tourist Bureau, they have great information there. The other bird walking down the road was the very familiar grouse who thought he should show his toughness to me as we drove by.

Pink puffy clouds in late evening in Fort St. John, BC
Clouds capture sunset colors in Fort St. John, BC
One of my most favorite things about summertime in Fort St. John is the 20 hours of daylight that one can enjoy, whether you’re an early riser or a nightowl.  These were the only clouds in the sky late one evening and with the sunset reflecting, it isn’t even dark yet.  There may be a shorter summer season here than in some areas but the days are long and perfect for outside evening activities, even if that just means sitting outside enjoying the beautiful scenery.


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