John Harvey Photo

Manning Camping With A FamilyGo to Slide Show

Do I ever wish I brought a tripod.


Helen's work is quite constrained around summer holidays - they are booked months in advance and you are only guaranteed two weeks in the summer months.  We got lucks and got the two weeks adjacent to the August Long Weekend.  It's been a while since we went camping (we last went to Cultus Lake when Nara was 9 months old) so we decided to go local - Manning!

Othello Tunnels

If you are driving out to Manning, Othello tunnels makes a great lunch stop.  Just a few minutes up the Coquihalla Highway is part of the remains of the Kettle Valley Railway - the most expensive section built.  They cut a number of tunnels and bridges through a canyon that made an otherwise good route impossible for trains.  It was made more than a hundred years ago, but it's still impressive today to walk through.
Claira And Nara Running Out Of TunnelKids Between TunnelsWalking Over Trestle Into Cave

Maidenhair Fern Growing Out Of Tunnel Wall
The tunnels and trellises really are the star of the show but there are little bits of wildlife to see too.  I like Maidenhair fern - I was quite surprised to see it growing out of a tunnel wall.  Last time I visited we found a toad at the side of the trail.



Welcome to Camping!

Gear Loadout At Manning
We told Claira we were going camping, and she was really excited but she really had no idea what camping was.  When we got there and unloaded all the stuff from the car, she was just a little confused.  We have a play tent at home so once I started setting up the big tent she got a better idea of what she was in for.
 



Claira Eating Her Chicken Eating Roast Chicken
We don't do a lot of Al fresco dining at our house - we go out for the occasional picnic.  The kids seemed to like eating outside and watching the never ending drama of the squirrels and dragonflies as they ate.  Unlike me, they seemed to have no problem getting in and out of the picnic table and all the services they expect at home (glass of milk on demand) seemed to be present here too.


In the unlikely case of boredom, Mom brought two bags of entertainment.  First we had outdoor play toys - bubbles, scoop ball, beach ball and so forth.  Second we had a bag of coloring books and other treats like glowsticks - now known as "Candy".  As the sun set, we gave the girls glowstick magic wands and we went to see the nature show at the amphitheater.

Claira Making Her Own BubblesNara With Bubbles In The Camp SiteNight Time Glowsticks

Well past their normal bedtime, the kids got settled in to sleep.  We brought mini-tents and winter sleeping bags so the kids would have a warm and comfy place to sleep.  Both Nara and Claira are know for loosing their blankets so I hoped their mini-tents would prevent them from getting too lost and cold.  They mostly did okay.

Tent Lit Up With Night LightBig Dipper Over The Trees

Canoe Ride

Start Of Canoe Trip
We arrived Wednesday afternoon.  The first major activity I wanted to do was go for a canoe paddle.  Thursday morning we made it to the day use area and rented a canoe - $20 for the first hour, $10 an hour after that, pretty much all inclusive.  We brought kids life jackets but we didn't need to - the boat rental place had plenty.

Nara Smiling In The Canoe

Canoeing must be like riding a bike - you remember the basics very quickly.  I never did get my J stroke back (I had to keep switching sides when I was paddling by myself), but a basic stroke was fine for the flat water and almost non-existent wind.  The kids started the trip very interested - looking at everything.  Then they wanted to play with the paddles.  Then they got bored.  Finally the just hung their fingers in the water watching the patterns the water made.  An hour of canoing would have been enough - one and half hours was just a bit too much.

  Watching Kids Jump Off The Rainbow BridgeNara PaddlingHelping The Boat Go Faster

After we got the canoe back in we had a little swim at the beach and a picnic lunch - happy kids again!

Helen And Claira In Lightning Lake Nara Swimming By Boat LaunchJohn And Claira In Lightning Lake

We took Claira and Helen back to the camp site for a nap and Nara and I went out looking for adventure.  I had heard of the beaver pond - a place just down the highway that is a hotspot for birds.  It was two in the afternoon and it was just hot - almost no birds to be spotted.  We stopped by the Park Info Center (not the store) and found a nice colony of ground squirrels on a very well kept lawn.   I started to realize that if I wanted to get nice photos of birds, I would need to go when it wasn't the heat of the day and I didn't have kid or two close by.

Portrait Of A Ground Squirrel Ground Squirrel Profile

Sub-Alpine Meadows

The next morning I got up some time before 6am and started driving up to the Sub-Alpine meadows - a place I have been two a number of times to see flowers.  I did see cars when I crossed the highway but there was no one else on the drive up to the meadow.  I stopped at the pull out to watch the sunrise for a few minutes.
Viewpoint Pullout After Sunrise

The sun low on the horizon gives a different kind of light compared to mid day overhead sun.  As I was probably the first car driving up the wildlife near the road hadn't yet been scared away - I probably saw a dozen grouse and even saw juveniles - usually the first to fly away.

Chipmunk Eating Seeds In The Rocks Grouse With Valley Behind
The last time I came up here, these birds were called "Blue" Grouse.  Now they make a distinction between sooty and dusky grouse.  I haven't figured out how to tell them apart.

Grouse Walking On Crumbling Slope


When I got to the peak I decided to try my hand at the small birds that fly perch in the trees.  I don't normally shoot the "little brown jobbies", but with a longer lens I'm starting to get opportunities to see and identified species - It's surprising how many different kinds of birds are actually out there.

  Female Mountain BluebirdTownsends WarblerGolden Crowned Kinglet


 Alpine Arnica
I walked after looking for birds, I brought out my macro lens and went looking for flowers.  The unusually hot summer mean the peak flowers were now weeks behind us - only a few flowers were left in shadow areas.

Fleabane With InsectMountain Sorrel Growing In Rocks

Yellow Bellied Marmot
The rock pile at the end of the parking lot is a particular favorite for me because of the family of Hoary Marmot that usually call that pile home.  I was quite surprised to see a Yellow Bellied Marmot there instead.  I spoke with a ranger later in the day - turns out the colony of Hoary Marmots died out in a poor summer/long winter year.  There are Hoary marmots in other parts of the park but this particular colony was gone and the Yellow Bellied Marmot's seem to be taking over.  I was little saddened.


Walking Down Train In Subalpine Meadows
I got back to the camp site by 9am and the kids had just finished breakfast.

 
Whisky Jack Eyeing Our Lunch  

Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond With Reflection
I decided to revisit the beaver pond to see if there were birds there that I hadn't seen in my mid day visit.  Even pulling into the parking lot (which was empty) I could tell things were different. 


Stellars Jay
There were four Stellars Jay's  playing the parking lot and a cedar waxwing eating blueberries at the trail head.  A raven came in to see if there was anything he could steal from jays, who promptly scattered.  It's always nice to see real behavior, not handout seeking.

Cedar Waxwing In Blueberry BushRaven Perched

As I walked down to the pond, I could see a great blue heron flying away.  I found found the great blue herons (I think I've seen three of them) really easily frightened.  The birds in Vancouver let you get quite close without much care - at Manning they seemed to fly as soon as the saw you, not matter how far away you were.

Beaver Pond Early

Again, there were little brown birds that before getting a big lens I would just keep walking past.

Four Female Red Crossbill Yellow Rumped Warbler Looking Back   Yellow Rumped Warbler


 
Great Blue Heron On Log Boom
On the way back to the camp site I stopped by the day use area.  There were three great blue herons on the docks near the boat rentals but I didn't see much else for birds.  The ground squirrel colony was very active in the morning - I was hoping a hawk or other raptor would come by to thin out the flock but no such luck.

Last Swim

Different Kinds Of Morning People
I got back to the campsite before anyone was awake.  By 8:30am the kids were starting to get up and wanted breakfast.  The high altitude makes for cold nights (hence the winter jackets for breakfast) but it quickly warms up and by 11am you really want to take a swim to cool down.



Claira Sitting In Shallow WaterClaira In The Lake With Highlights
Nara really liked swimming in the lake - with the life jacket on she went for longer swims in deeper water.  Claira didn't like the life jacket so much and didn't mind playing in the shallow, warmer water.

Kids Swimming In The Lake
 
Claira Swimming With Mommy Behind

Satyr Anglewing At The Beach
There were quite a few insects around the lake.  We were almost constantly being checked out by dragonflies and a butterfly fluttered by to sample something in the beach sand.

Paddle Tailed Darner In FlightPaddle Tailed Darner Face


 
Just Before The Tent Came Down

And then it was time to go! We had some errands left to do in the city and after three nights and four days the kids needed a bath.  We made it back to Vancouver in time to see the fireworks!



Nara Swimming By Boat Launch
Person: Nara
Altitude: 1232m (4041 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Sitting In Shallow Water
Person: Claira
Altitude: 1244m (4081 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Swimming In The Lake
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 1247m (4091 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: holding hands, lake, swimming
Paddle Tailed Darner Face
Species: Aeshna palmata (Paddle-tailed Darner)
Altitude: 1240m (4068 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Species: Regulus satrapa (Golden-crowned Kinglet)
Altitude: 2010m (6594 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grouse With Valley Behind
Altitude: 1942m (6371 feet)
Location: Go To...
Townsends Warbler
Species: Dendroica townsendi (Townsend's Warbler)
Altitude: 2009m (6591 feet)
Location: Go To...
Portrait Of A Ground Squirrel
Species: Spermophilus columbianus (Columbian ground squirrel)
Altitude: 1185m (3887 feet)
Location: Go To...
Helen And Claira In Lightning Lake
Person: Helen
Fleabane With Insect
Species: Erigeron peregrinus (Subalpine Fleabane, Subalpine Daisy)
Altitude: 1954m (6410 feet)
Location: Go To...
Eating Roast Chicken
Person: Nara
Viewpoint Pullout After Sunrise
Altitude: 1677m (5501 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Paddling
Person: Nara
Tags: canoeing
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Species: Dendroica coronata auduboni (Audubon's Yellow-Rumped Warbler )
John And Claira In Lightning Lake
Person: Claira, John
Claira In The Lake With Highlights
Person: Claira
Altitude: 1244m (4081 feet)
Location: Go To...
Mountain Sorrel Growing In Rocks
Species: Oxyria digyna (mountain sorrel)
Start Of Canoe Trip
Person: Helen
Tags: canoeing
Stellars Jay
Species: Cyanocitta stelleri (Steller's Jay)
Altitude: 1154m (3786 feet)
Location: Go To...
Ground Squirrel Profile
Species: Spermophilus columbianus (Columbian ground squirrel)
Altitude: 1185m (3887 feet)
Location: Go To...
Chipmunk Eating Seeds In The Rocks
Species: Tamias amoenus (Yellow-Pine Chipmunk)
Altitude: 1997m (6551 feet)
Location: Go To...
Different Kinds Of Morning People
Person: Claira, Nara
Beaver Pond Early
Altitude: 1148m (3766 feet)
Location: Go To...
Just Before The Tent Came Down
Person: Claira, Nara, Helen, John
Helping The Boat Go Faster
Tags: boat, canoeing
Watching Kids Jump Off The Rainbow Bridge
Tags: boat, bridge, canoeing
Claira Swimming With Mommy Behind
Person: Claira, Helen
Altitude: 1244m (4081 feet)
Location: Go To...
Alpine Arnica
Altitude: 1975m (6479 feet)
Location: Go To...
Female Mountain Bluebird
Species: Sialia currucoides (Mountain Bluebird)
Altitude: 2010m (6594 feet)
Location: Go To...
Yellow Bellied Marmot
Species: Marmota flaviventris (Yellow-Bellied Marmot)
Claira Eating Her Chicken
Person: Claira
Nara With Bubbles In The Camp Site
Person: Nara
Walking Over Trestle Into Cave
Altitude: 188m (616 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Between Tunnels
Altitude: 198m (649 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira And Nara Running Out Of Tunnel
Altitude: 244m (800 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: tunnel
Big Dipper Over The Trees
Tags: astrophotography, long exposure, night, stars
Four Female Red Crossbill
Species: Loxia curvirostra (Red Crossbill)
Altitude: 1149m (3769 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Making Her Own Bubbles
Person: Claira
Great Blue Heron On Log Boom
Species: Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)
Altitude: 1242m (4074 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: reflection
Raven Perched
Species: Corvus corax (Common Raven)
Altitude: 1156m (3792 feet)
Location: Go To...
Whisky Jack Eyeing Our Lunch
Species: Perisoreus canadensis (gray jay)
Yellow Rumped Warbler Looking Back
Species: Dendroica coronata auduboni (Audubon's Yellow-Rumped Warbler )
Grouse Walking On Crumbling Slope
Species: Dendragapus fuliginosus (Sooty grouse)
Altitude: 1944m (6377 feet)
Location: Go To...
Gear Loadout At Manning
Altitude: 1252m (4107 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tent Lit Up With Night Light
Tags: long exposure, night, tent
Walking Down Train In Subalpine Meadows
Person: Nara
Altitude: 1996m (6548 feet)
Location: Go To...
Beaver Pond With Reflection
Altitude: 1146m (3759 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Smiling In The Canoe
Person: Nara
Tags: canoeing
Maidenhair Fern Growing Out Of Tunnel Wall
Species: Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair)
Altitude: 202m (662 feet)
Location: Go To...
Paddle Tailed Darner In Flight
Species: Aeshna palmata (Paddle-tailed Darner)
Altitude: 1240m (4068 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect
Night Time Glowsticks
Person: Claira
Satyr Anglewing At The Beach
Species: Polygonia satyrus (satyr anglewing)
Cedar Waxwing In Blueberry Bush
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum (Cedar Waxwing)
Altitude: 1156m (3792 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: canoeing(5), long exposure(2), night(2), boat(2), insect(2), stars(1)
People: Claira(10), Nara(9), Helen(4), John(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > John Harvey Photo - Camping > Manning Camping 2

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Last Modified Saturday, August 15th, 2015 at 09:12:09 Edit
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