Bonjour MLP blog readers! The MLP crew has been busy this past month hiking and photographing mountains in the Okanagan, the Alberta Rockies and the Foothills. We’re currently stationed in south western Alberta, near the Crowsnest Pass. We’re in the office today to catch up on computer work, prepare our next set of photos, and avoid the thunderstorms. Before I fill you in on our latest adventures, here is a bit of catch up on the early part of the field season.

The Prelude

Almost a month ago, the 2009 MLP field crew met up in Victoria. Project guru, Eric Higgs; organizational mastermind, Alina Fisher; fearless leader, Mandy Annand; and camera pro, Stuart Higgs showed myself and the other two newbies (Scott Allen and Chris Gat) the ropes. We spent some time playing with the cameras, and got to try our hand at some repeat photography on the top of Mount Doug, not too far from UVic.  After our training we all got to work on prepping for the field season. Files were organized, computer drives, camping gear, field gear and office supplies were purchased, a truck (fondly referred to as the budgetmobile) was rented. After a week of getting things ready, we were set to head out on the adventure that will become the MLP field season 2009.

First Steps – Kamloops and the Okanagan

Early morning on the Friday of Victoria day weekend, we all piled into the trucks, and headed to Kamloops for our first set of photographs. In Kamloops, we stayed at a beautiful camp site right on the river. Unfortunately it was located right next to rail yards and the industrial part of town. Also, Kamloops being the tournament capital of Canada, and it being the long weekend, there were softball games going on late into the night with large, vocal audiences. However, the camp site was not without its perks. It had wireless internet and we took full advantage of it, setting up our state-of-the-art outdoor office on the patio of the campsite office. As one might expect, the town of Kamloops has filled in quite significantly in the past century, and we got within 15m of most sites just by driving. In fact, one of the photos that Mandy and I took was from the middle of a street, and required finding higher ground (a.k.a the roof of the truck) to see over the house that was now blocking the shot.

After quickly knocking off the Kamloops photos, we moved south through the Okanagan to Vernon, Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland  and Osoyoos, staying at an RV and camp ground right on lake Okanagan with all the other long weekenders crowd. Chris and Mandy spent one night there with the rest of us, and then headed to the Elbow Fire Base near Bragg Creek, Alberta to get things prepared for the Wheeler 1998 survey. Scott, Stuart and I spent a couple more days in the Okanagan finishing up photos. At a photo station at the Coldstream Ranch, outside of Vernon, we met Roy Gavelin who had been working there for the past 20 some odd years. He had a lot to tell us about the history of the Ranch and even had a history book which included the original photo that we were trying to repeat! Most of the pictures from the Okanagan and Kamloops show increasing human populations and development. Towns have sprung up, parts of hills have been blasted away for roads, and meandering rivers are now perfectly straight. When all the Okanagan pictures had been repeated, we took a couple days off, before meeting up with Mandy and Chris at the Elbow on May 22.

I realise I’m far from bringing the blog completely up to date, but expect a near complete update by the end of the week by future novelist, Stuart Higgs.

This is Lesley, signing out.