Travel

Nemiah Valley, British Columbia

On a work trip this past weekend up to Nemiah Valley, in British Columbia’s central interior, I got the chance to visit Chilko Lake. In short, it is STUNNING. Clear, turquoise water, breathtaking colours. Reminds me of Banff’s Lake Louise. Easily the most beautiful body of water I’ve seen to date.

Gettin’ my Simba on

My view from there (photos really don’t do it justice):

The reason I was there was to cover the Nemiah Valley Rodeo and Mountain Race. There’s an extended intro about it here, which ran with a page of photos from photojournalist John Lehmann, but those are not yet online. An audio slideshow is in the works; I’ll post that up when it’s ready. (EDIT: Here it is.)

In the meantime, a description of the mountain race, which takes place during the rodeo intermission on both Saturday and Sunday, and is the highlight of the event:

The mountain race, founded by the Xeni Gwet’in band of the Chilcotin nation, sees riders barrel down a steep hillside, over rocks and gravel, into creeks and beaver dams and around dangerous turns through blinding plumes of dirt and dust. Some riders emerge dripping wet, some are stalled in the swamp and mud and some are tossed from their horses along the way.

It takes riders about 20 minutes to reach the starting point up the hill and, on average, 90 seconds to get down the three-quarter-mile trail.

This is cowboy Howie Lulua, who won on both days:

His brother, Jimmy Lulua, ended up falling off his horse on the second day of the race, breaking his leg. He had to be medivaced out; his horse shot.

A few other miscellaneous shots from the trip:

John Lehmann realizing he’ll have to lug thousands of dollars worth of equipment through two bodies of water to properly shoot the mountain race.

Tie-down roping

2011 Photo Throwdown: Days 278-284 [ Hipstamatic Istanbul edition]

Take-off
Henry Miller, a cappuccino and the Marmara Sea
The Blue Mosque at dusk
The Hagia Sophia
Entrance to the Grand Bazaar
Couple outside the Blue Mosque
İstiklâl Caddesi

Bonus couple:

Stray cat
Spice Bazaar

Friend and colleague Erin Loxam and I have pledged to take and upload one photo every day for all of 2011. See how she’s doing here.

Tiny monkey in a Canucks jersey

I did a story last year on Ian Simpson, a Prince George man who travels to Africa frequently for work (at a mining excavation company) and collected a bunch of soccer balls in B.C. to give to kids over there. Sweet little story. Tonight, with the Vancouver Canucks two games away from winning the Stanley Cup, he emailed again — this time, with pictures of a little orphaned monkey his crew had saved and put a little Canucks jersey on. So cute!

Saudi Arabia plans $30 billion, mile-high tower

From DVICE:

How high does a tower need to reach before it’s considered too high? If you think relaxing up on top of the Burj Khalifa’s At.mosphere won’t give you vertigo, try Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower — a structure that will extend one mile upwards — almost twice the height of Dubai’s tallest.

Those Middle Eastern princes just can’t get enough of those insanely tall skyscrapers. Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, head of Kingdom Holding Company recently gave his approval for construction of what will be billed as the world’s tallest man-made structure — the Kingdom Tower.

Designed by Adrian Smith, the Kingdom Tower will be built in Saudi Arabia’s city of Jeddah. The tower will stretch one mile up into heavens and include 12 million cubic feet of space, several stories of office space, several stories for a hotel and four tiers of residential space, with the upper most tier reserved for “alternative energy generation” solutions (perhaps including a pendulum to keep the entire tower from collapsing).

The Kingdom Tower project is so large that it’ll cost $30 billion to construct. To get to the top from the ground floor, an elevator ride would take an estimated 12 minutes to ascend. That’s quite a journey for a view that is sure to be mostly sand and clouds.

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to keep the glass on the Burj Khalifa squeaky clean, think how much more difficult it’ll be to clean the dirt off windows twice as high up.