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]

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.

B.C. woman reduced to tears by airport security rethinks air travel

Elizabeth Strecker, 82, says she is humiliated after airport security in Calgary forced her to reveal her gel breast prosthesis. (Photograph by: Global B.C., Global News)

Well this is humiliating. From my story in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun:

An 82-year-old Abbotsford woman is considering giving up air travel after a humiliating encounter with airport security screeners.

Elizabeth Strecker said when screeners at Calgary International Airport asked her whether she was carrying any liquids or gels before boarding her flight back to B.C. last week, it never crossed her mind to mention the gel prosthesis she’s worn since losing a breast to cancer.

“It never entered my mind,” Strecker told The Vancouver Sun Friday, with anger still apparent in her voice. “Why does the whole world need to know?”

Screeners sent Strecker for a secondary inspection at the security checkpoint, where she was then subjected to a pat-down and forced to reveal the prosthesis in public. She said she was never given the option to go through a full-body scanner and didn’t know she could ask to be screened in private room.

“Being in public, and being touched like that, it was really, really not called for,” she said. “After all, I was coming home from Christmas with my kids [in Calgary]. I didn’t go into a different country, I didn’t go across the country. I went on a one-hour flight home and they made me feel as though I was a terrorist. That I resent with all my heart.”

Continue reading here.