Thunderstorm Drive Through Castlegar

Thunderstorm Drive Through Castlegar

july_14_2015_050Rolled off the hill and got to the waiting Golf at about 4:30pm, skies were threatening to the south but the weather was still fine in Taghum. Heading toward Castlegar the approaching storm began to build on the ridgetops prompting me to pull over and take a few pictures. As the light was fantastic I decided to make this drive a little photo adventure instead of the usual hammer home commute.

july_14_2015_053Driving and shooting was out of the question so I started scanning the route for viewpoints and vistas. My first stop had been just before the Thrums Market & Restaurant where I got a few images of the approaching storm and the traffic whizzing by. There seemed to be a lot of people in a big f***ing hurry so I carefully rejoined the flow and continued on looking for another safe pull out.

Lots of blind corners and narrow shoulders made me carry on to the pullout before the Brilliant Dam as it was the next safest place to stop (and get going again). Like I said, traffic was brisk and making me a bit nervous on the side of the road. Earlier that day, there had been a multi car pileup on Hwy. 1 outside of Hope initiated by a broken down RV on a narrow shoulder. The cops responded with lights flashing to assist but there wasn’t enough room and they ended up getting cleaned up by a couple of passenger vehicles which then escalated to a rolled B-train full of lumber. I didn’t want to be “that guy” here…

july_14_2015_055Got to the pull out and there was a loaded logging truck sitting there with some solid skid marks freshly leaving the pavement behind him. Not sure if the two were related but I pulled a little further off to the side just the same.

After getting a couple shots of the scene I was ready to move on . Spits of rain were beginning to hit the windshield so I hit the wipers. Nothing. The old shitty relay connection had re-emerged after running trouble free for several months. After wiggling the plug a bit, the wipers sprang back to life along with the window defrost fan. I then noticed that the rain was beginning to fall in earnest so decided to sty put and watch the show instead of carrying on.

july_14_2015_092Shooting out the partially cracked window allowed me to stay mostly dry but it was hammering so hard at this point I was glad I wasn’t driving! Ten minutes later the torrent had eased and I decided to get going again. The Sun was beginning to poke through down the valley and I knew it was just a matter of time before it got nice here, bringing beautiful light and contrast to the storm behind. I decided to hit up the Brilliant Dam lookout for my next location.

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july_14_2015_118Trouble is there isn’t a legal way to get there from my side of the road. I’ll just drive until I can turn around and come at it in the right direction. About 4km later I’m on my way to Robson still looking for a legal way to get turned around. Finally reach an intersection and back to the dam lookout I go, arriving just as the sun starts to hit the slopes above. The light was as awesome as expected so I blasted off a few more frames, moved down the road one more time and shot until I ran the battery flat on the camera.

july_14_2015_171One thing I noticed while trying to compose my shots was it was virtually impossible to get an image that was free of any man made structure or suspended wire. Instead of getting pissed off about it, I decided to embrace this as part of my composition strategy. I think it turned out all right.july_14_2015_186

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