Trip to Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia        

Lake view

Town Directions sign

Harrison town

Coastal mountains

4PM at Harrison


Wet Street

Hoter Bear

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. That verse from the famous Scottish poet, Robert burns fit perfectly with our long anticipated plan to have a pleasant vacation at Harrison Hot springs.

My wife and I had been looking forward to a few days soaking in the luxurious Harrison Hotel’s mineral springs, and doing photography in the small waterfront town, and the nearby Sasquatch Provincial Park trails.

The weather report was for a sunny Monday, with some rain on Tuesday and a clear partly cloudy Wednesday. So we thought, rather than abandon our reservation (with the accompanying cancellation fees) we’d put up with the showers and stay close to the hotel. After all, shooting in the rain isn’t all that bad as long as it’s not too hard. However, “hard” is just what we got for our one full day at the resort town.

The first evening was so much fun with a soothing dip in the hot pool and a nice walk down the esplanade for a nice meal of fresh mussels and clams. And we sat talking about our plans for an early morning soak and a day of photography.

I rose early the next morning raring to go and went to the balcony to see what the day had in store for us outdoors. Well, what it had in store was a heavily cloud-covered town and one of the heaviest torrential downpours I could remember.

Trying to be optimistic we wandered down to have coffee, then headed for the hot pools in hopes of waiting the morning rain out. I will say that my short description of that event was that we were getting as wet from the rain as from the pool.

The rest of the day was much of the same with occasional short trips out when the rain lightened enough for some photos. As long as the rain was light I could wipe any accumulation off my camera with a towel. And the lens hood fended off rain as long as I didn’t angle the camera and lens in an upward direction.

My planned hikes in the dripping wet forest were out, so my short excursions were limited to the small town and beachfront. I liked the overcast and low hanging clouds. But those expeditions were short and I hesitated to get to far away from the safety of my hotel.

I normally take time to wander about indoors and had packed a flash for some interior photography. But along with a wet visit to the Harrison Hotel, we had also selected a time when there was a large convention. My one attempt at photographing the large 12-foot plush RCMP bear in the lobby took about 20 minutes as I waited for people to pass by so I could get a clear shot.

Oh well, so much for photography. I worked hard to get the few photos I got. In spite of the rain we did have a great time relaxing in the very hot mineral pool, chatting with other guests, and we had some enjoyable meals in local restaurants. In future I will need to take coastal weather reports more seriously if I want more than that.






8 responses to “Trip to Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia        

  1. What a disappointment that the weather wasn’t nice but your pictures turned out very nice I love the coastal mountains and the bear. Sounds like you had a nice time despite the crapy weather


  2. A thought I had, and I don’t know how realistic this is as I’ve never tried it myself but have heard of people doing things like this, is could you have set your camera on a tripod with a really long exposure while aiming at the indoor bear? Then the people milling around would be blurred out? Or would they have to be sure not to stand in one place for too long? But I see you did get a shot of it anyway, finally! 🙂


    • Hi Steeny, At the Harrison Hotel using a big flash gave me lots of light on the dark bear.

      You are right regarding long exposures.
      I do like that technique when I am shooting cityscapes, and like 10 or more minutes to get the effect I am looking for.

      I remember the first I ever did a long exposure was back in the early 1970s while taking photography at college.
      One of my instructors showed a picture taken during WWII of Grand Central Station in New York. It was a three hour exposure.
      I was excited to try and positioned my camera on a street corner in California one Sunday.

      I had a partial success with my (one hour) exposure. But a car stopped with engine trouble and although there was no people in my final picture, there was a car parked in the street.


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