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#1 - Name your top '3 things' you love about the Kootenays
The People - The people in the Kootenays are unique and bring such a variety of views, culture and art to the area enhancing its appeal, especially in Rossland. People live and work in the area as they enjoy the lifestyle and appreciate its beauty, the climate and the wide range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, skiing, and hiking. People love to work hard so that they can play hard.
Close To Nature: I love the proximity to nature. On the same day, I can be high on a mountain top exploring an old mine and that same afternoon travel down to the valley floor and explore the river valley. Bears, skunks and rabbits are a common sight and the variety of bird species still amazes me.
Rossland, BC from above
The Scenery: The scenery here is second to none and the defined change in seasons provide so much opportunity for photography, I find my self going back to the same locations year after year and always find something different to capture and see those same locations in a new light every time.
#2 - Describe one of your favourite epic day in the Kootenays?
My favourite days always start with the sunrise, waking up when it's still dark. Out the door with a cup of coffee in my hand, and then drive to a location and wait. As most photographers know, patience is a virtue. There is something about capturing the first rays of sunshine over the distant mountain range that makes it all worth while. Its breathtaking every time. I enjoy getting off the beaten path and exploring places that I have never been before.
#3 - How does getting out exploring in the Kootenays, inspire you
I grew up in the Kootenays and feel very connected here. This area provides a limitless source of inspiration and I feel a strong sense of identity here. The Kootenays are amazingly beautiful and picturesque; every day presents incredible photo opportunities that I feel privileged to capture and share with others. I never have to search or consciously think about what my next photo shoot will be, all I have to do is simply leave the house and recognize the endless opportunities right outside my door and that, for me, is very inspiring.
Nancy Greene Lake Provincial Park (near Rossland & Trail, BC)
#4 - If you could choose that one spot in the Kootenays that makes you the happiest, where would it be?
Without a doubt it would be Idaho Peak (cover/top photo), near New Denver. I have yet to see a landscape as beautiful as a midsummer afternoon on the peak, with the wildflowers in full bloom. If you can manage to make it up, it's a sight you will never forget.
#5 - In your opinion, what is the Kootenay's best kept secret.
Wow, I wouldn't know where to start about best kept secrets in the Kootenays. Two easily come to mind. The first one would be the historic rock walls in Trail - numerous beautiful, heritage rock walls support Trail's roads and gardens - they are pretty amazing.
The other is the sheer amount of heritage buildings and sites in and around Rossland. There are almost 30 buildings and over 10 sites listed on the Heritage Register - considering the size of Rossland, that’s incredible.
Downtown Rossland, BC
Responses and all images by Don Conway.