Kamploops, BC Monday August 5
Today is BC Day in British Columbia. As far as I can tell it is mainly a day off from work and a chance for a long weekend. There does not appear to be any major events going on. A little research suggests it was made a holiday becuase all of the other provinces had one for the first weekend in August and so BC made one and dedicated it to the pioneers of the province.
We are doing our part by touring some early mining areas of the province. We left Whistler for Kamloops via the Sea to Sky highway which converts into the Duffey Lake Road, part of the Coast Cariboo Scenic Drive. (More simply, it is highway 99 from Whistler to Cache Creek.)
The road brought us back to mountains, forests, rivers and curvy two lane roads. Small waterfalls would pop up unexpectedly. Colorful wildflowers returned.
The bicyclists diminished after Whistler which is good because the shoulders are usually narrow. First Nations lands frequent the route. Services along the Duffey Lake Road are lacking for about 100 km; we gassed up the car and ourselvevs in the town of Pemberton before heading to Lillooet. This was the most scenic section of the road.
Lillooet had been the source for mining great quantities of jade. Japanese settelrs were responsbile for some of that and for the exporting of it to the East where it is prized. The town has numerous large jade rocks on display along the main street. Unfortunately it was also an internment center for Japanese Canadians during WWII.
Lillooet has a long history with native populations for salmon fishing and was an early starting point for the Fraser River gold rush. This gold rush was a major factor in the settlement of this part of the province by Europeans.
As we left Lillooet, our drive returend to scenery not unlike other valley locations. Semi-arid land except when irrigated. High peaks to mountains on either side. A rushing river or large lake along the route. A hydro power dam. Train tracks paralleling the road.
We arrived in Kamloops in mid-afternoon. A relatively short driving day but the lodging options between Kamloops and Jasper are not numerous and we did not wish to make the drive to Jasper one without time to savor the sights.
Ed and Chris August 6 7:30 am