Monday, August 27, 2018

BC Highways ~ Merritt ~ Hope Princeton

We are on the road again.  We have several plans ahead of us, the first one beginning with a trip on roads not travelled for years and we’re looking forward to seeing unfamiliar beautiful BC scenery.

Merritt Highway
We begin on a more familiar road between Kamloops and Merritt, less hills to climb than the Coquihalla and great scenery to view.  This takes place the beginning of July, before we were having to deal with any forest fires bringing smoke to the area.

Flooding of Stump Lake
Between the spring runoff of winter snow and the rainy times we’ve had so far, the lake is still very high and actually seeps across the highway nearby, I missed that shot.  Picnic tables at lakeside ahead are well under water but it won’t be long and all will be different.  The water level will recede and it will be as good as ever.

History in a barn
Once we reach Merritt we follow the Coquihalla Connector to 5A South and now we are on those very unfamiliar roads.  If memory can be trusted, we believe it was 1966 we last used this road.  This barn may not even have been built at that time, it was so long ago!! We were driving a truck and not a covered wagon, though.  LOL  I cannot resist taking photos of old barns, buildings and fences.  The scenery is lovely and green at Aspen Grove.

Allison Lake
We pass Allison Lake which sits roadside in the narrow valley.  We are enjoying these sights before we arrive at the remains of a big forest fire here which prevented us from the visit we’d planned for Tulameen last year.  Such a shame to see those sights and all losses and tragedies due to them.

Similiameen River
We’ve spent a few days at Tulameen and are now once again on the road for the next leg of our summer adventure.  We have now passed Princeton, which is a very nice little town, after a brief stop for fuel.  As is typical for summer trips, road construction briefly holds us up but we soon carry on alongside the Simlkameen River.

Similkameen Valley
The valley opens up and we see green hills and blue skies ahead.  The traffic appears fairly light until we meet up with more construction traffic but it’s a nice day for the drive.  This was part of the gold rush era and village of Blackfoot was established nearby for those coming to make lots of money.  It didn’t last long as it was a fairly minor gold rush in 1860.

Manning Provincial Park
The Hope Princeton Highway passes through Manning Park, one of many provincial parks in BC.  It was named in the memory of Ernest Manning, the Chief Forester of BC 1936-1941 when he died in a plane accident.  He was part of the teamwork responsible for establishing several provincial parks in BC.

Rugged mountains
 I found this story too interesting to ignore.  Persistence pays.  Quoted from Wikipedia.

“Six years after being one of the original participants on the Similkameen Rush, "Jackass John" returned from prospecting in Montana and the Kootenays. He mined on the same spot where he had made $40 in two days during the original rush and in fourteen days had taken $900. He enlisted three friends and worked the mine; historian H.H. Bancroft notes that the four partners sluiced $240 in three days.”

The Hope Slide

The Hope Slide on Johnson Ridge of the Cascade Mountains occurred in January 1965 and was the second largest landslide ever recorded in Canada.  Two slight earthquakes registered hours previous to the slide discovery but are not given total credit for the slide.  The slide did push mud and water from Outram Lake, just below it, with such force against the other side of the valley that it registered “seismic signatures interpreted as earthquakes”.  Sadly four lives were lost and only two of those were recovered.

Aside from the history of the Hope Slide that took lives and left a very ugly scar on the mountainside, the Hope Princeton drive is very pretty and the roads were good, too. 

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