July 7 - 11, 2016:
We get on the road at 9 AM with light intermittent rain which lasts the entire drive. It is a caravan led by John and Donna Waddell, Hughes and Judy Moir and us. We drive across Vancouver over several roads and bridges with considerable traffic to get onto route 1, the Trans Canada highway. Eventually we go up into the mountains with a steep climb up the Coquuhala Pass with beautiful mountain views. After that uphill grind and then descending halfway down on the other side we arrive at the town of Merritt with a huge lumber mill where we exit onto route 5. It was then mostly picturesque back roads to the town of Logan Lake.
|Driving through Merritt|
John and Donna live on a quiet street in town with room for all three RV’s to park. We decide to sleep in our RV’s although there is plenty of room in the house, four bedrooms, it’s just easier and we can use the shower inside the house.
The town of Logan Lake is a mining town, actually established in 1970 by the Highland Valley Copper Mine for the mine workers to live in. It has a clean, small downtown area with a few stores, a small library, a school, a cross country ski park and an attractive looking Recreation Center with Hockey arena. There is a lake, Logan Lake, with a nice picnic area, a boat dock a walking path around the lake and a campground on the far end.
Our first day involves a 40 mile ride to the city of Kamloops, the largest city for many miles for shopping, a haircut for Hughes and lunch at a popular town cafe. It has all the chain stores and restaurants and I would guess is the largest city Kamloops is a city with all the chain stores and restaurants and is possibly the last big town you are going to see heading north in Canada.
|Hilltop view in Kamloops with the Thompson River flowing through|
|Every Canadian city seems to have a Curling Center|
|Girl talk among Twinkles, Donna and Judy|
Sunday is a cool, rainy morning with a fabulous breakfast of pancakes covered with butter, maple syrup and fresh blueberries, it doesn’t get any better than that ! I also had some of John's porridge with hoard made toast covered with blueberries. Yum !
Latter in the afternoon it began to clear and we took a ride to the Logan Lake information center. It is an unusual one housed in a huge Bucyrus Crane that was used years ago in the mine. They also have a enormous WABCO Electric Haulback Truck that our host John actually drove at the mine.
|I'll call it John's truck, a 3200B WABCO Electric Truck powered |
by a GM Electromotive 645-12 cylinder engine, 2,500 HP, very
similar to a Diesel-Electric Locomotive with the engine powering
electric motors on the wheels
|Twinkles, Judy, Donna and John pose in front of tire|
|Mine Crane and information Center|
|View of Logan Lake from hilltop trail|
We next went for a ride to the Highland Valley Copper Mine which is the largest open pit Copper Mine in Canada. It extracts mainly Copper and Molybdenum. It was started in 1962 and it is hard to believe how huge it has grown since then, mountains have literally been moved. John and Donna both worked there until retirement and their son currently works there. We took a ride to a roadside overlook with a great panoramic view of the Mine.
|A view of one section of the Mine|
John took us on a walk from their house to the ski trails, practically behind their house. There is an extensive network of trails for hiking, mountain biking, winter snowshoeing and cross country skiing through a forested area. It's a really extensive network of trails going for miles and miles.
|Ski trail map|
|Summer Tanager posed nicely for me|
|Beautiful ski trail through green meadow|
|Mushrooms are everywhere|
Judy and Hughes learned of a forest fire in their county within a few miles of their house in Nederland, Colorado. This fire spread rapidly due to the heat, dry conditions and wind and quickly became very serious. As a result, they decided to change their original travel plans to tour Vancouver Island and head straight back to Colorado on Sunday morning. It sounds very serious as everyone in their home area has been evacuated and their house is very close to the fire line. It was not the expected happy kind of goodbye to them and we will be hoping things turn out okay as we really want to visit them, in their current house, one day soon.
Next stop is Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia, CanadaTwinkles and Slick