This 325 mile drive took us 2 days…250 yesterday (Tuesday), and 75 today. The first half of yesterdays trip, from Williams Lake to Cache Creek, was good. From Cache Creek to the US Border was absolutely gorgeous. At Cache Creek we pick up the Trans Canada Highway, and soon enter Thompson Canyon along the Thompson River. It was at Spences Bridge, population of under 200, along the Thompson River within Thompson Canyon, that we saw this small herd of young Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep along the highway. In this area, the snowfall is around 2 feet per year, with average temperatures ranging from as high as 85 to as low as 20…although the record high is 108 and record low is –20. So living here is not “that” hard, but one MUST be prepared for the extremes.
The drive started out much like the last … miles of scenery with lots of power lines.
Williams Lake, the community where we stayed Monday night, is just north of Williams Lake, a body of water which is 5 miles long, and nearly a mile wide. The lake runs east to west, and the Cariboo Highway runs along the northern end of the lake…along with a lot of electrical wires.
This area is part of the Cariboo Plateau, a volcanic plateau in south-central British Columbia. The Plateau runs south just past Cache Creek.
Sorry Arny, I almost got a picture of all of it…I guess this guy loves “Gold”.
The plateau area is full of lakes and streams, farm land, and painted skies.
We had a very little bit of rain, enough to wet the pavement and window, not enough to cause us any problems.
As we get closer to Cache Creek, the terrain changes. The first half of the days drive is over…the second half is entirely different…
After Cache Creek the Thompson River is on the driver’s side of the road as we drive further south. It is hard for me to take pictures unless we stop, and it is hard to stop since the pullouts are on the other side of the road. Above I stop and get a picture to the north from where we passed, and to the south toward where we are headed.
I get a few shots, but the road has curves, and traffic, and we wonder if we missed too many good shots…but then…
…we come to the Spences Bridge community, we pass the Big Horn sheep (first picture), and we cross the Thompson River. Now Marcia has free ride to take picture after picture with the river on her side…and she does…nearly 300 more pictures! That’s what I get for having it set on multi-picture mode…
The Thompson River runs through a real nice canyon. In the bottom picture, if you look close just above the river, there are a series of tunnels, three shown in this picture alone. To the left is a close up of one of those tunnels.
This area of the Thompson River has some very serious rapids. It even has a “Rafting Resort”, the Kumsheen Rafting Resort, a rustic adventure sports resort with teepees and cabins is a 6-minute walk from the Fraser River. In addition to whitewater rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing trips, the resort features an outdoor pool, a hot tub and a poolside bar…along with RV hookups.
At the community of Lytton the Thompson River merges with the Fraser River. The Fraser River is a much darker river than the Thompson. Above are two pictures after the merge. I did not get a picture of the merge, but found this one to the left on the Internet. Thank you Barbara for pointing it out to me…but we missed the turnoff to get the picture.
As we got close to Hope, our destination for the night, we passed by “Hell’s Gate”, an abrupt narrowing of the Fraser River. There is a tram which takes people down to the other side of the river. The picture on the left is the ticket office for the tram. Just a little further down the road is a series of tunnels, one of which is named “Hell’s Gate” (if you click on the picture to the right, you can read the name along the bottom right of the picture.) We were just thankful that the only “Hell’s Gate” that we had to pass through was just a traffic tunnel.
Wild Rose Campground, $31 Canadian for full hookups with good cable. I got rid of the rest of my Canadian money, and left her an extra $2 which I asked her to use to help some child who was short buying an ice cream. She smiled and said, “I do that all the time..."
Fifty miles down the road and we cross back into the states at the Sumas Port of Entry. I wish it was as easy for me to get into Canada as it is to the United States. Another 20 miles and we are at the The Cedars RV Resort for two nights. It is nice to be back in the lower 48…and we will always remember this wonderful trek to a place called Alaska, along with the trip up and back through a very wonderful area of Canada.