Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Canyon Trip

Monday, 14 November, 2011

In mid-October the weather was so nice that we decided to take an overnight trip up the Fraser Canyon to Cache Creek and back through Logan Lake and the Nicola Valley. Here's a link to a map of our route  

We travelled along the north side of the river to Hope, continued north on Hwy 97 (yellow) to Cache Creek, and returned through Logan Lake (grey) to Merritt, then Hwy 5 (green) back to Hope.
Since the road hugs the Fraser River, the scenery is spectacular, both along the river ...

and through the rocky crags of the canyon. This is just one of several tunnels that the road runs through.

Trains run constantly along each side of the river. It used to be that the Canadian Pacific had its track on one side and Canadian Northern on the other. Nowadays they share the tracks and all eastbound trains run on one, all westbound on the other. No doubt it's both safer and more efficient.

I love how the blue of the containers in this last shot echoes the blue of the water.

Looking up at the mountains is as impressive as looking down at the river.

Fall colours had started to infuse the landscape,

some requiring a close inspection.

Surprise, surprise... it's a rose!

By sunset we were almost at our destination.

We had hoped to stay in Ashcroft, which is a pretty little place, but has suffered the fate of many small interior towns as people leave for lack of work. Cache Creek has more industry, including a dump for much of Vancouver's garbage, but is ugly. However, it does have motels.

The following day we began our way back through the Nicola Valley. This is a more settled, less rugged landscape than the Fraser Canyon. There are signs of abandonment here too, picturesque and a little sad.

Halfway home we took a turn-off from the highway to visit the Quintette Tunnels. This little-known miracle of engineering provided a route for the Kettle Valley Railway from the Interior to the Coast. The architect of this feat had himself lowered in a basket into the chasm cut by the Coquihalla River in order to plot how the track could negotiate the river, which at this point winds back and forth through massive rocks. He achieved his goal by linking three tunnels and two bridges. The site is now a provincial park and the former railbed is a walking trail. It is one of my favourite places to take overseas visitors to absorb some of the wild beauty of this part of the world. The tunnels are quite dark and it's advisable to have a flashlight to negotiate through them, but the views from the bridges in between are awe-inspiring.

1 comment:

Sarah Jane said...
Somehow I missed this post earlier. Are the shots from the trip taken with the new camera? There are some wonderful ones. You definitely have an eye for landscape. My favs are the misty mountain that leads this post, the cottages and trees reflected in the lake and the blue railway cars and landscape. I also was really impressed by how colour of the carriages echos the lake. Fantastic shot!