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Travel and Nature Study July 5, 2022

Travel and Nature Study July 5, 2022

Travel and Nature Study July 5, 2022

BC Nature Study and Outdoor Education

Travelling back through B.C.’s history

We have returned from our trip looking back at some of B.C.’s history.  The time frame takes us back to early indigenous history, through the Fur Trade and Gold Rush, to more modern times with the closing of a rail line and a mining town.

Join me as we travel from the Cariboo Plateau to the Omineca region in the central interior.  We made a point of staying at Provincial Camp sites or Forest Service sites.  Many are in close proximity to interesting sites and activities.  Travelling in mid-June we found the campsites fairly empty and activities at most sites already in place.

Our journey began in 100 Mile House, this was a major stopping point on the Gold Rush Trail.  It was 100 Miles from the routes start in Lillooet and also has an interesting history with a group called the Emissaries of Devine Light. As you approach 150 Mile House and the turn off to the Likely-Horsefly Road take time to visit to the Little Red School House, it is a good representation of an early pioneer one room school in B.C.  Our first night was spent at Dugan Lake Forest Service Campsite just east of 150 Mile House.  The highway may go through Williams Lake today, but that was not the case in when the road was built in 1860.  It bypassed Williams Lake and headed east and north to Horsefly and Likely.  Rain and thunderstorms followed us on most of the trip.  Moments of sunshine where enjoyed by walking through the park.  The fragrance of the wildflowers and flowers shrubs and trees was delightful.  During our mornings and evenings, we were serenaded by birds song.  Mostly the American Robin who seems to be the first to rise in the morning and the last to go to bed.  Off course there is always a Loon on every lake.  It’s haunting call can be heard throughout the day and night.

Likely was our second stop.  Cedar Point Provincial Park is situated on the banks of Quesnel Lake just as it empties into the Quesnel River.  The water was very high with all the heavy rains so the river was in spectacular form.  The parkland has many large cedar trees and dense rainforest growth.  Many wildflowers were in bloom and the fragrance was wonderful as you walked the pathways.  A short drive from Likely is the Bullion Pit Mine site.  This hydraulic mining site excavated a huge area and produced about 75,700 ounces of gold, worth approximately $91 million in today’s prices.  Quesnelle Forks is a second must see site.  A steep gravel road takes you down to the junction of the Quesnelle and Cariboo Rivers.  It was a major centre during the gold rush.  It’s bridge and ferry service provided access to the goldfields and it was a major supply centre.  It was many old buildings and a wonderful cemetery.  The grave stones can tell you much about the origins and skills of people that came and worked and died in the area.

Our plan was to take the back road from Likely to Barkerville.  Unfortunately, with the heavy rains and snow still standing on the road at its northern end we were advised to not drive the route.  We backtracked to Highway 97 via the Beaver Lake Road and arrived in Barkerville a different colour than when we started our trip.

Continued rain has caused rising river and lake levels and the campground in Likely is now closed until the water recedes and the park can be cleaned up.

More Information

Noreen Beer

Author & Outdoor Educator

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