The road beckoned. An excursion was called for.
Simple pleasures are your reward when you get off the beaten path. Huckleberries and wild strawberries, the aroma of fresh cut hay and an Eagle Air Show teased our senses. And, there are always new landscapes to savor.
As we made our way north along the Deadman River Valley, Castle Rock Hoodoos surprised us.
At a fork in the Deadman Vidette Road, we had to satisfy our curiosity. Some 27 years ago, desperate to get out of Toronto, an ad in Harrowsmith had caught our eye. The Vidette Gold Mine Resort was for sale and advertised to be a great opportunity. What had we missed?
We had no idea that private pasture trails from Vidette and a dusty road would lead us to The Painted Chasm.
Raindrops on the roof were the only disturbance at our night stop on the Big Bar Forest Service Road (FSR). But come morning, the road was muddy.
We pulled over for lunch. Within minutes, the rancher who leased the land and paid for water rights was on the spot. Cattle rustling is alive and well in the Canadian West.
Ranching has been the mainstay for a long time evidenced by old homesteads.
Yes, you’ll see landscapes ravaged by fire but Sagebrush vistas delight the eye as you drive the Jesmond Road.
At Pavilion on Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation Reserve a historic Church built in 1898 stands.
As we rejoin the highway, the mighty Fraser River appears below.
Although there are no major commercial Jade mines near Lillooet today the color of BC’s official gemstone abounds in this area.
Traffic on the Bridge River Road to Moha was nerve-wracking. Only upon our return home did we learn of the advisory issued by BC Hydro.
We spent a quiet night along the Yalakom River at a posted active placer mine.
At the Terzaghi our route took us across the dam and through the tunnel.
The prize for your traverse up and over Mission Pass is views of jewel-toned Seton Lake below.
At Seton Portage you see industry on a different scale. The generating stations and penstocks, part of the Bridge River electricity system operated by BC Hydro are a massive installation.
Disappointed that the Highland Road was closed it was up and over Mission Pass for the second time in one day. Down the washboard road Tulák shook and rattled. But now what’s amiss? The RPM gauge has died and dashboard warnings have lit up. Confident we still had brakes we carried on to Gold Bridge and Bralorne.
From Bralorne we connected with the East Hurley River FSR. At the junction with the West spur we spent the night.
It was music to our ears when Tulák started in the morning. On the descent from Railroad Pass sometimes referred to as Hurley Pass (Elevation: 1385 m – 4544 feet) the scenery was outstanding.
The expanse of Pemberton Meadows below is welcoming.
After re-stocking and a coffee break in Pemberton we were looking forward to a slow backroad journey eastward. But Tulák wouldn’t start. Equipped with “house” batteries and booster cables we were able to jump-start the mog but knew we would have to make tracks for home.
If you have to rely on jump-starting your vehicle you most likely will be denied ferry boarding. A change in route was necessary.
Glimpses of the tailings pond at the Highland Valley Copper Mine near Logan Lake were jolting.
The Coalmont Road to Tulameen was a welcome respite from primary road traffic.
We were back on a familiar route when we connected with Highway 3 from the Old Hedley Road.
Gnarly roads were the order of the day on this trip of 1,760 kilometers and were encountered both on and off the pavement – hair pin curves, switchbacks, blind corners, a single lane for 2-way traffic. With grades from 6 to 14% we were grateful for a reliable engine exhaust brake.
Now it’s time to sort some gremlins in the electrics.