Thursday, October 07, 2010

Squamish to Whistler to Lillooett - A Geocaching Road Trip

Video at the end of the report
A while back Cookie Cacher (Jeannine) and I did another of my much loved road trips that seem to take up all day and half the night. This one wasn't quite so bad, left town at 7.00 AM and back home at 12.30 AM.

As I have done several previous reports on this route I won't go into a lot of detail here, but will state that the video is great, as usual!  :)

Jeannine met me in Maple Ridge, parked her car, jumped in the Jeep and off we went aiming for the first of our caches along the Sea To Sky Highway. We began at Porteau Cove, where Jeannine set about finding the caches and I set about filming....(this seemed to be the way it went all day), and we continued on through Squamish and Whistler finding a few caches on our way either in town or at scenic places like Nairn Falls and Murrin Lake.

Pemberton was the turning point in our day; that is, we turned away from our northerly path and began heading east towards Lillooet, and beyond Lillooet, Lytton and the Fraser Canyon. A few miles east of Pemberton is Joffre Park, well know for it's jewel like lake and challenging climb up Joffre Peak where you can obtain an excellent view of the glacier nestled in it's crook. Even the view from ground level is phenomenal, a little taste of the mountainous back country while standing a few hundred feet from your car.

We continued along through The Pemberton Pass as we crested the Coast Mountains on our way to the Gold Rush town of Lillooet. Much history and many ghosts linger in this sleepy town; Lillooet is Mile Zero on the Gold Rush route, all Road Houses where named from their distance to Lillooet. 100 Mile House, 108 mile House, all came into existence as road houses along the Gold Rush route from Lillooet to Barkerville. Frontier justice was served out by judge Mathew Begbie, where it's reported that several men lost their life at The Hanging Tree on an old river bench of the Fraser River just above town. A more colourful Gold Rush fact is that a local entrepreneur brought over 23 camels to serve as pack animals on the Gold Rush route. Well, they didn't last long; the other pack horses and mules were afraid of them, they smelled terrible, and the rough rocky terrain of the BC mountains was hell on their tender hoofs. If you drive through Lillooet you'll marvel at the wide main street of downtown; this was so a stage coach with a full team of horses could turn around in the street.

From Lillooet we headed along the same path as previous explorers, from First nations trading goods, to Simon Fraser following the Fraser River to it's end, to Gold Rush miners following it upstream to it's start, we took the same route as we began our slow turn southward towards home. Lytton is a small town, much smaller than Lillooet, but where Lillooet has much of it's history in the White world, Lytton is an ancient town for First Nations. For thousands of years and many generations, this has been a home to our lands first peoples.

The clean blue Thompson River meets the muddy Fraser River and is swallowed up by it's larger and dirtier cousin. It's quite amazing to see the dual colours of the waters when the two rivers first join, it's almost sad to see the Thompson waters be dissipated by the Fraser.

From Lytton it was a straight south bound night time drive down the Fraser Canyon to the cross roads town of Hope, then 70 miles of freeway travelling back to Maple Ridge. We picked up about 25 caches, an hours worth of video, and a life time of memories.

If the video is too wide for your screen, go to my YouTube channel and watch it there..