Like every small town, the original train station building stood in the centre of town, and knowing this, you can usually figure out where the first buildings in any town were located if you look for the train station. Here in Ashcroft it was still at the centre of town, and again, like most towns, the station has been refurbished to it's original glory. Only Ashcroft did it one better - they developed a block long park around the station with panoramic heritage displays of the history of the area, along with an old shack and a working water wheel.
A block down the street was the pioneer cemetery where our first cache was near; always neat to walk among the headstones and read the ages of those who worked this land before we came along doing frivolous things like geocaching. So many died young, and so many were from countries far away, lured to the new country by the promise of riches.
The Butte Ranch site also provided fantastic views of the sand bluffs created as the Thompson River cut through the glacial till formed when the last of the Ice Age glaciers were melting. The various coloured layers of sediment provided a natural canvas for nature to draw on.
The area also has a great collection of hoodoos, pillars of rock with harder rock caps. The harder rock protects the softer composite rocks below them, leaving fields of vertical stack rocks which gave life to First Nations folk lore explaining hoodoos were invading warriors who broke a promise and were turned into stone.
Another few miles east on the Trans Canada Hwy brought us to the turn off for Wallichin - now all but a ghost town with only a few residents.
Water for the orchards was brought via water flumes from 20 miles away from Snohoosh creek in the Deadman Valley. This was an engineering feat in its day but took a lot of maintenance but time was not on the community's side. World War 1 called back many of the British men to serve their country and the flumes fell into poor repair. With no water source for the fruits and orchards, the town soon died. On the bluffs to the north of the river still stand remnants of those very flumes - something to look at and wonder at the ingenuity of the people in their day.
We hugged the south side of the lake as we picked up a few caches here and there in Savona both in the town area and along the lake shore. We kept up the pace as the day was getting on and we still had another 20 or so caches to pick up before we stopped for the night. A couple more hours of daylight would get us through some forest roads and back onto main roads before we ended our day night caching.
We continued picking up a few more caches and worked our way out to Lac Le Jeune Road and then headed north towards Kamloops. Night had now falling and I was feeling pretty good, actually kinda smug, about my route planning for the day. I figured we would have just enough time to pick up the last of the caches along the FSRs before night fell, and knowing that we would be doing our last caches in the dark I planned a route that would leave us doing caches close to the highways and a mile or two outside of Kamloops itself.
With the last cache of the day under our belt and the toll bells ringing 10.00 PM, we traced our steps back along Sugarloaf Road and headed along the freeway into Kamloops to score a nice warm dinner for our hungry tummies and pick out a hotel with a nice warm bed for our tired bodies.
To see the complete set of pictures from the trip, click here to go to my Flickr site to view the entire album.