Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I have a Jeep TJ, Alan has a Jeep Liberty, and up until recently MrTJ also had a TJ, hence the moniker of "The Jeep Brothers" that some of our caching friends have bestowed on us. Well, I guess I've been called a lot worse!
So here was the plan; start the serious caching in Hope, cruise up the Fraser Canyon and finish off the day in Cache Creek. From there we would head over to Kamloops for the night, then on to Salmon Arm for the last night, and head back home from there. Well, we did pretty well just that, with lots of caching in between.
Now here's the problem....MrTJ and myself travel and cache quite a bit, so I've done lots of the ones up the Fraser Canyon. MrTJ and Bowser98 have done a bunch of the ones in Hope from a previous trip to the Interior, so now matter how we sliced it there was going to be some repetition of cache visits for one of us. Oh well, just do it and soon enough we'll be on to virgin territory.
We especially liked the cache that was located at the heritage 1861 Anglican Christ Church; this gothic revival design building was built at the height of the gold rush in the area by the Sappers, as the British Royal Engineers were known. Besides administering to the hordes that came this way, it was also a strong reminder of the British presences in the area.
We headed on up to Emory Creek Provincial Park, where a campground was located on an old miner's camp. In 1858 the area was one of tents and miner shacks; When the gold just wasn't present in numbers they thought, many miners moved north up the Canyon looking for better pickings. After changing hands a few times, the CPR decided to make Emory City as the western terminus of the railroad; with this proclamation the town grew swiftly, counting thirteen streets, it's own newspaper, various shops, a brewery, nine saloons and a sawmill. When Yale was made the terminus instead of Emory City, the town died; just a few short years later by 1885, the town was all but abandoned.
My first thought was we had wandered into one of the Native Indian fortification areas along the river used to repel raiding parties of other First Nations groups. Upon looking at the lay of the land, and realizing that these stacks ran perpendicular to the river, not parallel, I realized these were probably remnants of placer mining done by the Chinese miners; I've seen stacks like this in other areas, such as in Lillooet not far from where the Hanging Tree is located. For me, this was major cool - stumbling into a piece of hidden history was a great surprise!
We got into Lytton and started doing a few more caches, especially the Gold Rush caches put out by some of the small towns in the Gold Rush area. These caches are found in a geo-tourist book, each page giving a full historical recount of the area where the cache is located; collect 24 stickers from the caches and you can send away for a geocoin in the shape of a gold bar.
We hit the cemetery caches and showed Bowser98 around the small town, stopping for the always great view of where the blue water of the Thompson River meets with the muddy brown of the Fraser River. The Thompson water resists merging for a few hundred yards, but can't resist the influx of the mud bearing Fraser for long.
BC Road Relics for photos of old working trucks.
Anyways, after a few minutes of chatting turns out the owner is a fellow geocacher named tedylok; we've been chasing him up the canyon all day! We had a good conversation about geocaching and old trucks and life in general before we realized that, with night fall it wasn't getting any brighter, and we still had a bunch of miles to put under our caching belts before we made it to Cache Creek.
We found a few more caches in Spences Bridge in the dark, then started spinning the wheels on the F150 to get on our way to our final stop of the night. It was a shame really, as there are quite a few neat places to cache along this route but the night time made the locations "ordinary" and there were just too many caches still to do before we touched down for the night.
Whew! Lots of story telling and it's only day one!! Man, I sure can spin a yarn! LOL
All pictures from the trip can be seen on my Flickr page here TIP - right click on link to open new web page