We went through the Fraser Valley past the turn off to Agassiz, and the Dino Park, as well as the Trans Canada waterslides. We then got to the Coquihalla Highway, and just as we were going up near the foot of the highway, we saw a black bear walking along the side of the highway. We continued on further up the highway, and ran into some snow on the sides of the road. The temperatures were not very warm, as there was a cold front that had gone through before we got to the Coquihalla area, which cooled things down significantly. At the Coquihalla Summit it was between 1 and 4 degrees celcius.
We stopped at the Britton Lakes Rest Area, formerly around where the toll booth was. At this rest stop we came across some birds known as "brown headed cowbirds." We continued further on, towards Kamloops on the look out for some more wildlife, but we were not able to see anymore that night.
The next morning, was a very early morning at approximately 6:00 a.m. We make our way out to the Westsyde Road which is on the Westside of Kamloops on the North Thompson River. The Westsyde road is paved until you just south of the McClure Ferry Terminal. From just south of the ferry terminal to Barriere is along a good gravel road. When you get approximately 5-10 km past the ferry terminal, there are an abundant amount of livestock, some of which were on the road laying down, and then some that were wanting to run along side the car. Caution should always be used in this circumstance, to make sure that the livestock remains safe. About another 2-3 km after this, there is a slope that has loose gravel, and the potential for small rockslides during either heavy rain or snow, so caution should be used in this area as well. We then get to Barriere, and head onto Hwy 5, aka theYellowhead Highway.
We arrive in Clearwater, and decide to stop for some breakfast before we go into one of the province's largest, most remote provincial parks known as Wells Gray Provincial Park. This park is a hub for a lot of recreational opportunities, including, but not limited to hiking, boating (canoeing, kayaking), wildlife viewing, wilderness camping, vehicle camping, heli-skiing and so on. We go to the Spahats Creek, which is one of the first recreational areas past the main entrance to the park boundary.
At Spahats Recreational Area, it is approximately a 5 minute hike to the waterfalls. It is has very interesting topography, with sheer drops through a breathtaking canyon. If you're afraid of heights, please do not look down to the very bottom, as it is a very long ways down. Caution should be used, even with it being a short hike. Never hike alone, or hike when listening to music. Be sure to make lots of noise, and be aware of your surroundings! When we were there, there was a noticeable sign of recent bear activity around there, probably one of the most common signs (bear scat).
Once we finished going through this park, for a little while longer, slightly past the Trophy Mountain Ranch, we then turned around, and began heading to the next location on our journey.
We headed back out to the Yellowhead Highway, and went south to Louis Creek. You can see the devastation that the McClure/Barriere fire which occurred in 2003 caused. We then turned onto the Agate Bay Road, and headed to Adams Lake. All of this road is paved, and takes you through forest, and through ranch and farm land. We were able to see a few deer playing in the field.
As soon as we got to the foot of Agate Bay Road, we were at Adam's Lake. There were two ways that you could turn. One would have turned into a dead end when we were there, as it headed towards the Squaam Native Band, and the road was currently closed. The other way, which we went took you up a well defined gravel road to the village of Chase. Caution should be used at portions on the Adam's Lake road, as there are a few very narrow corners, which turns into essentially one lane.
When we arrived in Chase, we then went on the Chase/Falkland Road. This road is mainly paved, but there are sections that are not paved for about 6-10 km. Just before we got to the dirt portion in the road, we saw a coyote, which looked a lot like a wolf, because it was not like the typical coastal coyote look. When we were on the dirt portion of the road, we saw three deer in the bush, and got some good pictures of them.
When we arrived in Falkland, we learned that there was a stampede/rodeo that was happening in this location, and there was a lot of crowds gathering on the side of the streets and there was an annual pancake breakfast.
We then carried on to Vernon, where we turned onto the Westside road which leads to Fintry Provincial Park, and also to the well known Lake Oakanagan Resort as well as to Westbank. This road is paved all the way, and there are areas where you have to watch out for bighorn sheep. We had the fortune to be able to see 2 bighorn sheep.
Once we got to Westbank, we went onto the highway interchange, that took us to the point where we could choose to go to either Penticton/Peachland or Summerland or to Merritt and Kamloops and Hope. We chose the option to head towards Summerland and Peachland. When we arrived in Summerland, we went for lunch at their local pub, and then headed on our second to last leg of the journey.
Once we were finished lunch, we headed on the old Summerland/Princeton highway that takes you to Bankier, as well as several lakes including Thirsk Lake (a dam restoration project), Osprey Lake, Chain Lake, and also the Three Lakes General Store that can lead you to the Teepee Lakes. There are also many other lakes in the area including Whitehead, Galena to name a few, you just have to know how to get to them via the logging roads.
Once we finished in this area, we headed down to Princeton, and then onto the Crowsnest Highway aka Hwy 3. This highway takes you right past a few well known provincial parks, Manning Park, Cascade Recreational Area, and Skagit Valley to name a few. Caution should be used on this highway, and there are some areas that are very windy, and can cause problems if not careful.
Keep posted for more journeys that we will be doing!