Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wells Gray

Tuesday we headed north on the Yellowhead Highway. This took us through the small community of Barriere. That name will forever be associated in the minds of BC residents with the fire that started there on July 30, 2003.

Fires in the summer in our province are a fact of life. Those of us who reside in fire interface zones live with this threat hanging over our heads during the fire season. To be honest, other than having a rough plan of what I would load into my vehicle should we ever be evacuated, I don't give it a lot of thought. In a way it's like when I lived in the Vancouver area. Sure, an earthquake could happen, but there was little point in going around worrying about it constantly.

I'm sure this is the way the residents of Barriere and the surrounding areas felt before the nightmare unfolded for them ten years ago. I'm also quite sure they will never feel that way again. By the time the fire had stopped burning, which took almost a month, over 3800 people had been evacuated, 26,420 hectares of forest were destroyed, and the final cost to fight the fire was just over 31 million dollars.




The cause of all this devastation? Someone threw a cigarette butt on the ground.

We stopped for lunch at a provincial campground along the North Thompson River. The sound of a woodpecker could be heard in the background, along with the river flowing by just a few metres from our picnic table.



Our final destination was Wells Gray Park. Unbelievably, neither Jay or I had ever been to the park before. All I could think as we drove through it was how stupid I have been for the last seven years. All of this was just a short two hour drive north of us? Now I almost feel like I don't want to move. This is what greeted us at our first stop.




Wells Gray has 20 waterfalls, and we were able to see three of them. This is Spahat Falls.




We all agreed Dawson Falls looks like a miniature Niagara Falls.




Helmcken is the most famous falls in the park, and it also happens to be Canada's fourth highest.




Our day ended sitting out on our back deck sipping some ice wine we picked up yesterday at the winery. A great ending to a great day!

17 comments:

  1. wow, beautiful pictures, what an amazing place you live, so beautiful!

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  2. Beautiful pictures! For someone living in a small, densely populated country, the immensity of this natural landscape is absolutely mind boggling!!!

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  3. These are some amazing views! I love getting to experience these scenes through your photos. Though, it leaves me anxious to get out of the city, so I might be experiencing them for myself.

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  4. Goodness those falls are beautiful, this Brit is enjoying your trip too

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  5. The falls are gorgeous. I love to visit waterfalls. This trip continues to be really fun and informative, even for your readers. That was some fire, how terrible. We have a lot of forest fires where I live; I wish people wouldn't be so careless.

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  6. Kristie, your landscapes are awesome and that's not a word I use often. I'm so glad having visitors persuaded you to make this trip so that we could come with you. :-) As for the fire, so small an act of carelessness leading to such destruction is heartbreaking.

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  7. What a wonderful adventure you are having with your guests! and its all so beautiful!

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  8. Spectacular! Is the North Thompson River where the family goes to see the annual salmon spawning runs?

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    1. That's a good question, Rick. It can be a bit confusing because there is a North Thompson River and a South Thompson River. The two join together in Kamloops. We go see the salmon at the Adams River.

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  9. We drove through Barriere in 2006. Astounding sight - such devastation. Last summer coming down from the Yukon on Hwy 37 we drove through another fire recovery area, seemed to go on forever. As you say, fact of life on the western side of this continent.

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  10. Having visitors makes us do things and go places out of our normal routine.....we act like tourists in our own neighbourhood. The only time we have ever gone to Niagara Falls......is when we've ad company visit.....how sad is that! Mind boggling!

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  11. Sounds like you had a wonderful day, with your comment that you wonder if you really want to move. I have been wondering that ever since I discovered your blog - why would one want to move from the land of sunshine all year, to one of rain, rain, rain and believe me, I know what it's like there, I used to live in the area! Best of luck and keep up the nice blog.

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  12. Those waterfalls... ahhh, so lovely!

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  13. What a huge devastation caused by a cigarette butt, it must have be awful for the people who lived there. The waterfalls and views from Grey Wells Park are incredible!
    Sarah x

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  14. Wonderful waterfalls - especially the one you pictured last.

    And as another dweller on the western edge of North America, many miles south, I understand the dread of fire. How can people be so foolish?

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    1. sorry, forgot to sign myself.
      -- stashdragon

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  15. Wells Gray Park is amazing! You should drive up to Helmcken Falls in the winter. It's just as spectacular when there's an ice cone at its base. I'm surprised you've not been there before.

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