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!