Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Not Quite Chartwell

I always find myself apologizing when showing guests from abroad around our province. We have everything you could ever want as far as scenic beauty goes, but let's face it. We don't have the depth of history England has to offer. There you can go through buildings whose "new" additions predate Simon Fraser's explorations of this province by several hundred years. It might not have been Chartwell, but we did manage to find a few bits and pieces of BC history to expose John and Gill to.

Thursday we drove up the Fraser Canyon to the Hell's Gate Airtram. In Simon Fraser's journals from around 1807 he called the section of water the tram goes over the "gates of hell" because of its "thundering rapids and terrifying white water." Here's a replica of Simon Fraser making his way downstream on log shelves hung above the canyon by the Nl'akapxm Indians who fished the canyon holes.


It doesn't look so bad in the replica, but imagine doing that hundreds of feet above a raging river. It was scary enough going in the tram. Fergus hated the whole experience. Other tourists were actually laughing at him due to his extreme cowardice.


Saturday we went to Fort Langley, a Parks Canada National Historic Site. It was originally set up as a fur trading post. This was at the time black felt hats made from beaver fur were all the rage in Europe. I think it looks quite nice on Jay!


One thing you can count on with fashion is that it is always changing. This was good news for the beavers, as their populations were decimated by the demand for their fur. The fort continued to thrive though, due to the discovery of gold in the interior of the province. Here are Jay and John trying their hand at gold panning.


I would love to have this pile of Hudson Bay blankets! 


Here's John's version of the Luis Suarez World Cup biting incident. You gotta love that British sense of humour!


I noticed there weren't any pictures of Gill from our day at Fort Langley. I think that might have been because she was too busy chasing mosquitoes to pose for pictures. They were in attack mode, and the repellent we bought at the gift shop was useless. I'm sure they were scratching bites all the way across the Atlantic on the flight home. The people sitting next to them probably thought they had cooties.

In other news, today is Canada Day, and I finished these socks just in time.


Any guesses as to what makes them "Canadian?" Hint: if you look at my pictures from this post you will find the answer.

39 comments:

  1. That'll be the Hudsons Bay Company colours then? Your history might not be the same as we have in England, but it is very interesting nonetheless and just as fascinating for people from England and elsewhere in the world as our English history is to you!! Looks as though you have been having some great times. xx

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    1. You're right, Amy! I missed getting the right shade of blue, but other than that they are pretty close to the colours of the original Hudson Bay blanket. I'm sure you're right about the history. A case of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence. :-)

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  2. Not much that's old in Costa Rica either...one pre columbian site, pots, gold and jade ornaments...

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    1. We might be on par for history, but you have certainly surpassed us in soccer! Canada didn't even make it to the World Cup. Costa Rica is who I've been cheering for. :-)

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  3. Aside from the mosquitoes, it sounds like a fine adventure!

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    1. We had a great time, but I think the mosquito bites they took back were some unwanted souvenirs. :-)

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  4. Sweet Bay socks!! Happy Canada Day, Kristie!

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    1. Thanks Kate! Happy Canada Day to you too!

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  5. Aw, poor Fergus. I'm with him about going in that tram over that water. And I know exactly how he must have been because Gabriel would be the same way. I'm sure that's why you're carrying him! He probably wouldn't budge an inch for you. Lovely scenery, though.

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    1. Yes, that's why I was carrying him, Cathy. Getting him on the tram to go back up was quite a scene. He provided extra entertainment for the tourists! :-)

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  6. I love your Hudson Bay socks!! Our local 'British' history doesn't even go back that far, Kristie :)
    But we do our best to extract maximum enjoyment of it, just like BC. Beaver hat looks extremely elegant, and reminds me I still have not seen a beaver. Hell's Gate is very exciting, but poor Fergus...all too much for the doggie. You are having a great time with your visitors.

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    1. Thanks Patricia! I'm quite happy with how they turned out. Now I just have to wait until the fall to wear them. It's way too warm now - it got up to 34C today. Hell's Gate was actually fairly impressive. I thought it would be a tourist trap, but turned out to be worth visiting. This is why it's good to have out-of-town guests. You go see places you normally wouldn't. :-)

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  7. Ooo, I love your Hudson Bay socks! Very clever. As for BC not being Chartwell, no, but western Canada is one of the most beautiful places on earth, so you've got that. :)

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    1. Thank you Diana! I can't take full credit for the idea for the Hudson Bay socks. I saw some on Ravelry sort of like them, except the yarn had been dyed to do the stripes. That dyer no longer makes that colourway, so I decided to use some Shetland yarn and do the stripes myself. I have to say I agree that western Canada is a very beautiful place, and I remind myself every day how very fortunate I am to live where I do. :-)

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  8. Love the look of your new socks.

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    1. Thanks! Now I just have to wait until the fall so I can wear them!

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  9. Air Tram! It sounds so much scarier than what we would call a Cable Car here in the UK and Europe. What a great name!

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    1. Ha! It does sound like a scarier name for the very same thing, doesn't it? :-)

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  10. Hey Kristie,
    I do like your socks. They have the same colours as the Hudson Bay blankets? And can I just say that the tram ride looks terrifying. I'm with Fergus. I would have whimpered too.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thanks Leanne! Yes, they are meant to be a knock-off of a Hudson Bay blanket. I missed getting the right shade for the blue, but even with that they came out looking fairly close to the real thing. The tram ride is short, but over steep rocky cliffs and a raging river, which makes it seem scarier than it is. I think the whole experience was just too much for Fergus. He leads a very sheltered life. :-)

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  11. The biting photo cracked me up. He looks like a real pistol. It looks like you've all had a very nice time. I would love to try panning for gold sometime. Actually, I used to pretend I was panning for gold when I was a kid, in the gutter in front of our house. When it rained the water would flow down and bring a lot of gravel with it and when the gravel was wet, it looked more colorful and shiny. So I'd pick out mica bits and pretend I'd found gold. :) Your tram is a lot scarier than my tram, I have to admit.

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    1. The gold panning was, unfortunately, not for real gold. They had painted some tiny rocks gold and planted them in the gravel. You actually did better finding the mica in the gravel that came out of your gutter! :-)

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  12. Awesome socks! The colours you chose look perfect you will love wearing them when it gets cooler. We have beautiful natural history here, lucky to be a BC resident in such a great country. Looks like a great time with your friends!

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    1. Thanks Chris! I love having some new pairs of socks to wear in the fall, and I think these will be the first ones I put on. And you're right - we are very lucky to live in BC. :-)

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  13. Happy Canada Day, Kristie. I love your Hudson Bay Company socks. :) I agree with earlier commenters that though recorded Canadian history doesn't go back as far as European, you do still have some very interesting and different historical sites to show your visitors, as well as your amazing scenery. I'm a total wimp where heights are concerned and I'd have been copwering along with Fergus...

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    1. Thank you, Perpetua. Hudson Bay socks seemed to fit the theme of visiting Fort Langley, then celebrating Canada Day. I've been surprised that several people have said they wouldn't have liked to ride in the tram. Fergus would have enjoyed the companionship. :-)

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  14. I didn't know these dangling red cabins were called trams. There is loads of them in Switzerland and they are absolutely terrifying. I haven't been in one for years. Thankfully. I love the pile of blankets and your matching socks. I would love to visit Canada, your adventure looks fun. x

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    1. I'm surprised at how many people have said they don't like heights/trams. I'm even more surprised that someone from Switzerland feels that way! :-)

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  15. Hudson Bay. Why did I have to learn about that in history class??? :)
    Happy belated Canada Day! I've been off-line (in various ways) with a stomach bug.

    Every place has something interesting in it's past. I don't want to travel back in time, but I'd love to have a machine that would show me what a particular site looked like in the past, what happened there. I first had that thought while walking through the woods on land that used to belong to my mom's family. There were parallel indentations that meant there used to be a road there. But no one remembered it and it seemed to lead nowhere. I wanted to know who passed through there and why. Could have been an old trail used by the Colonial army??? Probably not. :)

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    1. Sorry to hear about your stomach bug. Ugh. Hopefully you are feeling better.

      You learned about the Hudson Bay Company in history class? You must have had a better teacher/curriculum than I did going to school. When I went, if it wasn't US history it didn't get taught. I feel a rant coming on, so better stop myself there.

      Have you looked at old record for your area? There should be something written down somewhere about the road if it was a public one.

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  16. I'm sure your friends have enjoyed the trips you're taking them on in your very beautiful province. I'm not sure I would enjoy the cable car ride. I took a ride in a cable car up Grouse Mt in Vancouver (in summertime) and the entire time we were at the top, I was dreading the trip back down. Love your socks! Are they going home with your guests? I have a stack of HB blankets about that size in my house ;) So warm. Wendy

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    1. I hope when you went up Grouse Mountain you had good weather. The view from the top is quite spectacular on a nice day, but maybe you were dreading the return trip too much to enjoy it.

      I kept the socks for myself, but Gill did go home with a pair of hand knit socks. Lucky you to have a pile of HB blankets. I have two Witney Point blankets (one of them is in the socks picture), but I would love to add a couple authentic Hudson Bay blankets to my collection.

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  17. Sounds like you all had a perfect time together. History, how little or how much you have, is fascinating wherever you are, I think. The socks look great too.

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    1. We had a great time, Jacqueline, and you're right. History is interesting no matter where one lives. I think the difference between Canada and most other places around the globe is our recorded history doesn't cover nearly as big a span of time.

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  18. Point socks - how many beaver skins did they cost you? Love them. I always wanted a blanket coat. Someday.

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    1. Ha! No beaver skins were exchanged in the making of those socks. :-)

      You are not alone in wanting a HB coat. I would love to have one too! In fact, after our day at Fort Langley I went on the HBC site to see how much the coats and blankets cost. It was a very quick look. Those things are a fortune!

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  19. Brilliant pictures of your outing! I'm always amazed by how many critturs there seem to be waiting to attack in your neck of the woods. Now where did I read that Avon have a cream which is very effective as a midge repellent? Wonder if it would work for mozzies?

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures, Shandy. I've heard that Avon product works for mosquitoes (the name of the cream has slipped my mind), but the active ingredient in it is the same thing that was in the natural repellant I bought at the gift shop, and it seemed to me all that stuff did was signal to the mosquitoes that we were there, ready to be attacked. As for midges, I have never experienced them, but have heard they can drive a person crazy.

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  20. poor Fergus!! actually that probably would have been me! X

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