Where the Fraser River Flows…

For the last segment of our adventure with our grand daughter, we headed to Lillooet to see the Osprey nest on the Lillooet Suspension Bridge, often called ‘the Old Bridge’ which is the first of seven ways, that we know of, to cross the Fraser River.

We were not able to experience two of the ways to cross the Fraser River since the Lytton Reaction Ferry was closed (due to Covid) which was the only access to the Fraser River Suspension Bridge.

We stayed the night at the Skihist Provincial Park which wasn’t really anything to write home about (as they say) but it was pleasant enough. Picture taking wasn’t at it’s best either but we did get this one of a beautiful flower.

The Fraser River Catwalk was our next stop. I have no idea why it is called that but it sure was an interesting activity.

This was followed by the Alexander Bridge.

Hell’s Gate Canyon was the next, and biggest, adventure stop. If you haven’t been here yet, it is really worth a visit. Not only is the history reason enough, but you also get to explore two of the seven ways to cross the Fraser River: the airtram and the suspension bridge.

We were quite astonished to learn that more water goes through Hell’s Gate in an hour than over Niagara Falls!

Although the history of Hell’s Gate is a huge topic, I would remiss if I didn’t point out that the original inhabitants of this area (the aboriginal people), were negatively affected by the altered river environment which threatened the salmon population. In July, 1914, the aboriginal fishery of the Nlaka’pamux arrived to commence their traditional fishing season. Upon arriving at a traditional fishing spot that they considered to be on their land, they were prevented from fishing by the Provincial Public Works board, who were clearing the post-slide debris from the river. The ensuing crisis triggered changes in aboriginal fishing rights in the canyon.

In the effort to take the steamer, the S.S. Skuzzy, through Hell’s Gate to transport railway supplies to Lytton, the railway contractor ordered rings to be driven into the walls on both sides of the canyon. He then hired Chinese labourers to pull the SS Skuzzy through at their own peril as to fall into the canyon would be certain death.

There have been some restoration efforts made such as the ‘salmon ladders’ in this picture.

We ended our trip with a restful stay by the river near Hope but were unable to visit Othello Tunnels, again, due to Covid.

Next up … How many waterfalls can we find in BC ? …

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