Saturday, October 12, 2019

Signs of Autumn ~ North Thompson ~ Kamloops, BC

An afternoon drive to enjoy the sunshine and the last colors of Fall.  The weather has taken a quick cold turn and many of the leaves have fallen but on such a lovely day, there are still so many sights to enjoy.

Autumn colors
We began on the west side of the North Thompson River and followed the Westsyde Road.  As we travel north, we see homes, ranches, animal and tree farms and also vineyards which now includes a craft beer business.  There are horses, cattle, goats and sheep and the occasional deer family enjoying the serene countryside.

Jamieson Creek
We stopped at Jamieson Creek to have a look.  There is something about a creek that I find special.  I’m not sure if it is not just the running water bubbling over the rocks that create the special aspect or if it somehow brings back some childhood memories for me, either way, it is enjoyable.

Picnic scene
There are signs that the picnic table has had visitors but those days are likely over until next Spring time.  There were also signs of salmon that were coming back up the creek to spawn and didn’t make it all the way. 

The North Thompson was calm and quiet today.  Due to the recent rain we’ve had higher waters than what might be normal for this time of year.  As we approached the McLure Ferry, the river was reflecting the colors in the trees that lined the shores on the east side.

McClure Ferry
We’ve taken this ferry ride before and will again on our return home.  It is a reaction ferry which means it is propelled by the current of the river.  It is held by cables as it crosses and takes five minutes to get to the other side of the river.  It is free and carries 12 passengers and two vehicles.  It is available on demand so will come over to pick you up if it is sitting across the river but it does not operate during high waters or winter freeze.

 North Thompson River
We follow the road on the west side of the river and once we come to the top of the hill across from McLure, we are offered this great view of the river and valley.  The sandbars that are scattered all down the river will not be seen during spring high water and summer months.  They do create hazards for summer boating on this river as they’re not flagged.  As much as we'd love to boat up this river, it just won't happen due to the sandbars.

Country Roads
Country roads…… we are now on dirt and gravel roads and that isn’t the best idea after a car wash but we will take the ‘high’ road, which this is.  A much higher altitude than the valley road we just left.  Not many views for this part of the drive other than lots of trees and the occasional small herds of cattle until we get into the old remains of the fire that swept through this area a few years ago.

Forest fire remains
It has been a few years so new growth is gradually happening but the charred trees left are a reminder of the devastation that fires can create.

North Thompson River
We’ve now crossed the river at Barriere and are on the east side of the North Thompson River.  There is a stop of interest just south of there and offers a nice view of the river. This view is looking north which is the route many Eastern Canadians used during the Gold Rush days.

Southern view

This view is looking south from the same viewpoint as the North Thompson River flows down with the Yellowhead highway in sight.  Once the Overlanders of 1862 got across the Rockies, they managed to get through the rapids and make their way to Kamloops.  They are part of the history that helped create Kamloops to be the wonderful city it is today.

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