Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ashcroft ~ Logan Lake ~ Kamloops, BC

We are now enjoying another nice springtime drive that includes a blue sky and sunshine!  The hills which are brown most of the year have their spring colors of so many greens and make them much prettier.

Deadman Creek
 Deadman Creek falls down the crevice between the hills and at this time of year is a racing creek carrying the snow runoffs from higher hills.  It is a 70 km long tributary of the Thompson River as we follow Hwy 1 to Cache Creek.
Roadside waterfall
We’d driven past this many times without noticing there was this waterfall. The next time passing, we stopped for photos.  I’d expected the falls to be overflowing with the runoffs happening so it was disappointing to see a very small amount of water, but the setting was worth a photo.  The rockwork is very interesting.

Ashcroft visit
We passed through Cache Creek following Hwy 1 then turned off the highway for a visit to Ashcroft, which we had not done for a very long time.  Ashcroft sits at the meeting of the waters of Bonapart and Thompson Rivers.  This quaint little village is home to about 1500 people but due to the Covid, I suspect, there were very few of those folks out and about today. 

Heritage Place Park
Ashcroft was a result of the Gold Rush days and was founded in the 1860’s by the Cornwall Brothers who had come from Ashcroft in England. The CP Railroad was built in 1884 so was able to transport people to then catch a stagecoach to travel further north.  The railway also made it possible for Ashcroft to be a center to drop supplies off at for the growing community.

Thompson River
We leave Ashcroft on Hwy 97C and seem to climb the hill forever, but the views as we cross over this pass are great, several scenes of the Cascade Mountains in the distance but too far for good photos. The traffic is very light which makes it an easy drive.

Highland Valley Mine
Highland Valley Copper mine is the largest open pit copper mine in Canada.  By looking at these hills across the way, that doesn’t sound too surprising, the pits are all over these hills.  The mine consists of three former mining operations combined and it has been that since 1986 but originated in the '60s.

HIghland Valley tailing pond
Open pit mining requires tailing ponds which are used to put the refused tailings into to allow them to settle and separate in the water.  This is one of their tailing ponds but at another location is the Trojan Pond.  It was once one of the tailing ponds but they began reclaiming it in 1990 and it is now a “self-sustaining ecosystem” and used as a sport fishing pond. 

Logan Lake
We have now circled around to Logan Lake.  This village was founded in the 60’s and ‘70’s to support the mining operations nearby and you cannot miss this truck when you enter town, a true symbol for a mining community.  Logan Lake, the actual lake sits roadside and offers great summer pleasures with fishing, boating and camping facilities.

Walloper Lake
We arrive in Logan Lake on Hwy 97C, we leave on Hwy 97D then cross over the Coquihalla Hwy #5 to follow Meadow Creek Road, are you still with us? lol This country is known for the many fishing lakes we have and we will pass several on our way home. This is the first one we see called Walloper Lake, known to be a good fishing lake including ice fishing.

McConnell Lake

We pass Shambrook Lake and Stake Lake before we come to McConnell Lake.  This lake also has a provincial park, as does Walloper so a perfect place to camp while you go fishing for some rainbow trout, which McConnell is stocked with.  Our time of visit was too early for camping, there is still ice on the lake seen on the far side, but be sure the lake will have lots of fishing boats on there when the time is right.

Once we passed Walloper Lake and the turnoff for Lac Le Jeune, we were following Lac Le Jeune Road all the way into Kamloops, a scenic drive with several small ponds and lakes to see. Our round trip today was about 212 km and we were doing some stops along the way so it nicely filled a few hours of our day.  There is just no place like home!
Note to self: next time pack a picnic, nothing open (due to Covid) on this day.

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