A nice trip from The Sunshine Coast, to and from, Okanagan and Shuswap.

The occasion was my friend Wally’s 65th. birthday party. I have driven this road many times, but will give you an introduction so that you can look up some sites and places and enjoy the trip.

Starting in Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast in BC, Canada, taking the ferry from Langdale   to Horseshoe Bay    Once in West Vancouver and on the Upper Levels Highvay   , part of the worlds longest national highway.

Trans-Canada Highway, c.4,800 mi (7,700 km) long, S Canada; dedicated 1962; completed 1970. The world’s longest national highway, it traverses North America from St. John’s, N.L., to Victoria, British Columbia. Ferry routes form vital links at the eastern and western ends of the highway. The Alaska Highway joins the Trans-Canada Highway at Calgary, Alta.

Passing over Second Narrows Bridge  Second Narrows Bridge Traffic Cam Map to Vancouver  and driving through Burnaby and soon at the Port Mann Bridge, now a new, and even more spectacular bridge under construction.  Now you are really on The Trans Canada, and in about one hour you are driving through Sumas Prarie and Abbotsford, one of the finest and most productive agricultural areas in the world.

Another hour drive you stop in Hope to get some Diesel and coffee. Hope is also famous for being the filming site of “First Blood” with Sylvester Stallone.

You have followed the Mighty Fraser River until now, but leave it here. At 1375 km it is one of the most important salmon rivers in the world. We will come back to the Fraser on the way home.  The Fraser River, from the grounds of Westminster Abbey, above Hatzic in Mission, British Columbia, looking upstream (E). 

 The watershed. On to the Coquihalla,  a most  fantastic high mountain freeway.     Coquihalla Information MapIn Merrit    I took the Okanagan Connector to West Kelowna and Kelowna.  more images  More than 50 Golf Courses, and even more Winyards.     and another hour I was there and drove through Winfield , past Duck Lake, ( I will write another time why there are no fish in Duck lake, except a lot of Carp),  Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake.   

Kalamalka Lake (aka “Kal Lake”) is a large lake in the Interior Plateau of southern central British Columbia, Canada, east of Okanagan Lake and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of Vernon. The lake is named for the Okanagan (Okanogan U.S. spelling) Indian chief who occupied its northern shores. At different times of the year the colour of the lake can range from cyan to indigo, in different spots at the same time. The colour of the water is derived from light scattering, caused by the precipitation of calcite (CaCO3).

These lakes are part of the Columbia River System, Three-color map of the Columbia River watershed. The watershed is shaped roughly like a funnel with its wide end to the east and its narrow end along the border between Washington and Oregon as it nears the Pacific Ocean. The watershed extends into the western U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana, and the western Canadian province of British Columbia as far east as its border with Alberta. The river itself makes a hairpin turn from north-west to south in British Columbia and another sharp turn from south to west as it nears Oregon. and indeed the upper part of the Columbia through Osoyoos and Okanagan Lakes. Okanagan Lake

Kalamalka lake changes colour every time you drive by, and I have seen hundreds of them. More images.

Arriving in Vernon you turn right towards Lumby and Shuswap.

I lived , worked and played soccer here for many years, and love the area.

You have now driven steadily for over 5 hours, and in another hour you arrive in Cherrywille. 

Cherryville is an unincorporated community in the foothills of the Monashee Mountains in British Columbia with a population of approximately 614.[1] It is located 14 miles (22 km) east of Lumby, along Highway 6. The small community of Cherryville was an old gold mining camp founded in the 1860s by prospectors from the California Gold Rush who had come north to the British Columbia gold rushes. Between 1863 and 1895, the original town that is now known as Cherryville was a small mining camp located within the canyon walls of Cherry Creek. Its population was 100 people, half of which were Chinese miners.

With more and more miners heading into Cherry Creek area, a road was built from Lumby in 1877, through Blue Springs Valley, attracting new families to the area. The community was known by the post office name of Cherry Creek, then Hilton, which remained the name of the Cherryville for many years. Cherry Creek and Cherryville were named after the wild Choke Cherries (Prunus virginiana) that grew along the banks of the creek. Services in Cherryville include accommodation, two general stores, restaurants, a library, a campground, shops and other amenities. Originally an area of orchards, ranching and logging are major industries in the community.

 Location of Cherryville, British ColumbiaI have earlier written about a winter and two summers I spent in a small cabin in the mountains near by, and I will write more about that experience.

Fishing in the Shuswap River, upper part of Fraser River, via Thompson River

party party for two days

Horse shoe pitching is a favorite

Camping is life

and now we take a different route back home 

The same way to Lumby,

Mustard field on the way to Lumby

  and Vernon, but passing north through VernonMap of Vernon and Area  Turn left for Kamloops. Passing Falkland, more images,     plan to visit the Stampede, Monte Lake is next, and in over an hour you are in Kamloops.

Kamloops is a city in south central British Columbia, at the confluence of the two branches of the Thompson River and near Kamloops Lake. It is the largest community in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and the location of the regional district’s offices. The surrounding region is more commonly referred to as the Thompson Country. It is ranked 37th on the list of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in Canada and represents the 44th largest census agglomeration nationwide, with 85,678 residents in 2011

 This the Thompson River,part of Fraser River, that we will follow for the next few 100 km.

We drive right through and look for sign to Cache Creek.  Turn right and you drive trough Savona, a pleasant drive, I have not been here for over 30 years.

Savona (originally Savona’s Ferry) is a small community located at the west end of Kamloops Lake, where the Thompson River exits it. It is approximately halfway between Kamloops and Cache Creek along the Trans-Canada Highway. The surrounding the community is semi-arid grasslands and hills supporting cattle ranching and agriculture

Stayed at a motel in Cache creek, $ 45, very reasonable. The host recommended a Chinese restaurant, and the food was good. But, walking down the street, many businesses were closed and vacant. Located on major crossroads in BC, why is this town not a booming business ?

The largest Jade rock I have ever seen was decorating a local store. They had a very good selection of Jade carvings, and other very nice and good carvings and products. This was not a tourist trap, but the real thing. Drop in if you can. Look at all these fine images of BC jade.  

This solid rock of jade is about 1,5 ton, it took 200 hours to cut it

Some of the fine Jade carvings

 Next morning, and with a full thermos of coffee, I turned down south on the “The Caribou Highway section of Highway 97, between Cache Creek and Prince George, is 441 km (274 mi) in length” 

That was my mistake. I should have driven north for a few miles, and then turn left through the Marble Canyon (Marble Canyon is a small canyon in the south-central Interior of British ColumbiaCanada a few kilometres east of the Fraser River and the community of Pavilion, British Columbia,[1]approximately midway between the towns of Lillooet and Cache Creek. A collapsed karst formation, the canyon’s name comes from the brilliant limestone of its walls. Despite the name, however, the bedrock is microcrystalline limestone (sedimentary rock) rather than marble (metamorphic rock). The north wall is over 965m (3150′) high above Pavilion Lake and is the southernmost extent of the Marble Range; the south wall is c. 515m (1500′) and is the northern extremity of the Clear Range. Higher peaks lie in behind the walls, increasing the depth if measured from their summits) to Lilloet.

 But I drove south passed Spences Bridge , images,   

and to Lytton. I filled diesel and purchased a map of BC, pretending I was a tourist. I should know these roads as my back pocket. I also visited the friendly visitors info center and got some good advice.

CN train with double deck containers

The road from Lytton to Lilloet is a nice drive, but not for the faint hearted and anyone with fear of heights.

don’t look over the side, it is a long way down

Passing over the bridge in Lilloet, the Duffy Lake Road is next, all the way to Pemberton. This is definitely a road for the day time drivers. Lots to see, and lots of sharp turns, steep grades, and ups and downs. I drove here a few times, but over 30 years ago. Many places to stop and fish or camp, but I was on the way home.

A young Black Bear crossed the road, and climbed slowly up a hill, a few Mule Deer, and lots of birds, Kestrel Hawks are always nice to see. First comes Mount Currie, most famous for the Stampede.

Mount Currie is a small community in British Columbia, 164 kilometres north-west of Vancouver and 40 kilometres north-west of Whistler along Highway 99.

The population of Mount Currie is about 2018 and it is the centre of the Mount Currie Indian reserve, which is among the most populous – and poorest – of all Indian Reserves in Canada.[citation needed] The area is traditional territory of the Lil’wat, a subgroup of the St’at’imc people who with the communities of In-SHUCK-ch to the south comprise the Lower St’at’imc or Lower Lillooet. Their government is the Mount Currie Indian Band (Lil’Wat First Nation) of the Lillooet Tribal Council.

Although it is fairly close to Whistler, the community is not much reliant on the tourist industry. Most tourist industry in Mount Currie comes from outdoor activities in the nearby Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, the Birkenhead River or the Skookumchuck Hot Springs.

The Lil’wat Nation operate their own school, gas station and grocery store. The Lil’wat people are very active in reviving their language and culture. Language is taught in the school, right from nursery to grade 12. There are resource elders who come into help.

Pemberton next, on the way to Whistler.

Pemberton is a village north of Whistler in the Pemberton Valley of British Columbia in Canada, with a population of 2,192.[1] Until the 1960s thevillage could be accessed only by train but that changed when Highway 99 was built through Whistler (then named Alta Lake) and Pemberton.

Whistler of course,  was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympic , images 

I skied Whistler every weekend from Oct. to June from 1966 t0 1979. The road then was poor and covered with gravel, it is now nice and paved. ( I have, and will, write more of this fantastic time in the old days).

Squamish next.  Squamish is known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. Attractions include the Stawamus Chief, a huge cliff-faced granite massif favoured by rock climbers. As well as over 300 climbing routes on the Chief proper, a majority of which require traditional climbing protection, there are steep hiking trails around the back to access the three peaks that make up the massif, all giving great views of Howe Sound and the surrounding Coast Mountains. In all, between Shannon FallsMurrin Park, The Malamute, and the Little Smoke Bluffs, there are well over 1200 rock-climbing routes in the Squamish area (and another 300 or so climbs north of Squamish on the road to Whistler). In recent years, Squamish has also become a major destination for bouldering, with over 2500 problems described in the local guidebook.[4]

A stop at the local cottage brewery pub for a lamb pie, breakfast, lunch and dinner this day. from there to the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay it is about half an hour drive.

On the ferry to Langdale

Scotch Broom is growing wild on the Sunshine coast, and now one can see huge golden yellow areas in bloom.

Wild Broom flowering everywhere

Sechelt Airport

Coming home,  this trip was a total of 1.189 km., no problems, nice weather, great roads.

The over 30-year-old Mercedes 300 TD, use about 10 l., Diesel for every 100 km, some more in the city. 

I do not know what to say, except : Thanks for the ride !

Last summer I made two trips to the Okanagan, and I will this summer also, plus other destinations, depending of what friends show up, golfers, fishermen or campers.

Thank you to friends that feed the hummingbirds, other birds and the little fury friends friends, the many squirrels.

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