Coming down before our eyes

The semi arid landscape provided wonderful contrasts as we made our way north from our campground (just north of Lytton) to Kamloops. The Thompson River continued to be our friend, the hills (mountains by Australian standards) to our west comprised of older rock compared to the predominantly ancient river deposits on our right. Although the river is still tremendously powerful we get the impression it is just a trickle of its former self judging by the millions of tonnes of river stones high up the sides of the valley. (See photo showing the layers of pebbles).

The amount of natural erosion happening before our very eyes is staggering. As we rode along the valley we could hear rocks tumbling down and we often came across pebbles that had bounced clear of the barricades and onto the road.

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Although quite deceptive we actually did a reasonable amount of climbing to get to the Kamloops Plateau. Whilst the sides of the valley were not as steep they are still very fragile but anywhere that was flat enough was planted out to irrigated lucerne (alfalfa) which was prolific at around 480m and would appear to be the main source of income together with a few beef cattle.

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We continue to be impressed with the size of the trains, the photo below is one of the rare occasions we could see from one end to the other as it snaked its way around the “S”bends of the valley floor.

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I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog about the tunnels. Going through the 200 to 400m tunnels reminded me of my experience in France. With only a narrow path which was wet and muddy in parts combined with the pressure waves as vehicles enter the tunnel encouraged us to get out of them as quickly as possible. A lot of concentration was required to keep on the track so as not to hit the side walls and to brace ourselves as larger trucks came past.

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In Kamloops we received a very warm British/Aussie Canadian welcome by Jack and Marg Jones. The Aussie and Canadian flags were out, and we were treated to a wonderful BBQ on a perfect Kamloops spring evening. Thanks Jack and Marg – this was a real treat for us all. The Aussie connection to Marg and Jack was through my good friend Tony Coombes. Tony is a neighbour to Leigh and Sue Sutton from Logan and Sue is Jack and Marg’s daughter.

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Jack in the foreground and Marg is in between John and Annie.

6 thoughts on “Coming down before our eyes

  1. Thanks for the evocative accounts of your trip. If you are impressed with the trains, be sure to plan for a long pause just above Field as you watch then snake their way through the spiral tunnel of the Kicking Horse Pass.You will find yourself in the middle of their figure 8 path.

  2. So glad you enjoyed your stay with Mum and Dad (Marg and Jack) in Kamloops and the photo is great! We are following your trip with great interest. However, we don’t envy the uphill slogs!! Have an extra “gasp in wonder” for us at the setting of Banff in the Rockies. Sue and Leigh Sutton

  3. Loving the photography Alistair, some fantastic shots. We are sharing them in our team meetings as a contribution to “Light Moments:. Keep them coming. Cheers, Andrew

    • Hi Andrew, with something new everyday it isn’t hard to put something together for the blog. I know there hasn’t been much in the way of Agriculture and Ag Finance etc but this experience is so much broader and fullfilling, almost overwhelming at times. Learning so much by talking to people as we head East. The generosity of Canadians is certainly a highlight of this trip so far. Tonight we are staying with some people we met on the ferry – classic view over a huge lake, wonderful house and great people.

  4. Hey Alistair, that pic of the tunnel brought a flashback to when Jules and I were driving through the French/Italian alps where every few kilometers you have to go through one. I often felt nervous going through in a car (can’t imagine it on a bike!) because so often they are not lit at all and without emergency places to stop, the prospect of breaking down is quite frightening – especially when you consider the speeds at which the locals travel through! Great entry – loving following the journey. Ciao!

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