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.
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.
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.
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.
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.