|under the overhang on the Birkenhead river|
This past week my daughter and I had the pleasure of joining our friends at their cabin on Lillooet Lake. Joan & Werner built their cabin almost 30 years ago and so they already have a rich knowledge of the area's history but they are always willing to go exploring again, especially when they have an amateur historian along! (that would be me!) And, as it happens, there are new things to find & discover, even for them.
The next day we geo-cached around the Pemberton area. The walk around One Mile Lake was especially lovely and we really appreciated the 7 cache series that had been hidden there by fisher007. Each hide was inventive and unique, the hints were fun and the whole series takes you around this pretty little lake where you end up right back where you started. We also appreciated the caches hidden by Tourism Pemberton. Well done! Hopefully more towns in British Columbia will follow your lead!
Our next history lesson took us down Lillooet River Road which was, for the most part, built over the old Douglas Road. We especially wanted to see the Church of the Holy Cross (in Skookumchuck) and see what we could learn about the Mile Houses built along this road.
The Douglas Road or Harrison Trail was conceived by Governor Douglas to accommodate the steady rush of men heading to the Cariboo Gold Fields. Paddlewheelers & steamers on the lakes made parts of the journey relatively easy - it was in between the lakes, the portages, that was the trouble - so the Douglas Road was born. Of course it didn't take too long for enterprising men to realize that travelling over this rugged, mosquito infested land would create some very weary travellers and before too long "Mile Houses" (hotels) were springing up along the way.
|Old graveyard beside the Road|
One place that does still exist is "20 Mile House" or "Hot Spring House" - the home of Skookumchuck Hot Springs. Though none of the original buildings are standing today it is not hard to see why this would be a most welcome place to stop along the journey - the chance to have a hot bath. One book we read quoted the aid of Judge Matthew Begbie as saying "This is the first time I've been clean since I left San Francisco!" Yuck.
|The interior & exterior of the Church of the Holy Cross. Amazing!|