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Spences BridgeGo to Slide Show

A Weekend of Adventure



Hell's Gate

Hells Gate Kids In Cabin Over Fraser
This trip started with Hell's Gate.  The kids saw a photo of the tramway and wanted to go.  It's about two hours from our house so a trip to visit has a lot of driving (four hours total) and very little visiting (two hours?).  My wife works some weekends so when a working weekend came up, I decided to make a visit to Hell's Gate the start of an Adventure Weekend!


Hell's Gate is on the Highway #1 - sometimes called the "Old Highway".  The old highway connecting Hope to Kamloops has been replaced by the faster Coquihalla connecting via Merritt.  I remember driving Highway #1 before the Coquihalla opened and the small towns along the trip were somewhat vibrant - there was a never ending stream of tourists driving past.  After the Coquihalla opened as a toll highway, the passenger traffic dropped and stores closed.  Once the toll dropped, highway #1 become even less traveled.  Quite frankly, I was surprised Hell's Gate was still operating.  The parking lot has shrunk (parking spots are now covered by barriers) but the tourist facing features seem clean and tidy.

We took the aerial tramway down (fixed cables and a pulling cable) and had lunch at the picnic tables.  We explored the little fish museum about the slide and the work done to provide a work around for the fish.  Finally, we had some ice cream.  We got in the line up to go back up to the top and watched the cabin hit the wall hard.  Too hard.  There had been a power outage.  Amazingly no one was hurt so they did a test run with empty cars.  That was the last time we saw the cabin's move.  The engineer said it would be half an hour.  Half an hour later, he said it would be half an hour to an hour.  I know engineering speak well enough to know it's time to find another way back.  We started walking.

Hells Gate Cabin Over FraserKids Eating Ice Cream


The company got a truck shuttle going, but we just walked up the hill.  Claira and Nara were troppers in the warm sun.  We got to the top, had some cool water to drink and continued our trip.  A day later when we drove back, we noticed Hell's gate was still closed.  I checked the website later - it looks like the closure will last a week.

Suspension Bridge At Hells Gate

We booked a hotel room at the Inn in Spences Bridge.  It was almost a "close eyes, put finger on map" choice, but it was roughly an hour from Hell's Gate and there was lots of stuff in between.

Silverleaf Phacelia
I stopped at Sitka to see the Cisco train bridges.  Nice view, but the drop is frightening.  The kids stayed in the car watching video on the iPad - in this case I was happy they didn't want out of the car.  The first rail line built in the fraser canyon took the easier side to build on with the occasional side swap around difficult parts.  The second rail line had to make due with the remaining harder side.  These two bridges are where both train lines swap.




Cisco Bridges

Spences Bridge


Church In Spences Bridge
Everything in Spences Bridge is pretty close - our Inn in the South bank and the restaurant we went to for dinner (The Packing House) was on the north short so the drive from one site to the other gave us a pretty good sense of where things were.  We passed by a church which is somewhat an icon of Spences Bridge.  I don't know much about it - it doesn't look like it is currently used.


Juvenile Osprey On Nest PlatformAdult Osprey In Tree
From the balcony at the Inn, we watched a family of three Osprey (two adults and a juvenile reluctant to leave the nest) hunt around the river.  The parents were seemed to be trying to convince their child to join them - they stayed close, and called frequently.  I never saw junior actually leave, but the owner said he has flown before.


Spences Bridge has a year round waterfall near town - Murray Creek Falls.  With a bit of direction from the owner of the Inn, we drove over and walked the short trail to the base of the falls.  It isn't the easiest walk ever (the trail is narrow in spots and a rope helps climb a steep section) but the locals put a bridge in over the river to make it easier.

Hiking Up To Murray Creek FallsNara Climbing With RopeMurray Creek Falls

Common Wood Nymph Hiding In Grass
Under the bridge on the way back we saw two American Dippers.  They were gone before I could get my camera out, but on the way back to the car, the kids spotted a butterfly.  Even though it was still early, this Common Wood Nymph was moving fast - it only stayed on a perch for a minute at a time. 

Lytton

Grasshopped On Windshield
As we were leaving Spences bridge, the kids noticed a cricket had decided to make our car windshield his hiding place.  It seems like the worst place in the world for a cricket, but he tried really hard to stay there as we started driving. 


Knapweed Root WeevilThe kids are getting pretty good at "spotting" - they found a really cool looking insect that turned out to be a Knapweed Root Weevil.  Cool!

Kids Keeping Warm On Fraser River Bridge WalkwayLooking Through To River Below
Lytton is a nice small town at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers.  They also have a seasonal outdoor swimming pool which opens at noon for kids.  We were early so we decided to see some of the local bridges.
The first bridge we visited was a combination train/pedestrian bridge that crosses the Fraser.  There is a reaction ferry across the Fraser river a little North of town, but it doesn't always run (ice in the river, big floods etc) so having a backup fixed bridge for pedestrians seems like a great idea.  It's also a nice place to see the result of the two rivers mixing - clouds of silt in the Fraser mixing into the darker clear water of the Thompson. 

Fraser And Thompson Rivers Mixing


Kids At Rivers Join
Closer to town there is a place to see the train and highway bridge crossing the Thompson river.  We walked down to take in the view and were rewarded with a train crossing.


Bridges In Lytton

It was time to go swimming.  With two kids I didn't think it would be a good idea to bring a camera.  Other than the two lifeguards, we had the pool to ourselves.  The lifeguards said the pool is usually busier during the week - on weekends people are more likely to be out of town or staying home with their kids.
 
We had a great time on our short weekend away.  We were home in time for dinner and telling Mommy lots of stories.  Next time, Helen wants to come to.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Church In Spences Bridge
Altitude: 227m (744 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: derelict, place of worship
Grasshopped On Windshield
Hiking Up To Murray Creek Falls
Altitude: 228m (748 feet)
Location: Go To...
Hells Gate Kids In Cabin Over Fraser
Suspension Bridge At Hells Gate
Altitude: 54m (177 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, cable car, river
Hells Gate Cabin Over Fraser
Altitude: 84m (275 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cisco Bridges
Altitude: 185m (606 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, canyon, rail, river, train
Kids At Rivers Join
Altitude: 196m (643 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Eating Ice Cream
Person: Claira, Nara
Tags: ice cream
Murray Creek Falls
Altitude: 236m (774 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: waterfall
Common Wood Nymph Hiding In Grass
Species: Cercyonis pegala (Common Wood-Nymph)
Altitude: 219m (718 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Climbing With Rope
Altitude: 228m (748 feet)
Location: Go To...
Adult Osprey In Tree
Species: Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)
Silverleaf Phacelia
Species: Phacelia hastata (silverleaf phacelia)
Looking Through To River Below
Altitude: 182m (597 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, river
Fraser And Thompson Rivers Mixing
Altitude: 182m (597 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: river
Bridges In Lytton
Altitude: 170m (557 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, rail, river, train
Kids Keeping Warm On Fraser River Bridge Walkway
Altitude: 182m (597 feet)
Location: Go To...
Knapweed Root Weevil
Species: Cyphocleonus achates (knapweed root weevil)
Altitude: 182m (597 feet)
Location: Go To...
Juvenile Osprey On Nest Platform
Species: Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)
Tags: nest
Tags: river(5), bridge(4), train(2), rail(2), place of worship(1), derelict(1)
People: Nara(1), Claira(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Spences Bridge
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > Spences Bridge

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Last Modified Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 at 22:53:43 Edit
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