Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the rest of the story...

We spent a few days camped in the Similkameen Valley...

...a valley that has a lot of stories to tell.  And so we did a little exploring...and leaned a little about the rich past of the area.

We were camped a few miles from the town of Hedley...a famous historic gold mining town.A huge body of gold ore was discovered in 1898 and two mines were established on Nickel Plate Mountain. 

We pedaled our bikes into town...now a sleepy little town with 350 residents...where tourism is the only thing left to mine.  We could see the remains of the gold mining ventures in the hills behind the town.  We visited the general store...and had to smile at the two girls who had a lemonade stand set up on the sidewalk.  Of course we stopped...they reminded us so much of our two granddaughters who are always setting up shop.  We discovered that throughout the summer months...there are guided tours to the former Mascot Mine site way up the mountain.

We decided to learn a little about that part of British Columbia's history...and signed up for a tour.

Not for the faint of heart...we travelled 45 minutes up the steep mountain on a small tour bus...then walked another kilometer to the platform above the mining camp.  Another 598 steps down had us exploring the camp...and learning about life as a gold miner some sixty years ago.  It was most interesting!  Oh...and then we climbed the 598 steps back to the top and returned the way we arrived.  In all...it was a five hour tour...and well worth it.  We met tourists from around the province, the USA and some from Germany and Belgium.

On the only sunny day of our getaway...we drove thirty minutes further up the Similkameen Valley to Keremeos.  Keremeos is known for it's gauntlet of fruit stands...and we went in search of cherries. We had already finished off twenty pounds...and needed to replenish our supply.  How could 8 adults and a few children eat thirty pounds of cherries in three days?  We did it!

While in Keremeos...we checked out another historic place...

...the Grist Mill, a flour mill established in the 1870's.  Prior to that time...residents needed to travel to Colville, Washington (some 170 miles away) for their flour.  Today it is an historical site.

And so we learned a little about days gone by...

...and enjoyed the wild flowers of  today.

And that is the rest of the story...of our weekend along the Similkameen River. 

Have a great day...


  1. I love the drive along that river. When we drive to Creston it's a stretch of road I look forward to. What a great weekend you had!

  2. Thanks for sharing the beauty and history of another little corner of our province - I especially liked that first picture of the view of the valley and the river.

  3. What a wonderful area to explore! Love all the history! Of course my interest peaked with the mention of Colville :0) Dear and I are talking about taking a drive to Colville to check out the area our son Dan will be living come November...

  4. How absoutely wonderful. I called over to Terry and said . ..well they did it. .I have no idea how many times we've talked about touring that mine. Your view and pictures are well worth it.

    Is blogger acting up here too? My comments are not showing up on my blog.

  5. Would you have had all this fun if the weather had been nice and everyone would just want to stay at the lake? You pictures are beautiful!

  6. Teaching the grands about history is so special..I remember passing by the mine and the mill...but it was usually way to hot to even think about getting out of the car.
    We always made a stop to pick up fruit. Cherries..I love them.

  7. You would certainly be a good tour guide for the visits you make on this trip. I appreciate you sharing this beautiful part of the world and the history to go with it. I must admit I am quite immpressed that you all went up the mountain, and that you rode bike into town. I do like this much better than reading the World Book Encyclopedias that my mother would have us read, if we complained of boredom.

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  9. I had too many misspellings to let my comment remain so I rewrote it, Judy...so sorry ..the heat must be getting to me..lol! It's 101!

    Both of my grandfathers were coal miners so I would have found the gold mine tour very interesting -except the part about walking back up 598 steps!

    Keremeos cherries must be really delicious! I've enjoyed many pounds of Washington State cherries myself this season.

    In my section of Brooklyn the early Dutch settlers had many grist mills and some of the stones still remain in the salt marshes

    July 6, 2010 2:58 PM

  10. Oh that's a beautiful valley. And you are getting so good with the mosaics. I particularly liked the one with the Grist Mill. Brave souls to purchase lemonade from the roadside stand. Did you drink it, too? :D

  11. How interesting! and beautifully documented! but I got stuck on the 598 steps... smile... good thing you practiced on our mountain steps to get you in shape!
    your new header is gorgeous!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson