Monday, March 7, 2011

just beyond hope...

Though we have been thinking spring will never arrive this year...yesterday was a lovely day.  I suggested we might put on our hiking boots and find somewhere interesting to walk.  Anywhere...would be an improvement over the view from my treadmill!

We headed east...thinking a walk around Cheam Wetlands would be a good idea.  But once we were on the freeway...we just kept on going and before long we were beyond Hope.  Hope is a pretty little river town about 30 minutes east of  'my front porch'. It has it's origins in the fur trade...and was once called Fort Hope.  It was a Hudson Bay Company trading post, built on a trail that linked Fort Langley and Fort Kamloops. 

Just past Hope is Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park...and that is where we stopped.  The trails which we have previously only walked in the summertime...were totally obscured with snow.   But a few had gone before...and we followed in their footsteps.

Though it was the perfect spot for a picnic...we thought better of it.

And the park bench was a little too cool for my liking!

We re-lived a little piece of history as we strolled down the path that led to the famous Othello Tunnels.  The trail was once part of the Kettle Valley Railroad...a necessary rail link between the Kootenay Region of British Columbia and the coast. The railway was built over three mountain ranges.   The Coquihalla Gorge, where the river cuts a 300 foot deep channel of solid granite, proved to be a major challenge. In 1914 five tunnels were were built through this area to complete the a cost of $300,000.  This is still considered the costliest mile of railway track in the world. 

In 1965 the trains stopped running, and the residents of Hope removed the railroad ties and created a recreational trail.  It is now part of the Trans Canada Trail system, and also a provincial park.  The tunnels bring many tourists to the Hope area in the summertime......and even one or two in the winter!

It is recommended that one brings a flashlight along...since it is pitch dark in the centre of the longest tunnel. 

We of course were not that prepared...and so we did a lot of slipping and sliding in the dark.  The ice-art alone was worth the trip!

The trail along the Coquihalla River is most beautiful...featuring fantastic rock cliffs.  Many movies have been filmed at this location...Sylvester Stallone spent some time hanging over these very cliffs as Rambo.

No need to build an inukshuk...someone had already thought of that!

Summer or is a lovely spot to visit!

We drove by Kakawa Lake as we left the park...still covered in a layer of ice. 

The last time we were here was in August a few years back...when we enjoyed a picnic with our Swiss friends.  A snow picnic wasn't in the plans...and we discovered that Hope has a new Tim Horton's and so we stopped there instead. 

Oh...and it was my lucky day.  I rolled up the rim to win...and sure enough.  I won a coffee! 

Tomorrow may just find me back in Africa.  It's high time I finished up our African travels!


  1. What a beautiful area...and what a lot of snow still!
    Well done winning the free coffee. The words 'Tim Horton' bring back Canada to me. We loved the coffee.

  2. Thank you for sharing such beautiful scenery with us. Your part of Canada is obviously gorgeous and I hope we can visit there one day.

  3. Judy, That's great that you won some coffee! Especially in such cold and snowy weather.

    So ready for Spring with flowers and blue skies. Though tornadoes come with the Springs I tend to not think of them. With the less chance of tornadoe storms here in Kansas.

    So I have better enjoy this wintery season as best I can!

    God bless.

  4. It's beautiful even with snow. Sometimes I feel so eager for spring that I'm forgetting that winter is still playing out her last couple of weeks on the calendar. Oh I have been meaning to stop by Tim's and see if I might win a coffee or something good. Glad that you took the time to get out of the house. It's always good.

  5. Love the ice-art. And a good way to end a walk in the snow..a cup of coffee and a win to boot:)

  6. It's just 30 minutes from your front porch! That's cool to have such beauty close at hand! Gorgeous photos! Congrats on winning a free coffee!

  7. Thanks for the tour and lovely photos. I had to google inukshuk as I had never heard that word before. I have visited Canda though and enjoy a Tim Hortons (think we have them in the UK now too)

  8. It looks like you had a beautiful adventure. Love your photos. I'm glad you were able to walk somewhere besides your treadmill. This reminds me of Jill's posts lately...

  9. It was a perfect you strolled the well known trails of HOPE...I walked along the ocean side. I can't believe that Hope looked like such a beautiful winter wonderland. Way to go on your RRROLL up!

  10. wow . . . you amaze me with all that history... when we visit the Othelo Tunnels in summer I'll just link your post! =)
    Beautiful British Columbia is what my dad always said! You found the beauty we enjoy in the summer . . . in winter this time.
    I wonder what our African friends would say about those snow and ice scenes?

  11. Looks cold to me! Good fotos... Are you teaching Elmer to take good fotos, too, or didn't he take the one of you on the bench?

  12. Every season has its beauty and a winter's walk in the snow is so different from a summer one on grass, but just as wonderful! You were brave to navigate those tunnels without a light! Glad you won an extra cup of coffee for the long trek back home :)

  13. Looks like you had a great day exploring our beautiful province. Those tunnels are fascinating. And winning a coffee at TH put the icing on the day!

  14. What a beautiful place! I am sorry that the trains don't run there anymore, though. My husband and I took the train across Canada from Gaspe to Prince Rupert a few years ago and we just loved it. Trains are a great way to travel, I think, but I can see that it makes a wonderful place to hike, too, and explore the beauty close up.

  15. I thought the tunnels were closed for the winter?! They're fabulous with the ice! Hey, it's a good winter for Timmy's...I've won 2 coffees and a donut so far and that's out of 5 visits! Looking forward to Africa tomorrow!

  16. I would say you were very successful in finding a place to walk that offered more interest than the treadmill. I am consistently amazed at how beautiful your part of the world is. The walk looks a bit chilly, but the coffee probably tasted extra good and what a bonus to win a free cup.

  17. You are so adventurous! Pictures are beautiful. My girl and I sure liked Tim Horton's when we went to Niagara. We wished they would come south of the border.....WAY SOUTH!! :-)

  18. Another beautiful tour Judy. .I have never been to the Othello tunnels and now I want to visit soon. We have our own tour guide in our group. . .I love the way you take the time to record the history as you go.

  19. Of one thing I'm certain, Judy, and that is that you are never beyond hope! :)
    What an interesting area. To think that we've driven through there on our way to Creston and we never knew about those tunnels.

  20. Lots of winter still hanging on in your neck of the woods! Pretty walk :)

  21. Sometimes you surprise me with your sense of adventure, going through the Orthello tunnels without a flashlight. What a beautiful and historic area of the world. And, it seems to me, like a perfect way to end the day by winning a cup of Tim Horton's coffee.


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