DLTK's British Columbia Road Trip
Day 2: Roger's Pass to the Shuswap
We woke up at 8:00 am this morning, got dressed and went for breakfast at the cafeteria in the hotel. Kaitlyn liked pushing her tray along choo choo style. The girls went for another dip in the covered outdoor swimming pool. Mommy and Daddy just watched because they were too wimpy to walk outside in the cold with wet bathing suits.
The Stellar's Jay
British Columbia's Provincial Bird
Photo by Leanne
During swim time we had a long talk about the water cycle. The plastic over the pool created a mini biosphere. The water from the pool would evaporate, making a steaming cloud in the pool area. The water hit the plastic roof and condensed. When it got heavy or the wind blew outside, shaking the plastic all the drops would fall (indoor rain). The drops were really cold.
After our swim we hit the road again. We didn’t go far before we had to stop so Daddy could check out Roger’s Pass arch at the summit of Roger’s Pass – 1330 meters above sea level. Mommy got some close up photos of BC’s provincial bird, the Stellar’s Jay.
Off we went again, but this time we drove quite awhile before we stopped. Just inside Mount Revelstoke National Park we spotted “Giant Cedars trail,” a 0.5 km boardwalk trail through a Cedar and Hemlock forest. We marveled at the giant trees – the cedars lived up to 700 yrs and the hemlocks 300. The forest floor was covered with lady ferns and devils club, even under the trees. The devils club was covered with thorns. Some of the trees had fallen creating a beautiful waterfall. Other areas were calmer, with trickling streams and small pools surrounded by moss. Giant trees were lying on the ground in a few places. One of them was a “nurse” tree; it had saplings growing out of it. It will take 50 years for this tree to decompose all the while providing nutrients for the saplings to grow. We didn’t see any animals, but we did see some woodpecker holes in one of the trees.
We drove a short way to one of the other boardwalk trails also known as the Skunk Cabbage Trail. This one was built over a marshy swamp full of reeds and skunk cabbage. The skunk cabbage had large leaves and strange flowers. We were amazed by how different the scenery was in such a short distance! This walk was 1.2 km and by the time we made it back to the van the girls were begging for a nap.
While they slept in the back, Darren and I drove up a windy road full of switchbacks. We didn’t make it up to the top because the road was closed half way up due to icy conditions. However we did climb high enough to make Darren worry that our engine would overheat! It was nice taking a slower drive; we saw wildflowers, roadside waterfalls and even a few squirrels!
After 'rolling' back down the mountain we continued on the Trans Canada highway (Darren learned that it’s 5000km long from end to end.) Again I marveled at how much the scenery changed. We went from raging rivers to calmer lakes and marshes. Even the types of rocks changed.
Finally, we reached Salmon Arm and picked up supplies to make hot dogs and s’mores. We saw logs floating in the water. Daddy told us how the wood was cut down and floated down rivers and lakes to the city where it was turned into 2 by 4’s to build homes. We also saw big piles of pulp to make paper.
Before too long we were at our camping spot at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park (though I think Daddy worried a bit that we wouldn’t find it.) We set up our tent – we’d forgotten to bring a hammer or a hatchet so Daddy had to drive the stakes in with a rock. We went for a walk to the beach, but the water was much to cold for swimming. We did get to spend some time at the playground though. We returned to our campsite. Mommy built a fire using only one match and we enjoyed our supper of hotdogs and s'mores. We sang a couple songs and then got into our tent. After we each told a story we all went to sleep.