From Vancouver to Osoyoos

Osoyoos is a town situated at the southern part of the Canadian Okanagan valley, We drove from Vancouver almost straight east and it was a drive through different landscapes. First on the Trans-Canadian highway through the Fraser Valley. It is basically flat  and not very interesting. Where the river and the valley turn northward lies the city of Hope. After a stop at the Blue Moose cafe with excellent blueberry muffins, we continued eastwards. If we had taken the road going northeast we would have used the Coquihalla Highway, which is called the Highway of Hell in a TV-series.

15 km east of Hope is the Hope landslide site. January 9. 1965 at 7Am the largest recorded landslide in Canada happened here. A whole moutainside came thundering down into the Nicolum Valley. Three cars and four people were buried.

hopeslide1hopeslidetegning               Taken from an airplane (not my photo)

The slide was probably caused by a minor earthquake and around 47 million cubic meters came down the 2000 meter mountain side into the valley 1000 meters lower. The slide is 3 km wide and went across the valley and up the opposite mountain side and then came back to the valley floor.

It is still very visible.

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I had seen the sight before but I was still surprised by the dimensions. Somehow it fits the slogan of British Columbia: Supernatural. The forces of nature are huge and we can not do anything to control them. In this context humans are just small,

Driving further east the landscape became more and more dry, we were clearly in the rain shadow of the mountains. On one of our stops we saw a bear.

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The next stop was a surprise, a spotted lake.

DSCF1236                    I was surprised, I have never heard or seen something like it, so I have tried to find out more. There are two interesting sides about Spotted Lake or Klihik which is the First Nation name .

First the science part. It is a lake with no water flowing out  So over the centuries or millenia different chemical compounds have accumulated, During the dry season when the water evaporates, the minerals are left and crystallizes, The different compounds have different colours. The main compounds are sulphates, magnesium, calsium    and sodium, but there are eight other minerals there and also small amounts of silver and titanium.                                                                   See the perfect heart-shaped pond slightly to the left in the picture.

The second interesting side of the lake is its history. It was a holy place for the First Nation and they considered the mud to have healing power. It is told that after a war between two tribes they agreed that both tribes could use the lake for their wounded soldiers. During the first world war the minerals  were used to make ammunition. Later a Smith family owned it and proposed to build a spa there. The First Nation people did not like it and bought it back.

Again British Columbia lived up to its slogan: Supernatural.

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