B.C. Road trip Summer 2012


Photo by Nila Gopaul
A map by the highway shows Lytton and the start of our trip.

The Westcoast Reader went on a road trip
to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast in B.C.
Lytton was the beginning of our adventure north.

Lytton, B.C.
Level 3

The Westcoast Reader team took a road trip
in B.C. in the summer of 2012.
We got great information from B.C. guide books.
We asked friends what they knew,
and we also talked to travellers along the way.

Read the PDF.

We stopped in Chilliwack, B.C., for example.
Its Visitors Centre has a great choice of flags,
souvenirs and travel material about B.C.
Much of their material is free.
The staff can help you find coupons
for tourist attractions.
This way you can save money on
the entrance fees
to attractions such as Barkerville.

Staff at the Visitors Centres in B.C.
can also give you advice on many things.
They can tell you which route
to travel or where to stay or eat.
Sometimes too much information
can confuse a person.

We read, and then we read some more.
Finally, we planned our adventure for ten days.
There were so many driving tours
to explore the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast,
but we decided to take the “Lakes and Trails Circle Tour.”
It is a tour full of rivers, lakes, ranches,
deserts, fishing, water sports,
and the Gold Rush Trail.
Need we say more?

It was a clear choice.
It was hot, and this drive was exactly what we needed
to cool down.
It was time to meet our readers.
It had been over 30 years.
We wanted to shake the hands
of our B.C. neighbours.

The more we talked to people
about the trip and who we would meet, t
he more excited we got.
Some people never get a chance
to visit their own province or country.
B.C. is huge.  It is 944,700 km².
Did you know?  Three islands of Japan
can fit inside B.C.

Lytton*, B.C.
Before we started the “Lakes and Trails Circle Tour”,
we wanted to visit Lytton.
Lytton has a long history.
It is one of the oldest communities in North America.
It was about 40 °C when we arrived in Lytton.
Many people say this town is
one of the hottest places in Canada.
On a hot summer day, many people like to cool down,
so we searched for water.

Over a small hill, near the railroad track,
we saw a river.  We got out of our car.
The view was to die for.
It was our lucky day.
Right in the town, we got to watch
two great rivers meet: the Thompson River (green waters)
and Fraser River (brown waters).
Both rivers are named
after famous explorers:  Simon Fraser and David Thompson.
In the photo, you can see
where the two colours of the rivers meet.


Photo by Nila Gopaul
Two rivers meet in Lytton, B.C.

People in Lytton, B.C.
Today the population of the village
of Lytton is about 300 people.
Another 1,700 people live nearby.

Lytton is on the site of “Camchin”,
a First Nations village.
Camchin means the meeting of two great rivers.
In English we call
this meeting place “the forks”.
During the Gold Rush in 1858,
Lytton was a place many people visited.
It was on the Gold Rush Trail,
which was about 1,900 km long.

It is hard to imagine
that 14 saloons lined the main street.
The town of Lytton was booming.
Thousands of miners looking for gold
came to this city as they moved north.

But long before 1858,
10,000 years before, a First Nations people made Lytton home.
The name of this First Nations group is Nlaka’pamux.
There are six Nlaka’pamux communities outside the village.
*The town was named after a British writer, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton.


Photo – Public Domain
Members of a Nlaka’pamux community, circa 1914.

Driving through Lytton village,
we saw many street signs using English
and the area’s indigenous language.
Unfortunately, there are
only 36 fluent speakers of Nłeʔkepmxcín Language in Lytton.
Today 80 people in Lytton
are trying to learn more about their mother tongue.

Rafting capital of Canada
On the Gold Rush Trail, a few kilometres from Lytton,
is a famous tourist attraction called Hell’s Gate.
Many people raft there.

Why is it called Hell’s Gate?

Hell’s Gate is part of the Fraser River which moves very fast downstream.
It is dangerous. There are many rock walls and the passage is narrow.
It is only 35 metres wide.
Explorer Simon Fraser said, “We have surely
encountered the gates of hell.”
About 760 million litres of water crash
through the passage every minute.
“The flow is twice the volume of Niagara Falls,”
writes Super, Natural British Columbia.
Some people raft at Hell’s Gate.
Other people like to take the tram, relax and have lunch.
We did neither.
One of The Westcoast Reader team members
is scared of heights.

One regret
We had only one regret.  We never had a chance to spend time
at the Stein Valley Heritage Park near Lytton.
The park is very large.
It has about 150 km of trails and wilderness.
The park has many kinds of animals,
such as bears, cougars,
eagles and mountain goats.
There are many fish as well,
such as trout and salmon.
The park is an important spiritual place
for the First Nations people in the area.
The park is now protected by our province.
Many say the Stein Valley is paradise.