FRASER RIVER VALLEY
The Fraser River ordinates in the Canadian Rockies near Mt. Robson. It flows
west to Prince George and then south through Hope and then west again to the
Pacific Ocean. Along this 800 mile trek it is joined by many other rivers and
streams, some of them rather large in the own right, like the Thomson. By the
time it reaches the Hope area it is a very large river, at least twice as much
flow as goes over Niagara Falls.
Hell's Gate is a very narrow portion of the Fraser River about a 45 minute drive
north of Hope. It was always a navigation problem, even when only the indians were
traversing it. Later, while building the railroad line along the canyon, a blasting
operation caused a huge landslide that further constricted the canyon. It also
had the effect of blocking the passage that the salmon used to reach their spawning
grounds. This was solved by installing fishways that provide the salmon with slower
moving water that they can use to pass this section of the Fraser.
It is a interesting place to visit via the tramway that takes you nearly to the
THE HOPE SLIDE
We visited the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park and its Othello Quintette Tunnels.
These abandoned railway tunnels, originally built from 1911 to 1916, were part of
the Kettle Valley Railway. They were designed by Andrew McCulloch and were an
engineering triumph for that time. They run along the Coquihalla River and are a
very nice walk in a beautiful setting.
CHAINSAW CARVING CAPITAL
Hope considers itself the Chainsaw Carving Capital. It started in 1991 when a
large tree in the park was diagnosed with root rot. That inspired Pete Ryan to
propose that the tree be cut down in a manner that left a stump large enough to
be used for a chainsaw carving. Pete carved a bald eagle with a salmon in its
talons and it was loved by the locals and visitors alike. To date more than two
dozen of these statutes have been carved by Pete and another local Robert Forde.
If you get to Hope, you might want to wander around town to see these creations.