In Pictures: Travelling the slow way to 3 Valley Gap
By Laura Stovel
In recent years I have become aware of how little I know of my own surroundings. I was born in Revelstoke and have driven on the Trans-Canada Highway hundreds of times but I have never stopped at the lakes along the route west. Until last weekend I couldn’t even say where the Bell Pole yard was, even though I’d heard about it many times. So I decided to walk from Revelstoke to Three Valley Gap.
My interest in the history of the area also motivated me. Lately I’ve been reading historical descriptions of the land between the Big Eddy and Three Valley Gap by travellers like James Turnbull, who surveyed the land with Walter Moberly in 1866 and by Sir Sanford Fleming who walked the same route in 1883, skillfully guided by a Sinixt man named Baptiste.
Turnbull wrote about “large granite boulders (that) are strewn about the benches in every direction” about “four miles west of the Columbia.”
Fleming wrote about the men that came to meet them from Kamloops having to wade through a large bog “up to their middle for the greater part of the way” as they approached the Big Eddy from Three Valley Gap. He wrote, “Do any of my readers know what it is to wade through a marsh of deep oozy mud, covered with stinking water?” Baptiste, knowing the land well, was able to guide them on a path used by his people which avoided such obstacles.
I wanted to see these boulders and marshes and grieve the loss of “cedars, four feet in diameter, (that) rise up around us like columns of a lofty temple” near the summit of the pass. I wanted to see the majestic lakes that Fleming described, slowly and with awe and attention.
So last Saturday I booked myself a room at the Three Valley Gap resort, met a friend for breakfast and set off at 9:25. It was a beautiful day for walking, sunny but not too hot. The following photos and captions share some of my observations along the way.