Weddings and forestry camps

I’ve managed to whine and complain a couple of times recently, and it’s making me feel guilty. After all, who wants to read a whiner.


So, for something more positive, I thought I’d post about my latest trip, into the interior of our wonderful province of BC.


I traveled up to Gavin Lake last weekend for my  nephews wedding. We stayed at the forestry camp that’s operated by UBC in the Alex Fraser Research Forest.  That may sound like an odd place for a wedding (it was, I guess), but everything worked out well. The guests ranged from 8 weeks old, to one person in her 80s, and by all accounts, everyone, including the myriad of dogs attending, had a good time. 



Gavin_lake_cabins_1_a_jpgThe camp is quite modern. There were probably 15 or so cabins on site that would hold a family or more each. I bunked with my sister, her husband, and her son. There were four beds, one in each corner of the cabin, and double closets, one set on each side. It was quite comfy considering you are only inside for sleeping and changing. No heat though, so it might be a bit chilly after the end of August or so.


( Credits to the UBC Field School website for the photos )


Communal facilities included warm showers, regular toilets, cooking and eating facilities for groups, and canoes for your boating pleasure. There was also ample room to set up tents, campers, and motor homes . I was told that the fishing was good, but I wasn’t prepared to spend the money for a fishing licence, just for the couple of days I’d be there.


The camp is a ‘bring your own bedding and food’ kind of place, but all went well because the hosts and their families arranged for the food. Our per-person rent for the site was only $10 per night, and we contributed a bit for the meals. Can’t beat that.


Believe it or not, there had been a recent frost in the area and there were no bugs.  What a bonus. During the summer, the Cariboo can host some serious populations of mosquitoes, black flies, and horseflies. As it was, we enjoyed our marshmallow roasts and storytelling around the campfire in peace. And there was lots of storytelling about the bride and groom by friends and family (heh).


It was an 8 hour drive up to the camp from Surrey, but I took my time and enjoyed it. What amazes me whenever I travel to the interior is the diversity of small businesses you see along the road. I traveled the Coquihalla Highway (#5), through Merritt and Kamloops and on up to Little Fort. Even outside of the larger towns, you can find just about any business imaginable.


Here’s a quote from the ‘Communities of the North Thompson Valley’ website about the economy of Little Fort. It illustrates what I mean.


"The economy consists   of traditional businesses such as hay and cattle farms, restaurants, hotel,   campground, pub, gas station, general store, craft store and fly and tackle   shop. Little Fort’s diversification can be   seen in the unique businesses in the area such as a Trout Fish Farm, an Emu   Ranch, a Fishing Resort and a Game Ranch.


On the Game Ranch, birds such as turkeys,   partridges, chukars and pheasants are raised. During the appropriate hunting   seasons hunters pay to have a set number of birds released onto the estate to   be hunted. It is estimated that 60% of the birds released are never killed and   are then left in the wild."

There are numerous lakes along the highway between Little Fort and 100 Mile House. They host a bevy of lakefront campgrounds, restaurants, and bed and breakfast hotels. At one point I passed a business building garden sheds, right in the middle of nowhere. I should have stopped and got the name of it, but I didn’t. Trucking companies, machine shops, craft stores, rafting guides, and even vineyards show up when you least expect it. We have an amazing diversity of business in this province.


Long drives can be such a pain if you let them. But if you take the time to look around, there’s lots to learn.


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