After our long day yesterday, we slept in a bit at our luxurious Cariboo Lodge accomodations.
After a leisurely breakfast, we continued our trip north along the Gold Rush Trail (otherwise know as Highway 97). At 70 Mile House, we split off the main highway and headed along a secondary road towards Green Lake. There are a couple of Provincial Park sites along the lake, and as it was turning out to be another hot, sunny day, a swim in the lake seemed good.
Before leaving Clinton, we checked out a few of the local attractions. The local museum was closed, but we were able to look around the grounds a little bit. There was also this great antique store at one end of town that had an amazing assortment of old wagons and wagon wheel and such. Some pretty cool stuff.
The day use park was pretty much empty when we got there, other than one other family out for the day. Over the course of the hour or so that we swam and enjoyed the sunshine, a few other groups came and went, but it was never overly busy. After the initial shock of getting in, the water was great! The lake does have a bit of a green tinge to it, but the swimming was fine nonetheless.
After cleaning up from our swim, we continued our drive along to the end of the lake, then continued north for a short while. We eventually intersected with Highway 24, which took as back west towards the main highway. All along this stretch there were amazing wildflowers in bloom. I stop in a bunch of places to try and take some pictures, but none of them ever really did it justice.
Highway 24 lead us back to Highway 97, and again our journey continued north. Before long we were at 100 Mile House, which when this whole adventure began I assumed would be the most northerly point on our trip. It wasn't but it was close. 100 Mile House has a great visitor center, and we got some great ideas for how to spend the rest of our day. The visitor center was also situated on a large pond/lake, which had active bird life right at the center. I was very pleased to see yellow-headed blackbirds, which I have only seen once before.
After having some lunch in 100 Mile House, we decided to head north just a little bit further to check out 108 Mile Ranch, a historical site that recreates an 18th century ranch. As it wasn't too much further, we were there and no time, and had a chance to wander about and check out all the old buildings that were still intact. They had a little bit of everything - the school, general store, blacksmith shop, chapel, trappers lodge and a bunch of others that I'm surely forgetting. It's all very well preserved and offered a glimpse into what things were like at the time.
After checking out 108 Mile Ranch, we backtracked towards 100 Mile House, and headed up towards Wells Gray Provincial Park, for a waterfall hike at the end of Canim Lake. It was a pretty long drive - another 25 or 30 km each direction, but much of it was on paved roads, and only the last half was on dirt roads that never really got that bad. And much of the trip went along the edge of Canim Lake, which is the biggest lake in the region and is quite beautiful.
The hike itself was pretty easy - about 1.5 km each way, and a very easy and well-maintained trail. There were actually two waterfalls along the route. The first one (Camin Falls) is well back, so you can't see it that well. The second one (Mahood Falls) was worth the trip.
At Mahood Falls, there was a viewing area that provided you this great vew, from a little bit further back. There was also a trail that let you walk right up to the top of the waterfall, and get the full impact of the drop to the canyon floor below.
After our hike, we were a bit warm and dirty and needed a swim. Justine found a reference to a good swimming spot in Canim Lake, so we headed there. It was a little busy with a few families, but we were able to claim a spot along the water's edge, have a beer and get some more swimming in. The water was beautiful (although it had a red tinge to it), and before long all the families packed up and left the place to us.
On the way into the hiking spot, I had noticed a big field of yellow flower with an old ranch or something, that I wanted to stop and take some pictures of. The light was getting a little bit nicer as we got back to the spot, so we stopped and I got a few shots.
After that, we made the log trek back towards 100 Mile House. We found a cool little "resort" to stay at, had some dinner there and watched the sunset from our elevated porch while drinking some wine. It was an excellent end to a great day.