freedom road

by Anne

[21st September 2016]

Why is it that narrow mountain passes frighten me so much?

Thoughts, I know!

I am eternally grateful that I did not come upon this photo before embarking on this stage:

The Hill
~ taken from https://www.hikebiketravel.com/surviving-eleven-kilometers-terror/
where I was thrilled to find that I am not alone with my terror!

Anyhow, it would not do to be a passenger with eyes tightly shut and a trusty camera lying idle, so while H tried his best to stay away from the edge, I stole a few shots:

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‘Freedom Road’ the plaque said. There was nothing free about this pass for me, but the plaque was enough to stimulate my curiosity. Apparently the residents of the valley dubbed it such when on 23 September 1953 the first road out was completed. Before this the only way to obtain goods in the valley was by steamship or by horsepack trains winding down the steep slopes – nothing quick about that.
Provincial officials were unable or unwilling to construct a roadway through this treacherous terrain. However, when they witnessed the brute determination of a small group of volunteers and one bulldozer hired by the Bella Coola Board of Trade, to carve out a very narrow and very steep track with several very extreme tight curves, they agreed to cover some of the costs.
Soon enough that money ran out at which point a second bulldozer operator from Tatla Lake kindly offered his services and started working from the top on a new trail, walked and surveyed by eye. One year after work began, the 2 bulldozers removed the last bit of rock to touch blades. A small blue plaque marks the spot.
~ taken from 101 Things to do along Highway 20.
See also: https://bellacoola.ca/portfolio/history-of-the-hill/

Remarkable indeed!

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And then it was over and I relaxed once again on the very flat Chilcotin plains, rolling, before long into Williams Lake once more, taking a sharp right on to Route 97 South all the way down to Green Lake Provincial Park not far beyond 100 Mile House.
We set up camp under the Trembling Aspens on the banks of the lake just as the sun shed its last rays over the still waters.

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wilderness loos

Next day: frozen

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