July 1st: The start of  Summer. This picture of a dead tree in the Thompson River Gorge is a memorable shot for us, showing the intense heat of the day. We were in Kamloops, BC, heading back to Vancouver for a Moore family reunion after a Rockies road trip. We opted to take the scenic route, following the old Trans Canada Highway along Highway #1. This part of the cross-country highway is usually bypassed owing to the faster, wider and newer Coquihalla Highway, which was constructed in the mid 80’s.

dead tree, Thompson River Gorge, BC

The date was July 1, the beginning of Summer. Bruce’s Mom always said that July 1st was when it became hot. True to form, the day was a scorcher; much hotter than the previous week. The outside of our car was too hot to touch. The scenery along this route is dry and dusty, hugging the Thompson River until it joins the larger Fraser River in Lytton.  Besides being a scenic drive, the river is popular with white water rafters and kayakers. After Lytton, the road keeps following the edge of the Fraser River until Hope, where the road rejoins the main highway west towards Vancouver.

This route is often overlooked since many drivers are in a hurry to get to destinations in the Okanagan Valley or the Rockies. But we heartily recommend this slight detour for a picturesque drive along a quiet winding road that is a piece of Canadian history.