Today’s ride was a short one at only 73 kms. So we decided to forego lunch stop and rode straight down to Quesnel. It was mostly downhill although there we two short climbs and the shoulder for the most part was great. The bright sunny day and mild temperatures were wonderful. The light tail wind didn’t hurt much either.
It was kind of an interesting ride from my perspective as my family lived 45 kms south of Quesnel in a little place called Alexandria. My father ran the sawmill there at what was then Diamond Island Mills. It was so called because the island in the middle of the Frazer River at Alexandria was called Diamond Island. The café/gas/service station is now a jade shop. The house we lived in is long gone and a different house is in its place. The saw mill is gone however the old teepee shaped saw dust burner is still standing as a rusty reminder of my youth. The old two room school house is still standing but has not been used for many years (decades?). The railroad depot is gone.
My father also had a gold mine up at Wells. But I don’t think he ever found much gold. However he did pass the gold fever on to me and to this day I can remember finding my very first gold nugget. It was a good one too at almost 0.25 oz. I could see in my mind’s eye exactly where it was. So as I rode up the road, I was looking for the spot. You can’t see the creek from the road but I knew where it was. Sure enough I rode right up to the spot. There is a culvert which goes under the highway right by Ross RD. just a kilometer south of Alexandria. I didn’t have a pan with me so I didn’t try my luck. However I know that little creek still has some gold in it.
We have a great spot for the rest day at Frazer River Bridge Inn and RV Park. It isn’t a swank place like the Plaza in Kamloops but it has huge rooms and is impeccably clean and neat. Best of all it is right across the walking bridge to downtown and all of the Bill Barker Days events. We timed the ride so that we could be here for this and will be taking in the parade tomorrow morning and hitting the midway. Although I believe some folks are planning a drive up to Barkerville.