Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coalmont, Granite City, and other places...

Wandered around Princeton for awhile after a good night tenting at the Princeton Castle Resort, which is the venue for the upcoming ride.  I went to the museum and appreciated the local efforts to document the history of the community.  Another BC town based on mining which has seen better times.  I looked around for a proper fuel bottle for my stove.  I was not paying close attention to the needs of the so-called backackers' stove, and it appears that the Brunton needs a special bottle to carry the different fuels which it is capable of burning.  I am sure that I could adapt, but I can usually wait a bit for my morning coffee.

The museum had an exhibit of a recent air show that was held at the Princeton airport.  Apparently the first airplane flew into Princeton in 1914.  The goggles and mask in the second photo are from a World War II bomber crew.  This exhibit triggered memories of Big Jim, who flew as a Wireless Air Gunner in Lancasters.  Jim and his friends basically saved my life, and I always will remember the stories that he told about his own terrors as he flew over Dresden at 10,000 feet and the air was burning around him.  I don't think that he ever did conquor those nightmares, and we as a society still have not managed to come to terms with killing and bombing each other.  Jim paid a terrible price for his service to his country, and I suspect that many veterans from more recent wars will also carry the guilt and stress of doing their duty.

I decided to head out to Coalmont, a community which I had visited a number of years before.  I was not sure if I could ride on the KVR, and I was just as happy to wander up the highway for 30KM or so, through the twisty road.

The hotel is having a celebration this weekend, proclaiming 100 years of operation.
I took a wander up a side road, to Granite City.  There were over 2000 people there in the early 1900's, and in a matter of 15 years, it became a ghost town.  I guess I had better stop whining about the rise and fall of BC resource towns, whether it be gold, silver, coal, or cedar, it appears that cities and towns seem to come and go, with the deer and the bush always winning.

 The remains of Granite City..

I had to take a picture of this one, for my Son the aspiring Helicopter pilot.  I did not get to spend much time with him at his brothers' wedding, but he seemed to be happy and willing to carry on with the grunt work which will lead to him piloting in the future.