The Phoenix Nest

Kamloops RV Park, in Kamloops, British Columbia

Kamloops RV Park, in Kamloops, British Columbia

A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

 

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Abstract

I spent a week at Kamloops, British Columbia, a pleasant little town, along the Thompson River and the TransCanada Highway leading east into the Rockies. But its primary allure for me was the McAbee Fossil Beds above Juniper Beach Park a few miles west of town. This was the first among the many fossil sites that established my initial baseline for my itinerary for the trip. I was saddened to find that it is not currently open to the public, although I'm told that the Province is in the process of deciding how to blend the interests of the public with those of the scientific community. But I was able to look up into the hills and imagine.

Page Prerequisites
Table of Contents
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2017_0808
Title Kamloops RV Park, in Kamloops, British Columbia
Subtitle A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Kamloops, British Columbia, Kamloops RV Park,McAbee Fossil Beds, Kamloops Wildlife Park
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL http://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2017
Status Published: 2018/2/19
Last Revised 2018-02-19

Kamloops, British Columbia

Arrived 2017/8/8
Day of Tour 17
Nights Stayed 3
Departed 2017/8/11
Map miles from last stop 212
Mileage on arrival 19,850
Actual miles from last stop 200
Accumulated miles for trip 2,945

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Kamloops, BC, was the next stop in my journey, a pleasant little town, along the Thompson River and the TransCanada Highway leading east into the Rockies. But its primary allure for me was the McAbee Fossil Beds above Juniper Beach Park a few miles west of town. This was the first among the many fossil sites that established my initial baseline for my itinerary for the trip. I was saddened to find that it is not currently open to the public, although I'm told that the Province is in the process of deciding how to blend the interests of the public with those of the scientific community. But I was able to look up into the hills and imagine.

The journey from Vancouver to Kamloops took me along the Transcanada and Coquihalla Highways, rising high into the Canadian Rockies. The mountains along this road are tall and steep, much steeper than the western Washington foothills, and even the western Cascades, that I'm used to. I guess the tectonic pressure underlying the rockies and been building and pushing for a lot longer.

Whatever the geological reason, these monsters started appearing out of the thick haze of wild-fire smoke, like ghosts on a dark Halloween. Even if I could have stopped on that busy highway, no photograph could have done justice to their eerie apparition.

Somehow the change seems more real now: I'm out of the urban megapolis of the Pacific Northwest and out into the wilds of British Columbia, in Kamloops, to be specific. The mountains would have been beautiful, the sharp angles of tectonic folding rather than the gentle curves of glacial plowing that I'm used to, and I would have taken many photos, but BC is suffering under a blanket of smoke from wildfires all over its central and northern regions. My neighbor at the campground is a refugee from one of the fires. Pictures would all be a fuzzy gray, and wouldn't at all do justice to ridges appearing like ghosts out of the haze.

Kamloops is at the junction of roads, rivers, and trains to and from south, east, and northwest. It lies in a narrow band along the southern banks of the Thompson River. It's not a large city, but it offers most of the conveniences I might want.

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Kamloops RV Park

Where Oceanside RV Resort was new and neat, and Burnaby Cariboo RV Park was old and out of date, Kamloops RV Park was somewhat rough-hewed, though perhaps well-suited to its locale on the western slopes: gravel instead of pavement, and sparse grass instead of lush lawns. The lanes and sites were reasonably wide, and I was able to get a pull-through site for the first time.

Some of the current residents that I talked to were refugees from the wildfires to the west, the ones that kept the sky dingy with haze.

As a transient passing through on my way east, the park was quite satisfactory, and I would return under similar conditions. I think I would look elsewhere, for a park a little more manicured, if I wished to take up long-term residency.

Photo Gallery for Kamloops RV Park

Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Kamloops RV Park
Address 9225 Dallas Drive
Kamloops BC V2C 6V1
Canada
Home Page http://www.kamloopsrvpark.ca/
Phone (250) 573-3789
Associations
Rate (net US$) $35
Pros
  • Conveniently located on the Transcanada Highway
  • Reasonably sized sites
Cons
  • Perhaps a little too rustic
Reviews (as of 2018/1/27)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 5.9 (Average) 10
Good Sam 3 10
Tripadvisor 2.5 5
Phoenix 6 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 7 10
  Ease of Access 8 10
  WiFiNotes 7 10

Points of Interest

My main reason for stopping at Kamloops was the McAbee Fossil Beds, but I did spend an hour or so at the BC Wildlife Park right next to my campgrounds.

McAbee Fossil Beds

The McAbee Fossil Beds is a lagerst├Ątte (i.e., major fossil site) from the Eocene Epoch: "The site is part of an old lake bed which was deposited about 52 million years ago and is internationally recognised for the diversity of plant, insect, and fish fossils found there."Wikipedia

Although the Eocene is more recent than my current interests prefer, it was the first lagerst├Ątte achievable on my tour. Unfortunately it is currently off limits, except to "authorized personnel". I was told by a ranger at a nearby park that the province has taken some initial steps toward establishing a public viewing area, but that is sometime in the future. Perhaps the next time I visit Drumheller.

I did take some photos of the area, both to capture its rugged grandeur, as well as the persistent haze from wildfires in the region.

Photo Gallery for McAbee Fossil Beds

Photo Gallery for McAbee Fossil Beds

McAbee Fossil Beds
McAbee Fossil Beds
McAbee Fossil Beds
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McAbee Fossil Beds
McAbee Fossil Beds
McAbee Fossil Beds

BC Wildlife Park

I visited this park because it was handy, right next door to my campground. I came and left with mixed feelings. Theoretically, there is educational value in making animals available for childen to see, but the price paid by the denizens is heavy, both in the limitations of their confines, and in their isolation from others of their kind. These animals were not kept in tiny cages, like the ones I remember from Wichita and Providence. They were not pacing endless circles around their cages like one wolf I remember. But they were disspirited. They were safe and well-fed, but not domesticated and not happy. Their "homes" were fairly large, indeed, much larger and they would be able to hide indefinitely from disappointed visitors. And there's the problem, any animal park spacious enough to allow the animals any feeling of wildness, also allows them to avoid the people who might benefit from seeing them. Few communities have the resources to solve this problem satisfactorily for both sides. Yet closing parks like this would deny everyone any access at all. I find it disturbing.

Photo Gallery for BC Wildlife Park

BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park
BC Wildlife Park

Next Stop

After leaving Kamloops, I climbed higher into the mountains to spend a few days at Canyon Hot Springs Resort near Revelstoke.

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