This past weekend, B.C. Parks celebrated 100 Years of Adventure with a gathering and luncheon at the Churn Creek Protected area kiosk near Empire Valley.
About150 people made the picturesque, very scenic drive on Saturday morning to attend the day-long event (scheduled from 10:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m). After a barbecue lunch and a piece of the celebratory cake, those attending the event had a choice of four different activities, all of which were intended to one’s knowledge of the grasslands, the wildlife, the people and the history within the Churn Creek Protected Area. The choices included a talk (and walk) focussing on the natural history of the area (plants, grasses, trees) and a bug search with Ordell Steen, Kristi Iverson and Ray Coupe; a ranching and mining history given by rancher Joyce Holmes; a Lahal demonstration and lessons with Mary Harry and First Nation’s history by Irvine Johnson, Beth Bedard and Harold Harry.
The luncheon was held in the Empire Valley Ranch’s calving barn. Afterward, everyone dispersed to their chosen activity.
Those who wished to partake in the First Nations history-lesson had to get back in their vehicles and head back toward Williams Lake (a few kilometers) to a roadside site on a side hill overlooking the river, a place where several large kickwillie holes marked the location as the site of an ancient First Nations pit house settlement.
Irvine Johnson (second from left in photograph) gave the group an interesting talk on the pit houses and the general history of the Secwepemc people in that area.