Highway 3 which undulates along the B.C., Washington State, Idaho, Montana border from Hope to the prairies, is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. The iconic stretch of blacktop sutures together some of Canada’s most scenic and hostile terrain – from the goldfields of the Fraser River, to the beaches of Osoyoos, to the jagged peaks of Fort Steele, to the devastation of Frank’s Slide.
In summer, the highway is packed with RVs, transport trucks, and thousands of tourists eager for adventure. In winter, the route is less populated. The fruit stands of Creston and Keremeos are shuttered. Residents head for the mountains in search of firewood. The leaves turn colour and fall onto the stubble of empty backyards and harvested alfalfa fields.
There are ghosts along Highway 3 – Chinese miners, Montana gun fighters, local farmers, and construction workers. They pace the blacktop and back alleys of places like Rock Creek and Anaconda – all wanting to be more than just a footnote in a dusty old textbook. Continue reading “British Columbia’s Great Highway turns 70”