Tuesday, 15 May 2012

May 9th: Trails and Talks with Bob in the LSCR.

Day 3 and we're hiking more trails through the LSCR, taking a closer look at some of the cultural evidence from previous archaeology digs, focusing on the sites dating to the early 1900's. We all met at the gazebo entrance to the LSCR and set off as one big group, looking at sites on the lower east side. There we saw some artifacts such as bottles, canisters, tin cans and more. We also came across some interesting shelters made from hollow stumps and covered with branches. After discussing these stump shelters with Bob, we determined they were most likely made very recently by either children or perhaps even a homeless person. We continued to hike for 5 hours and talk about what the areas along the way used to look like a hundred years ago. Have a look at some of our photos:

Just off the trail are some of the artifacts from previous Capilano University Archaeology Field School excavations. Bottles like this one dating back to the early 1900's are a common find at these sites. Pieces of Japanese rice bowls, window glass and beer bottles are some examples of other common items found during past digs.

This doesn't look like much other than a hole in the ground, but it's actually a water well. This well is over 20 feet deep and was excavated in a previous Field School with Bob. The sides of the well are lined with (now decomposing) cedar planks and would have been a main source of water at that site. 

Along the way, Bob would stop and tell us about surveys done in previous years of the surrounding areas. The cabins and housing that were once here had been burned down after the government purchased the last of the private properties to prevent squatters and to protect the water supply.

This is Nathan standing under what is left of the entranceway to a property that once belonged to a family. The LSCR has decided that instead of attempting to restore this arch, it will be left as is to decompose naturally. This site is located along the Seymour River and there are several remnants of other cabins/houses in this particular area.

These cement steps are a portion of all that's left of the residence mentioned above. You can just make out the general foundation of where the house once stood.

Here's Andrew getting a closer look at (in my opinion) one of the most interesting things we saw all day. This is all that remains of a cabin that was once rented out to people during the early 1900's. The occupants of this relatively small (compared to the size of the hearth) cabin asked the owners for permission to build this fireplace. For some reason, when the government burned down all the cabins in the LSCR, they refrained from destroying this particular hearth. Perhaps because they thought it was just too beautiful to tear down, or so I would like to think. It's easy to imagine what it might have been like to huddle around such a magnificent fireplace on a cold winter night some hundred years ago.

Further along the trail, we came to the Homestead Fisheries Enhancement site. This was put in place to facilitate salmon spawning in this area. Just another way that the LSCR has initiated proactive programs to assist with maintaining a natural balance of this land.

This tunnel was built in the early 1900's as well. It is a pathway for a water pipeline that used to run through it. Back then, water pipes were made of wood so it was easier to blast a tunnel through bedrock than it was to build the pipeline around it. Andrew and a few other members of our crew were brave enough to walk through it. Check out this little video I took of my adventure through the damp, dark tunnel: 

Time for a break!....
At noon we stopped for lunch at the Seymour River picnic tables. This was the main leisure spot for people living in and visiting this area in the early 1900's. During our lunch, we take the opportunity to write in our field notebooks and chat about our day so far.

This is the view of the river from our picnic tables. It is so tranquil and beautiful here, we all enjoyed our time to relax at this spot.

This little medicine bottle was found on our detour up a side trail, another one of the previous archaeology Field School sites. We're unsure at this time if the writing on the bottle is Japanese or Chinese, but we're definitely going to have a closer look at it in the lab. Artifacts like this can tell us a lot about how the people living in these sites a hundred years ago maintained food supplies and health.

Here's Alexis chatting with Rebecca along the trail. We're all getting to know each other quite quickly and what a swell bunch we are, if I may say so.

This area is at the Twin Bridges junction where the trail literally got it's name. At one point, there were two bridges here, but now there is just the one.
Tomorrow we will be setting up the camp at the McKenzie Creek site where we will be doing our surveys and excavations this year. We are all very excited to get started...more to come!


  1. Awesome post Sarah!! I wish I could come as an Adventure Side-Kick. <3!

    1. You are there with me in spirit, dear friend. :)