Wandering Vancouver Island – Kinsol Trestle.

Since the weather here has warmed up significantly, we decided to take a short, 76k road trip to view the Kinsol Trestle, located in the Cowichan valley,  and now part  of the Trans Canada Trail.

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Kinsol Trestle.

The trestle spans the Koksilah River. It is 187m long, and rises to a height of 44m, one of the largest in North America. Now for a bit of not to boring but condensed history.

Orginally built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, it was needed to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound to transport old growth timber. The actual construction was undertaken by local farmers and loggers. The CNoPR  was take over by the Canadian National Railway in 1918 who oversaw  completion of the trestle by 1920. Last train to cross the trestle was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned one year later. DSC_0110DSC_0109

The CNR gave up ownership on Vancouver Island in the 1980s, and the rail line was given over to the Ministry of Transportation. Due to the fact that the trestle sat unused , it’s deterioration  in the following years rendered it’s use prohibitive by hikers on the rail trail. It seemed unlikely at that point in time that the trestle would be able to be restored to use.

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After Much debate for and against restoration, an agreement was reached to preserve the trestle for it’s historical and tourism value. A feasibility study was conducted as to the work needed to restore it to use. It was estimated that 5.7 million would be needed. The provincial government kicked in 4.1 million and the rest was raised by local fund raising. The restoration was started in 2010, and the trestle opened to the public in 2011.DSC_0111

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Original cement piers at the base.
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Koksilah River.

DSC_0108The Kinsol Trestle has proven to be a very worthwhile addition to the Trans Canada Trail as seen by the number of people who visit it each year. Whether hiking, biking or on horseback, the trestle is available to all those who love the great outdoors. Cheers.

Unlikely

Caught in a Time Warp.

Last week we took a trip to a small town about 80k from Puerto Vallarta via taxi and bus. A town virtually untouched by time. A town rich in history. A history that goes back over 300 years. So journey along  as we discover, in words and pictures a town caught  up in time. The town of San Sebastian Del Oeste, Mexico.DSC_0992

Getting there from the coast is a steady climb on winding roads (and a detour) until you reach an elevation of 4850 feet above sea level. Shortly after we got there we took a 9k taxi ride to the top of one of the road accessible mountains outside of town. After we hiked to the top of “La Bufa”, my altimeter peaked out at 8228 feet. This picture was taken from that sight.

Founded by Spaniards in the early 1600s, it was soon to prove a rich gold and silver source for the town, and Spain. The town has gone through several name changes over the centuries. More than likely influenced by the powers in place at the moment. It was first dubbed Real San Sebastian, then just San Sebastian, and finally in 1983, its current name.

At its peak, the town boasted over 30 gold and silver mines. Declared a city in 1812, it had a population of over 20,000. After the 1910 military revolution, production was halted, though mining activity had already declined steadily during the 19th century.The last mine closed in 1921. Today the town is mainly a tourist attraction, with a population of around 1000. This is where we come in.

Enough with the words. Enjoy the pictures. If you stand in just the right part of town, you will find yourself being transported back in time.

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Thank you for letting me be your tour guide. There are hundreds more pictures, but time and space are the restriction. The town’s people, and the town itself beckons you to come.  I will be back. Cheers.
Tour Guide