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August 21, 2009

Squamish—British Columbia Museum of Mining and Shannon Falls

Filed under: BC 2009, MTB Travel, Travel — anotherheader @ 5:08 pm

Old building on the water at Britannia Beach

Old building on the water at Britannia Beach

The British Columbia heat wave was in full force in Squamish.  Temperatures were reaching into the high 90’s.  In many places in the world, high 90’s and 50 to 60% humidity is normal, but in a typically cool region, without air conditioning in most buildings, the heat wave qualified as a crisis.  For us, it was time for an off day.  Before the trip we’d counted on taking a few rain days off.  Rain is hard to avoid in BC.  We’d never figured that it would be too hot to ride.  It was truly unfortunate that the air conditioning in the Airstream was not working.

Heading into the mine shaft on the museum tour

Heading into the mine shaft on the museum tour

On our off day we decided to visit the British Columbia Museum of Mining and nearby Shannon Falls.  The mining museum is at the site of the massive copper mine in Britannia Beach.  Our visit started with a tour of the pleasantly cold mining shaft that came with an ear piercing demonstration of the different generations of the drilling equipment.  The tour ended in the cavernous ore processing facility with its massive, aging machinery.  It was easy to see why the old mine complex had been used as a location for the filming of many movies and television shows.  The decaying machinery and cavernous space had an otherworldly feel.  If you find yourself in Squamish and can’t ride, the old Britannia is worth a visit.

Inside the ore separation facility at the old Britannia Mine

Inside the ore separation facility at the old Britannia Mine

After a hike around the base of the wispy, high Shannon Falls, we headed back to the RV Park.  Nick survived the day in front of Knobs’ trailer.  He was happy to wade in the cool Dryden Creek when we got back but, with his weakened hindquarters, he got stuck up against the bank.  He was seemingly unconcerned about being rescued, but it is scary for us.

Off day pictures:

http://picasaweb.google.com/AnotherHeader/MiningMuseumForPicasa#

Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls

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