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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 1:12 AM
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The Wild Wild West (In the Great White North)

The following pictures are all from the Thompson Valley in south central British Columbia, centered around the small town of Ashcroft. Here, there are several dry semi-desert valleys that are the northern most extension of the Great Basin desert to the south.

Here one can find cactus, sagebrush, rattle snakes, gopher snakes, small scorpions and other such wildlife associated with warm dry ecosystems.

This particular valley arguably has the hottest summers in Canada, with temperatures often exceeding 35 C (96 F) during the day, and sometimes reaching above 40 C (104 F). Summers are long and hot and winters are brief (only lasting 2 months) and are relatively mild to Canadian standards (The coldest month of January has an average temp of -2 to -5 C within these valleys) Spring starts early, and fall lingers long. Many winters have very little snow fall in the valley bottoms.

Trivia: Ashcroft is where the filmed the "Mexico" scenes of the new A-Team movie (along with other surrounding areas in the Thompson Valley)

As I took these pics the current temp was a hot 35!

Here is highway 97 C which goes right through Ashcroft




The semi-desert Landscape found in Elephant Hills Provincial Park




The sagebrush and desert flowers in the wind




The sun getting lower in the sky




The beautiful barren landscape




Prickly Pear Cactus




A Dirt Devil, a common site in arid regions




A small creek running through the hills brings water




The dry hills




Just add water!




Coming into Ashcroft itself along Highway 97 C. It is along the shores of the Thompson River




Looking at the north shore of town




The town flag!




The Highway 97 C bridge over the Thomspn River













The CP railway tracks and the Thompson River from the bridge (looking east) This river is a popular river rafting destination.




A good way to celebrate grad




Cross roads




The River Side Hotel!




And last but not least, main street Ashcroft looking west




Thank you for looking!

Here is my flickr address:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30634635@N03/page2/

Cheers!
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 3:00 AM
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Interesting to see!
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 5:29 AM
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That looks like freakin Nevada, I guess I just never thought there were desert environs like this in Canada, but it makes sense.
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 6:16 AM
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Very cool. It looks so much like the American southwest.
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 6:22 AM
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I thought all of British Columbia was much greener than Eastern Oregon and Washington. This looks just like Eastern Oregon so I guess thought wrong. Great pictures!
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 8:12 AM
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I agree, definitely shatters my overall impression of British Columbia, but, a great set of photos nonetheless. Thanks!
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Old Posted Jul 14, 2010, 4:42 PM
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Wow, never would have guessed that was Canada! Thanks for sharing!
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Old Posted Jul 15, 2010, 4:12 AM
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Great shots, Metro. I've never actually stopped in Ashcroft, but it looks somewhat charming.
I'll be back in the Okanagan in two weeks to see my ma and pa. I can't wait to get out of Shanghai, and breathe the fresh air and soak in the warm lakes. I'm even going to stay at my friend's cabin on the Shuswap. I mean, what's a stay in SW BC without a stop at Shuswap Lake?
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Old Posted Jul 15, 2010, 5:07 AM
TwasBrillig TwasBrillig is offline
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Deserts in British Columbia? Thanks for the knowledge.
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Old Posted Jul 18, 2010, 1:12 AM
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Thanks for the comments guys!

Ashcroft is a charming place, it has a lot of history (with the gold rush and the building of the railway) and it really does feel like you are in Nevada. Even the way the town is set up with its really wide straight streets.

Not many people know of the desert valleys in BC, which is why I love to show them. They are among my favorite places to be (I spent many months in Nevada over the past few years and I love the desert, so naturally I love having places such as Ashcroft only 3 hours out of Vancouver).
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2010, 4:33 PM
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Great pictures.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2010, 4:20 AM
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Great shots!! Miss the west!!
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2010, 4:00 AM
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Wow, that looks like true desert. Really interesting thread and good photography. I've seen pictures of the areas around Osoyoos and Penticton that are arid, but none of those areas look quite so much like true deserts as these shots. Really interesting.

It's not surprising to me that those inland valleys get hot in the summer, but it is surprising to me that those areas also have mild winters - in California, a lot of the desert areas have much colder winters than the coastal areas.
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Old Posted Aug 3, 2010, 5:44 PM
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Nice pictures. It's a little hard to comprehend a desert like that in British Columbia.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2010, 3:49 AM
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Had you told me the "Mexico" desert scenes in A-Team were filmed in Canada, I would have lauged at you. Thanks for the eye-opening tour!
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2010, 11:09 PM
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cool pics - i used to like driving up the trans can to cache creek
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Old Posted Sep 3, 2010, 11:32 PM
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Not all of BC is rainy and miserable half the year Only a small, small portion of it is. The rest looks like this, rockies, or flat prairie-like farmland.
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