Thursday, 8 November 2018

Cowichan Valley … the settling and opening up … part 3



A slight deviation from the valley itself – but this post of few words (?!) – just reflects another aspect – about how difficult it was to get to the west coast … and how huge the province of British Columbia is, let alone Canada itself …

Mackenzie's Track from Montreal to
the Pacific Northwest appears on
this 1809 map(see Wiki)



… and I show some of the tree growth that was necessary to be removed before pasture could form … any agriculture or settlement could happen …




Alexander Mackenzie (1764 - 1820)


People had been exploring this part of the world since sea-faring was an option … it’s possible the Greeks reached the West Coast in 400 BC, as too the Chinese in the 1200s …







The orange is the Mackenzie River watershed system

… Vitus Bering in the 1720s took three years to travel from Moscow to the Pacific – before he could begin exploring … from Alaska southwards – he didn’t get very far at all … and no-one  stayed … though today’s people were on their way …






Canada superimposed over Europe and more ..
c/o Reddit


Alexander Mackenzie was the first man to cross Canada – arriving on 22nd July 1793 … his route has never been taken again … showing how difficult crossing the American continent would be … Lewis and Clark crossed the USA twelve years later …

 



Forested slope ready for clearing by hand 1800s
… but all continents over millennia have been altered by the need for wood … the trees must go to make way for ‘us’ … so we can build homes, ships, have fuel, and clear land for agriculture …




An old homestead area ... well off the beaten track
only accessible by water in the very early days


Belatedly British Columbia and Vancouver Island were occupied from the Great Lakes or south western USA … chasing gold, then the lumber industry began in earnest, supported by the arrival of the steamships … 



Size of British Columbia and Vancouver Island
compared to the present day UK and ...
c/o BCRobyn 


... and modern life took hold at the end of the 1800s … the railway only arriving on the west coast later at the end of that century …









Courtesy of  My Life Elsewhere

This post is to remind us all how mighty huge Canada is ... while also reflecting that British Columbia is pretty big too ... settling was luck ... 




... and as there are a few down-under readers ... I thought a map showing Australia over northern America - they've based it on where I happen to be at the moment - the Warm Lands on Vancouver Island.


… which leads us to Blessing Major MacFarlane … part 4



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

28 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

It is indeed huge - and I look forward to the next installment.

Lynda R Young said...

Those times back then must've been so difficult.

Hels said...

I travelled from Halifax to Victoria by train, car and ship, taking a long time. It is a VERY wide nation! Imagine doing it pre-trains.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Yes, travelling Canada reminded me very much of traversing the Wide Brown Land that is Australia; key difference? Those trees!!! I like that overlay map... YAM xx

Jz said...

I've often tried to imagine what this land looked like before we came in and chopped down all the trees... and then I wonder if imagination can ever get close to reality...

Out on the prairie said...

your provinces are huge, where most states can be crossed in a 4-6 hours. Those Rockies are more rugged and hard to find a path for many.I found from hiking them that the return could be perilous when deviating from the original trails

Jacqui Murray said...

I think crossing Canada would be much more difficult than Lewis and Clark's route. I didn't know about Mackenzie.

RO said...

It's fascinating to see the pictures and to hear about the past from other places. Thanks so much! RO

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crossing Canada would be far colder and more difficult than crossing lower in the USA.
The UK looks really small there...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – it is enormous and when one talks about driving 12 hours and you’re still in the same province – makes my toes curl!!

@ Lynda – gosh mustn’t they have been awful – the unknowing of it all …

@ Hels – that must have been one amazing trip … I know if I ever did it … I’d need at least six months … constant holidaying along the way – but so informative. Let alone doing it before trains … frightening though!

@ Yam – I’m sure the spaces in Australia are ginormous too – but dealing with the sun would be troubling. I’ve never been down under … but saw something of Africa … so would like to experience some of Australia …

@ Jz – I’m sure we have no idea what they endured … and their implements and tools were so basic … yet they cleared the land and started their settlements … allowing us only 100 years later to visit …

@ Steve – yes I gather the provinces are huge … one day I hope to get to see more. I’ve visited the Rockies – the easy way … not like you hiking in them … which must have been interesting. So often people get caught up in the mountains when the weather turns, or perhaps they’ve lost direction … perilous to say the least. Back then it must have been truly daunting …

@ Jacqui – I must have seen a tv programme at some stage – because he’s remained in my mind as someone quite extraordinary. He came up in my W for Watersheds post back in the A-Z …

@ RO – good to see you … and I’m pleased the images bring some of those days to life (or at least the opportunity to contemplate).

@ Alex – yes much much colder … and I’m sure much more difficult than crossing the USA back in the day. I know the UK does look tiny doesn’t it … ah well!!

Thanks for coming by and reading this short series … cheers Hilary

Liz A. said...

There's a reason it took so long for Europeans to get there. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Rhodesia said...

It almost reminds me of our drive in 1953 from Bath in the UK to Salisbury in Rhodesia 😃 Hope all is well Diane

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi Hilary,

Thanks for another interesting segment. How difficult travel was in those days and to fear the elements to boot. Very courageous and ambition men at that time.

Lisa said...

I love the maps! Gives such a good idea of the size of things, and the differences. How interesting that the route was so arduous and he did it anyway. Sounds like a challenge!

Susan Kane said...

You presented the trek across half the world in such a way that can be understood. Wow.

I, too, am looking forward to the next segment.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Add Alaska and the US is as big as Australia. I always thought it was bigger than that.

A Heron's View said...

You don't know this but I could drive for twelve hours in my province and never be on the same road. For in Ireland we have more small roads than any other country.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Liz - well people were starting to travel ... whether us (Europeans) being the first in these last three centuries - only time will tell in a thousand years I guess ... whether it was a good or bad thing - ok for us, not so good for others ...

@ Diane - good heavens above - really did you drive from the UK all the way down to Salisbury, Rhodesia - that was some mammoth journey back then ... sixty five years ago ... what an amazing trip that must have been - and here you are all these years later back in France ...

@ Michael - conditions weren't good at home ... but these journeys horrify me - I don't think I'd have ever done it ... reminds us though how lucky we are today ...

@ Lisa - thanks ... I've added in another map re Australia and the Americas ... they do make us all think a bit more. I think Mackenzie was finding his own way through ... just rough trails while following the compass and sun - I guess!

@ Susan - thanks so much ... I'm glad I brought it to life for you ... I simplify hugely, yet know that by adding in the extra historical bits the mind can explore further ...

@ Diane - yes ... it probably does in another type of map projection ... always difficult to really understand and see when they're flat packed maps: the sort I was brought up on - with Britain in the middle!

@ Mel - I didn't know ... how right you are - equally how interesting to find out that your province has that many lanes etc ... is it Galway - I'm thinking it might be. Yes tiny roads - I've been along a few ...

Thanks everyone - so glad you're enjoying this series ... cheers Hilary

Chatty Crone said...

I have to tell you Hilary when I saw that map and how big Canada was - my first thought was it's HUGE! I am surprised anyone got across it with all that cold.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Hilary, another great history lesson. Of course I'm intrigued by the superimposing of the map of Oz over North America. It's always amusing how many times France or Britain or Italy fits into Oz.

Hope all goes well. Still in Canada. I got that much!

Keith's Ramblings said...

It's easy to forget just how huge Canada is. People moan about long-distance travel today - imagine what that must have been like.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandie - I know ... it's much bigger than most of us know or perhaps even think. I'm amazed anyone wanted to cross the Atlantic, let alone cross the land ... huge admiration for their exploratory desires and endeavours ...

@ Denise - I just thought setting out a few comparisons makes it so much easier to understand. I can believe you in Australia take the mickey out of us for our size ... tiny countries relatively ... and yes I'm still here on the west coast.

@ Keith - I know travelling long distances especially in the car in our little land is just not easy ... and we do moan. I find it difficult to imagine what it would have been like ... this is why I'm finding writing these posts so interesting ...

Thanks so much to you three - lovely to see you here and to have your comments - cheers Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

We take for granted our ease of travel. I can't imagine what it was like to try and make their way cross-country without modern conveniences. This was interesting, as was the Butter Church post. I feel like I'm always learning something here.

Vallypee said...

It always amazes me how much people travelled when it was still such a challenge, and yes, that map shows indeed how huge Canada is! Like the last commenter, Lynda, I always feel I learn something from you, Hilary. Thank you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda - we are so lucky to live in these times and as you mention have conveniences that make our life relatively easy. Compared to those days ... I wouldn't survive, that much I know. The Butter Church history was informative as it linked to the early dairy industry ... and the need for survival once settled.

@ Val - it still amazes me how far people travel - even today ... but in those times when one only had the clothes on one's back and had to find shelter and food ... definitely not easy. The maps show us so much more than words can in these circumstances ...

Good to know you both feel you've learnt something from the post - and thanks for your comments - cheers Hilary

B Pradeep Nair said...

Fascinating tales. The extent of travels they did is amazing. Must have been so hard during those days. And, they discovered so many stuff in new lands. Looking forward to the next part.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pradeep - thanks for being here and I'm so glad the posts are making you think about those early challenges as man set out to find out what was on the other side of the land or ocean; it must have been so difficult - the unknown ... cheers and good to see you here - Hilary

DMS said...

Canada is so large. Definitely not an easy life for people exploring or trying to find a place to settle. Going into the world to places where you have no idea what you will find must have been scary. Brave people for sure!
~Jess