Penticton, 11 September 1893

Awakened and looking out of the window of our compartment we saw that the countryside had taken on a different character: our eye was no longer looking upon giant mountains and glaciers but glanced over rolling low mountain ranges, long-winded densely wooded ridges above valleys in which wood lots alternated with cultivated areas and numerous farms demonstrated a certain level of wealth in this region. Various lakes enlivened the view all the more by the presence of game, namely geese, ducks and grebes. If one may call the Rocky Mountains as romantic wild then this landscape deserves the commendable epithet „delightful“.

Unfortunately we could not enjoy this sight for long. Soon the forest grew more sparsely and dry yellow grass covered the bare looking slopes. We still continued to drive past many lakes but missed the fresh green that we had earlier found so congenial.

In Sicamous we switched onto the tracks of the only recently opened branch line of Sicamous to Vernon. The latter final station is situated at Lake Okinagan that extends similar to a river for 121 km in a Southern direction across the land. At Priests‘ Landing we changed from the carriages to the wild stern wheeler „Aberdeen“. Our cabins were on its upper level. The vehicle is also owned by the Canadian Pacific railway and it achieves a speed of 12 knots if it is only burning wood.

„Aberdeen“ started moving, its mighty wheel stirred the water masses and we steered out onto the lake that was smooth as glass. The day was gorgeous. The sun was shining upon us and provided pleasant warmth. The especially clear air allowed us to distinguish every detail on both shores of the not very broad lake. The surrounding low mountain range was only sparsely wooded, partly in large areas that are said to be in a luxurious green in spring but now were covered with yellow grass. Numerous herds were grazing on the slopes. I could unfortunately not enjoy much of the beautiful journey. I was feeling unwell due to a severe cold and thus had to lie down in my cabin during most of the journey. Only from time to time I managed to catch a glance of the surrounding area through a small window.

The journey took six hours to Penticton at the Southern end of the lake. There soon would be constructed a railway connection to the North Pacific railway of the United States but in the mean time there is only demarked the space of the future station and a wooden hotel is under construction. With respect to the projected railway construction and the predicted rapid growth of the future „town“ of Penticton the Canadian Pacific railway company already offers now a daily connection by steamboat albeit at a loss only in order to uphold the first mover right of shipping on Lake Okinagan and pre-empt any potential competitors. At the moment only rarely does a passenger use the line, most often a hunter or squatter. On our journey too we had only two fellow passengers. The American entrepreneurial spirit does not shy away from spending important sums if profits can be expected in the future.

Until late in the evening everything for our planned hunting expedition to the Gold Range was discussed, determined and prepared.

Links

  • Location: Penticton, Canada
  • ANNO – on 11.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Empress Elisabeth is currently staying incognito as „Countess Hohenems“ in Venice’s Hotel Europa while her husband the Emperor is visiting Hungary.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed for summer until 15 September. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Die goldene Märchenwelt“.

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