Big Dam Country

02 Aug

Hudson’s Hope describes themselves as the Land of Dinosaurs and Dams.

It says so right on the sign.

They say this because they found a whole bunch of dinosaur footprints in the area. Then they went ahead and built a couple of dams flooding all of the dinosaur footprints they discovered and called the newly created waterway Dinosaur Lake.  They even have a dinosaur named after the town…the Hudsonelpidia.  It was the first of its kind to be found and was discovered in the 1960s.

In 1967, the WAC Bennett dam was built.

It’s a dirt filled dam, there is no concrete used to keep this dam together and it’s freaking huge!  They give you tours that take you into the dam and 500ft. Underground.  It was pretty interesting.  They make you wear hard hats and bright orange vests. This dam creates enough hydro to support 1/3 of the entire province of British Columbia’s electricity needs.  It generates A LOT of power.

In the 1980s, another dam was built on the Peace River.  This one is called the Peace Canyon dam.

It didn’t have any fun underground tours.  But the visitor’s centre does tell you all about the dinosaur footprints found in the area.

Hudson’s Hope is a cute little town, with a cute little museum. In the cute (not so) little middle of nowhere.

The museum is in what used to be the Hudson’s Bay trading post, back in the day.  It is tiny!  Sadly, my museum training kicked in and I went through the museum thinking, these exhibits need to be redone, why is that there, that doesn’t need to be there, oh dear.  But like a lot of small museums, they just don’t have the funding to make a lot of changes, nor the people to know how and what changes that need to be made.

They have some interesting outbuildings to look at as well.

And a raft.  It was used to traverse the Peace River.

Which looks like a terrifying way to travel, I must say.  Also the Peace River, today, is a lot calmer than it was before the dams were built.  Could you imagine riding this thing, loaded with supplies down a racing, twisting river…umm…no, don’t want to travel like that!

The best thing about the Hudson’s Hope museum though, was the view behind it.

Just a point of information, if the Site C project goes through, the level of the Peace River would rise substantially and this view wouldn’t exist anymore because the water would come right up almost to the top.

And there you have it.  Hudson’s Hope.  The land of dinosaurs and dams.

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


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