Back on Track

To all my friends and followers I am sending out my apologies for resuming later than promised my blogging activities. As I am relaxing in the sunshine of a glorious late summer day at our favourite Taite Creek campground on our beautiful Arrow Lake, I am typing up the major themes of the Klopp Family blog for the coming fall and winter.

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Keeping Company with Blue Herons

Before I delve into that I wish to express my sincere regret front having had the time to read and appreciate our posts during the last couple of weeks. The summer months – normally already very busy with travels, visiting family and friends, and activities away from the computer – turned out to be extremely strenuous and stressful this summer, although the events also brought a lot of joy into our hearts. After our family reunion on Galiano Island, our son Richard, our grandson Mateo, and the two granddaughters Azure and Emeline spent their vacation with us in July and August. Unfortunately, this was also the time of preparation for the removal of our old house to be replaced by a new modular home, which our son Michael ordered for us to be built on the site of the demolished house.

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Early Morning Magic at Taite Creek Campground – Photo Credit: Gertrud Klopp

So you know now why I am writing this introductory post at the campsite. For my wife and I are practically homeless for the next couple of weeks and have to make do in our small travel trailer.

For the fall and winter season, I will focus on the following themes:

The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story (continued)

Revamping and Improving the Family Trees

Fauquier – Nature’s Beauty in the West Kootenays (continued)

Fauquier – Its History (continued)

Aunt Anna – Baroness of Von Waldenfels

Local Enterprises and Cottage Industries

Contributions by Family Members in German

Family Review of Summer 2016

Without home access to the Internet I will publish at the beginning just one or two posts per week. I am looking forward to read again all your posts and am really excited to find out what is going on in your part of the world.

A Photo Essay on Fauquier BC Canada

Awaking of Nature in and around Fauquier

Photos by Peter Klopp

To see more pictures click on the Fauquier page in the menu above.
Wooden sentinel keeping a watchful eye the Arrow Lake
Wooden sentinel keeping a watchful eye over the Arrow Lake
Oregon grapes blooming high above the lake
Oregon grapes blooming high above the lake
Juniper berries in their second year of development
Juniper berries in their second year of development
Remnant of a Distant Past - an old logging ramp
Remnant of a Distant Past – an old logging ramp
A driftwood choir singing 'Ode to Joy'
A driftwood choir singing ‘Ode to Joy’
Catkins ready to pollinate the tiny red flowers of a hazelnut tree
Catkins ready to pollinate the tiny red flowers of the hazelnut tree
Tiny, yet so beautiful - thousands of these violets blooming on our yard
Tiny, yet so beautiful – thousands of these violets blooming in our yard
Birds announcing the arrival of spring on every tree
Birds cheerfully announcing the arrival of spring on every tree
Crocuses receiving their first spring guest in their floral abode
A crocus receiving its first spring guest in its floral abode

 

Hiking in the Spring – Part II

Adventure into the Backcountry

The ‘Pin Creek Trail’ is actually a logging road. But logging trucks rarely use it at the present time. It is is quite a pleasant way to explore the back country of Applegrove south of Fauquier. To get there, you start at the Arrow Motel in Fauquier and travel 7.6 km south on the Applegrove Road. I recommend you park your vehicle at the fork and start your hike from there. There is a sign warning you about road safety and it advises to use extreme caution. Any car with a low clearance will have trouble crossing the water bars.

Start of Pin Creek Road with Warning Sign
Start of Pin Creek Road with Warning Sign

The hike will take quite a bit longer than going on the Taite Creek loop as described in Part I. The destination is a 70-year-old cabin that used to house the loggers of long ago (see earlier post on Like-minded People of Applegrove Road). During my teaching years at the Fauquier Elementary School I would take my intermediate students up there for a history lesson in logging and mining in our area. To keep them occupied with a meaningful task on their way up, I asked them to collect leaves, cones and bark pieces for later identification of larch, western hemlock, cedar, pine, fir, spruce and birch trees. The distance is about 2.5 km one way and is quite steep in some places. The closer you get to the cabin, the more the road will level off. Then Pin Creek, a tributary of Taite Creek, will soon announce its presence through its waters tumbling down in the ravine to the right.

Deer Posing for a Portrait
Deer Posing for a Portrait

At approximately 2 km up the mountain side, a smaller road branches off to the right and leads you directly to the creek. But don’t get sidetracked, continue on the main road and enjoy the break from the strenuous climb in the lush green of the dense forest all around you. Once you are at the cabin, it is time to have a snack and something to drink, before you do some exploring around the cabin.

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Beauty wherever you go on Pin Creek Road

 

My students went inside to satisfy their curiosity. In its state of utter dilapidation, much of the roof has succumbed to decades of rot and decay. But the walls are still standing. If you are lucky to find any of the bits and pieces of newspaper wedged in between the walls for insulation, you might get to read the latest news from 1946.

Cabin where Loggers once Slept away from Home
Cabin where Loggers once Slept away from Home

If you really want to enjoy your hike, plan on a minimum of altogether two hours of hiking to the cabin and back to your vehicle plus half an hour at the cabin. There are also a few places, where you can climb down to the creek and listen to the calming sound of rushing waters.

A Log across the Creek creating a tiny Water Fall
A Log across the Creek creating a tiny Water Fall

Some other time you may wish to add three expansions to the itinerary, for which you should plan at least half a day to fully enjoy it. Forestry people told me that the side road, which I mentioned earlier in this post, takes you over a bridge to a number of cut blocks at a much higher elevation. Once there you will enjoy fantastic views into the valley below and the mountains on the Edgewood side across the Arrow Lake. You could also continue on the Pin Creek road, which will take you to Heart Creek. It provides the drinking water for Fauquier below. There used to be a bridge. In the spring of 1985, the creek swollen by heavy rains and melt water completely destroyed the bridge.

Serene Atmosphere at Pin Creek
Serene Atmosphere at Pin Creek

But the most exciting experience requiring an adventurous spirit and quite a bit of courage on your part would be a visit to the nearby abandoned silver mine from about a hundred years ago. For this adventure you need to bring along a flashlight and a pair of gum boots. At the cabin across the road on the left you will find a partially overgrown trail that is quite steep. Make sure to stay on the trail until you come to a path to the left that leads you to the entrance of the mine shaft. You would be well advised to have someone come with you. How the early miners managed to dig a hole so deep into a mountain with only the simplest of tools is quite amazing.

View from the Look-out onto the Arrow Lake
View from the Look-out onto the Arrow Lake

When you drive home, don’t forget to stop at one of the look-outs about half a km from where you parked your vehicle. There on the left you will get a fantastic view of the Arrow Lake. Ah, before I forget, take your camera with you to capture all these memorable moments.

 

 

 

Like-minded People of Applegrove Road – Conclusion

A BRIEF HISTORY OF APPLEGROVE ROAD

By late Bill Laux

In 1969 Elsje De Boer and her husband from Calgary bought the old Aspinall place at the Fauquier end of Applegrove Road. Starting in 1976 they used it for summer outings. The following year Elsje had Bill Jeffries build a sleeping cabin on the place. In 1987 her son built her a permanent house and after Jim Huth and Bill Laux completed the interior finishing, she moved in.

The Arrow Lake that attracted Like-Minded People on Applegrove Road
The Arrow Lake that attracted Like-Minded People on Applegrove Road

In 1979 Robin and Dorothy Huth, from Calgary, with the Madills and Stevensons were able to buy lakefront lot 8099 from Weinberg, a Portland, Oregon real estate speculator. This man had for years had an agent in Victoria instructed to put a $50 bid on every piece of waterfront property in British Columbia that came up for Tax Sale. By the time of the dam construction in 1967 it turned out that he owned between 100 and 200 properties on Arrow Lake. Robin Huth and his son, Jim, were able to put in a steep, many switch backed road to access it from Applegrove Road. In 1980 Jim and Rae Ann Huth built a lakefront cabin at the foot of this road and moved in. Jim began building his parents a house nearby. The Madills, rejecting the difficulties of the access road, bought in Fauquier instead. The Stevensons went to New Zealand.

Eric Arnold, a millwright from Squamish, bought lakeshore lot 8098, probably from Weinberg, about this time and built a small house on float logs, which he moored at the lakeshore. Unfortunately, a storm the next year wrecked the unprotected structure. His wife was not comfortable in so isolated a location, so the Arnolds left.

Jim and Rae Ann Huth left about 1990 for Vancouver Island and Robin and Dorothy lived in happy near-seclusion in their lakeshore home until medical problems required a move to Salmon Arm. They sold it as a retirement property to a German couple, Sabine and Karl-Heinz Mocikat, about 2000. Jim and Rae Ann’s cabin was rebuilt to a house by Bob and Monique Gellatly, an Ontario couple, who lived there for a few years, while he worked locally as a plumber. It was later bought as a summer place by Borowski, an engineer from Calgary, who is building a second house on it,

The first telephone line came up Applegrove Road in 1979 and BC

Hydro followed when the Burmeisters from Germany bought the Bruner place from Peter Makar’s wife in 1990. They had the lovely “cedar tunnel,” a true scenic treasure, felled on the lower part of the Applegrove Road and hydro poles run into their place. The Burmeisters set up resort accommodations down on the lake and operate as Kokanee Bay Resort and Farm.

In 1994 the Hydro lines were extended up Applegrove Road to Glasheens, Nila Campbell an4 Eichenauers. Jimmi Mead stuck with her solar power as she still does.

Lillian Liberty bought part of the old Sherwood property next to Lee Helle in 1989 and had a house built with a magnificent view of the lake below and Edgewood opposite. Like many earlier Applegrove residents she depends on solar and water power for electricity.

View from Taite Creek South to Helle's Lakeshore Propery
View from Taite Creek South to Helle’s Lakeshore Propery

In 1994 the Highways Department was still insisting on calling and signing Applegrove Road as “Fauquier Upper Road,” a vague and meaningless name. Bill Laux, having got agreement from all the landholders along the road, petitioned Highways for a change of name, as the Applegrove Site was still Iisted on B.C. Government maps. On November 23,1994, Highways conceded, and “Fauquier Upper Road” became officially “Applegrove Road” and was so signed.

Hydro power was extended from Burmeisters to Bumpus and Laux in 1996 and the days of kerosene lamps, carrying messages to town by horseback and noisy diesel generators were now over for them.

A new couple, Marney and Zane Kushniryk bought Nila Campell’s “Retreat Centre” in 1999 and moved in the next year to build two unique and secluded rental cabins as a source of income.

Ken and Denise Douglas arrived about the same time, buying one of the Haugland lots above Elsje De Boer’s.

Canadians, Americans, Germans, Dutch, there is still a strong and unique degree of like-mindedness among most of the residents of Applegrove Road. For nearly a hundred years the dusty road to Taite Creek and beyond has supported a succession of groups of homesteaders, communitarians and others eager to invent their own ways of living. They value the area for what it is, an unspoiled and undeveloped area of mountain slope and lakefront, whose residents still grow much of their food and live as their convictions have told them they must.

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