Wednesday, June 21, 2006

BC Road Trip - Pinnacles Provincial Park

June 10 - Our only pre-planned destination on this trip was Barkerville. We got to Barkerville after it had officially closed for the day. Barkerville has 165 original and restored buildings from the Great Cariboo Gold Rush Days and includes remnants from one of North America's oldest Chinese communities. The gates were still open and we were able to walk through the whole town. Since none of us were interested enough in the activities (gold panning, variety show, stage coach ride) offered to return for another full day, we decided to return to Quesnel. This opened up two extra travel days for our trip.

June 11 - M. found Pinnacles Provincial Park in a guide to Quesnel, and we went walking there on Sunday morning. I enjoyed the wildflowers.

As we hiked along, we looked for the hoodoos for which the park is named. Hoodoos are tall thin spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and badlands. They are composed of soft sedimentary and are topped by a piece of harder, less easily-eroded stone that protects the column from the elements. In common usage, the difference between hoodoos and pinnacles and spires is that hoodoos have a variable thickness often described as having a "totem pole-shaped body." We were surprised to find the hoodoos were below us.
Pinnacles Provincial Park protects a very unique formation of hoodoos. These hoodoos began their formation 12 million years ago, when molten lava flowing over the earth's surface cooled in flat basalt layers over older layers of ash and rock. The Ice Age followed, and when the ice mass receded, melt-water streams eroded the valley below Pinnacles Park. The hoodoos are formed from the effects of this natural erosion and weathering. The basalt is eroded away, revealing the more resistant ash layer, and often producing vivid bands of colour as individual basalt layers are removed.


Mary said...

Your photos make me want to return to BC.

Endment said...

Mary said it --- I want to go :)

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

What a great road trip. Love the pics.

robin andrea said...

Love those flowers and hoodoos. Looks like you are having quite a lovely journey.