Around 5:30 pm, we arrived at Lillooet. The motel “Mile 0” where we would stay overnight still had vacancy.
After motel check-in, we went to a Greek restaurant called “Dina’s Place” for dinner. I ordered spaghetti and toast instead of the real Greek cuisine. My Taiwanese roommate said it was crazily hot that we could hardly enjoy the meal. She was a visitor from Taiwan and was told that summer in Vancouver is not too hot, but somehow that particular long weekend (June 29 – July 1) had a record breaking hot weather. We were sitting inside the restaurant, probably it would be better if we could sit on the patio.
After one and a half hour, we returned to the motel and there was no more vacancy!
The motel room was quite large with 1 single bed and 2 queen beds for me and my roommate. Her queen bed was even in a separate room which allowed both of us some privacy. Since we stayed at a corner unit, we had a street view.
The bathroom was not bad except the quality of soap and shampoo were a bit below the standard. Now I think it is better to bring our own soap (or shower gel) and shampoo, which is also more environmental friendly. Otherwise the unused portion of motel soap or shampoo will be thrown away.
One thing I was a bit concerned about was bedbug. Fortunately the guest room was clean and no bedbug was found. Lillooet is supposed to be very quiet at night since there are not many residents around but I could hear people talking loudly until passed midnight.
Next day (June 30), everybody was gathered in front of the motel before 8:00 am. It was very refreshing and energetic to walk uphill in the early morning on a sunny day …
Why did we see cactus? Because Lillooet has a very dry climate with lots of sunshine. I’m not sure if I heard or remembered it correctly … there is not much rain in Lillooet as precipitation becomes less once we pass Whistler. Due to the fact that Whistler Mountain (6000 feet above sea level?) blocks the precipitation from the sea to the inland.
See how beautiful the morning was under the sunlight. At that moment, I had a wish … will someone sit with me on the bench, hold my hand gently and say “I will always be with you”?
Here is the view that could be seen from the bench
Finally I reached the top of the hill
Miyazaki Heritage House, often called the most beautiful home in Lillooet , reflects the architecture of the 1890's era when it was built.
It was originally named Longford House, built for merchant and civil servant Caspar Phair and his family. It was designed in the same style as Phair's wife’s ancestral home, Eyrecourt Castle in Ireland.
Why did it become Miyazaki House?
During WWII, Japanese and Canadians of Japanese ancestry were relocated to BC interior. Along with 250 other Canadian Japanese, Dr. Masajiro Miyazaki was sent to Bridge River (now South Shalalth). In 1944 when the Lillooet’s only doctor died, Artie Phair (son of Caspar Phair ) requested B.C. Security Commission to allow Dr. Miyazaki to take the position in Lillooet. The request was accepted and Phair who was living at Longford House by himself, invited Dr. Miyazaki and his family to move into the ground floor of the house and set up an office.
After WWII, Dr. Miyazaki and some other Japanese families chose to stay in Lillooet. In 1947, Dr. Miyazaki became the legal owner of Longford House when Phair moved out.
We just went to the backyard, walked around outside of the house and discovered poppies 罌粟花.
See … Lillooet is surrounded by mountains
Passed by Dina’s Place again … if I had a chance, I would like to have another meal on its lovely patio.
No surprise to see Chinese displays in Lillooet Museum since Chinese came to Lillooet for Gold Rush (淘金潮) in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
There are still some Chinese rock piles found in Lillooet. During Gold Rush, Chinese washed the sand and gravel from the rocks to prospect for gold, they neatly piled the washed rocks in rows up to 12 feet high.
Still not to forget that First Nations 原住民 were the first groups to live on this land. There is always a rumour that they were from Mongolia more than 10,000 years ago when a land bridge was formed during ice ages to connect Siberia and Alaska. I’m not sure if Lillooet = Lil’wat? But for sure there is the Lil’wat Nation within the St'at'imc group and they are considered the Interior Salish people. Their language is called Ucwalmícwts.
The basement of Lillooet Museum is full of Margaret Ma Murray collections. Maybe she was a very famous newspaper editor and publisher.