BC Road Trip Time Machine: BC Highway 3A, Nelson to Balfour

Living the dreamThe Kootenays. No tour of BC would be complete without a visit to this special corner of the province, especially a Road Trip Time Machine tour. So, get in, strap on your seat belt and take a trip back in time as we drive Highway 3A from Nelson to Balfour circa 1966.

Spoiler alert: You won’t see the elusive Sasquatch but you will travel over the Nelson Bridge, better known as the Big Orange Bridge (or BOB to those in the know.) Our vintage footage confirms that BOB wasn’t always orange, but rather began its life a modest grey colour. We like BOB better in orange, don’t you?

We recorded these nostalgic videos (or photologs) from 16mm film footage taken in 1966. The original photologs were collected by rigging a camera onto the dash of a car that took still images every 80 feet or so and then running them all together as a single film. As far as we know, the “Highways Department” (as it was then known) was the first organization in Canada to collect information this way in order to create a visual record of road condition information from across the province, thereby allowing our engineers to study a stretch of road without having to travel there. Pretty cool stuff, huh?

Where have we been so far in the time machine?

So far, we have travelled over the Malahat, along Highway 1 (and over the original Port Mann Bridge), along Highway 97 between Osoyoos and Vernon and again between Prince George and Ft. St. John. Most recently in our time machine travels we drove Highway 99 between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish.

What did you see?

Did you notice something in this video that is long gone or something that has been there for, like, ever? We loved catching glimpses of kids along the highway, riding their bikes, play fighting – just being kids in 1966. See all of our favourite still images taken from this and other reels in our Flickr set. Let us know what you see (or don’t see) in the comments below and stay tuned for more episodes as we work our way through the rest of the 1966 photolog footage.

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