Way back in the 18th century long, long before Vernon and Coldstream had been discovered by Europeans, a prominent Englishman (Horace Walpole, I think) had a terrifying journey through the Alps on his way to Italy. “I made the coachman to pull down the blinds so that I would not be obliged to witness the horrid spectacles” were I believe, his words. Scenery was not in vogue in those days and as for wildlife, it was the duty of every true and manly Englishman to kill it on sight.
Well might Walpole have been a present day cottage holder at Cosens Bay, obliged to drive daily through the hazards of Kal Lake Provincial Park.
But I do not give up hope. I propose a simple solution which would end the plight of these unfortunate cottage dwellers; a four-lane super-highway, with overpasses for mammals and underpasses for rattle snakes and perhaps the occasional turtle. High opaque fences would bound the highway protecting drivers from getting so much as a glimpse of the “horrid spectacles” beyond and any interaction with wildlife. The highway would run south from the northern end of Swan Lake through the BX and Coldstream, and on through Cougar Canyon to Oyama. Vernon would be completely bypassed and the long and vexed problem of Vernon’s traffic congestion solved.
The presence of the cabin holders in the path of the proposed highway could be a minor obstacle.
However a toll booth might be placed at the site of the original park gate. With the revenue generated from the tolls the costs of expropriation might be defrayed and the cost to the B.C. taxpayer minimized.
I would suggest that the new highway, if built, be named after one or others of the more vociferous proponents of a wide access road to Cosens Bay, or simply the “Rattlesnake Expressway.”
Ridiculous? Not necessarily. I am in fact strongly opposed to using taxpayers’ money for the apparent purpose of converting a few cottages into an elite and exclusive suburb protected by a buffer zone of reduced and degraded park land.
But then I don’t own a cottage at Cosens Bay, nor do I know the degree of unanimity among cottage holders there.
My wife and I have actually enjoyed the park, picking our way cautiously between the rattlesnakes, World War II unexploded mortar bombs, and the menacing cougars and gophers.
Thus we may be a little biased. For this reason I have proposed an alternative solution with perhaps a more positive potential for job creation and improved real estate values.
Cottagers would have quick and easy access to Oyama, the new industrial hub of the Okanagan.
James A. Seaton