Evenings in Trail, BC, Canada
Evenings in Trail, BC, Canada

Evenings in Trail, BC, Canada

Continuing from my previous trip to Nelson, BC, within a few days I found myself once again in the Kootenays, this time in the city of Trail, BC. 

Trail is a curious name for a city and lot of people who hear it for the first time get confused. It is actually named after the Dewdney Trail which passed through the town. Apart from the curious name, Trail has a very interesting history. It is the site of the World’s largest Zinc and Lead smelter in the world! The existing plant has its origins in 1896 when the a person names Fritz Augustus Heinze opened the British Columbia Smelting and Refining Company smelter here. It kept on expanding and went through multiple ownerships including Canadian Pacific Railway(CPR) at one point. Nowadays the company is owned by Teck Resources. Most interesting of all, this plant had a part to play in the Manhattan Project. There used to be a heavy water plant here which supplied heavy water to the Manhattan Project’s P-9 project. 

I was going to spend 3 days and 2 nights here in the city. Since I would be working in the day time I had 2 evenings to explore the place. On the first day I simply went on an exploratory stroll through the streets with no set target. Much of the city scape is dominated by the smelter. It is visible from all directions. In many ways it reminded me of the town of my first job back in India. Raigarh, in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh too is dominated by the presence of a steel company. Trail is similar. I was in this city before during a field trip during my Master’s program from UBC. I went to some of the places we visited last time including to the banks of the River Columbia. Trail’s downtown is set on a plain but much of the residential area is set in the a hilly terrain. To avoid the long winding roads Trail has these series of stairs all over the place. Made the walks all the more fun. 

The next evening, I had two goals. One was to visit the Museum I saw the day before. So immediately after the day’s work I made my way to the Museum. This was a combined visitor center and museum. The museum was spread over two floors. The bottom floor was mostly about the sports team of Trail. Having not much interest in sports I just walked briskly through the exhibits just casually taking a look. On the second floor, the display was arranged very systematically detailing the history of the place right from the indigenous people here then through the settlement and to the present. There were lots of cool exhibits like an underwater suit that divers wore while exploring the Columbia river and there were posters from the world war era, detailing what to do in case of an air attack. I spent a couple of hours here taking a good look here. My second goal was to get a good shot of the city with the plant in the background. I was trying to get to higher ground to get that shot and for this I had to use many of the stairs that I mentioned before. This was super fun. I always like to go to the ‘normal’ area of any new place I visit to get a feel for the place. Finally after getting some nice pics I made my way back to my Hotel room. The next day after work we departed from Trail and thus ended a nice short trip. 

The Museum 

The Stairs


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