ADVENTURE TOURISM 1938: THE MONKMAN PASS

The Monkman Pass Highway project is an amazing story: a do-it-yourself project, through virgin territory, from Northern Alberta to British Columbia. No government was interested in supporting this effort in opening up "The Peace" to Canada's western ports. So, with grit, hard work, money raised at community dances, volunteer labour, and men who worked for food, this road was pushed through the Pass. They even built a log bridge over the Kinuseo River! In the end, this courageous endeavour came to nothing: in 1939, the war came upon Canada, and most of the labour left to join the armed forces. The Monkman Pass now offers a wilderness adventure experience for today's pack packers. Very little remains of the road of 1938.

Margaret Campbell's experience as a tourist is much like today's 'adventure tourism' in the Third World. This was the Depression; the Peace River country was in large part an isolated pioneer community. Rudolf Jacobs was just 'starting out' as a tour operator. Anyway, this is what Margaret Campbell had to say about her week on the Monkman Pass:

Mrs. Chard, Aileen, Bert, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Smith leave with Rudolf Jacobs for Monkman Pass. Stay from Monday until Saturday.

Monday: To Stony Lake. A rather cold day with showers. Rode in the back of Rudolf's big truck. Stayed in a cabin at Stony. Played bridge. Poured rain all night and cabin leaked.

Tuesday: to Kinuseo River. Truck got mired in mud twice. Walked two miles to Kinuseo River and made supper. Went to camp, two miles beyond in truck. Slept in tent.

Wednesday: Up early to go to Murray Falls. Walked six miles over pack tril to camp. Had dinner there. Over "Tarzan's Boulevard" to Falls. Home around nine o'clock.

Thursday: To Stony Lake. Fished and to bed.

Friday: Car broke down on Liberty Heights. Camped at Little Prairie with ex-convict. Slept in the truck.

Saturday: Aileen and I walked almost to Fio Grande - 20 mi. The rest came by truck. Others were very worried about us. We went off the trail for supper.

Home at 8:30 pm. Packed. Went to Grand Prairie with Chards and then to Sexsmith with Sumners.