A recent road trip in the USA showed that we Canadians could do more to celebrate "our" history. Early American pioneers, Lewis and Clark, are immortalized in many states and although their travels were remarkable, a British-Canadian explorer by the name of David Thompson is easily their equal.
Way back in the day, Thompson, lived in the area surrounding Fairmont Hot Springs. From here, he became the first European to travel the full-length of the Columbia River from it's headwaters to Astoria, Oregon. This was the finest achievement of a man who mapped over 3.9 million square kilometers of North America and who has been described as the "greatest land geographer who ever lived".
Locals around Fairmont Hot Springs are well aware of the man and his exploits, but apart from a monument in Wilmer, a high-school named in his honour, and an occasional celebration of the great river, there's not much else to be seen.
Wikipedia has loads of commentary, so click here to find out more about one of the Columbia Valley's most famous former residents.