Well, we started the home trip this morning. Our starting mileage was 105,714.2, and we ended with 106,420.0. Total for the day was 705.8 km.
We woke early and started packing for the final trip. Then we got a visit from everyone but the wedding party, and took a quick run to Ernie and Dora’s to drop everyone off so Ernie could show us where the free RV dump was at the Sexsmith Heritage Park. It’s a nice place and seems to have a nice campground there, although we didn’t really have much time to look around. Then, it was off to La Glace, cheating back around Grande Prairie using Highway 59 again. I got gas there, and it was the cheapest I bought on the trip, $1.24 9/10 a liter.
We started driving along, and had a nice drive. The highway was in great shape between Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson. I originally thought we might stay there, but felt like moving on to try this supposedly nice place at Tetsa River, about 115 km past Fort Nelson.
That was quite an eye opener. We ran into construction 35 km past Fort Nelson, and had to wait 30 minutes for a pilot car to run us through. The sign said there would be construction for 1 km, but it turned out to be more than 8 km. We ran into two other areas on either side of Steamboat Hill. The first wasn’t too bad, but the second was rather poor. The speed zone for the construction was 30 km/hr, but don’t try going that fast.
We came into the campground, with a flashing sign on the highway saying “Open.” The office wasn’t, although there was someone inside. I knocked and no one answered. I drove around looking for an open site, and just deal with it in the morning. When I was looking, another camper came over and told me the owner won’t talk to customers after he decides to close up. He doesn’t know what time that is, but we arrived about 7:15 PM. Also, he told me that the power is shut off at 10 PM, since all he has is a diesel generator and it is rather noisy. That’s OK, since our site has no services at all. Apparently very few are serviced, and the electrical power is only 15 amp, not the advertised 30 amp. Also, there is free Wi-Fi advertised, but no Wi-Fi transmitter in the campground. If there was anywhere else to stay, I would have moved on. Unfortunately, that would involve driving through Stone Mountain Park in the dusk, but there’s way too many large animals on the road at that time of night for my liking…
Our drive to Grande Prairie from Prince George was quite nice, although it was hot. I basically started the truck in the morning, put it in gear, and turned on the air conditioning. Shawna and Hanna arrived about 9:30 PM the night before, so we formed our own little convoy to head bravely east.
We stopped for a bit in Chetwynd for a bit of a break. Oddly enough, I met a guy there while waiting for Shawna to get gas whose children are in Whitehorse. Yes, the world can be reasonably small.
Our next stop was Dawson Creek. We ate there, and it was also still quite smoky.
Once we headed into Alberta, I cheated and took Highway 59 to bypass going through Grande Prairie to get to Clairmont. This was good, because I didn’t have the address where we would be staying. I meant I had to stop and meet Ernie at the car wash. Suffice to say, the camper needed a good scruffing.
We arrived at about 6 PM. I find there’s a huge gas mileage difference if I stick to 100 kph, and I’m quite happy with that speed. I really didn’t get time to take many pictures on the road. We stopped at two rest stops, both situated for convenience in the distance they were apart.
We took a little time to get settled the next few days. I met Devon and Charlie’s neighbours and had a few beers at their place last night. A few more than I needed, but that happens.
Today has been dedicated to decorating, which I’ll willingly concede is not my strong point. We did, however, construct a balloon arch, with me, Katrina, Ryan and Shawna tying balloons until there’s far less skin on my fingers. The finished product is quite nice, mind you.
I’ll post some pictures, but trying to do this tethered to my cell is not working well. At least, if I keep notes, I can show them after I get back to Whitehorse and have a reasonable internet connection again.
This morning did start with a small chore after I had my tea. I had to turn the motorhome around and back in. Apparently, the bylaw department does not allow you to park a motorhome driven into the driveway. It must be backed in. The alternative option is a $500 fine, so turning it around, not a huge chore, is far easier than the alternative…
Posting has been a little difficult. The wi-fi has been spotty and I seem to be constantly disconnected. Posting the other day took two days to get the post up.
This is our third day in Prince George. We got in the other day and were too tired to do anything. Last night, though, I went to dinner with Mike and Ashleigh and Katie. We went to Kelly O’Brien’s. Since both Mike and Ashleigh work there, it seems like a good enough recommendation. Actually, I’ve eaten there before and it’s nice. It’s more a pub than a restaurant, but the food is good.
Now, we are waiting for Shawna and Hanna to join us. The original plan was to meet them at a slightly easier place to find than the RV park. I thought the Walmart parking lot would be a good choice, since there is overnight camping allowed there. Just park with your camper facing the front of the store and park on the right side of the parking lot.
We have made a slight change. We are staying at the park here. Having a place to plug in is a necessity, since the air conditioner requires it. Clara doesn’t like the noise of the fan, but there don’t seem to be too many complaints.
I guess I’ve been a northerner who hasn’t left the north in too long. Actually, I haven’t been south in more than two years. High 20s is my idea of hot, and this has been hotter than that. The last few days have been 32° for a high, but this is more than I like and it’s not 4 PM. The temperature here seems to climb until 6 or so. I don’t want to know where this ends. Plus, the bottom number is the inside temperature, with the AC running. It eventually made it to 36.
I did catch a cab to Canadian Tire today, to see if I could get a bug screen for the camper. It would have to be ordered, so that didn’t help. Maybe I’ll get one in Grande Prairie. I walked across the lot to Walmart, though and did pick up a few groceries. No, I did not forget the bacon this time…
Our starting mileage, 104,701.9. We arrived at Prince George at 6 PM, mileage 105,165.4. Our trip was 463.5 km.
We left Brian’s and Pat’s, but not Brian and Pat. We went into New Hazelton for a few things, including visiting the Farmers` Market and dumping the RV tanks. The town has one RV dump at the information centre, but it`s free use. I would rather not carry the extra weight down the road and for some reason, don`t like thinking in terms of having a wonderful vehicle that`s used to transport raw sewage.
The drive was uneventful. I did stop to get a few pictures at the Bulkley River look off. The actual location was Hagwilet, a former Carrier village.
We did stop at the SafeWay in Smithers to pick up some groceries. I went for a few staples, but managed to forget bacon. How do you do that?
The drive was nice, although there were lots of hills, but nothing serious. We did arrive at the campground, the Blue Cedars RV Park in Prince George. It was hot, and Clara hates the noise the air conditioner makes so be prepared to cook.
I called the kids to try and set up dinner tomorrow evening. When the sun and the temperature drop a bit, I’ll wander off to get a shower and cool off that way. Meanwhile, since cooking makes me think I’ll die with the heat, 28°, I think I’ll just do a sandwich and salad and enjoy the drink of rum in front of me…
I suppose these days don’t really count as a road trip. We’re in the Kispiox River Valley, about 17 miles north of Hazelton, BC. For the devoutly nerdy among you, 55° 27.17′ N, 127° 43.51′ W,
We’ve been staying with friends, having a wonderful and restful time. Clara has had a bit of a headache and I’m fighting off a cold. I had the additional joy the other night of breaking off a bit of tooth.
This is where the Kispiox, Skeena, and Bulkley Rivers meet and the junction of three valleys. It’s a rather pretty place, with mountains and rivers, and lots of history. There are two Gitxsan villages in the area and a vibrant Gitxsan development corporation. There is also a home where Emily Carr stayed for a while.
On a side note, in 1918, Carr tried to pay her rent one month by offering her landlady a painting instead. The landlady refused.
We are still here until tomorrow, when we head a bit further down the road to Prince George. I’m hoping we get a chance to take my nephew and neices out for dinner. Unfortunately, my brother and sister-in-law are out of town, but sometimes, my timing tends to suck and that’s that.
P.S. One of Brian and Pat’s cats, supposedly a bit shy, has the idea of relaxing before the next stage of the road trip well in hand…
Our starting mileage from the gas station at Dease Lake was 104135.8. I got $80 of gas at Dease, where it was $1.63/l. I gassed up again at Hazelton, where the price was a bit better, $136.9/l. We used 48.8 l to get to Dease Lake from Junction 37 and 136.6 l to get to Hazelton. Our mileage for the day yesterday was 566.1 km.
The highway from Dease Lake to the Junction with the Yellowhead Highway was considerably better. There was a centreline and fewer frost heaves and pot holes. There was still plenty of scenery, which the Cassiar does have in spades. If you were taking your time, and not travelling between destinations, you could get a lot of great pictures.
It was raining in Dease, quite hard at times overnight. It did rain a few times as we went down the road and at one point, we did have heavy rain on the drive.
The area around Gnat Pass Summit was quite nice and that’s where we say the first bear of the trip. It was a big boar, solitary so you can guess the gender, and one of the biggest black bears I’ve seen. This guy tipped the scale at probably 400 pounds and was right by the highway. We went about half an hour down the road and saw a juvenile on the highway edge, answering the age old question about what bears may or may not do in the woods. About 200 m from there, we met a cyclist heading in that direction, so I waved him down and pointed out the bear. He figured he’s wait a bit before carrying on for some reason…
About an hour later, we saw a sow and two cubs. She was tiny, probably only about 125 pounds. All three watched us pass them on the road.
We stopped for a snack at Bell II crossing. The lodge is quite nice and the prices, particularly for refilling my coffee thermos were pretty decent. Then, it was back on the road again.
We eventually got to Brian and Pat’s place in the Kispiox River valley about 7:30 or so. They have a really nice place, although I do understand why they’re widening their driveway at the moment. We had a wonderful dinner, roast beast smoked and cooked on the BBQ with fresh veggies. After a bit of a visit, we settled down for the night and slept the sleep of the just.
After packing the camper over several days, we finally left this morning. We were slightly delayed getting out of Whitehorse, owing largely to me forgetting to register the vehicles and having to wait until Monday morning to do that.
Our starting mileage was 103462.1 km. I got gas at Junction 37 Services (108.61l/437.9 km, or 4.03 km/l). It’s not as good as we got on our first trip to Faro, but not as bad as last time. I suspect our mileage is largely dependent on who fills the tank and how much gas actually gets put in it.
The Alaska Highway is in really good shape. There was only one minor construction area between Whitehorse and the junction with Highway 37 and you missed it in a hurry. However, the first 85 km of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway were terrible. There were lots of frost heaves and this was the most winding part of the road. The speed limit is 80 km/hr., but there is no way you can actually drive that fast. After Km 85, it did get much better until about 25 km before Dease Lake.
The first stretch was so bumpy some of the plates actually fell, opening the cupboard door and exploded on the floor. Some sweeping was called for on the side of the road.
This last run for the day was on even worse highway. There are many frost heaves, gravel patches, and pot holes. Drive carefully through here if you are coming this way. I’m left to wonder that the rest of the Stewart-Cassiar will be like for tomorrow’s drive. We have about 500 km to go on it.
Our daily travel mileage was 672.9 km. It’s not a bad day per se, but I didn’t get as much sleep as I could have last night and I am more than happy we got this far. We stayed at Dease Lake RV Park, which is right in town, or as in town as Dease Lake has. The park is basic, with a full hookup site with pull through costing about $28.
We got into the RV park about 8 PM, counting in the time it took to level and hook up the camper. We waited a bit before making supper and then went to bed.