Monday, June 19
Monday, June 19
Thursday, June 15, 2017
We left the Salmon Glacier on the morning of June 15 and drove back to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.
The 450 mile highway starts at Kitwanga in the south and the junction with the Alaska Highway to the north. It is one of the only two British Columbia roads that links central BC to the Yukon. The other is the Alaska Highway.
The services available along the highway are limited. There is a helpful map with the services marked on it at the sign for the highway.
There are a few communities along the road, but most of them are very tiny.
The scenery is beautiful.
We saw lots of animals along the way. On June 15, we saw 10 black bears along the side of the road. They were eating plants.
We saw a mother with two older cubs. We stopped long enough to get photos, but we were careful not to get out of the vehicle or block the road.
We also saw a moose, but didn’t get a photo of it. We heard about a wolverine, but didn’t see it, just the remains of an animal spine that it dropped when crossing the road.
We passed the occasional vehicle, but not a lot of them. We saw a German Overland vehicle stopped at a gas station.
The road is paved for the most part, but it was gravel or dirt for large sections. The road is not exactly flat. It is a real challenge to maintain the road in the severe cold temperatures up here.
There are also lots of rivers and streams that need bridges.
There aren’t too many places to camp, so we looked over the map to find a place to camp for the night. We found a British Columbia Forest Service Campground that was at a good distance for today.
Sawmill Point Recreation Site BCFS has ten free campsites along a lake. There is a steep road down to the lake and campground which isn’t a problem for us.
We settled into a nice campsite along the lake.
The German Overland Vehicle came in while we were eating dinner. I was able to get a quick photo of their rig, but we never saw the people inside. Sometimes that is the way it goes.
It was a quiet night.
Yellowhead Highway – Central British Columbia
Tuesday, June 13
It looked like Prince George was probably our last big chance for shopping for a long while, so we stopped. Prince George is a large town and seems like it functions as a shopping destination for much of the surrounding area.
We shopped at a Wal-Mart. So far, the Wal-Marts in Canada have been pretty disappointing. The shelves are often half empty and the prices aren’t nearly as low as usual. Many of them do allow overnight parking in their parking lots.
We found a private liquor store and bought some Canadian wine and beer.
We stopped at a Canadian Tire shop. Imagine a cross between an automotive store, a tractor/farm supply, a sporting goods shop, and a Wal-Mart. They have a little bit of everything.
2017 is the 150th birthday of Canada. Most stores have big displays of Canada merchandise near their entrance. Since we assume that we will still be in Canada on July 1st (Canada Day), we decided to get into the spirit of the event. We bought shirts, a pot holder, a can koozie, flip flops and several other small items.
After this, we headed west on the Yellowhead Highway (Canada highway 16). Generally speaking, there are only two highways leading from central British Columbia to the North. The Stewart-Cassiar on the western side of BC and the Alaska Highway along the eastern part of BC.
We had a Road Atlas, but it seemed like the maps of Northern British Columbia and the Yukon must be woefully lacking in detail. The reality is that there just aren’t that many highways. It is a mighty big area with a relatively small population.
After looking over the maps, we decided to take the western route to the Yukon and return along the Alaska Highway.
We saw our first wild moose.
We decided to try another BC Forest Service campground. We found one that was a little bigger this time. Sunset Lake was near Topley. It had eight campsites and a day use area.
The campground had a mix of campsites. There were several right next to the boat launch. After our experience with the teenagers, we chose one that was screened from other campsites by trees and brush.
Jon had a chance to try out one of the Canadian beers and the Canada can koozie.
The lake was really beautiful. We went for a walk around recreational areas.
It was nice to have a chance to hang out and enjoy the weather, scenery and peace and quiet of this place.
June 11, 2017
We left in the mid-morning after saying bye to the puppies.
It was very overcast with low-lying clouds.
The scenery was beautiful as we followed Highway 7 along the Fraser River.
We stopped at Hope to pick up some basic maps, etc. at their Tourist Information Center which was actually open on a Sunday.
We wanted to load up on some more supplies before traveling North. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of groceries and similar items. After looking at a map, we drove east along the Coquihalla Highway (Canada 5) to Kamloops, a fairly large city in the general direction we wanted to go.
The mountain scenery was impressive.
This is an area that was shaped by glaciers during the Ice ages. It leads to u-shaped valleys surrounded by very steep mountain walls and peaks.
It was misty with low clouds. This area gets an enormous amount of snow in the winter. There were still some snowy areas.
It was easy to imagine why there were so many avalanche warning signs.
The area around Kamloops was quite different from the mountain range.
It is a big city. We filled up our propane tanks and bought more groceries.
We drove West on Canada Highway 1 towards Cache Creek. The terrain along this route was quite different.
The hills were low and softly rounded. The plants were really different, too. There were a lot less trees.
We decided to stay at the Brookside Campsite RV Park. It is pretty close to Cashe Creek, where we will be picking up the Cariboo Highway (Highway 97).
Part of the reason for staying at this campground is because it includes free WiFi. It also has a laundry. We plan on using that on the morning.
Our plan with Verizon has unlimited calls and texts in Canada. We are also allowed 500 Megabytes of data per day. Our cell and data signal has been very limited away from the towns. We assume that trend will only increase as we continue north.
We did find it odd that the campground isn’t along a brook.
The campground was moderately full. We walked around talking with folks. We settled in for a quiet night. It had been a long day with a lot of time on the road.