Traveling in British Columbia
Sep 3, 2005
|Saturday, 3rd September 2005
7:30 AM7:30 AM - Left our fancy campground by a lake after breakfast. Temp. about 40 degrees F. Campground was actually a small gravel site, near the road where 3 other campers had pulled off for the night. Cost: $0. Scenery: good.
Daily weather: Clouds, (beautiful, billowing), sun, blue sky, showers (and sometimes all at the same time). One large rainbow. Temps.: 50-60 degrees F.
Route: Cassiar Highway, alias Route 37, south in British Columbia. (yes, again today! This road is 450 miles long but slow going for more then half its' length). Then Rte. 16 east.
Road conditions: partially paved but rough, partially non paved, and partially a newly paved, smooth road for the last third of the route.
Scenery: High mountains, forests, creeks, rivers, lakes, and ponds.
Trees: AM. - aspen, cottonwood (some extremely large here), lodge pole pine, black and white spruce. Afternoon, further south - western hemlock, red cedar, hybrid white spruce, and subalpine fir.
Villages: Every 50 miles or so we come upon a very small village. Now and then a primitive campground, or a fishing guide outfit in a village. As an example of a village: Iskut - a small Tahltan Native community, population of 283. (Not sure where they lived-must be side roads we didn't see) Store, with groceries, some hardware, post office, pizza, gas and diesel.
Traffic: Very little, mostly campers, hunters and fisher people. Some road construction crews. The further south we traveled the more traffic there was.
Diversion: A Canadian Traffic Enforcement roadblock. A surprising event on this lonely highway. 5 police, radar gun, license check, Dad and Butch's shot gun and Canadian gun registration paperwork check. Following the check, it became a social visit - discussions on fishing, hunting, bears, moose, and a good look at Butch's "Toy Hauler". A good diversion for them also I guess as there was not very much traffic. Only two other vehicles were checked while we were there for 30 minutes. Our checking officer told Ed that there was one individual this morning that had 3 rounds in his shotgun.
Animals seen: Birds, a moose crossing the road, 2 black bear, a deer and best of all, a grizzly in a creek fishing for salmon. He crossed the road, climbing over the railing, and hopefully I will have a photograph of him doing so. (with the Minolta, not the Digital so I don't know as yet). We were told by a man trying for a photo, that there are about 10 grizzly bears in the area, many of which are viewed by people in the evening. What a commotion he made going thru the underbrush by the river. We could see the tree bending, and hear them cracking.
The sad animal sighting was a HBC (hit by car in veterinarian language) - a dead black bear yearling. Dad/Ed figures that the sow had probably crossed the road and the cub hurried after her, only to get hit on the way.
End of the day: Myrna and Butch were making the decision as to whether or not to continue onto the west coast. They did decide to do that as previously planned, so we parted company in Kitwanga, at the end of Cassiar Highway. They will go on to the coast, and visit her niece in Oregon. It was a sad parting - we all had tears as they were such good traveling companions and friends.
I am sure we will see them often from now on. We surely do have a lot in common. And Myrna, when you read this, tell me how much of that sweater you have knit. We can keep reminding each other to make sure we complete our projects!
We continued on thru the city of Smithers. Stores, restaurants, and even a small mall! No areas to camp on the side of the road so we pulled in to a small campground once we drove back into the country. Electricity, water and hot showers without worrying about using up our camper water! We are only one of a few campers, and parked next to a nice pasture. Night all.