Friday, August 18, 2017

Out Of Idaho, Through Wyoming, Into Utah

All the years combine
they melt into a dream

Thursday, August 10
We turned another 2.5 hour drive in 6 hour affair. We stopped for propane, cheap in Idaho. We needed groceries, so we shopped at Smith’s in South Jackson. It’s always busy there, but today took the cake. We found parking a half-mile away. Unhooked the Jeep and went to the market. Too busy at Smith’s gas bar, so we headed north and found gas in north Jackson 20 cents higher. Arg. I hate to get screwed like that.

Jackson is exactly on the eclipse path and folks are already congregating there. Motel rooms are $300+ for a four-day minimum. Jackson has the second highest per capita income in the US. HRC beat Trump by 25% there. It’s the bluest town not on the ocean or with a major university in the country.

We stopped at Turpin Meadows. We were hoping for more. It’s a campground for the horseset to take the trails from here into south Yellowstone. There must be three dozen stock trailers in the campground and the adjacent outfitter ranch. Glenda took us on a short cut to the campground, five miles on a decent gravel road. She could have taken us six miles “out of the way” on the paved road.

The smoke is much less here just east of the Tetons. But the granite spires are still not all that visible.

Just Lovely Huh?

Friday, August 11
South though the sage brush country of Wyoming to Landers. We stayed at their city park beside a babbling stream. We got our chicken fix at Safeway. Really glad they do not have Safeway in Alabama as we would eat their fried chicken every week.

Saturday, August 12
Another 3 hour drive we turned in five. The big delay was shopping at Walmart. We came through some misting rain just north of town and could see blue skies to the SW. We decided to have lunch and surf until the blue skies came to us. These were the first clear skies we have seen in weeks.
I was beginning to feel like Joe Btfsplk in Little Abner.

Joe Btfsplk

We went south on US191 to  Firehole Campground in Flaming Gorge. We had been in this area in 2007 and I was guessing it was the same place. It was. Nice to be back in colored rock country.

Sunday, August 13
Being Sunday, Dorothy made foule for breakfast. We only have enough pita bread left for two meals. Times are tough. 

We decided to explore our environs and tripped over a narrow road that ran the spine of a ridge. I expected Dorothy to say You are not you going up there, are you? And she did not disappoint me. The Jeep crawled up two super steep sections and we were “on top” with a fantastic view down the gorge. The clouds parted and the hills were painted in a soft light. It would have made a good picture. But, all the camera’s, four of them, were back in KoKo. And so it goes.

This is our 1,800th night in KoKo. That’s 5 years of use in the 10 years we have owned her. About 104,000 miles. 58 miles a day. Guess we park in place a lot.

Monday, August 14
We continue down U191 to the south end of the Gorge. We stopped at a pullout and I saw a half dozen RV’s coming from the reservoir to 191. The field glasses showed boo-coo places to park. We decided, what’s a little more dust. So down we go 4.5 miles to the end the point. A fantastic location. You know the sun is out, the birds are singing and nothing but horizon.

Then I thought to check the weather. Weatherbug predicted 50% chance of rain and was more dismal with a 90% chance. We ate lunch and it started misting. We decided no matter how great the location being on a clay road in Utah with rain in the forecast was not prudent.

We retraced our steps and found a home in a Forest Service campground. 

Tuesday, August 15
It rained.

Wednesday, August 16
Blue skies! We moved to a disbursed site we had “discovered” at Sheep Creek Bay [40.92927, 109.67950] the last time we were this way. We think it’s one of the best sites anywhere. We put the boats in and paddled around the red rock shores. This was first time the boats have been in the water since 8/2 on Clearwater Lake in WA. 

Now a few pictures under clear skies

See the oval parking area in the center of the picture

Our Home And One Of The Best Views In Utah

Our collection of mussel inspection papers for the kayaks. One each from BC, WA, MT, UT and ID, plus three from WY. We can enter a lottery with the WY papers. 

Since we are out of the smoke, we have decided to explore places in CO we have never been before. I am sure we will see some rain and it will be chilly in the mountains. But, we need some scenery.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moving Through Idaho

Thursday, August 3
We found an RV park south of Missoula at a reasonable price. They only had one site open and that was for only one night. They feature square dancing and that must be a big draw. We had prime rib for Dorothy’s pre-birthday and it was divine. So was Dorothy.

Friday, August 4
Made it south on US93 to just north of the junction with I15. I noted a ghost town on the map and Dorothy is all over ghost towns. This is close to the ghost town of Bannock which we enjoyed, so we decided why not. There are several forest service campgrounds along this designated scenic route and I figured they would be little used. Wrong. We were lucky to find a space. We are at 7,000 feet in the Big Hole, so the temperature is a little more comfortable. Seems odd to call it a hole at this elevation, but mountains surround The Hole.

 Walking to the ghost town of Coolidge, named after the mine owners good friend

Perhaps the school house?

A fixer upper

We could only see the outlines of mountains on both sides of the road as the smoke is still with us. I never paid much attention to western fires. Now I appreciate the problem. The weed that covers the hillsides is as flammable as straw.

I have never thought about it, but a lot of the water in the US rivers comes from Canada. There would not be a Columbia or Missouri without the snow melt from Canada.

Saturday, August 5
We enjoyed the ghost town. We got there at 9 and the light was superb, just breaking over the hill. Of course, the short walk of a mile and half made Dorothy’s feet swell and she turned her ankle a bit, so tonight she is on pain meds.

We got away by 12 and went south an hour or so to a fav place, Clark Creek. We are perched above the lake and the view would be great without the smoke. We are two weeks and 800 air miles from our first smoke. 

Why this park is not used is a mystery to me. Good sites, and it’s free. Thanks, Bureau of Reclamation.

We see hay grown everywhere. I wondered how it compared to other crops. It takes a LOT of hay to make steaks.

Crop Million Acres

Corn 89
Soybean 85 
Wheat 56
Cotton  9
Hay 58,500

250 times the acreage to grow hay to feed livestock as to grow, corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Sunday, August 6
It’s 2.5-hour drive from Clark Canyon to Idaho Falls. The way we do it takes 6 hours. First, we had to stop at a Mex restaurant so Dorothy could get a Mex Fix. She picked it from reviews on the net. We were the only gringos there. The food was good. I had Carne Asada. I had never been served some much flank steak. She had the Chile Relleno. I sampled it. It was quite tasty.

We then went to a city park in Idaho Falls. It was billed as free and on the river. It was a parking lot with no hookups and was $15. We passed and found a fantastic place. It is operated by the county but is a Bureau of Reclamation site. We are in, what is to us, a “luxury” park - full hookups, asphalt, TV, Cell, green grass and on a reservoir. $9 a night! And it’s about empty. So quiet. 

Monday, August 7
Dorothy is resting. I am doing little chores that are long overdue. We plan to stay here four days and catch up on chores. You know exciting stuff such as defrost the freezer, washing the vehicles, etc. We would stay longer, but the place is booked solid for the weekend. A family gathering or such.

Tuesday, August 8
Laundry Day. Had lunch at Olive Garden.

Wednesday, August 9
More chores. Vacuumed the Jeep and KoKo. Why does it take me three hours to vacuum the Jeep? We would like to stay another day, but worry we may not find a home near Jackson Hole on a Friday.

Dorothy asked me why I moved the Windex and paper towels. I said I had not seen them. She looked some more and went to the cabinet where they are kept. Then she sprayed the Windex on the mirror and discovered she had already cleaned them. I live with this daily. No wonder I am so daffy.

Where to go next? It's raining in the San Juan's. It's too hot for Moab. I expect we will spend some time in northern New Mexico before we head home.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back In The States

This was NOT the year to tour BC. It was hot and had numerous fires and then we were sick for awhile.

First, backing up to Fort St. James. New Caledonia for the Hudson Bay Co. was BC, Washington, and Oregon.

Tuesday, July 25
Provisioned at Costco, Walmart, and Save-on. Overnighted at Mama Yeh’s RV park. The name alone made it imperative. Great for one-night. Full hookups for $15. Lowest cost our whole time in BC.

Wednesday, July 26
South 3 hours on 16 to Valemount. Saw jagged mountains through the smoke. The Cariboo’s on our right and the Rockies on our left. A little too much smoke and no blue sky to make them look interesting. Parked at Tête Jaune RV Park. A really nice facility on the Frazer River.

Tête Jaune Cache was named after a Métis fur trader and trapper named Pierre Bostonais who guided for the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1800s. Bostonais was nicknamed Tête Jaune by the French voyageurs because of his blonde hair. (Tête Jaune is French for yellow head.)
I wonder if this way 16 is called the Yellowhead Highway?

Thursday, July 27
Yesterday, the forecast for today and the rest of the week was Sunny or Partly Sunny. Guess what? It was near full overcast today. And now rain is forecast for Friday.

Under heavy overcast, we viewed Rearguard Falls. We liked the way the viewpoint was built within feet of the falls. Up close. We met two young women returning from the falls in hot pink bikinis and flip-flops. I asked if they went swimming, they said it was too cold, but hustled on up the trail, so I did not find out why they were on display. I should have asked for a picture.

Rearguard Falls

Here is how Mt Robson appeared to us.

Here is how it looked to others.

We are in tourist land. A big shock to us. Asians, Indians, Europeans are everywhere. We had thought about returning through Jasper, but learned due to it being the 150th Canadian anniversary plus the exodus from the fires everything is full.

Last week, a woman spent over 30 minutes trying to back a Casita into her site. Yesterday was the first Chinese family we have seen in a camper. He spent a half hour getting his short trailer between the pine trees. It was a hoot. The wife was most helpful, she just stood there. Looking up she caressed the hitch with both hands.

This morning we have a European man in petal pushers with black socks and sandals. 

Friday, July 28
We continued south through the smoke from not so distant fires. It would have been quite a scenic drive without the smoke. Jagged topped mountains on both sides of the road. Most of the fires in BC were/are just east of us.

Wells Gray Park is north of Clearwater. It’s a huge park. If there were a road through it, it would take about five hours to drive it from north to south. The majority of the park can only be accessed by boat or trail. There are several tent camping places on the lake to boat-in.

Clearwater is a mecca for golfers judging by the number of campgrounds offering golf. It’s not far from Kamloops, so this is short get away location for locals, not to mention Europeans. We are back in tourist land for sure. Half of the sites are filled with rentals tonight. Half of them have Alberta plates.

Gone are the welcomes we were getting from BC folks in the northern lands. Here that just ignore us. We remembered that when we were in Alberta some years ago, they were not that friendly, but we got chatted up by BC folks. The same impression this trip. Albertans are sour, BC folks are cheerful.

Our purpose in Wells Gary is to look at some waterfalls and paddle the yaks. We looked at what is described as BC’s best waterfall this afternoon - Helmcken Falls.

Saturday, July 29
The smoke is little denser today. We visited Bailey’s Chute, a fine set of rapids. A sign advised us that these rapids stopped the migration of weary salmon. They spawned and died here. I am sure the bears appreciated their dying in shallow water. Signs are everywhere proclaiming proper bear viewing etiquette. We have not had occasion to adhere to proper etiquette as the only bears we have seen were scampering across the road. For that, we are grateful.

Mr. Bailey died trying to build a bridge here

Onward to Clearwater Lake, which proved quite disappointing. We are picky about our lakes and this one just did not have it. Of course, the smoke obstructed our view. We put the boats in for a quick paddle, just because we were there. The wind piped up and we terminated our voyage.

Tomorrow, we hope to make good progress in escaping the land of rental RV’s.

Sunday, July 30
We woke up to see ash on the vehicles. The camp host said more fires had started. They must be set by men as there have been no storms.

We went south to Kamloops which is in the arid lands, where most of the fires are. Just south of there the landscape rapidly changes to look like Oregon, green fields with pines and blue sky all around. The first time we have seen blue in some time. We stopped at a roadside dinner, towing service and hot rod shop for lunch. The owner's son gave us a tour of the cars they were working on. He said most of their work winds up costing around $300,000. He explained that a trunk lid they were working on already had 70 hours in it since it came to them folded in three places. At their hourly rate that’s over $7000 for a trunk lid.

We stopped in Vernon for the night at the same place we stayed our first night in BC. And it’s the most costly - US $52. Everything from here to the border is pricey. We could be in Washington tomorrow, but definitely by Tuesday. 

Monday, July 31
We started south thinking we might be in BC one more day and take the road through the Okanagan Valley all the way to the border. The bumper-to-bumper traffic convinced us to take the road less seldom traveled, 33 and 3, and get to Washington. We stopped and got peaches, cherries, plums, and corn. We ate most of it. Taking the back road meant we did not pass one bank that was open, so we are left with about $150. I am sure some US bank will convert for us after tacking on a fee.

We stopped at an NP campground on the Kettle River. It was warm here but as scenic, as one could hope for. 

Tuesday, August 1
We woke up to smoke. The Canadian fires have invaded the states. Time to move on, no paddling the boats here. 

In this tiny berg, there is a jazz radio station. I enjoyed Gene Krupa for breakfast. 

Stocked up at Walmart in Colville and then east to Priest Lake. I had found a note on my map that yakking on Upper Priest Lake was superb. I figured that parking at a lake 60 miles up a snakey road would be no problem, especially on a Tuesday. Wrong. The place is mecca. The state park is booked nine months in advance. We found the last place at a forest service campground.

We also learn that there are no roads to Upper Priest Lake. You put in on the lower lake and paddle through a narrow channel. We will see if we can go that distance.

Wednesday, August 2
We only managed to get about half-way up what they call The Thoroughfare. It would be called a channel elsewhere. We were into the the wind most of the way, but it was a good paddle. Through the smoke we could see the outline of the 7,000 footers in the Selkirk Range. I am sure it is quite a bit more scenic when it’s clear.

A tad crowded at the state park

We are going to head south in the morning to see if we can get beyond the fires. This is getting really old.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Still In BC

I suspect most of our readers give our pictures a quick look and move along. So here are a few. The usual narrative follows the pictures.

 The Skeena River near Prince Rupert

 Oops, the clouds lifted for a moment and we got a peek

 Lots and lots of cool totems

 All the men in masks. That's a raven with the long beck. A bear below him.

 Does this not look Mayan like?

 Another bear

I see Mayan here

 Another mountain we caught a glimpse of.

 Typical Provencial Park camp site. This one was open to the sun

 Our view at Lake Babine

 Chicken Races! 

 Dorothy won $3 

 Lake Stewart - Fort St. James

Part of Hudson Bay Company Fort St. James

Tuesday, July 18
It’s been a week since I have taken the time to blog. I know we did something during the week. But, I can’t recall much. Nothing all that exciting.

We escaped the hot weather in the valley and found the typical Pacific NW weather on the coast. Our colds on top of that has disturbed our enjoyment of this phase of the trip.

The weather on our first after retirement trip, 2007, was perfect for 8 months and 16,000 miles. We have not been able to repeat that.

A lot of folks are going places to see the solar eclipse next month. The eclipse will last about 2 minutes. We have not seen the sun in a week. I just don’t understand going somewhere to see nothing. If that turns you on, come to BC.

We started this adventure in killing heat. We had hookups every night and did not leave the rig. When we finally escaped the heat, we found clouds and overcast. Meanwhile, the fires rage in the south which will alter our return route. Not a big deal, but we did leave some property in Kettle Falls, WA, so we have to go back there.

We made it to Prince Rupert. We were not impressed because once we left Smithers, the cloud gods hid the mountains. The fact is, we did not know there were mountains around us. I think all the roads in Canada run along rivers. They don’t bother with engineering feats of putting roads over the mountains, they just follow the river path. So with the clouds covering the mountains and the road near sea level, you have no clue about your surroundings.

We enjoyed two meals at Dolly’s in Prince Rupert. Dorothy had Halibut both days and I had Halibut and Ling Cod.

They have oodles of rivers. They have even more lakes. Not much access to them, but they are there. The road to Prince Rupert follows the Skeena River and hundreds of rivers empty into it. By the time it gets close to the Pacific, it is as wide as the Mississippi. After a shower, waterfalls are as numerous as fire flies.

The First Nation people are changing place names from British to something only they understand. One tribe likes names that start with the letter K. Another favors names that start with G. Both liberally sprinkle X’s into the names. It makes navigation more challenging as the map may have the British spelling, but the roads signs have the First Nation name.

Factoid - There are more Canadians flags than there are Canadians. They love their flags.

Anyway, we are just east of Smithers at a Provincial Park. Most of the parks are dry camping, but every one of them is well maintained. The gravel is racked when the site is vacant and the table is washed. Pristine. We prefer an open site for the solar panels, but many of them are under a tree canopy.

Wednesday, July 19
Since we have not won any battles with the weather, we figured we would lose all battles with forest fires. We got to Houston and learned from some folks that were evacuating from Williams Lake that we might as well head back west with them as the smoke was drifting north. We then heard a reporter in Jasper saying she could taste the acrid smoke. That longer route was our second choice to return to the states. We stopped at a rest area and saw a billboard for Babine Lake only 49 km north. We took it as an omen and turned left.

We landed in Granisle in a Lions campground. They lease from the Crown. We are lakeside and have the sun for the solar panels for $8 a night. It’s close to nothing, but we have five bars of LTE.

Babine Lake is over a 100 miles long - the longest natural body in BC.  We can see some smoke on distant hills to east. We will hang here and see what happens. I saw a map that shows the smoke reaching all the way to the east coast.

Most Canadian radio is government sponsored and presents a very liberal POV. We lucked on a station that actually plays music here.

Thursday, July 20
Dorothy decided that her cold had gone on too long and wanted to see a doctor. The clinic here has a nurse practitioner two days a week and would not be back until Tuesday. A nurse took a look and said she could benefit from seeing a doctor so she could get a script. So we drove into Burns Lake and found she has bronchitis. He gave her some antibiotics and a puffer - Canadian for inhaler. Turns out the doctor just moved here and has a place in town and an RV where we are parked. He said he would take us out on his boat this weekend. Small world.

Monday, July 24
Gee, nothing written in a few days. Let’s see, we napped, ate, chatted and Dorothy recovered from bronchitis. That’s about it. 

We left Granisle Sunday and made it Fort St. James. Got a place in a Provincial Park right on the lake. Before we could park, the neighbors came over to greet us. They live in town but wanted to spend some time with the 7yo GD in the camper. So we gabbed for an hour and solved all the world’s problems. We learned how to use phrases, such as Bloody Hell and Piss Off.

The wind was howling, so we did not paddle the boats. With the tree cover we discharged the batteries more than I like to do, so we found an OK private campground for only $9 more today.

We toured the Hudson Bay Fort. It was quite well done. Hardy guys, the trappers. They would sail up the Skeena River to The Hazelton’s, portage everything several miles to Lake Babine, go all the way down it, and do another short portage to the north end of Lake Stewart. Fort St. James is at the south end of Lake Stewart. That’s how supplies came from England and San Francisco and how the furs went back to England.

We went to the "World Class Chicken Races".  You bet on a chicken to win each of three races and the betting is free.  If you win, you get paid off in "chicken bucks".

Had a zesty lunch at the cafe at the Fort. Yes, good food in government park. Dorothy had Tandoori Chicken and I had Chili and cornbread.  We received $3 off from our "chicken bucks". 

Restaurants are far and few in BC. Most towns have a Tim Horton’s, Subway, A&W Root Beer and a Chinese place. No fish or steak places, which we find odd.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

North of the 45th

How our mornings typically go

I asked Dorothy if she knew what the 45th was? She said she had heard of it, but did not know. So if you don't get the reference, no big deal.

It seems that anytime we have encountered the Snake River, a few miles later there it is again. Hence it’s name. We are parked in a COE park where the Snake meets the Columbia.

The Snake River is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest in the United States. At 1,078 miles long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. Rising in western Wyoming, Yellowstone, the river flows through southern Idaho, then through the rugged Hells Canyon area via northeastern Oregon and the rolling Palouse Hills, to reach its mouth near the Washington Tri-Cities area, where it enters the Columbia.
The COE has numerous parks along the Snake. Since we do not fish and the scenery is not much we have no interest in them. Still a great resource. We got done what we needed doing, an oil change and stocking the larder.

We are parked at a COE campground on the Snake in Washington. The is a $24 a night park, which means $12 on the geezer card. BUT, the attendant said because Dorothy is handicapped, it was half off the half-price or $6. We have used COE dozens of times in many states, but this is the first time we have encountered this. New policy?  Does she misunderstand the policy?

When we checked out at Costco, I was asked if I was a Washington resident. I said No, then she asked if I was an Oregon resident. I said I was from Alabama. We paid no sales tax. Again, another first. I asked about this and it works that if you buy it in Washington, but use it in Oregon, there is no tax.

We took a short drive up the Snake and found HUGE tracts of land under cultivation. Corn, onions, potatoes, all kinds of apples, grapes and blueberries. We picked a pound and half of berries for $3. Still early for cherries and melons.

We chatted with a couple opal diggers at the hot springs in Nevada last week. Both around 30 and both teachers She taught HS math and he did History. We were surprised and gratified to learn that history was still being taught. And get this, he writes his own curriculum. And the shocker, they live in Spokane. Yes, liberal Washington, a sanctuary state where the Governor, Jay Inslee, mocks the President daily.

There is too much daylight. Damn DST. I can barely stay up to 9:30 and it’s still light. It’s light at 4:30 am. It will be worse the farther north we go. Now as the days are getting shorter, perhaps I will get some relief.

We enjoyed two days of temperate weather, then the heat wave returned. One might think a park three miles from the largest power generation in the US would have electricity. But, no. We endured the heat the last day of June, but left the otherwise delightful park on the Columbia River and headed for Kettle Falls and electricity. Only one night available here, so I guess we will head into Canada July 2. 

There are a lot of rednecks in Washington. Most have loud trucks. The other day one parked next to us. Young kid, about 30 I guess. We noted a construction generator in the truck bed and knew we were in for it. Sure enough, at 5:30, he fired it up. I went out and he turned it off before I got close to him. His excuse was “The dog took a shit and I wanted to charge my batteries”. He went back inside his trailer and did not come out until after we left at 8.

We parked our weapons and a case of wine in Washington.

Dorothy was talking to a guy a few weeks ago who self-identified himself as Spanish. He came here legally from Mexico as a young man. [Most American’s think of those in Mexico as brown. The only brown ones are those the Spanish did not murder] He said he was an entrepreneur and will be leaving California for Arkansas to start a new business. The taxes are too high and the regulations too cumbersome for him.

Sunday, July 2
Holiday madness is over, for us anyway. We crossed into Canada this morning at the Cascade crossing. This is a low use crossing - there was no one ahead or behind us, so he asked us every question in the book - except about liquor. Then he called someone and said we needed to have our kayaks inspected for zebra mussel infestation. So we stopped at a marine inspection station and waited about 45 minutes while they inspected, detected…. our boats. No mussels were found.  They conferenced and decided to give them a much-needed bath inside and out using a pressure washer with steaming hot water. They really needed a bath after going through all the dust, a thousand miles since Lake Powell. Then they filled out an 8 x 14 inch three-part form describing what they had not found and said we could show it to any other inspectors to certify our crafts are mussel-free.

The heat wave followed us across the border. It’s hot. So we have to have hookups. That means $40+ a night. There is no break in the heat for the next 10 days so we will move north fast to Prince George where the temps may be tolerable in the afternoons. The park in Vernon was plush, owner lots like Jojoba Hills. 

So far, this section of BC looks like Montana. But it is filled with people. The number of Harley’s per capita is at least triple that of the US. Perhaps, because gas is $3 a gallon? But, the lakes are full of boats. So maybe not?

Monday, July 3
A short jump to Cache Creek and a Provincial Park on the fast running Thompson River. No remarkable scenery noted along the way. Surprisingly gas is less here than it was close to the border.

Tuesday, July 4
We drove four hours, a long day for us, to get to a cooler clime. It was only 84 at 3:30, so it was worth the effort. 

The scenery, so far, remains unremarkable. It looks a lot like northern Arkansas to me, just swap out the conifers for leafy trees. North of the town of 150 Mile, the traffic thinned out and the drivers were MUCH less aggressive. The principal difference in the scenery is that there are lakes and lakes and lakes. We parked on one lake in the town of Quesnel. Boondocked in a field for $20. Shade trees and a
light breeze. 

Since everything is metric here, why are towns named for miles?

Wednesday, July 5
I saw a picture of Lake Bowron and it looked like just a lake I was looking to paddle. A family from Wales parked close to us and chatted us up. They, the couple and their daughters, 18 and 20, had just completed a 10-day circuit around the several lakes. He showed us the place we could go for access.

Our colds were no better today, so we opted for a short drive to Prince George and got hookups for two days. It looks like the heat will break Saturday for 10 or more days. Our dry hak-hak cough is getting old.

This is as far north as we will get. The rest of the trip will be to the west.

I had forgotten how “chirpy” Canadians are. They always seem to be in a good humor. If you say Thank You, they respond My Pleasure.

The denizens or Prince George bear no resemblance to those in other towns we have come though. These folks would be right at home in downtown Las Vegas. A sketchy bunch.

We tried to buy The Original Bug Shirt as the forecast for biting bugs west of here is grim. Alas, they are sold out.

Gas is 37 cents less a gallon way up here than it was near the border.

Saturday, July 8
The day broke cool. YEA! We have not had a cool morning in weeks. The high was 82. I felt better too.  
We tried to buy bug shirts, but they were sold out in Prince George.

We wondered if we would have a problem getting a site moving on a Saturday. It was not a problem at Beaumont PP on Lake Frazer. A huge lake, 20 miles long, but dwarfed by the adjacent Francois Lake, five times as large. It takes big lakes to hold all the snow melt.

We got a decent site, but none are on the water. I had thought we would finally put the kayaks in today, but due to the size of the lake it just did not look inviting. I am so difficult to please. 

We think Canadians RV more than American’s.

Bell Canada services Verizon here. You are limited to 500KB a day.

Sunday/Monday, July 9/10
As we approached Smithers we finally found some mountains. Some with snow. We parked for two days at Tyree Lake PP. Expensive for dry camping, $21, but the sites are large, level, private and manicured. Drycampimng is more in Canada, considering we we pay zilch in the US. But hookups are less in Canada.

We finally got the kayaks wet and had our first encounter with loons. Our colds continue to make us feel drained of energy. The hak-hak cough has been with us for over a week and I expect it will be two weeks before we shake it. So not feeling all that perky, we found a decent waterfall, that was only 15 minutes up a steep trail. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of catching the falls in the sun. I lost the wager. It was an eastward facing falls.

I missed some great shots of the Loons while figuring out why it would not focus. The macro focus switch has been flipped. Meanwhile, the loon was going bananas because Dorothy was so close. It would dive, surface, extend herself and flap her wings.

Tuesday/Wednesday, July 11/12
Parked on the Skinna River near Hazelton. A First Nations operated campground. The Indians here do not compare at all to the Plains Indians. The lands are communally owned but may be bought and sold to another tribal member. They want no assimilation. Things are going well for them. Nice homes. Educated. No junk cars in the yard. They are friendly, polite and speak British. Well, it sounds different to my ear than Canadian.

We were car touring and wound up on a dead end street. Dorothy was driving, so the turnaround was slow. One of the men got out of his car, greeted us and asked if he could help us find our way.  An hour later we heard a car horn. Dorothy thought she was being honked for going slow. Nope, the same guy, he wanted to make sure we had found our way.

Maybe the sun will pop out tomorrow and the clouds will lift off the mountains. Even better would be the damn cold goes away.