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?
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
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.