Washington into Canada
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05/21 - Left Stacey's RV Park in West Fir, Oregon as the sun broke through the clouds. Beautiful morning, but not for long. Half hour later we were back to rain. Not heavy, but enough to need the wipers. The drive into Washington was pleasant, although somewhat tiring as we have seen Hwy 5 quite a few times. We stopped for the night at Nisqually Plaza RV Park near Tacoma. We traveled 285 miles today but tomorrow will be a shorter trip as we plan to overnight just before crossing the border into Canada. Plan is to go through Seattle in the morning AFTER the commute traffic.
05/22 - Hit the road for the north. The campground was OK. Somewhat basic, but quiet and peaceful. Made it through the Seattle mess without too much traffic. Things slowed down for about 10 miles until we got through the major interchanges. At least the driving here is much more civil than in California. You can actually change lanes even when pulling a trailer. Traffic flows about 60-65 with almost no speeders. I assume it is well patrolled. Pulled into a pretty decent RV Park in Sumas, Washington. We are about 1/2 mile from the border and will be in Canada tomorrow. No idea where we will end up tomorrow, but we will be traveling north in Hwy 1 to Hwy 97 (The Casiar) then into Hyder where the bear viewing is supposed to be excellent. This will take several days. Managed to get on the internet via an unsecured router somewhere around here. Not part of the RV Park. Just someone that bought a wireless router and has no clue!
05/23 - Woke up to SUNSHINE. (First we have seen since California.) Got our act together and crossed the border into Canada at 11AM. No problem whatsoever. Had Elena remove her sunglasses to verify her passport photo. Asked about guns, gifts for any Canadians, alcohol, and tobacco. Then asked where we were going and how long to get there. Also asked when the last time was that we had visited Canada. No hassle, pleasant and to the point. The only difference I can notice is the metric system is used. Roads very good, well marked and very little traffic. Also they drive like humans, not like Californians! This trend is noticeable as soon as you leave our great state. Took PH1 (Provincial Highway) north and stopped at the visitor center in HOPE. Pleasant and helpful people. Exchanged money at the local bank and left. We stopped for pictures at several spots including YALE, site of the 1858 gold rush. Went through the little museum and restored church. We looked at the tram to visit Hell's Gate but Elena is not at fond of such things. Goes down about 600' at a 30 degree angle over the Fraser River. Looked like a basic tourist trap anyhow. Ended up about 4PM at Lytton and pulled into SKIHIST Provincial Campground. Hugh campsite in a pine forest. We could park a semi in our site and have room left over. Temperature is 76 and scattered, fleecy clouds. No TV. No Radio. No Internet. No Cell phones. and No hookups. Just peace and quiet. Getting out the BBQ to do a steak then probably a long, peaceful nights sleep.
05/24 - Left the campground, filled up with diesel (first time in Canada) $3.24 US per gallon. Saw it as high as $3.61 on the road. I figure it will get worse as we go north. Stopped along the way for some pictures. Beautiful country. Much the same as Northern Washington. Had planned to spend the night at the casino in Williams Lake, but the casino was a joke. I could put more machines in my basement! We decided to continue on to QUESNEL and find a place for the trailer for 2 nights. That way we can go 50 miles out of the way to visit BARKERVILLE, a restored gold rush town. So we are now in Roberts Roost RV Park . Very nice campground. Full hookups, on a nice lake and very well maintained. Even walked down to the office and had an ice cream cone after dinner. It's now 9:30PM and it's just getting dark. Drove 264 miles today. Long but not bad. Will get some pictures before we leave Saturday for Prince George.
05/25 - Today was our day to leave the trailer in the campsite and go about 50 miles off route to BARKERVILLE. The town is a completely restored mining town that was built starting in 1862 when Billy Barker discovered gold. Many of the buildings are original with one that was actually live in until 1962. Very interesting piece of history and very well done. Obviously, this was a hard life as depicted here. We rode the Stagecoach and I will never complain about the ride of my Dodge truck again! The gold panning was productive with Elena getting 3 flakes and I got 5. (she jumped my claim) The show was basically music and nicely done. It was cool here as the town is at 4200 feet elevation. There was hardly a cloud in the sky with a balmy breeze blowing. Great weather for touring. The morning started at 45 degrees and when we got back to the campsite it was 76. When we saw the weather for Canada the report shoed snow in Calgary. My original plan had been to go through Calgary on the trip up and come back this way. Elena thought we should try the reverse because there could be cold weather farther east. Glad I listened. We would have been in the snow otherwise.
05/26 - Left Quesnell for places yet to be decided. Looked at the Casino in PRINCE GEORGE however there was not much of a casino and the parking lot was not good for over nighting. So on we went. We wanted to see the Canadian version of Costco so we stopped there next. No difference from the states. Same entry, same building, same product line. Generally higher prices than in US. The meat department was shocking. In general it cost 1.5 times what we pay. Rib eye was $10.60/lb (US Dollars). Had a hot dog. $1.80 + tax. Then on to Wally World. Same story as Costco. Drove till about 3:30 and checked into Dave's RV Park in VANDERHOOF. Rained most of the day so there are no pictures. Besides, the drive up here was mostly fir forest with none of the fantastic views along a river like we had Thursday. The only wildlife we have seen along the road was a pair of 10 lb Ravens scouting for lunch in a rest stop and Bambi, her Mom and twin sister. Sister, however seemed to be 'napping' on the side of the road. I understand the wildlife becomes plentiful as we go farther north.
05/27 - The morning in VANDERHOOF was beautiful but as we traveled westward soon became overcast and 48 degrees. Got a few pictures along the road of the Burlkley River which was a raging torrent. Stopped in SMITHERS for fuel and paid $3.58 /gal. Expect even higher next week as we go up the Casiar Hwy. Visited Safeway for a few food items. Saw T-Bone steak at $9/lb. Peaches from California $2.99/lb. Bought a loaf of French bread $1.27, some bananas @ $ .56/lb, Tomatoes (Canadian) @ $2.69/lb, baking potatoes @ .79/lb, Eye of round $5.86/lb, pork loin @ $5.33/lb. Hope these people don't have the same minimum wage we have. Got a few pictures of Hudson Bay Mountain covered with snow. Currently in the K'SAN RV Park in HAZLETON. It is attached to the K'SAN Indian village which we will tour in the morning. I understand this area is being evacuated due to the potential flooding of the Skeena River from the fast snow melt. We are camped about 100 feet from the bank. The river is moving along quite fast. Glad we are not in a tent! Then on to STEWART in the morning. It is now 9:30 PM and it is still light outside.
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