Daily Archives: 14 May 2013

Williams Lake to Pink Mountain, BC


13 May 2013

What a beautiful day to be in British Columbia. Warm enough to have the window & vents open and cool enough for The Rover to purr along contentedly with no jump in the temp gauge in spite of all the major climbs. And we had a couple of those today.

We followed alongside the Fraser again this morning. Crossing it, as well as the Quesnel, Salmon, Crooked, Parsnip, Pine, and Peace Rivers.

The Bears Are Out:
I spotted three black bears today. One, I should have taken a picture. He was close to the road with the mountains and a frozen lake as a backdrop. Unfortunately, I was going downhill at the time, and had little interest in stopping & backtracking. A very cool sight regardless.

I decided to take BC Hwy 29 to avoid going east into Dawson Creek and Ft St John. 29 is a beautiful road, but it has some serious inclines.
Was stopped by an expat Brit in Hudson’s Hope when I filled up. He was driving a Disco, and would still be chatting with me if I hadn’t said I really had to get going if I was to get on the Al-Can tonight.
Then on top of a summit, when someone in Minnesota was calling The Rover a “lemon”, I stopped for a couple of photos. A young couple promptly swung into the rest area to say how much they liked the truck. We talked for a while, when once again, I had to excuse myself in order to gain some miles.

A side note: I was amazed by the feeling when I actually turned onto the Alaska Highway. As odd as it sounds, with all the twisting, turning, climbing and miles left to do, it was like I was finally on the final road to home. Currently, I believe I’m only 1300 miles away.

Piece of cake, eh?

Tacoma, WA to Williams Lake, BC


Tacoma, WA to Williams Lake, BC

It was a long day. 400 miles with a border crossing makes it a full day as well.

Traffic up I-5 wasn’t terrible, so my plan to travel past Seattle on a Sunday morning worked rather well. I did stop just before the portal to fill up the tank, buy a new map of BC and splurged on a new Milepost as well, then picked up a gallon of gear lube because the t-case is leaking again. The guys in the OReilly’s loved the truck and were still talking about the film, “The Gods Must Be Crazy” when I walked out the door.

Taking WA Hwy 539 across into Canada was also a breeze. I pulled right up to the booth, answered the usual questions… although “When was the last time you were in Canada?” was new. Then I was off and running.

British Columbia holds some beautiful country within its borders. I had forgotten how much one climbs when you approach the Al-Can from this far west. I had also forgotten what a beast the Fraser River is. Damn, that’s a lot of water flowing between its banks.

I saw 25-30 deer today and one harem of big horn sheep. I also saw two “Badger Crossing” signs, which is a first for me. I wouldn’t expect a badger to cross such a specific section of highway, but I guess they do. As much as I would have loved to see a badger, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t. I may not be able to resist the urge to run over Bucky.

Most of the provincial parks have their campsites closed until May 15. I had planned on camping at the Stampede campgrounds in williams lake, but after driving through the grounds, I simply could not do it. They were awful! I did see a father & son from Alaska who waved me down, but I could not be swayed to camp there. Gambling that I’d find something else, I drove north again. Maybe 30 miles further on, I saw a campground sign at a general store/gas station. Turning around, I went inside to inquire. After getting a short tour, the man looked over my rig and said it would be $10. So I’m camped down by the creek and I’m the only soul on the end of the grounds. Somewhere off at the other end are a couple of other Alaskans, but I haven’t seen or heard them.

It’s a kickass site, and well worth the extra miles to get here. Plus their gas price is lower than most.