We headed back to Vancouver via the ferry and were greeted with a hump whale sighting on the way over! Nice to get a freebie along the way. Once we hit the mainland we made our way up to the Cayoosh Campground in Lillooet. The GPS took us on the Transcanada Highway 1 instead of 99. While it was cloudy and rainy, we were greeted with towering peaks that jutted straight up six-thousand feet, they loomed behind breaks in the clouds, making their presence somewhat foreboding vs. the usually breathtaking reaction we have to such dramatic landscapes. We wound through the Fraser Valley where the churning, muddy river cut through gorges that felt more like fjords; thousands of feet of sheer drops into the river below.
We eventually came through the rolling hills to Lillooet through a town called Lytton that had been completely gutted by wildfires. It was looked like a scene from a holocaust; apparently sixty-five structures were consumed within one hour. With much dismay, we saw a fair amount of forest fire damage on our way through. This is one of the reasons we decided to come in the spring, as the fire seasons start earlier and earlier – as we experienced in Oregon over the last few years. We are thankful we did New Mexico when we did – now the places we visited are being ravaged.
We settled into a nice barbecue and campfire as we had sunny weather.
We walked into town and had breakfast. It’s a sleepy town but this is why we don’t mind going a bit off track; we get to experience parts of the country that may not be deemed as popular. Somehow people subsist in these remote areas; you certainly can’t beat the scenery.
Next we headed to the 100 Mile House. There are various towns with the names such as 100 Mile House, 150 Mile House. These designations hark back to the Cariboo Gold Rush (we see the spelling “Cariboo” instead of “Caribou” for the most part).
Besides the leaping deer sign warnings we saw our moose first sign, and also our first frost heave sign (little pyramids warning you of their presence). Then we saw the deer and moose combo sign. I kept my eyes peeled for moose but only saw deer.
We settled in for the night at the Big Country RV Park. They hadn’t been busy in a while and said things were now really starting to pick up. We parked next to some friendly Canadians amongst the aspens (lots of aspens and rolling hills in this region). The showers there we great and really hot – yes! The weather remained clear and we went on a lovely hike in the morning around the rolling pastures.
That afternoon we arrived at the Sintich RV park after surviving a heck of a squall; rain and wind that lashed us to the point we almost pulled over. The park was soaked with huge puddles that we hoped we wouldn’t have to park in. They were covid-obsessed here; the first time masks have been required outside the Navajo nation. The bathrooms and showers were closed; it was a bit much after having experienced better service in Canada so far. The Wi-Fi was decent once we activated the Winegard booster, otherwise another RV park could have been a bit nicer; it was mostly long-term inhabitants surrounded by permanent mobile homes.
We were told this weather is unusual as it’s usually dry, but they have been having a cold spring – oh joy! But it beats wildfires.
We stocked up on supplies in Prince George as we were warned things would start getting more sparse and expensive. We even got haircuts! We are now looking a bit more civilized.
I had purchased a beautiful card in Victoria that I scanned and enlarged and is now on our well. It fits the decor beautifully, is Native American, but is also tragic as it’s about women that have gone missing. In a sense besides being enamored with the art, the deeper meaning behind it makes it that more profound.
After a beautiful and uneventful drive up Highway 16 we stopped at the Fort Telkwa RV park that sits along the river. We were greeted by snow capped mountains on our way in – we are assuming this is our first taste of the landscapes we will be experiencing along the Stewart Cassiar Highway that we will be hitting today!