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Published: August 23rd 2010
When we woke up this morning, we could smell forest fire smoke. Last night when we stopped, Rich had heard that the Cassiar Highway that leads up over the mountains to the west and eventually to Vancouver was closed due to a forest fire. Cars were being led through the smoke by a pilot car. It wasn’t smoky here last night, but today it was pretty thick. We woke up with scratchy throats. We were out of there by 7:45, without breakfast, to get away from the smoke. It took about 60 miles to outrun it. The dog beds and pads had to be put into the bathtub of our camper since they weren’t dry. We were back in the area where the wood bison roam, so we saw about 40 altogether, in different groups. We also saw a black bear wander up a hillside.
It was a cloudy day with intermittent rain showers, so when we read about a turnout that might have stone sheep, we thought maybe they would be there on an overcast day. A stone sheep is like a bighorn sheep, but it’s brown, smaller, and only lives in an isolated area. We walked down a trail to a cliff that was a mineral lick, and there, to our surprise, was one stone sheep! We took several pictures and watched it for awhile until it walked out of our view. We got another glimpse on our way back up the trail. Yay! Then we ate part of that giant cinnamon bun for breakfast.
After lunch the intermittent rain turned into a steady rain. We stopped at a lodge for coffee in the pouring rain. It was about 58 degrees. We heard the owner telling a customer that they had no phone service, and that the power would be shut off at night so the generator could recharge their batteries for the next day. He told us that it had been a beautiful summer and that this was the first rain they’d had! Nancy asked if he was open during the winter and he said yes. It’s a good thing somebody’s open in the winter because people do actually drive the Al-Can in the winter. Going over passes today, the temperature went down to 45 degrees. At least it was a good road.
We spent the night at Fort Nelson.
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