Edit Blog Post
Published: April 26th 2016
Distance: 3309 miles
After leaving the dear reader at Banff, I took off north on CR 1 which quickly became PR 93 heading north through the Rocky Mountain Forest and Parks such as Kootenay, Banff, YoHo and Jasper. It looks like the western edge of this park range is the British Columbia and Alberta (how sad is this? I initially typed Albertsons) border. I came to a split in the road and I took the right fork thinking I was going the right direction. About 45 minutes later I looked at the GPS and noticed I was going southwest (yes I know guys, where is my infallible sense of direction?). Apparently I zoned out or was really trying not to hit any animals because I had mistakenly taken 93A. A? What's up with that Canada? Too cheap to give a road its own number?
Anyway, I looked at the map and realized that if I continued I would be going waaaaaaaay out of the way. So, grumble grumble (Roger, Maddie and Kim jinxed me), I turned around and spent another 45 minutes getting back to where I took the wrong fork. Is this the fourth time I have
had to turn around for some reason?
I hightailed it on 93 to Jasper and saw 1 measly tiny deer. Nothing else. Despite all these signs warning about moose crossings and even one section that was labeled the deadliest moose collision stretch in Alberta (or was that Canada?) I did not see one critter never mind a measly bear, wolves or mountain lions. As recompense, the scenery was downright purdy and I took lots of pictures to bore the folks at home with (hey look kids, 55 photos of the same lake!).
At Jasper I turned west onto CR 16 and basically took that road all way to Prince George. The road I think is over 200 miles long and I maybe saw 30 cars the entire time and almost all of them going the other way. Still no moose sightings. So far I've seen two moose (what's the plural of moose? Mooses? Moose?) from a jillion feet away. Oh, oh. I saw an honest to God Caribou crossing. Those are reindeers right? And before you ask, no, I did not see any Caribou.
But seeing the sign was still pretty cool. Damn, I should have taken a picture for
the family. It got past 5PM (I am now 2 hours behind central standard time) and I still haven't found an open campground. I'm a little worried so I decide to head to Dawson's Creek on PR 97. It would be late arrival at this point but if I saw a campground open on the way, I'd camp or ultimately get a hotel (*GASP*) again. So I pulled over in Prince George, filled up with gas, bought 4 pieces of service station fried chicken (it wasn't that bad), and headed north on 97. Not 5 miles had past when I saw Northland Trailer and RV Park (hey free plug guys). They were still open and the owner was nice as all get out. I got me a camp ground and managed to lay my tent gear out to at least semi air-dry them. I did mention how much rain I've been hitting the last few days, right?
I spied a group of what appears to be collage age or a bit older kids (probably in their late 20s but still kids to me) who invited me over to the camp fire. That was nice of them. However I am starting
My last resort.
I'm glad I found the place. Driving all the way to Dawson's Creek at night isn't ideal.
to freeze writing this blog and it looks like bugs do bite when the temperature is below 40 so I am going to curl up in my sleeping bag and try to hibernate to the morning.
So now it's morning and I'm about to take off but you will be proud of me. Instead of going to bed I went over to the campfire and said hi to the kids and sat down with them. I brought the bottle of fine scotch so I was grudgingly allowed to stay. 😊 Just kidding. These guys were foresters and friendly as all get out. They were from a couple different private companies that planted trees.
An interesting side note, they said that there are as many planters in Canada as in their military. Wouldn't that be cool if we could have the same proportion working on our parks and forests here in the US?
Back to the campfire gathering: So we gathered around the fire and passed the scotch bottle around and drank a few beers with the occasional herbal tea sips. Apparently, they even broke out moonshine after I left. I was very impressed with these young adults. Very down
Left my iPad out overnight
It still worked! Yea, for a tough case.
to earth and damn funny. At one point, and I kid you not, one of the girls, broke out a Ukulele (she likes to call it a Mandolin) and started playing, what I am guessing are current songs (God, that makes me sound old). I was literally stunned at the astoundingly awesome cliche that the campfire gathering had become. I had a wonderful time, though I did expect Michael Myers or Jason to come walking out of the woods. The scene was that perfect. Shockingly, the girl did not know how to play "What a wonderful World"! What ukulele player does not know that song! 😊
They told me that they work very very intensively for 4 months or so and then live the life as a snow or beach bum the rest of the time. Very cool. Lots and lots of time outdoors, especially when you first start out, which they call rookies. Apparently it's not till the third year that you become an old hat/salt. I forgot what term they used. All of these guys seemed to be doing this for at least 4 or 5 years. This is the kind of thing that I think Sophie would
Jess, Stu and me
Blue was around :)
love to do. Besides planting, they help (via helicopter) to plot areas and lanes for spraying of insecticides and other chemicals which unfortunately must be done to control invasive species decimating the forests. They make sure that any sensitive areas such as water supplies, animal concentrations, etc are protected. These guys are modern day hippies in every sense of the word (I mean that as a good thing!). Living day to day, chilling, doing good works and enjoying the great outdoors. I know Sophie would love it. The rest of the fam? Not so much.
This morning I helped Stu Gummer, Jess Kinsley and her dog Blue (shout out guys!) jump their van. They were a couple from last nights group traveling together to wherever their company sent them. After getting started we made our goodbyes. Good memories.
I'm taking off for Dawson's Creek and beyond now. As another side note: It's getting chillier every night. For the first time my feet were cold. Brrrr. Time to break out the Arctic sleeping bag tonight. As another side side note: My fingers are no longer recognized by my iPhone or iPad that's how gnarly they are becoming. It's kinda gross (in a cool way).
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