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October 17th 2012
Published: October 18th 2012
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800 year old Cedar Trees
Blog time again! We've managed to find the local library in Whistler to get the cheapest internet use! $2 for an hour...result!

Since Ben last wrote we've packed in loads more so I'll do my best to get it all in.

After Jasper, we drove down Maligne Lake Avenue (pronounced Ma-leen!) to see Maligne Canyon, Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake. All interesting and scenic sights which we finished off with a walk through some woodland covered in snow! It was a lovely peaceful stroll and we did feel safer with Ben armed with the Bear Spray! Ben was eagerly looking for animal tracks and managed to find moose and caribou by the lake and moose, cougar and possibly bear in the woods?!

Back in the van, we headed for Mount Robson Provincial Park with me behind the wheel! I was slightly nervous to begin with...and still am a bit to be honest!! Ben's probably more nervous though! I'm gradually feeling more relaxed the more I drive (which isn't too much!) but it's such a big bloody thing and I'm used to my Micra!! On the drive we saw two moose and were able to stop when we saw the first one to get a close view as it was walking on the other side of the road in the opposite direction. It was huge!

In Mount Robson Provincial Park we did the hike to Kinney Lake. It was gorgeous. Mountain forest, snow-capped mountains and lovely refreshing drizzle all the way to the lake! It rained more the deeper we got into the forest but it made for perfect hiking conditions with fresh, clean, crisp air! We stopped to have our pack up by the lake then carried on further until we reached a large, flat plain surrounded by trees clinging to the sheer mountainside. What a sight! It made us both feel really small. We had to take the same route back so in total we did about 18km. We definitely deserved a beer after that so back in the camper we picked up more supplies from Valemount and parked up just outside the town...for free! (unfortunately, the only wildlife we saw on the walk was a red squirrel!)

The next morning, I told Ben my eyes looked funny and he was quick to point out that I looked like I had Down Syndrome! I'm having a few knee troubles and the Naprosyn I'm taking isn't doing the job pain wise so I'd had a few tramadol to try and sort it...think I must be a bit allergic to it?! The skin under my eyebrows was really puffy...I looked liked there was definitely something wrong with me! I won't be having any more of that again!

Next stop was Clearwater. The drive here was beautiful-trees of different shades of yellow and green, snow capped mountains, waterfalls, small rivers and creeks, low hanging clouds-all following the North Robson River. Gorgeous. We actually paid for a site here as we needed to use a sani-dump and have a shower! We just had a little walk round the place, not much to see and found the Caboose Pub for a couple of pints.

The following day, Sunday the 14th, we drove down the access road from Clearwater into Wells Gray Provincial Park. Along the road we stopped off to see a few things that were signposted. First stop was Spahat Falls. At 61 metres tall they were impressive, as was the view down the valley. Next we stopped off at Green Mountain Lookout to get a panoramic

Grilling some Chicken Cedar Lakes
view of the park-mountains and trees as far as the eye could see! It was a bit cold and windy up on the lookout platform so we didn't stay too long! Dawson Falls were the next stop. Not very high but 91 metres wide and you could get really close to hear and feel how poweful they are. Further into the park we saw the Helmcken Falls Trail sign (8km round trip-3hours return time) and decided to give this a go. Ben set the stomping pace and so it didn't seem too long before we reached the falls. Wow! The falls are 137m high and though not very wide the backdrop is spectacular. We were standing right on the edge of the canyon rim with a sheer drop made Ben's stomach feel funny and my knees go weak! A really impressive sight. We walked back to the camper at a similar stomping place but I was feeling a bit tired and flagging a bit for the last 15 minutes or so. When we made it back I realised it was because we'd done the whole hike in just under 2 hours! We parked up for the night at the end of the access road with nobody in sight...not even the park ranger!

The next day, we had a look at Bailey's Chute, where the chinook salmon try and jump the rapids in August and September. It's a lovely scenic spot and we managed to spot a Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Salmon and baby salmon jumping in and out of the water. The binoculars came in handy! We also saw a bear paw print on the trail down to the chute. We drove on to Ray Farm, cleared land that had been used for farming until the 1940s but it's now growing back to its natural state. It was interesting to read about the family that lived there and see some of the old wooden farm buildings that were just about still standing. Here we saw a ruffed grouse, a bird we didn't recognise and of course, squirrels.

In the afternoon we drove further east towards Lillooet but stopped to camp for the night by Green Lake. At Clearwater, we did phone BC Ferries to try and reserve a place on the ferry from Bella Coola to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island but unfortunately there was no space. We were quite excited about this plan so gutted when it didn't happen. Just not meant to be I supose?!

On Tuesday, the drive onto Lillooet was filled with ranches, mountains and lakes. On the way, we came across a rock fall, just after the 'Slide Area' warning sign. We couldn't pass so Ben jumped out and cleared the rocks. A massive truck came the other way so had to slam on before he hit Ben! Ben moved a huge rock for the truck to pass...but did his back in! He's still cursing himself about it now...not lifting properly I think?! We arrived in Lillooet which is more of a town than any of the other places have been. We had a stroll around and went into the museum there. It's a former Gold Rush town and also a main territory of the aboriginal people so both the town and museum were interesting to look round. There were a few natives hanging round outside a pub shouting and laughing at people going by...obviously intoxicated! We've noticed that a lot of the aborigines seem to be in a bit of a state one way or the other in different places...

We drove onto Whistler from Lillooet and the drive here was amazing. I absolutely loved it. It was so pretty and varied-mountains, (some of which were snowcapped) creeks, (mainly Cayoosh Creek) trees and bushes of different shades of green, brown, red, orange and yellow...and the actual drive consisted of winding roads that climbed up and down the mountains so that each corner you turned revealed another gorgeous view. I could have stopped every few minutes to get out and take photos but only managed to do so a few times. The scenery was definitely rugged, dramatic and stunning...loved it!

We arrived in Whistler by about half three and headed straight for the Riverside RV Resort. Gutted about the $35 plus tax fee but we needed a shower and it included electricity and water! We splashed out and booked two nights! The shuttle bus they put on into Whistler doesn't run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (the two days we were staying!) so we walked the 2km into Whistler to have a little wander. We ended up having a couple of pints then going to the cinema to watch Hotel Transylvania! It was great! (especially as we were the only two in the cinema!) We then found another bar where we had a couple of pitchers of Molson Canadian before getting a taxi back to the van.

Yeasterday, we had a lazy day as Ben wasn't up to much in the way of walking due to his back. Also, we were gonna use the gondola to go up to do a couple of hikes but it's finished for the season. So we just ended up doing a bit more exploring of Whistler village, having the colonel(!) then getting back to the van by tea time to do some washing! A relaxing chilled out day.

Which brings me to now. We're driving to Vancouver next on what's called the Sea to Sky Highway. The scenery is meant to be lovely but I'm not sure it can top that last drive...I'll let you know...

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 28



I think riggormortis has set in.

Sampling a few of the local brews
Helmcken FallsHelmcken Falls
Helmcken Falls

Huge 140 metre falls, we hiked 8kms round the other side of the gorge for a very close look right on the edge of the cliff then came here to the viewpoint.
Baileys ChuteBaileys Chute
Baileys Chute

The end of the road for the Chinook Salmon of the Clearwater river, they attempt and fail to jump this rapid and return a kilometre downstream to spawn. We saw the last of the spawning Salmon and nearby we saw Golden Eagle, Osprey and Bald eagle ready for feast. Wells Gray Provincial Park.

23rd October 2012

keep on trucking
keep on trucking folks, it sounds like you are having a great time. I must say reading your blog makes me feel just a tad envious, I only know that its a place i could never grow tired of and every day you spend there you feel like your truly alive. keep on living the dream, and stay off the bloody Tramadol or your dream could turn into a nightmare. hope Bens back is better soon, you both take care now, I will be looking forward to your next blog Regards Trev
24th October 2012

Hi Ben and Shelly both Gill and i are enjoying your blog, and are envious. Both doors on your cottage look good.

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