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Published: June 17th 2008
We left Edmonton on Sunday morning after meeting for breakfast on the Yellowhead highway on the way out of town. It was a cool morning, around 10 degrees, and threatening rain. We stopped in Whitecourt after about an hour and a half of riding for a bit of a break. There were some dark, threatening clouds to the north of us (the direction we were headed), so everyone put on their rain gear; it did not go unused. Shortly after leaving Whitecourt, it started raining, and rained off and on for the rest of the day. We arrived in Dawson Creek about 4:30, checked in, and relaxed a bit before hitting a pub for supper. After supper we rode downtown and walked around a bit. Dawson Creek has done a similar thing as Chemainus B.C. and painted murals on the sides of many buildings. We walked around and looked at them before heading home in advance of another rainstorm heading our way.
We arose this morning and had a fairly relaxed start as the day was not to be too ambitious. We rode to Chetwind and stopped to look at the chainsaw carvings around the visitor's centre. As there was
some question as to the availability of a restaurant in Hudson Hope, we ate lunch in Chetwind. Someone asked a local where a good place to eat was, and we were recommended to go to the community centre. They served up a great lunch for what will probably endure as the best bargain of the trip. I had a BLT sandwich and a big bowl of soup for $5. Everone tried different things and all raved about how good it was.
After lunch we rode to the Bennett dam, and arrived just in time for the next tour. The tour guide saw us arrive in the parking lot and came out to hurry us along to make the tour as the next one was an hour away.
I was disappointed to learn that I could not take my camera with me. In the post-911 world, they are concerned about someone taking pictures for planning terrorist acts. The tour was very superficial compared to the tours I remember taking in my childhood while my dad worked for B.C. Hydro. I remember when the manager of the dam (the "dam boss") personally escorted a group of us around the dam
It stopped raining long enough for a break
and powerhouse. We got to go to many places not shown now on tours. Our tour guide was probably a summer student, and younger than my kids. It was fun though, going around the site and remembering the visits I made there; the first one was in 1964, very early in the construction process.
AFter the dam tour, we rode our bikes across the top of the dam to a viewpoint on the west side of the dam. The viewpoint was very disappointing as they had erected a chain-link fence that destroyed any possiblity of taking a good picture. The silly thing was that if they had built the fence 20 feet further away ( and down a hill) it would have made all the difference.
The ride to Fort Saint John from Hudson Hope followed the Peace River valley and was very scenic. We stopped for a photo opportunity a great viewpoint. We arrived in Fort St. John late afternoon. I was amazed at how much the town had grown. I remember it as being smaller than Dawson Creek, but now it is probably many times larger. Tomorrow we are off to Fort Nelson.
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