Fairbanks!

We had an awesome trip north from Washington State.  Taking the Fraser River route up to Hwy 97 (Cache Creek) onward to Prince George, veered west on Highway 16 to Highway 37 (Cassiar Highway), onward to Alaska Highway.

It rained the entire first day on the road. But it was not a gully washer, so it was A-OK in my book.  Fraser River was gorgeous . Went thru 7 tunnels – great tunnels at that. We stopped the first night at a rest area just south of Ashcroft, BC.  Not much traffic, so a quiet night.

Second day, was a l-o-n-g, long day.  Far exceeded my normal style of driving, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying to stop for the day.  Started looking for a place to park for the night as soon as I left Prince George. Figured I’d park at the Provincial Park outside of Vanderhoof, if I didn’t find anything before hand.  Well…guess what? That weekend was Victory holiday in Canada – everyone, anybody and then some were out camping. There was no place to camp. Everything was packed, every nook and cranny was stuffed.  My timing was absolutely lousy, so kept going and going and going.  Long days of sunshine doesn’t help, you forget what time it is. As I pulled into a rest area just outside of Burns Lake, told Irene, I can’t go on. We were wedged between the train tracks and the highway. No peace for us weary folks, but after 400 plus miles, it did not matter. My head hit the pillow and I was out like a light.

The 3rd day…was a short day.  In New Hazleton, dumped tanks and refilled water at the Visitor center. Not knowing if any Provincial parks were open north of there, made a point to dump & fill up. Made it to Highway 37 early, then discovered an old standby of a place to stay was indeed open at Kitwanga. Pulled in and got a place to stay for the night. The images of Irene and my rig are at this Cassiar RV Park. New managers have brought new life to this old park and it was a thrill to see the changes. And they informed me that all Provincial Parks are open by Victory day. Not what the The Milepost reported, so was happy to hear this.  Checked in with Irene’s family and a few friends.

The fourth day…the rains returned. Soggy, messy weather, but really could not complain – it was cool.  I wished pictures could show what we saw going up the Cassiar Highway. It was so lush, so green, with snow covered mountains.  All the lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds were out of their banks… its been wet for a long while. It was a simple joy to be back on the Cassiar. It is remote driving. 450 miles of not much but wilderness. Irene didn’t understand that until mid way thru. Its an interesting reality if you haven’t done it before. And she asks – “You drive this every year?”  Yes, I do. That night we stopped at another rest area, we were the only one there. Complete peace and quiet.

Onward, we are really making good time.  My normal pitstops/camping sites – we hit too early in the day. Will hit them on the way home.  This night, we pulled into Johnson’s Crossing, about 50 miles north of Teslin.  The rain finally stopped and it was gorgeous. Got gas, ate a quick bite and hit the sack.

And we kept on trucking… and I think I have lost a few marbles along the way… this the sixth day on the road – a second l-o-n-g, long day unfolded on us.  I can’t believe I did this leg in one day, but we made it to Tok. Got in late, late.  My mindset, get into Tok and stay for a couple of nights, vs park at a rest area and move again the next morning. Crazy!

Though all of this, Irene is such a trooper!!!  She is absolutely in love with this road trip! It is never boring, almost exciting to discover what is coming next.  We have talked all about her kids, her husband and there trips back in the 90’s to Alaska.  Lots of memories shared. But each road mile…kept her glued to the view in front of our eyes.  No pictures, as pictures do not do justice to what your eyes are seeing. Its amazing country we are traveling thru, so we are just soaking it up with our own eyes and enjoying the ride.

I had posted on Facebook, we were heading out today – heading for Fielding Lake or some other remote place to ride out the Memorial Day weekend. Well…we are in Fairbanks!  We are meeting up with BDS!  BDS are the initials for Brad.  Brad left 4 days after us and arrived in Fairbanks a day before we did. And I thought I was pushing it… its exhausting to think of his road trip north.

Sightings: Melinda – 3 black bears, 1 deer, 1 bull moose, 1 female yearling moose and dozens of rabbits. Irene – 1 black bear and dozens of rabbits, bull moose and one female yearling moose. Lots of black bear scat, and a few piles of grizzly scat. So that’s all for now folks.

 

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