We left Fort Langley early Monday morning and made our way onto Hwy 1 East. Seems weird we are going east when we want to go north, but that is the way the GPS is telling us to go and we all know they are never wrong! Turns out it wasn’t wrong and after a while we turned onto Highway 97 North and we were headed towards our destination for the day; Cache Creek.
When planning our trip we did not plan too many really long driving days instead we tried to make them manageable 3-4 hours a day, 5 tops. The main reason was that we did not want to wear ourselves out with 6-8 hour drives but we also wanted to explore the areas as we progressed north. With this in mind Barb planned at least one “event” each day. A hike, a stop at a museum or something else to get us off the road for an hour or two to do a little exploring.
The route we took to Cache Creek followed the Fraser River valley. A huge forested valley nestled between the hills this river twists and turns for hundreds of miles with our highway following right alongside it. Our first stop for the day was the Hope Visitors Center where we used their free Wi-Fi and inquired about some hikes in the area. We were directed to the Flood Falls hike 10 minute drive from the Visitors Center.
|Daisy, ready for some action!|
It was a short 15 minute hike to the falls through an older forest. There is something about waterfalls that is magical; the constant roar of the water as it flows over the fall and crashes in the rocks below. Barb and I love taking pictures of waterfalls, instead of just pointing and clicking we try playing with different shutter speeds, apertures and views. We spent about an hour taking pictures looking for just the right one.
|Barb and Daisy at the base of the falls|
Arriving in Cache Creek we had intended at staying at the Visitors Center overnight but it was closed and littered with signs saying no overnight parking. We asked a maintenance employee working outside if there was somewhere we could park for the night we were told the police went home pretty early at night and we could park there or drive up the hill and park at the cemetery. Gee, that sounds like fun, spending the night in a cemetery! Instead we opted to head up the road another 30 minutes and spent the night at a rest area just north of Clinton.
|Our views from the rest area|
We made a couple of stops along this leg of our journey. First was at the Visitors Center at 100 Mile House. We were a little early and had to wait for them to open so we walked around the pond adjacent to the center and got some great waterfowl pictures.
|We were told that these chicks hatched the day before|
|Barb getting some work done and making money!|
When it opened we went in and inquired about local hikes. I saw a cool waterfall picture on the wall and asked if we were close to that. We were only 5 minutes from the trailhead! After checking our emails using their free Wi-Fi and Barb doing a little work we were headed over to the waterfall trail head. The sun was not great for taking pictures but we spent 30 or so minutes taking pictures before we were on the road again.
Still following the Fraser River along highway 97 we stopped in the town of Williams Lake for fuel and a walk through the Scout Island Nature Center in town. Although the nature center walk was nice and we got some more waterfowl pictures, it was fueling up in town that taught me my lesson for the day. In this town attendants fuel your vehicle for you so when he approached I said fill it up with diesel. Now most of you are probably thinking this is where I learned my lesson for the day…he grabbed the wrong pump….nope that is not it. He grabbed the diesel pump, filled it up and said $45. I handed him the $45 and he started to walk away. Since we are tracking our mileage, I got out of the truck to see how many liters we used. When I got out he turned around and asked if I needed a receipt. I said no, I will just get the info off the pump, when I looked at the pump it only said $40! He then quickly said, “Oh, you gave me too much” and handed me $5 back. After we left, I asked Barb if he said $40 or $45 and she said he clearly said $45….Lesson learned!
Later that afternoon, we pulled into Treasure Cove Casino and parked next to about 10 other rigs with the same idea. After settling in we went inside to see if they had any deal for signing up for their players club card. After all, we came out ahead when we did that in Florence Oregon. We found out they gave you $10 free play when you signed up so we each signed up and hit the slots! We each quickly blew through our free $10 as well as another $15 and walked out to the camper with our tails tucked between our legs where we spent a quite night in the parking lot listening to the rain pitter-pattering on the roof of the camper.
|Treasure Cove Casino|
So far on our journey the roads have been good, very good actually. We have seen two bears, one just outside of Quesnel and the other as we were approaching Prince George. We were not able to get any pictures as they were just flybys. We did have one unusual sighting on that drive as well and just had to stop and take a picture. Now we have seen a lot of animal crossing signs over the years; deer, moose, bear, elk, sheep, duck and even turtle but this is the first time we have seen a badger crossing sign.
Headed for Dawson Creek we continued on Highway 97 the following day stopping at Bijoux Falls between Prince George and Chetwynd......
We spent 3 hours in Chetwynd having lunch and seeing the sights. They hold the International Chainsaw Carving Championship here each year. As a result the town is filled with incredible chainsaw carvings. 146 to be exact……
We stopped at the Visitors Center where we ran into the nicest group of employees so far on this trip. They were extremely friendly and helpful. They even dressed up Daisy in some of their doggy outfits and took pictures! We unfortunately did not. When I inquired about fishing opportunities in the area, I got an interesting response from the girl behind the counter; “I don’t think the fish are out yet”. I bit my tongue at a number of responses that were going through my head. We thought about staying in the area for 2 days fishing and kayaking but a quick look at the weather forecast changed our mind. Wind, rain and freezing temperatures at night. So we carried on another 90 minutes down the road to Dawson Creek where the weather was going to be a little bit better.
The weather for the weekend looks promising so we are hoping to get out and get a line in the water in the next day or two…..more to come!