Whistler, BC (Oct 08/2021) – Originally the plan was for N&J (and Jesse) to join fellow Westfalia friends Chris & Olivier (C&O) for a week traveling in the in BC’s Cariboo. But plans changed after N’s mom who is waiting for a hip operation needed some TLC, this of course was best provided at N&J’s Whistler home. So after much insistence from N… it was decided that J & Jesse would set out on their own first ever (after N replenished Hobbes’ food cache) …all ‘Boys Camp-out’ excursion!!! (Ok, Chris has been declared an ‘honourary boy’ for just this outing only) 😉
Leaving Whistler with an empty seat was difficult for both, Jesse looking over N’s usual place in Hobbes, wondering where his mom was (Meeeeoooow!!!). The weather initially was sunny & warm, a good day to traverse over the Duffey Lake route north to Lillooet, punctuated by J remembering his meds are still at home 🙁 luckily discovering this momentary lapse ‘sooner than later’ (N met them halfway to Pemberton to fill that need).
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The ‘boys’ met C&O (and Westy the new kid…er dog in town) at the Seton Lake campsite near Lillooet (BC’s best kept secret: its FREE …Shhhhhh!!!). BC Hydro’s presence in the area includes 2 hydro power generation plants, water diversion, fish spawning channels & a wonderful campground (much like the BC Provincial Campsites) that has about 44 sites with tables & firepits, really clean bathrooms (outhouses) in a beautiful setting among the tall rock-faced peaks surrounding. It was here that J presented C&O with a long planned gift of a Westfalia Fire Screen …sadly N was not there 🙁
A lovely cool, dry evening presented itself to enjoy sitting around the campfire, after a long, hot, smokey summer without.
The next day it was decided to stay an extra night as the weather was holding nicely, unlike the deluge of rain hitting Metro Vancouver & the Whistler area. A long walk along the dyke that funnels the Seton Lake water destined for the hydro power generator emptying into to the Fraser river, Jesse enjoying his ‘go-cart’, Westie running back & forth (exhausting to watch). Another evening to enjoy the fire (albeit rain was threatening) after a nice BBQ meal (thanks to C for all of the great meals).
The following morning, a drive north & east towards 100 Mile House was dry & easy-going, assisted by use of the 2 way radios to enhance communications between the Westfalias. The distinctive colours of fall abound everywhere, accenting the green/brown hills with red, orange & yellow. A small diversion along Hwy 97 (north of Clinton) to a lookout known as Chasm, where the high plateau meets the river gorge originally carved out by the receding ice-age mass. The viewpoint is spectacular. Turns out this would be a good place to camp for the night if a respite is needed from a long drive…something that will be noted for future travel.
The destination of the day ended at a little known forest rec site near Canim Lake (about 40 min drive north-east of 100 Mile House), after leaving the paved road, a 5 km up-hill drive on a gravel forest service road brought them to Howard Lake. N&J had discovered this gem on a previous visit to the area, it abounds with fish and is very popular with the fishers. Quiet & serene, the loons lull you to sleep.
After a couple of days at Howard Lake, drove to meet friends of C&O who live at Deka Lake on a lakefront property. Beautiful spot, lovely setting, large treed acreage with lots of room for the dogs to run. It was here that J not feeling well due to flu symptoms decided to leave and head for home…
Thinking the drive all the way back to Whistler was a bit daunting, J decided to stop at Goldpan Provincial Park along the Thompson River, but alas the campsite has been closed since the fire destroyed the Village of Lytton & continued to burn the valley northward for most of July & August. The devastation was overwhelming, seeing the mountains scorched, in some cases right along side the Trans-Canada Hwy. In order to return to Lillooet, a drive through the burnt remains of Lytton was necessary, the road through the town fenced & tarped to prevent ‘lookie-loos’ from stopping & gawking. Stopping was prohibited & security people were everywhere to ensure compliance. Needless to say, witnessing the destruction first hand was humbling… a sad scene indeed. One can only hope that Lytton will be rebuilt sooner than later. CBC’s ‘Still Standing’ did a show (episode 7) all about Lytton a few years back, a glimpse what this little town looked like before… a really good watch.
Over night at Seton Lake campground again as the daylight was waning fast. A peaceful night for J & Jesse (missing his mom). Next morning a uneventful drive back to Whistler along the Duffey Lake corridor. The first time ever that the boys adventured out on their own without N by their side…. No more crying themselves to sleep at night…. they arrive home safely.