New Hazelton, BC (Sep 15/20) – The air quality in Whistler (and a good portion of the province) was fast declining due to the invasion of smoke particulate from the wildfires raging to the south in California, Oregon and Washington States. Hazy infiltration of the mountaintops evident upon rising for the day, the smell of smoke & the visual impediment was startling noticeable, gone were the pristine green mountain vistas & robin egg blue skies that were prevalent all summer.
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The road north of Whistler through Duffey Lake was rather quiet considering it was a weekend, testament that summer is truly over, gone are the crowds, yet the warmth of the autumn sun lures us onward. A quick dip at Rogers Creek just past Pemberton was a welcoming “Christening” for the journey ahead. Traveling with another Westfalia brings out the ‘teamwork’ aspect of the journey. To assist with communications, Motorola 2 way radios are employed in each unit to permit clearer intent but also allows ‘informative chatter’ as the highway continues…”bear on the left”, “check out the lake on the right”, “that’s a 10-4 Good Buddy!”.
The first night ended at Green Lake Provincial Park near 100 Mile House, BC. Nestled in the tall long white Birch trees, the peaceful rustle of the leaves is soothing after a long days drive. With hungry hearts and empty stomachs, the beauty of the wild and the BBQ salmon on the grill by the warmth of the campfire made for a great start. The lake serene and beautiful, fish jumping leaving ripples as their mark, dotted with birds floating along the shoreline…later on the soulful call of the Loon was evidence of a natural world still plodding along.
Next day brought a sunny drive through the Cariboo region stopping at Ten Mile Lake Provincial Park north of Quesnel. Good fortune to get a camp spot right by the lake, easy access to get the kayaks on the water. N was excited to try her fly-fishing skills out, caught a few small ones but thrown back to grow another day.
Free camping provided by the Village of Fraser Lake right on Fraser Lake for Day 3. More fishing & kayaking (no fish mind you, whenever N shows up the fish decide that they are on a diet!). Nice grassy spots, no campfire permitted… but the cool windy weather meant for an early night after a delicious beef taco feast & BEER! Little known fact: the nearby CN railway is very busy at night!!!
As the journey ventured westward, the river, lake & mountain views were very rewarding, the trees indicative of an approaching fall. Anderson Flats Provincial Park by New Hazelton, a jewel along the confluence of the Skeena & Bulkley Rivers, followed a well maintained gravel road for 4-5 kms brought us to this quiet respite (CN trains were much further away – toot, toot). If you didn’t know where to look you would never find this camp spot.
N continued her quest for the invincible fish… caught some small ones though (released back to grow bigger). A nice campfire to ward off the evening chill & dampness… peaceful sleep.
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