Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jasper to Vanderhoot to Meziadin Lake

It was overcast when we left Jasper yesterday morning, and by the time we got over Yellowhead Pass it was raining. We stopped anyway at the Mt. Robson Visitor Center to take a picture of the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. They say that a majority of the time you can't see the top due to the weather, so I don't feel bad.

When we turned north on the Yellowhead Highway at Tete Jaune, we saw a flashing sign that said "Highway 97 closed at Pine Pass. Take alternate routes." That was our intended route. We briefly thought that we would spend the night in Prince George, and that the closure would be brief enough to get going the next day. we turned on the radio and soon found out that the closure was expected to be at least 2 weeks. No traffic could go from Prince George to Chetwynd--there were multiple washouts including the major one below Pine Pass. In addition, the Hudson's Hope Highway was damaged too. The suggested detour was through Jasper and northern Alberta. We didn't want to double back, so we decided to take the Cassiar Highway. Our original plan was to come back from Alaska down the Cassiar, so we'll just go up it instead.

We stopped for lunch at a roadside turnout, and passed through Prince George around 1:30. For a few brief stretches we had some nice views, but most of the day was spent driving through lots of rain.

We decided to stop for the night in a small town called Vanderhoof. It advertises itself as "the geographical center of British Columbia." The RV park, Dave's, was beautiful and affordable. We met several different couple who were returning from Alaska, and one couple, Bill and Sharon from Kelowna, BC, gave us some tips on places to stay once we leave Meziadin Lake.

This morning we were up at 6, and on the road by 7:30.

This is the world's largest fly-fishing rod, on display in Houston, British Columbia. The fly is 22" long.

We stopped for lunch just outside of Smithers, with this view of Hudson Bay Mountain. See the small glacier in the center?

This was a pretty sight in Moricetown.

Our intended stop was 'Ksan Campground in New Hazelton, but we got there before 1:00 and decided to keep going. Once Don had heard about Meziadin Lake from our neighbors in Vanderhoof, he wanted to go there. It was only another 105 miles.

We stopped for gas at the turnoff for Highway 37, and filled up the gas cans so we'd have plenty for the generator if we needed it. This sign just cried out to have its photo taken.

It was raining intermittently, and occasionally we'd have views of some of the local mountains.

This is the single-lane bridge over the Nass River. The gorge is 400 feet wide, and the bridge is 130 feet above the river.

We arrived at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park at 4 pm, and were lucky enough to get a site right on the lake! This place is gorgeous! It has no hookups, but there's a water pump, and a small store run by the camp hosts with a few essentials like bug spray and drinking water. At $16 a night, we decided to stay for 4 nights. And, even though we're hundreds of miles from the nearest decent-sized town, we have WiFi! Unbelievable.

Here's our view:

And here's one of the biggest reasons we're staying 4 nights:

Tomorrow: Stewart and Hyder, two side-by-side towns separated by an international border. Check it out on your map.


heyduke50 said...

looks like a fantastic trip...

Sue Malone said...

Wonderful, Cyndi, we have Meziadin Lake plugged in as a possible stop on the Cassiar on our route north, leaving next week so we won't be there till mid July. Nice to hear it is a nice campground. we hope to get the kayaks in the lake there. Good to hear that your alternate plans are working just fine.

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

You covered a good distance today! We enjoyed Stewart-Hyder! Our MOST FAVORITE place on the hole trip was Boya Lake which is on the northern end of the Cassiar! We could have stayed for days, but unfortunately we were limited to 1!!

K and D in the RV said...

Sorry we missed you in SMithers - we would have loved to have shown you around! Portland Canal - it is now a port for the shipment of copper concentrate ore from around Huckleberry Mines outside Houston BC ( just before Smithers).