Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hyder Sightseeing

Today we decided to take a drive up toward Salmon Glacier. We had already heard that the road was snowed in and we wouldn't be able to make it that far, but it was a nice day for a drive anyway. We took our time and when we got close to the snowed in section, we noticed a lumber delivery truck at the side of the road. We continued on past him, but didn't get far before we had to back down and get turned around. As we were getting close to the truck, the driver approached us and told us there was a helicopter due to land shortly and wanted to make sure we didn't park in his way. We decided to wait it out and see what was happening. The wait wasn't long and the following 3 photos are of the helicopter that came in to take the first of several loads of lumber to an exploratory camp about 45 miles north.

We drove back down to the wildlife viewing area to walk the boardwalk and see if there were any bears there today. We didn't see any, but we got this great photo of bear scat (you can tell it is bear scat because of the pepper smell and the bells in it). :)

Ken had me stand beside this very large tree behind the viewing boardwalk.

We went back to the RV to get some preparations completed for our departure on Monday morning. Then we made a return trip to the Glacier Inn in Hyder for dinner. This was the first day of their restaurant opening and they are offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a menu. Considering the location, the prices were very reasonable and the portions were very generous. We highly recommend trying a meal there. Everything that can be homemade is and they even make their own hamburger buns.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

After leaving our campground in Hazelton, we went back into the town of New Hazelton for fuel. Since we were planning about 50 gallons of fuel, the attendent opened up the card lock fuel system for us as it would be faster. We took on 175.69 litres at $0.859 for a total of $150.92 (Canadian). When we went into the office to pay, we had a problem with MasterCard refusing our card for some reason. We had used it the day before with no problem. We had to call and explain to them that we are fulltime RVers traveling all over and currently on a trip through Canada and Alaska. That caused about a 10 minute delay, but at least we were able to get it resolved and get on the road. The following sign marks the start of the Cassiar Highway.
Just a few miles up the road we spotted our first moose on the trip...well, the south end of a northbound moose anyway.

We saw around 8 bear before seeing this one that where we actually had enough time to take photos. Most of the others we saw as they just lifted a their head from grazing at the side of the road and didn't have enough time to slow down or stop. The first photo is where it was grazing at the side of the road.

These next three photos are of the bear running across the road from right to left after it got tired of being photographed.

The following photo is at the intersection of Highway 37 (the Cassiar) and 37A (the highway to Stewart, BC and Hyder, AK). The Cassiar Highway continues to the right, and we took the left turn to go to Stewart and Hyder.

We were able to pull off the road to get this next photo of Bear Glacier. The photo does not do it justice and show all of the beautiful blue color which can be seen in the glacier.

We arrived at the Bear River RV Park ($48.30 Canadian with Good Sam discount) where we will stay for 2 nights and full hookups with 30amp electric, cable tv, and free wi-fi.

Here is the sign where we entered Hyder.

We drove around town for a bit, then drove north to the bear viewing walkway. We were informed by some people there that we had just missed a bear. We drove back to town to have a drink at the Glacier Bar in Hyder. They have been in business there since 1956 and are getting ready to start serving breakfast, lunch, and dinners for the first time starting on Sunday. We came back to the RV to enjoy some cable tv and free wi-fi available in the campground.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Prince George, BC to Hazelton, BC

Today we drove from Prince George, BC to Hazelton, BC. The 2nd Shell station did offer a Flying J discount and we took on 149.32 litres of diesel at $0.82/litre for a total of $117.96 (Canadian) after the discount. The north country of BC is very scenic and we saw numerous warning signs for moose, but we never did encounter any real live moose. The only wildlife we saw today were a couple of muley deer who were thinking of crossing the road and fortunately changed their minds. This photo is about the only good one I got today of a snow peaked mountain in the Smithers, BC area.

We have stopped for the night at 'Ksan Campground in Hazelton, BC and the rate is $20.00 (Canadian) for electric only. We seemed to have arrived and set up at the right time as it is now pouring down rain.

Cache Creek to Prince George

After putting in a long day of driving (for us), we decided to stay at Prince George, BC for a couple of nights. We stayed at the Southpark RV Park about 3 miles south of town and paid $60.48 (Canadian) for the 2 nights. It was a full hookup site with 30amp electric. We really need to do a bit more investigative work before selecting campgrounds. This one was okay, but the sites were very narrow. We passed another park south of here called Bee Lazee and one north of here called Stincich which probably would have been better for space although we didn't check the price. We drove around town on Thursday to check out the fuel stations. Someone parked next to us the night before told us to go to the 2nd Shell station north of the campground and that they take Flying J cards. We'll check it out this morning as we continue on our way.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Omak, WA to Cache Creek, BC

We were on the road at about 8:30am this morning and made another quick trip to the Super Walmart for some last minutes items we had forgotten. Then we went across the road to fill the diesel and propane tanks. Diesel: 21.946 gals @ $2.779 for a total of $60.99. Propane: 11.7 gals @ $3.20 for a total of $40.32.

Above is a photo as we approach the border crossing at Osoyoos, BC. The questions from the border agent were easy, and we were sent on our way within 5 minutes. We stopped at the visitor center for information on BC, then headed on to Oliver where we stopped at a bank to get our US money changed for Canadian. The exchange rate was about $1.10 for our $1.00.

We stopped for a quick lunch at a wide spot along the middle section of Okanagon Lake then continued on our way. The following photo is of a dome we saw which looked like something from outer space with the cloud surrounding it. It was a part of the Highland Valley Copper Mine which covered miles on north of the original dome sighting.

After a long day, we finally found a campground in Cache Creek, BC called Brookside Campsite. The rate was $30.00 Canadian. Although we didn't use the water hookup, they did offer 30amp power, water, and septic at a large pull through site. They also have free wi-fi so that we didn't need to set up our internet dish and we decided to do without tv for the night. That works out great for an early start tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Omak, WA

We are finally on the road again! We left the Spokane, WA Elks this morning and drove to Omak, WA where we're spending the night at Carl Precht Memorial RV Park for the night. This is a nice campground with trees for shade in some of the sites. We have 30amp electric, water, and sewer available to us and it's on the Okanagon River. This is the site of the Omak Stampede which is a big event every summer here. Since we were last here in September 2008, the rates have gone up from $16/night to $20/night. They are in the process of building a huge grandstand for the rodeo grounds.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We're Ready to Start the Trip

Along with Ken's brother and wife, we took Ken's Mom to lunch for a belated birthday today and then we headed back to the RV to get things packed and ready to go. That task has been accomplished and we should be ready to hit the road in the morning. We plan to fill the diesel and propane somewhere in route, then spend the night in Omak, WA prior to entering Canada on Tuesday morning.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spokane, Wa - Elks Lodge

It's May 23rd and this was the day we planned to leave Spokane and start our Alaska trip. Unfortunately, Ken's Mom fell last week and ended up in the emergency room with fractures in her upper arm. In the process, we had to move her to an assisted living facility. Needless to say, it's been a very busy week for us. She is now settled in to her new home and seems to be doing well. She will be well cared for by family and the facility. We now plan to be on the road early Monday morning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stocking Up For The Alaska Trip

Today was a somewhat quiet day. Ken picked up the Elks riding mower along with Ron, the RV host. This afternoon we went to Walmart and stocked up on many of our everyday essentials so we should be getting close to ready to hit the road.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch at the Spokane Elks

We're parked at the Elks Club in Spokane, WA as we await the start of our Alaska trip. Today is Mother's Day and the Spokane Elks had a brunch. We were joined by Ken's mother, brother, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons and it was the first nice day we've had here in quite a while.