Thursday, September 12, 2013

The View from the Road Trip

It seems like so long ago already, and I guess it kind of was - it was August 23 when we left Jasper to head to see friends in Vanderhoof. The delay in posting is due to the terrible internet while we were gone, the massive number of photos to sort through, and the fact that school started promptly on our return to Calgary. So I'll probably be stringing out these photos of rocks and trees and water in BC for at least another post, or even two. :)

This is Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. It's an easy stop just after you pass our of Jasper National Park, heading west.

Panoramic photo of Purden Lake from Trevor's iPhone
We took a stretch break at Purden Lake Provincial Park, about halfway between McBride and Prince George. It was a bit overcast, but just lovely. Unfortunately, a contractor was there pumping out the outhouses, so if you got too close it didn't SMELL too lovely, but it was a really nice place to stop for a break.

We spent a few days with our friends in Vanderhoof, which is the geographical centre of BC (if you're ever there, eat at Woody's Bakery, which is THE BEST bakery I've ever experienced, and that's really high praise...), and then we headed even further north to Smithers.
On our way up to Smithers we took a detour to Fort St James National Historic Site, on Stuart Lake. I hope you go there, but if you do, be warned that your Garmin GPS will not be able to find it. You'll have to watch for the signs, and if you get to the main intersection, you've gone too far. :) It was absolutely beautiful there - the ocean is still several hundred kilometres away, but it's easy to imagine the early traders making the journey inland and arriving at Fort St James. It feels very different from the coastal and southerly BC I know and love - it thrilled the heck out of my internal history geek. :)

Recreations of the tea bales that traders would have brought to the fort - the amount of work it would have required to get this tea from China to central BC blows my mind!

Trevor kicking back in an early version of a lazy boy, padded with a buffalo skin that was traded into BC from Alberta.

Fort St James - so pretty!
We took the time to watch the interpretive videos and look in all the buildings, and then got on the road again.
The campground we stayed at in Smithers was called Glacier View. See that lump of clouds in the middle of the mountains? Yah, the glacier is behind the clouds. :P Sadly, the weather in Smithers was not quite what I was hoping for (and the campground was too close to the highway for tenting - logging trucks run all night!), but we wandered around the historic downtown, checked out the museum, ate at a good Japanese place, and went to a movie. (The World's End, with Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman - SO FUN!)

Our last day there the weather improved, of can see the glacier in the distance... We went to hike Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, because the website talked about the amazing fossil beds, and the name caught my attention, but alas, we didn't see any driftwood, and the part of the park with the fossils is out of bounds! I was very disappointed! We headed further up the back road to another provincial park, but the trails there were muddier then we were up for, so we headed back to Vanderhoof for another few days with our friends there, and another trip to Woody's Bakery. :) Then we were off to Quesnel for a few days, which shall be another post, because I have German homework to do now...

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