As we sat in our beautiful free camping spot on Dease Lake for two days we started looking at where we wanted to go, and how fast we wanted to get there. We were asked countless times about what our plan was once we hit the road, and judging by our route so far there hasn’t been much of a plan. The first major thing I wanted to see was Jasper National Park in Canada, and we are about to meet that goal as we are parked about 40 miles before reaching the entrance gate to the park.
In order to make sure we had enough time in the Jasper-Banff area before dropping into the lower 48 before October 4th when my temporary license plates expire on my truck, we knew we needed to do a couple of days of pushing a little harder down the road. We don’t like driving huge distances and prefer to be off the road by around 3pm, that way we can enjoy the evening, wherever we happen to be parked.
When we took off from Dease Lake our goal was set to go to Meziadin Lake Provincial Park on the Cassiar Hwy, just 96.5 Miles before the road intersects with the Yellowhead Hwy that runs between Edmonton, Alberta and Prince Rupert on the Canadian West Coast. The mileage for the day would be 226 miles, with a stop at the town of Dease Lake to start the travel with a full tank of fuel. The cost……….$4.22/ gallon, still not the most expensive so far as that was in Beaver Creek @ $4.44/Gallon.
We got to Meziadin Lake around 3pm just like we wanted and got settled into our paid spot. This Provincial Park sits on a gorgeous lake with a total of 66 sites. Some of the sites on the upper terrace were closed down for the season, in order to make it easier for the campground managers to maintain the area efficiently. We would only plan on staying there one night, although the idea of taking the spur road over to Stewart B.C, and Hyder, Alaska did cross our mind.
Onto our second consecutive day we made another push to Smithers B.C., and the Tyhee Lake Provincial Park 175 miles away. During this push we made several stops along the way to check out historical areas, and points of interest. One of those stops was Battle Hill National Historic site. This site is really just a hill, but comes with a lot of background as an Indian Chief known for terrorizing the other clans lived on its top, and the natural point of the hill made it easy to fortify. The tribal clans in the area fought for territorial space, and would attack each other’s villages in order to steal each other’s food caches, and enslave the women.
Once we were on our way along the Yellowhead Hwy, we received our first cell signals in a week, which meant we were getting closer to civilization. We rolled into Smithers around 3, and picked up the cheapest fuel since we arrived in Canada at closer to $3.30/gallon which closely matches the expense of fuel in Delta Junction, Alaska. Smithers was a nice town, and DQ caught our eye as we were making our way through. We decided we needed an Oreo Cookie Blizzard Fix, and that we would do a 16 mile round trip back into town the next day to re-provision at the local Safeway. I would also need to make a purchase at Napa while there, and it was closed for Sunday.
At the Tyhee Lake Provincial Park we found a nice spot tucked into the trees, and were followed in by the Park ranger to take payment. She informed us that we were one of 3 people staying there, out of 59 marked spots. As soon as we arrived we took the pups for a walk and returned on a trail that was right behind the trailer, this is where we found a huge amount of bear scat, unfortunately we never did find the bear. This was one of the more expensive Provincial Parks at $27 CAD/ about $22 US at the time, however just like the previous park it was immaculate, and this one had a shower house if you wanted to use it, and a dump station. So you can have the beauty of this place for $22/night or go down the road and pay twice as much in the RV Park and be 10’ from your neighbors, you make the choice.
After re-provisioning in Smithers, and trying out Tim Hortons restaurant for the first time - think Dunkin Donuts meets McDonalds - we moved further down the road with our fridge and pantry full. We had planned on going past Prince George, however about 30 miles before Prince George I saw a great place to Boon Dock and we cranked the wheel and pulled down a small access road going to a fairly large Gravel Pit Lake. We ended up spending two nights there, relaxing and enjoying having a cell signal to do a little bit of work. The pups went on a walk with me, that revealed some clear cutting areas from past logging efforts, a main industry of British Columbia. There was a memorial for two teens who had passed away at the lake several years before hand. I did a Google search to find out what happened, and after digging deeper then the first original news line found the more gritty details. I kept the details from Hillary until after we left, and she appreciated that sentiment.
After hitting the Yellowhead Highway we passed over a bunch of flat to rolling hills land, however now that we are 40 miles outside of Jasper we are hitting the big mountain areas again. Our current location is one that I found on www.freecampsites.com in a little rock quarry at the base of Mt. Robson, which stands at 12,972 feet making it the largest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. We decided to spend two nights here, however we were informed that due to previous squatters we were not allowed to be there and would have to move on, so one night it was. Next stop JASPER NATIONAL PARK.