Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 05:57 AM on July 26, 2008
On this very day, we woke up quite early, so that we could do the last finishing touches of packing the car before we left to the ferry terminal in South Delta. We had to be there quite early, as we did not have any reservations on the ferry, so we had to make sure that we were there with plenty of time to spare before we had to board the ferry.
At 7:45 a,m. we board the Coast Inspiration to Nanaimo BC, which is located on the central eastern coast of Vancouver Island, to Duke Point. The ferry crossing time, takes approximately 2 hours, and then we get to the Duke Point ferry terminal where we head towards the northern route on the island. The landscape quickly changes, from the urban area, to a lot of forest, and really small towns and communities.
We go through past Parksville and Qualicum Beach, and we stop to gas up, at Campbell River, before we proceed onto the Comox Valley where we stopped at a number of small towns like Cumberland, Sayward, Woss as a few examples.
Woss was a bit of a unique town, as there is a locomotive train that is part of one of the forest product companies, and it is quite the working train to look at. Just outside of Sayward, there was Kelsey Bay, in which the Discovery Coast Ferry used to dock and where the staging for the Discovery Coast and for the Northern Route to Prince Rupert.
We then go further north, and look at small towns like Telegraph Cove, which is a fishing community, but now is primarily a resort where people can go and relax. There is also a small community for camping as well. Keep in mind, that this is bear country as we did witness a small bear just outside of the community of Telegraph Cove.
We then go further up to Port McNeil which is a typical run of the mill town. It has all of the ammenities, and is a small community just outside of Port Hardy.
Port Hardy is a fishing/mining/logging community. We spent a little bit of time looking around Port Hardy. We go to the the Quarterdeck Inn, to their restaurant and the food was really good. We had small yorkshire puddings with roast beef in it. The fish and chips were really good at this restaurant. As would all other catches like that, which are fresh to the area.
We then get to the ferries about 5:30 p.m., although we don't have to be at the ferries until about 7:30. We were one of the first people that were in the staging area. When it came to about 7:30 we were set for staging. This process took about one hour and a half, and when we were on the ferry, wheel blocks were put under the wheels of all of the cars that were on our ferry. We were told that we had to make sure that all of our gear was up with us on the passenger deck, as we were only able to go down to the vehicle deck for different intervals that were supervised.
The Discovery Coast Ferry
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 09:00 PM on July 26, 2008
We finally get onto the Queen of Chilliwack, and are instructed by the ferry staff to make sure that we have all of our equipment up on the passenger deck, as passengers would not be allowed to go down and get equipment whenever they felt like it, but instead they would have to wait until the times that were signalled over the intercom that would allow the passengers to go down and get stuff.
Some of the stuff that would make your travels more pleasant on this ferry trip are the following pieces of gear: a sleeping bag, cot or foamie, blankets, pillows, some shampoo with coins, as it is a coin operated shower, and soem changes of clothes, as well as activities, and other stuff for entertainment.
The staff were very informative and knowledgeable about the area.They were very different then a lot of the other staff that have been on many of the other BC Ferry routes. The food was also excellent as well. They served liquor after 7 p.m. as this time is after the time that is spent in Klemtu, so they can keep up with the dry theme of Klemtu.
We then were up on the passenger's deck, and we were looking at staking our place. Many families already have their places staked, and there is not many other places to stay. We met this really friendly gentleman who makes weekly trips up to areas long the ferry line to deliver food. He invited us to stay with him in his area. He was very knowledgeable about the area and the ferry ride.
If you get sea sick, make sure that you take gravol, or use the sea/motion sickness wrist bands, as the boat can get quite bumpy in the first 4-6 hours of the journey on the ferry.
July 27, 2008
Our first leg of the trip is up to Bella Bella which about 10 hours from Port Hardy. A good portion of this leg of the trip is in very choppy waters. If you have been in a sail boat before you will be fine. Bella Bella is a native village that is about 3 km outside of where the ferry docks. The ferry docks at McLoughlin Bay. We are stopped there for about an hour. This is a very pretty area, but we were not able really get off, as there was not enough time to get off.
Our next stop was to Shearwater. This stop is an older "bunker" station for the second world war. It is primarily a fishing village, but there is a marina, and also a resort at this stop. Again we didn't really have enough time to get off at this stop, as there was only an hour stopover. In this protected area, it would be a good place to be able to see some animals, but we didn't really see anything except for a couple of birds.
We then went to Klemtu next. This is approximately 5 hours from Shearwater stop, and there is about a period of about 1-2 hours where there is open ocean again, but it is a little bit more protected then in the other stretches that we went in from Port Hardy to Bella Bella. This is a dry community meaning that there is no liquor available in this village area. We went into this very protected channel area They have a boardwalk area, and their community is very inviting for people from the ferry. This was a four hour stop over, so it allowed us enough time to get off of the ferry and have a look around. The ferry is opened up for the people from Klemtu to come on to have a "night out". In turn, they open up the community. We saw their long house and fish hatchery.
The longhouse was beautifully designed, and had many different insignias of their culture in it. It was used primarily for cultural events that they had. One of their elders was in talking with the public about folklore and other good tales. When we got back onto the ferry, I was able to talk with a resident of Klemtu who actually helped to build the longhouse. I had a good talk with him about their culture, and their organization of community. He suggested looking at the Kitasoo page, and that would give more information about their culture.
Our second to last stop was Ocean Falls. Ocean falls was about 7 hours from Klemtu. We had to go back into the open ocean for a little bit of time, and again it was rocking from side to side but not quite as bad as it was when we were going from Port Hardy to Bella Bella. We arrived in Ocean Falls about 1 in the morning, and consequently, we were only able to see the courthouse. This area is supposed to be very pretty. In some of the inlets towards Ocean Falls would be a a good place to see animals.
July 28, 2008
Ocean Falls to Bella Coola took approximately 7 hours. This leg of the trip was primarily through protected channels. Bella Coola is on the South End of the Bentwick arm. It is a beautiful area. We arrived in Bella Coola approximately 7 a.m. We were not expected to be in our accommodation to much later, so we had some time to tour around.
Bella Coola Valley
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 07:00 AM on July 28, 2008
We arrive at Bella Coola harbor at about 7 a.m. in the morning on the 28th of July. It is a typical marina with a working native fishing village. There were a lot of boats around the harbor and it looked beautiful. To the left of the harbor was the infamous Bella Coola River Estuary. This is where a lot of people get to see the infamous grizzly bears when they come down and look for food, namely salmon. There were none there when we looking around for them on the estuary area.
We did not have to be at the resort until about 1p.m., so we had plenty time to sight see when we were waiting for our place to stay to open up. We first got something to eat at one of the popular eateries in the town, which is attached to the Coop store. The food was pretty good, and we were surprised to see a few other couples that were on the same ferry as us going to get the food from there as well.
After this, we decided that we would go on the lookout for bears, so we started to go on our way to look for them. We went to the Walker Island Regional Park which is around the Bella Coola River where bears like to congregrate at, and no such luck. Also the hike was quite a far one with the ground being fairly unstable, so we were not really equipped with the gear to deal with this.
We then went up towards South Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Between South Tweedsmuir Park and Northern Tweedsmuir Park there is 980,000 hectares, which makes it one of the biggest wilderness parks in British Columbia. There are usually bears that congregrate around the Highway 20 aka the MacKenzie Highway, and there were no bears.
We got closer and closer to the entrance of Tweedsmuir Park. The park was beautiful with all of the lush green coastal rainforest type of forest. The first major park area that we noticed was the Alexander MacKenzie Grease Trail. This trail holds a lot of significance in history as this is the trail that MacKenzie used to try and access the northern passageway. He also met up with some of the natives in the area which shared some of the oolichan oil that they had, and apparently some of it spilled, and that is why they called it the grease trail.
Shortly after we went through that stretch, and passed the Valley Loop trail system which is the next major park area, we came across a black bear. Well I didn't see the black bear in full, but Jim did. I saw the back leg of the black bear as it went into the brush. We then went a little further down the corridor, and we came across an area where you're able to launch a boat. This area however, wasn't very practical for launching boats. It was very rocky in this area.
We then went down a little bit further and we came across the fisheries pool and Atnarko campgrounds. Both of these parts of the park are frequented by black and grizzly bears, so there are postings that are warning people of their presence around. There are also bulletin boards that are warning people that they are in bear country as well as cougar country as well. They also have notes up about proper bear viewing strategies as well as wildlife safety tips. You should pay attention to all postings and closures that take place in these areas as failure to do so, could end up in you not being able to use these areas again.
We then went a little bit further to the ever popular Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. This upbeat and luxurious park lodge is located on Corbould Drive just off of Highway 20. It is approximately 1/2 a kilometer from the highway. It has a bunch of cabins that are scattered around the main lodge. They are all kept up. The surroundings around the lodge are lush and very pristine. It is a good way to see some wildlife that may be gingerly walking across the resort. The dining room area of the lodge is very upbeat, and the atompshere is very pleasant. We did not stay in this accommodation, but I was able to get some information about various things within the park.
We then went a little bit further to the signs where is starts to talk about the infamous hill, and we didn't go any further than that. I wanted to stop and look at some signs about the park, so we were able to stop and look at some signs which I have photographed that are of significance about the park.
After this, we decided that it was time to head back and see if we were able to get into our room. We found out that we were able to, so we went to the room. The place was called the Brockton Inn Guesthouse. It was an upbeat log building that was situated in Hagensborg. The room was nice and airy and modern looking. We decided that we would spend some time to relax as we had quite the journey to get there, and thought that we should hae some time to chill. Our room offered satellite tv, and a kitchenette, so we were able to get some food from the store.
We went to the store, and got some food. We first went to the one in Hagensborg, and then we decided to go to the one around where we went to the restaurant the day before and picked up some food too. They were both okay priced, but it was still quite expensive.
We then went back to our room, and had some snacks and food. After this, we went to the Bella Coola Museum. This was very historical and talked about MacKenzies travels, and also about the history of the hill which was quite interesting. After this we went to the Clayton Falls Recreational Area, as we wanted to see the waterfall. It was very nice. It was about 500 m or so to the viewing deck of the falls. We then looked at the lower part of the recreation area, and again you could see the coastal rainforest environment.
Later in the day, after we did that, we went to get some more food, and then decided that we would go out bear hunting again. We went up the Noosgulch River forest service road, and up towards Tweedsmuir again, but nothing really. And we went into some other areas. By this time, it was getting darker, so we thought that we should turn around, and come back and then look again for animals in the morning.
The next morning we woke up and had their complimentary breakfast and then decided that we wanted to go fishing for the morning time. So we packed up our fishing gear, and went to Tweedsmuir Park again. We went to the fisheries pool, and Jim was able to catch quite a few small fish, and I was able to get some pictures. I was able to get some pictures of two robins. One robin caught a worm, and then the other one was in the tree, and then went down to bathing itself. We also met up with this man and his son, and they were fishing as well. They had waders on in this area.
After about 4 hours passed, and we decided that we would go back to the room first. Then after that we went back to the restaurant that we did the morning that we arrived, and got some lunch. The food was just as good. We then decided that we would have a little drive, in where we went to a few more regional parks to see if we could see any more animals. We went down to the Saloompt Forest Service Road and we weren't able to see any bears, but they sometimes congregrate around here. We still couldn't so we went back to the hotel room.
After dinner we went out to look for more bears. This time we saw one in Hagensborg. It was in someone's front yard and it was taking down a cherry tree. We were only a hundred meters away from it, but it didn't care about us. It was just too busy devouring the cherry tree. We were in the car, so we were not in any danger.
We went back to our room after that, and took it easy for the night.
The next day as we were packing up to handle the next leg of our trip, we came across a park ranger. I got to talking with him, and he was very knowledgeable, and told me to contact him if I should have any more questions.
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2008
This leg of the trip was really quite interesting. We leave our place at the Brockton House Guest House, head along the McKenzie Highway also known as Highway 20. We head back through Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.
I wanted to get some photos of the MacKenzie Grease Trailhead, so we stop at this location on the way up so that I am able to get some of the photos.
After this, we are on our way up towards the hill. We pass the fisheries pool, and the Atnarko campground. We also pass the ever popular Hunlen/ Turner Lake Trailhead.
Note for any of those people who are wanting to hike this trail. You shouldn't camp at the trailhead or in the parking lot as there is a heavy population of bears around this area. You should also refrain from hiking the Old Tote Road which is now a 4x4 road around dawn, or in the morning. Late morning, or early afternoon would be the best when bears are at the least activity. Refer to Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park for the latest information, and for other trail information.
We then continued our way up the hill. It gives you several of warning messages along the way to make sure that you are appropriately chained, if it is the winter time, and that your fuel is checked, and that you're vehicle is in good maintenance. There is at least an 18% grade along the road. There are tons of pull outs that you're able to take advantage of in order to take pictures of various areas that you may choose.
Please note that for safety purposes at alot of these locations as there are no rails or no guards for safety, that you should park in areas that are stable, and if you're too close to the edge, take the picture from your car.
You gain considerable elevation in a short period of time. Keep in mind that the poeple that are going up the hill have the right of way, as they cannot see what is sometimes coming down the hill a long way. There are a lot of picturesque areas, however, there were not too many areas where there was clear enough weather to take many pictures. The total elevation at Heckman's Pass is 1542 metres.
Although we didn't see any animals along the hill, you should be on the lookout for animals as well, since during some types of weather there may be more activity, and they may be on the road, or leaping from the hills etc., so depending on the weather you may have to be really vigilant and keep an eye out for the animals.
We get to the top of the hill and then we change from the coastal rainforest theme to a rolling alpine meadow environment. There are no animals in this area. I am guessing that they are hiding, as it was fairly cool when we were up there, and I don't think that they were wanting to stray very far away from their homes. There were some people that I have read stories about saying that this area was very active with animals, so it depends on the time of year, and the luck of the draw as to whether you see any animals at this stretch.
We then go past the Rainbow Range trailhead. This is another popular trailhead for many avid hikers. This is another backcountry trail, and it takes considerable effort to do many backcountry hikes. The Rainbow Range mountains from what I know are very picturesque, but the time that we went past them it was too foggy and cloudy to get any picture. We hope to visit this area again to be able to get some pictures of the rainbow range, but for now we don't have any.
We then reach Anahim Lake that is known for their stampede each summer, and also for American Pelicans, but I wasn't able to see any of the pelicans, and again it could be from the temperature of the area. This is also the area where the Escott and Anahim Lake Resorts are. We took a drive and viewed the Escott Bay Resort, and this was a very nice looking resort. The Anahim Lake is very large, as is Nimpo Lake. I was able to get a few photos also of this area.
We then leave Anahim Lake and enter the small town of Nimpo Lake. Here the lodge of Stewart's Lodge is. I will write more about Stewarts Lodge in the next posting.
Nimpo Lake -- Stewarts Lodge
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 12:30 PM on July 30, 2008
We arrive in Nimpo Lake at around 12:30 p.m. Nimpo Lake is this small resort community that has the basic ammenities like gas, a food store, and a few other smaller stores.
We find Stewarts Lodge quite easily. The sign was very visible, and easy to find. We go down there, and get checked in, and then we get told where our cabin is and we get settled away, and then we go back to the office area where we get our lunch. It was later than most people got their lunch, but they told us to let us know when we would be in the area, and that is why we were able to get the lunch later. The lunch consisted of Chef's salad and iced tea. This was very delicious.
After we had the lunch we were wanting to go out boating, but we were informed that it was a little bit too windy, and that we should wait a little bit of time until the wind dies down a little bit. While we are waiting for the wind to die down we go back to our cabin, and play cards and have a little bit of a rest.
The cabin we were staying at is a cosy little cabin that has a woodstove and a couple of beds as well as full electricity, and a heated shower. The package that we got included the accommodation, the three meals a day, a boat and motor and fish care.
The wind decided that it was going to die down about 2 or 3 hours later. We went out in a motorboat and skimmed around Nimpo Lake. I was looking at all of the loons that were on the lake, and the fish that decided that they were going to jump and display their presence. We had approximately a couple of hours that we could go out and explore, as we had to be back by 6:30 p.m. for appetizers in the lounge of the main lodge.
When we arrived that night at the main lodge for our appetizers and drinks, we got the chance to meet the rest of the people who were staying at the lodge, but were in flyout packages, so they were in off road wilderness areas in which there were no roads to these lakes, but great fishing. There was a couple of people from San Diego area, and then there was a couple that was from the Texas area. They were very enamored with the area, and are interested in possibly coming back to this area. The appetizers that night consisted of vegetables and chips and crackers.
The meal that night was a steak meal which consisted of a delicious shrimp salad for a starter. For desert we had apple pie. We were partnered up with the couple from Texas, and we got to know them. It was nice to be able to meet another couple, and discuss about the day's events etc.
We then went back to our cabin, and did some cards, and other things for the evening, and then we had an early night. We were both tired that night, and just wanted to go to sleep early.
The next morning, we had flapjacks (also known as pancakes), and eggs and hashbrowns. After breakfast, we hit the lake again. We were able to get a lot of fishing done, and we were able to see more of the lake. We also saw more of our friends the "loons". We were able to get a few fish and watch a few jump. We only kept one fish in the morning, this one was one that had too severe of injuries from the hook in order to remain in the lake, so we had to take this fish with us.
We then went for lunch before returning to the boat in the afternoon. We had hotdogs for lunch, along with potato salad. This again was really good, although I really don't care for hotdogs, these were actually adequate.
We went out again in the boat in the afternoon, and did some more fishing and explored more of the lake, and we also went to an arm of it closer to where we were staying that hadn't explored the day before or in the morning. We ended up with another fish in the afternoon, so that was a total of two fish that we were able to get during our trip.
We then head back to the dock, as it was getting closer to dinner, so we had to get ready. Because of the fact that the dock is to high up from the boat, Jim took me into the shore so that I could get out of the boat. The morning when I got out of the boat, it was fine, but then when I tried in the afternoon, I was not as lucky. The boat wasn't completely up on shore, and it was a bit windier so when I had one leg out of the boat, the boat started drifting away as I was trying to get my second leg out. I had to brace the boat to avoid falling and breaking something. I still fell in the water, and the camera went too, but I didn't break anything. I get back to the cabin to dry off and take off all the wet clothes, and Jim has to fix up the stuff including docking the boat, and then taking care of the fish, and then he came to help me.
The appetizers that night when we went there was chicken wings, chips and salsa, vegetables and crackers, fruit and cheese. The salad was a green salad that night. We had prime rib that night. This was really good. For desert we had blueberry pie and ice cream.
After dinner we all sat around talking about our day's events, and then Duncan, the owner of the place shared some stories that he knew about Cooks and MacKenzie's travels, and about the history of the Chilcotin. All of this was very interesting. We all stayed talking until about 930 and then we went back to our cabin, and played some card games until we went to bed.
From the event that happened the day before, we didn't really want to go fishing that morning. We had breakfast which consisted of much the same thing of eggs, toast, flapjacks, hashbrowns etc., and then we decided to settel up the bill, and then leave on the next leg of our trip. We talked with Duncan for a little while and then we left.
This is a place that we would gladly return to. It was very hospitable, and the fishing was excellent. If you're wanting further information about the packages, and the lodge, please refer to Stewarts Lodge
Freedom Highway 20
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 08:45 AM on August 01, 2008
We left Stewarts Lodge at Nimpo Lake around 8:45 in the morning, and we started our next major leg of our trip which was the Freedom Highway or known as Highway 20.
We went by many free range cattle in between many small towns and the entrance way to the roads leading to several of resorts along the way.
Some of the more major towns along Highway 20 were Tatla Lake, Kleena Kleene, Chilko Lake, Alexis
Creek, and Riske Creek before we got to the hill leading down to the junction of the Fraser River.
The more minor towns included Tatlayoko Lake, Chilanko Forks, Redstone, and Lees Corner/Hanceville.
Tatla Lake was our first town that we passed and took pictures in. It too was like the area in Nimpo Lake. It had a gas station, a small motel, and some basic ammenities. It wasn't that big, but there was enough ammenities at this location to be able to get some things if it were needed.
Kleena Kleene was the next major town that we went through that again had some basic ammenities but that was it. It is also the area where you registered if you're interested in the Nature Trails lodge that is up at Tetachuk Lake, this is where you would register for. Their website is: Nature Trails and they would be able to help you for further information. We didn't go to this resort, as it was a fly-in resort, but there may be some people who are interested in this type of resort.
Tatlayoko Lakes holds some significance in history. If you are interested in reading an article, click on this link British Columbia I found it kinda of interesting. If you want to read the full article, then you will have to contact British Columbia Magazine in order to order a copy of that issue. If that issue expires before you're able to look at it, go to BC Magazine and then look for the Fall 2008 issue, and look for the article "The Lure to the Tatlayoko".
Chilko Lake, we didn't actually get down to, but we were able to go by the entrance to the road that leads you down to this lake. There is a resort called the Chilko Lake Lodge, and then there is also a provincial park called Ts?ylos. I will provide the link for both of these, so that you're able to see information about these as well.
We then went by Chilanko Forks, which again holds quite significant history during the gold rush and fur trade times. There are also some resorts in this area like the Poplar Grove Resort
The next place that we go through is Redstone, which is primarily native land. There is some free range cattle, and some built up areas, but it was mainly fields and fields of green.and hay stacks in this area.
We are going between Redstone and Alexis Creek, and come across another provincial park called Bull Canyon
The place after that we go through is Alexis Creek. This is a fairly built up town, and there is a lot of ammenities, and emergency services in this area.
We then go by a small little area named Hanceville/Lees Corner. This is a little town, but there is a resort called the Chaunigan Lake Resort and the Big Creek Lodge that you can access from this point. You can also also access the Big Creek Provincial Park Please note that this area is a wilderness area that there are no supplies of any sort in this area.
In between Hanceville and Riske Creek, there is a cut through that you can do and view two fascinating areas, but unfortunately we didn't see them, but they are highly recommended by locals and by people who have been to this area before. They are the Farwell Canyon and the Junction Sheep Provincial Park.
You then get to Riske Creek, which is a place that has basic ammenities but that is about it. It is also the gateway to many different places.
Just past Riske Creek, there is a major hill that leads towards the crossing of the Fraser River. This holds a lot of significant historical value as well during the fur trade and gold rush. Be sure to check your brakes. This is another steep area and you need to make sure that you have good brakes for this route!
Just prior to Williams Lake, there is a turn off that allows you to go to the following places: Gang Ranch, Churn Lake Protected Area, Big Bar, and Edge Hills Provincial Park.
We arrive at Williams Lake, just prior to about 1 p.m. and we decide that we should have lunch before we continue onto our next destination which is up towards Likely.
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 02:00 PM on August 01, 2008
We went from Williams Lake to the Likely Road, which connects you to the small town of Likely, which is located along the Quesnel River.
The first major site of interest that we went to was called the Bullion Pit Mine which is the picture that you see to the right.
This held quite a bit of significance in mining and the gold rush time. There was I believe ore or minerals that were in this mine. For more information about the Bullion Pit, click on Bullion Pit
When we get to the town of Likely, it is a very small area. We first cross this bridge that goes over about class 5 rapids, which is a lot of heavy white water and then we also look at the south side of the river which is the Quesnel River. This area is a lot calmer of an area.
Likely holds very significant historical values, and there is the ghost town of Quensel Forks, which is approximately 4-5 km from the town of Likely. Click on this link for further information Quesnel Forks There is also a couple of inns in the main town, and only one main restaurant that is located in town, along with a small convenience store that has the basic ammenities in it.
There are a few areas for accommodation around Likely, and they include the Morehead Cabins, Deacon Hotel, High Country Inn and the Northern Lights Lodge and also there is a provincial park in this area called the Cedar Point Park. It has the visitor information center within this park, and the information is very helpful.
There is really good fishing up in this area, but a lot of times you need a boat to be able to access the fishing from this site. We didn't have access to a boat, so that was rather unfortunate, but we still liked looking at the area.
We were staying at the Northern Lights Lodge, and it is very good for the people who are taking part in a fishing derby, or during times like that, but there isn't much happening in this location when there are no events happening including no food being offered, and the rooms were small without chairs in the lodge rooms. Apparently there are cabins, but we didn't stay in one of those.
We also went to the Cedar Dam which is on the road past the Northern Lights Lodge. You should only do this road during the day time since there is many pot holes along the way, and many places where water can pool. Also, if you plan on visiting this area, ensure that you take out all your garbage with you as there was much garbage around there that is not healthy for the animals that may want to be around.
This was an area that was supposed to be good to view wild animals such as bears and moose, but not during the time that we were up there. There is alot of mosquitos up in this particular site.
Gold Rush Trail
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 08:30 AM on August 02, 2008
We leave the Northern Lights Lodge at around 8:30 a.m., and take some pictures around this area, and then we head up the Keithley Road towards the Gold rush trail
As you go along the roadway from Keithley Creek up to Barkerville via the Likely road, you will come to many major attraction through out the trip.
The road is very carefully marked, and you can follow all of the signs and you will end up where you are supposed to. The map that they give you is very accurately documented on the roads and areas that you go along.
Some interesting sites, are the Matthew Valley floor, and also the really tall mountains that you see to the right when you're coming up form Likely. I believe that they are in the Cariboo Mountain Range. We were unfortunate, in the fact that we were not able to see these mountains the tops of them anyhow, due to the amount of cloudiness that we were having that morning. But in most cases you would want to go slow in this area as there are some really good pictures that you would be able to take.
Cariboo River Falls -- this is a good site. But the road that it mentions to take is this narrow lane to the falls. You should have a fairly good vehicle to make this journey, as the road tends to get very muddy from what we could see, with fairly big potholes.
Cameron Ridge is a good hiking trail at location 5. You should be a good hiker in good condition to be able to hike this ridge, as it is one of those more complicated hikes.
At site 7, you will come across the Ghost Falls. This is an absolute must see. There is a bridge that goes over the falls, and you can see the top half roaring, and then the bottom half is on the other side of the bridge. If you continue more along the road, you will come across the campsite. You should go up to the campsite, which is nestled within the Cariboo Mountain Park. There is a small short hike that you can take at 50-100 m away from the parking area, and it goes down a bit of a hill and then there is a marshy area that has wooden logs, that you should watch your footing on. The lake is very green. It is very picturesque. Be sure however, to make a lot of noise, and also make sure that you're hiking with someone, as this is Bear Country as well as cougar country, so you do NOT want to scare either of these animals. After you have made a detour to these gorgeous falls, you can transverse and go back to the top where the site number is and carry on.
There is a restaurant and a lodge further up the road, but from what we saw, it looked fairly closed, and not running. The best thing is to talk either with the tourist bureau at the historic town of Barkerville, or at Cedar Point Provincial Park in Likely to get some more information about whether this area will ever open up for business again. It is possible that is only open during some times of the year, and not during other times of the year.
The next major stop of interest is you will go into the Cariboo River Park. There is a small road that leads from around the bridge that goes over the Cariboo River. In this area, near the entrance, is ideal fishing grounds, but you need to be really careful for wildlife that may be in the area. We saw a number of very fresh animal prints, and you need to keep that in mind when you are looking around for fishing, or other type of recreational activities. With that in mind, we didn't stay there too long before moving on, as we didn't want to be there, incase the animals decided like they would want to return to get back to that spot.
The remaining stretches that lead to Barkerville is quite long, with not many highlights until you get to the end. We go through several of kilometers before we get to the intersection of where the road meets up with the Bowron Lakes. At this point, we see a sign introducing us to the park. We were told from the sign that we would have to go 28 km if we wanted to see the park, but we chose not to. We then stopped by the historic town of Barkerville.
This back road is a seasonal road and dependant on the weather conditions, and the seasonal variations that there are out there. Sometimes after heavy rain, it can get quite muddy, and also very wet.
Keep in mind that these are shared roads. If you see another vehicle, or if you see an ATV, then you need to give them plenty of room as well. A lot of the ATVers you will find with the company of a dog.
This road was really worthwhile, and we hope that we will be able to do it again at some point possibly.
This road has many recreational properties to it: swimming, hiking, wildlife viewing, boating etc. and much more.
Barkerville, Wells and Quesnel
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 11:30 AM on August 02, 2008
We arrive in the Barkerville and Wells area around 11:30 a.m. after having done the gold rush trail from between Likely and Barkerville.
We went by Barkerville to see what it looked like, but we didn't want to spend too much money, and it was just a little bit above what we were wanting to pay that day. We were also very hungry that morning, so we wanted to get some lunch. Before we went to Wells to get some lunch, I decided to go into their tourist center to see how much it would be to go into the historic town. It was about 13.50 each per adult. We didn't end up going into the town, but I did get some literature about the area around Barkerville, including the historic town, which I will eventually be able to put in some information that will be helpful.
We went in search for some food at Wells. We saw the Bear Claw Cafe, which offerred wraps and other type of sandwiches, but we thought that we would explore some other restaurants or cafes in the Wells area, and we came across a place called the Pooley Cafe which was found in the old historical Wells Hotel. We also found out that there was a music festival going on during this weekend, and learned that it is very similar to that of the Merritt Mountain festival and the one that Pemberton had as well, but a little bit less scaled. To a small extent.
While we were in the Pooley Cafe we were able to meet the couple that are operating the Barkerville campground, and they were very pleasant. We were able to talk with them for a while, and we were able to get some information about Barkerville, and found out that there was a lot of renovations going on, but not much has changed from the last 10+ years, so we really didn't miss anything.
After we finished our lunch, we went from Barkerville, and then we headed towards Quesnel. Highway 26, which is the highway that is commonly the way to get to Barkerville is prime wildlife habitat. We unfortunately didn't see any animals, but there were signs warning us about moose, and deer and other sort of animals.
About halfway between Barkerville and Quesnel, there is a place called Cottonwood House, which really was historically significant during the times when the fur trade and gold rush were happening. We were able to get some pictures here, but it cost to get into the houses to look at, so we just took some pictures from the outside. Here is where we also saw some animals such as chicken, marmots and horses.
We arrive in Quesnel, and then we decided that we should look in the approved accommodation guide, so that we would have somewhere to stay that night. We called around to several of hotels, but most were already taken that we were wanting to go to. Sandman works all the time. We called them, and they were able to get us into their hotel.
We arrive there, and the room is fairly nice. We then decide to go back down to the lobby and see where there would be an opportunity to see some wildlife. We were told to go up towards dragon mountain. We go to Hill Lake Forest Service Road, and we go about 26 km along the road. The road then goes more into 4x4 material, so we opt to turn around. We saw a lot of free range cattle, and we also saw the back leg of a bear. On our way down near the start of the hill, we saw either a marten or a fisher.
After we had our fix of trying to find wildlife that night, we go to Mr. Mikes which is a good burger place, and we have the original mikes burger, and then we decided to go to the casino. We had a good time there, and then we decided that we would go to look for wildlife during the small amount of day light that we have left.
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 08:35 AM on August 03, 2008
This particular highway is the highway corridor from Quesnel down to Clinton. The major links through this trail are the following: Quesnel, Kersley, Alexandria, Marguerite, McLeese Lake, Williams Lake, 150 Mile House, Timothy Lake, 108 Mile House, 100 Mile House, 70 Mile House, Chasm and Clinton.
Quesnel is where we were starting off on our way back down to Vancouver which is home for us. This is where the Sandman is that we were staying at. It was foggy this particular morning when we were leaving, but it didn't last too long. It was short lived.
Then we went through Kersley, and this is where we went off to that forest service road to be able to see the possibility of wildlife. This is a small town, and has some of the basic ammenities, but not a lot of much.
Then we go through a couple of smaller towns which is Alexandria and Marguerite. There is not much of anything in these two small towns, but they are places on the map.
McLeese Lake is one of those areas where there are some resort areas. This is one of the major areas around this area for them.
Williams Lake is the major destination in order to go to a bunch of different vacation spots, such as the Central Coast around Bella Coola and area, through Gang Ranch, and then through many other popular areas.
Both around 150 Mile House and Timothy Lake, there are a lot of various provincial parks and resorts. Some of the lakes, but are not limited to Canim Lake, Wells Gray, Green Lake, Timothy Lake, Watch Lake and much more.
108 Mile House consists of a health ranch, and also a historical town not as wide scale as somewhere like Barkerville, but still have some old buildings. We were able to get some pictures of some of these areas which I have included in the slide show.
100 Mile House was a fairly developed town like Williams Lake. There were quite a few services and ammenities offered around this area.
70 Mile House and Chasm are where there are also a lot of provincial parks and resorts around them as well. This is a fairly wilderness area in this corridor.
Clinton is where the highway 97 ends. We stop at Downing Provincial Park before we continue up the Pavillion Mountain Road.
Pavillion/Duffey Lake Road and Sea to Sky Highway
Posted by theworldofbritishcolumbia at 01:30 PM on August 03, 2008
We get back in our car from the Downing Park, and we continue our way up the Kelly Lake Road to the Pavillion Mountain road. This mountain road has a very steep inclination. There is about a 12 - 15% grade in some areas, and then some areas are flat. We go up the first stretch which is still around the Kelly Lake, and the scenes are very breathtaking, but there are some pictures that we cannot get as there are possibly dangerous conditions.
As you go up the hill, you have to understand that there may be other people coming down the hill or behind you. This is a popular road for people who use ATVs. The are the off road terrain vehicles, and they are able to go pretty much anywhere.
Keep in mind that many of these roads are surrounding private land, so you need to keep off this part of the land, and keep on the road and remove all of the trash that you pack in. These residents and owners have given you permission to be able to drive in this area, so you should respect their rights whenever you decide to trespass on their land.
The scenes are especially breathtaking when you get on the side of Lillooet. These pictures are very good, and cover a lot of land. It was not hard to notice that most of this area is constantly drive due to be in the leeward side of the mountains, so it is common that they see very little rain.
When we were finished the Pavillion Mountain Road, we go and look for Lillooet. This is the stop that you need to be able to get to in order to access the start of the Duffey Lake Road. This road goes on for some distance before it crosses a couple of creeks, and then lands in the town of Lillooet.
We then start the Duffey Lake Road, and there are many different scenes through this corridor, especially the Duffey Lake, and then popular hiking trails as well that you can follow that will allow you to hike in wilderness. Keep in mind that all of this area is in bear and cougar country, so if you're going to head out, make sure that you maintain good safety of each of these animals.
We then go through the alpine on the Duffey Lake Road, and then we go through to Mount Currie and Pemberton area. These have both built up somewhat.
We then go down to the Whistler area, which has really developed alot from the renovations that they have been doing for the Olympics. The Callaghan Valley is an area that is being extensively developed for the Olympics. All of the other upgrades have been signficant.