© 2011 jemma

Week 1 of the RV adventure!!

The RV trip…22 days in an RV travelling 4000km…final destination Whitehorse, Yukon Territories.
Weapon of choice, Ford MMX Pleasure way -*giggle* It’s just a funny name tis’ all.

Day One – Edmonton to Valemount
Animal count – Some deer (They are no longer counted as they are so often seen, even if they are cute little Bambies) elk, a wolf and big horned sheep.

The day began in rain and ended bathed in sunshine and happiness as we rolled out in the camper for the first big journey along the Yellowhead highway to Valemount – an hour and a half from Jasper. It was a glorious drive once we had crossed over the Rockies and back into BC. Before that it had been rain, rain, rain. The camper we found out is excellent. No longer do we have to wait to go to the toilet, or buy a cup of tea or lunch. We have all these things and more right at our fingertips in the camper. I can even get up and get snacks when I am hungry – although I learnt the hard way about the trucks breaking techniques. Jess is in absolute heaven, and I’m just happy the bears can’t get in.

The campsite at Valemount was excellent, right on the river and in the sun. We went for a hike in the afternoon, although we were warned it could get a little icy – and it was – but I still had fun scaring myself silly in the forest. I really shouldn’t have asked too many questions about the stuffed animals in the office/shop , you know, like where they had been shot, especially the grizzly bear. We made a fire and had a nice cup of Milo and some Tim tams. All in all a great first days drive.

Day Two – Valemount to Prince George
Animal count – 5 black bears and 1 moose.

It had to happen eventually. I just didn’t think it would happen in such great numbers. We finally saw them…the bears. They are not as big as I thought they would be – like 30 foot woman style – but they are big enough. We saw them in different locations, beginning with me spotting the first one eating grass about 100m from the hwy in a clearing near some farms. I was sooooooooooooo excited, and Jess had to do some tricky manoeuvring – lost a glass to that one – to turn us around so we could go back and take pictures. We felt it ok to stop at this bear because it was far off. Usually you DO NOT STOP near the bears because they end up being used to the cars and then killed by them. We got some good pics and moved on.

We travelled though the countryside for a while and then elevated up through the mountains. It rained then stopped for a very long time. The rest of the bears were seen very close to the roadside eating the lush green grass and rolling in it. Mostly we were going so fast and saw them so late to get pictures. We only got a photo of one other because we could see it in the grass from a distance. It was a fun game. We were very lucky to see 5 in one day. Usually all we had been seeing were bear pipes, bear logs and bear rocks. Those are tricky beasts to spot, let me tell you.

The moose however was a fluke. You see signs all over the hwy saying moose for 10km etc, but one of them had said moose next 88km! I said ‘if we didn’t see a moose in the next 88km the sign is BS!’
Lucky we did. They are VERY shy, and at this time of year have no antlers. We slowed down so much, but still it ran very fast back into the trees, I got a pic though, not a great one. They are a cross between a camel, donkey and a horse. Weird.

Day Three – Prince George to Fraser Lake
Animal Count – 1 Black Bear
Today it was raining again. I am so sick of the rain, and being inside a camper makes it just that little bit worse. I mean, it’s a big camper – when compared to a tent – but it feels small when you can’t go outside and poor Jess can’t stand up straight.

There was only one thing for it – go to Walmart. We needed to pick up a few things anyway, and I hadn’t been in a Walmart before. It is huge. A mixture between Woolworths, Big W and Kmart, and the size of all three put together. It was rather daunting walking in. I had been to Costco, but this just seemed bigger. But the best thing is, it is cheap…so cheap.

After my Walmart adventure, we made our way to Fort George Park so I could look around. You see, while Jess works, we leave the campsite and go and find a park so he can finish his day and we can move on. It was a lovely park, with a little railway and museum and a fabulous riverside walk – yes I walked in the rain.

We then hit the road and we traveled through lots of farms again and up and down mountains. Up high, the snow is still there, but in the valleys the leaves are starting to appear on the trees. When we arrived at our campsite, we hadn’t realised it would be right on the water with a fantastic view. It was great. In the afternoon/evening Jess and I took the campsite peddle boat out for a cruise on the lake. We saw eagles in the trees and a big beaver dam – no beavers unfortunately. It was a great way to end the day, and if you ever need to fix a rudder, use a little stick, they are always around to help.

Day Four – Fraser Lake to Smithers
Animal Count – 1 Black (brown) bear and 1 moose

Jess and I learnt a lesson today. Always check you can receive Bell coverage – for the internet – when arriving at a campsite. I woke this morning to Jess freaking out that the campsite internet was too slow and he had no Bell coverage for his wireless dongle. We had to leave so he could do some very important work! IMEDIATLY!! So immediate though that I went and had a shower before we left – no breakfast though – I have priorities Lorenzo.

We found a spot by the river in Fort Fraser itself and ate breakfast while Jess worked. I’m reading a very good book at the moment called Little Bee, it is a bit sad and graphic – very well written – and is about a Nigerian refugee, I was reading this all morning. Just to put me in the mood for more rain and grey skies. Cheery.

Before we left, Jess who did not have a shower before leaving the campsite – there is a shower in the camper, but it is T-i-n-y – had to shower in the camper. It was so funny watching him try and fit in the bathroom and wash. One day though I may have to do the same. Nooooooo!

Just as we were leaving Fraser Lake, I spotted the first and only bear of the day. It was a black bear which was brown – that can happen – and it was eating grass a km away from our last camp. Lucky I lock the doors at night! Along the way through the beautiful Canadian forests – that they LOVE logging – we spotted a massive moose. This time we got a better picture before it pelted away through the trees. Jess and I love their little beards.

We made it all the way to Smithers today. A town surrounded by snow capped mountains and forests. We tried to go for walk but it decided to rain on us instead. Touché Mother Nature, touché.

Day Five – Smithers to Terrace
Animal Count – Nothing

Today we saw no animals and it was a bit sad. On the upside we travelled through some of the most beautiful scenery. Spring has certainly sprung in the Skeena River valley. You look up at the mountains and see all the shades of green – Jess can’t see this, so I just make up the colours, but between you and me they are all green ;p

We followed the Skeena River all the way to Terrace, and the sun shone all day, which defiantly brightened the mood. We stopped in at Moricetown to see the canyon, where a massive amount of water is trying to squeeze its way through the rocks. It is LOUD and a little bit scary if you think about falling in. Again I felt sorry for the poor little salmon, who very soon will be trying to make their way up the canyon.

We stopped a few times actually today at different rest stops along to way to gaze at the mountains and the valleys. It is just so beautiful.

When we got to Terrace in the late afternoon, we found our campsite and went for a jog along heritage pathway. Basically this town – like so many others – is built on logging. That is BC’s biggest industry and Alberta’s is oil. So I’m glad we have come when we have, because all the beautiful forests that surround us now, might not be here soon. Sorry to be a bit of a downer, but it’s hard not to miss the gaping holes in the forest.

So now we’re sitting on the bank of the Skeena River on Ferry Island in the sunshine and Jess is working very hard. I wonder what our drive has in store for us today.

Day Six – Terrace to Prince Rupert
Animal Count- Nothing on the road, but deer in the campground.

We saw no animals on the road again today. But what we did see were breathtaking views, one after another. It’s a cliché I know, but no words can actually describe the road we travelled on, the mountains that follow the road, or the river making its way to the Pacific Ocean. Combined, these three things make for one spectacular vista.

We stopped many times on the relatively short journey from Terrace to Prince Rupert just to take it all in. We skimmed rocks on the swollen Skeena River, and I found a rock that is a perfect circle. I pointed out countless waterfalls to Jess, who couldn’t see them, but they were amazing and went from the top of most of the mountains right to the roadside.
There were snow capped mountains, glaciers and bowls. You could clearly see the avalanches from melting snow on the highest peaks, and the waterfalls they were creating. Thankfully we get to drive that road again and this time, take some more of it in.

The drive into Price Rupert is just as spectacular. It is a series of tiny to larger islands all covered in rainforest. You can look out over the inlet/port and see all the way to Alaska. There are small fishing communities, ports and a massive ferry terminal. There are eagles everywhere and we can’t wait to see a porpoise.

But the best part is, it is beautiful, even when it rains. Bring on the weekend!