Sunday, August 1, 2010

Whitehorse Adventure - Day 1: Vancouver to Green Lake Provincial Park

The next few postings will be a daily journal of my family's 3 week trip to Whitehorse YT from Vancouver, BC (and back again).  We are traveling with our 28 ft long travel trailer and camping along the way.  The PLAN is to take 9 days to get to Whitehorse driving along Hwy 97 and the Alaska Highway.  Once in Whitehorse we are going to spend 3 nights there and attend a wedding.  On the way home we have up to 11 days to make the trip and no pre-made reservations we are planning on coming south on Hwy 37 (the Cassiar Hwy). 

Day 1  (450 km travelled)- The first day we traveled from our home near Vancouver, BC to Green Lake Provincial park (located near 70 mile house, off of HWY 97).  We traveled along the TransCanada Hwy #1 through the rugged and scenic fraser canyon until the junction with hwy 97 north.  After leaving the lush green of the lower mainland the Fraser Canyon section of the Hwy 1 was rugged and dry.  We stop for gas and stagger out into the arid 34C weather and melt after being kept cool by the A/C. For me it brings back memories of the last time I traveled this route more than 20 years ago as a kid.  Our '78 GMC Jimmy had vinyl seats and no A/C!  I remember being excited that my parents were encouraging us to eat chips (to help keep our salt up I guess now).  

This section of hwy 1 is an area in decline (from outside appearances at least), since the Coquihalla hwy was opened in 1986 and provided travellers with a quicker route from kamloops to Hope the fraser canyon portion has been used by fewer people.  Now the only traffic that we see mid-week is a steady stream of RV's.

As we head turn onto hwy 97 and head north to our campsite for the night the air is smoky from the growing number of forest fires that are in the region.  A campfire ban has been implemented and is starting on the 2nd day of our trip because the hot dry weather has caused the risk of fire to edge into the extreme ranges.  Heading north the terrain changes once again and is less desert like and more rolling green hills and mountains.

We have planned this first day to be one of our longer travel days just to take advantage of the kids being excited tolerating travel at this point in our journey.  We finally arrive at our campground for the night around 5pm.  There is a swimming beach right there so we head on down to the beach for a well deserved dip in the lake!  We camp at the Emerald Bay Campground which has our main requirements for great camping... a swimming beach and a playground. 

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