Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whitehorse Adventure - Day 14/15/16 Cassiar Highway To Smithers

Days 14-16 (766km Traveled) -  Boya Lake was so beautiful that we considered staying an extra night.  This would have extended our vacation a little, but it was okay since we had a couple extra vacation days available.  If we had stayed another day we would have rented a canoe and spent a couple hours exploring the lake.  All things considering that would probably have been a very bad idea with two young kids... maybe when they're older, or the lake is warmer.  When we got up that morning the day was gray and overcast so we decided it would be better to keep on with our journey.

The cool thing about camping lakeside is that we woke up to the mournful sounds of a loon call.  It is something that is heralded as be being quintessentially Canadian, but I would expect the majority of Canadians has never heard one or seen one except on the one dollar coin - the Loonie.

Our first full day of driving down the Cassiar Highway took us past the entrance to the now abandoned town-site of Cassiar (it's closed to the public).  We did stop shortly after that at Jade City.  It is a small collection of buildings alongside the highway and you guessed it they sell Jade.  We did by some as souvenirs which might be some of the first souvenirs that we've bought the whole trip!   Apparently 75% of the jade mined (quarried??) in the world is from this region of BC.  Yet another interesting tidbit.

Because we got a later start we only went as far as Dease Lake.  Previously we had planned to go from Boya Lake provincial park to Kinaskan Lake Provincial park.  We prefer to stay at this type of campground because they are generally more spacious and more of a nature experience than RV Parks.  We did find a nice campground on the north side of the town of Dease Lake.  It is located along the edge of the lake (unlike the town which appeared to be just past the end of the lake - or so it appeared from the highway).  There was a little pier by the boat launch and Dave tried his hand at fishing once again.  Again no luck - perhaps fishing is something better done from a boat?! 

The following day (Day 15) we traveled from Dease Lake to Meziadin Lake Provincial Park which is located near the Meziadin Junction.  This is the junction between Hwy 37 and Hwy 37A.  Highway 37A would take you to Stewart BC and Hyder AK.  Since we didn't bring our passports with us on this trip we didn't bother driving into Stewart.  However there is supposed to be some great wildlife watching along Fish Creek (on the Alaska side).

We lucked out again with our third campsite in a row that was right on the water.  What wasn't so lucky as that the wind was blowing so hard it felt like we might blow away.  It was so windy that we couldn't even put out the mat at the bottom of our trailer stairs because every time I set it down the wind would blow it out of place!  It was incredibly sunny out and we thought that maybe it was just some weather blowing in.  Inside the trailer the wind was whistling very loudly and rattling the blinds.   Meziadin Lake was a shimmering turquoise in the afternoon sun.  I tested it out, but it was too cold for me to take a dip in, however Dave (possibly inflicted with some sort of Northern Madness or goldfever or something) decided that he would brave the water and go for a swim!  He claimed that the strong wind helped dry him off extra quick after his swim... so I guess that's an advantage.   The kids thought they might want to go for a swim too so they suited up, but they never actually got wet other than to touch their toes to the water.  As you can see from the long, flowing red locks on little "O" it was pretty windy there.  I think it really suits the "crazy professor" look he gets with his sunglasses on.

Later we decided to check out the rest of the campsite and see if it was windy everywhere... perhaps to avoid the wind we could "settle" for a site with only a view of the water.  After talking to the park operator we learned that it was always windy at this park and particularly in the location we were in.  We did a quick tour of the campground and found another site with much less wind.  It was only part way around the bay from our original site and was barely even breezy.  Definitely the right choice since you couldn't even hear the wind in the trailer and you could put lawn chairs out without them blowing over!

Our final day on the Cassiar Hwy we stopped at several places to see some of the artifacts of the aboriginal people in the area.  First we stopped at Gitanyow a native village close to the the Hwy 37 & hwy 16 junction.  They have one of the largest collections of standing totem poles in northwestern BC.  Our second stop was at Kitwanga where there is a National Historic Site of Canada which commemorates "Battle Hill" an Fort held by the Gitwangak people to fend off invasions from neighboring tribes.  We had planned to see more in New Hazelton, but the kids were sleeping when we drove through and we have a rule to never, ever wake sleeping kids on a car ride unless we are at our destination!  It is unfortunate since I think they had a native village that you could tour, but that's the way of traveling with kids.

After Kitwanga we were finished our drive on Hwy 37 (the Cassiar Hwy) and were back onto a major highway which was quite busy (Hwy 16).  After having the Cassiar hwy mostly to ourselves (due to the fire up north) for the past couple of days it was a bit of a shock to have to deal with traffic.  We found a nice Provincial park just past Smithers at the town of Telkwa and camped there for the night.  It even had a lake that wasn't too cold for the kids to swim in!

No comments:

Post a Comment