Traveled: Ft. St. John, BC - Coal River, BC
Miles Driven: 460
Hours on Road: 13
Weather: Sunny (65 degrees)
Well today we hit the road around 9am. We knew starting out it was going to be a long day as we had a lot of ground to cover. We left Ft. St. John with the ambitious hope of reaching Watson Lake which was over 500 miles away. This would have probably been doable in a normal vehicle under normal conditions but not with 4 people, including 2 kids, in a truck pulling a 35', 14,000+lb camper. As it were though we did make it to Coal River which is only about an hour and half away from Watson Lake. After leaving St. John this morning we headed north for Ft. Nelson, which we reached in around 3-4 hours. The scenery began to improve the closer to Ft. Nelson we got. We stopped offer there to eat lunch, drop some postcards in the mail and to stop at the visitor center. As luck would have it, the visitor center had internet which allowed us to check email and share an update on Facebook. It was good to hear from all of you.
After talking with a couple of different people in Ft. Nelson we realized our goal of Watson Lake probably wouldn't happen. However, both of them suggested we stop at the Liard Hot Springs to spend the evening. So, we headed out in search of the Hot Springs. It was after we left Ft. Nelson that the views and scenery began to improve once again. After about 30 minutes, we began to ascend into the mountains which were beautiful. Unlike the mountains of the prior days, these mountains were raw, with no trees of vegetation of any sort… just enormous chunks of rock and stone extending toward the heavens. Let me also take just a moment here to say, for those of you who have seen the movie "Deliverance", this is exactly where it felt like we were at. Civilization was no were to be found in between a small gas station every 100 miles or so. We climbed and climbed and climbed some more until we eventually had a breathtaking view that allowed us to look at over all the valley floor below and the numerous mountains in the distance. As we descended from one of the mountains, we came upon a large family of Mountain Goats walking around in the middle of the road. Some were even laying down on the jagged rock ledges above our truck and camper. Along the way we passed Muncho Lake and several other small lakes. The picture of the boys taken by the water was taken at Muncho. We continued on toward Liard and finally made it around the time it began to get dark (9:30PST). Unfortunately, there were no camping spots available in Liard. This was disappointing, especially for Robin, as she was really looking forward to the springs.
Unsure of what to do, given that it was getting dark quickly and we did not want to be on the road after dark with all the wildlife lurking about, we decided to travel on to the next town, Coal River. Along the way to Coal River, we saw 5 Black Bear, 1 Bison, 10-15 Moose and a Porcupine, all of witch were grazing on the side of the road. Excited to finally see animals on our trip, this made up for the disappointment of not being able to enjoy the hot springs. Also, along the way we got to see a beautiful sunset over the Liard River. Once we made it to Coal River, everything was already closed, so we pulled in at a Rock Quary along the road and that is were we are camping for the night. Below are the pictures and videos of the day. We hope you enjoy!
Today's drive made me realize just how small we all as individuals are in the world. Yes, most of us try to be somebody and strive to feel important all of our lives but when your driving through the Rocky Mountains, with 9000' mountains on one side, a huge river literally 5' from your car door on the other and no one around for hundreds of miles, it makes a person take notice. In the grand scheme of life, our footprint is very small and as the scripture says, "life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow." As for tomorrow, what will your day hold… will you work to make a difference in someone else's life or just your own? As for us, we are headed for Watson Lake to spend a little time and plan to visit the Sign Forrest while we are there. I have a couple of old license plates I plan to let the boys hang up there. If all goes well we hope to be in the town of Whitehorse by the end of the day. If not, then we hope to get as close as possible.
God Bless & Safe Travels!
PS - For those of you in the states who are upset about paying $3.50 for a gallon of gas, be thankful you are not in Canada where we are having to pay between $4.50 - $7.00 a gallon depending on our location. :-(