Friday, September 10, 2010

Moving On :: Back in the Lower 48

Wednesday, September 1st - - It was cool this morning when I woke up but there was sunshine and blue skies overhead, for which I was very thankful. After finding free wifi (at a Safeway grocery store!) in Smithers and spending an hour uploading and scheduling blog posts, it was almost eleven o'clock before I was on my way once again.

Yesterday I had gotten to the end of the Cassiar Highway and turned east onto the Yellowhead Highway (Route 16). The last two hours on the Cassiar I saw perhaps two dozen vehicles. That number was surpassed in two minutes on the Yellowhead. It was as though I had turned the corner and gone into a whole different world. Not only was there more traffic, but the landscape was different too. There were still mountains and forests but there were also open areas of pasture and farmland. Houses, and buildings, and utility poles lined the highway for miles. Towns! And traffic! Civilization? Instead of watching out for bears and moose and other four legged critters I had to watch out for other drivers.

I continued east on the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George where I turned south on the Cariboo Highway (Route 97). There was road construction on the Cariboo, which caused some delay but it wasn't too bad although traffic was backed up for quite a ways. In one section they had completely torn up the road bed and it was a big mess. Concentrating on getting through that area I caught a glimpse of something walking along the side of the highway. I couldn't hardly believe my eyes – it was a black bear! And a pretty good-sized one too. There were no construction workers nearby so no one was in any immediate danger but still, it was there amongst all the noise and traffic, out in the open, and I could see it in my rear-view mirror as I drove on.

A short time later I stopped at the Canyon Creek Campground and RV Park in Hixon, about 35 miles south of Prince George. It had been a short driving day, only 265 miles. And it was only 410 miles more to the U.S. Border.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the fact that today - September 1, 2010 - marks the beginning of the second year of this incredible journey. One year ago I embarked upon an odyssey that has taken me places I had only dreamed of and some places that I had never heard of...

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Thursday, September 2nd - - It was another chilly morning. Cloudy but no rain. Continued heading south on the Cariboo Highway to Cache Creek where I turned west onto Trans-Canada Highway 1. By the time I got to Cache Creek at two o'clock the temperature had risen to 74 degrees – the warmest temperature I'd seen in three weeks! And it felt good. At 4:30, even though I was only about 60 miles from the U.S. border, I stopped for the night at the Telte-Yet Campground in Hope, British Columbia - it was 77 in the shade! Awesome. After paying for the campsite, I had $10 in Canadian currency left and figured this would be my last night in Canada, so I walked across the steet to Dairy Queen and had a banana split to commemorate the occasion!

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Friday, September 3rd - - Sunny skies once again. Left Hope at 9:30 this morning and got to the Sumas, Washington border crossing at 10:45 along with lots of other vehicles. I lucked out and got into a fast-moving lane - it only took twenty minutes to get through. There was no fancy sign, like in Alaska, welcoming me back – just this electronic billboard flashing its message...

I was “home” again, and happy to be here!

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