Monday, August 27, 2007

Prince George British Columbia 26 aug 2007

We have been covering quite a bit of ground again in the last few days,
and are at present in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

California was left behind after 8 days. Driving north through the
redwoods of California, and Oregon we entered the beautiful waterway
areas of coastal Washington. The magnificent Columbia River and rugged
coastline around Crescent City were indeed spectacular. Washington was our
15th state in America, with Alaska still to go.

In Port Townsend, on the peninsular opposite Seattle, we met up with Eric
Durfey, who we first met when he did the electrical outfitting on the Vimy
back in 1993. Eric has recently purchased a 100 year old 40' wooden boat
just perfect for the surrounding area. He is currently moving from his
fantastic home in the woods to a house in town but we did manage to spend
a couple of wonderful sunsets on the deck he has built on the cliff above
the ocean overlooking the surrounding islands.

Lang had been concerned about the Bambino's alternator for some time so
took advantage of having some experts around with the equipment to remove
and repair the bearing. Eric and he removed the alternator and had it back
(well overhauled) from the very helpful auto electrician late in the
afternoon. The car now does not sound as though there are a dozen parrots
trapped under the engine lid.

Early on Friday morning we travelled to Port Angeles and caught a ferry
that took one and half hours to Victoria on Vancouver Island, and entered
Canada. Our passports were stamped when we landed and that was the only
formality required.

From there it was just a short trip to Sidney and a wonderful meeting
with my father's 93 year old cousin with whom I have been corresponding
with for over 10 years, but have never met. Alfred (Fred) is hale and
hearty and was able to give me loads of information about our family
roots a century ago in England. His daughter Christina and her husband
Norv, who also live in Sidney came over in the evening. Their children
are both married and live elsewhere in Canada. I have always enjoyed
researching our family history, so to have had a family reunion this far
from home was just fantastic.

From Vancouver Island we caught another ferry at Nanaimo back to the
mainland just north of Vancouver. We decided to push the little car over a
few more high passes so took Highway 99 north passing pristine lakes and
spectacular mountains, many still snow covered, passing through Whistler,
which is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. We have already found that
Canada does not have fuel available on lesser roads every few miles like

Today travelling through the Cariboo region of British Columbia we have
followed the historic Gold Rush Trail which runs adjacent to the mighty
Fraser River. Many thousands of gold seekers in 1858 made their way into
the interior using this route. We stayed last night at Lilooet, which in
1858 was the second largest city west of Chicago, and north of San
Francisco (after Bakerville further north). It, along with Bakerville, now
boasts a few hundred people. The towns along the highway are still named
100 Mile House, 150 Mile House etc. distances measured from Lilooet.

We are now just above the 53rd parallel and the weather has turned quite a
bit cooler, so we have unearthed our long sleeved clothes and jackets
again. Today for the first time since we arrived in America we had rain,
fortunately the wipers still work after being idle for so long.

Tomorrow we actually start on the ALCAN (Alaska Highway) proper with the 0
mile post in Dawson Creek. Looking at the information available it seems
we will have to plan our stops as the little settlements are a long way
apart from now on – plenty of camping spots but not many motels.