Northern BC 2010 – Lac La Hache to Smithers

The spectacular weather and comfortable camping in the RV made this seem very luxurious. Running water, electricity, and best of all, a gas furnace in the RV made Peter realize that he likely could not go car camping in a tent again.

A gourmet meal, a bottle of wine, and a clear moonlit night, near the serene lake, made this the perfect rest stop for the night.

A beautiful morning greeted us the next day. The poor weather was no where in sight.

We had a leisurely breakfast, and then drove North. Not having to pack up a tent, sleeping bags and other camping equipment was a bonus.

A quick fuel stop in Quesnel, and then Prince George for lunch. Prince George was a new place for Peter, and the furthest north we had both been in BC. PG is almost in the middle of the province, but is considered North by those of us who live in the south. This has been an important crossroads for trade and movement of goods and people in the province. The Yellowhead highway intersects Highway 97, and the Fraser River joins the Nechacko River. The Yellowhead or Northern Trans Canada follows the Nechako, the Bulkley and then the Skeena Rivers out to Prince Rupert over 700km to the west of Prince George, and has been an important trading route for the various First Nations people for many millennia.

Fort George stands on the confluence of the two rivers, and was an important trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The building othe railroad west to Prince Rupert turned Forth George into an important transportation hub, and created the city of Prince George.

One of the main surprises on this leg of the trip was that the air was clean and there was no sign of the massive pine beetle devastation that had occurred. We are not sure if the trees had already been harvested, or if the area wound the highway had not been hit, but we had expected to see a vast clearcut, but didn’t see this.

The first few hours drive west is along the Interior Plateau and is rather flat, and dry. We drove through Vanderhoof, and then stopped at Houston and Burns Lake to see the large fishing rod, and to get diesel. Once we got to Burns Lake, we saw the Coast Mountains in the distance.

Our destination that night was Smithers, a surprisingly cosmopolitan town, reminiscent of Nelson and very different than the other towns in the area.

Northern Landscape


About petergsimmons

Global citizenship is conferred on those who have lived in a variety of countries, and who don’t identify with any one culture. I am such a person. Having lived in Jamaica, Canada and Japan, I have been exposed to First World/Third World, East and West, North and South. This has lead to a rich living experience, open-mindedness and curiosity about the world around me. This variety of living conditions in human landscapes is coupled with equally diverse travels in natural landscapes from the jungles of South East Asia and South America to the Arctic tundra; tropical beaches to the Himalayas, resulting in an incredible journey through life itself.
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