My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 4: Liard Hot Springs to Fort St. John

After a morning dip in the hot springs, a breakfast of oatmeal & coffee, we were back on the road. We'd just pulled out of Liard when we spied our first signs of wildlife - a herd of buffalo.

We continued along the Alaska Highway, southeast through beautiful British Columbia. We drove through the northern Canadian Rockies - very awesome, scenic vistas. We took a short break for the 3 boys to hike up a small wash of a 'folded mountain'. Folded mountain refers to the geological process that formed the mountains of the area. According to the Milepost, these mountains were higher than the Himalayas millions of years ago & are now only a fraction of their previous massive heights. I opted to stay below to stretch my legs while the boys went exploring.

We stopped at the summit for a quick bite & run around time.
The plan for this day was to listen to a live broadcast of the US vs England match of the 2010 World Cup. However - this was foiled by the fact there are very, very few radio signals while driving through northern B.C. and that we were unable to obtain a satellite radio. Before we left Anchorage, I tried to buy a radio - no luck; you can't buy a satellite radio in Anchorage because XM and Sirius satellite don't broadcast in Alaska. Apparently our mountains get in the way of good reception. No worries - I was only concerned about having a radio while we were in Canada - that's when the games would be broadcast. So - when I called customer service of satellite radio, I was first told that if I subscribed via the US, their coverage would cease at the US/Canada border. Ohhhhh - is that so? Apparently there is some invisible shield that doesn't let those satellites up in space send a signal to your radio after you cross the border out of the US. Very interesting.... I was then told I had to subscribe to both the US & Canada satellite services (?!?). So when I tried calling the Canada customer service, I was told they did have coverage throughout Canada (I figured I'd purchase a radio online & have it shipped to me), but.... I couldn't subscribe because to do so would require my mailing address. Since I'm a US resident, I have a zip code, where Canadian addresses use postal codes. I see. So - to end this crazy saga, I decided it just wasn't worth the hassle...

So - to support the US, I wore my US jersey I purchased while I attended the 2006 World Cup in Germany. I think it may have worked just a little as the US ended up in a draw 1-1 with England. We only found this out when we pulled into Fort Nelson (about 194 miles from Liard) and were able to pick up a CBC station, which reported the results of the days' World Cup matches.

The highlights of today's drive were the numerous wildlife we encountered along the way:

  • 5 Black Bear
  • 3 Moose
  • 5 Stone Sheep
  • 1 Marmot
Campground #4: Rotary RV Park just north of Fort St. John. This was not our intended place to camp. We'd hope to stop at Charlie Lake Provincial Park (more of the nice, treed camping spots near a lake), but it was full. Apparently Canadians like to go camping! We tried another park near Fort St. John as well, but it was full. So - the RV "park" (Urban camping, - glorified parking lot).

Pros: Green grass & a playground for the kids, Free Wi-Fi (that's how I've been able to post, was able to find WC scores, & listen to part of the Ghana vs Serbia live webcast), and Showers!!
Cons: Barren area, no trees

Classic Shower Story: The showers at the RV park were not free. You had to pay $1 (a "Loonie") for about 3 minutes of "instant hot water". The plan is to get prepped for your shower, put in the coin, get into the water, soap up, rinse off & viola - you're fresh & clean. Take a moment now & determine how long 3 minutes is. (I'll wait...) Okay - seems like plenty of time to take care of business, yes? Ah... non. Yes, you guessed it. First - the water was not instantly warm. No worries - I didn't wait for fear I'd run out of water. Foreshadow you say? Yup - I'd just shampooed & rinsed, soaped up, put conditioner in my hair & was about to rinse of when THE BLOODY WATER SHUT OFF!! (Yes, I think my sentiments at the time makes that an appropriate use of all caps). Did I have another coin? Of course not - that would make for a lousy story. Were there other people in the shower room to help out? No. Would Wade or the boys hear my pleas for help? Nope. What did I do? Well - the only thing I could do - run out into the main bathroom area & use the sinks to rinse off. Geez....

  • Begin Mileage: 107, 208
  • Ending Mileage: 107, 634
  • Total Miles Day 4: 426 miles
  • Miles from home: 1, 534 miles
  • Tunes du Jour: Robert Plant, "Intro to Robotics" podcast (yawn...), "Complex Systems" podcast (less of a yawn..), U2
  • Knitting du Jour: "Sea Lettuce" scarf..
  • Total Gas: 64.512 litres (17.04 gallons)
  • mpg: 18.83
  • Total Cost: $78.00 CD
Ciao & Happy Travels....

No comments: