British Columbia

I felt good when I continued this day (4th Sept 2016) North via the Yellowhead pass to Mt. Robson. Actually I had just passed this mountain, which is the highest peak in Canada, if it has not been for the hitchhiker, who asked me, if I could see the mountain in the mirror. On the other side of the road a couple had stopped their car and took photographs, though he tried to find out the motive and had seen the mountain. I turned around with the car and took photos before I drove the hitchhiker (from Montreal) to Tete Jaune Cache. I also stopped for a waterfall, which we both enjoyed. The guys destination was Clearwater and where I left him, was the junction in his direction. I turned back to Mt Robson visitor centre.

On the map it looked like there is almost a hamlet, maybe a village, but there was only the visitor centre and a restaurant as well as two campsites some km away. I asked at the visitors centre for the campsites and they gave me the directions to the cheaper one, the Robson Meadow Campsite. I stayed there overnight after have chosen a place. There were some loos, but only one building with WCs. There was only one WC, one sink and one shower for females, a family washroom with WC, sink and shower and a washroom for males. There was very little space around the sink. It was very uncomfortable. This campsite was one of them, where everyone can take a space and a warden comes to collect the fee. There was none coming to collect the fee, when I was there.

5th Sept I continued on hwy 16 to the city called Prince George. It has been around 0°C for three nights, though I decided to book a bed in a dorm in a hostel. I only found one, not belonging to the HI-hostels and it was downtown. I had no other choice, though I booked it, while I had breakfast at the restaurant at the bottom of Mt Robson. I took a hike to the Kinney Lake. I would have liked to see more, but I was not willing to spend another night on that campsite I have been. When I started the hike it was still raining, even it stopped, when I was on my way back, my trousers became very dirty.

Mt Robson – Kinney Lake

For more photos of Mt Robson and Kinney Lake click photographs.

For photos of the waterfalls click Overlander Falls and Rearguard Falls.

Driving North on hwy 16, I stopped at another waterfall. The landscape changed. The mountains became lower and they were also more far away from the highway, but there was more forest around. Once I saw a lynx. I was not sure, it was one, because I did not know, if there is lynx in Canada. It was easy to find the hostel on Quebec Street in Prince George. It was situated where downtown begins. The owner of the hostel came just out off the door, when I arrived. He had not checked his bookings – he explained, that the long holidays are over and he was not expecting guests, but made a bed for me and let me choose one of the two dorms he had. Actually it was only one bunk bed in each of these two rooms. I asked for a washing machine to wash the removable legs of my hiking pants and he let me wash for free, even there usually is a fee of 3 CAD. It was quite cold in the house. When I asked him to put on the heat, he answered, that it unfortunately is not possible, because it is up to the municipality to put on the heat. It was just for having it warm, I booked the bed, though I was not happy about it.

I went outside to see the town and get something to eat. There were signs, that I was downtown, but most of the shops were shut down – the estates for sale or lease. I found an Irish Pub close to the hostel and one or two Chinese restaurants a little further away. What I did not know at this time was, that the real downtown was further away. I decided to eat at the Irish Pub, but I would not do it again. I can cope with, that the owner and boss of the Irish Pub was Scottish – wearing a kilt, even it felt strange. I did not like, how they treated me. The prices were high at the pub even it looked rustic, though I only ordered a soup. The waiter made signs to the owner about my choice. Actually I should have left already at this point. Afterwards they constantly asked me, if I will have more or the bill. I did not feel welcomed at all. It had been better they had told me, that I am too late, because they will close soon or told me, that the kitchen already is closed.

Prince George – The Hostel, Which Only is One Apartment in the Building

Back at the hostel the owner invited me to watch TV. I also soon found out, that he lives there as well. I was happy by the opportunity to charge the battery of my camera as well as my tablet. I was to bed around 11pm on this grey day. It had been raining off and on.

6th Sept I awoke around 4am because I was frozen. I took the cover from the upper bed and fell asleep again. The morning surprised me with sunshine and only some clouds. During the day it became warmer than it had been the last few days, but it started drizzling, when I was going further North. I had got free coffee, which already was cooked, when I came into the kitchen. The rest of the breakfast was, what I had taken with me.

For more photos of the town of Prince George click photographs.

I did directly drive to the museum Fort St. James, where I stopped for sightseeing. I went from building to building, where volunteers in historical clothes explained about the place and it was possible to ask questions. In the warehouse were lots of different furs shown together with pictures of the animals, the furs comes from. There were bear fur, beaver fur etc. There were also fur from a lynx, though I asked about the name of that animal and if it still is found in Canada. By the answer I knew, that it really was a lynx I had seen the day before. I also ate a late lunch at the museum. I first ordered an offer (steak and more), but then also a dessert – I would have liked to eat a special pie, but they only had apple pie. I paid 13 CAD for the meal. I did not have to pay an entrance fee, because it was covered by my pass for the National Parks, but I felt anyway, that I spent too much money.

Fort St James

For more photos of Fort St. James click photographs.

This day I came only to Smithers before dark. There is a municipal campground close to the river. For 19 CAD everyone can camp there with a tent, people with RVs have to pay more. I found a free tent site and stayed there overnight. There were loos in all four corners of the place and even a washroom and an open barbecue / kitchen area. Both were scruffy! It was possible to book and pay online or come without booking – as I dit. There should be a warden, which should collect the fees, but I did not see any. By the way my evening meal was crispbread with peanut butter and water (I mostly drink water).

On 7th Sept I left the campsite around 9am without paying the fee, because even I found a place, where the warden should be, but there was no warden. It was raining all the day and chilly. I filled my tank at a Chevron gas station. I had to prepay, how it is usual in North America, but I had to pay cash, because these branches do not accept credit cards from outside North America. I could not get help with my tire either. I learned after a while to ignore these gas stations. In the neighbourhood was an A&W restaurant, where I bought and drank a coffee.

I drove all the way to South Hazelton, where my next host were waiting for me, without rest, but stopped in Hazelton for a washroom after have been waiting in a queue for road construction for almost 15 minutes. I was very surprised how my new host Dan looked like. He has no pictures of himself or his wife on the helpx profile. He has a white beard as well as his hair had shoulder length, though he reminded me on the ’60s and ’70s, the time of the hippies and flower-power. He had been a prospector, he told me, but did not work anymore since he had got a pacemaker. The home was tidy enough, that I felt well, even in the room I had to sleep they dried their onions and had other stuff. Dan first told me, that I had to do kitchen work, because he hates to make dishes, but soon it was about splitting and stacking firewood. We worked almost five hours a day and in addition to that I had to help with the dinner and the dishes. It was a place directly on the side of hwy 16, but far away from neighbours. Though I did not care about, that I worked a little more, but it was hard work, even he had a splitting machine. Most of the cut tree stubs were heavy. Even most of the split parts were quite heavy.

His wife Livina is from Cancun in Mexico. She told me, that she at home in Mexico always was wearing high heals and when she visits her relatives in Cancun dresses in high heals as soon as possible. She told me also, that in every garden papayas and mangos are growing. People often eat beans at every meal. This evening she cooked spaghetti and meat sauce. She told me also, that she is not a great cook, which I can refer till after have eaten that meal. She also told me, that she at home did not learn, how to cook, she just helped with side dishes, when her mother cooked. We talked about food and I told her about our Swedish specialties. After dinner we were watching TV, meanwhile the fire was sparkling in the fireplace.

Hazelton – The Fireplace