Thursday, August 20, 2009

33-2009 Prince George BC to Omak Washington

33-2009 Prince George to U.S. boarder
The Official End of the Alaskan Journey……

Campground: Prince George Casino. Free, dry camping.

Campground: Williams Lake Stampede campground (city). $21, 15 amp, water. Big gravel circle. Ok site for a couple nights. Next year will have 30 amp and wi-fi at all sites.

Campground: Monte Lake, Heritage Campground. $21, 15 amp, water, pull thru site. Nice evergreen treed sites on side of hill overlooking lake. Most sites are back in, some full hookups.

It’s been quite a journey so far. I’ve arrived in Prince George, the 4th largest city in BC. Pop. 80,000. Heavy lumber industry up here. Canada is already getting out of the recession and is looking forward. Hope the U.S. is starting to turn around as well. I’m staying at a Casino parking lot, no hookups but it’s free. Tried my luck in the casino and there was no luck to be had. Besides, their machines take a bit more than the usual penny slots I’m used too. Still, I’m saving between $50 and $60 by staying here two nights. Can’t beat that.

The window in the truck was repaired quickly and obviously I’m back on the road. Not a whole lot to see in the Prince George area. Even the visitor center directed me further south for a few sight seeing places.

My tire pressure monitor started blinking red, meaning one of the tires was a bit low on air. Checked it and put about 10 lbs air back in…. nice to have a monitor to tell me when the tires need checking. I’ll check it again before heading out to insure there’s not a slow leak. (Later) The sensor is bad and will need to be replaced.

The further I drive south, the more I’m starting to see farms again. Until recently, It’s been all forest. Lots and lots of forest. Kind of nice to start seeing farms with hay bails all rolled up throughout the fields. Some cattle and horses as well.

Finally drove into Williams Lake around noon today. Home of the Stampede, a huge rodeo that takes place every July 1st. I’m staying at the Stampede campground so I get to watch the teenage cowboys and cowgirls practicing their horse skills.

As I’m heading back to the U.S. boarder, there have been a few sites I could have visited, like Barkerville, a preserved gold rush mining town. Actors dress the part of late 1800 miners and townfolk. I’m over some of these sites while heading back, not that they‘re not great sites to visit. Sometimes one just gets burned out seeing these “re-creations”. A number of towns also have tours of the lumber industry which could be quite interesting.

Canadian sales tax has gone up with what’s called the HST, Harmony Sales Tax. Combined with the other existing taxes it’s now up to 12% on most all sales. Yikkes that can add up fast to any purchase. The sneaky politicians that were elected this past time hadn’t mentioned beans about wanting to put in this national tax. As soon as they were elected, boom, it was voted in.

Does it ever get hot in Canada? You betcha. It’s been up into the mid to high 80’s the last couple of days. The evenings cool off nicely. 53 degrees last night.

One last day as I head out of Canada. I took a “scenic” route. Lots of curves, couple of nice lake views, no wildlife. I’m heading a bit east, going to travel down hwy 97 into Washington. Stopped into a small café along route 24. A mother who used to be a professional fisherman, moved here with her kids (early teens). Fishing had gone down the tubes and it was time for a change. Opened the café, took the play station, Wii and other video games away from the kids to give them a chance to see the world and get back to a simpler life. They’ve combined three trailers together (one a nice single wide). The kids and Dad(?) just installed new wood steps to the trailers. Mom was ecstatic. Simple things, simple lives. Closer to family, closer to nature.

My campsite at Monte Lake BC is an evergreen wooded hillside site. Lots of shade. No Tv, no internet, no radio, just the outdoors. Cars going by on hwy 97. Windows open, gentle breeze. Sun setting early tonight due to big mountain on other side of lake.

I was thinking I wasn’t getting very good rates for campsites, but when I look back at my charges for each month, I’ve been averaging about $22 a night. Not bad at all. When I get back into the states I’ll be able to use my Verizon air-card for 24/7 internet access. That always helps as I can check a couple of my internet sites for the best deal in each town. But for winging it through Canada and Alaska, I really have done pretty well.

Tomorrow I’ll cross the boarder into the U.S. and this will be the official end of my Alaskan Journey, even though I will be traveling through the NW heading back towards AZ for the winter months. I consider that part a whole new journey.


Crossing the boarder, one last time. Yup, I crossed into the US around noon today. They
inspected my camper and took my apples! They were from New Zealand. Who knew they were illegal in the US. I did buy some great fruit with the last couple of Canadian dollars I had, peaches, nectarines, three types of plums which they let me take over the boarder. Hwy 97 through lower BC is wine country and fruit country. Lots of lakes and mountains… pretty country.

I hope you enjoyed my Alaskan adventure. I’d do it again in a heart beat.

Lots more to follow, so keep on reading my posts…..

Final photo's have been uploaded to my Picasa web site, which is at it's limit as well as adding photos to my blog, so I guess I'm going to have to start paying to add more photos.

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