June 26th - July 5th:
Our friends, Eric and Prudence, were waiting for us at the bus depot there and after a much needed cup of coffee (Tim Hortons, of course!), we travelled on in their vehicle to Tumbler Ridge. The small town of Tumbler Ridge is a fairly new one, built in the
I saw the attraction almost immediately - scenic vistas of the Rocky Mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, abundant wildlife... oh yes, did I mention the magnificent golf course there? I believe the fishing is excellent too, although we never got around to doing any fishing, simply ran out of time.... Sure would have liked to wet a line at the promising fishing "holes" in the area. I guess to fully appreciate the beauty of this beautiful peaceful region and the various outdoor activities available, we should have given ourselves more time... and more warm clothing, too. Quite unprepared for the cooler than expected weather, the only warm clothes we had were a couple of windcheaters each and a light jacket.
Where was I? Oh yes, the very next day after our arrival, our friends took us on a short, easy hike to Quality Creek - (note the word, "easy") Yeah, right! Easy, my foot! The way there was fun, had a fire happening, cooked beef franks on sticks and cooled our drinks in the icy cold waterfall nearby. Then it was time to head back - that was when the word "easy" got misunderstood by my brain. It was like climbing the Himalayas, if you asked me! Needless to say, there were no more suggestions of future hikes after hearing my wheezy gasping pleas to slow down some.
there, our friends took us to Dawson Creek (click on "Mile 0" on the left for larger image), Fort St John, the awesome Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Park (where
they serve as voluntary rangers), Quintette Mine and various other interesting
places. As a wee gesture of my appreciation, I cooked a pot of chicken curry
for our hosts and threw in a free hair cut as well
(during a friends get together bbq at Moose Lake). I had my first taste of a
moose roast one night - it was okay but I made a point of not having seconds
though. Give me a roast lamb dinner any time!
The next couple of days were spent sight-seeing, with me desperately longing to snap photos of bears and moose in the wild, while trying to absorb as much of the beautiful sights as I possibly could. I knew for a fact that there were bears aplenty as I had seen their poo in the middle of the road! More proof of elks, too - I got a photo of elk poo in my collection now, together with many, many photos of the native flora. I marvelled at the size of the native bird - the mosquito! I wish our Aussie mozzies are that big - far easier to see and swat, I reckon. If not for the fact that my family are all in Melbourne, I would seriously consider moving to Tumbler Ridge. I'll bet I'd have some fishing tales to share, not to mention encounters with a bear or two!
All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to our dear friends at the bus depot in Chetwynd. After a tearful farewell, we got on a Greyhound Canada bus to begin our long journey back to Vancouver, then on to Seattle. At least we had the right currency this time and were able to enjoy lunch and dinner. From within the bus, I saw a glorious sunset that evening and then the sunrise as we approached Vancouver the next morning. It was a pretty uneventful ride as we spent our 17th wedding anniversary sitting up all night in the oh-so-romantic atmosphere of a moving Greyhound bus....
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