Saturday, May 9, 2009

Buffalo girls and Bathing beauties

Friday, May 8, 2009

We awoke at 5:00 to the sound of long-haul truckers revving up their engines. We were at the Sasquatch Crossing truck stop four miles, past Pink Mountain, our original destination last night, which like many stops along the highway, was closed until about the 20th.

We decided to make it to Liard Hot Springs by early evening...a 333 mile drive. The weather started out cloudy and chilly and looked like a gray day ahead for the first hour or so.

Then the sun broke through and we had a beautiful drive to Fort Nelson, our first destination of the day.

The Fort Nelson Hotel is very nice, has a reasonably priced restaurant, and offers wireless internet while you eat.

At the CIBC, we got $1.13 CSD for each U. S. dollar, a half cent less than our last transaction had gotten us.

We gassed up there, since I knew prices would get steeper along the way, and paid 109.9 a liter, about USD $3.62 a U. S. gallon.

The road out of Fort Nelson winds uphill for miles and took us into the Northern Rockies. The pavement is slightly rougher in places than we've previously encountered.

Caribou were abundant along this route, and seemed unconcerned that they were occasionally blocking traffic.

At the Tetsa River Lodge, the self proclaimed Cinnamon Bun Center of the Galactic Cluster, we treated ourselves to one of their specialties and were not disappointed.

This is a log-cabin resort and lodge, but the roof sports a couple of solar panels, slightly upsetting the ambiance.

Picked up a coon-skin hat for our grandson Max.

Inside, however, the dining area looked like a meeting hall for members of PETA Anonymous, the walls bedecked with various animal heads and skins.

We left there and drove through the Rockies until we came out of the foothills near Toad River, and it's namesake lodge. There we stopped for a snack and a look at their famous hat collection, over 7000 and counting. The cook said there is no more room, and extras are stored away. The hats have come from visitors over the years.

Gas was $1.169 here, too steep for me.

From Toad River, we drove another 68 miles to our final destination - Liard River Hot Springs...a glorious sight.

On the way we kept seeing signs warning us to watch out for buffalo on the road. In Canada?

At Liard, a quarter-mile boardwalk leads to the springs which have a 100 degree lower pool and a 110+ degree upper pool, a short walk further in the woods. The dock and steps around the lower pool are first-class. They even have benches in the pool where you can sit with the water level at your neck.

A sign there estimates that 150,000 visitors come each year to the springs. When we got there, we were alone for ten minutes or so until one or two at a time, another ten people arrived.

Camping at the Hot Springs is $19 per night....across the street at the Liard Hot Springs Lodge and RV Park, our space cost $20, and included electricity, something we were happy to have as the nights have been getting progressively colder as we've traveled north.

One family from Fort St. John, eight hours back down the highway came and my wife offered their daughters their 15 minutes of fame (on if they wanted their picture taken.

Tasty leftovers and a movie in bed and we were out like lights.

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