We woke to an eerie fog that had settled over the provincial campground at McLeod Lake and found ourselves to be the only remaining tenant out of the total of three for the night. The campground was nice with lots of grass parking areas which was a welcome change from the seemingly endless supply of mud that we track into the motorhome. After a walk down to the lake’s shore, we motored on leaving the resident squirrels to fend for themselves.
The road from this point on was much improved. Apparently the Canadian highway improvement crews haven’t gotten around to installing the potholes yet. We made good time with a stop in the town of Prince George for a latte. According to Google Maps, there are three Starbucks in Prince George. However, we only took the time to visit one after squeezing the RV into a parking lot that was designed for only compact cars. With a bit of skill and luck, you can actually park the RV while only taking up 14.5 parking spots and on top of 3 Priuses.
The surround landscape continues to be rolling farm land and reminiscent of eastern Washington. There is a notable increase in traffic and most of the roadside roadhouses are intact–most are even open. We camped at another provincial campground, this one at Lac La Hache (of which, like several of the places we have stayed, I am not entirely sure how to pronounce it). Many of the campgrounds we have stayed at also have a camp host as well as a self registration station or a shack at the entrance with a staff to help empty your wallet. This site was alittle different.
Lac La Hache has a resident camp host who is responsible for going from site to site collecting the fees. Shortly after picking our campsite, a blue pickup with “Camp Host” written on the side rolled up and a skinning little old lady got out and swaggered on up to our RV. One downside to having and actual camp host collect fees is that you cannot pawn a US personal check to cover the cost. Though I do suspect I may still get a nasty-gram from two Canadian Provinces regarding foreign checks left in the camp drop boxes. But in my defense, it wasn’t posted to the contrary!
After refusing the personal check, the grey haired host actually seemed genuinely disappointed that we did have cash. After engaging her in a bit of conversation, it turns out that the sole driving encouragement for her to keep living is to catch people trying to sneak by without paying. She gladly elaborated how she would block the exit with her truck in the morning if she suspected that a late arrival the previous night was trying to sneak out early and dodge the fees. Her techniques had been honed with training stemming from what I concluded as actual WWI interrogation experience. She was even proud of being crafty enough to feel the hood of the vehicle to see if it was still cold—indicating that they had stayed a while and the driver was not just passing through.
Like many campgrounds, this one has a fee for the dump station. The tenacious camp host also watches this like a hawk to see if anyone is try to “sneak in a poo dump” without the 5 dollar cover charge. Anyone skimping would be confronted and “sometimes ey just wanna to shoot ‘em” she pronounced. Since we had pulled through the loop past “poo dump” station to the far end in order to top off the potable water, she inquired as to where our receipt was from the self-pay box and cheerfully exclaimed that there was an $89 fine for not paying. The sign at the “poo dump” station, however, stated: $5/discharge (seriously). Conversely, potable water was free. I challenged her to go ahead and pull the cap and drain lever on our holding tank and if two days worth of “discharge” didn’t spill out into the campsite, I would gladly pay the $89 fine. She reluctantly backed off and upon hearing another RV pulling into the park and raced off fearing they might try to skimp on the “poo dump”.