We woke with a leisurely start to the morning that included writing up the previous day’s adventures and looking at our pictures when we realized that checkout time was nearing. The camp Gestapo lady could be heard warming up her truck for an 11:01 intercept of anyone still in their campsite past checkout—an obvious intent on exploiting the British Columbia park system that she would clearly not tolerate. We quickly prepared for departure, retuning the awning to the upright and locked position, securing the aft cabin and triple checking that the outside hatches were secured. As we pulled out of our campsite at 32 seconds past 11:00, the blue truck with “Camp Host” written on the side rounded the corner of the far end of the campground. At maximum maneuvering speed of almost 7 miles per hour we headed for the camp exit passing by the “poo dump’’ station knowing that would be an easy trap. We did manage to exit the threshold of the campground where I am sure the pursuing camp host truck screeched to a skidding halt and with fists raised in the air the camp lady was cursing us in her defeat. Whew! Time: 11:02. That was close.
We continued on south, clearly refugees from the BC park system. After topping off the fuel in Clinton, we took another side tour. With the work week already shot, though we were both eager to get back to the office (and no sarcasm there, really, honest), we decided to take the Sea to Sky Highway south through Whistler. Kat had never been there. I have skied Whistler may times, albeit many years and 50 pounds ago. However, I had never seen Whistler in the summer nor been north of there either.
The road (Highway 99) from Cash Creek south towards Whistler was awe inspiring meaning that many portions of it induced clenching of the glutes as the road wound along cliffs. The scenery was spectacular—when you dared to steal a glance. During the construction of the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks, a sergeant stationed at a relay station on the road wrote in 1942: “The Alaska Highway winding in and winding out fills my mind with serious doubt as to whether ‘the lout’ who planned this route was going to hell or coming out!”. The Canadians obviously took this as a challenge to build a road with even steeper hills, more curves and punctuate it with an absence of guardrails along the sheer vertical drops. The canyon which we traversed was quite spectacular with the river channel carved out several hundred feet below and with a scattering of plush farmed plateaus amongst the dry ravines. The contrasts made it one of the most interesting views of the trip—when you dared to steal a glance away from the road.
Little did we know that this was just the warm up to the punchline of road building. In the town of Lillooet, the Fraser River, Highway 12 and any sane or rational person heads east to Lytton. We, however, continued south on 99 though the canyons towards Whistler. Kat actually held her breath for 32 miles as we traversed down winding 20% grades to the creek side. She only took a quick breath to exclaim “What?! We are going back up?” just as the road then climbed back up the opposing sheer cliff so that we could enjoy another roller coaster ride down. After the worse was behind us, we stayed at the Nairn Fall Provincial Park.
That evening we took a 1.9 km hike to the Nairm Falls with Kat vigorously ringing her bell to thwart off any bears. It must have worked, since we didn’t see any…or any other wildlife…or any other people for that matter. The falls were amazing, cascading down 197 feet though tortuously carved rock. Unfortunately, like much of what we have seen this trip, the sheer impressiveness of it cannot be sufficiently captured with a few snapshots. Following the hike, we unwound by snuggling up on the couch and watching moving back in the RV. Tomorrow we make the final leap home.