We can really see why retirement is so attractive. Even being a gypsy beats working—though the reality is that the careers still beckon us to continue south. Well, actually it is all of the financial obligations that beckon us to return to our careers. Nonetheless, we are making the most of this experience and spending the night listening to the symphony of the babbling Sikanni river punctuated by the opera of the distant coyotes is definitely another of many indelible memories.
We took advantage the facilities at the RV park to enjoy a hot shower. While we do have shoe-box sized shower in the RV, it is always nice to take advantage of an unlimited supply of water. Especially since the quart-sized hot water tank on the RV encourages promptness in order to avoid frigidness. We also discovered that 6 days is probably 1 day too many for the black water holding tank. After a bit of fussing, plunging and cursing at the resulting mess, I am now well on my way to being qualified to operate a honey bucket if my fall-back job as a Wall Mart greeter doesn’t pan out.
We have left the mountains far behind and entered rolling hills and farm land with the occasional canyon carved out to ensure that there is neither a straight nor level stretch of road. We took a bit of a detour just west of Dawson Creek and cut south to the small town of Hudson’s Hope. Prior to reaching town, we stopped for lunch at a rest area overlooking the Peace River and corresponding canyon with rolling farm land stretching out for miles…well, kilometers. We took another break from driving to see the WAC Bennett Hydro Dam which is one of the largest earthen dams and created Canada’s longest lake. The hydro plant here also produces 1/3 of the electricity for British Columbia, which is almost enough for all of Vancouver’s Starbucks. The tour took us 500ft underground to see the cavernous room cored out in the bedrock in order to house the 10 hydro-electric generators. As an engineer, I found it pretty cool. Kat found it mildly interesting.
We continued on south only to discover that the Canadian approach for building dams by creating a big pile of rocks is also how they build roads. The stretch of highway 97 south of Chetwynd was by far the worst stretch of road we have encounter in spite of there being approximately 40 miles of road working equipment scattered along the road. Apparently the key to road repair here is to completely decimate the existing road with a variety of heavy construction equipment to the point of being questionably passable. The drive south was slow, muddy, and bumpy.
Passing rain showers ensured that not a single inch of the exterior on the RV would skate grime free. We did see another black bear standing at the threshold of the forest along the road but didn’t have an opportunity to stop and test the effectiveness of Kat’s bell. In between rain showers we were treated to a rainbow arching over the canyon of trees; taunting us with its hidden pot of gold which would have come in very handy at the next gas station. We also had a fantastic sunset as we pulled into the campground for the night.