Tagged with " Prince George"
May 4, 2010 -

Prince George to Fort St John

I pulled out at about 8:30 this morning and was able to confirm that Prince George really needs to put more money into its signage.

Last year, I used my GPS to get out of town and wound up on a road with a bridge that had too low of a clearance for Miranda. This year, I followed the signage and found myself on that exact same road! At least, this time the construction was done and I was able to squeak under the bridge. I had to circle back about ten kilometres only to discover that I hadn’t missed any signs at all. I put on my four way flashers in a busy intersection and took out the GPS. It told me to turn right and that ended up being correct while the signage clearly said to go straight for Dawson Creek. The idiots probably changed the roads in that area and ‘forgot’ to update the signage, cheap bastards.

It was stop and go all the way out of town, with several people cutting me off, and I was pretty cranky by the time I hit the open road. I stopped at the Crooked River rest area for brunch and then my mood improved considerably as I pushed north into my beloved landscape of poplar and black spruce.

climbing up to the Pine Pass Summit

climbing up to the Pine Pass Summit

approaching the Pine Pass Summit


stopped for construction; the guy in front of me was doing some impressive calisthenics!

stopped for construction

This construction stop was memorable for the route that followed. We had to go behind a pilot vehicle and there was no room for error. At one point, my wheels were literally a couple of inches from the edge of a cliff, with the side hanging out over a ravine. I made the mistake of looking down once, nearly lost my lunch, and then focused on the road!

approaching 'the other Dawson'

There were some pretty impressive downhill stretches all the way to Taylor, between Dawson Creek and Fort St John, and I didn’t remember them from last year. It just goes to show how barreling down a hill with no brakes teaches you to pay more attention to the elevation changes. 😀

It got colder and windier the more north I drove and the snow on the ground at the Pine Pass remained all the way into Fort St John. There were actually a few icicles forming on the exterior of the loft when I pulled into the Walmart!

I completely avoided ‘the other Dawson’ this year, but I still felt that tug at my heartstrings when I turned onto the Alaska highway. Some things aren’t going to get old any time soon!

It was quite the exciting driving day, but it would have been a good day on the road had this not happened:

That’s probably going to be a total windshield replacement. The impact was such that there are shards of glass inside the cab and there are three cracks pushing out of the chip. One grew and grew and grew before my eyes and I thought I was going to have to pull over and call for help, worried that the whole windshield was going to go. So far, it doesn’t affect my visibility, so I’m holding out hope that they can just fill it with epoxy and buy me some time…. I can handle a chip repair right now, but not a windshield replacement! And before I get any comments on the subject–Yukon vehicle insurance does not cover glass claims.

Well, no sense worrying about this until tomorrow, so I’m going to turn on the furnace and then go make a nice dinner!

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British Columbia, Canada, Driving, Insurance, Law and Government, Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Travel, Weather    8 Comments
May 3, 2010 -

A Day Off, Sort Of

Today was an easy, lounging, sleet-y kind of day. After the brouhaha of the last few months, it truly felt like a day off even though I completed a little over five billable hours! I need to do between ten and twenty hours a week and Monday is the first day of the weekly cycle, so I’m off to a roaring start for this week!

Tomorrow, I will do an hour before heading out and then I won’t worry if I find myself without internet for a couple of nights.

This dream life of mine is really taking shape.

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British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Travel, Weather, Work    6 Comments
May 2, 2010 -

The Chasm to Prince George

I read for several hours Saturday night, well past sunset, and as it got chillier I moved to the bed where I read some more, until almost 11. I was given some great books by a supplier at the gas station, a fellow Quebecer in exile, including a trilogy that I have wanted to read for some time. A quiet night at the Chasm was the perfect time to start on them!

There was a surprise waiting for me in bed:

it's rare I catch them together like that!

The night was dark and cold; I slept like a log and woke up around 6:30. It was very cold in the rig, so I climbed down, turned on the furnace, then went back to bed with my book for about a half hour until things warmed up.

I went out for a brisk walk to the creek and back before breakfast, savouring that crisp cold Chasm-morning air, listening to the ravens caw and watching the light change over that vast green hole I love so much.

morning at the Chasm

path down to the creek

Breakfast was a good cup of coffee and half of Mrs. H’s banana bread. Yum!

I rolled out of the Chasm around 8, after dealing with a leveler that jumped up after I rolled off it. It jammed itself in the dirt and wedged in next to the exhaust pipe. I surveyed matters for a second and decided that forcing Miranda forward would at worst knock my exhaust pipe loose.  It didn’t, but the leveler nearly snapped in two!

There was a lot of ground to cover today if I wanted to get to Prince George at a reasonable hour, so I drove straight through to 100 Mile House. I remembered from last year that the Save-on-Foods there has pretty good access and would be my best place to stock up on groceries before Whitehorse.

This is where my day went to hell in the proverbial handbasket (whatever that means). I had to figure out how to fit this:

awesome deals!

into this:

As it turns out, like so:

packaging takes up a lot of space!

I had checked the status of the freezer before going into the store, but some deals were just too good to pass up. The cashier swiped my member’s card first, so all my card savings were applied immediately, about $16 worth, bringing my total grocery order to $240, which was reasonable for what I bought. I find that Save-on’s prices are generally on the high side to make being a member seem like a good deal. I’m not sure what they get from members since the card is free, but occasionally the card makes a huge difference, like it would today. Once my order was tallied up the cashier added my members only coupons that are applied on top of the card discount. My total dropped down to $175! They claim that I got a $64 discount, but I think it was closer to $40 compared to no frills stores. Still a good deal!

And I might have done well with the freezer and fridge, but I ran out of pantry space and had to tuck excess stuff into the ‘spare’ cabinet under the dishwasher. Note to self: that’s where the chicken gumbo’s at! 😀

I got some work done in the parking lot there, but it was very busy and I decided to try my luck with the internet at the next rest area at 108 Mile House Ranch. There, I got a slow signal and was able to put in a good hour’s worth of work before having lunch.

Then, I drove. The sinuous roads of the Cariboo slowly gave way to the longer straight stretches of the Fraser Fort George. The weather alternated between blue sky and torrential downpour. Miranda groaned when going up and purred going down and everything was right with my world. I was heading north and everything was going so smoothly.

I was due for gas when I hit Quesnel, but there is only one gas station there I like and it was very busy. There was a note in last year’s Milepost that there is an easy access Race Trac station in Hixon, about halfway to Prince George, so I decided to push on to there. This was something I would never have done without a firm grasp of Miranda’s range vs. mark on the gas gauge. I have a 200L tank and took on 195L in Hixon!!!

From Hixon, it was an easy haul to Les’ spread outside of Prince George. I didn’t trust my GPS and decided to find his place by memory, remembering that I had to ‘turn left at the road with a friend’s name, right at the pink barn, and then keep left.’ I got there without incident (thank you, awesome brain cells!) and went down to the house. No one answered, so I unhooked and got Miranda squared away and reasonably level. I was just about to go back in when I heard noise from the house. I must have been quieter than I thought!

We caught up over a couple of beers then Les came up to look at my water heater and changed the probe. It performed perfectly for him but conked out minutes after he went home. Figures!

I’m so glad to be here and to have a day’s respite. I’ll put in a couple of hours worth of work tonight to finish up the week and tomorrow I will get a head start on next week’s since internet/cell access is going to get iffier and iffier. I’ll be moving out Tuesday; a day off is going to be welcome. I haven’t been on the road that long but the last few days have been very full.

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Appliances, Boondocking/Dry camping, British Columbia, Canada, Cats, Driving, Finances, Homemaking, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Personal, Shopping, Social, Technical, Travel, Water Heater, Weather, Work    3 Comments