We left Mile 0 RV Park by 9:30 and were directly on the Alaska Highway. Using the sources we had been reading we decided to take Mike and Terri Church’s advice and stop short of Nelson at a roadside campground for our first night out. We bypassed a couple because they didn’t offer much for the money and looked rather too scruffy. We finally decided on Sikanni River Campground & RV Park because the next and last possible stop was a “User Maintained” site. That is, an abandoned provincial campground. The ones we had looked at along the way were all muddy and unkempt.
Sikanni River is at the bottom of a northbound grade with pitches to 9%. Carol was at the wheel and eased us down the grade at an average speed of 30 mph in first gear, we barely warmed the brakes. She caught the first driveway into the store/gas station/rv park and we were greeted by Jackie the owner. Gas prices were sky high ($1.459/liter) so we elected to skip the top off in hopes of slightly lower prices in Nelson. The campsite we took with power but no water or sewer was $25 and is directly on the Sikanni River. As I was checking in – handing over the cash – I noticed a sign “Free Night of Camping Awarded each night to a Lucky Door Prize Winner (When we have more than 5 campers).”
We had not seen much wild life along the way. It is too early for berries to attract the bears and the moose and elk seem to be pretty much at rest while we are driving. Much to my surprise, as I was sitting outside the coach with my book looking at the river, I heard what sounded like a large horse approaching. It was a female moose and she trotted across the campground in front of the coach and passed within 50 feet of where I was sitting. I barely had time to realize in was a moose before it was gone from sight.
After dinner we wandered around the campground greeting the other Alaska bound travelers and chatting about our experiences. Jackie and her husband approached and handed me $25. I had won the drawing for the day. Putting aside the lucky draw, Carol and I would strongly recommend to our RVing friends who might take this trip to plan a stop at Sikanni River, if you still have brakes for stopping when you get to the bottom of the grade.
To be posted the next time we have internet service.
We stopped at Fort Nelson Heritage Museum and could not photograph .1% of the material they exhibit, so here is the largest item on display:
It is a 16 cylinder engine used to drive one of the generators to provide electricity to the region. It ran for over 111,000 hours.
We have internet of sorts tonight at Toad River Lodge. Camping is reasonable the gasoline is outrageous, $C1.559 per liter. That works out to north of $6 a gallon. Of course Fort Nelson is 115 miles back and the next place with “reasonable” pricing we are told is Contact Creek Lodge, 165 miles up the road.
On the road we passed a truck camper stopped on the shoulder. When we saw them fueling at Fort Nelson we said they were stopped to look at a sow bear and cubs, not that we could have stopped had we known, but . . . Later on, as we passed through Summit Lake and began a long descent through an incredible gorge with the road carved into its side, we saw several Stone Sheep (smaller than Rocky Mountain Sheep) on the side of the road and up the cliff. Couldn’t stop but went real slow to avoid hitting them and to take a look. No pictures.