I have lost count of the number of consecutive days of sunshine we have had. It has been wonderful. Especially when one is traveling through such scenic countryside it is an added blessing to have lovely sunlight. Today was also very warm! We don’t have a outside temperature feature on our truck, but I know it was warm because we immediately felt hot everytime we stopped the truck and stepped outside.
We left Bell II at close to 11 am. Since these three days were shorter drives we didn’t feel in a huge hurry; not that we usually feel in a hurry anyway. Our destination was Terrace 4 1/2 hours south – a distance of 342 km (213 miles).
John was driving along at a nice relaxing pace when we passed a little pond with dead trees in it. I said he had to stop and back up so I could get some photos as the reflections were pretty and the light was nice. He kindly did so. (We have actually chuckled a few times over the last couple of days when we pull over to the side to allow motorhomes or trucks with trailers to pass us. Usually we are trying to pass them as they are the slower vehicles. But, for us, not on pokey road trip days. Too bad a lot of the drivers wouldn’t figure that courtesy out and allow traffic to go by them when they are holding up the flow.) There was a geocache hidden called the Secret Waterfall hidden in the bush. We decided to pull off the highway onto the short gravel road and go find it. As often happens with geocaches, the distance line showing on the GPS on the phone is very deceiving. The GPS system works on straight lines between points. Reality is a great deal more convoluted and distant. In this case the narrow path went down, down, down deeper and deeper into the bush. At one point a helpful hiker had tied a piece of rope with several knots in it that you could use to hang onto as you went down, or came back up, a particularly steep section. This is bear country. As a matter of fact it is brown bear country. That is another term for a Grizzly. I did not like going that deep into the bush. The steepness of the trail did not improve and John suggested I wait while he went ahead the last 20 meters. He whistled and I sang (and since I can’t sing that would have definetely scared off any critters). Right about the time I decided we had been in the woods long enough he found the cache, signed the log and back up we went. Phew!
At 1:30 we pulled into a picnic area beside Bonus Lake for some lunch. At the Battle Hill Kitwanga Historical site we met a nice couple from Holland. Their daughter had been backpacking in Bali and met a Canadian fellow and came home with him to Courtenay on Vancouver Island. Her parents had come over to visit and were traveling around for a few weeks while they were in Canada. Nice couple. It is so fun to meet new people as we travel around. The Dutch couple and John and I debated whether we wanted to go down all the steps to go to the actual hill and when we looked closely and realized we would have to climb up another staircase to see the placards on top of the hill, so we all decided a distant view would suffice. Lazy slackers, I know, but my old body doesn’t like stairs much any more.
At Thornhill on the outskirts of Terrace we pulled off the highway to see the Pioneer Chapel and find the geocache hidden near the little replica of a church that was destroyed in a flood in 1936. Look, here is the second verse to “O, Canada.” Who knew there was more than one verse? Not me.
On the same property as the little chapel was a memorial to workers who had lost their lives in the forest industry. Our last stop of the day was on the Old Skeena River bridge on the outskirts of Terrace where we walked half-way across the bridge on the pedestrian walkway to see ‘potholes’ for an earthcache. Potholes are depressions eroded into rock by small rock particles that get into crevasses on a boulder and the eddies of the river water grind circular depressions in the boulder. Pretty cool. The things we learn! If you drive across the bridge you do not get even a glimpse of the big rock in the middle of the river that has all the potholes. The only way to see them is to walk out to the spot. High water in the spring covers the boulder as well. They get deep enough to swallow big rocks that the river brings down. Since it was such a nice, hot, summer day lots of people (and their dogs) were down at the river.We arrived in Terrace at 5:30. After dinner we walked around to the back of the hotel and found our last geocache of the day. Tomorrow we drive to Prince Rupert where we will spend two nights.