This will be my last post on our July Journey and it won’t be much of one. We drove from Houston to Prince George yesterday with intermittent rain showers all day. We had a deer cross the road as we were leaving Houston and John saw a bear. I was reading so I missed it. Last year when I was dragging out our trip home from up north we stopped at most of the places of interest along this road so we didn’t even have stuff to see and do. It rained so often and so hard it would have been difficult to plan stops anyway. This young deer still had its fawn spots.
During a break in the weather we took a side road north of Prince George to find a short trail of geocaches, but everything here is forest so lots of trees to see and not much else.
We woke this morning to pouring rain for our drive to 100 Mile House. It should take about 3 1/2 hours and even with our usual puttering around we should have arrived at 5 or so.The Fraser River.
Unfortunately as we were leaving the outskirts of Quesnel we were passed by three fast moving police cars with lights and sirens going. A short time later there was a wrecker and an ambulance. Then two Highway rescue vehicles. By the time we got about half way between Quesnel and Williams Lake (50 km each way) we arrived at the tail end of the line up of stopped traffic. After about an hour a police officer drove by with his PA system on saying the highway would be closed for quite awhile and it was recommended people return to Quesnel. Quite a few cars, trucks, and camper rigs had been turning around even as we waited and more made the turn after the cop went by. We had looked up an alternate route and then figured by the time we drove back to Quesnel and around the other side of the river and down again the traffic could be moving again. We decided to wait and see.
Two hours later a traffic control truck came by and stopped at each vehicle and said the highway would be closed in both directions for 6 or 7 more hours. By then it was four o’clock. That meant we would be sitting there until 10 or 11 at night. We decided to drive back to Quesnel and go the back way. We had a quick bite to eat in Quesnel, drove across the bridge into West Quesnel and followed the road down the west side of the river. A section of this road had washed out last year and was not yet repaired so there was a lengthy detour along a gravel road that took two hours before we rejoined the paved secondary road.
The rain came and went and when it came it was torrential. The poor wipers couldn’t even keep up. Then it would stop for a half hour or so before beginning again. I snapped a few photos as we drove along; none of which are very noteworthy. This was actually a pretty stretch of countryside, but the cloudiness and constant rain made the day pretty dreary. We crossed the river on this one lane bridge and then did a long climb up the other side before getting back on the main highway just north of William’s Lake. It took just over an hour to go from Williams Lake to 100 Mile House, and we arrived at our hotel at 8 pm. The lady said she had been receiving calls from people that also had reservations saying they would not be arriving until about 1 am as the highway was due to open at 11. We were glad we had turned around and gone the alternate route. Lots of other vehicles did the same, but many people would not have been aware that there was a choice and with some of the long trailers would not have wanted to drive the lengthy gravel section anyway. We spoke to a fellow who knew of the route but didn’t want to take his 5th wheel over the gravel part. So, a three and a half hour drive took us 10 hours and we weren’t stopping to find geocaches or see historic sites. I was glad to get to our hotel at last.
Tomorrow we do the last leg home again and another fun trip comes to an end.