Day 18, Meziadin Lake Provincial Park to Beaumont Provincial Park, British Columbia

Mileage 7493.7 km

On the morning of day 18, we awoke to a message from our son to call him. Now our son is never one to call unless it is important, so mom’s worrying was on high. There was no cell service at the park, but I had paid for a wifi connection the day before, so we had to use Facebook Messenger to try and contact our son. This was not an optimal connection, but enough to find out what had happened.

Before leaving for our trip, we had put together a number of bags of clothing that the son was supposed to drop off at the donation centre, in the meantime they were left on our front porch. Sometime during the night, a couple of teenage/young adult males had went through all the clothing, laying some of it on the railing. They tore down our Canadian Flag pole with the flag still attached, and took it with them when they left. One of them, dropped a cigarette on some newspaper flyers which had been thrown on our steps. This cigarette butt thus set the paper on fire, which set the steps on fire. How the entire house did not go up in flames, can only be attributed to the fact it had rained a lot and everything was pretty wet, either way, four out of our five porch steps were destroyed.

Now we have neighbours from hell, who are also not that smart. She and her husband had smelled smoke during the night, but decided we were having an illegal bonfire in our yard, and did not call the fire department, (weeks later when my husband and I returned home, I had quite the argument with her, as to why on earth she didn’t check where the smoke was coming from, especially since in the over fifteen years we have lived beside each other, we have never once had a bonfire in our yard! I was beyond upset, because the outcome could have been so much worse, if our house had gone up in flames with our son and his friend sleeping in the back upstairs bedrooms).

When our son woke up at 6:40 am to go to work, he immediately noticed the burnt porch steps. He phoned the police, who in turn called the fire department to assist in determining whether or not this was a case of arson. Sadly the culprits were never found.

It was around 9:30 am when we finally started travelling again. One thing we noticed in the interior of British Columbia was the lack of signage, so after driving for 2.5 kilometres, we were unsure if we were travelling south, so we turned around and went back a few kilometres, then turned around again, going back another few kilometres before we finally saw a sign – we had been driving the right way the first time. Oh what a morning we were having!

It was late in the day when we made it to Beaumont Provincial Park site #24. There was another Bear warning for the area, but he/she was more interested in the abundant supply of Saskatoon berries. Instead we could be concerned about the Western Thatch Ant, if you disturbed their nest which can be five to six feet wide or more, and as tall or taller than I (5’6”). The ant will bite you, if it feels threatened. Thankfully we somehow picked the only campsite that did not have a Western Thatch Ant nest, but did have plenty of Saskatoon berries! I filled as many Tupperware containers as I could of the berry which I found to be delicious.

Beaumont Provincial Park campsite
Beaumont Provincial Park, campsite #24.
Western Thatch Ant nest
Western Thatch Ant nest.
Western Thatch Ant newsletter
Western Thatch Ant warning.
Western Thatch Ant nest
Western Thatch Ant nest.
The lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
The lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
Another view of the lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.
Another view of the lake at Beaumont Provincial Park.

Off to Boya Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia, Day 16

Mileage 6500 km. Having spent our first night in a hotel, after camping for fifteen days, neither Matt nor I slept well. At home we sleep on a waterbed, and when camping we are on an air mattress, which is similar, so sleeping on a actual mattress is quite different. We found the bed far to hard, with both of us tossing and turning, plus I think we missed the fresh air, and the nighttime sounds.

Sandy cliffs in the Yukon.
Sandy cliffs in the Yukon.

Travelling back down through the Yukon, we chose to stay on highway 1 towards Upper Liard, where we then took highway 37 south, back into British Columbia. Cell service was choppy, then non-existent in the interior. I had told our adult children we would be out of contact for a few days, to stop them from worrying. Middle child is the worry-wort of the three, and we enjoyed listening to the messages she would leave on our phones, always starting with “Parents are you still alive?”

We saw three more bears on this drive, evidence of previous forest fires, and repaving of the road. At times the road was not paved, but just stone, making for a somewhat bumpy ride in some areas. The scenery was beautiful. At times, it was just a road which had been plowed through the middle of a forest.

We arrived at Boya Lake Provincial Park around dinnertime, site #37 with a gorgeous view of the lake. We nestled our tent within the trees, finding it easier to sink the tent pegs in dirt rather force them into stone. Once are tarps and tent were assembled, we decided to go for a walk (with our Bear spray in hand seeing that it was noted, when we entered the park, that a bear was roaming the area).

Driving into the interior of British Columbia
Driving into the interior of British Columbia.
The interior of Northern British Columbia
Just a road through the forest of Northern British Columbia.
Our tent nestled in the trees.
Our tent nestled in the trees.
View of our campsite at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
View of our campsite at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
View of the lake from our campsite.
View of the lake from our campsite.
The toilet at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
The toilet at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
Boya Lake.

Off to the Rockies, Day 11

The map above does not show are actual starting point, thus not giving out Nicole’s home address to the world. We did though take the Bow Valley Trail out of Calgary since it was more of a scenic route. After saying goodbye to Nicole, and watching a Magpie literally pick up some dog poop, then realizing what it was, dropped it square on her lawn furniture! As pretty as they are, they are apparently considered pests because there are just so many of them out west.

We were on the road by 7:30 a.m., mileage now 3944 kilometres, and since neither of us had been to the Canadian Rockies, we were quite excited. First we had some grocery shopping, and a stop at Canadian Tire for more camping supplies, and a new air mattress since ours had sprung a leak that we were unable to locate. As soon as we drove on to the highway, we were immediately distracted by the dog running all over the three lanes. Vehicles, thankfully all slowed right down, and a few of us tried to stop the dog by very slowly edging our cars closer to him. Matt then pulled our SUV over to the side of the road where I did get out, and tried with no luck to call the dog over. The dog eventually trotted off the road onto the hillside happy as a lark. He really looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Finally towards the Rockies we went ,and as they came into sight, both of us were just in awe. The closer we came to them, it was like every view was a picture postcard.

Below are just a few pictures of the Rockies; these were actually taken through the front window of our SUV which my husband cleaned each time we stopped.

Once we reached the Rockies our next stop was Banff National Park, where all must pay an entrance fee even if you are just driving through, this fee is more than worth the price. We then headed up the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper National park where we set up camp for the night at Mount Kerkislin Campground on the Athabasca River. We were at site #30 of 42. This campground is a self-registration camp, and we soon learned it was best to start looking for a campground around 3 p.m. each day before all the best spots were taken. On the drive we saw our first Bighorn Sheep which were of course blocking traffic. We were quite a ways down the road, so I did exit the car to snap some photos.

Banff National Park
Banff the town
We naturally stopped in Banff for coffee.
  • Bighorn sheep on the roadway
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Bighorn Sheep
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground
Our campsite at Mount Kerkislin campground.
Beside the Athabasca River Mount Kerkislin campground
After setting up camp we went for a hike, and found the Athabasca River not far behind where we set up our tent.

The following pictures were taking from the vehicle as we drove through the Rockies to our campsite. There wasn’t a site on the road that didn’t leave us awestruck.