Rough Roads to Free Camping


We drove away from the beautiful campsite on the Nahatlach River and wound our way back to highway one. We stopped at Lytton and poked around the museum.  The walk along the river gave us a great view of the merging of the dirty Fraser River with the clean water of the Thompson River.

The dirty Fraser merges with the Thomson river

It is quite a sight to see a river with half clean
and half dirty water.  From the bridge, we could look down into an Osprey nest and see the mother and two babies.

We watched the adult osprey fish in the river below. We could see it soar high above the water, then dive straight in and come up with a fish for the babies. I marvel at this impressive bird’s talents.
Fishing comes easily for the osprey, as does nest-building. The nest is
huge and we could see some threads of blue and red among the sticks. I like to think that they enjoy adding a splash of colour to brighten things up.

We drove through Spence’s Bridge and took the Oregon Jack Creek Road (Hat Creek road) off hwy 1 looking for the Forest Service campground at Three Sister’s creek.

We bounced up  the mountainside on the dirt road.

The turn  off to Three Sister’s looked really rough. I got out and took a run up to investigate.

The ruts in the road were too deep for the van

Was this a small rough patch? Would it improve around the bend?
Unfortunately not.  It became impassible without a four-wheel drive.

We tried to get to another campground but had to turn around.

We continued on our way through lovely aspen forests. Wildflowers bloomed along the roadside. We travelled through a  provincial park with no chance of camping or even stopping. The road is very narrow, often clinging dangerously to the mountainside.

The forest
gave way to open range and rolling hills. Prairie dogs stood watch at each
cattle guard like sentries. Magpies flew from every tree. The Brown Eyed
Susan’s lined the road. We enjoyed the views of the grassy hillsides in the
distance.

We still  did not have a place to call home for the night.

We found ourselves on highway 99 then highway 97 as the sun went down. Chasm Provincial Park became our destination. It is a park without campsites, but we decided to investigate. The parking lot gave way to a small road along the fence. There
was another couple camping for the night in their trailer so we parked for the
night. The full moon was low on the horizon giving us light.

July 14th

Waking up
to a mostly sunny morning, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast on the edge of the
chasm. We spent the rest of the leisurely morning drinking mango tea and
chatting with our overnight neighbours, Walt and Arlene from Seattle. We share
the same desire to find free camping whenever possible. We had a great time sharing  ideas and experiences. I truly would enjoy seeing them again.

The hike
along the canyon rim gave us great views of the layers of history. Flowing
water again reveals itself as more powerful than solid rock.  The trees were covered in moss.  

Can you see the creature with wild hair?

A small muddy road led us back to our van. We
followed the hoof prints of deer and mountain sheep. Wildflowers filled the
meadows on either side of the road. We loved every minute of the hike even
though it started to rain.

Back on the
road we stopped at the 70 Mile General Store for gas.

We went in to buy water
and ended up sitting down and enjoying a pizza made by Ryan in the deli. He is
a chef and made the crust from scratch. He smothered the pizza with his own
garlic cheese sauce. The toppings included ham, turkey, onions, spinach,
mushrooms and peppers. What a treat.  I
recommend stopping by next time you are in 70 Mile House.

Green Lake
Provincial Park is near there. We took a look hoping to find a campsite with a
shower. No luck. We did see some interesting wildlife.

A heron in a tree? I usually see them at the water's edge.

What kind of hawk is this?

Instead we headed to the nearby Irish Lake Forest Service
campsite. The road was rough and full of large potholes. Once we arrived at the
lake we met Ken.

 

 

We made some coffee
while he drank several beers with us and told us many tall tales. A pair of
loons and their babies were on the lake. I enjoyed watching the loons fishing
and feeding their young. A long-tailed weasel or something similar swam by.

The site
was for day use only so we carried on and found ourselves in a rest stop for
the night.

July 15,
2011

We spent
most of the day in Williams Lake. The Discovery Centre, which includes the
information center, is an interesting place to look around and includes an art
gallery on one floor and a sitting area on the top floor.

The tree on the ground floor art gallery extends up to the third floor sitting area

We went to the local
library so that I could use the free WiFi and John could look up information on
Ghost Towns in the north.

We checked
our Backroads of B.C. map for forest service campgrounds and headed west to
Till Lake. The road deteriorated rapidly.

We crawled along at a snail’s pace
through the small forests where we encountered some interesting wildlife.

Till Lake
Campground has a good number of campsites. There are no empty spaces for us. We  do not want to turn around at such a late hour so pulled into a small opening
off the road. There will be no campfire tonight.

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About Maggie L R

I want to add colour to my life, I want to take each day and make it my own. I love simple pleasures. A hot cup of coffee in the early morning on the deck watching the dog chase the ball. The expressions on the faces of my grandchildren. I love to explore, to take a road I have never been on and see what unfolds. I love to travel. I love a challenge. I have decided I want to live a long and healthy life so I have challenged myself to get into shape both physically and mentally.
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