Days 40 & 41: Forest Fire Detours into Vancouver

Day 40: Beaver River / McBride So you know on a TV show when they occasionally have an episode where nothing really happens, but the characters all move around and get set up for the next wave of conflict or action or whatever the show is about? If this trip was a TV show, today would have been that episode. Nothing really happened. I just drove. But I’m moving toward Vancouver for the next action packed episode. The one item of note, I did discover in Prince George that my primary route was still closed, so I’m headed off on the detour, which will take me about 2 hours longer, but has some great scenery too. I found a free campsite along the Beaver River just outside of Mcbride, BC for the night. Not a lake, but the sound of the water in the river lulled me off to sleep.

Day 41: Kamloops and Lillooet So back on the road, still on the detour route. Since I wasn’t planning on this route I really have no idea what roadside attractions, cities, or scenic vistas await me. It’s a little odd. But a good experience. The morning was lots of farms and hay fields. Then around 2 I rolled into the outskirts Kamloops and it was like someone had turned on the broiler and put the bus in it. All the surrounding ground was dried and brown. But I could see on the navigation that there was a river running through town so I thought it must be cooler and greener in town. Nope. 91 degrees when I checked my phone. It was even hotter in the bus thanks to the big diesel engine. Pepper was not happy. I cranked up the fans in the bus, but without A/C there wasn’t much I could do.

I made my way to the Visitors Center. You remember how much I love Visitors Centers, right? Well this one is extra special. They have a free dump station and free fresh water! Sweet! After draining the grey water and filling the fresh water (only about halfway since I’m going to be in Vancouver tomorrow and didn’t want the extra weight) I parked the bus, opened all the windows, left the fans running and popped inside to ask a couple of questions about my route. The two girls inside were super friendly and had noticed my bus when I was filling up. They were full of questions and before I left they were already looking at the website. (Hi there!) I asked them about the various routes into Vancouver. There were three. One would take me to Hope, which would mean retracing my route when I go to Banff. The next would take me through “a hotter than hell desert canyon” uh, no. And the third was a little longer but had great scenery and they even recommended a couple of campsites! Sweet! Kamloops looked like a great town to explore, but sadly it was too hot for Pepper and I still needed to drive another couple of hours to make a shorter day tomorrow getting into Vancouver. I also talked to Michael (my next bus passenger) and he’s in Vancouver safe and sound and starting to explore (via a beer based on the photo he sent me, which is probably why we are such good friends). The drive to Lillie and then on to my campground was white knuckle most of the way. The last hour or so were tight hairpin turns, steep inclines and declines, and single lane bridges. Not fun in the bus, but the scenery was amazing. Sadly there weren’t many pullouts, so it was really hard for me to take photos. Tonight I’m camping at Cinnamon Campgroun, just outside Lillooet. The sign said that camping is $12 and that an attendant would come by to collect. It’s nearly 9pm now and I haven’t seen an attendant. Interesting.

Tomorrow I’ll roll into Vancouver around noon and park the bus for three days (more or less), which will be a nice change for me. It will be the biggest city I’ve been in for a VERY long time. I’m hoping I don’t go through too much culture shock!