Monday: we left Jasper on Friday and we travelled, on a train πŸš‚ for two days, on a ferry β›΄ for one, we arrived in Port Hardy.

So we left Jasper and Annelies and got a taxi a very short distance to the railway station.

 

What’s not to like about two owls? They’re on the right, by the way! The railway station was so quaint but ‘goods trains’ come first, whatever happens. And we sat in the sunshine waiting for its arrival and then boarded the Skeena Pacific Railway to Port George.

 

‘Beverley’ and her boss ‘Jean- Francois’ were excellent dispensers of food, drink and knowledge. We went past waterfalls, rivers and went through some stunning countryside.

Now and then, we would come to a complete stop while a goods train some two miles longΒ passed us by. Now and then, we would stop and wait for a goods train to come and pass us. Now and then, a goods train would go slowly past us. So you get the picture we arrived in Prince George very late, luckily Peter was there to pick us up and we more or less hit the hay.

Up again at 5-45, bless them they gave us breakfast. So bye, bye Peter & Julie Griffiths and Dash the dog! All too quick a visit but our first non en-suite bathroom, which was fine.

Back on the Skeena to Prince Rupert; really late, pouring with rain and left eventually, with our suitcases, by a taxi outside the Eagle Bluff B&B in the pouring rain. It was like a scene from a film; just waiting for someone to say ‘cut, hold the rain please special effects, our thesbians are getting wet,’ Mary crept around saying, “Hello!” And an, “Hello!” came back, but from where? “Hello!” “Hello!” and suddenly a door down below the porch opened and light poured out. Inside and a warm welcome from Bryan Cox; then shown to our room and straight to be bed. Now midnight and in bed by twelve thirty; alarm set for 4-45am. Is this really a ‘holiday’, in the strict sense of the word? 5-15am breakfast from Mary Allen and the fastest hello and goodbye on record. No pictures of these good folk.

The bedrooms are getting less glamorous!

Back by taxi to the Ferry this time once more in the pouring rain. Check in was fairly easy, we had a cabin that looked really inviting and a perfect comfortable seat in a lounge right at the front of the ferry. Had the weather been clear, the view would have been phenomenal! It did clear after lunch and Mary spotted a bear and lots of whales.

But we had our cabin to relax in and ate a very reasonable dinner. We stopped at Bella Bella, for a really long time, which caused an overrun.

So, a late arriving ferry and Malcolm got lots of brownie points by pre ordering a taxi to ‘An Ocean Storm B & B’ Β arriving so late that a note was left on the door, ‘Come on in, your name is on your room.’ Our hosts are Michele and Dave and he is a logger, i.e. a proper lumberjack. Quite a few exciting shots bird shots of Mary’s.

That will probably do for now. Tomorrow away to the Bear Lodge! We had a great day today; hired another car just for the day and a half we are here. Not planned but great organisation by Michele to get one and we were on the road exploring by 10-30 am. Quite how this trip up happened not too sure but all got resolved. Even the lovely lady taxi driver who brought us here last night said, “Gee, you are so far out of town!”

Definitely no wi-fi at Bear Lodge, so see you all back here on Friday. Probably your Saturday by then and that will be the end of week three; only three more to go. How did that happen?

M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

 

 

 

Thursday: The worst summer storm in 42 years! β˜”οΈβ˜”οΈβ˜”οΈ

Well that’s what Annelies said, as it hit just after noon and some of her 15!! (No wonder I heard them fighting that first night 😱)Β cats escaped through a door that got blown open. Last night we shut the window and all was peaceful. Her garden, by the way is a picture.

We knew the rain was coming so headed off for Lake Patricia and Lake Pyramid before it was due to arrive. Not a million miles away; just a short pleasant drive along a winding road.

Once again, this little chap didn’t seem that phased by our proximity to his feeding station.

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We scuttled back to town and armed with a bag of washing sought out the launderette. Well, you have to grab these moments when you can, as spending the next 24 hours on a train and only stopping over night at a B&B, the opportunity may not present itself again for a while to do some washing.

And so to a cup of coffee while the washing washed, and then while the washing tumble dried, to the train station to check where to go tomorrow, when we board the Skeena Pacific railway.

Not many sidings can boast that sort of view! The rain came down, the wind blew, the place was in uproar and then the power went out. By this time we were home; so what carnage was being wrought downtown we could only ever imagine. The restaurants must have been scuppered for lunch, the petrol pumps must have stopped; how was I to top up the hire car before I handed it back? We waited while Annelies tried to round up her cats. Wholemeal bread sandwiches for lunch but unfortunately no hot drink. Then bingo; back it came. A queue for petrol, well there would be wouldn’t there? Car returned to Avis; usual faff, $12 to pay for parking. “Parking where?” Nice lady behind the counter, “I don’t know, I’ve never seen that before, I’ll phone Vancouver and find out.” She tried three times to get the number, couldn’t get anyone to answer and I eventually said, “My hourly rate was probably $60, I’ve been stood here for at least $12 worth. Just forget it, charge my card and we will go.” For the sake of eight quid, the stress wasn’t worth it. So we left, also having put more petrol in the tank than we started out with! Why has customer service crashed? Or is it just old age?

We had a hot drink in a Greek run restaurant we discovered for tea yesterday. We shall return there for dinner tonight. So as the sky still looks dodgy, we say farewell to Jasper; oh yes we shall be back! And if you don’t hear from us for a couple of days it’s lack of wi-fi, where we are going……….Prince George. My, that was a loud cheer!!!

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Thanks for your comments……….keep ’em coming.

M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ˜ŠπŸ»πŸ»πŸ»

 

Wednesday; our first train ride is getting closer.

Last night’s dinner was quite a culture shock after the slow pace of Clearwater. We ate upstairs in Earls and the noise level was astronomic. Good food, fast service, marred only by someone throwing up not quite over Mary’s back and a happy Japanese dude chucking water all over himself. Take me back to the sticks!

The theme continued last night. Annelies owns at least three cats; we had chosen a downstairs room, having been given the choice when we arrived, unknowingly the the cat’s pen is just outside our bedroom window. I’m sure they have the run of the house when there are no guests. So a slightly disturbed night, when a fight broke out before one of them loudly threw up, just like our very own Dillon does sometimes. I nearly leapt out of bed to chuck him in the utility room and then realised I wasn’t at home! Hindsight; perhaps the first floor might have been quieter?

Talking of eating; I did mean to mention that while eating in the motel in Clearwater, Β  on two consecutive nights we saw a group of firefighters come into the gaff for dinner. They brought that wonderful smell of burning vegetation in with them and looked black and knackered. So somewhere, not too far away they are still fighting the wretched things.

Today we explored up highway 16, up towards Hinton, (Dear Will, is he still in South Africa?) and got as far as Pocahontas, where we had lunch, after visiting Miette Hot Springs. Fooled by hot springs in New Zealand, we were expecting a bubbling hole in the ground, not a swimming pool peopled by adults and children.

Breakfast is a serve yourself affair from all the goodies that are available and taken on this wonderful Portmeirion collection! Oh yes, and if you don’t drive around in a 4×4 you really are nobody.

Once again, spectacular views along the way.

We saw some creatures but still no second bear! The first, a cute Long Horned mountain sheep juvenile and then a Ruffed Grouse!

Finally to lunch, in complete contrast to last night; the emptiest restaurant in the world!

And then the journey back, stuck in a huge traffic jam because of bridge works; watching people do a “Dynamo” and walk on water.

Tommorow the hire car goes back in the afternoon and Friday we catch the train for a two day trip to Prince Rupert.

Thanks for all your comments!

M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Tuesday; an amazing drive to Jasper.

The main thing about travelling, as well as the places, is the people you meet. The trek yesterday had a lovely German couple and their two teenage daughters, as well as a young English couple. They just did the morning and then we had Gy to ourselves for the afternoon. The German dad was telling us about his accomodation, actually in the park, a remote log house; no phone signal, no wi-fi, “So the girls were pretty upset,” he told us,”but it means they are having to talk to us.” Great bloke, very funny and guess what really bonded we three chaps? You’ll never guess. None of us liked, followed or enjoyed football. Now what were the chances of that?

We said goodbye to Neil and Sandy; such lovely people. See, that’s what I mean.

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They welcomed us into their home and made us feel special. The trip advisor comment is on its way; the house was beautiful and even had it’s own waterfall in the bathroom!

 

And the lake view; how lucky have we been? So away to Jasper and what a drive! More lakes more mountains and more rivers.

 

Somewhere we saw an Elk, but again no picture; just by the roadside as we passed by. And somewhere we lost an hour and had to put our watches forward! Time zones! Now there’s a thing we don’t get in England. The B & B is very different, Annilies from Austria, the host is amazing. More on this as the stay progresses methinks.

 

The picture on the right is Mount Robson, lucky to see so much of it apparently! And this our bedroom and home for the next three nights.

 

Tomorrow, who knows? Our own time to do as we please.

Thanks for reading…………..do comment.

M & M πŸ˜€πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

 

Monday; oh, what a trip!

 

Meet in the car park at 9-15 were the instructions, so we did. And Gy Ovenden took us on the most fantastic trip. Firstly to Saphats falls which was a short walk and very impressive. At the same time keeping an eye on the eclipse, and although not total in Canada was a good part seen.

On the way back from there hello red squirrel; far too busy with his pine cone to be bothered with us! And the eclipse got bigger.

Then into Gy’s huge truck and off to Moul Falls and a two mile walk there and two miles back. Thanks to Slimming World, I made it; eighteen months ago I don’t think I would have done. It was classed as easy in the book, yeah right! There were slopes, steps and hills but Gy from “Discover Wells Gray” treated me gently and gave us breathing stops, especially on the way back!

You could go behind the waterfall but it was pretty wet. We started back and slowly returned to the car park, very aware we were the only folk in the forest. Gy, because he is licensed, is allowed to cross the no entry signs in place at the moment because of the risk of fire. There is a huge partial closure in place all round the park. Mary spotted a catapillar that would eventually to change into a Spotted Tussock Moth.

So, lunch at Helmcken Falls, named after John Sebastian Helmken from Liverpool! 150 meter drop; Niagara is 53 meters! This is the fourth highest in Canada; which means ‘village’ you know? Mary spotted an Osprey, which did us the great honour of flying back past us clutching a salmon. We of course were clutching our sandwiches not our cameras! Got the hang of those selfies yet Malc? Thought not!

And finally a long horned beatle said hello and we gazed at where bears had scratched trees! We got slightly attacked by mosquitoes but a small price to pay for such a stunning day.

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Thanks for reading! Comments welcome.

On the move to Jasper tomorrow. A short three/four hour drive.

M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦