The Story of our Trip up North (September 2006)

Ok, its super late, but I am loving this blog thing and I just had to come write something today! I realized I haven’t finished writing about our glorious camping trip from last week. Ok, where was I?

The first night: we stayed in the middle of nowhere. I may have already mentioned this once or twice, but this was a BIG deal! 30 minutes down a logging road to the nearest town- Likey, population 300. Remember the photo of the Hilton? Yep, I know. And then Likely was an hour away from the nearest city, or what I would call a city up North. It was still tiny, but they had grocery stores, a tiny mall, but NO Walmart. So I guess that really does show they are a small town. lol

So our campground- really beautiful- right on Cariboo Lake. Like RIGHT on the Lake- you took a few steps out of our campsite and you were on the beach. There were about 5 campsites in total, one of which there was another couple staying at – in their camper. Oh, I was so envious. They left the next morning though so we really had the place to ourselves basically. We were roughing it though. Pit toilets, no showers, no running water. Ugh.

It got SOOOO cold the first night. And to think I actually brought shorts with me- HA!!! What an idiot. I was wearing 2 shirts and 2 fleeces to bed each night, and when I wasn’t wrapped tightly in my sleeping bag with 3 blankets piled on top, I had my winter coat on OVER the two fleeces. And gloves and scarf too. I lost one of my gloves for a few hours and geez was I pissed.

We have this great tent- it’s high quality, light weight and meant for when you’re backpack camping, but its tiny. It is supposed to be a 3 person tent but I don’t see how the hell you could fit 3 people in there, its tight enough with us two. We can barely sit up inside it let alone stand. We have these mattress pads called Thermorests for when we hike cause they don’t take up much room and they’re light. Thats cause they are like half an inch thick!!! You can still feel every rock underneath the tent when sleeping on those things. So last time we car camped we went and bought a blow up air mattress to make things more comfortable. It does help somewhat. Must remember to inflate the mattress INSIDE the tent. Yep, made that mistake once. lol! The door to the tent is so small, we couldn’t fit the mattress inside it once it was inflated. It’s a double size mattress and it barely fits in the tent. It really is more like a twin size, seriously. So we get our stuff set up in the tent and it was really cold, so so cold. And to think the day before at home, it was still scorching hot. I went from sleeping under a thin sheet at home cause it was so stifling, to sleeping under 10 layers in the friggin arctic the next night.

To make things all the more lovely for my fabulous sleep, we had put the tent on a bit of a slope, a downwards slope, which happened to be on my side of the tent. All night long, I kept rolling off so I was awake trying to hold myself on this silly air mattress. It was so uncomfortable. Having to sleep on the double (I still swear it is a twin size) mattress was a pain too. We are used to sleeping in a King size bed at home, and with 2 dogs joining us, the King size feels too small sometimes. Yeah, they’re small dogs, but we all like to spread out. Oh and did I mention the dogs were sleeping in the tent with us? On the mattress with us? In the sleeping bags with us? All the more cozier. Actually they were like little hot water bottles for us. We both fought over who got the dogs, since there were two, we compromised and each took one. The poor dogs were cold too, when we got up the next morning, they got out of the tent long enough to go to the bathroom, then they climbed back into the tent and snuggled up under the blankets. Ah, such city dogs.

We spent that whole day in the campsite, not leaving once for the ENTIRE day. I think it was the longest day of my life. Brent had some fun fishing though, although he only caught a few small trout. I tried to read but didn’t get much done. We only had a certain amount of food with us, so we ended up having Kraft Dinner for lunch, and Pork and Beans, Instant Mashed potatoes and Chef Boyardee Ravioli for dinner. Oh yeah, it started raining too, right as we were making dinner. Then it poured. So we made a mad dash for the tent with our bowls of food. That was funny- all 4 of us sitting in the tent (practically on each others laps it was such close quarters), eating crap food out of our superior bullet proof dishes. At least if anything happens- the dishes will be safe! I don’t think we’ll ever eat instant mashed potatoes again. The highlight of our meal was the Ravioli.

So we ate then we sat there cause there wasn’t anything to do. It was either sit in the tent or go sit in the pouring rain. I chose the tent. We all did actually. So we sat there and played Uno. After 2 games of that, total boredom set in and we decided just to go to sleep.

Oh yeah, I forget to mention poor Brent’s lowlight of the day. While he was fishing, the hook got caught on a log underwater. The end of his fishing pole broke off and then the line broke and he lost his favorite hook. Or is it called a lure? Whatever. He was so upset. Well mad. No, upset. Ok, both. He stormed back to the campsite and had a bit of a pout. He was ok like an hour later.

We went back to the store in Williams Lake the next day – where he bought the fishing rod- and they exchanged it for another one. Then he was really happy again!

We continued further north to Quesnel. (Pronounced Quennel by the way. I kept saying Queznel and thoroughly embarrassed myself a couple times). But really, if its supposed to be pronounced like Quennel, why don’t they spell it that way? Why spell it with an S. Who uses a silent S?? A silent T or a silent P, but a silent S???? So we continue on to Barkerville- the old Gold Rush town that is now a tourist attraction. I had been looking forward to coming here. We made it 1 week before they were closing for the season so there weren’t many people there. Some, but not many. A bit disappointing in that some of the stores and businesses that were supposed to be open were closed. Oh well, we had fun anyway. We stayed about 3 hours then we went to this small hole in the wall town called Wells – to get something to eat cause we had a long logging road drive ahead of us. There was only 1 restuarant open in Wells, there were only 2 that we saw. It was like a roadhouse family restaurant, where all the locals hang out. Too funny. Totally old decor- it was stepping back in time. But the food was actually really good. The next journey was our drive back to the campground- this time all on a loggin road- 2 hours of logging road. Oh yeah, and in the pitch black. I thought Brent was driving quite quickly and it was freaking me out cause I was so worried some animal was going to jump in front of us and a) we’d hurt the animal and b) we’d probably get in a huge accident and kill ourselves. So it was a bit of a terrifying ride back. The road was very bad in some areas and really bumpy. Of course we got a flat tire. Wouldn’t you be surprised if I had said we made it without a flat tire? Brent didn’t discover it until we got back to the campsite so we’re not even sure how long we were driving on it like that.

Since it started raining once again, we left it until the next morning, when Brent put the little spare on. Then we drove all around with that silly tire on the car, hoping we wouldn’t get another flat cause then we’d really be hooped. We spent all morning trying to find a good spot on Quesnel
River (there’s that stupid silent S again) for Brent to fish. No luck. So we drove down another very long logging road to Quesnel Forks. It turns out this spot was our favorite of our whole trip. So secluded and so beautiful. It is an old ghost town so there are actually buildings still there. Small houses and stuff. Brent went fishing in the river and caught lots of fish! He releashed them all back into the water.

Ok, so that was our trip. It is super late here, so I gotta get to bed. I will post more pictures of our trip later.

posted by Jess @ 1:17 AM originally written September 26, 2006