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It was kind of a dreary day today, the first we have really had. There was solid cloud cover and a light rain all day. A good day to be driving.
Knowing that the road conditions and construction zones on the highway are a bit unpredictable I finally broke out this cover that goes between the RV and the CRV to try and protect it from flying debris. It turned out I probably didn’t need it but better safe than sorry.
First we took a little side trip onto the old Alaska Highway to check out the bridge over the Kiskatinaw River. It is one of the few curved wooden bridges. Even the road bed is wood planks.
The low railing and the high RV made it a somewhat unpleasant crossing of the river gorge for Jennie. Just stare straight ahead.
We are certainly not in the prairies anymore. There are no flat stretches where I can just let the cruise control take over. The road was constantly rising up and sloping down.
In a lot of the valleys I had to downshift and let the engine rev up as a brake to control the speed. Anything over about 105 kph in RV is no fun on these somewhat uneven roads. Then I had to downshift to crawl up the hill on the other side. The speed limit here is 100 but the trip computer says my average speed was 74. This is not a complaint, just a record of the road conditions.
The first really steep hill went down and across the Peace River. We didn’t get a great picture because it sort of snuck up on us.
It was 5 km of a 6% grade and one long corner at 10%. That may not seem like much but is is quite steep for a highway. The engine was screaming in second gear at about 5500 rpm while I used the brakes as little as possible. I had a bit of a line behind me but then we caught up to this tanker truck that was going REALLY slowly. I am not sure what he was carrying. The Pepsi truck actually passed him part way down.
The actual bridge roadbed is the wide open steel grate. The huge tires on the RV act a bit squirrely going across.
Off to the side was a suspension cable hold up a pipeline.
Given the number of RVs in the park at Dawson Creek I expected to see more on the road but we didn't see any motorhomes, just a few trailers. In fact the road was very empty, with most of the time spent with no other vehicles in sight. I think I was only passed by about 25 others. Here are some more lonely highway pictures.
The shoulders are trimmed way back so that you can see the moose, deer, etc before they jump out at you.
Off to the west it looked like there were mountains but the clouds covered the tops. Too bad!
I had read in the blog of a couple that are a few days ahead of us, that they had stayed in this little provincial park that was about the right distance for today. The campground book I have, says the park is actually closed but lots of people use it as an overnight stop. We drove in this little unmarked road to see this. I stopped on the road just up to the right.
This is the view to the left from where I stopped. It didn’t look very appealing. The book said this is sometimes used as an airstrip.
At this point I am thinking, “Why did we stop here and how am I going to get out?”. My options were to disconnect the car and back up or to loop around through this mess.
I got out and walked around a bit and finally noticed that the road continued into the forest and there were tire tracks. I walked up and found the actual park.
I went back, drove in and landed the beast. We look a bit lonely all by ourselves. This is truly boondocking but we are nice and cozy with our new heater.
Thinking that there was no hope, I turned on our cell phone to see if there was any coverage. Wow, 2 bars and even 3G data. I turned on the router and the internet stick and we are connected. The internet is everywhere!