We left Vancouver Island on Thursday, June 12, with the goal of through the Lower Mainland to avoid Friday morning rush hour. Overnighted at the Cole Road Rest Area near Abbotsford.
Friday, June 13, we travelled Hwy 1 from the Cole Road Rest Area to Cache Creek; then Hwy 97 to Lac La Hache. Overnighted at Lac La Hache Provincial Park.
On Saturday, continued north on Hwy 97 to Prince George. It was surprising how quiet the highway was this year.
At Prince George, the truck turned west on Hwy 16 (Yellowhead Hwy). In 2007 we had decided to avoid the south end of the Alaska Highway on future trips because it was too busy and hectic. Continued driving west to Burns Lake, where we reluctantly stayed in a commercial campground as there wasn't a provincial park in the area.
Left Burns Lake at about 9 a.m. Then started north on the Cassiar Highway! Until this junction, we felt we were simply putting in miles.
The Cassiar Highway is a quiet highway with few services. The south end of the Cassiar is easy driving, with painted lane lines and some shoulder area.
Our overnight destination was Meziadin Lake Provincial Park where the truck and fifth wheel enjoyed a lovely waterfront site and a private canoe launch!
Steve attempted some fishing with a fellow from Sweden; however, neither of them had any luck.
His fishing partner was on a 10-week honeymoon to Canada & Alaska. This young couple were driving 4x4 truck with a small camper that they rented for $8,900 plus $0.34/km after the first 100 km per day, plus their fuel. And it seemed they were getting about the same mileage as us, yet we were towing a fifth wheel!
We decided to not take the scenic drive into Stewart as the sky was overcast. If it was overcast at Meziadin Lake, it would surely be even MORE overcast on the road to, and in, Stewart.
The highway north from Meziadin Junction to Bell II continued to be good driving.
We looked forward to a short day as our destination was Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park.
Unfortunately, the highway was closed a few kilometres south of Bell II due to a serious accident: a transport truck had overturned around the corner pictured below.
We arrived at about 11:00 a.m. and were told the accident happened around 8:00 a.m. Two injured men were transported to hospital by helicopter, with the highway remaining closed until about 1 p.m. It was re-opened only after investigators arrived by truck from Terrace to complete an accident assessment.
After filling with diesel at Bell II, we continued northward. Everyone else also had to fill up, but most were waiting for regular gas and we were able to sneak in and out quickly.
The Cassiar Highway gradually faded from a well-marked two-lane highway with good shoulders, to a well-worn asphalt road with no shoulder. Even so, the road was in reasonably good driving condition.
The scenery continued improve ...
The camping sites at Kinaskan Lake provincial park are mostly along the lake's edge and have varying degrees of privacy. We opted for a very private site with a bit of view of the lake. Other sites were very open and offered expansive views.
Jake, our dog, needed a good stretch of his legs so we took advantage of a hiking trail along the south end of the lakeshore.