Spring drive in Northern Rockies

The time was right. The roads were clear and I got to do a road trip from Hudson’s Hope to Prince George. It was so nice to see the soft green of growth in the valleys. As I rounded that last corner to Chetwynd, the valley opened up to show me Chetwynd nestled in the valley with the Rockies as a back drop. I stopped in at the visitor centre as there is quite a collection of chainsaw carvings just out front. I found out there is a walking trail that takes you all over town as the carvings are scattered all over town. Check them out! Then off to the mountains I headed. There is a nice rest area close to Pine Lemoray Provincial Park. It was a beautiful warm 24 degrees but still the snow was heavy on the mountains looming so close, you felt like you could touch them. Everyone at the stop was friendly and smiling; the surroundings and heat made it so. I ventured in to see Heart Lake and was amazed to see it was still frozen but a reminder that it was still early spring. Not far down the road you are viewing Azouzetta Lake, looks like a nice campground there, and then just pass Powder King Ski Hill, you reach the summit of the Pine pass at 933 metres. Water was running off the mountains and created numerous water falls , cascading off the rocks along the highway. I knew my next stop would be to pull in to Bijoux Falls, where you can park, meet fellow travelers, cheep with the cheeky well fed Stellar Jays with the huge volume of the falls roaring in the background. Take a picnic for this stop!

 

Continuing along you break out of the mountains and next stop was the Mackenzie junction Visitor Centre. It is so cute… a wooden train caboose. Kids just love it. And so they did a few miles down the road at Windy Point, restaurant and gas stop. The building has owner’s dwelling on the second floor, that opens onto a flat roof, complete with dog house and a couple of dogs that like to survey the goings on below. It was hilarious!

 

Carrying on through Macleod Lake and then Crooked River, I watching for the swans that are usually spotted this time of year but I was either too early or too late. But I did see three bears; one black turning over a stump, one very sleepy looking black and a powerful looking brown grazing a green hillside. And I moose. I made a point to stop in at Crooked River Provincial Park on Bear Lake because the last time I was there, we did see a bear. Not this time but what did greet me in this serene setting when I got out of the vehicle was an uproar of ducks. Lots of ducks! I’m sure things quiet down once the campers arrive to take in the fine sandy beaches on this lake.

 

And onto Prince George to close out the day! Stayed at Ester’s Inn … met up with some friends and had pizza in the indoor garden courtyard; it was fantastic. The pool was just feet away and the steam bath as well. I couldn’t ask for a better day.

 

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Taken on May 16, 2011