A nice place to come back to

By Sarah Reynolds | Jun 19, 2016
Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds Ducklings follow their mother on the lake at our RV park in Toad River, BC. We were glad to get to stay a second time.

Toad River, British Columbia — Thursday night we spent at Johnson's Crossing in Teslin, Yukon. A perfectly adequate RV park, but not especially scenic and rather noisy. After Kluane Lake, though, anything would have been a come-down.

We drove through the beautiful Kluane National Park and Preserve again, and stopped in Whitehorse to buy groceries and would have stayed for dinner if we had been able to find a place to park that could accommodate the camper.

We shopped in Canada's answer to Super Wal-Mart, called something like Real Canadian Superstore. It's strange to buy things in other countries, because you don't really have a sense of how much you're spending. This is true even though we know that $1 American is about $1.30 Canadian.

Friday morning we set out for Watson Lake, and ended up deciding to go an extra 90 miles to Coal River, since we still had a while before dinner time. We camped at Coal River Lodge and RV Park. On the way there, we saw three bears, two black and one brown, the latter possibly a grizzly. We also saw a big bison cropping grass by the side of the road.

We did have a scary 45 minutes or so where we were looking, praying for a gas station and expecting any minute to hear the truck's engine sputter to a stop. Fortunately, before the fumes ran out, we came to a gas station. Alas, it was temporarily unable to accept credit cards. So Maureen offered up her last $18 in Canadian money, which bought us 12 liters of gas – about three gallons. As we were about to pull out of the station, I asked Maureen why she hadn't inquired if the station accepted American money. I said I would ask, and fill the tank if the owner would take U.S. currency. He said he'd take it, but at a rate of $1 American to $1 Canadian – not a good deal for us, but we didn't know how soon we would find another gas station, and we're only getting about 10 miles to the gallon pulling the trailer.

As it turned out, there was another place to get gas a few miles down the road, so we needn't have paid so dearly for it, but it was nice to know leaving the first place that we weren't going to be white-knuckling in again in a few more miles.

We stopped for information at an RV park in Watson Lake, and leraned that Dawson Creek, further to the south, had received flooding rains in the last few days, and some roads were washed out. When we went to the visitor's center in town, I talked with the most helpful public employee I've ever met. She not only answered my questions, including how to get around Dawson Creek – which we will have to do in a couple of days – but also volunteered a great deal of useful information. One of those bits of information was about Whirlpool Canyon, a rushing rapid on the Coal River not long before we got to our campground for the night. We stopped and took some pictures before completing our drive for the day.

Saturday we went back to Toad River Lodge and RV Park, a place we enjoyed very much on our trip north. We had an easy drive, and took it easy, stopping a few times along the way to enjoy the extraordinary scenery of Muncho Lake Provincial Park. Turns out “Muncho” means “big lake” in the language of the First Nation people (Canadian for aboriginal people) who named it.

I was very happy to return to Toad River, with all the wildlife in and around its small lake; perhaps the only thing nicer than finding a place you really like is getting to return to it.

Sunday we are to drive to Dawson Creek, recently hit by severe flooding from rain. I expect it may be challenging to get through it on our way back to Alberta.

The water at Whirlpool Canyon in Coal River, British Columbia, rushes past trees taken down by the river's spring floods. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
The weather can change quickly in the mountains. Here, an approaching storm threatens to catch up with us. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
This view of Muncho Lake doesn't show the green of its waters, caused by glacial sediment. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
Stone sheep and their young stand beside the road in Muncho Lake Provincial Park Saturday. (Photo by: Sarah E. Reynolds)
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