Friday, May 6, 2016

Happy Hour Drama at Williams Lake!

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All tucked in at the Tourism Discovery Centre at Williams Lake.

Overnight, Hope was quiet and cool and I slept like a baby. Not bad for being tucked away behind a building off a busy road. We had no more rigs join us, but there were a couple that ended up on the street beside us. I guess we might have taken up more than our fair share of the parking lot, but it didn't seem so when we parked.

We had planned to depart at 10:00 a.m. for Williams Lake, but we were all ready to go early. Since we had a long day - we were figuring on seven hours including stops - we were happy to get a bit of an early start. But then came the dreaded question: "Have you seen my glasses?"

Ugh! Bill and Kelly joined the search, and thirty minutes later we still had not found my prescription glasses, where they had gone to was a complete mystery. I have my old pair and sunglasses, but not my new ones!

Off we went on an overcast morning, traveling over hill-and-dale and beside the beautiful Fraser River. The terrain soon changed, the forests and lush greens turned to brown hills and sagebrush. Before long the sun came out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. After 100 Mile House the terrain changed again as we drove parallel to several beautiful lakes, including Lac La Heche, which was gorgeous and reminded us of Lake Sammamish, only bigger.

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We followed Kelly and Bill through the beautiful British Columbia scenery.

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This was about the only traffic we encountered on our way to Williams Lake.

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More beautiful sights along the Gold Rush Trail.

On our journey we stopped just short of Cache Creek for lunch, then made another stop in 100 Mile House where B&K took advantage of good fuel prices. We waited for them at the Visitors Center, then the four of us took a nice one kilometer walk around the little lake there. The sun was high in the sky and the temperature was around 70 degrees. How utterly perfect is that?

Lunch stop at a rest stop near Cache Creek.

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Visitor Centre at 100 Mile House.                   We stretched our legs walking around the nearby lake.

We stopped to refuel just outside Williams Lake at a cost of 93 cents CAN per liter, or $3.53 CAN per gallon. In US dollars, that's about $2.73 US. That just seems positively cheap, Steven says it's because of the great exchange rate.  Anyway, that's what it was. We took on about 45 gallons, so that was our big spendy item of the day.

By the time we reached the Tourism Discovery Centre, Bill and Kelly had already arrived, so we pulled in next to them. We had already decided to have happy hour upon arrival, so I threw together some guacamole while Steven cleaned the bug guts off our windshield. Man, that was messy business right there.

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This is just the beginning! The bug guts will only get worse in Alaska.

We set up our chairs between our two rigs, so we felt kind of hidden. At the same time, we couldn't really see anyone approach us because our rigs were so tall. Then Kelly heard a voice. Bill went to the other side of his rig to find a man there asking for a light. He obliged. Happy Hour continued for a while, until said man came around the back of the 5th wheel indicating he was in pain and thought maybe he could join us. There was clearly something wrong with him, and if he was to be believed, he had just been mauled by a bear.

Both Steven and Bill speak in quiet, calming voices. Kelly and I do not. I decided it was time to call 911, so Kelly got between her truck and 5th wheel and made the call.  I was concerned if the guy knew what we were up to things might take a turn for the worse, so I whisper-hissed, "get in the rig!"

Kelly is a master on the phone, polite, emphatic, and to-the-point. She gave just the perfect information. When they asked her for a description of the man, I again whishper-hissed, "blue jeans, chamois-colored shirt"! Of course, what I had actually done was describe exactly what Steven was wearing. LOL, not sure what was up with that, but in the heat of the moment, it's all I could recall. :)  Kelly also made it clear the man appeared to be in need of medical attention. He had some fairly significant scratches on his chest, which he was happy to show us by opening his shirt.

It seemed to take a while for help to show up, but they more than made up for that in quantity. Five cop cars with lights flashing and soon after, an ambulance. Kelly and I walked all around the scene nonchalantly taking photos of the situation. Bill and Steven were right in the middle of it, talking to the cops.

At no point did any of us feel afraid, we were concerned about what might happen if he decided he needed something we couldn't give him. The guy seemed to be in genuine physical pain, and of course he was on something and maybe drinking alcohol. When the cops showed up, they walked right back to him and called him by his name, so it was clear they were well acquainted with the guy.

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Happy Hour Interruptis. Nothing like some law enforcement to spice up a social gathering.

What was so impressive to all of us what how the police handed the situation with complete compassion. They showed genuine concern for the guy, as well as concern for our safety.

It was all over in less than an hour, so we finished off our happy hour with each of us recounting our individual perspectives.

Tomorrow we're on our way to Prince George. We've been reading reports of wildfire closing down the Alaska Highway around Fort St. John, BC.  We'll be watching the news as we move further north. We're excited to get to Dawson Creek, mile one of the Alaskan Highway!


  1. Hey not surprising Canada is a friendly place and the RCMP know everybody. ;) You should take it easy heading north, you will soon run out of summer, and most of the tourist spots are just starting to think about clearing the driveways. I heard the Alaska Highway is closed at Mile 73 which coincidentally is the location of the Sheperd's Inn. Last time I was up there they made a world class strawberry rhubarb pie as did their neighbours at Mile 146 (Mae's Kitchen). You always could deek left at Prince George and head over and go up the Cassiar Highway to Watson's Lake. It is one of the nicest drives in Canada and the road is pretty good too.

    1. We actually discussed changing our route to the Cassiar, but honestly, as much as we're winging it on this trip, we all agree we are just not prepared for a change that significant. I'm sure it's gorgeous, but we'll find out in August!

  2. quite the excitement during happy hour!

    1. You must be up the road in the "phone booth" to be able to comment! I hope the job is going well, looks like a beautiful place!

  3. That is a happy hour you will not forget for awhile:)

    1. That's so true. We all agreed it was the most exciting Happy Hour we've had as fulltimers!

  4. I was wondering what happened when I saw Kelly's FB post the other day. So glad that you met up with them, they will make great traveling partners. We are in Fort Langley BC and are headed to Cache Creek on the 9th.

    1. We are on our way this morning to Dawson Creek, Mile 0 of the Alaskan Highway. Hoping Sunday's rain douses the fire 45 kms north, at least enough to let us through to continue our journey! Depending on how fast you will travel, you may catch us at Muncho Lake!

  5. Wow, not the kind of wildlife you were expecting, eh? Crazy story, glad it all got sorted out peacefully.

    1. Honestly, we were kind of hoping for a moose. But we'll take what we're given in the "that was memorable!" department. :)

  6. The roads look nice through that area - except the bugs of course. We found dryer sheets are the very best for removing bug guts - quick and easy. Now for your HH entertainment....I'm sure weird and funny after it was over, but unnerving during his visit. Sounds like you all handled it like champs :-)))

    1. The roads so far are just like US Highways, in some cases, better. Sure wish you and Bill were making the trip with us!