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.
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?
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.
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.
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!