Friday, May 24, 2013

Road trip from Tagish to Prince George successfully done!

Three weeks ago we left Tagish, Yukon Territory and headed to south along the Alaska Highway wishing to see less snow and warmer weather. And after over 2000 km we are now in Prince George and ready to start the next phase of our Canada escape.

It has been one of a kind holiday, with limited residing space inside the car but endless space surrounding us outside. We have seen the season change from very early spring with snow still on ground to late spring with hints of green in trees to fully summer with burning sun. We have relaxed and enjoyed the luxury of doing basically nothing.

The route

Our Subaru took us from Tagish back to the Alaska Highway and we followed it until its end, Dawson Creek, BC. From there we drove to Tumbler Ridge and then followed a 60 km long forestry road to Monkman Provincial Park. We spent a few days there and did a 2-night hiking trip. After that we drove to Chetwynd and followed the Highway 97 all the way to Prince George, only taking a loop to visit Mackenzie. 

Over 2000 km on the road. And well worth it!

Living in a car

No question a Subaru Legacy isn't the biggest apartment to live in for two people, but surprisingly it worked out very well for us. 

We had some kind of chaotic order with our bags and boxes and loose items and we managed to have all the space for driving, eating, sleeping and the normal road trip life. 

We used our SPOT to locate our overnight places, you can check them from our website.

For breakfast we had cereal, for lunch sandwiches and usually pasta for dinner by a fire. Simple menu for simple days. And of course we ate all the Finnish chocolate slabs that we had saved just for the road, and some snacks now and then. We also tried making pan cakes on fire. One experience among others.

Dinner preparations

And washing dishes
We also took some advantage of the pools in some communities that we passed. It was great to go for a swim and a hot shower, sometimes just for one dollar. It wasn't that we didn't like the natural baths that we took. But hot water is usually more comfortable than the freezing river water.

We left our "winter coats" to Bear Lake May 23rd!

Holiday mode

So how do the days go by when you have nothing to do? To be honest it takes some adaptation to learn that you don't have to do anything. After than you can just sit back and relax. Read books, do crossword puzzles and sudokus, take pictures, take naps, playing hacky sack and so on. 

Liard River Hot SPrings
Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake
A big thing in Mackenzie!
Julien's relax mode
A rainy day and night
Chainsaw carvings in Chetwynd
Start (or end for us) of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek
Love boat ended up being a submarine
Dinosaur tracks near Tumbler Ridge

Highway landscapes

The Alaska Highway is definitely a road worth of driving along, especially the northern part of it. We saw gorgeous mountains, big glacier lakes and rivers and old handsome forests. 

Still in Yukon Territory

Landscape near Atlin, YT
Landscape near Atlin, YT
Mountains along the Alaska Highway

A sunset at Liard River

Muncho Lake, BC

Trout River along the Highway 
At the mountains next to Summit Lake
The mountains next to Summit Lake

Summit Lake, BC
Along the Highway in BC

The road wasn't full of tourists yet though we saw plenty of huge caravans and campers around. The road was clean most of the part and we also found lots of turnouts where to sleep for free, which is always nice when travelling with a low budget.

Getting ready for dinner near Liard River

New snow on the mountains, May  21st


We saw wide range of wildlife just besides the road. Many caribous, bison, moose, bears, elks, wood sheep, eagles and falcons. 
Bison along the Highway

Grizzly bear with two cups along the Highway
Wood sheep along the Highway

One day we were just relaxing and reading in a camping area and from the bush came out a black bear with three cups. Cups climbed to a tree, took a nap there while the mum was eating grass and whatever she was finding from the ground. And this happened just 30 m from us. You really feel the wilderness near here.


Our goal on our road trip was also to train a bit for the big hike that we are doing soon. But since the spring was late this year and the trails were mostly full of snow, we couldn't train too much. We still went to a Monkman Provincial Park and did a 2-night hike in and around the park. Occasionally we were swimming in snow but since the conditions in our big hiking trip could be the same it was good for preparing. We saw very beautiful falls as well, so well worth of the trouble.

Julien fixing his shoes
Scary bridges

Lots of snow and water

Hiking in Monkman Provincial Park
Waterfalls along the Monkman trail

Waterfalls along the Monkman trail

A view from Devil's Creek Campground
At Monkman Lake

At Monkman Lake
At Monkman Lake
Landscape at Monkman trail

At Monkman Lake

Kinuseo Falls in Monkman Provincial Park

We made it, but Julien's shoes did not

We did a small hike up to the mountains near Summit Lake and did some climbing as well. Creek coming down from the mountains ended up being a perfect place for dinner.

And now it's time to leave the car in Prince George and continue to the phase two!