On the way to Vancouver

Wednesday August 15, 2018 – approx. 252 km today – approx. 2.336 km total

Since, I saved some time by driving some hours more towards Vancouver yesterday, I got the idea to do some little hiking today after all the driving in the past days and before actually entering the city. The drive into Vancouver would take me about 2,5 hours today, so there was plenty of time to realize that idea. I checked the places along my today’s way and found the Sasquatch Provincial Park which offered a short 4 km walk around the Hicks Lake. I defined that as my intermediate stop today before I would finally enter Vancouver.

I followed the Trans-Canadian-Highway and eventually turned right into the road to Harrison Hotsprings and went on from there towards the Hicks Lake. From there I continued a couple of kilometers along the lake and was finally stopped by a sign stating that the road and the Provincial Park were closed due to the wildfire hazards. What a shame – once again, the wildfires changed my plans!

Since the decision was made now to leave the Rocky Mountains for the end of my roadtrip, I already figured the day before it might be reasonable to check the vacancies on the Inside Passage ferry from Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert. And I was well-adviced with that idea: When I was just arriving at the closed entrance to the Sasquatch Provincial Park, I received a response to my yesterday’s booking request saying that I’m on a wait list already. So I called BC Ferries and managed to get an assured booking for August 26. That was actually even four days later than intended, but better than being on a wait list and maybe not being able to board once arriving up there in Port Hardy.

After clarifying all that, I tried to figure what to do next. I still wanted to enjoy a little bit the nature before entering the city of Vancouver. Checking my maps, I found the Kilby Park day use area on the Harrison River and set that as my next destination.

Arriving at the day use area, I enjoyed lunch and studies a bit the maps and guidebooks to adapt my travel plan to the new circumstances of a changed route and the four days delay on boarding the Inside Passage ferry. The updated idea was now to spend two days in Vancouver and maybe do a short stopover in Seattle, too. Then, I would continue to Vancouver Island, enjoy some days there driving along the island to its northern tip and take the Inside Passage ferry from there on August 26. From Prince Rupert, I would drive all the way up to Whitehorse, make the loop on the Top of the World Highway via Dawson and Beaver Creek with a short side jump to Alaska, USA and would then drive all the way back to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains. I was hoping that in September the wildfire situation had calmed down so that I could enjoy a couple of days in the Rocky Mountains at the end of my roadtrip. After that I would then return in a one-shot to Vancouver where I had to return my vehicle and fly back to Toronto.

After shuffling days back and forth and updating my plans until they made sense to me again, I felt better. I then decided it was time now for Vancouver. So I continued the final about 2 hours to the city and the Peace Arch RV campground which I had called and made a reservation with earlier that day already.

Arriving at the campground, I even managed to get a real site on the tenting area instead of the parking lot on the overflow parking just in front of the office building. However, staying on the tenting area meant that I had to set up my tent, as they did not allow me to stay in the car there – for whatever reason. So I set up my tent and arranged my belongings between the tent and the car and parked the car on the designated parking lot. After all that, I did not really feel like entering Vancouver that day and saved that for the next day. Instead, I used the time to do my laundry and use the internet while waiting. With that, it somehow became even too late for preparing a dinner, so I just returned to my tent and fell asleep soon.