Monday, June 11, 2018

Day 9, British Columbia and Yukon Territory

Today's destination is somewhere near Watson Lake, YT.  We are up early as usual, but we aren't the first to leave.  Several others are up and leaving while we are getting ready.  Today's drive will be about 425 miles and will end in the Yukon Territory.  This is where things start to get remote!

The road starts out heading north to Fort Nelson and then turns west towards Muncho Lake and then NW to Watson Lake.  Watson Lake is the place where they have the signpost forest.  We didn't spend any time looking at the forest, we were too tired from counting all the bears that we saw today.  24 bears alongside the road today.  After awhile, it was like.  Oh look, there's another bear.  Uh huh.  What's for lunch...LOL!  But, it was fun spotting them, the black ones especially.  You can spot one from 1/2 mile away or so.

Today also took us through Laird River Hot Springs.  This is a really cool place right off the road.  It is a provincial park and offers camping and of course hot springs.  You have to pay to go to the springs on a day pass basis or in addition to your camping fee.  Not sure if you get a discount with the camping or not.  We paid our $10 CDN in coins and found a place to park.  We also spot our new friend's RV...Jon and the parking lot.  There dog was barking it's head off.  I am hoping it settled down some.  There are changing rooms at the springs, so we gather our suits and towels and walk the boardwalk to the hot springs.  It is a nice boardwalk through a marshy area that also has hot water in it and lots of mineral deposits.  Reminded me of Yellowstone NP.

We changed and hit the springs.  It is not a pool like some others we have seen.  There are steps going down into the water and seats along that one side, but the other side is left wild.  The bottom felt like pea gravel, and did not hurt the feet at all.  So, we are there soaking up the heat when we are approached by a man who I did not recognize...without his was Jon!  We spent some time talking to them and comparing our days since Dawson Creek.  I think we stayed in the water about 45 minutes before heading back to the van completely relaxed.

We saw a heard of Bison there are the springs as well.  Some of them were limping really bad.  I asked the person at the admission booth about them and she said they had been hit by a car.  They were having a tough time keeping up with the herd.  She said they would most likely have to put down as they would not be able to survive like that.  Sad.

We arrive in Watson Lake early in the afternoon.  It is a busy place.  We stop to fuel and consult our guidebooks for a campground.  It appears there are a couple places just outside of town.  We refuel the van there before leaving town...diesel was $4.54 a gallon!!!  I try not to think about it.  Yeah, that works.

So, we head out to find the Lake Watson Campground.  It shows it being just off the highway, but in actuality it is several miles off on a gravel road.  We proceed slowly and arrive at the park in a few minutes.  There are two loops.  One at the lake and the first one in the woods.  We find a spot in the first loop and settle in for the night.

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