June 8 – Mucho Lake and Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia

Continuing on northward toward Alaska – but before we leave, I didn’t mention that this campground has a restaurant/bar  and the theme is cowboy – what else?

– and I wanted a good breakfast. Now I am stuffed and ready to drive.

Started off heading west toward the Rockies (can almost see them now) and then we shifted north. Road was a little rough (did 45 mph most of the time). This last two hours was probably the most scenic of the Alaskan Highway so far.

Did stop at Summit Lake and this section of the Alaskan Highway is the highest point along the entire route. Brenda had a little trouble getting back to the road.DSC_0102DSC_0108DSC_0107

I did see a bear but he was headed for the woods – no pic. Did get to see a herd of Big Horn Sheep on the side of the road and they were not leaving.

Did stop at the Testa River Camp and split with Brenda one of their famous cinnamon rolls IMG_3271– oh so worth it – probably the best I have ever had. They had a quaint little shop there for browsing.

Later caught (took a picture of) some baby sheep heading up the slope.

And Brenda did get to walk up to a bear and have it pose for her DSC_0143 (2)– I was ready to get out of the coach and pull her back as she kept walking closer.

Also stopped at Toad River Lodge and looked at their collection of baseball caps on the ceiling (over 8,000).

I guess part of traveling is visiting the peculiar things that people think are great – it’s a great way to take a break driving.

If we happen to see a historic milepost we try to get a pic. DSC_0157Everyone is stealing these and they are only a few of them left.

Stopped by Peterson Creek to enjoy.

Arrived at Muncho Lake and found the Strawberry Flats campground. This is a state sponsored campground so no utilities but we have a great view on the lake. We are boon docking for real.

Haven’t had telephone service since 10 this morning. We are totally isolated and no TV. How is Comey doing?

The lake is beautiful, blue green waters caused by copper oxide leaching into the water.

It is kind of strange to be without any utilities and we are living the simple life – we actually sat by the lake all evening (until the bugs got too bad and the weather turned cool) and talked and enjoyed the scenery.DSC_0018

Friday is off to Liard Hot Springs.

The ride along Muncho Lake was fantastic – this is not the original Alaskan Hwy but was created a few years later to eliminate the steep and dangerous curves trying to cross the top of the mountains.

We did see some stone sheep on the side of the road.

And then we stopped for a couple of bison

on the grass but it turned out to be a whole herd of about 30. Glad we didn’t get caught in that stampede.DSC_0050DSC_0047

Construction along the highway is going on all the time during the summer and some delays take a while.

You sit back and enjoy the scenery around you.

Arrived at Liard Hot Springs – and it is highly recommended by everyone to make sure you stop and enjoy.  Second largest hot spring in Canada.  Didn’t want to stay at the state campground so went across the street and stayed at the Lodge campground.

First time for me but could only get a 15 amp service – all the 30’s are reserved already at 10 AM.

Gravel roads and sites but it is a place for one night. Small back-in site, definitely cannot open awning.

After lunch we headed over to the Hot Springs within the park. $5 Canadian dollars each and so worth it.  Quite a hike back to the springs but it was all boardwalk and comfortable.

They have changing rooms and storage boxes for your stuff.

We quickly made the change and started slowly to walk into the pool – the water was warm – no it was hot – not too hot. We jumped in and sat in pleasure as the warm waters slowly moved around us – this is a stream that has been dammed up.

The bottom is rocky (small rocks) and the sides are the earth. DSC_0100Water temp varied from 40 (104 F)to 52 (126 F) degrees Celsius. As you moved from one end to the other, the water got hotter and hotter (source of the stream) in fact almost too hot to be comfortable. And the water had the sulfur smell – not overwhelming though.

We soaked for an hour or so and then took a walk up to the “hanging gardens” – again water coming out of the side of a cliff and creating a beautiful array of waterfalls.

Back into the water and let the body unwind some more.

We did find out this is open 24/7 and we will be returning tonight.

Still no telephone, Wi-Fi, TV, radio services. We must really be in the wild.
Right next to the campground there is a small herd of bison camped out on the road.DSC_0059

We did go back and soak in the hot springs in the evening – quite nice and romantic. Haven’t been this relaxed in quite a while.

Saturday is off to Watson Lake, Yukon.

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