So we left off in Chetwynd, BC.
Here is a picture of the most interesting thing in Chetwynd:
(But only a little.)
Actually, it was raining and dark...so the camera stayed tucked away. I didn't need fuel, so I cruised right on through the big C. I was tired, but not wet. For the first time in my life I had proper rain gear. Well, proper enough anyways.
Sometime in the winter I had searched ADV re: cheap and durable rain gear, and the Military Surplus ECWCS stuff came up. I picked up a parka on Ebay for $36 and pants for $19 and have been a fan ever since. You're not going to find Gore-tex any cheaper than that. And as a bonus, you blend in really well in desert sand.
I wore these almost my whole trip and was very impressed with them. The little things are what make the difference: the extra long zipper pulls, the elastic inner skirt on the parka, cuffs that actually work with gloves on, SPOT tracker pocket on the arm. These are my first and only rain gear so I use them for everything. I've worn them packrafting in the Artic, canoeing around home, ice fishing in the winter, snowmobiling, and haven't gotten wet yet.
Sorry for the commercial, but just in case there are others as cheap as myslef I wanted to let them know: "You don't have to be wet anymore!"
Anyways, shortly after Chetwynd I pulled off the highway onto a side road and traveled a couple km to Swinada
's old house. He was my traveling buddy for my second Spatsizi trip
. He had recently moved to the coast, but I wasn't sure if he had sold his house yet, so since I was tired and cold (but not wet) I had the thought of crashing on his deck or something if the place looked abandoned.
It was 1:00 in the morning by now, so I figured I could sneak in and out no problem. But after traveling his longish driveway, I saw that there were lights on in the house and someone was watching TV, so I decided not to freak them out and just turned around and headed out to the highway again.
Traveling the Pine Pass towards Mackenzie, I think I was on the edge of a cold front of something. The temperature has dropped almost 20 degrees in the last hour and it would rain hard for a bit, then stop, then rain again. After 40 minutes or so, I thought I had gotten through the worst of it (since it was coming from the west) so I started looking for a promising looking side road to do a little stealth camping. I probably checked out a half dozen tracks and trails, but didn't find anything that I liked the looks of, so I kept reverting to the highway.
By about 1:50, I was having trouble staying awake, and after groggily dodging a moose, I decided I should camp at the next opportunity. It turned out to be a gas plant of some kind. Off to one side, there was a asphalt pad (the remains) of some sort of building, that I decided would be better than wet grass. I didn't take me long to set up my tent, as I didn't bother to stake it down or put on the fly.
As I mentioned earlier, my front tent pole (which had broken this spring and was supposed to be in on warrantee 2 months, then 2 weeks, then 2 days before my trip) had not arrived. So instead, I was using a fiberglass one from my sons $10 play tent that was 2 feet too long. Thankfully, it was about as rigid as a wet noodle, so I just bent it that much more and it ended up working ok.
I was tired before I had left 12 hours earlier, so despite having no sleeping pad, I found the asphalt surprisingly comfortable and I fell asleep right away.
For about 45 minutes anyways.