14 July, 2012

Day 10, 451km: Going south

Today I made a decision, on weekends I will take at least half-day off! So I woke up late, ravaged the breakfast buffet and left with pockets full of food (by the back door of the hotel since I have to admit I felt shame).

Cleaned up all my stuff, optimized my packing (packing is definitely a never ending story - marketing guys would say "adaptative packing for the best situation responsiveness").

10th sunny day in a row, noon was around 30deg C
Drove a bit around Fort St John as I had a few things to buy then left of in a general southward direction. My destination for the next few days is Cranbook, 50km north of the border between Alberta and Montana. There I will take the highway 3 (heard a look of good about it) and eventually cross into the USA in Washington state. So that's a 1400km drive from Fort St John. As an added bonus I get to go into the Canadian Rockies again from Jasper to Banff.

"Old Alaskan Highway"
South of Fort St John the highway 97 was parallel to the old Alaskan highway, fun road where there isn't much traffic anymore but quite a lot of large properties along the highway, most being for sale.
That made me think about the highway being built (day 8) and obsoleting any previous roads. Seems it already happened!

Passed the 5000km mark between Fort St John and Grande Prairie
As the name suggests, grande prairie was in the middle of huge fields. At some point there was a straight line going on for 31km!

Little towns along the way in the prairie

Was nice to see yellow and smell colza rather than pine!
After Grande Prairie, I headed for Grande Cache. 202km without service or gas? Not an issue. 
The road was pretty boring to be honest. But that was a short day so it wasn't too bad.

Funny signs along the road. Sewage treatment: "Shit happens"
At some point on the road there was an open air coal mine. Can you see the dust below? At first I thought that was dust from logging trucks. That was actually coal!

Open air coal mine
Then I made it to Grande Prairie around 7pm and setup camp there. I'm getting better thanks to Arturo's advice. Took me 30 minutes today to setup a decent camp. The weather however looked menacing and the clouds you see above were taking over the sky.

Last part of the road, entering the Canadian rockies again!
The campsite however (Grande Prairie Municipal Campsite) is excellent, with Wifi everywhere!
And the great news is that here ... there are no mosquitoes! (Or almost none) Which actually makes camping an enjoyable experience.

Right now I'm writing this message from my tent. It's raining hard outside (no mosquitoes so I guess something had to go wrong) and I hope the tent will stay dry. Fingers crossed!

Have a great day/night everyone,

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