Saturday, August 13, 2016

Prince George, BC - Stop 37 on our Trek North to Alaska

Yellowhead Highway was bustling at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday when we left Smithers heading to Prince George to reunite with Claudia/Mike.

We experienced unusually warm weather (high 70s to low 80s)  in an area where the average temperature for this time of year is only about 60F degrees.

We passed through Houston, home of the world's largest fly rod.  Having some unique roadside attraction is the only way some towns can get folks to spend their time and coveted tourist dollars there.

We stopped at Burns Lake for a potty break.  Burns Lake has nice parking areas for RVs and cheaper diesel prices than Smithers.

Mom no sooner took over the wheel than it happened--a logging truck whizzed by us at an ungodly speed and shot a rock at our windshield.  Bang!  Big Boomer took a massive hit, about the size of a half-dollar, on the driver's side windshield. And to think we made it all the way to Day 118 of our 130-day trip without a mishap.

We arrived at Hartway B&B and RV Park, a small but adorable park in the Hart section of Prince George.  It's got large pull-thru sites, private, shaded back-ins, and pretty flowers around all the buildings.  It has great water pressure and free Wi-Fi, too!  Cindy is the very friendly, accommodating owner, and her cute dog named Skipper is always eager to greet guests.  I will warn you, though, it is a bit noisy from road traffic, a price you pay for an easy in, easy out park.

The B&B at Hartway

Pull-thrus large enough even for us!


We got set up and immediately sought out a shop to do our windshield rock chip repair.  Glass Express said come right on in.  They started to inject the resin into the crack, but found Big Boomer was hemorrhaging.  He took not one hit, but two!  They did what they could to fix both chips, but only time will tell if the procedure was successful.  We will keep our fingers crossed.

We caught up with Claudia/Mike early on Friday morning at NR, the RV repair shop, to find their fridge issue was still unresolved. We learned the two prior days of diagnostic testing determined the heating coils were shot. Fortunately, they have an extended warranty.  NR convinced the insurance company it made more sense economically to replace the fridge with a residential unit than to repair the 7-year old RV unit.  This is especially true since timing is of the essence, and it would take 2 weeks just to get the necessary repair parts.  So Claudia/Mike hunted through Prince George to find a residential fridge that met their requirements.  They ran into a brick wall because none of the stores they visited had the required fridge in stock.  They had found somewhere to sell them a floor model finally, only to learn they could not take delivery of it on Friday.  And NR does not work on Saturdays, so Monday would be the earliest anything could get done, assuming all the stars align properly.  This would mean they would miss the next stop on our planned trip, too.  Fortunately, Mom and Dad were able to help expedite matters. Since our Verizon plan now covers Canada, they were able to do some tag team phone/internet research and located a store that actually had the fridge in stock.  And it could be picked up pronto!  So the situation went from looking very grim to quite rosy!  Claudia/Mike are now the proud owners of a Samsung residential fridge and they can finally relax after a very stressful few days.

We all got to have some fun today, starting with a visit to the Prince George Farmer's Market by City Hall.  Unlike many Farmer's Markets, this once actually did have produce vendors.  We also saw Mr. PG, Prince George's roadside attraction.

That's some gigantic zucchini, just like what we harvested from our own vegetable gardens back in the day.

Mr. PG and my Dad have something in common--they both are bald!

Our next destination was the Ancient Forest, a temperate rain forest filled with western red cedar trees that date back some 1,000 years.  The sign warned about a bear roaming the area.  Although we did see evidence substantiating this claim (paw prints and bear fur), we did not have any encounters with the real deal!  We did some nice, easy hiking along a boardwalk to see these tree relics, view a waterfall, and catch a glimpse of Mt. Sir Alexander.

View from the Ancient Forest of Mt. Sir Alexander, a towering 10,745 foot peak

Circle in the Sky

The Big Tree of Life, at least 1,000 years old, but could be as old as 2,000 years!

Don't know what the name of this flower/plant is, but the flies seem to love it!

We also visited the Huble Homestead Historic Site.  The house is the oldest building on its original location in the Fraser-Fort George region.  It was built in 1912 by Al Huble, a fur trapper and guide.  Originally it was his family's main residence, but as the years went by, it became just their summer home.  What gorgeous property!  A bucolic setting of 336 acres overlooking the Fraser River, complete with livestock, flower and vegetable gardens, and a general store.  A wedding ceremony was held here earlier today.  Luckily, we arrived late afternoon after the wedding had concluded, so we had access to all the buildings.  Guides are dressed in period clothing and offer you a narrated tour.  If you are in the Prince George area, this is a wonderful, inexpensive place to visit (suggestion donation $5/adult; $3 children/seniors). 

The Huble family home.  They were rather well off as can be seen from their furnishings in the photos below

The general store that Al Huble maintained on his homestead now acts as the gift shop

Guides and staff dress in period costumes

What every homestead requires:  a set of sleeping rabbit bookends!

What you looking at--you want a piece of me!

The flower and vegetable gardens, complete with scarecrow

We stopped at Wal-mart and Canadian Superstore for groceries--we were all out of cheese.  Ironically, both stores had deli counters, but neither of them sold fresh-sliced cheese.  What's up with that, eh?   Furthermore, cheese is pretty expensive in Canada. Does it cost more 'cause you give it the French name "fromage"?  Not to mention I haven't found Swiss cheese anywhere I have been in Canada.  What's Canada got against us cheese-eating Texan rats anyway?

Well, time for me to say goodnight!  Talk to you soon.

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