Beautiful British Columbia is big, really big, and beautiful, really beautiful. It’s so big you could drop three or four Washington States into it, and have room left over for a few Eastern states. And it is rich, rich in natural resources, all the usual: oil, natural gas and metal ores, but perhaps more importantly, water, lots of water. Someday when all the other resources have been sold to the consuming nations, water will be British Columbia’s wealth. It is now much of its beauty.
The roaring Frazier descends from the jagged peaks and glaciers of the Canadian Rockies, first in a north-westerly direction. It makes a hard turn south near Prince George for a long run to Vancouver and the sea. We followed the Frazier to Prince George, located on the Yellowhead Highway in the middle of BC. In 1997 we rode Zippy through Prince George as part of a 5000 kilometer tour of BC and Alberta from our home in Dungeness, Washington. It was nice to be able to return, and remember. Beyond Prince George, the land becomes almost like a gentle sea, huge long waves of white spruce and aspen, rolling off to a far horizon. Here the sky becomes the thing, billowing white and blue-gray clouds against a cobalt northern sky, turning color with a later and later sunset.
It becomes almost difficult to sleep as we near the Yukon, the days are so long, the nights so short. We close all the blinds in Turtle, and it still is late before we can sleep. Light usually wakes me at 3:30am, but I’m a good sleeper, and Claire’s warmth makes it easy to wait for full sun to warm us through the windshield sometime around 6:30. At that 3:30 awakening, I open the blinds and curtain between our living area and the cab to welcome the sun. A warm house makes it easier to get out of bed at a reasonable hour.
Here in the cool north, when we chose a boondock spot, we look first for level (the refrigerator is fussy if we aren’t) and secondly, a north-east exposure for morning warmth. Two of our most important camping tools are, a short carpenters level, and a compass. For trickier leveling situations, we can now use our Android to give us the exact number of degrees we are off –level; very cool.
It is quiet beside a lazy boreal stream. Earlier, we watched a beaver patrol the near shore, five meters away, as we enjoyed dinner and a glass of fine Oregon wine, courtesy of John and Sharon Hoyle. The beaver found nothing to her liking and returned downstream. Maybe she didn’t like the neighbors, or that we didn’t offer our wine?
Later, I sit with the warm sun on my shoulder, watching a shorebird forage the far shore, head bobbing, its legs a-blur, mind on food, preparing for the breeding to come. My coffee steams in the sun’s rays, and slowly begins to bring my brain into a semi-active mode. Our passenger chair rotates to take full advantage of the sun, and the view. It is another million dollar view, free. I love that sentence. I wonder if the people tied to the RV Resort umbilical are enjoying their morning, packed together as they are, with a claustrophobic view of the toilets and other motorhomes. These mornings and evenings, all alone with our river, lake or mountain view, make us feel rich, even if we do have to make our own coffee.