Thursday, June 27 to Monday, July 1, 2013 (Muncho Lake Provincial Park, Northern Rockies, BC)

We woke to clouds and heavy rain Thursday morning so needless to say, it was a very lazy morning. At about noon the clouds broke and the sun started to peak through.  The first thing on the agenda was to clean windows...with such beautiful views, we needed to be able to see!  The lake water is such a gorgeous colour with the sun shining on it!  Steve did the outside and I did the inside...


Steve also emptied two 5 gallon containers of fresh water into the trailer and just as he was thinking it was time to off-load the boat, the clouds moved in and it started raining again.  So we spent a couple of hours inside reading up on the Yukon and Alaska.

Finally at about 4:00, the sun came back out and we thought we would go for a walk to the other end of the campground.


The creek running into the lake is very muddy with all of the heavy rain...

It looked like it was going to stay nice out, so Steve decided to off-load the boat.  We had quite an audience as our neighbours, Richard and Joan from Florida, were very intrigued with the setup.  Richard even had his video camera recording it all!  It was still pretty windy...too windy for Steve to move the boat over to our site so he just got it all set up at the waters edge and will move it over later when the wind dies down. 

It finally calmed down enough at about 8:30 and he brought it over...now he's all set for his morning fish!

Although it was a cloudy morning Friday, it wasn't raining, so Steve headed out fishing at 8:00.  I cleaned up inside (dishes), did a little baking and generally puttered around.

Steve came in briefly at about 9:30 because it started raining but it didn't last and he was soon back out on the water.  He took these pictures while out on the water...




He finally came in at noon...skunked. We had lunch and then decided to go for a drive along the lake.  The highway along Muncho Lake required considerable rock excavation by the Army in 1942.  Horses were used to haul away the rocks.  The original route went along the top of the cliff, which proved particularly hazardous.  The Army relocated the road by benching into the cliffs a few feet above lake level. 

We stopped at a roadside pullout...




We continued onto Northern Rockies Lodge. The lodge itself is quite lovely...



After checking out the inside, we took a walk around the rest of the property.  This is the back of the lodge...nice deck...

They also rent small cabins (advertised as lakeshore chalets) ...

They also offer sightseeing flights...an hour flight is $350/person...yikes!



Their RV park left a lot to be desired...although advertised as spacious pull-through RV sites with full hookups, we saw maybe one spacious back-in site.  So, beware of advertisements.

Our next stop, just a few kilometers further along the highway, was the other campground within the Provincial Park, MacDonald campground. It is a little more open than Strawberry Flats (where we are) and has more maneuvering room when backing into a site, but I still like where we are better (Steve doesn't agree).  Please excuse the dirty windshield in this picture...


Muncho Lake RV Park is another kilometer along the highway.  It doesn't look too bad but we really couldn't see the sites.  They offer full service pull-through sites that are tiered on the slope to the lake.  Steve went into the office to see if we could use their sani-dump when we leave Strawberry Flats...no problem, for a charge of $10.

After going a little further along the highway, we turned around and headed for the Double G café where we understand that we can use their Wi-Fi as long as we buy something.

So we bought a cup of coffee and sat down...and I was ever so briefly connected with the outside world again!

On our way out, Steve took a picture of the property...

Back home, there was still some blue sky so Steve took me out for a boat ride.  He wanted to take some pictures of the lake in the sunshine...absolutely spectacular...



The river outlet behind me is the area Steve fishes...



Steve headed out for an evening fish shortly after 8:00 p.m. Within 3 minutes he had his first fish and his second within 7. Altogether he caught 4 and lost 1 within 35 minutes. They were all Dolly Varden (a type of trout) in the 2-3 lb. range and the one that got away with his favourite hook felt much heavier...maybe in the 4-5 lb. range. The wind had really picked up making it too difficult to control the boat, 2 rods and a down rigger so he wasn't gone long. Steve hopes to catch that big one again...and just maybe get his hook back.



The end of a lovely day...this picture was taken at 10:30 p.m...

We had our usual slow start Saturday morning and then decided we had better do our resistance exercises.  It was one of those cloudy ho-hum days when you're not really sure what you should do because as soon as you start something, it will start raining. 

We finally decided we would go for a walk down to the end of the campground and back.  On our way back, we ran into our neighbours, Jim and Kathy, from Virginia.  Have I mentioned that we are meeting so many Americans on this trip...lots are making the trip up to Alaska. 

Jim and Kathy are birders and we got chatting about birds...and bird books.  We walked back to our campsite and sat at our picnic table and ended up chatting with them for a couple of hours...next thing we knew it was 3:00!

Steve decided he would head out for another try at fishing...but he wasn't gone long before it started raining and he was soon back.  We sat inside reading for a bit until the brief rain shower passed, the sun came out and we sat out and enjoyed a cocktail in the sunshine.

After dinner Steve went back out for a fish...he was only out for about an hour.  Once back, we joined Jim and Kathy next door at their campfire.  We chatted for awhile...and called it a night just before 10:00.  It doesn't get dark so it is really hard to tell how late it is getting.  This is Jim, Kathy and Murphy...

We said goodbye to Kathy and Jim early Sunday morning as they were heading out to continue their journey to Alaska.  So good meeting you both...we hope our paths cross again!

Steve went out fishing at about 8:30.  It was a beautiful calm morning out on the water...only caught one though...


While he was gone, I did some baking and puttered around...enjoying some alone time.  Steve came in just after 11:00 and after some lunch, we went to MacDonald campground to fill our water containers with water.  Oh yeah...the water pump at Strawberry Flats campground doesn't work...and what really irked me is that there are not signs telling anyone this.  The campground attendant didn't even say anything when she came around to collect the camping fees ($16/night)...sheesh!

On our way, we came across some Stone Sheep on the side of the highway...complete with little babies...

After getting our water, we decided to continue our drive further along the lake to a viewpoint overlooking the lake...


On our way back, the Stone Sheep had moved across the highway...


And the sun goes down on another day...


Monday was another cloudy day but we decided to get out for a hike.  So at about 10:00 we headed out on a trail that leads from the campground entrance, across the highway to a huge rocky-wash area.  We have seen a trail that goes way up a mountain and we thought we would see how far up we could make it.

After walking across the wash, we found the start of the trail...it was steep right off the bat! This part of the trail is actually the old Pioneer road (Alaska Hwy)

But it evened off to a good steady incline...
 Spectacular views...


This is the original Alaska Highway above Muncho Lake...at this point the trail cuts off to the right...


Okay...it's starting to get really steep again...

Yeah...I may be smiling...but....


Okay, this is getting ridiculous...it's not that I mind going up, it's the coming down part that I keep thinking of...and there's no trees to grab on to...at least Steve found a walking stick for me since I forgot to bring mine...




Nope, I'm not going any further...you go ahead...





I'm way down there...between and past the trees.

Well, we made it back down...whew!


We were back home by about noon...a good hike! 

The afternoon was very windy and of course, Steve wanted to get out for one last fish before packing everything away.  But it wasn't meant to be....later in the afternoon, he finally started packing all his fishing stuff up.  In 5 full days here he only managed to get on the water 3 times due to the almost constant wind and on again off again rain.We managed to get the boat out of the water and loaded back onto the truck...but not before it started raining.

We are leaving this lovely spot tomorrow morning...but we're not going very far.  Our next stop is going to be Liard River Hot Springs.

5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place to spend 5 days!!! Love the color of the water. Sometimes it almost looks tropical.

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails....

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    1. Just add a couple of Palm trees and a Palapa!

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  2. Dianne, I am so enjoying following your trip. The photos of the area are beautiful!! Someday we hope to make this trip but right now we are reluctant to drive those roads from various things we've heard. Would you mind including some info on the road conditions as you travel!? I like that you are detailing the areas you are staying. Thanks for taking us along on this great journey! Travel safely.

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  3. Thanks guys. We are also concerned about the roads so are networking with people as we go. So far everyone we have talked to that are returning south said to just take it slow. Lots of big rigs doing this trip so we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best. We have learned that you will not be able to keep your rig clean for very long on this trip.

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  4. Haha! Friends have posted pictures to show how dirty their rig is. I worry about the windshield. Friends had one side replaced going up and the other on the way back!! They had the split windshield, we have a one piece. That's a lot to replace. Be safe! I'll be following from your bumper:)

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