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Leg 7 - What a mistake!

We awoke to a brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine - at 6 AM. That was too early to start stirring, so we went back to sleep and woke up at 8:30. Surprise. It was snowing and windy. After debating whether to stay at Northern Lights RV Park in Dawson Creek or to proceed to Fort Nelson, 282 miles to the north west, we chose to delay the decision until 10.

When 10:15 rolled around, it had stopped snowing and we decided to depart. After closing the RV, we left for downtown Dayson Creek for the “Mile 0” photo-op. It started snowing a little, but the roads were clear and we felt good about the next leg. As you can see by the flags, the wind picked up again with gusto. The snow started picking up a bit at mile 50, but the roads remained clear. The wind was getting worse. We had an opportunity to stop in Fort St. John but passed it up. This was the second dumb decision. As it turns out, we learned once you are on the rad you are ON THE ROAD. There precious few (if any) roadside rests, areas where you can pull off to the side of the road, no shoulders on which to park.....when you were ON THE ROAD you were ON THE ROAD!

hortly after Fort St. John, the roads started to accumulate snow. Roads then became slushy and when we slid the stress became more apparent. We then had to switch on 4-wheel drive to maintain stability. Additionally, the terrain became much more hilly - of course. We attempted to stop at an RV park (the Old Shepherd which was advertised in the 2009 of the “Milepost”) but they were no longer an RV facility and we had to push on.

Facilities in this area are few and far between so we didn’t know what to expect. Fort Nelson was still about 200 mile away. Milepost - the Alaska Highway travelers’ bible, mentioned the Pink Mountain RV Park. We hoped beyond hope that it would be open and have at least power and not prove to be another Old Shepherd.

It finally popped into view and we pulled in at 3:30 feeling like we had been on the road for 12 hours, even though it had only been 4 strenuous hours. We did not care if they had any amenities as we are pretty self sufficient with electricity, water and sewage aboard the RV.....we merely wanted a flat space in which to park and get off the road. This was easily the most challenging drive I can remember. There was a 14,000 lb, 38 ft RV behind us.

Lois, the attendant, was a little taken aback and said that she wasn’t sure what she could do, but there was no doubt she would make it happen. She directed us to a wide-open spot with power next to a large truck. It wasn’t excessive power, but it was enough.

(pictures taken the next morning)

The temperature still hovered around 20 and would no doubt drop into the teens. This, of course, exposed us to a large use of propane and a potential of water freezing issues. One of the propane tanks was empty and the other had measured a reasonable amount the previous day. We kept the thermostat set to below 60 and a supplemental but very weak electric heater turned on. We actually watched some previously recorded programs on the Directv DVR as well as worked on our journal, pictures and a movie. Although a bit chilly, it was not unbearable.

Maureen cooked a great meal and we eventually went to bed around 11. I had a bit of trouble sleeping because I was stressed about the water and the propane. At one point I got up and check the outside temperature (17) and turned down the heat to 52. I did get to sleep after that, but not for long.
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