Prince George was not inspiring. I walked a circular route from the hotel to the fringe of downtown, passing through surburban owner occupied housing and some low-cost rental estates. It seemed down-at-heel, and there was no sense of a lively, confident community. On the way back from town, I was overtaken by a middle-aged man on a bicycle. 10 metres up the road he came to a halt and fell with a crash horizontallly in the road. I hurried up and asked if he was OK. “It’s the damn pedals and brakes,” he said. “They won’t work together.” It was perhaps not a coincidence that the only shop I saw in the vicinity was selling Cold Beer and Liquor.
I was happy this morning to set off south on the Cariboo Highway.Timber is so obviously central to the economy of rural British Columbia. That and electricity. And sometimes both together.
Much of my route today follows the Fraser River, the longest in British Columbia. We’re both heading from Prince George to Vancouver, via Lillooet. First Nations people have lived along the river for at least 10000 years, and much of the modern history of the region – including the 1860s Cariboo Gold Rush – is intimately linked with it. Today takes me through the interior plateau, with its many lakes, past the Fraser Canyon and into the Coast Mountains.
The road across the plateau is often bordered by areas of pasture, with occasional horses and cattle. The grass is very short though, often looking more like a golf course, and I do wonder about the viability of raising livestock here. Many lakes provide lots of leisure opportunities and there are plenty of seasonal cabins.
There are many strange place names here.
Some places are more atttractive in name than in reality – this is 100 Mile House.
Coming down off the plateau, and the rivers are very high after recent floods (which saw the death of the police chief of this area). The whole Fraser River area is immensely important as salmon breeding grounds.
Only one more day of the Road Trip . . . .