To the Top of the World and Back in 10 Days – Part 1

I have always wanted to drive to Alaska and experience the North, and have been trying to get people to go with me since I was 17. Guapito and I decided that this is the year that we would finally do it. He booked two weeks off of work, but auditions, rehearsals, and the biggest windstorm I have ever seen (our power was out from Saturday noon to around 2:30 AM Monday morning… we live on a farm and are on a well and septic, so no power is a big deal) kept interfering, so we left a lot later than we had hoped. No power meant that we couldn’t do laundry or dishes or clean the house the weekend before we left, so all that was left until Monday. We spent Monday doing our best to finish the laundry, clean the house and ready the barn and coops for the farm sitter. Due to this, we didn’t end up leaving until Monday evening. We grabbed dinner on the way since the power outage had left us with no edible food. It poured rain for most of the way on the first night. We made it to 100 Mile where we decided to find a hotel after midnight. To our surprise, they were all full. “Is there a work thing happening?” Guapito asked. “No, they’re all tourists,” was the answer. We finally found a nice motel that had a room, and as a bonus, let us take our dogs inside with us.

100 Mile Visitor Centre

100 Mile House Visitor Centre

We hit up the tourist centre the next morning to get some information about our trip, and to see the world’s largest cross-country skis. The ladies working there were very helpful and gave us a map and guides for the places we were wanting to go. The map and the Alaska road trip guide proved to be extremely useful. I was anxious to get to the Yukon, so instead of exploring, we started driving again. I kept looking at the brochures and guides, seeing if there were any good, quick hikes or activities to do, but I was absolutely worried that we would not make it to the Yukon, and so we ignored all of them.

Williams Lake Tourist Centre

Williams Lake Tourist Centre

Aside from getting gas, where we bought some of the most delicious nectarines I have ever eaten from a little stand, our next stop was the William’s Lake tourist centre. There were lots of goodies to purchase there, and I more or less went wild. I bought some gifts for our farm sitter, and a few other little things. We were allowed to bring the dogs inside, and the employees doted on them and bestowed them with treats.

Not too much time passed until we were off again. Next stop: Quesnel, though we didn’t actually stop there. One of my friends is from Quesnel, and while we were driving through the first part, I couldn’t help but remark how great a thing it was for her to have left Quesnel, since it seemed to be a displeasing town. Later, however, I realized we weren’t actually in town yet. The town itself is actually quite nice, and I was pleasantly surprised. I could see why someone would want to live there, but that wasn’t enough to entice me to stop, so on we went.

We had a little debate about whether or not we should take the detour to Barkerville, and decided against it. According to Google, it was 2 hours out of Quesnel, so I calculated that going there would take an extra day in order to enjoy it. Though disappointed, I figured we could always go to Barkerville on another trip since it isn’t too far away. I was desperate to get to the Yukon, and quite worried that I would never get to see the tundra because we’d get caught up doing something closer to home. We ended up making an impromptu stop at Xatsull Heritage Village, which was excusable because it wasn’t far off the main road. Unfortunately, they only accept cash, which we had absolutely none of. Thankfully for us, they took pity on us, and we got to do our own walk-through free of charge. It’s in a very beautiful location, and we had an interesting chat with the fellow there. I absolutely love aboriginal cultures, so this place was totally up my alley, even though the tipis aren’t from that area. When I was young, I was set on living in a tipi, and I always made tipis out of cedar for myself and my cats. Now, I don’t think that is the ideal abode for me, but I still think they are awesome.

Xatsull Heritage Village

Xatsull Heritage Village from the lookout

Hill Home

After leaving Xatsull, we had to decide how far north we would go. We set an ambitious goal of staying in Fort Nelson that night (approximately 12 hours away from 100 Mile), but we almost didn’t make it…

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