Kinaskan lake, BC.
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Day 8 – Kinaskan lake
The day began with heavy rain. Peeking out the camper door I could see conditions would not improve in the next few hours so I decided to stay indoors and catch up on these articles. Everyone else was also slow to appear.
So far our tour has been great except for intermittent showers. Pesky insects, poor roads, and heavy traffic have been pleasantly absent, our plan to travel to Alaska in the fall seems brilliant up to now.
Henry and Allyson tried their luck fishing this morning, more of a catch and release session. They were hoping to hook the trophy fish, and there was plenty of fish for the evening’s fish fry.
After Henry and Allyson returned Henry and Ralph took Ralph’s truck and the boat trailer and loaded the boat to make the morning departure quicker and then off for a firewood run.
Most RV parks and provincial campgrounds sell firewood, usually the park operator provides this service. Not that we are cheap, well maybe a bit, but foraging for firewood gives us something to do, a bit of exercise and an opportunity for exploring. Ralph brought along a small chainsaw for just this purpose.
They returned after a few minutes, Ralph was having trouble starting his new chainsaw. They wanted me to have a look at it, I’m the local small engine mechanic at our lake. I think the chainsaw flooded (too much fuel in the cylinder drowning the spark).
By the time they got back to camp the problem had corrected itself. I looked like a genius applying the choke, pulling the starting cord twice, the engine roared to life. Henry and Ralph headed back out in the rain returning about an hour later with a good jag to replenish the wood supply. In BC a dead tree is usually not far away.
By mid-afternoon the rain stopped, the break in the showers brought the rest of the group outside. A campfire was lit as Allyson prepared the trout fillets for the evening fish fry removing some remaining tiny bones.
Unfortunately, the rain soon returned, requiring a dash into the bug shelter. With the rain came cooler temperatures, the damp chill in the air sent us into Ralph and Lois’s 5th wheel to enjoy happy hour. Their 5th wheel, although not large, 24′, is the largest of our three units and enough room for the six of us and Buddy, to stay warm and dry.
The evening fish fry began in the rain, I was the main chef with Henry coating the fish and Allyson supervising. We cooked outside as to not contaminate someone’s rig with fish smell.
Lynda supplied a fish coating that had been hanging in the camper for years, not sure how fresh it was. She also brought out French onion soup mix for another flavor. The onion soup mix was my idea, my brother and I used it on previous fishing trips. It gives the fish a nice flavor.
The fish coatings were poured into two large zip lock bags then the fish dropped in and coated, kinda like shake and bake.
My job was probably the easiest, I poured myself a glass of wine and prepared for the most important job of the day. I knew from experience that fish cooks quickly, especially when the fillets are small. The difference between tender moist and dried out fish could be less than a minute.
Henry and Allyson’s camp stove was already set up under a tree out of the rain. I heated two fry pans with a good coating of oil, poured another glass of wine while the oil heated. Next, I placed the coated fish in the hot oil turning after a minute or so another minute and done. Poured another glass of wine repeating the cooking and wine process until all the fish was cooked and myself as well. Me and fish cooked to perfection.
Lynda made brown rice and Lois supplied caesar salad. The fish fry dinner turned out great, there is nothing like fresh especially when it comes to fish. Fresh fish has no fishy taste or odor, unlike the store bought version, who knows how long since it was caught.
The French onion mix is a stronger taste than regular onion soup mix. Although stronger, the flavor was not overbearing. Probably great for a stronger tasting fish like white fish. The women decided for the next fish fry to mix the two coatings together.
The above is a description of the fish fry from the others. I wasn’t able to make out any difference in the flavor through my numb lips.
After dinner apparently, I went to bed while the group enjoyed some social time. The campfire was dying under heavy rain, early to bed was the consensus.
Day 9 – Driving day to Boya Lake
I woke late, 7:30ish, probably the sedative I took before bed, never again. The sky was grey but no rain for now. Ralph and Henry were already busy readying their rigs for departure. Apparently, I had done some preparation the day before. I guess I am similar to my mother, she didn’t like to be rushed in the morning either.
Readying our rigs for traveling is not a huge job, but important. All hatches and compartments need to be checked and secured so the contents will not shift or doors do not open during travel. Stabilizers are lifted and stowed, hitches checked and a final walk around it is important.
We were on the road by 9, seems to be our preferred departing time. The rain began again as we pulled onto the highway, thankfully it waited till now. Getting rigs ready for traveling in the rain is not the best way to start the day. A sign reading, “wait for pilot car” greeted us as we turned north onto highway 37.
We noticed road construction on our Sunday arrival at Kinaskan lake. Road construction signs indicated the road was receiving a seal coat, whatever that is? Lucky for us the pilot car had just passed, we pulled into line behind another RV.
I backed off the throttle creating some distance between Henry and I. The blinding mud shower from his wheels made it difficult to see. We traveled on good gravel for thirty kilometers before hitting smooth pavement again.
Rain fell most of the day’s drive, unfortunately, the low clouds prevented us from enjoying views of the Cassiar mountain range.
Checking the maps the night before I noticed several towns on our route. It seems a store, restaurant, maybe an RV park and gas station constitutes a town in the north.
There is probably more population at these waysides than is apparent, I realized this fact when we stopped for fuel at Dease Lake. The gas station was combined with a surprisingly large general store, stocking everything from groceries to hardware.
Fuel stations are reported to be about 50 kilometers apart, but it’s recommended not to let your tank get too much below half. We were warned come September some stations close for the season or possibly run out of fuel. The three of us brought along 20 liters of extra diesel just to be safe. We are all glad for the extra fuel, peace of mind.
As we drove north the contrast between the forests of the south and the north was very apparent. The trees in the north are much smaller and although they resemble fir or spruce trees of the south their shape resembles more of a cylinder with branches protruding equidistant from the stump, not the familiar triangle Christmas tree shape. I assume the shorter growing season or more snow caused the difference in the shape.
Visible from time to time in the distance paralleling the highway appears to be portions of an old railway bed. Henry explained he had read about the proposed railway it was abandoned before completion, he was not sure why.
The farther north we travel the more deteriorated road conditions become, no center line, missing guardrails, and narrower. It’s like this section of highway did not receive the upgrades of the southern sections. The paved surface is still okay except for the occasional rut and bump.
The cloud cover continued to hamper our view of the scenery, although we had occasional glimpses of fresh snow on the mountains. Nice to look at as long as it stays on the mountain tops and doesn’t fall on the road.
The rain continued and the temperature cooled off substantially since the beginning of our trip. The outside temperature on the truck’s dash reads 7 C. I’m not sure how accurate it is the others trucks are reading lower temperatures around 3 C. Although it was not mentioned, we were all thinking it is almost cold enough for the rain to change to snow.
We arrived at Boya Lake early afternoon, another BC Provincial Park with a $20. fee. Central water source, a tap not an old time hand pump like other sites, pit toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings at each site.
Arriving early allows time to find the best camping spot before transient RVers arrive for the night. Time to set up camp, explore the surroundings and relax a bit before dinner. Retirement does have its perks, a more relaxed traveling experience.
Boya Lake Day 9 &10
Boya Lake is amazingly beautiful even though we could not appreciate its full beauty under cloudy and rainy conditions. It’s touted as the warmest glacial fed lake in the north, warm enough to swim, under sunnier conditions I suspect.
The usual set up routine took place including launching Henry’s boat during a brief rain pause. After set up there was time left before happy hour to try our luck fishing, we grabbed rain gear and headed out.
The lake is a fair size although unusual with many islands and various water depths. It would be easy to become lost in the maze of islands. The deeper areas of the lake are over 100 ft. deep according to Henry’s fish finder, the shore dropping like underwater cliffs. The water color is amazing, emerald green at the shoreline, and shallow areas to deep blue in deeper areas.
We fished for several hours the first day without a single fish caught although Henry and Ralph had a couple of bites, all we ended catching was chills. The hot fire the girls had built was a welcome site when we returned to camp.
The rain continued most of our stay, the only bright spot was happy hour, mother nature stopped the rain both evenings so we could enjoy a campfire and take the chill out of our bones rather than cooped up in our RVs.
Fishing Boya lake was a bust, not a single fish, although the persistent rain prevented us giving it our best efforts activating the down rigger would have given us a better chance. The fish on the finder were deeper than our trolling setups could go.
We left Boya lake as we arrived, in the rain. Despite the weather conditions, there is a feeling of excitement in the group, today we reach the Yukon.
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