Posts Tagged With: BC

All’s Well in Quesnel –August 7, 2006

Hello from the Cariboo!

Well – we aren’t in Alaska. Last night the Man spotted a White Spot Restaurant in Dawson Creek and got all drooly over the thought of a cheeseburger with Triple ‘O’ sauce (my apologies to all fellow vegetarians). He decided there are better chances of finding White Spots by going south than heading north so, phew, here we are.

We did drive a few hundred metres on the Alaska Highway heading out of town before hitting a turnoff to the south-west. Dawson Creek is the ‘Mile 0’ milepost for the 1500 mile (2,400 kilometre) Alaska Highway that was built through a joint effort with the US in 1942 to ship supplies to the US military stationed in Alaska. The Man says we’ll have to make that trip another time because it is starting to get a little crowded and noisy with another baaaing sheep.

Misinchinka Range

Misinchinka Range

Leaving Dawson Creek we drove westish towards Chetwynd through rolling ranch land with the forests getting progressively thicker and taller. From Chetwynd the highway has very few services all the way to Prince George, about 250 miles (400 kilometres). It’s a beautiful highway following the Pine River to the Pine Pass of the Misinchinka/Hart Range which is all part of the Rockies.

009-Misinchinka Range (06)_watermarked

Misinchinka Range

We had all forgotten (especially me since it was more than two days ago) how beautiful BC is! The highway followed the base of the mountain range which were tall enough to be above the tree line. The lower slopes show much evidence of winter avalanches and it must be quite scary during winter snows and winds. Quite breathtaking at this time of year though with lots of beautiful lakes, poplar and spruce forests and lovely vistas.

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

Azu Lake

Azouetta Lake

We didn’t make great time because the Lady was having Garage Sale Withdrawal again so we had to stop at two very pathetic sales. Even so, the Lady managed to find more stuff to buy. It was quite a shock to Jake as he isn’t used to such blatant consumerism and such dubious merchandise. Wait until he sees what’s in the trunk when we get home! The Man was able to divert the Lady’s attention two or three other times so she missed a few sales.

Once on the other side of Pine Pass, the land sloped gently towards Prince George. We saw more farms mixed in with the forest. In Prince George the Nechako River joins the Fraser River and heads south to Vancouver pointing our way. We went a bit further and ended up in Quesnel for the night.

Quesnel is another of the wonderfully historic towns in this area. Just bush in 1862, the town became the supply depot for the boomtown of Barkerville and the Cariboo Gold Rush when Billy Barker discovered gold on Williams Creek 56 miles (90 kilometres) east of Quesnel. In its heyday Barkerville was the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. Quesnel played an important part in supplying the needs of Barkerville. Supplies came up the Cariboo Wagon Trail or up the Fraser River by steamboat when it was still navigable. The town managed to sustain itself through agriculture and forestry even after the gold rush diminished and it continues to flourish.

One thing that is kind of sad to see is the spruce budworm/pine beetle epidemic that is killing acres and acres of forest every year. Because of warmer winters, the larva of these bugs aren’t being killed and it has become a very serious problem. We could see whole hillsides of forest turned red from dead trees.

Tomorrow I’m not sure what that Man has in store for us. We’re getting closer to home but we may do a bit of exploring. I’ll let you know our plans!

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up the Creek in Dawson – August 5, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)


We’re in British Columbia but just by the skin of our teeth! Tonight we are in Dawson Creek after spending a couple of days on a more northerly route through Saskatchewan and Alberta. With the Man’s usual logic, he thinks that if we go far to the north we can then coast all the way south because it will all be downhill!?

002-Rain Shower_watermarked

Near Dawson Creek

The highway very loosely followed the old fur trader/Indian trails from the very early days. The actual trails disappeared after farmers moved north during the Depression and Dust Bowl era. The land was surveyed and set out in nice even grids and the road followed the gridlines. Eventually the original trails were ploughed under as the farms expanded. Still, lots of history up here with old barns and log houses/cabins – some still standing, others slowly fading into the landscape. It is also an area where the Indian culture – mostly Cree and some Blackfoot and Métis – still has a strong foothold.

Jake & Miss Ewe

Jake & Miss Ewe

Oh, that reminds me – I have been asked what first attracted me to Jake, besides his wonderful smile. It was his nifty sandals. I think Miriam Thomas in Chitek Lake made them. Miriam lives on the reserve in Chitek and has a store where she sells her leather sewing. Not only does she sew moccasins and gloves, she tans the moose hide mainly using traditional tanning methods. The Man and the Lady have worn Miriam’s moccasins for years and were glad to see that Jake had the wisdom to wear such great shoes.

Ever since the Maritimes we have noticed that the wild life has been very scarce – maybe because of the hot weather. In the past two days we have seen lots of deer and three coyotes. I’m not as nervous about coyotes now because now I have Jake. As you may have noticed, Jake carries a staff that he can bop coyotes on the head with. I’m sure he would do that for me.

Jake is enjoying his travels and is starting to warm up to the idea of a hamster farm. As you may not realize, we are not full size sheep but a very rare breed of pygmy sheep. We think we might be a bit intimidated shepherding contented/oblivious cows so hamsters would be perfect – especially with Jake’s staff that has a crook in it so he can snare and subdue the little critters.

The Man and Lady have been having conflicting emotions when listening to the weather news. It sounds like bad weather, flooding, rain, tornados, severe thunderstorms and hail have followed closely behind each province of our route. The Man is disappointed to have missed it all but the Lady is very thankful.

When we hit Dawson Creek tonight the Man parked at the crossroads and stared up the Alaska Highway which runs 1500 miles (2400 kilometres) to Fairbanks and down the highway which ends 750 miles (1200 kilometres) in Vancouver and did lots of humming and hawing and . . . he hasn’t told us what he’s decided yet.

Til later,

Miss Ewe (and Jake)

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A Story from Tobermory – June 16, 2006

Well, it’s been a while –

A lot of oats have been eaten (an Olde Sheepe adage) since I was last in touch. The Man has been up to par, leading us to the only places in the country where there isn’t Internet or cell phone coverage.


164-Manitoulin Farm (3)_watermarked

Manitoulin Farm

Despite that, we have been having a great time. We arrived on Manitoulin Island on Tuesday the 13th and ended up spending 2½ days there. The island is beautiful and if it was in BC we would move to it immediately. Manitoulin is the largest fresh water island in the world – 140 kilometres long and 42 kilometres wide. We managed to drive over 600 kilometres on it – exploring parks and old 1800’s lighthouses. The island was once connected to Bruce Peninsula to the south and is the end of the Niagara Escarpment. 800 kilometres southeast at the other end is Niagara Falls.

The island is very rugged, made up of limestone, white quartzite and granite. Around the coastline the limestone lies in sheets like an old parking lot. Wherever there are cracks, junipers and wildflowers are in profusion – wild iris, lady slipper orchids (and 19 other varieties of orchids), columbine, daisies, lupines, tiger lilies, wild grapes, Black-eyed Susan, wild rose, lilac, wild onion, trillium, Solomon’s Seal and on and on. It makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Because of the limestone and large field rock the farming on the coast is marginal, mainly cattle and blessèd sheep (obviously a civilized bunch of humans living here). In the interior of the island there is better and deeper soil and the farms are much larger producing mainly hay. By looking at the buildings and fencing you can easily tell that this is a much older settlement than BC.


111-Meldrum Bay Inn (2)_watermarked

Meldrum Bay Inn

The first day we drove to the end of the island to a town called Meldrum Bay (one inn, one closed store, one closed museum but the laundromat was open – whew). We stayed at the 103 year old inn there and were the only guests. Actually, the Man and the Lady stayed in the inn, I had to sleep in the car because they had a ‘No Sheep’ policy. It wasn’t too bad though because I looked right out into the North Channel of Lake Huron. During the night I managed to see a beaver, some river otters and some rabbits so there was lots of company. The hosts at the inn were an interesting couple and very friendly as are all the people we have met. It turns out the hostess has a young grandson in Sechelt and she used to live in Vancouver (though originally she was from South Africa).

The next morning we drove to an old lighthouse and had a tour of it. I got a bit of a scare as there is a large limestone quarry near the lighthouse and while we were staring at the view there was a HUGE explosion. Nearly scared me out of my woollies and my hair stood on end. The Lady had to give me a perm the next day to get me curly again.

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After that we went on a LOOONG, hot hike into Misery Bay. As with most of the shoreline, the limestone goes right into the lake. Some is very rugged and carved by the waves, some flat and smooth. It causes the very clear, clean water to turn incredible shades of blues, greens, and browns – something the Man takes endless photos of. That night we stayed in Mindemoya.


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Yesterday we did a bit more exploring – my perm almost failed me when another large, black bear ran across the road, too fast for the Man’s shutter finger. We drove to South Baymouth and caught the 3:30 ferry to Tobermory on the north end of Bruce Peninsula.


South Baymouth

South Baymouth



The ferry is a little smaller than our BC ferries but quite a bit nicer. The trip takes one hour and 45 minutes through the beautiful blue waters of Lake Huron. Bruce Peninsula is an 80 kilometre long limestone outcrop that juts out into Lake Huron. On one side is Lake Huron and on the other is Georgian Bay. On the lake side are large, white sandy beaches with warm water and on the bay side are the high, rugged limestone cliffs with cold water.

This morning we went for another long hike in the Bruce Peninsula National Park which is an UNESCO world biosphere area. Lots of rare plants and protected animals like YIKES rattlesnakes – that and the poison ivy stopped me from romping through the bushes! The hike we went on was quite rugged in places, crawling over broken limestone on the top of high cliffs but the view and landscape was incredible! And the colours!


We have been jinxed as far as kayaking on the Great Lakes due to wind but we think we have scoped out a good place for tomorrow. We are staying another night in Tobermory and then we’ll head south tomorrow. Not too sure how far we’ll get cause the Man and the Lady keep finding great places they want to explore.

So . . . we’ll be it touch IF we can find an Internet connection.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Musing in Manitoba – June 5, 2006

Hi there – a new province and a new time zone – two hours ahead of BC!

Last night after I sent my email from Assiniboia the Lady got a phone call from their friend Glen who lives in Ladner, BC with his wife Shirlee.  Glen had just received my email and had to phone and tell the Lady that Shirlee had just arrived in Assiniboia to visit with her mother.  This morning the Lady and Man went to the care facility where Shirlee’s mom is living and there was Shirlee standing at the main desk.  Quite a surprise for her!

After a bit of a visit we headed southeast to the Big Muddy Badlands. The weather was a bit cloudy today but warm, 23º C.  The radio was giving out severe thunderstorm warnings for the afternoon and evening which made the Lady and I nervous but guess who was chomping at the bit to be in the middle of it all.  He is definitely wired differently!

43-Towards Big Muddy

44-Towards Big Muddy

The Badlands turned out to be a little smaller than the Man thought but still, while they lasted, worth the drive.  The surrounding landscape is a series of high, eroded sandstone mesas and buttes with lush, green rangeland (yum, yum) running between them.  The area has a strong history being the onetime hideout for the Butch Cassidy Gang and the refuge that Sitting Bull and his followers fled to after defeating Custer.  The Man did MISS ONE TURN-OFF which may be the reason the tour was less than expected.




45-Towards Big Muddy




We continued travelling east through a real mix of countryside, all of it beautiful.  After the Badlands there were rolling hills and again large ranches of grazing land.  Lots of green grasses, wild sage and wildflowers.  Later in the day the rolling hills continued but now covered with groves of elm and cottonwood trees.  We crossed the border into Manitoba and noticed quite a change in the appearance of the towns and ranches (and roads!) that we saw.  Seems like there is more concern for outward appearances here.  


51-Last Stand

Last Stand


We are now staying in the small town of Boissevain.  Tomorrow we may go explore Turtle Mountain to the south of us and perhaps go kayaking again!  I’ll let you know how it goes – guess I’ll need to find a large patch of grass to munch before jumping in the kayak.

Til later,

Miss Ewe


Safety First

A Miss Ewe Safety Tip for the Kids:

I recently received an email from some of the Man and Lady’s grandkids expressing concern that though the Lady was wearing a life jacket in the kayaking photo, I wasn’t.  There is a reason for this.  As you may have noticed, I am kind of small and finding clothes and lifejackets can be a real problem for me (other than my socks and woollies).  So . . . we herbivores (eaters of grass and shrubs) have a little trick we use when boating.  If we eat lots and lots of grass quickly we fill up with gas and get what is called Bloat.  As I mentioned in my note, just before we went kayaking I had been sampling all the new grasses up in the Cypress Hills and I had worked up a good bloat.  The Man said I looked more inflated than the kayak and if I fell in the water I’d look like a fuzzy iceberg. I  knew I was unsinkable and in perfect condition for my kayak ride.  But remember, this trick only works for herbivores (and some vegetarians) so you humans ALWAYS need to wear a life jacket!


Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Manitoba, Saskatchewan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braggin’ in the Creek – May 28, 2006


Salmon-Creston Highway

Bet you thought I got lost in a sheep paddock, but no, the Man just couldn’t find an Internet connection for a couple of days (everyone else seems to be able to find them but . . .)  The second day out was not quite as exciting though we did see lots of beautiful countryside.


Near Fernie, BC

I was quite excited when I saw a blessèd sheep warning sign after just leaving Grand Forks but we never saw any big horn sheep. Throughout the day though, we went up and down so many mountains I felt like a big horn sheep.  Three mountain passes over 1200 metres. We went through Trail, Salmo, Creston, Yahk and Cranbrook.  Since we wanted to see the old fort at Fort Steele (closed by the time we got there) we ended up staying in a very small place called Wasa.  It has one store, one motel, one pub and one cafe that closes at 6 pm.  The motel owners had chickens, horses, lovebirds, a cat, a dog and about five llamas.  They’re a goofy looking animal – like a sheep with too long legs and neck.

27-Ground Squirrel

The next day driving back to Fort Steele we saw a coyote.  I wouldn’t let the Man stop and look because coyotes make me nervous.  He grumbled a little bit but did as I said as he still has a lot to make up for after ‘the lamb dinner incident’!

Fort Steele is a historic town of sixty buildings dating back to 1890 (nobody lives there now).  I was doing well walking around and even ran into a flock of country sheep.  They aren’t quite as refined as us house sheep.  This guy was just standing there acting like a bird roost for the local birds.  You can see in his eyes that the door is open but nobody’s home (and look – no socks!)

37-Fort Steele

Then I went into the country store and saw why the sheep might have wanted to disguise himself!  They had CANNED MUTTON – THAT’S JUST A SNEAKY WAY OF SAYING CANNED SHEEP! What is the matter with humans?

38-Fort Steele

We looked around the fort for a couple of hours and it was very interesting.  You can go into the stores, blacksmith shop, school, barracks where the Mounties lived and slept, houses, etc. and they are all set up as they would have been in 1890.  The Man says that it looks like Calgary would have looked when his great-grandfather was the doctor there around the 1880’s.

We then had to hoof it towards Bragg Creek to visit the Man and Lady’s friends, Mark and Lauri.  We went though Fernie and Sparwood where the world’s biggest truck lives -that’s me sitting in the wheel rim – and then through the Crowsnest Pass, another province and another time zone.

32-Big Truck-Sparwood

That’s the Lady standing with me. The truck looks impressively high but actually the Lady is only 3 feet tall – baa, baa – just joking.

Throughout the day the scenery had changed from rolling farm valleys to evergreen forests with great granite outcrops to large man-made mountains of coal tailings (the stuff they leave behind when digging coal) to high alpine vegetation.  Once we got to the east side of the Rockies it was much drier.  We are in the foothills of Alberta with acres and acres of lush, green yummy grass.  The Man says that if I don’t stop drooling on the windows he’s going to use me as a washrag – it’s going to be a long trip!

48-Past Crows Nest

49-Past Crows Nest

Alberta Foothills

We then headed up Highway 22 and oozed over to Bragg Creek where we are taking a driving breather and having a good time visiting.  The house at Bragg Creek is surrounded by hills covered with dark green spruce trees and bright green poplar and birch making the view out the window look like a patchwork quilt.

05-Miss Ewe & View

There have been flakes of snow – good thing I’m wearing my woollies!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

p.s. The Man told me to tell you that so far I am getting far more email than the Man and the Lady!

Categories: Alberta, British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Day One – May 24, 2006


We started out from Chilliwack on a rainy day.  I sat on the dash (don’t worry, I had lots of bubblegum stuck to my bum) waving to the truckers. When we reached Hope, BC I lived a dream come true when I stood in Rambo’s boots.  He was here making a movie (whatever that is) long before I was born.  I had the Man take twenty or thirty pictures but I think he only kept one.


From there we headed up to Manning Park. I got quite excited when I thought I saw white blessèd sheep in the woods but it turned out to be snow!  It was a beautiful trip though through the mountains.

06-Manning Park        03-Manning Park
Manning Park, BC

What a wonderful and diverse province we live in!  We started our day in the rain, had cloud, more rain and sun and ended the day under an incredible rainbow.  The landscape was as varied as the weather; valleys, rain forest, high alpine, semi arid, arid and now back to forest.  Each stop smelled different – birch, pine, sagebrush, lupine.


Near Osoyoos, BC

13-Near Nighthawk

Near Nighthawk

If not the ocean, then a river will do.  Rivers smell different than the sea.  We saw a little flooding of the Kettle River and the Granvy River along which some of the homes are sandbagged, but the roads have not been affected.  This is a great route, slow and quieter than the Trans Canada and lots of lush greenery.  Yum!  We’ll have to decide our route in the morning, though we will go through the Rocky Mountains via the Crowsnest Pass.  We’re in Grand Forks tonight, an area known for its Doukhobor heritage so the Lady had to have borscht and perogies for dinner.

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Grand Forks Rainbow

But . . . eeeuuwww – we just got home from supper!  The Man had LAMB for dinner!  Said he just wasn’t thinking – now he’s sitting here looking sheepish which at least improves his appearance a whole bunch.  It’s enough to gag a maggot.  If I hadn’t had such a great day I would be on the bus home right now.

I hope I can sleep tonight – I’ll have to keep one eye open now watching the Man!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: British Columbia, Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shuffling Along – May 23, 2006


Well, my owners didn’t do too much today but visit people and eat so they don’t have much to say.  They’re also quite tired as the Lady was up at 5:00 am banging around cleaning the fridge!  The Man tried to sleep but to no avail so finally crawled out of bed at 5:30.  Fortunately I was still in the back seat of the car cause I couldn’t get out of my seat belt.

Miss Ewe

We had an early breakfast and, since our ferry wasn’t until 10:30, sat around twiddling our, uhmm . . . well they twiddled their thumbs – I don’t have thumbs or fingers for that matter (which makes it slow typing but I’m still faster than the Man with his two fingers, even with my socks on).  We got the trunk lid down with my help and we were on our way.


We left Sechelt, BC at 9:30 am, had lunch with the Man’s sister, visited the Lady’s mother then saw some of the grandkiddos.  We made it all the way to Chilliwack, BC but tomorrow the real road trip starts.  I’ll keep you posted.  Total miles driven today 85.  Only 6200 miles to go.  It’s going to be a long trip!

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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