We got to Laird Hot Springs after a short day from Watson Lake. The contrast of cold rain and really hot water with a tinge of sulfur bouquet was delicious while we enjoyed the Springs. One end of the Springs has rocks piled up by people who have braved the first degree burn water to put their stone on the pile. None of us did it. Our skin is wrinkled and red enough as it is.

The usual happy hour and dinner with an ignored snow prediction finished the night. I woke up to consistent cracking sounds and went outside to 8 inches of heavy wet snow and trees falling on everything. The roads were blocked, there were trees on our rigs, and then after starting my truck, it quit and wouldn’t start again. I came in to Mickey and said we are in a pickle.

So out with my hand saw to start with and some park guys with chain saws to clear the downed trees the park was evacuated. The family in the tent crawled out of the tent and into their van when it collapsed from the heavy snow. Jack did double duty with his Ford pulling his rig, my rig, and my truck across the street to the Laird Lodge. Did some basic troubleshooting on the truck, couldn’t find anything so Good Sam comes through again (my $130.00 roadside assistance plan has paid twelve fold) and on Monday, James showed up with a tow truck and he and I went to Fort Nelson four hours away. Tow trucks don’t ride so good. Jack and Lynne also went to Fort Nelson and after getting them set up in a campground, I took Jack’s truck back to Laird to get Mickey, Willow, and our fifth wheel. The fix for my truck was fairly simple by replacing a leaky fuel filter.

The stretch between Laird and Fort Nelson had the most critters we’ve seen on our trip. Black bear, Grizzlies, reindeer, Dahl sheep, bison, and deer. You can’t roller skate in a buffalo heard and you better be careful driving an RV through one, too.

According to James, my tow truck driver, this guy kept going with two out of four flat tires on his RV and not much left after it burned.

This is the campsite (or close to it) that we camped at Muncho Lake on our motorcycle trip in 2013. This is where Mickey’s cheese had floated away. I had put it in the water to keep it cold. First Mickey in her swimsuit, then Barry in his not swimsuit, then the neighbor with his fishing pole, and then finally with his boat retrieved it. As you can see, this is certainly a remember-when trip.

End of the day at Sikanni Chief Campground where we did happy hour with Bob and Gerri from Bend, Oregon . They have a Grand Design RV and we did RVBITCHINANDMOAN’N on things that break. They’re headed up the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Ocean. It’s always fun to hang out with adventuresome old people.


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  1. Tom Boone

    That’s the kind of “adventure” that isn’t fun at the time but funny when you look back on it….lol

    • Gary Vander Veen

      You got that right. In addition to telling Mickey we are in a pickle I also said another badder word. In Edmonton now back next week. Let’s do lunch in a couple of weeks.

  2. Deb

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing. Would be funny – if it weren’t yours, huh?!😜

  3. Bob and Karl Dykstra

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us! Enjoyed the pictures, glad you had a good adventure in God’s great creation.