Since I was going to lose an hour today, moving into Alberta time, I wrangled my butt out of bed by 8PST and was on the road within the half hour.
Gas in Dawson Creek was the cheapest I had seen since leaving the Yukon: 106.9. Having only a third of a tank left and heading into unknown territory I was going to take advantage of this low price when suddenly I remembered that several Alberta guests this past summer told me that gas is very cheap in Alberta. Having more than enough fuel to get to the next big town, Grande Prairie, I decided to see if this was true.
Immediately after Dawson Creek, you enter the oddly named town of Pouce Coupe. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the town lost its accent and is actually Pouce Coupé or Cut Thumb. As I said, odd name. 🙂
The first gas station after the Alberta border is a Fas Gas offering easy RV access, which is more important to me than price. Even when the price is 96.9. Ninety-six point nine. Ninety-six point nine. Less than a dollar a litre!!! I sure was glad I didn’t gas up in Fort St John (109.9) or Dawson Creek!
I pulled out the GPS for the first time in so long that it thought the nearest Walmart was in Fairbanks, 400km away! I put in the town of Hinton so that the GPS could give me an estimated ETA time. It said 2:30ish PST which felt like a reasonable driving day.
Out of Dawson Creek, one takes BC highway 2, which becomes Alberta highway 43. At Grande Prairie, you need to turn south to highway 40, The Big Horn Highway, and then it’s a straight shot to Hinton, gateway to Jasper. Thanks to Mile by Mile I knew to expect a good, but isolated, road with some steep grades.
Except for some rough patches near the end, the road was a dream to drive! The grades were all short and sweet and the landscape was amber and verdant as far as I could see. Which wasn’t far seeing as I drove straight into fog and snow all day. The conditions weren’t bad enough to pull over since the snow wasn’t sticking to the road, but the limited visibility meant for a slow pace. A lot of people honked at me today. With only a tiny handful of places to pull over, there wasn’t much I could do to soothe their impatience.
The RV park I’d picked ended up being closed for the season even though the website said they were open well into October! I was not pleased since there was no way to turn around. After driving hard for six hours, the last thing I wanted to do was unhook the car and figure out how to turn the motorhome around. At least, I did that instead of pushing on down a tiny road hoping to find a place to turn without having to unhook!
There were a couple of other options, the nearest of which was the KOA which I knew was open. Like many RVers, I avoid KOAs since they are very pricey, but I decided to check out this one. Lo and behold, a FHU site was just $30.90, taxes included. It must be an off season rate! I paid up for two nights, but won’t be hooking up the water and sewer tonight since it’ll probably go down to freezing. I’ll just finish off my fresh water tank with an indecently long hot shower and then refill the fresh water and dump the black and grey tomorrow… after I get back from visiting Jasper!
For tonight, I am debating driving into Hinton and having dinner… but staying home with a movie and leftover spaghetti sounds sooo appealing. It seems that the more I settle into my RVing life the less of a tourist I become!