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North to Alaska - Full Version - Day 6 (May 22)

Saturday, May 22 - Early showers, then breakfast (ham and onion scramble, toast with Kornder Pomegranate Jelly, coffee, etc.) Margaret mailed postcards at the RV office and petted a friendly tortoise-shell cat with a pink heart-shaped nose. We stopped at the local farmers' market looking for produce and bought 2 pillows with cat designs, a necklace for Margaret and some chokecherry jelly, but there was no acceptable produce to be had. Finally heading north again, we saw Fort St. John (est. 1794, the oldest white settlement in BC), passed historic milepost 101 (Wonowon), aka "Blueberry," the site of an official military check point traffic control gate during World War II, and drew closer to the big snowy peaks in the distance (all the while taking pictures as we traveled). Gas at Pink Mountain ($75 Canadian).

As it was a long day of up and down curvy driving (almost 300 miles) we were tired when we pulled into the Westend RV Park in Fort Nelson (chosen from a paid ad in the "Milepost" magazine) and signed in ($24 per site) without investigating. What a mistake! The restroom/showers were a mess, with broken windows, dirty leaking fixtures and there was a $1.50 charge for a hot shower water. We had to watch out for an ATV driven by 3 or 4 little rugrat kids who careened around the dusty roads. What a disappointment, as we had encountered very adequate facilities until then.

The only positive note was that we could walk to the nearby visitors' center and "Heritage Museum." The museum was excellent. One building was full of antique automobiles lovingly restored by a tall, thin, white-bearded, curly-haired older gentleman who proudly described each car, demonstrating cranking, starting and special things about each one. Other buildings had too many items to list, including Blanche, a huge, stuffed albino moose cow that towered over numerous smaller creatures, plus historic native artifacts, hunting and road building tools, and an original Hudson Bay Trading Post Structure. After splurging with a restaurant dinner we retired to The Jellybean to read a little before lights out.