It would seem that the people of Northern British Columbia are at odds with the concept of road lines. The Stewart-Cassiar Hwy seemed more to us like a well trodden goat trail than a major causeway of noteworthy acclaim. The road leading south from Nugget City to Dease Lake reminded us of the bumpy portion of the Alaska highway between Haines Junction and Beaver Creek. The bumps which jarred our spines were not due to the ravaging forces of permafrost, but instead to poor road mainenance. With its tight curves, pot holes, uneven gravel patches and grown in road sides the road wasn’t the most pleasant to drive. With this experience accented by an irritating one sided confrontation with another motorist in the town of Dease Lake, our perception of the highway itself was not good to say the least.
In a brighter light, accompanied with sufficient sunlight the Stewart-Cassiar highway is wonderfully scenic and the area surrounding peppered with small, crystal clear lakes. One of these lakes we were lucky enough to swim in; Boya Lake was the name and - boya, was it ever cold! Never have we seen such a clear lake, it was a treat to take a dip, despite the frigid water. Feeling young and rejuvenated we moved on down the road to our campsite for the night, where we slept a mere 8ft from the shore.
If ever we were to wonder where all the mosquito’s in Alaska had gone, we would know where they were hiding, Dease Lake. The mosquito population was likely worse than what we had seen in Prudhoe Bay. When we battened down the hatches for the night we could hear the swarm’s dull hum from outside. Through some hidden opening (or perhaps they entered with us) we were joined inside our tent by a sizable portion of the little devils. Alison spent a good 20 minutes swatting and effectively painted the walls with mosquito guts before we attempted to sleep…well, I attempted to sleep. Alison somehow passed out while I lay there first thinking about potential bears in the area then plagued by the buzzing of tiny wings near my ears for the remainder of the night. Not a good night’s sleep.
Tonight we stay just outside of Smithers, BCthen hang out with Ma and Pa Jackson in Jasper for our last day of hard travel.