We continued west from Dawson Creek along Highway 97 before turning south to Tumbler Ridge, the drive was quite scenic with clear blue skies.
We checked out the Monkman RV Park, this is the local campground. When we talked to the camp host, we found that they had only one site available with services, after viewing the location we determined we would just park on the edge of the tent camping area and utilize our solar for any power we needed, our fresh water tank was full and our black and grey tanks empty so we were good shape for a few days.
Next day we cracked out our bicycles and rode into town.
Stopping in at the local tourist information office, where we found a map of the town and the attractions in the surrounding area. There were many hiking trails and waterfalls, all close by, but most were closed to visitors due to the fires in British Columbia to minimize the potential requirements for evacuation.
Tumbler Ridge was and is still a major mining town, it has been through its ups and downs through the years. I remember when housing in the early 2000’s was offered for a song due to the closure of the mines. The mines reopened again a few years back.
There were also some murals around the town.
As we rode back to the campground we noticed signs for a Dinosaur Museum, which we decided would be our destination the following day.
At the Museum, we were told how some children were playing down by the river when they found Dinosaur track in the rocks close to the river edge.
Who knew that there had even been Lobster’s in the area?
We headed back to the campsite for some dinner on the way we watched the sun go down.
Next morning, we awoke the skies being hazy due to the smoke from the forest fires being blown over the mountains. As we were using our solar to power our electrical appliances this smoke would hinder the efficiency of our solar panels to generate a charge for our batteries.
After breakfast and some discussion, we decided we would head up to Chetwynd to see if the smoke was still in the air in that area.
Once at Chetwynd it was quite apparent that we had not driven out of the effected area. We wanted to drive south through central British Columbia, but after checking the BC Fire Map it was clear the fires were almost covering this whole area. We looked into driving to Prince Rupert on the west coast as it was clear there. This would be a 1100km drive each way as at some point, we need to return at least to Prince George before going anywhere else.
After some deliberation a decision was made to travel northeast to Fort St. John.