Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #184

September 25, 2013: Sikanni River Lodge Campground, BC

Oh my dog, this was the worst campground stay of the trip. This is not to say that it even was all that bad. But we have done better. Getting late, we pull into the circular lodge parking lot in order to talk about the night’s accommodations. As Pete and I are talking, a fellow drives up next to us. He’s driving an econo-van. Before I can intervene, he and Pete have agreed that this is where we should camp. Money exchanges hands, and it’s a done deal.

My snarkiness dissipates as the, ahem, caretaker, takes our Canadian money, adds it to a wad, then shows us the inside of his van, which is his living quarters. He has a bed, refrigerator, stereo, and desk upon which sits his computer. I ask, and am told, that he is quite comfortable in this space in the winter. I shudder to think of it, this fellow chilling in his space at -30 degree temperatures.

He then shows us the site possibilities. We can camp near what I call the construction worker site. Or we can camp near what I call the roadside site, which is more secluded. Pete prefers the roadside site, saying that the traffic nose will die down shortly. The caretaker, having determined that we are now set, takes off, but returns moments later and tells me to dump the horse shit in the river. I don’t even have time to tell him that this goes against leave no trace practices, which dictate that horse manure be spread out 200 feet distance from creeks, rivers, and streams. I do toss the manure in the trailer in the river, but the rest, I spread out.

The construction workers roll in around dinner time. They’re quiet, probably because they’re tired. A woman flagger comes over and says hello. She tells us further that she used to live in Anchorage, and there she had horses. Then comes what I call the values exchange. She adds that she moved to Canada because she didn’t like “our” president. A dozen-or-so retorts come to mind, the best of which is that I am glad that my vote no longer has to cancel her vote. But I keep quiet, so as to end the conversation more quickly.

I’ve spent the past two days reading Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I had not previously read it because I could not get around the fact that he was traveling with a poodle. I wish I had gotten around this fact because this is a very good book. Here Steinbeck pushes the genre of travel writing by telling a good story and reflecting upon his stories. He is here, a gifted narrator. The best part of his narrative is the ending, where he writes about, then reflects on, a key event in the civil rights struggles – the hazing of black children.

Anyhow, after dinner, a walk along the river, then showers in the construction site bathrooms. A bit skanky, but the way I figure it, soap will win, hands down. I always emerge from such places cleaner than when I went in.

Pete, as it turned out, was right. The traffic noise did die down. And we arose and got going right before it started up again.

Next: 185: 9/26/13: Liard Hotsprings