Another Vancouver-Whitehorse Drive – Day 1

The joy of being retired is that you can accept any fun thing that comes up. While I was in Dawson doing the last fun thing a couple of weeks ago, Cathy accepted a new job for me – helping a fellow she works with get the rest of his stuff to Whitehorse from Vancouver. Fly to Vancouver, pick up a U-Haul, meet friends to load the truck, and drive back home – simple, eh? 🙂

Here’s the basic map of the plan.

Route map of the drive from Vancouver to Whitehorse
A 04:00 start this morning got me to the Whitehorse airport for the 05:50 Air Canada flight to Vancouver. It was cloudy most of the way, but for a few minutes long before sunrise, some of the Coastal Mountains could be seen.

BC's Coastal Mountains in the pre-dawn light
Multiple layers of cloud went very close to the ground in Vancouver – 5°C and wet provided no encouragement to stay a while 🙂

Approach to YVR on a cold, dreary winter day
For such a large airport, YVR always impresses me with its user-friendliness as well as its great architecture.

YVR
The U-Haul pickup was many miles from the storage facility but was at least fairly close to a train line. The first train to take was the Canada Line from the airport to the waterfront in downtown Vancouver. That was quick and easy.


Poor signage made finding the next train take longer than it should have, but I was soon on the Millennium Line to the far edge of New Westminster. It’s a very scenic line in several places.




The U-Haul place was said to be a short walk from the train station. It was a lot further than I expected, and heavy traffic (cars, trucks and trains) made it very slow going.


At 10:30, though, I was ready to go, only a half-hour or so later than I had expected. The truck was dirty inside and out and smelled bad, but it runs well, and that’s the important thing on a trip like this.

U-Haul depot in New Westminster, BC

There were 3 people at the massive storage place to meet me, and by 1:00 we had the truck loaded and I was on my way north.

With a lengthy stop in Chilliwack for an early dinner and some road-trip shopping, I was at Hope just after 4:30. The heavy traffic in Vancouver makes me nuts, but once I get past Chilliwack life gets good, even if it’s raining 🙂

Highway 1 north of Chilliwack in a winter rain
I made a brief stop at the Sailor Bar tunnel to get a photo for an upcoming article about the Fraser Canyon tunnels on my HelloBC blog.

Sailor Bar tunnel, Fraser Canyon
By the time I reached Spuzzum I needed to stretch my legs, and walking part-way across the bridge over the Fraser River provided a spectacular place to do it.

Fraser River bridge at Spuzzum, BC
And it had been many years since I got any photos of the long-abandoned Alexandria Bridge from the new bridge.

Alexandria Bridge, Fraser Canyon, BC
My original plan had been to make it to Quesnel tonight, but I really like the Round-Up Motel in Clinton, almost 3 hours short of Quesnel, so that’s where I’m spending the night. From my experience, this is the best $69 motel in BC.


I’d like to make it to Fort Nelson tomorrow, but I have a couple of people to see in Peace Country, so we’ll just see what happens 🙂



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