BC RVing: Highways 16, 37, and 37A to Stewart

Tuesday, October 6th, day 28 of the trip, was going to be a fairly long day, 552 km from just west of Fort Fraser to Stewart. It got even longer and much less fun when we were attacked in the early afternoon, resulting in several thousand dollars in damage to the RV.

We spent the night at the Dry Williams Lake Rest Area, west of Fort Fraser at Km 577. We arrived after dark so didn’t see just how nice a site (and lake) it is.

Dry Williams Lake, BC
We were on the road just after 08:30, and at 10:20 had reached one of the best views on the section of Highway 16, at Six Mile Summit.

The view west from Six Mile Summit on BC Highway 16
At 11:15, the Bulkley View Rest Area east of Smithers at Km 371 provided a great place for the dogs and I to stretch our legs.

Bulkley View Rest Area on BC Highway 16
I thought about stopping at Smithers to wash the rig, but decided that was a waste of time and money, then stopped briefly at Morice Canyon, but nothing enticed me to look around again.

Morice Canyon, BC
For anyone going up the Stewart-Cassiar (Highway 37), the Petro-Canada station at the junction with Highway 16 is a must-stop, as gas prices get much higher to the north – at $1.229, they’re high but not unreasonably so.

Petro-Canada gas station at Kitwanga, BC
A couple of k up the Stewart-Cassiar, at the north end of the little Native village of Kitwanga, things got ugly. The short version of the story is that I was driving up the highway when a guy walking along the shoulder suddenly fired a handful of rocks at us, breaking both windshields. By the time I shook off the shock and got the motorhome over to the shoulder, I was far past him, with no way to get back to him (the rig is too long to do U-turns). I called 9-1-1, and about an hour later two RCMP cruisers showed up and took the report. Despite 24 breaks in the windshields, one larger than a golf ball, the motorhome was still driveable, but the damage will cost over $4,000 to repair, and with winter now here, can’t be done until warm weather returns next Spring.

With that lengthy delay, it was almost 5:00 when I reached Bear Pass, the most impressive part of the Highway 37A side road into Stewart.

Bear Pass, BC Hwy 37A

Bear Pass, BC Hwy 37A
Bear Glacier. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen the glacier with no snow on it, but its retreat since I started taking photos of the glacier in 1975 is quite shocking.

Bear Glacier, BC
By 6:00 I was settled at the Bear River RV Park at the north edge of Stewart, about 3 blocks from my house when I lived there in 1975. The only thing I really needed/wanted beyond a spot to park was wifi, and it was very poor even with only 5 rigs in the park.

Bear River RV Park, Stewart, BC

The plan for Tuesday morning was to take the Tracker up to see the incredible Salmon Glacier, then continue the drive home, still 2 days away.


BC RVing: Highways 16, 37, and 37A to Stewart — 6 Comments

  1. What an awful inexplicable thing to happen to you…did RCMP at least look for the vandal…he has to be local if he was on foot at this time of year…very sorry to have that happen. Leaves a bad taste…

    • He was certainly local, and the red toque he was wearing is, I’m sure, his “badge” around town so he’d be easy to find if anybody cared to. The police said that they’d do a patrol and look for him, but they’re busy, nobody was hurt (this time), etc… 🙁

  2. Hi Murray, I am thoroughly enjoying tracking your trip. We have also been to the Salmon Glacier (twice)
    Not much visited and one of the few north country glaciers you can drive to and get a close look. Awsome.
    So sorry you had an incident near Kitwanga. That must have taken the bloom off of the rose a bit. Lovely drive
    otherwise. Glad you are home safe and sound. Have a great winter. Hi to Cathy.

    • I’d like to spend a lot more time around the Salmon Glacier – it’s power is quite overwhelming.

      It was a great trip despite the attack, and I think that I’ve kept it in the right perspective.

      I hope that you enjoy your winter as well. Cathy sends her best wishes.

  3. If you take a glass of glacier water and let it set, will the silt settle and give clear water?

    There are sorry people everywhere, and the one who threw the rocks is certainly one of them.

    • You’d have to be extremely patient to get clear water from glacial water – the particles are exceptionally small.

      Kitwanga is one of the villages in that area that I’ve avoided going into for many years due to bad energy. Now my feelings have been confirmed.