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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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Driving to Mackenzie

Written by Raenelle on Saturday, December 22, 2007

We left Vancouver before sunrise so that we could get an early start, beat the Lower Mainland traffic, and make good headway by the time everyone else was just getting up and having their morning coffee. It’s a good thing that we left early, because we didn’t make the speedy progress that we would have liked, and we would need all the time we had budgeted (and more) to get to Mackenzie within the day …. Being conservative (or so we thought), we had anticipated that it would take us about 12 hours to get there. In reality, it took 15 hours – leaving at 6.30am, we arrived in Mackenzie at about 9.30pm with no more than a couple of quick gas stops and a lunch break which included getting some greasy burgers and fries ‘to go’.

After a 6.30am departure, we were surprised to encounter snow, white-out-conditions, and slippery roads about 20 minutes from home! We spent a few hours navigating Hwy 1 through the Fraser valley, and then packed snow and slippery conditions on the Coquihalla. Too busy chatting, we missed the turnoff from Merritt to Cache Creek, so we took the slightly longer route through Kamloops, which probably added about an hour to the trip!
Finally, past 1.30pm, hunger pangs overcoming us, we stopped at Cache Creek for breakfast (or perhaps we should say lunch?). This consisted of the greasiest burgers that Robin and Christine have every eaten in their lives! Apparently Raenellle lucked out with the chicken burger, which wasn’t nearly as greasy!We continued along our way, passing the many little BC towns that all seem to melt together as the kilometers and hours slip away behind us. Before we knew it, darkness was falling once again. An earlier sunset the further north you travel meant that the sun had dipped below the horizon at about 3.30pm, and darkness was almost well established by 4.30pm. Onward we drove … past 100 Mile House, William’s Lake, Quesnel, Prince George…

The roads were icy and snowy in patches for the majority of the trip, but the worst road conditions were encountered in the Lower Mainland and Coquihalla. For the last 2.5 hours of the trip from Prince George to Mackenzie, the roads turned to hard packed snow. We saw a couple of moose from a distance … which was a good thing!

Arrived in Mackenzie to Heather and the kids 15 hours after our departure from Vancouver. After 15 hours of non-stop driving, including many many kilometers in 4-wheel drive, the Newcruiser had not skipped a beat!

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