Part 1: Driving to Williams Lake – The LONG way
The journey started before we even left. Knowing that Canada has two seasons, winter and construction, we checked all of our roads and routes to make sure our driving trip to Williams lake would be seamless. As it turns out, the internet is not always 100% reliable.
The trip started out great. Nice and early start, two happy girls, music, snacks and a full tank of gas. We avoided most of the construction or went through it quite quickly so we thought we were on our way.
Until we saw a sign… “Alternate Route ahead”. Now we did pull over. We even contemplated the route, looked it up on Google maps once more, and all looked clear. So we took our turn off to Golden saying, “keep your eye’s peeled for the alternate route sign so we don’t miss it.”.
We drove on, still happy, pulled into a rest stop, say some beautiful Elk, and continued on our way until we were 4 km to Golden. Passing by the “Alternate Route” signs, wondering when the alternate route would actually come up. Until we saw it. The dead end.
We pulled over to ask the nice construction man what the deal was and he said the dreaded words. “The road is closed.” 4 KM TO GOLDEN! The road is closed. Now of all the signs that we passed, not one said “Alternate Route BEHIND YOU.” or “ROAD CLOSED AHEAD” or “NO ACCESS TO GOLDEN” or “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, TURN AROUND!” Nope. Just watch for alternate route. The nice construction man told us to turn around and drive the 77km back to the turn off to head back on the very windy road to go the long way around to get to Golden.
As we left, the happy girl vibe had settled just a bit. In fact, there could have been some slight profanity from Carolyn. But, these girls don’t give up. We continued on. As we took the turnoff back onto the “Alternate Route” we read the sign that said “223km to Golden”. Well crap. This has put us just a spec, like three hours, behind schedule. More mild profanity.
As we forged ahead, little did we know we would be forging through all four seasons. We hit rain, snow, sleet, fog, and beautiful sunshine along the journey. As we approached Radium, the traffic seemed to slow significantly. We caught up to a truck in front of us that had a smell that could be described as a field of tires in a compost and trash heap that had been lit on fire. And we were lucky enough to drive behind this lovely dumpster fire truck for the next 30-40 minutes.
As we were so behind schedule and neither Kari, nor Carolyn’s eyes are up to par for mountain nighttime driving, we decided it was best to call it a day and sleep in Golden. After all, the drive had already taken us three hours longer than usual and we were pooped.
Our first stop to look for a place to sleep was the Holiday Inn. But as we waited to find out pricing the place just didn’t feel right. Have you ever seen the movie The Shining? Yea. That kind of vibe. So back to Google we went (despite how angry we were with them right now) and found a quaint little spot right off the river. Which was an adventure all on it’s own…