Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 3-South to Autumn


Spent last night just past Dease Lake, B.C., just past the turnoff for Telegraph Creek and the mighty Stikine River, camped at an empty Lion's Club Campground on the banks of the Tanzilla River.
Pasta with rehydrated chantrelles, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, onion and anchovy paste with freshly grated asiago cheese for dinner. Slept in the van, warmed by 70 gallons of hot grease, but woke up cold, a heavy freeze overnight, with ice coating the puddles and clinging to the banks of the Tanzilla.
But overall, 200 km into the Cassiar Highway, winter is receding, thankfully. The snow-covered roads of the mountain passes of the Alcan behind us and the temperate, southerly coastal climes ahead.
Although not without cause for worry, when we entered the Cassiar, for the road looked more like a luge course than a highway: narrow, covered with snow and ice, winding and fast. A two-way luge run, with trucks barreling past as Natcho clutched the wheel, hugged the shoulder and cringed.
"You sure you don't want to stick to the Alcan, go soak at Liard, pards?"
" Oh no Natcho. You gotta see the Cassiar."
All systems go, but then failure, power loss and Natcho frantically switching the fuel line to diesel. All our theories on the loss of pressure in the grease line for naught. Clogged fuel filter. So an impromptu, dirty filter change using old buckets and a leatherman while the sun set and a large orange half-moon rose.
Back on the road in 45 minutes, pressure reading in the positive again.

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