We left Whitehorse at 9:30 after our wonderful socialized medicine experience with a couple of options available to us: 1) stop about 100 miles east at Teslin Lake to go kayaking if the weather looked good, or 2) continue on to Watson Lake. Option one didn’t work out due to clouds, cold and wind, so we went with option two. When we arrived at Watson Lake at 3pm it was still rainy and cool, and we couldn’t divine any real reason to stop as we’d been here on our northbound journey and already seen the sights. So again, we continued on, east by southeast and re-entered British Columbia. As we drove, we saw pairs of buffalo in two locations (our first of this trip) and a young grizzly bear, all immediately adjacent to the road.
Around 4:30 we tired of driving but weren’t near any destination. The Liard River paralleled the road, so it occurred to us perhaps we could find a spot to boon dock. And did we ever! We spied a dirt road on the south side of the highway and pulled over to investigate. What we found was a camping spot 200 yards off and invisible from the highway, with a view of the river surrounded by a dense grove of birch trees. We checked it out, Bob did a little tight maneuvering and parked in the perfect spot. And the sun was out! Bob began work outside the trailer dropping the stabilizer legs, pulling out the camp chairs and planning to have a beer while gazing at the river.
Cathryn was hauling things out of the truck to put in the trailer. Suddenly Bob yelled at Cathryn: “Get in the truck, now!” For once, the unusual urgency in his voice made her scramble to respond without asking “Why?” She jumped in the passenger door, and clambered over the console into the driver’s seat so Bob could jump in behind her. With both windows open, we listened to something crashing through the woods nearby, peering around to see what it might be. A bear? A buffalo? No, finally we spotted a huge female moose, at least 9’ tall at the shoulders, about 20 feet away in the woods! We watched for several minutes while she peered at us, finally deciding we were scary, so she wandered away in the other direction. Whew!
After our heartbeats subsided, we settled by the river and had our beer, but we played some music loud enough that no bear or moose would be surprised we were around, and kept our can of wasp spray close at hand! Oh, you wonder why we have wasp spray? It’s illegal to transport mace or pepper spray into Canada, we don’t carry guns, and we’d read that wasp spray is actually better than mace or pepper spray because it’s easier to aim and the spray shoots farther, so whether you’re concerned about animals or human intruders, wasp spray is a good weapon!