Day 2 - Lillooet to Quesnel plus a Side Trip to Barkerville

Our second day introduced our first deviation from our very loose schedule. We had planned to get to Prince George, but ended our day just north of Quesnel at 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park instead. I had suspected that our schedule was too aggressive, given all the things I wanted to do en route. Our day started pretty early, and we were on the road by about 7:30. On the way out of Lillooet we had our first wildlife encounter - three deer. Not very exciting but it was a start.

It was a nice start to the day in Lillooet

It was a nice start to the day in Lillooet

The landscape around Lillooet is beautiful with the sagebrush. I love the look of this area of the country. We headed north, and things were pretty uneventful. We made a first stop at 100 Mile House, just to stretch our legs and take a bathroom break. Justine and I had stopped at the info center at 100 Mile House on our last trip up and had seen yellow-headed blackbirds. i was hoping they might be back, but no such luck. We did have a kingfisher hunting the lake, and I managed to get one usable shot after he caught a small fish.

Kingfisher in flight with his breakfast.

108 Mile House Ranch

We were soon back on the road, for a short distance, before stopping at the historic 108 Mile House Ranch. Justine and I had stopped here last year on our Canada Day trip, and we thought Mom and Dad would like it.

It's a collection of old buildings from the late 1800s that have been restored. They have a school house, a blacksmith and a bunch of other old buildings, all setup in period. We stopped for half an hour or so and wandered around. It's definitely worth the stop if you're driving through.

The Visitor Center in Quesnel

The Visitor Center in Quesnel

From there, we continued north without a lot of interesting sightings. We stopped in Williams Lake for gas, then were on the road again. From Williams Lake, it was pretty much straight to Quesnel, where we stopped at the Visitor Center to open up the trailer and have lunch. After the short stop we turned off the road north and took our first side trip, out to the historic town of Barkerville. A couple of friends had really recommended stopping here, since we were passing within an hour's drive of the site.


Barkerville was one of the original gold rush towns that sprung up in the middle of nowhere, and at the time was the biggest city west of Chicago or north of San Francisco. Crazy to think about. Now it's a tourist attraction, where they have preserved the old town, and have people dressed in period clothing wandering about to make it feel authentic.

It does feel a bit like you've stepped back in time...

Two of the town's ladies out for a stroll

The church dominated the entrance to the townsite.

Having a little fun with some of the images from the day at Barkerville.

We spent about two hours at the site checking out the various buildings. Some were just setup showing how things were back at the time, others were functioning shops. We had ice cream at one of the restaurants and spent a bunch of time in one of the shops. There was a short walk up to a lookout point where you could look down over the townsite.

Looking down on the old town from the lookout point

Not everyone was fully impressed with the place, but it was interesting enough and worth the stop. We headed back towards Quesnel, and decided to deviate from our rough plan for the day. We were originally going to push on to a park east of Prince George, but that was going to have us setting up close to 8:00. It had been a long day and Dad was tired, so we decided to stop at 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park, just north of Quesnel instead.

We found a great site (#45) and got the trailer setup. We were very excited to learn that fires were allowed in this park, so we bought a bundle of firewood for later that night. We had our pre-dinner beverage and snack, and then played a game of washers. Mom and Dad used their vast experience to pick up the victory.

The sun setting on 10 Mile Lake and our stop for the night.

The sun setting on 10 Mile Lake and our stop for the night.

Then we made dinner, and had a relaxing evening. I walked down to the lake to see what was going on. There wasn't much of a sunset, but the fish were jumping. We made a nice fire and sat around having another drink, until about 10:30. Then it was off to bed, ahead of another long day on the road. BC is a big place!