Day 46. Friday 14th June. Fort Nelson to Fort St John. BC.

Evocative names. Indicating a different kind of struggle.

It’s raining this morning. All the massive mobile home buses are pulling out. Heading further west. Mainly from the US. it seems like if you don’t have the biggest home you have to have the biggest 4×4 being towed behind it. You must be worthless, because mine is bigger than yours..:) They can drive these massive things with an ordinary car licence. 

One guy from South Carolina came past me and asked me where I was from in Australia! I think he was testing the waters, as when I said “your’e well off the mark there sport”, he said, “so you haven’t sorted it out yet”. “Nope, I said and never will”..:).  I’m a bit slow, I should have asked him what part of Mexico he was from..:). I was tempted to ask him if he had anything to do with the Prince Corp, of Blackwater fame, but didn’t want to start another Gulf war. 

Looking at the map last night, for an “alternative” route south east, I thought  had found a Pieste track that would take us due East and line us up with a less busy road south. However, when Jen called to the Visitors Centre to ask about it and how to get onto it, they said there is only a railway line. No road. Mmmm, I think they just don’t know their own area as the map of Canada clearly shows it. Never mind, Jen seemed greatly relieved. So we headed off down the main road after filling up with diesel and groceries. A check on miles and gallons shows that the economy has leapt up from 24’s to 28 mpg. Much more like it. 

The scenery is changing. Undulating rather than mountainous. 

Driving towards and through Wonawon there is a massive amount of equipment and infrastructure to support serious petroleum exploration and distribution. Fields of drilling tubes and pipeline pipes. Phillips Connico sites and row upon row of temporary housing for contractors. Compressor stations along the road to boost flow through the pipes? Mud and debris on the road. A truck flew past in the opposite direction, spraying dust and gravel that hit us. A rock struck the windscreen low down on the drivers side with a sickening crack. Leaving a significant shattering of the laminated screen. Damn but I guess you drive for miles you have to expect some damage.   The damage is too low to affect drivers visibility. Anyway, it seems there is no vehicle testing here???

 Could this expenditure on exploration in BC have any impact on why the local government do not want to allow Alberta access to the ports for their oil? You know me, always looking for an oblique answer. 

Iv’e just been talking with Jack, an ‘oil man’. He tells me that gas is the product being sought and found. A massive relief for him and his workers as they have been having a rough time over the last four or so years. Families separated and unable to pay bills.  Environmentally the product is so controversial but we have to find an alternative to keep us going and in the lifestyle we have become accustomed. All very well posturing but are we prepared to make the sacrifice? We are certainly doing our bit for you Jack..:)

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7 Comments:

  1. Welcome to the land of rednecks and pickups. Once upon a time when aircondition ment driving 60mph with your windows open. When you came across another car coming toward you the norm was to slow down to reduce the dust and move to the right so you don’t spray the other guy. And you both nodded a gesture of thanks before speeding up again. Now with all the bells and whistle and a big sense of self importance they just don’t care!!!! A windscreen and head lights can expect to be replaced every year or two now.

    What I found works best is to drive right down the middle of the road until you see them slowing down (you’ll be pretty close then). Once everyone is down to a civil speed I move over and nod my head….because old courtesies still matter 😉

    • Right on Bill. I found that worked best in India too. The trucks would hog the centre strip and relegate all others to the rutted section but they soon took evasive action if you were “insistent” and allowed both to have one set of wheels on the hard…:). We found many drivers with the common courtesy on the Dempster and a wave of acknowledgement was always returned.

  2. Maybe make up a false turret and put a stick out of it, hey and maybe a red star on a flag, bound to get their attention. Looking at a week here on the Gwyder it is so good, just us and a river, oh and a litre or 3 of the red stuff to make us forget how tough life is. Onya bro.

    • Sounds like you are deeply into ‘Tank Men’. Have just started Antony Beavor’s book about the Spanish Civil War. Looking forward to a little more inactive time so we can do more reading. Dont spill that red stuff, it stains and it’s an awful waist..:)
      Email on the way.

  3. What does “your coment is awaiting moderation” mean? I only suggested making the Rover look like a tank!

  4. In the Australian outback a guy at a camp pointed out to me the huge campers. They call the owners “2 dickers” Seems the outback people think you would have to have 2 because nobody could spend all that time pulling just the one. So next time you meet them just smile or say “more 2 dickers”

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