Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Vehicle: '06 SLK280, 6-speed, Premium package, Bilstein B12 suspension
Other Toys: '00 C230 Kompressor Special Edition
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Grand Tour of British Columbia
This is a tour that my wife and I did about three years ago with our C230...not sure there's enough luggage space to try it with the SLK, though.
We started from our home near Portland, Oregon, and drove up to the Canadian border crossing at Sumas/Abbotsford, after first touring the Boeing factory in Everett. Once over the border, we proceeded to Hope, BC, and spent a couple of days in the area before heading north. We went up the Fraser River Canyon to Lillooett (Fort Berens Winery is great!) and on to Cache Creek. While in the Canyon, the gondola to the bottom is worth doing, as is the little restaurant Elvis Rocks the Canyon. Even if you're not an Elvis fan, the collection of memorabilia is awe-inspiring. From Cache Creek we proceeded up Highway 97 through Williams Lake to Quesnel, where we spent a couple of days. The old mining town of Barkerville is a day trip east of Quesnel, and well worth touring for the informative chatter of the "residents", all young actors representing dramatis personae of the town from the 1890s. Then on to Prince George, the commercial hub of central BC and gateway to the north. From there, Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway are four hours further north.
We continued west on the Yellowhead Highway #16 out to Fort St. James (HBC trading fort) and on to Smithers. Smither's claim to fame, aside from some good skiing, is that a B36 bomber crashed near there back around 1950. We continued west to Prince Rupert, and took the BC Ferries vessel down the inside passage to Vancouver Island. The scenery is beyond beautiful, and it's worth it to get reserved seats up front in the cabin. You'll be on the boat nearly eighteen hours, and comfortable seats are welcome. The ferry docks at Port Hardy near midnight, but the various lodgings (generally basic & rustic) live by that schedule so the innkeepers will be awaiting you at that late hour. Driving down the landward side of Vancouver Island is wonderful. Campbell River has a nice First Nations (Native American, in Canadian) Museum, and Comox has a good RCAF/Canadian Forces air museum. Nanaimo is a wonderful city to stay in and plan day trips from, and we stayed a couple of days there. We took the Sidney-Port Townsend ferry back to the States, and visited family on Whidbey Island before heading home. Took us all of two weeks to do this.
Wildlife? Oh, yeah. Mountain sheep on the road to Lillooet, marmots, deer, a moose on the way to Fort St. James, black bears beyond Smithers, and bald eagles everywhere you look in Prince Rupert. Orcas seen from the inside passage ferry. Total mileage driven about 2700, and nearly 29mpg average.