After picking up Wanda from J5CustomVans, I decided to spend the night at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park before heading home. I was lucky to get a First Come First Serve site in mid-afternoon. I wanted to see how the new build worked and to get an idea of how I might best use the new space. I had a few van chores that I wanted to complete.
I settled in and got to work. I rearranged my supplies, did some decorating, and made a fire. I had a nice bottle of Rosé cooling in the fridge, so I poured myself a glass and watched a couple of "Camp Robber" jays flitter around the lot.
I refuse to cook "camp" food. I enjoy a good full meal and all the preparation that goes along with that. The new cabinet made a great prep counter as I prepared my dinner. The embers of the fire were at the perfect temperature for cooking the steak to accompany my salad. I rise early when I'm camping. I quickly made coffee and grabbed my camera for a walk to the Falls. I was on the trail early, about 7 am, hoping to see some wildlife. I caught glimpses of unidentified small beasties dashing away in the undergrowth and a couple of robins. I was really hoping to see some quail and maybe a deer or two.
I love how the light looks deep in the trees. I can feel a "click" of connection when I'm in places like this.
Some of the trail was really easy walking. The conditions were good with packed dirt and little mud. Some paths have been closed due to rock/mud falls in the area.
The viewing section at the Upper Falls is wheelchair accessible from a parking lot. Visitors can get great views from the middle of the bridge.
On one side of the bridge is the Upper Falls. On the other side you can look down the river towards the Lower Falls.
I continued down the trail to the Lower Falls. It doesn't take long for the trail to get pretty uneven. It was still hard-packed but a bit more scrambling was required.
It's my goal to spend the summer checking out as many provincial parks and recreational sites as possible. Although she is self-sufficient, our British Columbia Provincial Parks are in the best locations, provide a sense of safety, and have varying levels of hygiene stations. I also want to support our fabulous park system so it will continue to expand and improve. Wanda isn't built for off-roading, so adventures on logging roads won't be in our future. On the nights that I can't get a campsite in a park or recreation site, I will use the iOverlander app to find another place.
Getting a site at the popular parks in the summer, especially on weekends, can be a huge challenge. There is a reservation system that allows you to book in advance. It can be tricky finding any openings. Some parks only accept reservations during the high season, so those who wander will have to search for the First-Come First-Serve campsites and arrive early enough to get on the waitlist for a site. I found this blog by Off Track Travel really helpful in making the FCFS work for me.
As a solo traveller, cellular connection (as a hot spot and for emergency contact) is important to me, but I will be disappointed. I always check the reviews on iOverlander and do a google search to find out what other campers have reported. There are some parks located close enough to civilization to pick up a signal but that connection tends to be unreliable and inconsistent. Cell boosters are of little value in the forest and mountains. Skylink requires open skies to connect. Most parks will not have any connection in the campgrounds. Since my wishlist includes some fairly remote parks, I will be going off-line at times until I need to find civilization to resupply or to do blog work.
Some parks have flush toilets and showers, others only have pit toilets. I would prefer to use the parks' facilities, when available. I do have a shower set up but I will make a point of finding parks with showers on a regular basis. Most campgrounds have a children's play area, which I prefer to avoid. There are different fees at the parks and sites within the park. I expect to pay $20-$30 cash nightly. I plan to make my way north, finding adventures along the way. I still have a lot to learn about road-tripping in Wanda. I hope you'll come meander with me.
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