Friday Free for All – Aug. 19 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016 @ 12:00 AM
The end of the week is here, and that can only mean one thing, it is time for Friday Free for All.
You pick the topic, but please, keep the comments concise and , as always, be respectful of others regardless of how much you may disagree with their opinion. There are three simple rules:
Keep it clean
Keep it legal
Any new pizza places in town or whats best local pizza place in your opinion?
Ditto, extra baked pepperoni is best in town hands down.
Fresh Slice has great pizza (by the piece and pie) and has really good prices.
I would like to interrupt your important question about where the best local pizza is to bring you this important news message… after all I think this is still a news blog site.
The latest collateral damage from our war on ISIS in Syria, the UN is requesting a 48 hour halt in fighting so they can send in aide and medical supplies. Maybe that is a good idea, I think these kids need a break!!!
Now please carry on with your discussion about the pizza and where the best camping spots are… we are so privileged to be able to do so, aren’t we?
With summer winding down, and some good camping trips now memories, I was thinking it might be time to start to evaluate some of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to the state of our mostly public campgrounds… but by all means private as well.
Any heads up to look out for, or places that surprised would be great to hear about.
I find the state of our federal campgrounds on a downward spiral of over-crowding and failing ability for the parks to maintain a quality that was once expected in a national park like Yoho, Jasper, or Banff.
In Jasper I use to just camp out on a glacier or a trailhead… pack out what I pack in… we decided to book a campsite the last time I was there, so we could have a camp fire. What a huge disappointment. The camp sites were in appalling condition.
The site we had in Jasper was thick with fine fire ash everywhere from an illegal fire outside of the pit that was just kicked around the camp site to put it out by the previous campers. Why would anyone pay $40 a second night for a dirty mess of a campsite is beyond me… so we went rouge after one night.
Banff on the other hand is just way over capacity. Its worse than visiting a big city. Road blocks everywhere, lineups just to get to the road that leads to the road that leads to the parking lot for the point of interest. Everything from gas to food is inflated minimum 20% and often much higher.
I tried to get to Moraine Lake in Banff on 3 different times this year passing through Banff and couldn’t get even up the Lake Louise Road even once because of traffic lineups to the highway. I went to Johnson Falls and the lineup for parking was on either side of the Bow Parkway for a kilometer in either direction. Then to thin crowds they have the police out with shady radar checks at the tourist pullouts with all the out of province vehicles pulled over getting speeding tickets.
Best time to visit Banff IMO is before June or after September. Better yet Kananaskis has just as good of scenery as Banff; without all the tourists crowds.
Depending on what type of camping you want, from PG to Valemount offers some incredible areas. Some are a bit more…rustic, but the areas are spectacular. Eagle Valley & Ozelanka area down the Dore River Rd., Blueberry & Bess Pass down the Holmes River Rd., Boulder Mt, Rausch River Rd you can almost drive up to the glacier if the road is still in good condition. Closer to PG, anywhere out starting on the Pass Lake Rd. I could go on & on with the possibilities in our proverbial back yard, almost no people, tons of wildlife & some of these places (Blueberry Pass) has scenery that will take your breath away. If you’re looking for a more subdued National Park experience, try Waterton National Park, it’s a bit more of a drive but with far less traffic & crowds & has way more spectacular scenery than Jasper or Banff.
Totally agree eagle. Don’t bother with the National Parks in summer. Lots to see closer to home. Just got back from Bella Coola. Wow. It’s a hike but we hiked.fished,kayaked, explored. Great trip. Beats the hell out of Lake louise in the summer.
The provincial campgrounds in BC tend to be of a much higher campsite quality than any of the federal campgrounds.
Most tend to look like they get yearly upkeep, have newer tables, and clean fire pits. Some have running water, showers, and other amenities.
The biggest issue I have with the provincial park campgrounds is the flawed reservation system that is so obviously abused. I remember the day when the provincial parks were a counted on part of touring for single night stays. One could always count on a few vacant sites for a random stay… not no more, now the reservation systems allows people to book some camp sites as much as two years in advance. Everything can be booked solid and yet if one was to walk through the campground as much as a third of the sites sit empty.
I had a stay at Cultus Lake Provincial Park. A park that is way over rated… full of loud teenage drinkers all night and dirty campsites. We stayed on a weekday as a drop in and were told we got the last available drop in campsite? It was right by the road, with loud neighbors, so naturally we were on the lookout for an upgrade. I noticed up to a third of all sites were empty, but they were booked sold-out?
At $23 to reserve a site I noticed the Lower Mainland campgrounds are full of reservation cheaters. They will have a camper that is clearly all set up for a long stay… has empty campsites all around his and each empty site has a few chairs and a small tent maintained by the occasional visitor from the mother campsite.
Its blatantly obvious what is going on(big tips for the campground operators?); and so I brought it to the attention of one campground operator looking to upgrade, and was told they were booked anyways for the next night so move along sort of thing. Meanwhile a third of the campsites sit empty, so others can have the exclusive experience….
I think the Provincial Parks offer a quality product, but the whole way people can book up the campsites they aren’t actually using needs to be addressed IMO.
Best provincial campsites so far this year IMO includes the Elk Falls at Campbell River with its new viewing deck. This is epic rain forest camping, with great trails, great pictures, and only a short walk to downtown Campbell River.
For tubing and soaking up the sun nothing beats the Kettle River Provincial Campground. It is like Salmon Valley on steroids. Super clean campground, but they have wolves at night so one has to keep that in mind as well.
Stemwinder is another clean campground for a quick stop on the highway, or a great place to relax and watch the stars as the Similkamin river bumbles in the background.
Rolly Lake is the best provincial campground in the Lower Mainland IMO for a really nice private campsite that still has cell signals. The lake itself is not much more than a Shane Lake at Forest for the World. If you want to see raccoons than this is the place to be. Maybe a 40 minute drive at most to Stanley Park.
The worst in a storm is the Juan De Fuca Provincial Park. When a storm kicks up almost no place is worse. If you like to hike and become a beachcomber though, than Juan De Fuca is one of the best.
Not worth trying to camp without a reservation. I attempted twice this year to get out with all the sites being full. Leave work early on Friday and try to get out as soon as possible. Headed north to Crooked River (full) continue to Whiskers Point (full) continue north to Tuhyah (full). At this point I took the defeat and came home.
A few weeks later attempted the Purden same thing (full).
One thing they all had in common was the large amount of empty reserved sites. I especially noticed this when I spent 6 nights at Crooked River. I have resolved myself to the fact that you must reserve if you are going to be a weekend warrior. My schedule does not permit me to plan weekends so my strategy for next year is if you can’t be them, join them. I will reserve sites every weekend of the summer and decide if to go or not and leave them empty of other plans come up or the weather is down.
While a recent visit to Barkerville we decided to check out the provincial campground there, I was quite impressed. It has improved greatly since I last camped there mid 90’s, there is even a shower house now and two little rental cabins! We stopped to talk to an attendant who was cleaning up one of the recently moved out camp spots and she was super friendly and helpful with all our questions.
I don’t know. I haven’t been in a pay for use campsite for many years. I much prefer Forestry campsites or just finding a nice place out in the bush.
I just always tidied up a campsite before using it and then left it spic and span, usually with some leftover firewood for the next camper.
Some places, I roughly developed a new campsite when I found a favourite one being used.
I used these opportunities to teach my kids how to properly use and enjoy our great outdoors.
I never did like pay for use provincial or federal campsites for all their rules and modern development. They were often not kept up to their own standards and having to pay for wet firewood, just didn’t do it for me.
Great points. I usually camp forestry for local camping as well and just use the provincial sites on longer road trips down south where I don’t know the area as well.
We’re not as adventurous as eagleone, too expensive on gas to travel too far too often. But we enjoy the provincial parks. The best one is Whiskers Point, paved roads, large campsites, good beach, hot showers, flush toilets and lots to do for kids/grandkids. They keep it very clean, only 90 min from PG. The reservation system does suck as it is an online site, and NOT controlled by parks, but a private contracting company. But it’s only for a small number of choice sites.
Lucerne Prov Park is between Mt Robson and Jasper, small but perfect. Very clean, nice beach, trails, still $22/night, and we still get to enjoy seeing the wapiti, there’s lots of hiking trails all around there….free too!. Oh, and did I say quiet!
We don’t need to be in those crowded, noisy national parks just to be close to the town. Different stokes for different folks I guess.
Yup Whiskers Point is probably the best local provincial site for kids especially. I to look for the places just outside of the typical tourist areas. Knananskis was really good for that as well.
Took a trip into the north country this summer…traveled up through Fort Nelson and went right to Dawson City and then back down to Highway 37 through Dease Lake to highway 16…Stayed in lots of camp sites and all were in great shape…Would recommend every site we stayed at…totally an awesome trip.
I agree. We did that trip a few years ago now and still the best trip I ever had. One can just about camp anywhere and the Canoil highway in the Yukon is the greatest touring road anywhere.
Has anyone notice the excellent grass field beside city hall?
I think this would make an incredible tent city site.
I’m thinking of setting up there tonight instead of the disappointment of booking a provincial site.
Too bad about the camp fire ban though. Might have skip over to the Keg for an overpriced steak!
It would be interesting to see PG on the national media once more.
Carp lake no reservations needed. Great area.
Hows the road out there? I’d rather not beat the hell out of the trailer.
Well maintained at least early July.
SolarPVTV at Twitter . 2.98 cents a kWh. Technological disruption is here . This is the equvilant to 5 dollar barrel of oil .
piss off goof. your spam wears thin.
Why are there so many empty campsite ? Do you not have to make a deposit when the reservation is made?
WE camped for many years when our kids were still at home. It has been interesting reading about old haunts.
You pay full price when you make the reservation. At $22 per night its not a big loss if you don’t go.
The government makes lots of money at $22 per night for no shows. A 100% no show booking would mean no clean up necessary. A great incentive to not find a better system.
Don’t show up by 5pm, you forfeit the space and it becomes first come first served for $10/night.
If you arrive after 5 and no one has come in to rent it at $10 yet, then it is yours again.
Say you plan a trip for early July to do a trip for 2 weeks, staying at camp grounds every night for a couple of days her, 3 days there, a few at 1 day.
Say someone in the family gets sick and the trip gets delayed by 2 to 3 weeks. Your vacation is flexible, so you go at a later date. Same trip.
12 days at $22/night is a $264 + taxes loss. Plus, by that time, there are fewer opportunities to book alternates.
A couple of Prov. camping spots we enjoy are both near Clinton.
Kelly Lake (Downing Prov Park) – Small campsite, and the lake is damned cold, but it’s a very beautiful spot.
Big Bar Lake – About a 30 minute drive west off the highway, on a compact dirt road with about 5 cattle crossing guards. Very peaceful, and a nice bright blue lake.
Green Lake is also in the area, but it’s busier. More family friendly than the other two mentioned above.
I am going to start a can of worms here. Via is looking into offering $5 rides to vulnerable people along the “highway of tears” Now who is going to decide vulnerability? Will it be race based, gender based, age based.
The article I read mentions 18 girls and women have been murdered or missing along there since the 70’s, wonder how that stacks up to other roads in Canada? Why are males excluded?
Doesn’t have to be “can of worms” If they need a ride, give’em a ride ;-) Males shouldn’t be excluded either.
Actually the number is 9 … the number 18 includes murdered/missing females on HWY97 and others south of PG.
There are many stretches of such highways in North America. 9 over 40 years is not an extraordinary high number when one looks at the total Canada/US system of highways.
Males might be excluded because there likely were far fewer.
We camped in all the national parks in the Banff and Jasper area during the 50’s and 60’s there were no reservation and the camping was supreme. It is sad to hear that is not the case today.
When we lived in the Koonteny’s we made at least three trips up from Coleman AB to Kaninaskis park area. These were unforgettable events. Sounds like Lucerne Lake is still in good condition. It’s a very nice campsite.
Always wanted to camp up on #37 but couldn’t seem to get the time to do it. It’s a very beautiful drive up from #16 to Stewart and beyond. Always remanded me of the national parks in AB and BC. Here’s to good camping.
Something never to be reported by the taxpayer funded liberal PR machine or Greenpeace.
Just where in the world is Justin anyhow. If harper did as much traveling the liberal left would be wailing. Hey did ya see his Putin shirtless imitation? Like to see those two in the ring.
Nice BCNE this year, just came back. Beware the two or three booths selling some new gizmo massage pain reliever, another a heat pad clicker man they are in your face so fast they’re silly, the way they try and draw you in pushes you away.
$3.00 for a bottle of water, no thanks.
The Carver Kings are incredible, blacksmith amazing.
Great place to meet folks you haven’t seen in a while.
Talking about the gel pack, I got one of the tiny ones to inform myself on how it works. Whatever more complex pack one gets has to be reconstituted by heating it in boiling water after use. It might be good in an emergency kit when away off the gird and heat is required to relieve pain.
I kind like listening to the old-style carney barker. It is a carnival, after all.
Do not know why booths like that are there. There is an entrance fee and there really should not be commercial sellers there.
Community service organizations, great. It is a community and regional EXHIBITION. Don’t know what carpetbaggers have to do with community.
I went to the EX on Thursday, Seniors day for 2 dollars. I thought that was what it was, a 2 dollar experience. The fair is pretty stale, has not changed in 10 years. For a town this size, it is a real embarasment. It was pretty sad.
Somebody please enlighten me why Dressage and Equestrian are in the Olympics when the horse is the athlete? Why not dog agility too? It’s just as absurd.
Horses do not train each other to become that part of the team of horse, rider and trainer. People do. That is what is bein assessed.
Swimmers and other sports participants also have to be trained.
It is all about natural abilities plus training to get to compete with some of the best in the world.
I thought the Olympics were about human achievement in sport? Not who has the best animal trainer.
I’ll say it again, how about dog obedience? They can have Olympic obedience trials since they are only assessing the quality of training and handling. Yes?
Why not have ballet in the Olympics? A ballet dancer has a heck a lot more athletic ability and training than any dressage rider.
When a 65 year old (Ian Miller 2012 Olympics) can still compete in Olympic equestrian, there is no fitness requirement involved. The only reason he didn’t compete in Rio is because he didn’t have a horse. He’s 69.
As a side note, Dressage has repeatedly been accused of animal cruelty, but that’s for another discussion.
How about lawn mowing or basket weaving? Sorry,forget basket weaving, it is just too slow!
My wife rides competitively. I jumped on her horse and did a posting trot and was sweating after five minutes. So there is definitely physical ability required. She can get it rip down the arena and do a sliding stop, I can barely stay on. As for training, she trained the horse with the help of a trainer. She puts countless hours into it.
Now, let’s talk about golf. Fitness definitely not required – John Daly.
I have to agree with Eagleone about the camping in the Parks, just came back from Jasper, reserved Campsite, I won’t be back, it was so bad I left early . The Future will be BC Parks after Labour Day!
I was wondering something. I see people get sentenced to serve their time in weekends in jail. So what do they do with that space for the other 5 days of the week? I mean, if the jail is full, where do they put the weekenders, and if they’re keeping space open to accommodate weekenders, does that explain why we have so many repeat offenders running around. And if someone is such a low risk, they can be out during the week, why not just give them house arrest, and keep jail spaces open for violent offenders? Anyone know?
Wow, best Friday Free for All in MONTHS, thanks posters, especially Eagleone for providing a topic of conversation other than driving skills.
Life is pretty damn good…
I’m a bit disappointed in today’s Friday Free for all! I thought for sure that Retired02 would fill us all in on Abbotsford’s latest and very very recent murder/shooting!
Dangerous place, that Abbotsford!
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