Route: BC 37
Iskut > Dease Lake > Jade City
Drive Quality: 8/10
Road Quality: 6.5/10 – More loose gravel, sections of road redone, some single-lane sections, deeper potholes. Nothing too concerning – still easily go 100-115km in most sections
Wildlife spotted: 3 bears (1 grizzly), 2 fox (1 red, 1 grey), and baby ducklings
We awoke from our cabin-induced slumber and stumbled onto the deck wrapped in blankets, our hands clutching coffees. “Isn’t it a gorgeous day?” the woman who owned the lodge greeted us.
We looked out over the lake, the wind whipping up whitecaps all along its surface, dark clouds hovering around the mountains, any resemblance of the sun obscured from view. “Stunning,” we responded. We packed up and refueled in Iskut, the temperature dipping lower than it had on our trip so far. The gas station and grocery store in town are closed to anyone who isn’t local, but you can still get gas if you have a credit or debit card.
The day started out on a lucky note, as we surrendered two of our ratchet straps to the road Gods. The first self-sacrificed, throwing itself into the depths of an undisclosed roadside location, never to be heard from again. The second pried itself loose and flung itself into Carmen’s bike, wrapping itself around her chain and sprockets, but miraculously causing no harm. We came to quick stop, pulled the shredded pieces from her bike’s metallic guts, and moved on.
We arrived in Dease Lake with frozen hands. Dease lake is a small, unincorporated community with a motel, gas station/convenience store (which carries camping gear, some clothing, and food items), a Chinese foodtruck, an Americana food truck (closed on Sunday), and a post office, from which we mailed Carmen’s grandma two postcards. As we wandered the supermarket, the clouds rolled over and the sky darkened once again. “Isn’t is a gorgeous day?” we overhead one man saying to another over coffee, not a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “Sure is,” responded the other. “Isn’t even raining!”
The sky giggled and opened up on us as we pulled out of town, a theme beginning to make itself known for our travels. From here, the highway hugs the enormous Dease Lake, which flops out in every direction and empties into the Dease River further north. The road is lined with wildflowers, birch trees, and spruce tips; the air thick with their scent. Bears still sit along the roadside, and curious fox wander out onto the highway.
We stopped at an Airbnb near Jade City, an absolute gem of a find. The spot, named ‘Puppies and Vines’ has a well-equipped wall tent with kitchenette, a soft bed, fluffy-pillows, and a small wood-fired hot tub which was warmed and ready for us overlooking the lake. Our host even provided us with amazing trout burgers for supper! This place is a true gem and worth all the rain and cold we battled to get up to it thus far. There was no better note to end on. A gorgeous day indeed.
Check out the Airbnb and get out here asap!