Yogi Berra famously said, 'when you come to a fork in the road, take it.' There are two ways to get to Prince George from Kamloops, you can go right along the Yellowhead Highway, or you can go left along the Cariboo Highway. The difference in time, according to Google, is about an hour longer along the Yellowhead, but general internet consensus says it's a prettier route. The Cariboo Highway on the other hand has history on its side. It was originally surveyed and built in the 1860-80's as a means of improving supply lines to the gold miners along the Cariboo range and served as a main artery of the Gold Rush.
We left our hotel around 9:00AM and rode along the Trans-Canada highway before turning north into a deep, dry valley. This was high desert with tumbleweeds, cacti and scrub brush. The town of Clinton lies at the junction between two earlier Cariboo Roads and retains a bit of it's former charm. Even so, it is a two horse town in one horse territory. We stopped at the Clinton Coffee House for an excellent coffee, so good that I was tempted to buy some beans to bring home. Continuing north we enjoyed a bit of history as we passed through tiny towns with names like 70, 100, 150 Mile House. A few old remnants remained, mostly dilapidated weatherbeaten wooden buildings and the occasional covered wagon (for the tourists). Making good time we arrived in Prince George mid-afternoon and in heat of the day. We stopped for an iced tea and consulted the internet for planning purposes.
Having started the day by turning left, our plan was to take the Stewart-Cassiar highway, which runs up BC's western side to the Yukon Territory. The further north we went, the later nightfall came, and we decided to ride on for another hour and stay in Vanderhoof. Vanderhoof it turns out is the geographic center of British Columbia, a piece of trivia proudly carved into the town's welcome sign. We found a room at the Vanderhoof Inn, which, although it had been renovated recently, nevertheless lacked any more air conditioning than an open window and a fan. After dining sumptuously on chicken wings and Molson Canadian, we left the hotel in search of entertainment. There's not a lot going on in Vanderhoof in the evenings other than the cinema. Eventually we found a bar, had a night cap and called it quits.