Day 22 – June 27 – After about a two-hour delay, we were finally able to board the British Columbia ferry at Port Hardy. The ship was large and comfortable. The food was good, the scenery was almost ghostly because it rained and was foggy all day. Our first day of rain and it was on a day we weren’t driving! Pretty lucky. We used the time to write cards, sort through photos for this site which we hope to be able to post the next time we stay at a place with a hook-up, and sleep. We arrived in Prince Rupert at 12:30 am the morning of the 28th but a glitch in the electric door kept us on the ship for a while longer. Ross pointed out that we were driving 75 year old cars that were running but their new electronic gate wasn’t. We finally stumbled into our motel at 2:00 am and left word for a 5:00 am wake-up call.
627c – Our ferry to Prince Rupert. We arrived at 6:00 am as we were told we would begin boarding at 6:15 for a 7:30 am departure. We didn’t even start boarding until 7:30 and didn’t get underway until nearly 9:00. The ship, however, was pretty nice. We spent a lot of time in the big dining room where we set up a Texas to Alaska table. We could see the scenery through the big windows, snack whenever we wanted, write cards and work on the computer. Because of the rain and cold, we didn’t spend as much time on the deck as we would have liked.
627d – Placing the cars just right on the ferry was like putting together a puzzle. The ones who got off first, got on last. If you were a big motor home, you went over here. If you were a small Model T, you went over there. When a certain number of vehicles were on board, they would close off the compartment with huge hydraulic doors. These were the doors that they couldn’t open when we finally arrived in Prince Rupert.
Bella Bella, Alaska 627a – The brief stop in Bella Bella, AK, turned into another delay as the crew took on a rather large motor boat, courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Many of the ferry stops are at tiny settlements (usually lumber related) on isolated islands. We kept looking for the WalMart but couldn’t find it.
627b – We celebrated the fact that we had made it to the ferries with a nice dinner in the ship’s dining room. Getting to the ferries means we would make it to Alaska. We figured that if the worst happened, we could tow or push those cars onto the ship! Starting at the left and going around the table: Sue Capps and her father, David Johnson; Nancy Hardeman, Joyce, Ginger and Jennifer Hardeman, Ross Lilliker, Bill Capps, and Ken. Ben Hardeman took the photo.
627e – Ben found a comfortable spot to wait while we waited for our cabin to open. Lucky was a little skeptical that we would ever get off the ship. The dogs had to stay in the cars while we were on the ship and we could only come down for occasional visits. I’m not sure who had the harder time dealing with the separation, the dogs or the friends of the dogs.
628f — Finally! Driving off of the ferry at Prince Rupert, BC at 2:00 am. Prince Rupert is called the City of Rainbows and is said to be a lovely town. We couldn’t see much of it during our exhausted drive to the motel and our return to catch the Alaskan ferry at 5:30 in the morning. This picture is much prettier than it was for us. Photograph by Ginger Hardeman