After a great group trip to Ten Mile Bay last week I was feeling more confident about the Sts’ailes FSR (formerly known as West Harrison FSR) road conditions and decided making it to Twenty Mile Bay was a must!
With a forecast full of rain and my husband off work for a couple of days, I decided to make this a kid-less adventure and called my friend to jump in with me.
We started off in Harrison and spent the night. The next morning after coffee, breakfast and more coffee, we hit the road!
Google Maps will easily take you to Twenty Mile Bay (despite losing service along the way), but I also had my new BC Backroad map book for reference and it came in handy the further up the mountain we got!
The road conditions were pretty good, but after all the rain this week there were tons of pot holes! I was surprised since I was just up here one week ago how much worse it was. The road is nice and wide, fairly freshly graded and other than the pot holes is not very rough. We passed several low to the ground SUVs and even a few little cars on our way up!
It started out as a beautiful day, but the clouds darkened quickly and the rain moved in.
As we drove higher the views were obscured by cloud but still took our breath away.
We drove through forest that had been burned during the Forest Fires of 2015 and despite the blackened trees and stumps, the area was so lush and green and full of new growth and vegetation.
We saw so many trees and stumps that had new plants or trees growing out of them, there were trees with a blackened stump and scorched branches that had new growth coming off the ends! If that is not the strongest symbol of resiliency, I don’t know what is.
There were several other Rec Sites we passed along the way, including Grace Lake, Weaver Lake and Wood Lake just to name a few before we arrived at 20 Mile Bay.
We made it to 20 Mile Bay and decided to check out the Day Use/Overflow Camping Area first.
It is a pretty basic Day Use area with an outhouse and several picnic tables with fire pits. The beach has great views but lots of logs and driftwood piled up along the shore made it hard to walk very far.
Then we continued down the road a bit to see what else was down there and we found…. Earl the llama.
We are unsure if he actually has a name, but Earl seemed fitting. After our stare down, he deemed us worthy of driving and began walking away from us, but remained in the middle of the road, forcing us to drive slowly behind him.
At first we were just curious-where was he taking us? But then we grew concerned… did he have a home or an owner? Had he wandered away from home some time ago? Was he cared for?
After some time, Earl stopped to the side and I slowly approached him before he moved to the middle again. He walked past my open window, then once he was behind my truck I started driving away slowly and he followed!!! If we went too fast he started running and I felt bad… so we drove 6km/hr for awhile, until he found some food to forage and lost interest in us, or so we thought…
We drove around the next corner and came to a gate for a logging company. We turned around to see if Earl was still on the road and sure enough, there he was waiting patiently for us. He walked us back to a certain point, then pulled off to munch some greenery again.
I have since learned that Earl lives at the logging camp and has an owner. We thought he had an owner once we got a closer look, as his teeth and feet are in good condition, only his matted fur made him appear possibly wild. I’m guessing the fur helps him a lot with predators and he looked like he was loving life munching on grass and leaves! Apparently he is also known as Frank…
In any case, if you’re driving past Twenty Mile bay towards the logging camp, be sure to keep an eye out for Earl the llama. Don’t bother him and he won’t bother you! He appears to be living the dream foraging in the lush forest and seemed to know where to stop on the road away from the logging camp. He’s been known to kick the heck out of some stuff, so keep your distance!
We continued on to the Twenty Mile Bay Main Campground and the campsites look great! These views cannot be beat and is definitely worth the bumpy ride up.
We were going to stop for lunch here, but decided to continue exploring and ate a few snacks on the drive instead. The views just kept getting better so we kept going.
We continued on, referring to our map book and referencing different creeks as we passed them.
The road is frequently used by industrial vehicles. I wish I had gotten video of the fully loaded low bed passing us! Always Yield to them and give them as much room as you can.
Remember, you’re on that road because you want to be, they are there to do a job.
We drove to around the 60km mark and my passenger got nervous, plus it was getting late so we turned around. Maybe once Sloquet Hot Springs is open again we will make the drive all the way through!
The lake views on our way back were even better because now the cloud cover had lifted and we had beautiful blue sky to drive home in.
We stopped for a few more stretch breaks, took photos that did the scenery no justice, and planned to return soon.
In preparation for this solo trip, I packed a few extra things knowing that we would be out of cell service and not in a group. These included a tire patch and plug kit, a portable air compressor, as well as a hatchet and a small saw. A blanket, first aid kit, multi tool, extra snacks and drinks are always packed for my backroad adventures. Also because we had no cell service I made sure to text my husband when we hit the road so he would have a timeline from when we left.
Disclaimer: Road Trip Mama is for information purposes only and is not liable for any damages or injuries incurred if you attempt one of the trips posted. Always do your research, go prepared, tell someone your timeline and trip plan, and have a means of communication in case you run into trouble.