We left Steelhead Provincial Park at the North end of Kamloops Lake (nice campground and we had a terrific lake view but the train goes by – literally right through the campground – every other hour, all through the night. As they say though, after the first 3, you don’t hear them anymore and they’re actually right.) We drove through Cache Creek (nothing to see) and Clinton. Note: we almost stayed at the Gold Trail RV Park in Clinton just because they had an adjacent restaurant with an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet – see below. According to the owner / head chef, it’s the best food in BC ‘for the money.’ But after a bit of discussion, we carried on to 100 Mile House and decided to spend the day touring around.
100 Mile House is right on the Cariboo Gold Rush trail and was first established at the 100 mile mark from Lillooet as a resupply stop for gold seekers travelling to Barkerville back in 1864. It’s a decent sized town with around 1,800 locals and all the basic amenities. For us, that means a good grocery store (check), a liquor store (check), a decent bakery (check) and in the bonus category, a craft brewery (check!). So we got some groceries, re-stocked our liquor supply, wandered through the ‘downtown’ shops, then visited the art gallery which features works by the Cariboo Artists Guild. Interesting, two of the native masks on display were uncanny likenesses of our good friends Michele and John.
Then, on a local recommendation, we stayed at the municipal campground right in town. It turned out to be great, with an adjacent trail to a waterfall (site of the old Stephenson Sawmill) and on to Centennial Park. The Bear was thrilled with the hiking trails and ball-throwing field. A little further into town, we came across the world’s largest pair of nordic skis.
After returning to the campsite, Papa Bear cycled back into town to check out the bakery (with the subtle name ‘BJ’s Donuts’) as well as to try out the brewery. The bakery was open, but unbelievably, their shelves were completely bare. Not a single donut to be had. The conversation went like this. PB: ‘Hi there, where’s all the donuts?’ Lady: ‘We’re all sold out.’ PB: ‘What, nothing left AT ALL?’ Lady: ‘Totally gone.’ PB: ‘Are you saying every single donut is gone and there’s none in the back?’ Lady: ‘You’re not from around here are you?’ So after she guaranteed they would be fully replenished at 8am the following day it was clear the decision to stay in town was a wise one.
Then off to the brewery. Upon approach, it was weird that both the parking lot and the large tasting room area were empty. But the neon open sign was lit so Papa Bear was desperately hoping this wasn’t going to be another bakery disaster. Upon entry, the laid back and extremely slow-moving owner explained that the The Broke N Rode Brewing Company has been open since April. It’s the only craft brewery in town and the next closest one is in Barkerville. When asked, ‘How’s business?’ the owner explained that 100 Mile is a ‘Bud town’ so sales had been slow. However, after sampling a ‘flight’ of his product, it may also be that Broke’N Rode serves less than stellar beer. The IPA was palatable but the honey ale was weak and the smokey ale tasted like he had just dipped a burnt log in the honey ale vat. The owner then proudly proclaimed that he’s a self-taught brewmaster and as long as he and his wife enjoy the product, that’s all that matters. Good luck B N R!
The following day, we returned to BJ’s Donuts. As promised, the shelves were (nearly) full so we overindulged. We gormandized the enormous cinnamon bun so fast that we forgot to take a photo. The donuts featured a few unusual flavours but they were all delicious.
So if passing through 100 Mile House, get a box of donuts (go early) and go for a walk down to the waterfall and check out the big skis. You can probably skip the local beer.