A Sunday drive to Heffley eco-depot

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By MEL ROTHENBURGER

There’s nothing like a Sunday drive in the country to remind you of what a beautiful area we live in.

Syd and I made a trip to the Heffley Creek Eco-Depot Sunday that was, at times, a comedy of errors on our part, but overall a wonderful outing.

In the years we’ve lived in Area P, we’ve never made use of the Heffley Creek landfill, which was transformed into a eco-depot a year ago, and we decided to haul a pickup load of surplus items from our old log barn there for disposal.

After loading up, we headed for the McLure ferry, and encountered our first miscue — we arrived just as the operator was taking his one hour and 15 minute lunch break. Never mind, we decided to wait, and passed a pleasant time by the side of the North Thompson, the ever-present turbidity giving it a pretty jade-green hue.

The ferry ride, two vehicles and just a few minutes long, is always pleasant with the coolness of the water contrasting a sunny day. Unlike in spring, the river is low and lazy this time of year.

On the other side, we stopped at the McLure fruit stand and then carried on to the Heffley Creek store where we found the makings for a by-now overdue lunch-time snack.

At the transfer station, I managed to jump the gun on the transfer scales, pulling on before the attendant had a chance to push the button for the green light. I apologized profusely, as driving onto the scale too soon can mess things up if the vehicle ahead of you isn’t off yet.

Heffley Creek Eco-Depot.

Heffley Creek Eco-Depot.

The friendly attendant, however, said not to worry as she would figure it out — it turns out I hadn’t moved ahead fast enough to confuse the weigh-ins.

After unloading, we headed over to a separate area to dispose of an old camping lantern with the dregs of some leftover fuel. There, we were told by a friendly chap who looks after that part of the depot that we’d passed through a gateway we shouldn’t have.

But he took our old lamp and, after more apologies, we were directed back around the weigh scales to settle up with the attendant. Which is where we were reminded we couldn’t use either cash or our punch card for payment, so out came the plastic.

The switch from cash to credit was made for security purposes when the eco-depot opened at the landfill site, and our punch card couldn’t be used because it’s for a different transfer station. After explanations from the attendant, and mutual laughs about our inexperience at the depot, we were on our way.

Now we were in for a real treat. Instead of heading back down to Heffley, we took the Knouff Lake Road through ranching and forest country, then turned on to the twisting Vinsula-Knouff Lake Road that makes its way down toward the valley.

After several stops to enjoy the stupendous views of the North Thompson, we returned to the Yellowhead, drove north to McLure and took the ferry back across the river. There we headed north for a few kilometres on the familiar back road toward Barriere before turning around and steering for home along the river and past Whispering Pines.

Four hours after leaving on our trip to the eco depot, we were back home, thankful for the beauty of the scenery within such a short range from where we live.

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