Prince George, BC
Prince George is booming and the signs of prosperity are evident in the attractive downtown core, with its vari-coloured light standards and big flower balls. In the past, the economic mainstay was the forest industry but a Mountain pine beetle epidemic and sawmill closures have somewhat curtailed that part of the economy. The logging trucks have certainly not altogether disappeared, however. These days, mining exploration and development are gaining in importance and the value of Prince George as a transportation hub is also a factor in current growth.
The town mascot is called Mr. PG is a Pinocchio-like figure and first appeared in 1960 in the form of a log statue at the junction of Highways 97 and 16, signalling the importance of the forest industry. In keeping with the rejuvenated look of the city, this figure has been spruced up as well. The modern figure is made of fibreglass and sheet metal which is painted to resemble wood, sports a hard hat and contains a time capsule.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games are to be held here. Such an event can change the fortunes of a city and the provincial government is investing over a quarter of a million dollars to make the impact of the games a lasting one. More people will be in the area during the preparation phase and the excitement will be building in the spring and summer of 2015.
Prince George has a good share of nice restaurants. Two of these are Nancy O's which is a lunch and supper bistro kind of place offering scrumptious meal choices and live entertainment, as well as a full complement of local beers, many of them from the Pacific Western Brewing Company. Margo's offers breakfasts and lunches (suppers?) in a small lunch counter kind of style. The fresh baking is really good!
Quite a lot of camping is ranged along Highway 97 north and south. These campgrounds are still in Prince George though because it is such an elongated city. There is a good mix of serviced, partially serviced and unserviced sites for the varied needs of campers. And it must be said that the water in the Prince George region is pure, delicious and refreshing.
When driving in Prince George, keep in mind that, with three different street-avenue layouts depending on where you are, you might want to consult a compass or GPS to help you navigate. The major highways which are 16 and 97 can be very helpful in finding your way around.