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Sunday 29 August 2010

Dreaming of Home

We have driven over 20,000 km by now. We are weary and dreaming of home. The places we have passed through are a blur. The bad memories are fading. The good memories are growing stronger - like the wolf at the side of the Dempster avoiding my gaze and my camera. In Dawson I didn’t bother to wash the mud off the van even though I passed right by the most used car wash in the country. No, I just let the rain slowly reveal the license plate. We are so privileged to live in Canada.Quetico Provincial Park
Quetico Provincial Park - Click for larger

I need to do more to protect it. We undervalue and overuse everything.Osprey
Osprey - Click for larger

It’s been a wonderful trip. Sometimes I wake up and think I’m already home. My bed, my shower and all the comforts waiting there. But still, it’s out here where I really feel alive. Sand River Beach
Sand River Beach - Click for larger

By the time you read this, we will have had some down time at a northern beach and made the long drive home. The dream of the next trip has begun.

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Thursday 12 August 2010

Lessons of the Road

Muncho Lake Provincial Park
Muncho Lake Provincial Park - Click for larger

We can communicate without words. A nod, a look is all we need to know what the other is saying. We fall into our rolls on the road like falling into bed. I know some of you wonder why we do this. The long hours, the bugs, the outhouse that some shit covered furry animal has crawled out of and rolled on the toilet seat not to mention the endless long days of driving. Along the way we share our thoughts and fears, our insight and our creativity. We can be short and grumpy and we can disagree. We can also giggle and laugh uncontrollably when one of us says or does something silly. We are constantly together sharing all of it. Somehow I feel like I’m saving up stuff. Storing it like a squirrel stashes acorns for the long winter. The recipe for “Wild Tea”. The grumpy arrogant bastard in the Fort Nelson Motel. The self-important all knowing guy from Ontario speaking rudely to the park staff in Tombstone Territorial Park. The wonderful family we met from Prince George. The gentle way a Grizzly Bear pulls soap berries off a bush. The mad panting of a Raven in the hot sun. The couple from California swatting bugs like they can’t stand it anymore and Lori and I turning to look at each other with a smile and saying, “Bugs? What bugs?”
All of this will be stored and used somehow. It’s all knowledge and learning. This is what Lori and I share.Memorial Stone
Memorial Stone - Click for larger

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Monday 9 August 2010

Beaten but not Defeated

The drive to Haines Alaska is one of the most spectacular I have driven. What a wonderful landscape.Haines Highway View
Haines Highway View - Click for larger

We camped for a couple of days near the town. Ran into a co-worker, Luis from Seneca. We also walked with a Grizzly Bear. There are lots of bears and Bald Eagles there.Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear - Click for larger

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle - Click for larger

After Haines, we drove to Kluane Lake and spent a couple of nights there. At the shores of this beautiful lake we celebrated our 28th anniversary. Time flies when you are having fun!Kluane National Park
Kluane National Park - Click for larger

The roads north through Alaska to Dawson have been closed off and on this summer. We were advised to go back through Whitehorse to get to Dawson. We spent the night in Whitehorse, resupplied and headed north. We didn’t make it far. Lake Laberge seemed like a great place to spend a couple of warm days. We got a site right on the lake and lazed in the sun, swam and read our books. Nice to get some down time.Lake Laberge
Lake Laberge - Click for larger

We drove on to Dawson. This is still very much like a frontier town with saloons and dirt roads.Dawson
Dawson - Click for larger

It’s a small town but large enough for us to find everything we needed for the trip up the Dempster.

The morning we left for Tombstone Territorial Park, I was kind of nervous and excited. I have always wanted to drive this road. It sounded hard but wonderful. The Dempster is gravel for most of its 750 km stretch. It starts out fine and there is no problem holding 70 – 80 Kph. The speed limit is 90, a little too fast for me. Along the way, I stopped to take a road shot and spotted an American Dipper.American Dipper
American Dipper - Click for larger

Tombstone is out of this world beautiful. We are already planning our next trip there. We waited for good light for a couple of days. It rained and rained. The third morning we headed north. The roads were bad. We made Eagle Plains Plateau. The van was sliding all over the road heading up the mountain pass. Once we made it to the top and started down the other side I thought, "ok we can still do this". But then a truck stopped and said we should turn back. The road was almost impassable. We were near the point of no return in terms of gas. Eagle Plains with gas and a restaurant was 100 km away. Gas to the south - over 300 km. We decided to play it safe and turned around. We drove back to Tombstone and got a campsite. As we set up camp, I noticed that one of our rear tires was going flat. We had dinner and then I changed the tire.Tire Troubles
Tire Troubles - Click for larger

The gas gauge was now near empty and we still had 70 km to go. The drive the next morning was a bit nerve wracking but we made it fine with about 3 liters of fuel to spare!Tombstone Viewpoint
Tombstone Viewpoint - Click for larger

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Sunday 1 August 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

It’s a beautiful drive through northern BC. We encountered rain and stormy skies but then the next morning we finely got some light at Stone Mountain Provincial Park. Lori and I met a family from Prince George. It’s great to visit many wonderful places but it’s the people we meet that really make these away places so special. I pulled into a campground at the Liard River Hot Springs and ran into Gene and Pam again with their 2 daughters. The 4 of us chatted more and exchanged contact info. Gene said he wanted us to have his number in case we needed anything on our travels. Nice!Summit Lake Campground
Summit Lake Campground - Click for larger

Summit Lake
Summit Lake - Click for larger

Female Stone Sheep
Female Stone Sheep - Click for larger

Heading north we pulled into a BC Forestry Recreational Site and camped at Morley Lake just on the BC/Yukon border. A beautiful lake and we had it all to our selves!Morley Lake Dawn
Morley Lake Dawn - Click for larger

After soaking in the hot springs and having a day at the side of a lake, I feel so much better. We have noticed when travelling that we hit a wall at three weeks. Now we are definitely over the hump and seem to be back on track. We will head to Whitehorse and then on towards Kluane and Haines Alaska.

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