(14) Northern BC bound
Sunday August 08 2004
I have had a good rest and look around Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, I am getting itchy feet to find out what lies ahead up north in British Columbia, the Yukon, Alaska and possibly the North West Territories.
I drive north on hwy. #99 and connect to #97, which I follow all the way to the B C/Yukon border. Along the way I pass through 100 Mile House, Williams Lake (home of great canadian Rick Hansen), Quesnel and Prince George.
I camp at provincial parks along the way, very beautiful parks, nice camping sites and meet a lot of nice people, tourists and locals.
The Alcan Highway (Alaskan-Canadian Highway) starts in Dawson Creek, BC and goes to Watson Lake on the BC/Yukon border where it changes to Hwy #1 through the Yukon and then to Hwy # 2 in Alaska, where it ends up in Fairbanks, Alaska. The total distance of the Alaska Highway is 2,435 kms. (1,522 miles)
I pass through towns called Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and camp for the night at Charlie Lake, 11 kms north ofFort St. John.
I say hello to the people camping beside me in a RV, they are from New Zealand.
They invite me to join them, there names are Arthur & Marta, Ernie & Heidi.
They are so nice, just as I remember the Kiwi's when I visited New Zealand years ago.
We chat the night away, I politely refuse a bowl of fresh fruit cocktail but they won't hear any of that...it is delicious!
I say goodnight and walk to my campsite.
As I get to my tent in the pitch black darkness I hear a large animal rustling around directly behind my campsite.
It is big and I surmise by the sound of the noise it has to be a bear or a moose.
I was leaning towards it being a moose.
I thought to myself that I didn't want it hanging around looking for food or keeping me awake.
If it was a bear I would not sleep so sound, always thinking is he still around here.
So I quietly found a good size rock and threw it as hard as I could in the dircetion of the noise.
WOW! It had to be a moose or maybe even a steamroller as the crashing of the trees and branches as it plowed back through the bush was deafening.
I guess I shouldn't laugh but it was real funny to me.
Makes up for some of the times I had the shit scared out of me late at night after something gave me a fright.
Monday August 09 2004
The scenery is beautiful rivers, mountains, lakes and prime pasture land.
I was behind a big logging truck and thought I would pass him as you tend to eat a lot of dust, wood chips & bits behind them big rigs.
The roads were not so straight so I stayed behind for awhile.
Suddenly, I spot a huge moose in front of the logging truck, he stands there and seemingly challenges the trucker to a duel...which I'm sure the moose would lose.
The trucker hasn't much time, he locks up the brakes, there is smoke & screeching rubber just in front of me, I lay back and put my odds on the truck winning this battle.
I am thinking to myself all the time that I better get the camera ready to get a few shots of the front of this logging truck after he hits the moose, if there is anything left to take a photo of.
At the last split second this moose heads to the ditch, barely missing his fate, fresh moose burgers!
The trucker barrels on, I get to eat the smell of burnt rubber and no moose burger photos.
As I do pass him I give the trucker the thumbs up, a job well done to keep this big rig on the road and giving Mr. Moose another day to play chicken on the Alaskan highway.
It was towards the end of the day when I am passed by police cars and think it is me they are after.
They pass at light speed like I am standing still.
Next come ambulances and then I hear on my FM radio that there has been an accident and that traffic has stopped.
Eventually I come to the scene, just in front of a roadside diner I can see one vehicle that is to the side with its front end banged up.
As the policewoman waves me to proceed I can see 2 policeman pull and drag a mangled piece of metal away from the frontside of this vehicle.
I'm not so sure what it is or what it used to be, I guess a quad bike or motorcycle.
It always makes me think and be more aware of my surroundings, if that is possible.
Time to setup camp after another long day, 617 kms today.
Posted by Jeff Nicholls at August 09, 2004 11:06 PM GMT