Saturday, September 10, 2005

Feast Your Eyes

We have covered over four THOUSAND miles to get to Anchorage, Alaska! Ed is a true Road Warrior. The following are some pictures from along the way. I don't expect them to take very long to load, but this post is long, so go get a cup of coffee. I'll wait. If you don't read the whole thing, I will be very upset. And yes, I will know. (Mom!) Really though, it's quick reading...mostly pictures.

If you desire to check your atlas, you can follow our path. We started in Marietta, Oklahoma (I'll leave out the states we covered in the US) and entered the Province of Alberta, Canada at the Port of Sweetwater, Montana - just north of Great Falls.

Once in Alberta, we went through Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. Leaving Alberta and crossing into the Province of British Columbia at Dawson Creek, we started our journey on the world famous Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway covers some of the most remote areas we have ever seen (well, besides West Texas and New Mexico, which isn't NEARLY as pretty).

Traveling through British Columbia in the Northern Rockies, we passed through Pink Mountain, and then stopped in Muncho Lake, where we had dinner at the Northern Rockies Lodge. We were just in awe of the beauty of the nature surrounding us. Muncho Lake has a distinctly blue color due to the copper oxide that leaches into the lake from the bedrock. The color was very noticeable. I tried to get a picture, but the blue green color just didn't come out well.

The road from Muncho Lake to the Yukon was just alive with wildlife. We saw a Red Fox, Ed saw a Black Bear cub and then we saw three camera shy Caribou. Although I couldn't get a picture of the Caribou (I just wasn't fast enough with the shutter finger), I did get a picture of this female moose. She stood and looked at us for a while before trotting off.
Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam. Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word. And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Did you say Buffalo? I thought so. You will notice in the picture below, the buffalo just grazing on the side of the road. That's right. ON the side of the road, people. We stopped the truck right next to the herd. Whistled. Blew the horn. Nothing. Not one of them lifted a HEAD. They just kept chewing on grass and ignoring us. How ruuuude.

This guy is a little mangy....but he looked okay mixed in with the herd.
Back on the road… Once through British Columbia, which was INCREDIBLY gorgeous with all it's lush landscape and wildlife, we entered the Yukon Territory in Watson Lake. Watson Lake is famous for it's Signpost Forest. The true story on the sign is as follows: The Yukon was a distant and, sometimes, lonely place for the thousands of American soldiers who were sent North to build the war-time road to Alaska. While convalescing after a vehicle accident in 1942, Carl Lindley – a 21 year-old soldier with Company D. 341st Engineers – wistfully erected a sign pointing to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. The single sign has grown into a “forest” of more than 48,000 signs from cities and towns around the world and is still growing. Visitors add over 2,000 signs each year.

Apparently, Carl Lindley visited the site 50 years later with his wife, in 1992, to see the thousands of signs that had been added after his. In fact, Ed and I have constructed a sign of our own and will be posting it on our way back through. A little Yukon whimsy...
More nature...
The view I have coming and going...
More gorgeous sites...

Many of the trees were vibrant yellows and golds. There were some orange and red, but it is late in the season up here and we missed most of that color. But the contrast of the yellows against the white bark of it's tree, the deep green of the fir trees, the deep blue of the sky and the crisp white of the snow capped mountains was just breathtaking. I was truly blown away by the vast beauty of this area.

The really amazing thing to me is that only about 33 million people live in all of Canada. We have about 296 million people - living in an area just slightly smaller. In areas like the Yukon, the majority of the population in that Province, live in Whitehorse. Where, by the way, I found a Starbucks!! Sure, you have to drive past a few moose to get a latte, but sometimes, it's just worth it.

We are looking forward to the drive back through this beautiful area. I was almost sold on the Yukon once I found the internet in Destruction Bay. Although, any kind of civilization is more than 300 miles away; that's a long way to go for a Venti Carmel Latte.


Darcy said...

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I love the shots of poplar trees with the golden leaves and white bark. You sound like you're having such a good time.

Is there northern light in alaska? I guess there isn't, or else you would've posted a picture of it. One of my goals in life is to se northern lights in person :)

Anocsanamun said...

I know you have a boyfriend, but clinically speaking what did the guys look like? I hear they are like 10 to 1 over there. I was thinking of trying my luck at that Romantic las vegas - think I'd hit jackpot???