12 June 2008

Mile 1,834/ Km 2,952 (British Columbia)

Grizzly, Stone Sheep, and moose damage on Aspen Trees

This is the first time I've been able to type outside of my tent, where neither the weather nor the mosquitoes chased me away to type from my sleeping bag. Today was a good day. I was up early in the morning and once again sampled the delights of the hot springs where I was camped and swam away the morning chill just before setting off on the road again. Since the nights are still relatively chilly up north, despite the 24 hour daylight, the inside of my rain fly is damp with condensation and needed to dry out later along the road when I hit a sunny spot. This is part of my daily road routine - sometimes it's wet on the outside from rain, sometimes on the inside from clear, cold nights.

The Boardwalk is a picture of the famous Alcan hotsprings

The road was very interesting today, windy through mountains and valleys and over braided rivers and mountain streams. I saw lots of wildlife - bison dotted the road way early on - mostly sitting in the verge like great moss boulders chewing their cud. Stone sheep & their young crowded the mountain passes and at one point I had to pull over abruptly in order to avoid being creamed from behind by a semi when the vehicle in front of me suddenly stopped to gawk. I saw mule deer along the way sides - they seem larger here which is only to be expected as it is lusher. I saw some caribou too - they were lighter in color, almost tawny, in comparison to the bull on who stopped me several days earlier on the road, his coat dark and shiny. A few moose were to be seen, young bulls with their newly emerging velvety antler which look almost comical at this stage being smaller then their ears, and a female kneeling to drink from a puddle. There were the few requisite black & grizzly bears, mostly munching at the new vegetation on the verge a few sniffing marking stakes left by road crews.

A black bear & more stone sheep - geologists check out that mountain!

The Disreputable Dog and I walked longer and more frequently today after my aching hips and sciatic nerve from yesterday and we wandered through to a gorgeous mountain lake and up a hill side where the water flowed down huge slabs of rock like poured concrete and then through the woods. Interestingly, although we hiked more frequently and longer, and I started later, I made better time on my mileage then yesterday and stopped earlier too. From a bustling town I called my five year old niece to wish her a happy birthday and could hear her shouting over her birthday party to her mom "she's driving from Alaska to Colorado!". I'm doubt she understands what that means but she seemed excited nonetheless. Having cell phone coverage at that moment, I then called my mother who had eye surgery yesterday for cataracts and was relieved to hear she is doing well - the surgery had made her very nervous. Apparently the Disreputable Cat is disconsolate without us.

Moose & black bear & you guess who!

This evening Disreputable Dog and I have had a lovely camp-made super and took a walk down to a lake near our campsite where I caught a glimpse of deer mamma and her young to which, luckily, my dog was oblivious being focused on a thrown tennis ball. The wind is keeping the mosquitoes off but my battery is running low so I must go.

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