Two days of travel has taken us from Banff to the Walmart just shy of Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway…560 miles of driving. Hinton, AB, was pretty much in the middle of the drive, so that is why we stayed there last night…and I was so tired from driving through the rain, the snow, the mountains…don’t think I could have driven much further. Above is one of the highlights of the drive in Banff headed for Jasper, Bridal Veil Falls. To the right is a picture of the upper area of the falls…hidden in the clouds, which is the story of the day, along with the snow.
A mile before Bridal Veil was this series of waterfalls…waterfalls that seem to have no name because they only appear for a short time.
It wasn’t much further away that we hit the snow in force. Lucky for us, nothing was sticking on the ground…but it still makes for tougher driving conditions, and higher tension on Marcia’s nerves.
Here you can see what we were dealing with all day long…
Here is our last bear sighting, just as we entering the Jasper (town) area. And if you thought that sighting was bad…
Here are four of the six Bighorn Sheep we saw as we entered the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre as we entered Jasper National Park. Amazingly, people were still taking the Icefield Tour…bet those pictures all turned out well.
It was such a hard days driving, Skruffy volunteered to take over.
Asked Marcia what she thought of it, and she said, “Couldn’t be any worse than what you have been doing.” Even Skruffy got a kick out of that one.
Asked Bubba, and he said he could sleep through anything. Well, I decided to keep driving myself...but thanks for asking Skruffy.
Today was a totally different day…the storm clouds still lingered up in the high mountains of upper Jasper National Park, but we had blue skies. Went into Hinton to get gas, and sure enough, little to no snow on the ground in Hinton. Back tracked, which is when we got this picture, to Highway 40, and headed for Dawson Creek.
They advertise this route as the “Scenic Way to Alaska”, which is a bit of hype considering most people just drove from Banff to Jasper…but it did have its scenic areas.
A better advertisement might be, “The road which will prepare you for all the rough patches along the Alaska Highway.” It sure had its moments today…had to give it a break in Grande Prairie, AB because it was giving Marcia such a headache with all the jolts. At one point they were working on this bridge, and had created a temporary dirt road which lead down 4 feet and back up 4 feet right next to where the bridge was be built. With all this rain and snow the past few days, it gives on a moment of “should I”, followed by, “what are my choices”. We made it through just fine, hope the four RVs going the other way (we just beat them, and it is only one vehicle at a time) made it ok.
Rivers seemed to be the theme of today. Lots of trees, lots of hills, and lots of river sightings.
For about 50 miles before Grande Prairie, and for a good 30 miles, there were lots and lots of Pine Trees, and areas where they had harvested them. We also saw many what seemed to us as Natural Gas, but possibly oil, holding tanks, and lots of trucks which seemed to be hauling it out of the area. Saw a few logging trucks, and just before the city saw a huge lumber yard. With all these heavy trucks along the highway, the roadway was definitely messed up from all of this…and little signs that they (Government) was doing much about repairing it.
Personally I found much of the drive between Hinton and Grande Prairie to be a familiar one…lots of hills similar to the hills along the Sierra Nevada. Yet these hills have lots of trees, which was refreshing. However, I love driving Highway 49 in California along the foothills…so rich in California mining history, and well, that area was not far from my native home.
It was refreshing to see a bit of farming of things besides trees. No problem on my end with trees as a crop, but there is something about man working the ground, planting, harvesting all within the same year…or in some cases, many crops per year. We had not seen much of this since we left Idaho.
So we are in Dawson Creek. Tomorrow we will get a RV park for a day or two, and then we will start out on the Alaska Highway.