Monday, June 21, 2010

June 19 to June 21, 2010 - Driving North!!

If you haven't looked at the actual blog in some time (i.e. you receive this via email), you might want to take a look at it as I have updated our location on the map on the blog    As you can see, we have made significant progress North, but we still have quite a ways to go.  We've been working with Pinkie to see if she can share some of the driving responsibility and so far she hasn't said a word of rejection (see below).

I thought I’d continue the blog where I left off on Saturday at the coffee shop in Jasper.

Saturday – June 19, 2010 – Jasper National Park (Canada) - Continued
Once Matt finished working and we left the coffee shop, we drove over to Malinge Canyon where we did a quick hike from the 5th bridge across the narrow limestone canyon up to the 1st bridge across it.  It was beautiful to see all the narrow waterfalls and slots that the river had carved.  We next decided to do a drive out to Malinge Lake again to look for wildlife.  We were definitely rewarded with wildlife this evening.  We saw 3 black bears, 2 hoary marmots, an osprey and 2 harlequin ducks along with countless elk and deer (sorry, but we really don’t count them as wildlife anymore, how silly is that!!).  We had a very European timed dinner (i.e. very late in the evening) at Jasper Pizza (great pizza) and then home to the RV to finish up our packing for the trip on Sunday.
Malinge Canyon (this is actually a very wide spot in the canyon).

Isn't he adorable????

Our first wildlife sighting of the night - 2 hoary marmots near Medicine Lake
Black bear about 20 feet off the road.

Same black bear as above
Osprey in the center of the photo - He was fishing - We would watch him dive into Maligne Lake twice to catch a fish.
 Sunday – June 20, 2010 – Drive from Jasper Nat’l Park  to Dawson Creek, BC (Canada)
We set out about 8am to make the 6+ hour drive from Jasper to the town of Dawson Creek, BC, which is the official start of the Alaska Highway (YEAH!!!).  The Alaska Highway is 1422 miles long and despite its name, 2/3 of it is actually in Canada (British Columbia & the Yukon).  The roads were in decent shape and generally got much better once we had passed Grand Cache.  We did see quite a bit of wildlife along the road today, a black wolf, black bear, and of course more deer and elk.  We almost had an elk as a hood ornament as she decided to leave the side of the road and walk out to stand right in the middle of our lane.  Slowing down that much weight takes a bit of time and thankfully she decided the big red and white thing coming at her was probably not the best so she scampered off the road.  The weather was actually hot (high 70’s) for us when we arrived in Dawson Creek (shows how chilly it has been if 79 actually feels hot).  We took the evening to relax after the drive.
Monday – June 21, 2010 – Dawson Creek, British Columbia (Canada)
We woke to nice weather again with the temperature reaching into the 70’s again (shorts weather, yeah!!).  Matt worked for the bulk of the day while I worked on grocery lists and making restocking runs since this is the largest town that we will see until we hit Fairbanks, Alaska in mid July.  We also managed to get the truck oil changed (just barely).  We took it to the Wal-Mart in town (the smallest I have ever been in) and first of all they were not sure they had enough oil to do the oil change.  Then Matt was paged over the intercom and he had to go to Canadian Tire to purchase the oil filter because Wal-Mart was out of them.  In all fairness to them, this town of about 12,000 inhabitants gets invaded by an estimated 1,000 vehicles DAILY traveling through to Alaska.  I managed to find two great scrapbooking stores in town so I spent quite a while browsing (and buying).  It started to rain in the early evening so we hung out at the RV with plans to explore the town tomorrow.

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