British Columbia: Last Thoughts

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Of all the regions we have visited from Texas to Alaska on this route, British Columbia has been my favorite, a land where endless forests of spruce, poplar and birch, willow and alder stretch on forever. We saw the bald eagle, marten, moose, black bear, grizzly and bison, all between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake.

I wish I could have captured its fragrance. Already it is escaping my memory, like sweet dreams that I want to remember but can’t. You cannot truly experience the beauty of this place until you have breathed deeply.

Every valley seemed to reveal a new river or lake of some indescribable hue. I did not know so many shades of blue existed. Pristine and pure.

I must return to this place again someday.

 

British Columbia: The Engineers

“may his tribe increase”
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“A number of beaver establishing a colony made one of the most interesting exhibitions of constructive work that I have ever watched. The work went on for several weeks, and I spent hours and days in observing operations. My hiding-place on a granite crag allowed me a good view of the work, –the cutting and transportation of the little logs, the dam-building, and the house-raising…” – Enos Mills, 1909  the rest of the story

Enos Mills was a naturalist and homesteader at the turn of the late 19th century. He dedicated his short life of 53 years to wilderness preservation and is remembered as The Father of Rocky Mountain National Park.

British Columbia: Muncho Lake

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When you drive the Alaska Highway through northern British Columbia, there are no communities on the other side of the hill. Maybe 6,000 people reside along the 600 mile ribbon of asphalt between Dawson Creek and Watson Lake on the other side of the Province. All but a handful of those live in Fort Nelson.

Look to your left. Look to your right. The only thing on the other side of those hills is nothingness, virgin forests as wild and uninhabited as they were 200 years ago.

That is part of the beauty of a place like Muncho Lake, for me.

British Columbia: The Old Alaska Highway

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The Alaska Highway has been improved and portions have been rerouted since its completion in 1942. Originally built after Pearl Harbor so the military could supply and defend Alaska, the old winding gravel trail has now become a very nicely paved highway with shoulders, pullouts and verges.

There are still sections of the original trail that you can access, such as this one. It, too, has been paved, but it was still fun to explore. The old bridge is original but the wooden decking has been replaced recently and is quite stable.