British Columbia

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Hello and good luck to my friend Yuki Uchiyama

Starting on August 25, 2002, 4:36:48 PM

Finally getting out of Alberta and pretty much away from any internet connections I arrive into British Columbia. Of course there are places to connect to the internet here but there wasn't too many places for me to get on line so I just moved on but took many pictures along the way. 

First of all we see here a group of reindeer. Now these were somewhat domesticated. They were all behind a VERY tall fence. Of course we all know that reindeer can fly so I didn't see the purpose behind the fence anyway.
Actually, I must correct myself, I believe that these were elk. But it sounded better if they were reindeer.

Then a little further I reach the small town of Dawson Creek. Dawson Creek is actually the beginning point of the "World Famous ALASKA HIGHWAY". Now I'm not so sure why its called "World Famous" because that thing was just about the death of me. The worst part is that I still have to go back through there.

Right in the center of downtown Dawson Creek stands this marker displaying the different locations and distances and stands as Mile Marker "0" of the Alaska Highway.

A little bored, the photographer grabs a quick shot of my shadow as I ride along. You can also make out Wilson's shadow on the front of the bike.

British Columbia was fascinating with all the mountains and vast areas and panoramic views. Although so very beautiful I could feel the cold creeping as I continued further north.

The sunsets were getting longer and longer the further I go and sometimes it seemed that the road did as well. Long stretches of highway made me wonder how so many people travel this distance over and over again. Thoughts went through my head as I wondered about all the workers that paved this highway and all the time spent on it. 

So much of the highway was built on the soft land that it takes so much to maintain it and the state of it is always in repair.

After the sun finally set it was pretty strange as the sunset's glow on the horizon seemed to creep further north until it finally faded away. Then I saw it, the northern lights. Just as the glow from the sunset had faded to the far northwest, sometime around 11:30, and just as the moon was rising up in the east, I began to notice a faint green glow up in the sky to the northeast. it would grow and then fade away. At first I thought it must have been some lights from a distant facility, but then I was sure of what it was when the light finally changed before my eyes.

My images below are quite vague but its all I could capture and it never got much more brilliant so that I could capture a good clean shot.

I had stopped to get a quick bite to eat at an all night diner/gas station and resumed my travel. I realized that I am nocturnal because I don't get near as tired driving at night as I do in the day time. I find myself yawning more and more in the daytime than the night.

On into the morning I capture these shots of the sunrise through the trees and the mountains.

I do see so many things that I wished that I could have got a picture of. So many animals make their way out and across the road in the evenings and mornings and before I have time to pull over or take their picture they vanish into the wilderness.

I saw several beavers but haven't got a shot of them yet. I did, however catch this picture of some of their handiwork. Quite amazing builders these things are as they can dam up a river or stream in this manner.

Here up the mountains to Summit lake it was getting quite cold. I pulled over to stretch and warm up a bit and get a few pictures.

 

Just down the road I see the caribou. Quit a few of them. Many females and many young were just standing around on the road. Most people would stop to watch them and take pictures but eventually got tired of waiting and started honking for them to get out of the way. They would eventually move and we could pass.  

 

This one must have done something wrong because they had a tag on him so they could keep track of him..

I got this shot of a few young bucks as they ran along side of the motorcycle in into the woods.

Some amazing scenery up here and some amazing rock formations.

So, like I have said before. I thought I was tough for making this trip, at first. Then I met the 66 year old lady in Newfoundland, riding her bicycle across Canada. Then there was Brian, the guy riding HIS bicycle across Canada. Then there was my friend Karla Brown, WALKING!! all the way across America for over a year and a half! All these people doing amazing things and here I am riding on a motorcycle. 

So now after all of them, now meet my new friend...............

Yuki Uchiyama

Yuki has just recently began his journey of a lifetime. And it just might take him that long. I ran across him restringing his guitar on the front steps of a lodge up in the mountains. Dressed in sandals and shorts he sure looked cold. Yuki started his journey in Anchorage and is riding a bicycle all the way through the continent. Not only North America but he plans to ride on into South America. When he completes this he will go abroad and continue his journey across Asia and Europe. This trip, he estimates to take up to six years to complete and when finished he will go back to Japan and be a school teacher. With all the experiences he will face I am certain that he will be the best and envy all of his future students. 

Yuki is an accomplished professional guitar player and will possibly be doing some street performing along the way to make a little extra spending money. Hearing him play was just impressive, to say the least. He does seem to be set as he had been working and saving up for this trip for several years now.

 We sat and talked for quite a bit but both had to get moving. I enjoyed his company and will hope for the best in his journeys. Please keep an eye out for him along the west coast in the next few months. I believe that is his planned route.

 

I headed on and back down the mountains where I stopped for a much needed break.

AWW, YES, the Liard Hot Springs

Oh my goodness, this was just what I needed. About a good halfway point up the Alaska Highway this place was a perfect stopping place. If traveling up here, DO NOT PASS IT BY!!

I must have spent several hours in here. With the huge pool you can choose the area and temperature that you want. The closer to the inlet, of course, the hotter. The further away, again obvious, the colder.

They have changing rooms and a wooden walkway around the pool as well as some other pools up the hill from the main one. 

An interesting point is the inlet where the hot water comes into the pool. As it bubbles up from the ground at what appears to be boiling temperature, which I'm sure really isn't, the water is quite unbearable for any extended period of time. Up along the edge of the inlet pool are these carefully stacked rocks. Placed there by the elite who can muster up the tolerance to get that close.

Not wanting to knock over the tall stack and destroy somebody else's proud accomplishments I decided to set my stone there to the left. Yep, that's mine right there on top of that little pile.  

Then I found this little guy trying to work its way into my camera bag. Sorry dude, no free rides.

At the park, I had found a covered firewood building that wasn't being used at the time so it made for a nice shelter to park the bike under sense it was raining on and off. As I was leaving the park the sun came out and I got this, as well as a few other shots of a rainbow. This, of course, did not mark the end of the rain that proceeded to follow me along my ride.

 

A little further down the highway I came across this little herd of buffalo, or bison, as some people like to cal them. There seemed to be about a hundred head or so. As they walked along and across the highway I took a few pictures, being very cautious and my hand ready to hit the throttle at any time.

In the safety of our cars we can afford to be a little less cautious when it comes to these wild animals but on an open, exposed vehicle such as a motorcycle it makes you realize how vulnerable you really are.

I continued along through the British Columbia countryside and along the Alaska Highway and through many a treacherous stretch of road construction sites. Many of these there was no pavement and the mud from all the rain made for quite an interesting attempt at passage. Again, with four wheels, in the safety of a car or truck we have no problem. However, on two wheels the balance factor tends to become a totally different realm of human skill in stability and balance. The roads were quite slippery at times. Other places they had spread thick patches of gravel that made it very dangerous as well. The front tires on a motorcycle tend to sink into these patches of soft gravel causing the bike to want to fall out from under the rider.

Contemplating my ride on father into the Yukon Territory I stopped at a roadside rest area. I met a few people from California that were not too friendly at all. But shortly after that a couple from Indiana stopped by on a motorcycle and decided to pop up a tent. They were actually heading south. Hmm, not a bad idea. 

With my new friends there I decided to camp as well so we all did. Sometime early in the morning it began to rain. Not just the isolated sprinkle but the rain. I heard my friends packing up and leaving as I put off my departure for a little longer. The rain died down just a bit so I ventured on my way.

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