North To Alaska…almost
British Columbia has always amazed me. To be able to start your day in a rainforest and finish in boreal forests and along the way passing through; semi-arid desert, snow-capped mountains, and rolling plateaus is truly inspiring. That only takes you half way up through the centre of the province leaving days, if not weeks, left of exploring vast tracks of majestic mountains, forests, and lakes. I am happy to call BC my home. I recommend taking a motorcycle through BC up into Alaska. You won’t forget it nor regret it. Now I’m not trying to sell you on becoming a tourist here, lord knows the last thing I want is more traffic on our highways, I would rather suffer through a bad case of armpit crabs than have more tourists. But you really have to see this province to believe it.
I just got back from a trip up to Muncho Lake Provincial Park in the upper northern portion of the province. Since it was work related I wasn’t able to spend any time taking real photographs. I did take some snapshots to document my trip. We basically travelled 2000 kilometres round trip and passed through, or by, dozens of provincial parks or campsites. All of the following images were taken either from the truck or on the side of the road just to give you an idea of what you can expect if you were to drive up to Alaska from the lower states. Consider this Part 1 starting from central BC.
If you have never seen any large ungulates (hoofed animals) in the wild, you have really got to see these in person to appreciate the size and beauty of these animals. Driving from one end of British Columbia to another you can expect to see Deer, Moose, Sheep, Goats, Elk, and Caribou. In the north, around Stone Mountain Provincial Park, you will find Dall sheep all over the hillside and even the roadside.
Throughout the province you will find moose. Don’t be fooled by these lumbering beasts, because they are deadly and can move with great speed. They are very protective of their young so I wouldn’t recommend getting out of your vehicle to oooh and ahhhh over them. Be very aware that they can trot up onto the highway as well and make an enjoyable road trip get very unpleasant in a hurry. But if you would like a 1000 pound animal to crash through your front windshield just ignore the signs and continue blaring Justin Boobers latest catastrophe. Keep in mind most people die doing that. Wish I could say the same for Justin…
Caribou frequently show up late in the season around the Steamboat Mountain area in fairly large herds. We spotted a few small groups but the images were too poor to post here. We had also spotted a few Elk but we were flying along the highway, at the speed limit of course, and I was unprepared to capture the shot.
Besides the animals, there is also an abundance of scenery along the way. Crystal green river waters, snow-capped mountain peaks, untouched valleys of forests, and a diversity of flora await the traveller in the great north. Out of the few dozen shots I snapped only a few came out half decent. Not great but then again I snapped them between bathrooms stops on the highway.
Getting out and exploring for a few minutes always provides a few happy surprises. I never get tired of finding new plants or flowers I haven’t seen or shot before. This trip and these areas were no exception. I was pleased to nibble on wild strawberries while roaming around Muncho Lakes pristine wilderness. With only an hour or so to play with and under the constant drizzle of a threatening rainstorm I captured what I later determined to be some Grass of Parnassia.
While my trip was purely for work I snuck in as much sight-seeing as possible. Even living in BC my entire life, I still can’t get enough of it. British Columbia is far too large and diverse to really get to see everything even in a lifetime, let alone a road trip. In part two, when I have the chance, I will cover some of the sights of central BC south to the semi-arid desert and rangelands. Probably half-assed.
Its how I roll.
Troy Alan White
I now have four subscribers, or as I refer to them, looky-loo’s. Like people who pull over on the highway to watch a forest fire consume a small town. They are watching what can only be described as a train wreck mating with a natural disaster. Feel free to join the madness. Rest assured you will be witness to intellectually flaccid commentary, raving assholish madness, and the occasional witty remark.