Thursday, May 17, 2012

Central British Columbia; A Changing Face

Mile "0" Alaska Highway
Roadside Wildlife
Northern British Columbia has been a surprise. Mining, oil and gas generation are big things up here and the major towns we’ve seen the past few days—Fort Nelson, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek are all engaged in those heavy industries. Given the demand for energy in North America these local economies seem to be perking along strongly.
Being more familiar with Southern B.C. I expected a more temperate climate but was reminded by a local that they lie as far north as Edmonton Alberta and Edmonton has some nasty winters. But it’s spring now and growing more pleasant each day.
Wildlife was still snoozing when we passed through Alaska. It is abundant here in B.C. bears, bison, stone sheep, caribou, elk and even porcupines can be found roadside. I’m not sure what we will do with all the photos.

Services Far Apart—Gas When You Can
Seniors are familiar with the adage, never pass up a rest room. On the Yukon/north B.C. portion of the Alaska Highway all drivers should adhere to the adage, never pass up a gas station. Station are few and far apart. Twice, in the last two days, the “distance to empty” number of my car computer indicated I would not get where I intended to go. Gas stops listed in Mile Post were either not open for the season or will never open again. Each time we were rescued by a gas pump we didn’t anticipate but the experience was enough to get our attention and be thankful we were not driving a class A, 6 mile to the gallon motor home.
Some of the big pickups pulling 5th wheel trailers have extra gas cans tucked in the bed of their trucks. I now understand why. But we have only seen one vehicle at the side of the road pouring gas into what I assume was an out-of-gas camper.

One Last Snow Storm
Snowy Morning at Purden Park
We started out this trip with cold and snowy nights. Now it’s mid-May and we should be done with all that. Not true. Last night at Purden Lake Provincial Park, east of Prince George, we went to bed under clear skies and woke up with a dusting of wet snow. There must be a message here but I’m not sure what it is.

Central B.C.: Dawson City to Prince George to Kamloops

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