Along Cassier Highway
It rained almost the entire time. At one point, the temperature got close to freezing and I started getting slushy snow. I worried for a few minutes.
So I've been to Homer (doh!) and now I've been to Smithers (excellent). I'm sure I passed through Bart but was not paying attention. Isn't there a song with the lyrics "I've never been to me"? Oh God, now this is going to drive me up the wall today trying to recall the song. Don't you hate it when I go off on a tangent? DON'T answer that.
So hear I am after a not so restful sleep in Smithers. I arrived at Smithers around 10:30PM last night after a fairly mild round of DODGE THE WILDLIFE. Really it was a rather disappointing game this time. I had more problems during the day dodging porcupines (4 of them) than anything in the evening. I now understand a little more about how that couple clobbered the porcupine back on the Alaskan Highway. They are sucidal!
I travelled close to 500 miles yesterday (I though it was more!) and barely got off of PR 37, the Stewart-Cassiar Highway and onto CR 16 (the Canadian Highway has an unfortunate sobriquet of Highway of Tears for many unsolved murders going back to '69 -- things you learn doing research...). The Cassiar Highway was
mostly mountainous passes bordered on one side or the other by lakes or rivers swollen with snow melt. It was beautiful. Interestingly, most of the traffic was going north. I don't think I came across anyone going south or passing me the entire trip. I did spot many animals besides the already mentioned porcupines. The best (because I got pictures) were two grizzlies rooting around the side of the road. I passed them, stopped, backed up and started taking pictures. They were kind enough to let me continue taking photos. A big rig carrying a load came up from the other direction. He politely stopped and gave me a friendly nod, all because he saw I was taking photos and watching the creatures. After a bit, the bears had enough and disappeared into the brush. The trucker gave me wave and a smile and we went our separate ways. That friendly trucker was almost as good as the Bears. Bless those Canucks.
I also saw my first grey wolf. He was running down the side of the road and as soon as he saw me, darted into the woods. And before you ask, I did not have time to
take a picture. He did look just as mean and vicious as the ones in The Grey. Not. So, I think the count is 2 black wolves and now 1 gray wolf. I also saw a black bear who did not like it all when I slowed down. I guess he was shy. Oh, I spied another bald eagle. This time the Bald Eagle was acting more bald eagley (OK Steve?) as he soared on the mountain thermals.
I'm sure glad I didn't commit to meeting Patty's sis until tomorrow. I would have had to kill myself to get their today. As it is, I still have over a day of hard traveling to get to Widbey Island tomorrow. BC is BIG. Those maps give you a false sense of distances sometimes. Yea, yea, I could have looked up the distances but where is the fun in that. This entire trip I have purposefully not pulled up any distances or time tables. I'm just guesstimating. That is really part of the fun. I'm trying to avoid the tyranny of the clock. I actually wish I could have been more successful doing that. I guess it takes a while to
deprogram oneself after 50 years of conditioning. Whenever I went to the islands I always loved the practice of "island time". Drove us yanks up the wall when you are doing business. But at least for retirement it's a great way to live one's life.
Another observation I had was with the Candian road system. Here in the states, I make it a point to never travel by Interstate Highways (Kim and the kids are rolling their eyes reading this). Ugh. In fact, in the US, there are only a couple area where you are forced to take an interstate and even then you could probably avoid them if you were willing to go hundreds of miles out of the way. Here in Canada, the cities only have a single road connecting to another big city. And then, those roads would not even be state highways in the US, just rural roads. So here in Canada your major lifelines are single lane highways that often have winter damage that still needs to be repaired. Additionally, there is never much traffic. I'm not exactly what that means:
• Canadians don't travel?
• Canada population dentsity is much smaller then in
The rainbow didn't show up
The further I went south the lusher the vegatation became. The trees got taller and bigger as well as the undergrowth started looking near impassable.
• They use some secret teleportation devices unknown in the US?
• It's still wintery enough that they haven't started traveling?
I'm really not sure. Even their trucking traffic seems very light.
OK, enough musings. I need to hit the road if I am ever going to get to the Puget Sound area before Thanksgiving. Today, I'm heading down CR 16 to Prince George (that will probably take a good portion of the day) and then head south on SR 97 towards Vancouver. Notice I said "towards" not near. That is still a ways a way.
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