The day started out overcast but quickly burned off. Planning a long day we left early and quickly out ran the fog. We left the Family restaurant, barber shop, laundry and hotel behind us in Dawson City, YT.
The scenery is changing with each mile we drive south. The pallet used to paint our views today has many more greens and blues with an occasional stroke of gold. The features are changing as well with the trees and bridges becoming bigger; no more 50 year old five-foot spruce trees or one lane wooden bridges.
Old men make noises that can only be heard by everyone around them. The noises are creaks, groans, sighs, and heavy breathing. The problem is I’m the one making the noises. For the duration of this adventure I’ve been fighting a sore back while Dad has been toughing out a sore shoulder. Getting out of the bed each morning… I groan… I grab my back like the crooked old man in the crooked old house… hobble over to the bathroom… and through down a handful of aspirin. By the time I get an hour under my feet and the aspirin kick in my back starts to loosen up and I’m good to go.
Doctor… Doctor… It hurts when I do this… Than don’t do that. Dad’s shoulder only hurts when he moves it. So we have a system that keeps his shoulder still and seems to work most of the time. When Dad is in the rig he gets everything situated so he is not reaching all over the rig. Dad keeps his water and maps close in front of him easily within reach. Anything Dad needs in the back I reach over and grab it for him. Of course were doing 100 km/hr when I reach into the back seat but all adventures have some risk. This system is letting us put on the mileage and is not a big deal… We’re just watching each other’s back.
When recalling road trips from my youth one thing about those trips comes to mind. We did not stop until we needed gas. When Mom or any of us asked to stop at the next rest area we heard… We don’t need gas yet… As the driver on this adventure I control when and where we stop. We stop at every rest area and view point… Not because we have too… but because we can. I also get to stretch my back a little and Dad can make sure his shoulder is good.
Throughout the world there are a number of forests. I have seen the northwest rain forests, and the petrified forests of the southwest. I have even seen the Tiger Forests of India. Today we went through the Sign Forest of the Yukon. Signs, Signs, Everywhere signs, Do this, Don’t do that… Can’t you read the signs.
After seeing all the signs, we looked at the rig and decided it was time to clean up its sign. The dust and clay from the Dempster is not corrosive like Haul Road, so this was a quick wash to knock off the muck and show off our colors.
Over lunch we had the good fortune to meet Diane Jimmy. Diane is a member of the Kaska Dena Nation. We ran into Diane over lunch when she saw our rig, noticed it was from Washington and asked if we would send her a postcard when we get back. Turns out Diane collects postcards sent to her from around the world. Diane was telling us how she has post cards from Singapore, Australia, and all over the world. We hope to add to her collection soon with a postcard from Poulsbo, Washington. We all travel the world in our own ways. Diane has seen most of the world through three by five cards, each one of them has a friend attached on the other end.
I did a lot of research prior to starting the adventure and don’t recall that we would be driving along the Continental Divide. We’ve been driving east for quit a ways and rolled onto the northern Rocky Mountains Range. As we headed south and climbed the mountains we started to see a little snow on the peaks. More change in the views which reminds us that each diverse landscape has its own beauty and value.
2,000 pound American Bison are surprisingly easy to see. For one thing they are huge. Pretty much all head and shoulders. Well there are those horns. We saw these as they browsed the grass on the road side. They may not have come down out of the hills to check out the rig… but they did not seem to mind us right in the middle of them either. We say 60+ since the bison refused to stop milling about making the count difficult. Besides, what is important is that we can say… we saw a herd. For a long time before we spotted this group, Dad and I debated the number of animals it takes to be called a herd. Two is a pair or couple… three or four are a few… five, six a bunch… we decided a group of seven animals become a herd… and 60ish that is a big herd.
Animal lovers everywhere unite.
This post is being put up over breakfast… We are in Toad population; 4. Even Toad has an Internet cafe… More later… truckers are hovering for the table now that we are done with our eggs.