Date: 11 June 2016
Start: Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
End: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
Distance Traveled: 590 miles
Total Time: 10.5 hours
Most of today was spent staring in awe.
Having spent most of the last few years living up against the Colorado Rockies, I am quite spoiled when it comes to natural beauty and understandably have pretty high standards as a result. The Canadian Rockies annihilated my expectations.
Why is this? Primarily, it is because of scale. Although the Colorado Rockies are impressive in height – there’s quite a few with a summit more than 14,000 ft above sea level – and certainly are quite beautiful, you can drive through them in just a few hours. On the contrary, I spent all day driving through the Canadian ones. That, combined with the fact that I am hundreds upon hundreds of miles away from what most would call “civilization” lends a special feeling to this place. Indeed, the last city I visited was Grande Prairie at lunch yesterday.
Wildlife is certainly abundant too. Despite the numerous moose warning signs (how stereotypically Canadian is that?), I didn’t see any of those; rather, I saw one or two deer, a couple bears, some wild sheep, and even a few herds of bison. Luckily, none of them were bounding across the road in front of me and instead all stayed in the ditch.
The lack of traffic this far north is certainly welcome too. Even as I neared the Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse (which, by the way, only has a population of 23,000 people or so), there were few cars on the highway, and whenever there were, passing lanes were ample.
Overall, my second day on the Alaska Highway – though long – was extremely pleasant and is one I’m going to remember for quite a while.