Cal's life,  Canada

The Alaska to Canada Convoy – 2,500 miles

Howdy howdy friend,

I left Alaska a month ago today and have travelled over 3,000 miles since.

The Athletes Convoy and I drove from Palmer to Valdez through the Matanuska Valley and its beautiful mountains and blue rivers. Addie, Brock, Ryan, Ben, Slava, and I bought talkie-walkies, tested them on Fred Meyers’ parking lot, interrupted a serious cross-country race parental follow-up, and used them throughout our trip to organize our undecided group and take part in endless, probably useless debates. Our jumping-around at construction halts got a flagger to name us the Athletes and my slow-moving Eileen was nicknamed Mama Duck for leading the herd.

After a little detour by Valdez, we then crossed the border between Alaska and Canada. It was emotional for sure, but it also got us this wonderful panoramic for which we had to live up to our sportive name. Sadly, we parted ways with Slava in Whitehorse and continued towards Skagway. The road crossed through transparent lakes and puddles which were designed by mossed rocks and berry trees.

From Skagway, we drove to Watson Lake where we went to see the Signpost Forest and star tipped to the cries of loons over a quiet lake. If you don’t know what start-tipping is, look it up. On our way to Dawson Creek, Ben’s car broke down and gave us a few false hopes of departure. So Ben, Ryan, and I invested Fort Nelson’s Tim Hortons and enjoyed hot tubs when we could, while the car was being “fixed” by a mechanics with the loveliest Canadian accent. Brock and Addie went on and we had to give another heartfelt goodbye. After four days there, Ben and Ryan threw their stuffs in my van, the car was junked, and the three of us made our way to Fort St John. While we were relieved to be back on the road with one less a problem to fix, the view of the new hotel we stayed in kept similar to the one in Fort Nelson: Tim Horton’s, A&W, DQ, Super 8, … The only difference: a gigantic Canadian flag flying over the city in the sunset. The next day, we managed to finally get a U-Haul truck and finally departed towards Grande Prairie. We waved goodbyes after a beautiful Northern Lights show and heard our last talkie-walkie call: “The Athletes, out”. Heart-breaking.

I continued towards Jasper National Park, where I hiked a lot, met many French people, and enjoyed the long-awaited summer sunshine. I then moved to Lake Louise where after approaching a lovely French couple in a dark parking lot, I got approached by a lively blond-haired stranger on another dark parking lot. Karma… Cem and Aude shared cocktails and stories in a bison decorated pub and sneaked into a motel parking lot for the nigh with me. We were going different ways; it was hard to part with these two loving and kind people. Lisa and I hiked Banff and Glacier National Parks, adventured a bumpy dirt road to drink maple syrup gin in natural hot springs, and are still making our way to the Canadian East coast together. A lively soul who cooks amazing fried onion ramen and can sneak you into a bus ride for free.

I am now in Whistler where I could see myself spend the winter simply for it is the first real lively city I have been in in 9 months. The stress of Canadian car-camping interdictions is finally settling down and I look forward to my Vancouver visit before heading to the lower 48.

 

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Love,

 

Cal

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