I think some of my willingness to stand for hour after hour on the back of a dog sled watching dog butts and gazing at passing scenery goes back to many, many hours spent in the back of a vehicle as a child watching the countryside roll by.
My dad wasn't one to take the family to Disneyland or Hawaii, but he sure LOVED driving and once we moved to Alberta in 1975 we spend many weekends exploring the National and Provincial Parks to the west of us. It left me with not only a desire to travel, but a deep love of the Rocky Mountains.
When we lived in Grande Prairie I would often make the journey through Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and the Pine Pass down to Prince George where my Siberian mentors Bob and Loreen Bridges lived. It was a lovely drive that I always enjoyed (as long as the Pass was open and in good condition). When we moved to Athabasca the trips to Prince George which now went through Edson, Hinton, Jasper, and McBride were less frequent, but the drive was even more lovely.
Helen and I did this drive in March to go out to the Fort St James race but it stormed for a good part of the trip and the roads were mostly covered with snow and ice, so it was not a particularly relaxing and enjoyable drive. Still pretty though!
This past weekend when Tess, Wonder, Q and I did the trip the weather was lovely, the wildlife plentiful (and well off the road), the wildflowers bold and colorful and the mountains clear and rugged. It was a wonderful trip.
Unfortunately I didn't have as much time as I would have completely liked to explore and photograph (and I still need to get my camera in to get cleaned, so I was leery of spending tons of time getting just the right shot) but I still managed to take a few pictures here and there.
Although I saw elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep on the trip, I refrained from taking animal photos. There is just something remarkably unchallenging about jostling for a spot in a crowd of tourists to get a photo of an elk standing 20 feet away oblivious to the crowd. Though the young bull elk with velvet covered antlers in the Jasper townsite was tempting!
I did inadvertently take a few elk photos when I stopped to give the dogs a chance to stretch their legs.
See them? They are there! Q pointed them out to me!
I was very enchanted with all the wildflowers, especially the red Indian paintbrush. Around us it is all pink!
On the drive home I stopped an hiked a little bit up the trail to the 'Ancient Forest'. I wish I had time to do the whole hike!
I stopped at a little campground outside of McBride, BC (a place I'd move to in a HEARTBEAT) to let the dogs out for a break and got completely enchanted with this rushing little creek that was flanked by tons of wildflowers. I could have spent the whole day there!
It was a wonderful day, but it really just made me want to get that camera cleaned and spend more time in the mountains!
More of my pictures can be seen at http://picasaweb.google.ca/northwapiti2/PrinceGeorgeTripHome#