"Emergencies have always been necessary to progress.
It was darkness which produced the lamp.
It was fog that produced the compass.
It was hunger that drove us to exploration."~Victor Hugo
I thought that Blogger was being temperamental but switching browsers had enabled me to actually upload photos, which is half the fun when reading a blog. Today was the second last day of my grand journey across Canada. I drove from Grande Prairie, Alberta to Munch Lake, British Columbia. About 11 hours of driving and stopping for breaks. It was pretty epic in beauty and distance. I hope you enjoy the photos I have included here.
The dawn, seen above, was outstanding. One of those days that looks like the sound of a light bulb breaking. Intense and blinding and satisfying all in one. A fracture of colour that cracks across the sky, with colour that seeps out where the sky has broken. That, combined with copious amounts of fog, made for an absolutely stellar dawn as I drove through Dawson Creek (mile '0' of the Alaska Highway), Taylor, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Wonowon, Toad River, and finally Muncho Lake Provincial Park, where I am tonight.
I had to chuckle when I entered my address in Whitehorse in the GPS. The distance until the next turn, seen in the upper left hand corner, made me smile.
Today was all nature. The architecture to admire was the mountains, the streams, the rivers, the wildlife. Lots of signs warning me about bison and caribou around every corner. I saw four caribou...gorgeous and pretty unmoved by the vehicles so close to them.
The expanses that opened up north of Fort Nelson were beyond compare. Lots of solitude, trees as far as the eye could see, sunshine and two lane blacktop. No billboards. All awesome. A good audiobook (I am finishing listening to 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline. The audiobook is read by Wil Wheaton, who does a bang up job of it. If you haven't read it, get it. Great book. If you are a child of the 80's, a nerd, geek, a John Hughes or Rush fan, or any other member of that subculture, it is for you :)
The yellows foliage was gorgeous today. I have seen lots of photos recently on Instagram from Yukon residents snapping pictures of leaves changing, and I saw plenty of it today. All mottled green and yellow together, it is as though the hillsides and mountains were trying to catch fire, but very slowly, like trying to making a fire with damp wood, not a quick process. The brilliant yellows and greens, juxtaposed against the blue sky made for some amazing horizons to chase.
I forget which river this was but it is irrelevant...the braids and branches of it weaving under the bridge brought back memories of my first trip to Alaska in 2008. That trip and subsequent ones have all been working towards this moment of moving up here. How could one NOT want to be within this landscape?
Around a couple of turns I saw four caribou in total. They were a chocolate brown, and there was a calf with his/her mother here in this shot. The mother was so sweet, nudging him up the game trail in front of her. A sweetness that was palpable. To see creatures like these, wild and almost untouched by any sight of human beings, is like seeing magic happen right before your eyes. And, like magic, it usually is gone quickly. Thank goodness for cameras and art :)
They were like shadows that could disappear if you looked away.
Finally after hundreds of winding kilometres I arrived at Muncho Lake Provincial Park. The lake is that gorgeous blue that you see in healthy environments.
The dining room of the lodge where I am staying. Log cabins/homes/structures are the best.
Another long day in the saddle today for Sasha. Here he is helping me write this blog entry. I never thought he would handle this whole process as well as he has. It has made it so much less stressful than it could have been. I cannot wait to see what paintings come from this experience. New friends will become new muses, and the space and freshness of this land is the perfect catalyst for focused painting. I cannot wait...setting up my studio this week...:)
Tomorrow...at long last....WHITEHORSE, YUKON TERRITORY!
Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading...