Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The most beautiful place

The second post on my road-trip – July 27th:

In the morning, as the early light filtered through the curtains into our room at Watson Lake Hotel, I tried to delude myself into believing that the light meant nothing, that I still had hours until I needed to get up. Shortly, S's voice announced that it was time to get going, and I begrudgingly got out of bed and drank half of my cup of tea. S worked on repacking the stuff at the back of the vehicle and re-organizing it into a more orderly fashion, while I snapped some shots of the signpost forest. The morning was chilly, and we could see our breaths.

The plan the night before was to get up at 6:30 am, and to pedal it down the highway, zooming our way through the Yukon and northern BC. Little did I know, S had woken me at 5:30. No wonder I felt less than well-rested. However, it had proven to be a wise decision. We made it to the Liard River Hot-springs, and had an hour or so to soak in the Beta Pool. We wound our way on the rustic boardwalk, and had the pool entirely to ourselves, since most people opted for the Alpha Pool, the first along the trail. In that faintly sulphuric mistiness, we felt a million miles from all civilization, as though we were the first people to enjoy the springs.

Back on the road, we made our way down the Alaska Highway. The abundant wildlife was just incredible. Herds of buffalo, ram, and some solitary moose greeted us in front and along the sides of the road. The landscape was honestly breathtakingly beautiful. My friend in Yellowknife was right – the views from along Muncho Lake were to die for. S and I spent a bit of time playfully arguing about whether Muncho Lake was indeed the most beautiful place on the face of the earth. While I knew it couldn't possibly be (after all, the Swiss Alps and the Rockies by Lake Louise are all at least as magnificent), it didn't hurt to allow myself to be swept away in the moment and to emphatically announce that yes, Muncho Lake might as well be the most beautiful place of them all. And why not? Who would argue with me that the aqua waters and the wide open skies were anything but paradisaic? A place is as much what it is as what we make of it.

Stopped in at Subway at Fort Nelson to have a late, quick lunch. Then, it was onward to Fort Saint John, where we met up with my friend for supper. She took us for a quick tour of her town, and “Baby” (the car) got its first shower. On the highway, the weather had changed quickly, from bright blazing blue skies to sudden foggy patches, to the sporadic lightning strike and the much-welcomed downpour which washed Baby's windshield, where hundreds of bugs met an untimely death, to a sparkly shine.

Drove into Dawson Creek at about 10:30 that night, meeting sweet golden slumbers at the Ramada.

1 comment:

  1. That was quick. I didn't think that you'd be putting photos of your trip on here already. Good thing I checked. Nice to have you home! (Even though you have said that home is Inuvik, not Vancouver.)