The show was named after the main character, you know, not after the town in British Columbia. Dale’s roommate tells me that it was actually in North Carolina. Who knew? (Maybe lots of people. I’m glad I didn’t ask anyone here about the show!)

Canada has Labour Day, which is a lot like Labor Day, only spelled differently. (:)) Again, who knew? So, no fix-a-flat this morning, and a few neat things I might have stopped for were closed. No big thing, but I wish I’d realized. I feel like a dumb American for assuming it was an America-only holiday.

Anyway, I’m about a mile down the Alcan, now. Two places turned me down, once I mentioned that I had birds (because they were out of pet rooms), making this the first motel where I didn’t ask permission. If Google is to be trusted, they’re pet-friendly, anyway. So, good. They’re also the least expensive place I’ve stayed in days, but still have a continental breakfast, coffee in rooms, fridge and microwave in rooms, at least one working washing machine (and semi-working dryer), and free wifi–so they’re also the best place I’ve stayed in a while, as well. I’ll leave them a good review when I leave in the morning. (I make it a general policy not to put a big flashing light on this blog, saying “I am here! I am here!” On the other hand, “I was there! I was there!” is fine.)

Dale suggested that I hang out in Dawson Creek for another day, just to rest and not be driving. I admit, it’s really tempting. My muscles are sore (more so today than many days because there were some pretty high winds), and I’m really very tired in the evenings. A day of rest would be fantastic. But I really think I’d like to get there on Saturday. There are a couple of things I’d like to do on Sunday, quite aside from being finished with the drive and in my new city and all. The longest driving days are pretty much behind me. Watson Lake to Haines Junction (day after tomorrow) is around 370 miles, which is the same distance as today, and everything else is shorter. It’s Monday. If I keep going, I’ll be there by Saturday. I think that’s the thing to do. (As much as it sounds like I am tired of driving–and, yeah, I sort of am–I’m still kind of psyched [and nervous] about this part of the trip. I feel about the Alaskan Highway the way I felt about the entire trip, while I was still in Pittsburgh, if that makes any sense. This is the pretty part, the part that requires preparedness, the part that I’ve been anticipating for so long. I’m intimidated and excited.)

I’ve looked over The Milepost for tomorrow’s trip. It looks like there’s a sufficiently large number of stopping points between here and Fort Nelson. Multiple gas stops, including Fort St. John, which a nice lady I was talking to this morning, who is from the northern territories, suggested I choose as a sleeping place, rather than Dawson Creek. She may have been right, but I was tired and flummoxed–more GPS fun–and ready for the break, honestly.

This evening I’ve done laundry, updated the map, and picked up fix-a-flat and a pair of cheap tennis shoes (I left mine in Madison, to my chagrin, and sandals just aren’t going to cut it for long; also, I toy with the idea of walking one of these 1km trails for a break, if there’s a nice enough day to leave the birds in the car). The weather’s dreary and cold, which I honestly don’t mind. Except for a couple of short spurts of light rain yesterday, the sky’s been clear the whole way. Besides, the car could use a rinse. And it makes me feel properly prepared, rather than over-prepared, for bringing my sweatshirt, light jacket, and medium jacket. :)

The drive today was kind of pretty. A number of businesses north of Whitecourt had “Arctic” in their names, so I guess I’m really north now. Also, for every deer crossing sign (which in Canada look more like deer standing around than like deer being launched by catapults) there was a moose crossing sign, which amused me. As far as the landscape, there was variation between hilly areas with lots of mostly evergreen trees, flat areas with mostly deciduous trees, flat areas with few trees, and hilly areas with what I think must be aspens (which I realize are also deciduous, but they don’t look like what we have in Pennsylvania, for instance). I’ve been describing the views as “alpine,” though I don’t know if that’s the right term. It looks a little like Anchorage, vegetation-wise. It made me feel relieved and, if you’ll believe it, homesick for a place that isn’t even my home, yet.

Photos: some magpies from outside my morning hotel, a raven who was sitting outside McDonald’s “singing” to people eating there, and a stretch of road I thought was visually interesting enough to photograph. (Nothing comes out in the picture like it does when I see it. I want to get more landscape photos, so you can see what I’m seeing. I’ll keep trying.)

Playlist: the rest of Sorcerer’s Stone and some Dr. Horrible and Girl Talk.

I just checked my phone, and it’s still on roaming. I was sure it’d be dead by now. So, neat; I’ll pick up if you call before I leave the service area. I can’t really say when that’ll be, but I suspect it’ll happen tomorrow.

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