Edmonton, Alberta to Dawson Creek, British Columbia
630 kms, 10 hours
We woke up the first day of 2014, 3795 kms away from home and we cuddled in the bed together, dog included, shouting “Happy 2014!” It was nice to start the new year well-rested and with no hangover. After phone calls to family to wish New Years greetings we set about wordlessly packing up, sorting out the car and taking Maggie for a short walk, a routine we are now very familiar with.
After the GPS took us a very roundabout way to a Tim Hortons (we think she gets her knickers in a twist when she’s left in the car at night), we were westward bound on the Yellowhead highway.
As we were driving towards Grande Prairie I thought the scenery would be as flat the the landscape we’d passed on the way to Edmonton, but the further we travelled the steeper the hills became.
Grande Prairie is a very strange name for a town in the mountains, I thought to myself.
In these snow covered hills we saw several cars and trucks abandoned on the side of the road, including two transport trucks. Some were flipped, some had spun around and some had just plowed into the deep snow.
Needless to say, we drove very carefully.
Then we reached the top of a high hill and spread below us, as far as our eye could see, was a snow covered flat expanse, like a vast lake. When we arrived at Grande Prairie it was an island of malls and superstores. We stopped to continue our fruitless search for warm boots for me but got a great deal on tiny Sorels for Oscar. I saw dozens of truck a few SUVs and one car, and no wonder, many roads weren’t ploughed and as the trailer bounced it pushed and pulled our 4runner at will. Here’s hoping the Alaska Highway will be ploughed.
We start on the dreaded (by us anyway) Alaska Highway tomorrow. The latest road report stated sections of snow pack and sections of loose gravel, drive slowly.
The drive to Dawson creek has been uneventful. At -12 degrees it feels quite warm here. I feel like a Minnesotan wandering around with no toque and my jacket open. Maybe I should break out my sneakers.