Headed North.

May 1, 2006. The day finally arrives. We’ve got our 2006 Alaska Milepost, maps, articles, Carole’s printouts from the internet on dog kennels and natural food stores, Les’ new fishing pole. WE ARE PREPARED. Two adults, giddy with excitement, leave Reno headed for Hat Creek, California, our first stop on the road north.

Whoever was in charge of weather this year performed some interesting tricks, however, no complaints about what was arranged for the first three weeks of May on the West Coast. The weather could not have been more beautiful. Two days of camping steps from a small private lake in Hat Creek with sun filtering through the pines provided Les with some long-awaited catch-and-release fishing practice. Then on to Sutherlin, Oregon, to visit with Les’ family – all of his brothers and sisters were there to celebrate with a memorial to their mom. We stayed at an Escapee’s co-op that we’d heard about but never visited. We will go back. It is a very spacious, well-groomed park with a hillside view on Sutherlin’s south side. Then up to Eugene to visit Joyce and Denny from Sutherlin High, their home located right on the Willamette River. We parked beside their house and the view from our front window was Ospreys and Eagles soaring over and anglers wading in the river. From Eugene we drove to Portland where, while having repairs done on the rig, joined Don and Susan, Don being another Sutherlin schoolmate, for dinner, drove to Vancouver to visit yet one more schoolmate, Geri and her husband Jack, and I was able to contact a few other of our Portland people at least by phone.

In August 2005, we met Karla and Larry in Cottonwood, Arizona. As we have stayed touch, they invited us to stop at their property in Marblemount, Washington, on our way to Alaska. What a great time we all had, walking the surrounding forest, smoking salmon over the open fire of their gazebo, Mimi finding a new playmate ,Paddy (sorry Nigel). It rained the day we left for Canada.

Two days at Cultus Lake, east of Vancouver got our clothes washed and tanks dumped. We met our Alaska traveling buddies, Liz and Lynn and Jean and Roger, in Cache Creek, about 100 miles north, on May 23.

We have spent the last week of May traveling through British Columbia south to north. Observations from the road so far:

*You leave the United States and RVers travel with real dogs, read “large” here, not your usual wee ones.

*Water everywhere. “A sixth of all the fresh water on earth is in Canadian ponds, Canadian streams, Canadian rivers, Canadian lakes” (John McPhee, Annals of the Former World). This appears to be true.

*In the US, I’ve always perceived travel through the Rockies as going up, across, then down. In the Canadian Rockies we drove “through”; huge peaks, deep valleys; just spectacular; said to be the most scenic part of the Alaskan Highway.

Today we saw moose, caribou, stone sheep – not at a distance but actually on the road! Wow. Tomorrow we enter the Yukon. Anyone ready to pan for gold?