Day 1: I drove along the Fraser River to Lillooet, BC.
I set up camp just outside Lillooet near Seton Lake.
The second night I camped on Tudya Lake, between Prince George and Chetwynd, BC. I was greeted by dozens of mosquitos upon my arrival. This is where I learned the difficult lesson not to allow mosquitos into your car under any circumstances. They won't leave. And driving with mosquitos in the car can be very distracting.
Day 3: I started my day driving through Pine Pass. Unfortunately it was a cloudy morning, but the mountains were breathtaking nonetheless.
Interesting to see graffiti in the heart of BC, middle of nowhere.
Day 4: Northern Rockies. Absolutely amazing part of the journey. The previous night I camped just past Fort Nelson, BC on the Tetsa River and began the day's drive in Stone Mountain Provincial Park.
I saw more wildlife in the Northern Rockies than on any other leg of the trip.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park is also located in the Northern Rockies, just to the north of Stone Mountain PP
I came across this goat feverishly licking the pavement.
I heard later that they eat salt to help shed their winter coats.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the day driving through the Northern Rockies, but the icing on the cake was ending up at Liard Hotsprings. This boardwalk leads straight to heaven.
The hotsprings are well maintained but not developed.
The Alpha Hotspring is so big that you can find whatever temperature to soak in that suits your fancy. The best part is the waterfall that feels like a massage when you let it beat down on your tired, been-driving-for-days shoulders. A truely wonderful place.
After a couple of hours of rejuvination I got back on the road and in not too long a time crossed over into the Yukon Territory and the town of Watson Lake, home of the Sign Post Forest. People from all over the world have left their mark here.
In the Yukon there were signs along the highway letting you know whose territory you were passing through.
Bridge leading to the Village of Teslin, YT.
It was difficult to capture the sheer enormity of the mountains that surrounded me on a daily basis while traveling. The trees of the boreal forest, on the other hand, were rather puny -- but cool in their own way.
I arrived in Whitehorse, YT on Day 5 and took a short stroll along the Takhini River, right on the edge of downtown
I headed West from Whitehorse toward Kluane National Park and saw 4 or 5 what appeared to be wild horses.
Kluane Lake, YT.
Many of the forests have been devastated by bark beetles.
Beaver Creek, YT. I spent my first night in a motel since I began the journey and was thrilled to find a place with internet access.
This fox was in the parking lot of the motel in Beaver Creek.
She sat and waited while another traveler went to her car to get her camera. How thoughtful.
There was water throughout much of the boreal forest.
Day 6 I crossed into Alaska and drove NW to Fairbanks then down to Denali National Park. I camped near the park and went for a little hike the next day.
I didn't see any beaver, but there was definitely evidence of them.
I didn't actually see much wildlife at all in Denali, but I also didn't take the time to do the bus tour, which I heard from travelers later on in my trip was a great way to see wildlife.
The park was incredible, wildlife or no.
Denali itself is covered by clouds about 75% of the time, including the day I was there.
Day 7. The highway from Anchorage leading onto the Kenai Peninsula. Encircled by huge mountains that just grow right out of the Cook Inlet. Breathtaking.
I arrived in Homer late on Day 7. Mikela and Ben put me up in their friend Rob's yurt for the first week that I was in town.
The interior was actually pretty cozy. No running water, but there was electricity and heat if I had wanted it. And it was relatively mosquito free!
The Homer Spit houses many restaurants, shops and fishing boats.
Homer fashions itself the Halibut Capital of the World.
These are some of the shops on the Spit, taken from the beach. The shop in the middle is Finn's Woodfired Pizza, purveyors of some of the best pizza I've ever tasted.
And also where Mikela was working at the time. She and Rick let me help make pizza dough one night.
The Spit is also home to the Fresh Catch Cafe, where I had the best halibut and chips ever!
Mikela and Ben actually live just East of Homer off of East End Road. The drive from town has rolling green hills on one side...
...and Kachemak Bay and mountains on the other side. This is Grewingk Glacier, one of several glaciers across the bay from Homer.
Elsie and her chickens.
The first 5 days in Homer were basically spent preparing for the wedding. The ceremony and reception took place on a beautiful homestead just East of Homer. McNeil Canyon bordered the ceremony site.
We used fancy marine walkie talkies to coordinate the guests' arrivals with Mikela and her Dad's arrival down the aisle and her sister Gina's incredible opera singing.
Walkie Talkie Bride
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day for the wedding.
I left Homer on Friday, July 6th, and headed North then East on the Glenn Highway toward Haines.
I camped just East of Matanuska Glacier. This photo was taken as dusk was falling, around 11:30.
Unfortunately, it rained the entire second day back on the road. Beauty abounded nonetheless.
The only way to get to Haines from the Glenn Highway is to go back through Kluane. This time I stopped to put my feet in the water.
I finally had some good bear sightings near the SW Yukon border.
I arrived in Haines Sunday evening and had all day Monday to explore. It's a quaint town, obviously accustomed to tourists, but without feeling too touristy. There are many galleries and shops and a couple of state parks nearby.
It is surrounded by water and huge mountains. This is either Davidson or Rainbow Glacier, taken from Chilkat State Park.
It began raining shortly before the ferry arrived. I set up my tent on the deck and used duct tape to secure the poles.
Leaving Haines. The first couple of days on the ferry it was rainy and overcast.
SE Alaska is one big rainforest. The ferry docked in Sitka for a couple of hours, long enough to take a short hike near the terminal.
The plants in the forest were so bountiful, the greens so bright and luscious.
We saw several humpback whales in the northern part of the trip, through the inside passage. I wasn't quick enough with the camera and so I mostly got photos of splashes created by humpbacks.
When we pulled into Ketchikan the weather was much the same as it had been, but shortly after our arrival the sky began to clear.
Ketchikan is a pretty cool town. The downtown is very touristy, and there are huge cruise ships that dock there and lots of shopping.
What I liked about it was a lot of the buildings and houses are up on stilts and there are wood staircases everywhere.
And, of course, it is within the rainforest, so it's very green.
I met Ketchikan Steve at his store, and we started talking politics and religion. We drank wine and he made me curry from scratch. It was an unexpectedly great afternoon.
The rest of the ferry ride was beautiful and sunny.
There was so much beauty to be experienced from the ferry. There were layers upon layers of islands and mountains everywhere we looked.
As we headed further south, humpbacks were replaced by orcas.
Finally we arrived in Bellingham at 8am, July 13th. In addition to the fabulous scenery, I met many people from all over the country and the world on the ferry. It was a definite highlight of the trip.