Canada: Homeward Bound
Our return trip through Canada started off great and turned out to be a sign of what was yet to come. After only a couple of hours on the road we were entertained by a grizzly bear on the side of the road with a show that lasted for more than 5 minutes giving us plenty of time for lots of pictures. This grizzly wasn’t huge and was probably a young one but he had massive claws and didn't seem fazed by us or any of the other vehicles who stopped to watch him. After an 8 hour drive we eventually arrived in Haines Junction, Yukon for a brief overnight stay. Over the next few days we traveled 3 hours to Whitehorse, 8 hours to Watson Lake and then 8 hours to Fort Nelson in British Columbia before finally taking a day off. Although tiring, we made a lot of progress towards home. Also during those trips we saw dozens of black and brown bear, a great view of a moose, a couple herd of bison and many stone sheep, all of which we were able to capture some great photos and videos. Next we traveled about 7 hours to Dawson Creek which was less than 1000 miles from the Montana border. It turns out that we left the wilderness that we've come to love and enjoy behind us that day since from this point forward we started to drive on roads that had many trucks, through areas that were developed and we only saw a single black bear and a couple of deer from this point forward. We definitely got spoiled during those last few weeks. We were still enjoying our travels but as we got closer to home, we were getting a bit anxious to see everyone again. At this point, visibility began to suffer because of many forest fires that were all around Canada. All the beautiful scenes that we knew were out there were obscured by hazy clouds. After another 8 hour drive we finally made it to Acheson, Alberta. We were reminded that day of what it was like driving along interstate roads with loads of traffic rather than the quiet wilderness roads we've gotten used to. We also had very few scenic views because at times our visibility was sometimes less than a mile due to the smoke from the forest fires blowing into the area. The next morning we headed out of Acheson with plans to be in Canmore, just outside Banff National Park by the end of the day. Once we hit the road however, we started talking about an alternative destination after seeing for ourselves how terrible the visibility had become due to the fires burning just west of us. We decided that Banff can wait for another year when we will return and visit the area again, hopefully with much better scenery to see with more than a half mile of visibility. We ended up arriving in Lethbridge, Alberta, about 68 miles north of the Montana border. It was here that Claudia and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a great dinner out at a very nice local restaurant. It's hard to explain how lucky we both feel. Neither one of us can imagine living any other life with anyone other than each other. The next morning, we arrived safely back in the lower 48 after our 5,432 mile trip through Canada and Alaska. The trip was excellent and we have so many stories to share but we were glad to be back in the states with the knowledge that we are slowly but surely heading east and that shortly we'll be seeing our family and friends again. Ed
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Ed and Claudia always dreamed of retiring and travelling the country in their motorhome. They retired in 2013 and this is the continuing story of their adventures on the road.