With the blessing of our wives, a few years ago I joined my old friend Dan (the world’s greatest tourist guide) on a trek from Portland, Oregon to the Interior of Alaska.
We took a Chevy pickup with a camper shell and two bicycles for the trip. Altogether we logged 7,600 miles over a period of a month.
In a series of blog posts over the next month or so, I plan to chronicle the trip for you. May the posts bring to life the wonders that can be experienced on such a trip.
After driving over the North Cascades Highway, we spent a night in Twisp, Washington at the home of good friend George. As always, George lived up to his reputation as a world-class host and chef.
The next day we drove to Omak (Dan’s and my alma mater) and began the trip north on Highway 97 through the Okanogan Valley.
The second night was spent in Hixon, British Columbia south of Prince George. To this point we had experienced lots of rain. In fact, Southern B.C. was inundated with floods in multiple locations.
On the third day after passing through Prince George, it became abundantly clear that civilization has been left behind. Now many more RVs and motorcycles were spotted than cars.
The scenery also had changed dramatically. We were now in the Boreal Forest, the largest forest in the world. It primarily consists of two relatively small conifers, white and black spruce. The hardwoods are mainly aspen and birch.
The Boreal Forest looks very different than the forests in the Pacific Northwest, with less variety and much shorter trees. The black spruce are especially nasty looking, growing on soil that has permafrost close to the surface.
After passing through Dawson Creek (the beginning of the Alaska Highway) and Fort Nelson, we arrived at the Summit Lake area late in the afternoon (daylight was lasting longer and longer as we drove north.)