Canada

We crossed into Canada the next morning.  The friendly officer at customs extended our visas to the middle of October and we were super grateful as it saved us all the hassle of re-applying as well as R1500!  As soon as we crossed the border, all the mountains seemed to disappear and we drove on flat grasslands for most of the next 250km until we reached Calgary.  We found one strange looking rock known as an erratic that apparently got to this spot on the grasslands by a glacier that transported it from the Rockies….

We met up with a friend in Calgary and for the first time since we left Jennifer in Maryland, we stayed in a house with walls, a bed and most importantly a bathroom right next to the room.  This wonderful holiday from our holiday didn’t come a moment too soon as I was experiencing a bit of a low point…I coined it camping sickness as you pretty much feel a little sick of camping.  When it’s cold and wet for more days than not, the symptoms  of this dreadful overlander disease seem to start appearing…Anyway, Susan gave us a great room to stay in, a soft bed with Egyptian cotton linen, a shower you do not have to press for hot water, some great food and good South African company.  The first night we were treated for dinner at a restaurant close to where they stay where we ate the most redmeat we had in a long time.  She took us on a sightseeing through Calgary and saw the newly constructed Peacebridge, the +15 walkway (which could take anyone from one side of the city to the other without having to walk through the snow in wintertime) and the Calgary tower.  We had a great dinner at home the next night and I was slightly sad to leave the comforts of a house.  Thanks again Susan, we really had a great time staying there and getting to know you better!

Next up was Banff and Jasper National Parks.  These parks are ranked amongst the most beautiful areas in the world and we were excited to see the Rocky Mountains in all their glory.  Unfortunately the weather had other ideas and we could see but a few hills covered with snow.  The area had some beautiful views of icy rivers and forests which we could only imagine with a backdrop of 3000m mountains in the background.  We did see some wildlife we hadn’t seen before and amongst them two beautiful black bears…finally close up and personal.  Lake Louise was luckily not  frozen and we could at least get some idea of this beautiful lake up in the Rocky Mountains.

At the moment we are in a little town called Lake Watson, which somewhere between nowhere and Alaska.  We have driven what feels like thousands of kilometers across Canada in beautiful landscapes which basically consist of forest, mountains and bears. Where at first we thought we would not see any bears, we now see an average of 10 a day! On the way up we have passed the true town of Dawson’s Creek, but I couldn’t find Joey anywhere!  We also spent a day at the Liard River Hot Springs where you can actually swim in the natural spring which ranges from burning to comfortable hot depending on where in the pools you choose to sit.  It’s pretty weird to sit in a crystal clear pool of warm water with sides of soil and plants and rocks at the bottom.  It was great, felt like a bath except for the fact that we couldn’t use any soap and everything smelled like sulpher.  We went back for a second bathing that evening at and then slept like babies that night.  Since we started driving this long road, the days have just gotten longer and longer the more north we have gone.  At this stage, the sun sets at 23h10 and rises at 4h00, although you can pretty much get out of the tent at any time during those 5 dark hours and still see everything in front of you.  From here we will drive on the Robert Campbell Highway toward Dawson City.

People we like to mention…Mark and Mr. Zinser (didn’t write your name..) from Iowa, you’re the first guys we’ve met that brought video games to a campsite…thanks for the beer, we had a nice time!  Rachel, Kenny, Colin, Flounder and Daisy, thanks again for all the dinners…you guys are great, we can’t wait for Alaska.  Pradyut and Aditie, thanks for the invite in San Francisco…we’ll definitely take advantage of another home cooked meal.  Andrew and Sharlene, thanks for dinner, Godspeed on your travels!  The Aussie, Tim Rossiter…thanks for stopping in Tetons, great to have met you!  Gary, Diane, Jeanne and Bob, we hope to run into you again in Alaska but if not, can’t wait to see you in Oregon.  That was some great beer you gave us Jeanne, thanks a bunch! Safe travels!  Chad from Grand Prairie, we enjoyed your energy!

18 June

The Robert Campbell highway turned out not to be as impassible as the lady in Watson Lake had made it out to be after the storm that rendered all the road going into Alaska closed indefinitely.  Interestingly we heard that the travelers that found themselves a little closer to the border had gone into such a frenzy that they cleared the entire Walmart in preparation for a long wait.  After about four days, we reached the turnoff to a little mining town called Faro and found that it really was “the best kept secret in the Yukon”.  The John Connolly RV park was so cheap and had nice hot showers and a laundromat.  That night they also had a free BBQ at the visitor centre which included hot dogs, potato salad and cake and icecream for dessert!  We even got to take part in a drawing and Marius won me a “African style” bracelet and necklace!  We had finally been at the right at the right place…what a blessing!

The price of petrol was getting almost ridiculous at $1.65/liter.  We really wanted to drive the Dempster Highway up to the little town of Inuvit but at the rate the Cruiser was gobbling up the gas, we decided that between the two roads that cross the Arctic circle, we rather wanted to drive the Dalton Highway all the way up to Deadhorse.  We drove the Dempster up until we got to the Tombstone mountain range and were a little sad that we couldn’t continue as the scenery was just beautiful!  Anyway, we turned around and headed toward our last town in Canada, Dawson City.

Please continue reading in the Alaska tab…

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10 Responses to Canada

  1. Adri says:

    Hallo julle tweetjies. Skielik voel dit soos somer in Pretoria nadat na jul foto’s gekyk het. Baie dankie vir die ‘update’. Ons hoor darem die nuus van jou ma se kant af Debs maar dit is lekker om dit “uit die perd se bek” te hoor. Geniet dit baie!!!! Lief vir julle!!!!

  2. Johan en Joey says:

    Hi ons kinders. Lekker om weere te kon lees van al jul omswerwinge. Op hierdie stadiusm”slaap” jul seker nog as mens kan slaap terwyl dit lig is. Hier by ons skyn die sonnetjie heerlik buite, vandag 21 grade in Pretoria. Ek moet sê die bere lyk nogal “scary”. Jul fotos is pragtig, ons geniet dit om te sien waar julle beweeg en die wêreld deur jul oë te leer ken. Ry veilig, ons sien uit na Alaska …….(dis nou deur julle oë) brrrrrrrrr klink sommer na koud en koud! Geniet julle wedervaringe ons lief jul duisende!! xxxxxxx Paps en Mams

    • nick says:

      Hi julle, nice om n update van julle te kry, thanks! Dit lyk darem of die weer besig is om te
      verbeter as ek na Debs se kleredrag kyk, sjoe Haja jy het wragtie kortmou klere aan.
      Die fotos is pragtig, maar vir my lyk dit nog steeds “vrekkoud”, ek sal nie weer oor Oudtshoorn se sneeu en winter kla nie. Ek moet se hulle skaap/bok is darem wragtie
      lelik, seker daarom dat sy vleis so duur is. Julle moet veilig ry, probeer om die vlieende
      klippe te “sidestep” terwille van die cruiser se windskerm. Ons verlang na julle!
      Baie, baie lief vir julle. Liefde Pappa & Mamma

  3. Tannie Magda says:

    Hi julle 2, hier is dit vandag so mistroostig – koud en bewolk in die ou Transvaal!! Maar heerlik om saam te reis tot in die sneeu – wonderlike ervaring, selfs om sneeu-koffie te drink? Nou lê Alaska voor en hope voorspoed en genietings toegewens. Baie liefde en verlange xx. Tannie Magda

  4. michasifi says:

    Hi guys, it was really nice meeting you on our way to Fairbanks and later on the Dalton Highway. We are now in Denali National Park and really enjoying our time here. Thanks for the nice chat and have a great time! Hope we meet again…! 🙂
    Cheers,
    Carmen and Michael
    ( http://www.klapperscheese-reloaded.de )

  5. Jim Rohrbacher says:

    I am thrilled you got to see the badlands and spearfish canyon. They are among my favorite motorcycle roads in the world…good luck on your journey to the wilds of Alaska…

  6. Anet Schnetler says:

    Hi julle twee. Marius jou Pa het vir my en Gideon gese ons moet bietjie kyk waarmee is julle besig. Ja en soe! dit is wat ek kan se, julle twee het nou al amper die wereld gesien. Dis wonderlik dat julle ons so op hoogte hou van die gebeure. Julle moet n wonderlike tyd geniet en hoop om julle vinnig weer te sien. Groete Gideon en Anet Schnetler ( askuus en ek moet ook se van die 2 kleintjies af – Eduard en Ruben)

  7. John and Kristen Huriega says:

    We saw your landcruiserquest up in Alaska at the Denali national park, beautiful auto. Admire your travel. We live in Texas, Boerne central texas. If your down in our area, contact us for a good meal. Johnhuriega@sbcglobal.net Be safe John

  8. Tannie Magda says:

    Hi Julle 2, ek wonder so baie oor die Alaska en nou het Debbie se “ink” ook nog gevries of opgedroog! “Skryf” weer asb vir ‘n slaggie want dis baie lekker leesstof en ek geniet dit baie. Hoor ook dat jou tesis nou in die “pylvak” is en dis nou regtig goeie nuus! Sterkte daarmee en julle moet mooi bly en ry.
    Liefde en verlange xx T Magda

  9. Adri says:

    Hallo julle. Glo dit gaan goed met julle daar in die vreemde en dat julle die Alaka toer geniet het. Hier in Pretoria gaan dit goed, wanneer ek koud kry kyk ek na julle foto’s en is dan baie bly vir SA weer…. Ons mis julle baie en sien uit na die volgende “update” – dit laat mens darem so bietjie nader aan julle voel. Baie liefde van almal op Roodeplaat.

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