Day 4 has been our favorite so far! We drove from Calgary, Alberta to Banff and Jasper National Parks along the Icefields Parkway. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. If you ever doubt the majesty of our Creator, DRIVE THIS ROAD!
We saw glaciers! And glacier-fed lakes! And Elk! We stopped first at Lake Louise and saw our first glacier. Beautiful! Then we drove to Bow Summit and hiked a quick 10-minute hike up to the Summit viewing area to see the most beautiful lake we have EVER seen: Peyto Lake. It’s also a glacier-fed lake. A lady who works for the park service was next to us taking pictures and told us the lake is the most beautiful it’s been in 20 years, and this is the perfect time of year to view it. It gets mirkier as the season goes on. I can’t begin to describe the beauty and the blues of this water. The pictures don’t do it justice. We were in awe of God yet again! Then we drove to the Columbia Icefields and saw the Athabasca Glacier. MASSIVE. Again, we marveled at our Creator God. The drive was gorgeous all along the way, too. Definitely worth the trip.
Then we drove to our campsite just outside of Jasper. When we arrived, we were given a pamplet about avoiding elk and warned that they are calving on the property and have been charging people lately. Also received a pamphlet on avoiding the bears.Good to know. I enjoy a good pamphlet, especially one that keeps me safe.
Mom and I managed to get the trailer backed in and our tent set up in the rain. The rain stopped long enough for us to get a fire started and hot dogs cooked, but it started up again and put our fire out (literally and metaphorically). So we went to bed. Mom slept well. I did not. We brought two air mattresses but one had a hole in it. So I volunteered to sleep on the ground. FYI, I’m officially too old to sleep on the ground. It was a rough and pretty cold night. It rained non-stop. Our arctic sleeping bags and hoodies kept us warm, but the dog sharing mine made it impossible to zip mine up all the way. I caught a few cool breezes throughout the night. Needless to say, we packed up as soon as the alarm went off… still raining.
Day 5 was mostly driving… 14 hours driving… over 600 miles and mostly raining… BUT we officially made it onto the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek just as the sun came out (for a little bit). We stopped for a leg stretch and a pic then drove on. Ended the day in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. I enjoyed my bed and slept as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Day 6 was mostly driving again… 14.5 hours driving… over 600 miles and mostly raining plus a major snow storm. Mom was driving, so I’ll interview her briefly:
Kerri: “Mom, how would you describe driving in the snow today?”
End of interview.
We had narrow, two-lane mountain roads and serious snow and wind. We were not expecting that. We went through Summit Pass at one point, which is the highest summit on the Alaskan Highway. I was praying hard, ya’ll. Out loud. IN JESUS’ NAME. We came up to one pass to find a girl stopped in the middle of the road, blocking it completely. She had Nebraska plates and was standing outside of her car crying in the raging snow. The snow was a foot and a half deep. She came to our window and said it was stuck and wouldn’t go.
My mom is a rock star, people. She told the girl, “I’m going to push you then. Get in your car, put it in neutral, and I’m going to try push you forward.”
We bumped her several times and pushed her forward a ways till she could put it back in drive and take off down the hill. She was free and we were able to keep going. It was scary. Several large semis had pulled over, others were plowing through. And we made it! White knuckles the whole way. We were thankful that we had snow tires on the back tires of the car or we would have been stuck. The trailer in snow and ice was dangerous. BUT GOD!
Besides the rain, snow, long bridges, and lots rough roads (including some gravel road stretches), we also saw a couple of moose, some bison, several black bears, a read fox, and stone sheep (found only in Northern BC and Southern Yukon).
We made it to Whitehorse, Yukon and are again ready for bed. By tomorrow afternoon, we will cross into Alaska!!