"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Al-Can Trail

Hillary kept calling the Alaska Highway either the "Al-Can Trail" or the "Alaskan Trail". These names reminded me of the famous Oregon Trail and I could imagine us bumping along on dried up wagon wheel ruts. That wasn't the case, of course. But the road did seem to stretch on and on around curves and mountains and lakes.

This was near the summit of a very high mountain, can't recall the name. Notice that there is no guard rail but a simple little sign marking the cliff edge. We drove into the clouds at times. Hillary was driving very well but I was white-knuckledly hanging on. (Is that an adverb???) We felt like we were the only ones alive for many miles until we spotted moving objects ahead...

Aha! A caribou at the edge of the road. A caribou is a wild reindeer and the Alaskan riddle is: What is the difference between a reindeer and a caribou? Reindeer can fly!
This particular one was not flying (obviously) but standing quite calmly at the edge of the road, perhaps dreaming about the skies above.

Next we spied a herd of wild horses. Aren't they lovely? Assorted colors and markings.

But the greatest thrill of all was this big guy! The first of many bear, in fact. He is a chocolate black bear, distinguished by his brown nose. He is BIG and his feet are long, fur covering those weapons called claws. We were thrilled and drove alongside of him as he walked. You can see the shoulder of the road and the line--we were driving maybe 6 feet away from him. WOW!!!

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