The latest dispatch from our friend John, on the road in an RV from Minneapolis to Alaska and back. Note how he has picked up the local vernacular in Canada, eh.
. . .It has been an eventful few days since my last message from Banff, Alberta. Outside of Banff we picked-up two hitchhikers named Lyle and Joe. Both are full-blooded Eskimos from Tetlin, Alaska who hitchhike around washing windows or doing odd jobs for cash. We fed them some leftovers and give them a few dollars before dropping them off at the Lake Louise ramp.
We did stop and see the Chalet on Lake Louise and got Ruth a rock. Next we were on the Icefield Highway and stopped at the Peyto Glacier where we saw and heard an avalanche from a distance. Next we stopped at the Columbia Icefield and took a picture of me and DukDuk which I have attached.
We stayed at a campground outside of Jasper and imposed ourselves on other campers by playing boccie ball through their campsites so that we could engage them in a conversation. We finally connected with Keith and Trina from South Grove, Alberta and had a nice evening conversation. Trina introduced me to the term “mydear” which I plan to add to my lexicon, right.
We then headed west from Jasper to Prince George and along the way stopped at the Ancient Rainforest which was way cool eh (yes Ruth I got you another rock). The trees were absolutely huge and estimated at over 2,000 years old.
[Ed: I found a video of this ancient grove of gigantic trees, narrated by a British Columbia resident in which you can hear the vernacular, and see the trees. The Tree of Life, at about five minutes into the video, is estimated at 2000 years old. RSS Readers, this is worth your click.]:
Back on the road we quickly encountered a sow moose and a little later we saw 2 black bears on the side of the road.
When we got to Prince George the people at the visitor’s centre sent us to Northern Hardware to get fishing licenses and local information. We were fortunate to find Dan Moffat behind the fish counter and he immediately shakes our hands and pulls out his fishing maps. Apparently he is well known for flyfishing [check out The Angler’s Atlas], flies a helicopter with a buddy to some remote lakes to catch 17 – 25lb trout, and has the pictures to prove it.
Dan could tell we were a bit confused so he said “what the hell boys I’ll take you fishing when I get off at 4 eh”. Nice right. So, we killed a little time getting fuel (way expensive at $4 a gallon), groceries, and beer (outrageous at $1.75 a can). We followed Dan to his house on Tabor Lake and he invited us to park the RV in his driveway overnight.
Within 30 seconds of parking the RV he had 2 cold beers in our hands and I got a feeling that Dan was a rugby player. Sure enough he played the 8-man position on the Prince George Barbarians (I played wing on the St. Cloud Club) until his back was broken in a car accident. His rugby name was “liquor pig”.
Soon we are in the boat and trolling for Rainbows. The wind picked-up and we only got a few hits before we headed to shore to meet his fiancée Laurie Peters. Our intent was to go out again at 9:00, but a few beers and martinis later Cortney decided to buy dinner for everyone at Shooter’s Bar just up the road.
Laurie was good enough to be our designated driver and Dan’s friend Curtis joined the group. I order something called Perioges & Sausage with a Pilsner Beer which Canadians call bunnies. The Perioges is like a pasta stuffed with cheese and the sausage was an excellent Ukrainian recipe. Dan buys everyone a shot of tequila and we have a fun dinner before heading back to the lake. Once there we build a campfire and Dan brings out his guitar to play while we continue to drink beer. As Curtis said – “we got tied-up”.
The next morning Cortney wasn’t up to fishing [imagine that – ed.] and Dan and I left in the boat. In the attached picture you can see a Rainbow I caught that I called breakfast. I quickly filleted the Rainbow while Cortney prepared some scrambled eggs and the 4 of us enjoyed breakfast in the RV. Laurie gave us a contact in Marsh Lake and Dan gave us a contact in Kilmat along with some suggestions on rivers to fish along the way.
With that we say our goodbyes, Dan gives us a Kokanee Girl’s calendar for the RV, and we hit the road at noon with 2,865 on the odometer and plan for a short trip to Vanderhoof to recover and get some things in order before making the long drive to Smithers. Dan was a great guy with phrases like “beautiful right”, or “nice”, or “better than the best day in the office”, or “right eh”. This was exactly the type of experience I had hoped to have often on the trip.
That is it for now. The spring melt was 3 weeks late and all the stream/rivers are high and muddy and impossible to fish so we are having to find lakes that we can get access to that have a possibility of catching something from shore. Everything is beautiful eh and we are on our way to Skagway.
We’ll post more from John’s Excellent Adventure as it is received. Thanks to those of you who Stumbled the previous dispatches. We really appreciate it. 🙂