There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as I peeked my head out the hotel window in Whitehorse this morning.
After yesterday’s misadventure, I was hoping for a good day of driving with the kind of scenery I’ve been expecting from the great north country.
We ate a breakfast buffet under the watchful eye of a buff German woman who was so efficient, it made me laugh to watch her work. We gassed up the vehicles and hit the road under big blue skies.
The roads out of Whitehorse were immediately better than those we drove yesterday, and we moved along at a respectable clip. We actually did the first 100 miles without stopping.
The first part of the day was all verdant underbrush, Aspen forests and those wide, muddy rivers that I’ve been noticing lately.
We made good time and covered the first 200 miles In a little under 4 hours. The kids slept, and we got through most of the first part of “Game of Thrones” on audio tape.
Then we saw one, a little black shape just off the side of the road. I braked hard and pulled to the side of the road. I put it in reverse, and pretty soon we were side by side with a small black bear.
It was game on after that. All told, we saw 14 bears, mostly blacks with one grizzly, a lynx, dozens of wood bison, Trumpeter swans, big horn sheep and a Loon.
It was as if Paul Simon had written another road trip song, one I shall call “The Menagerie Road.”
By the end of the day we had stopped pulling over, but we still pointed them out enthusiastically.
By late afternoon the rains came again, and we walked into Liard Hot Springs to stick our feet in the thermal waters there.
The Northern Rockies loomed large as we got underway again, but the going was smooth and there was little stress, if any.
I went through two bags of sunflower seeds and two thermoses of green tea, I listened to way too much Journey before noon, and I enjoyed this northern stretch of highway, this Menagerie Road.
Looking forward to a change of scenery tomorrow. Already we are far enough south for darkness, and that is a good thing for me.