Day 4: A Canada Day and the End of the Highway

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We rolled in to Dawson Creek around noon. We gassed up and found a Subway for a quick bite. 

Descending out of the Northern Rockies is a beautiful process, made even more beautiful by the bright sunshine and blue skies overhead.

By the time you hit Dawson Creek, or Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, the sharp cliffs and granite walls have already given way to rolling hills. The familiar stunted pine trees of Alaska, Yukon and northern B.C. gave way to boreal forests and taller, fuller pine trees.

Soon B.C. dumps you out onto the rich and vast flatness that is Alberta. The trees gave way to grain elevators, and two lane highways gave way to big four-lane expressways.

You can feel civilization miles before you’ve reached the first sizable town, it’s the feeling you get as you approach an exit with a Wal Mart, a McDonalds and a Petro Canada all on the same parcel.

It was Canada Day all day, and everywhere there were flags and celebrations. One farming community, called Valhalla, had little banners up to decorate the town, and it was idyllic and perhaps iconic.

I thought we might roll into Edmonton in time to catch the fireworks commemorating Canada’s Independence Day, but we were a little too late.

However, after checking in at the hotel, I ran down the street to try to get the kids a bite to eat.

On my way back to the hotel, I saw a massive thunder and lightening storm to the east. You don’t need fireworks to celebrate, when mother nature is in a festive mood.

Tomorrow it’s a 12-hour drove to Missoula and a couple days of rest before we push on for Chicago.

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