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On and on we raced. Following swiftly parallel to the rise and fall of the earth on either side.

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Miles turned to hours. Hours turned to days. We traded off on driving more than before. My companion napped in the passenger side while I took the wheel and pressed on. The drive was long, sure, but never too overbearing. For me, it’s not about comfort, it’s about “doing”. It’s why I don’t care if I have to sleep on the floor, or sleep in a car. The story that’s left behind after it’s all said and done, that’s what I care about. So give me discomfort, give me cold showers and a bit of hardship. I might hate it at the time, but I’ll love it when I’m writing it down.

And so, the journey continued. We were making good time, and still took plenty of scorpion breaks.

DSC_0990 DSC_0961 Scorpion in the middle of the road? Sure why not.

Then, the road that had carried us for so long, so far, had finally come to an end. Dawson Creek, BC marked the beginning of the Alaska Highway, though for us coming down the opposite side, this was the end.

The road before us was still long, but that stretch of asphalt I had come to enjoy over these last few days, slowly drifted away before it disappeared from the mirrors.

-Drive the Alaska Highway

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Upside down rainbow?

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Enter Jasper National Park

Jasper is one place I’d love to spend some actual time in. Not only was it absolutely stunning, but it hosts the largest dark sky preserve on the planet! For a star gazer like myself, that alone is a selling point! And that’s not even counting the lakes, the hikes, the wildlife, and the town itself. I would love to rent one of the little bungalows and just spend a week of exploring with friends. (Official Jasper Site)

-Drive through the Jasper National Park

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We sputtered to the pump, much to our relief (The gas gauge light was generating heat for being on for so long) and took a breath of the sweet Jasper air.

Our next stop was Banff, a town similar to Jasper in size and style, but the mere mention of the name elicited many positive remarks from my Canadian friends. Before we made it however, we had to cross the murderous, the dangerous, the frozen wastes referred only as the dreaded Icefields.

The mental imagery evoked by such name was sinister and daunting and I was anxious to see what perils awaited us. One of us was going to die, I was sure of it, I just didn’t know the method of our demise. Yeti attack, glacier collapse, frost Gnolls perhaps? Despite the horror that awaited us, I was ready.

And then, we came upon the Fields of Ice

(Click for full resolution)

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Ok so, there were no eldritch creatures lying in wait, and neither of us were in any mortal danger. Color me disappointed.

Cross the icefields

Taste some Canadian glacier water

Almost run out of gas in Jasper

Onward to Banff!

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