We left home for our next adventure on Monday June 18. We arrived in Red Deer, Alberta 9 hours later after multiple slowdowns through construction zones. That is one of the problem Canada faces: Road or bridge work can only be done between late spring to mid-fall so all the holiday traffic is constantly delayed with slow zones, and one-lane-only sections, or long waits in line while alternate lanes are allowed to go. We spent over a half-hour near the front of the stopped line going through the longest avalanche tunnel in the Roger’s Pass. As we were exiting the other side of the work area we passed a long, long, long line heading west awaiting their turn to go through. Those at the back would probably not get past that construction section for at least two to three hours.
We spent Monday and Tuesday nights in Red Deer at my niece’s house and Wednesday morning we left at 9:30. After a stop at a store to buy some foodstuff we wanted and two new phones as ours are old and starting to act up, we were on our way north by 10:30. Our destination today was Peace River, Alberta – about 7 hours north and west of Red Deer.
The furthest north in Alberta we have been is Edmonton – many moons ago when we were newlyweds – so it was exciting to be venturing into new territory. On this trip we are going to the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Alaska, and hopefully, the islands of Haida Gwaii off the BC west coast on our way back down.
There was not a lot of variety in the countryside that we passed through and we expect that to be a relatively common occurence. We have some long distances to travel through very similar terraine, but there will be towns, some scenic lookouts and some waterfalls and such. Today though was pretty much flat farm land and short-tree forests.There are not a lot of ups and down, or corners to worry about. Just miles and miles and miles of straight highway. We stopped in the parking lot of the Westlock Aquatic Center for a sandwich and baby carrots lunch, picked up three geocaches during the day, and had an ice cream treat in Slave Lake mid-afternoon. We have no photos of them but our critter count so far is one bear cub (which ran right across the road in front of the truck and I almost hit it), and a momma mountain goat with twin kids on our drive through the mountains on Monday. Today we drove past a big cow moose that was happily munching the tall grass beside the road. She wandered off into the bush just as we were going past her. The closer we got to Peace River the more evidence that we were travelling through oil country as well as high prairie farms. We already have noticed the abundance of bugs and flies. Our poor windshield is a battle zone and whenever we got out of the truck during the day there were plenty of flying critters hovering about. No little Black Flies or mosquitos – yet. They will be coming for sure and in droves.As I mentioned earlier, the forests are not very tall. Although there are mills up here so there are larger trees somewhere. We crossed the bridge over the Peace River into the town of Peace River at 7:15 pm, found our hotel, had an expensive steak dinner at Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse (something we will have to get used to as everything in the north is expensive) and then settled into our hotel room for a rest before shut eye. Tomorrow we cross the 60th Parallel into the Northwest Territory!