We all know the expression "it's the journey, not the destination", and yet we write mostly about where we stay, not how we got there.
In our life on the road, Linda is the primary driver and, if I'm going to be totally honest, the only driver and I'm perfectly fine with that. As a photographer, this gives me an opportunity to see and capture the wonderful world outside our IMAX-sized window. Having said that, I've actually rarely used photographs like these because they are either blurred or are just uninteresting shots of a highway. This changed dramatically on our way through British Columbia to our ultimate destination: Alaska.
We are traveling with our friends, Bill and Kelly and, because they have a GPS that works in Canada, they are taking the lead. This is a novelty for me because their fifth wheel has become the subject of many of my recent images and gives a perfect sense of scale against the vast landscape.
For the most part, traveling from the Canadian border to Dawson Creek felt like familiar territory. We are both spoiled being from Seattle and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest sets the bar pretty high. Linda kept saying "I still don't feel like we are in the wild yet" and it was true. Landscapes were peppered with small towns and large cities. One visitors center blended into another.
Dawson Creek is like arriving at Base Camp preparing to summit Mount Everest. Everyone gathers there to shop and make ready for the journey and, although they are strangers, you feel a kinship with them nonetheless. We saw fifth wheels, motorhomes, campers, you name it and we made a pretty good assumption that they were all on their way to the great state of Alaska. I felt excited knowing this was the beginning of the Alaska Highway and, really, the true beginning of our own odyssey.
We decided to travel from Dawson Creek to Muncho Lake even though it was going to be a long and tiring drive. Every blog we read had mentioned the incredible vistas and wildlife at every turn. After Fort Nelson, they said, you will wear out the word "wow".
The weather was dramatic for our trip. There was rain, sun and hail. I was in my element because the clouds were making big bold statements and the sunlight poked its way through and lit up the landscape like searchlights. I couldn't keep my finger off the shutter. The light was changing every second and Bill and Kelly's rig was center stage against a magnificent backdrop of rolling hills, winding roads and snow-capped mountains. We saw bears, moose, caribou and porcupines and our hearts were pounding with every sighting. I was scrambling from window to window, getting a major workout. I didn't even care about where we were going, at that moment, it was truly all about the journey.
As the day wore on, the abundant bug guts and raindrops on the windshield made shooting a serious challenge, I still managed to record our epic trip in the way I experienced it from where I sat.
We are now safely tucked in at a campground by Muncho Lake Provincial Park and the view is, again, magnificent. It's hard to believe that we are still at the very beginning of this spectacular journey.