Day 6: Vancouver to Austin

Trip Log for 18 August 2009

I can't say that I was ready to go home but it was a good, full trip. I saw so many new things—like bears, orcas and glaciers—in person. It was mostly cool and cloudy, a nice respite from the 100+ heat, day after day, of South Texas. The thing is, though, I'm not sure I would want to live somewhere so awesome. I want to appreciate it by visiting it rather than taking it for granted by always living next to it. There's also the whole problem of really, really cold winters.

I highly suggest visiting Northern British Columbia for anyone who loves the outdoors. I didn't get to do much hiking or other exploratory activity but there are campgrounds, lakes and trails everywhere. I'm convinced that fishing must be the provincial pastime, at least in summer. And even if you don't like outdoor stuff so much, Vancouver is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city well worth visiting. Some day, I will spend more time in the city proper. I'd like to visit the aquarium.

I'm already thinking hard about another trip up north (road trip 2010?). I think I'm ready to tackle the Alaska Highway (Alcan), maybe even by myself this time. I've decided that it's totally not worth the time to drive from Austin to Canada first (I've driven that before anyway!). Next time, I'd like to take at least two weeks and fly into Calgary then drive through Banff and Jasper to the start of the Alcan in Dawson City and make the 1,390 mile pilgrimage to Delta Junction, then on to Fairbanks and the ultimate goal, the Arctic Circle. The farthest north I got this trip was 56° 7' (which is the farthest I've ever been).

A few things I still want to see in the great, white north:

  • The Northern Lights
  • Caribou, moose, elk
  • Beavers, marmots, badgers, wolverines
  • Denali
  • Alberta and the Yukon