Inspiration's Journey Home Page

Malia's Journal Updates

BC & Alberta, Canada
(after leaving Alaska)

Aug. 11 -
Sept. 2, 2003

Journal Updates


Columbia, SC
Blue Ridge Parkway
Computer Crash!

2005 - 2006
Happy New Year
Hawk's Message
I'm Published!
Sharing Spring
Ways of Writing
Edmonds, WA
Degenerate Neck
Desert Depression
Post Quartzsite
Grandma Malia

2003 - 2004
Alaska Planning
Alaska 1
Alaska 2
Alaska 3
Alaska 4
Alaska 5
Alaska 6
Alaska 7
BC & Alberta
To Lower 48
2004 Recap
Giving Thanks

2001 - 2002
Inspiration's Off!
To Charleston
N. Carolina
To Orlando
Florida Tour
Back in Austin
Albuq. to WA


On the Way (Canada)

Alaska at Last!

Tok to Valdez

  Mineral Creek
  Lu-Lu Belle Cruise

Russian River

  Misc. Pics

Whittier Road

Portage Glacier

Backyard Bear!

  Kenai Cruise

  Flightsee Denali

Denali Nat'l Park

Kluane Lake

Cassiar Hwy. Bear
  Highway Scenes

  Waterfall Road

Jasper Nat'l Park
  Maligne Lake

Icefields Parkway
  Athabasca Falls
  Athabasca Glacier
  Overnight at Glacier
  Lake Louis Road
  Lake Louise

Banff, Alberta

Johnston Canyon

Misc. Pics

Fireweed Pics

Skagway (side trip)
  White Pass RR
  Return Trip

Alaska Journaling

My Article About
This Alaska Trip

These are misc. journal entries written after leaving Alaska (besides the ones included with the picture pages)

August 11, 2003 - Adios Alaska

After leaving North Pole and arriving in Tok 200 miles later, I was now in the same town on the same stretch of the Alaskan Highway I arrived on. Another 650 miles will take us to the Cassiar Highway, the only other alternative road for our leaving Alaska behind.

August 14, 2003 - Whitehorse Wal Mart

We spent last night using Wal Mart's free hospitality again and mom got a big kick out seeing all the RV's parked there and watching the ladies return to the rigs with their Wal Mart shopping bags full. Obviously, the local campground owners have noticed the crowd and complained to the city authorities. There's now a large billboard asking RV customers to only park in designated areas and if these are full, to patronize the commercial campgrounds. Of course, no one paid any attention to this and no one was asked to leave. I had been told on my previous visit that one of the favorite activities of the locals in Whitehorse is to drive around Wal Mart's parking lot to see all the RV's and count the number of places they're from. What an exciting life, huh?

August 15, 2003 - Parked on the Continental Divide

We enjoyed our stay at Walker's RV Park on the Continental Divide and due to a couple of very lucky, unusual happenstances, we met up with our newest family members, Chuck & Kalyn, again and began a joint venture onto the Cassiar Highway bound for Hyder.

I was happy that although the traffic has definitely picked up since I arrived in May, it still was uncrowded enough and there were enough pull-offs to allow me to go as slow as I wanted to go to avoid my house contents from bouncing around too much. Mom is even getting used to carefully opening the cupboards after a hundred or so of jostling miles where contents of shelves get shifted no matter what you do to prevent it. I still get bonked on the head sometimes when I forget.

August 18, 2003 - Hyder ("The friendliest little ghost town in Alaska")

We'll be here a total of 4 days while we prepare for the next big leg of the trip south. I've needed a break from the daily driving and it will be nice to just sit for a while with full hookups and quiet electricity. The only decent weather we had was the second day we were here when we had decided to stay in, clean up a bit and cook dinner for Chuck & Kalyn, whose motto is "If you have to cook it, it's altogether too much trouble." Mom had made her famous New Orleans style roast beef and it was a lot of fun feasting and visiting with them again. They're taking off tomorrow heading back towards California and the requisite visit to their kids, so I'm not sure if we'll meet again during this trip, but thank God for the touchstone of email so we can keep up with where each other is.

August 20, 2003

We had hoped to visit Bear Glacier and Salmon Glacier during our stay here, but the clouds and rain are obscuring the views, so we stayed home again doing laundry and continuing our Skip Bo tournament. I'm still hoping for better weather ahead, especially for driving, despite the fact that we keep being told we are here during their rainy season and that's about all we should expect. To further the irony, we were also told that prior to our arrival, they had been without rain for 38 days, so they're really thankful for it.

I've also been told since I've been here that I should see the Al Pacino movie "Insomnia" since I've complained about my own lack of sleep when I arrived here and forgot what dark nights looked like. When I found out it was filmed in Stewart, BC, where we now reside, I couldn't resist renting it. Wow, what an intense movie! I can remember seeing his wild eyed wonder and dazed look in my own face sometimes.

I'm even a little sad about it getting darker on a more normal schedule - it's now dark by 10:00 pm, and I didn't think I'd miss the midnight sun, but it's hard to think I won't see it again. The fireweed is blossomed out just about all the way to the top, an indication of summer's last hurrah. I haven't seen any new snow on the mountaintops, known locally as "termination dust," another local indicator of summer's end, and I think we'll probably be too far south by then to see that bittersweet beauty.

August 21, 2003

My mom says she's so thankful for her two kids that made this trip possible for her. She has one son (traditionally the "good" kid of the family) who has plenty of money and provided the plane trip to Anchorage, and her daughter (traditionally the "black sheep" of the family) who is just crazy enough to do this trip without an overage of money, so she's enjoyed the best of both worlds she helped create. We've had interesting conversations about how each of us chose to escape the poverty of our upbringing - Johnny saw education and making money as his escape and has done so well for himself and his family. As a flower child shaped by the 60's, I sought simply the freedom and courage to do what I wanted to do despite what I didn't have, and miraculously I've managed to do most of what I've really wanted to do, despite how crazy it sounded.

So we take off tomorrow toward Prince George again, still looking forward with lots to see before entering Texas again.

August 22, 2003 - The Stewart/Hyder Road

After driving 245 miles, upon entering Houston, B.C., I saw a sign in front of a mall welcoming RVers to spend the night in their rear parking lot. I was glad to take them up on that offer, and since it's a small town and far enough from the highway it's pretty quiet already at 9:00 pm. Tomorrow we'll make it to Jasper National Park and I've looked forward to this part of Canada since my original research showed me what was in store on the way to and from Alaska.

August 25, 2003

Into each life a little rain must fall, especially in the Canadian fall season. I woke this morning to the sound of pounding rain on my roof with a pounding wicked sinus headache. I took two sinus pills which absolutely wiped me out, so I just stayed in bed pretty much all day. This wasn't altogether a bad thing, cause I had my mommy cooking me comfort foods (mommy potatoes) and a day of simply resting not only from the physical tiredness of driving, but the emotional drain that somehow accompany days of being on a serious high just from the beauty and majesty of nature surrounding you everywhere you look.

August 27, 2003 - Icefields Parkway: Waterfalls & Glaciers Galore

Moving slowly down the road, we saw a mountain goat family and were able to pull over long enough to watch them for a while. Later on we saw a big horned sheep with a man standing about 5 feet away from him taking his picture who seemed totally unconcerned about the human presence.

August 28, 2003

I was awakened at 5:00 this morning by the sound of the refrigerator alarm buzzing its complaint of low voltage. The house batteries were almost completely down and did not even have enough power to start the generator, so with bad memories of the Whitehorse meltdown, I turned everything off, pulled on my long-johns and went back to bed after explaining to mom what was happening. It's times like these that she becomes less enamored of the RV lifestyle. In the morning I was able to start the engine with no problem and took off down the road, which charged the house batteries enough to start the generator again so we could at least have coffee before we died from withdrawal.

Since I just bought my new house batteries in June, I really don't understand that the problem is since we've dry camped several times since then with no problem. I wonder if the short drive yesterday wasn't enough to fully charge them since we've been without hookups for about 5 days now. Maybe the generator didn't run enough during that time because when we were in Jasper, they wouldn't allow its use except very infrequently. In any case, I am happy that the campground in Lake Louise has electricity. Good thing, too, because it's the only one in town and they know it - $26.00 for a so-so site with no water or sewer and to top it all off, it's close to the railroad tracks. I still think we will sleep well tonight - we're both pretty exhausted from a lot of walking, getting in and out of the RV taking tons of pictures, and more than anything, a lot of gasping with wonder at the beauty of these Canadian Rockies.

It's really been a blast sharing this last leg of my journey with my mother. I had worried that we'd end up wanting to kill each other at some point since we're both such independent, opinionated and just plain cussed women, but instead we're giggling ourselves to death - over the stupidest stuff, too - especially when we're tired we start babbling and laughing so hard about it until we both have tears in our eyes over something so dim-witted that certainly no one else in the universe would get the joke. I've promised mom I wouldn't write about one of the craziest things she's done since we got together, but suffice it to say, we could both be embarrassed by our off-the-wall, crude bathroom-joke type humor sometimes. We both joke about how unlikely it would have seemed when I was 16 that we would ever even end up friendly, much less as close as we are now. Back then she worried that I was so rebellious I would kill her with a heart attack or something - now she hates being killed by me at Skip-Bo. (Sorry, mom, I couldn't resist…)

August 31, 2003 - Lake Minnewanka

We drove to two more beautiful Canadian Lakes at dusk this evening. The softening light made dimmer by the smoky haze in the air really lent a surreal air to both Lake Minnewanka and Two Jacks and to top off a perfect day, we even saw a beautiful doe standing on a cliff as we drove down the narrow, tree-lined road.

September 2, 2003

We decided to stay one more day in Banff just to rest up from all the sightseeing and running around we've been doing. Having so much fun gets tiring sometimes!

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