January 09, 2008

Am I there already?

Have you ever noticed how, the first time you take a new trail or drive to a new destination, the trip seems to go by a lot faster the second time you take the same journey? And that it goes by even faster than that the third time?

It's like that for me, anyway. I'm guessing it has something to do with learning. The first time I go somewhere, my brain is busy memorizing landmarks. All those new observations just make the trip appear to take a long time. The second time I go there, a few more landmarks get added, but there aren't as many to memorize. By that point, I'm anticipating landmarks that I saw the first time.

This time, even though I was driving a less-than-perfect rental vehicle, the weather was not great, and the roads were icy, it seemed like I was constantly saying to myself, "Am I there already?!" I was driving below the speed limit, but everything was arriving so quickly! The fourteen hour drive from Whitehorse to Fort Liard gets easier every time. The overnight stop at the Liard Hotsprings doesn't hurt.

I think that the Alaska Highway between the Fireside and Steamboat is one drive that I will never get tired of. There is so much to see: spectacular scenery, wildlife, tourists getting too close to the wildlife. On this trip, I saw a couple of wolves, a fox-like creature (it had some of the characteristics of a fox, but wasn't quite a fox, if that makes any sense), bison (as usual), owls, and a couple of sheep.

And don't worry. I'm not one of those crazy tourists who get too close to the wildlife; my camera has a good zoom...

A stone sheep, enjoying the salt on the highway.