Many of my neural circuits - dating back years, or even decades - had been reawakened over the previous weeks. But it was now time to expand my horizons. There were still some friends out there whom I had not seen in a very long time, and several family members whom I had never even met. My time, so far, had bolstered the roots of many distant memories. Now it was time to concentrate more on the branches.
The north beckoned.
The Coast Mountains
My general plan was to shoot north along the Cassiar Highway, a remote yet beauteous stretch of road that I had been up once before, 25 years ago, during a road-trip to Alaska. I did not ride motorcycles back then, and had travelled by pick-up truck. Yet I recalled the Cassiar as a stunning route, and I was eager to see it once more, this time on two wheels rather than four. The Cassiar runs alongside the Coast Mountains, a range that extends across British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. Approximately 1,600 kilometers in length, the Coast Mountains began their formation about 130 million years ago, when the colossal Pacific Plate was slowly subducted underneath the equally enormous North American Plate, culminating in a long, north-south line of volcanic activity.
Outside Terrace, heading north.
Totem poles at Gitanyow.
The Nass River.
Otter Mountain, on the road to Stewart.
Town of Stewart.
Nothing but scenery on the Cassiar Highway.
Dease Lake (the lake, not the town), still heading north.
Clouds painted across the heavens.
Approach to Stone Mountain Provincial Park.
Sunset outside Fort Nelson.
The Rocky Mountains
Now that I had experienced the Coast Mountains, the general plan was to ride south-east to visit the the Rocky Mountains. Although I had driven across the Rockies many times before, I had never really devoted any serious length of time to surveying those famed peaks. The Rocky Mountain Range is approximately 4,800 kilometers long and started its formation roughly 80 million years ago, when a group of smaller tectonic plates began to slide underneath the North American plate. The subduction process has persisted ever since, although the additional erosion provided by a succession of glaciers has also contributed to the morphology of the Rockies.
Entering the Rocky Mountains.
Shadows of sun over Mount Robson.
Mirror in Moose Lake.
Guardians of Jasper National Park.
The stegosaurus-like contours of Clevis Peak.
Stutfield Glacier, peering out from behind a cimmerian forest.
Mount Athabasca, clothed in fire and ice.
Mighty Crowfoot Glacier.
In nature, Euclidean geometry is the exception, not the rule.
Tim and I catch up in Canmore...over 20 years later.
Several years ago, I discovered that I had an older sister. For some strange reason, I do not quite recall when, or even how, I came by this information. Perhaps it was locked away in some remote corner of my brain, where it lay, smoldering, waiting for the appropriate time to be actioned upon. We had made contact a couple of months beforehand and, fortunately, she was as keen to meet up as I was. Bhari lives in Cochrane, Alberta, with her husband John, her three sons Jake, Joe, and Jack, and her daughter Jamie.
Bhari, John, and their sons - Jake, Joe, and Jack.
Meeting my sister Bhari.
Catching up with Aunt Barb.
Pat and Janice.
Tim and Ren.
Simon and Roanna.
Mike and Karen Kenyon.
Chilling with Hewitt.
Bill and Jill Redpath.
Great coffee with cousin Tara.
My folks, 48th wedding anniversary.
Cloud's last ride.
Eagle's tree at Spearfish.