Day 13: Contrasts

459 miles
16 mpg
$15.19: Swan Lake Provincial Park Campground, Peace River, British Columbia

“It was the best of roads, it was the worst of roads, it was the age of savvy truckers, it was the age of rolling coal”…

Another early morning, with some nice, quiet driving, and scenic pay-offs on the Icefields Parkway.

I decided to get to Grande Prairie, Alberta by taking the Icefields Parkway to 16, to 40 (Bighorn Highway)

Bow Lake:

Columbia Glacier:

And Rogerson’s Market in Jasper:

As you can see, it was pretty wet. But the views were great.

The Bighorn Highway was a bit of a challenge. The rain, big rigs, and muddy roads would’ve been enough. But then there was miles and miles of construction, mostly with a narrow road and a shoulder that dropped down a foot into mud. So steer straight.

And a few mud roads.

And more construction. I’m kinda amazed any of the cabinets in the trailer are still intact.

They’re replacing this bridge, with the wood-plank driving surface.

But I’m sure it’s safe for now.

After a lot of harrowing driving, I stopped in the Grande Cache Tourism & Interpretive Center.

I wanted to get as far as B.C., so I stopped at the first park over the border. In honor of the many by times I’ve played this ballet with the Pennsylvania Ballet, I stopped at Swan Lake Provincial Park Campground.

Nothin’ fancy. Just a place to sleep, as I approach Dawson Creek – “Mile Zero” of the Alaska Highway.

As I take a deep breath and look back on the day, it really way a day of contrasts.

The Icefields Parkway had Subarus, 5th-wheels, and van-lifers exploring Banff and Jasper. Pachouli scented hitch-hikers dotted the on-ramps.

Once past Jasper, and especially around Grand Prairie, lifted Ram 3500s and F-350s became the norm. Aggressive drivers. Folks hogging the coveted diesel pumps (and then going in for a bite to eat, with their truck still at the pump).

And lots and lots of rolling coal.

I suppose the extra pollution will make for some warmer winter months eventually – so good for you.


6 thoughts on “Day 13: Contrasts

  1. What a harrowing day of driving. Love that you are at Swan Lake Campground. Thank you for more stunning photographs! And don’t forget the bear spray on your next hike.

  2. Sorry you’ve had such terrible roads today – cheer up, they can’t get any worse, can they? (Check your water tank holders.)
    Any other Airstreams going your way?
    Stay safe –
    Mom & Dad

  3. Always interesting how attitudes and lifestyles shift and can be read from the front seat as the miles roll by. I wonder what the surprising common ground might be, as there often is some.

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