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After Year of Isolation, The Gift of Nature

After three years of investigating flooding problems and a year of isolating during COVID, it’s time to rejuvenate. What better way to clear your head than with nature? So let me share some pictures with you. In August 2016, shortly after I retired, I spent five weeks driving my Chevy 10,562 miles to the Arctic Circle and back.

Road Trip of a Lifetime

It’s a trip I will never forget thanks to Nikon. And, or course, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built the 1,500 mile Alaska Highway through northern Canada in 1942 as part of the World War II effort.

When I left Texas, the temperature was 106. When I got to the Yukon, it was 46. The aspens were already turning color in mid-August and birds had already started migrating south from Alaska.

To put this nature trip in perspective:

  • When you get to Calgary from Houston, you’re not even halfway to Fairbanks.
  • Canada’s land mass equals that of the U.S., but the U.S. population is 9X greater.
  • 75% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
  • Yukon, Northwest Territory and Nunavit (the northern tier of provinces) contain 40% of Canada’s land and only 4% of its people.
  • The Yukon is larger than California, but has a population less than 40% of Kingwood’s.
  • At one point, I saw just three grocery stores in 1,000 miles, none larger than a convenience store.

So if you ever want to really clear your head, consider this nature trip. Just bring along plenty of granola bars. Below are some pics and links to more.

What You See Between Houston and the Arctic

Glacial Lakes near Canmore, Alberta
Glacial Valley near Stewart, British Columbia
Folded Moutain, in northern Alberta (if I remember correctly).
Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Note the man at the crest of the dune in the foreground.
Canyonlands National Park in Utah

To See More

Here are 60 more of my favorite pics from this trip. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them. To see more of my nature photography, visit BobRehak.com, another of my websites. Click on Portfolios and then Landscapes.

If You Decide to Go Yourself

If you decide to take this trip yourself, make sure you go in mid summer. By September, many of the northern roads and accommodations are closing. Snow chains were required in many places after mid-September. No joking. I actually ran into a heavy snowstorm near Edmonton in August. Buy new tires before you go. And fill up at every gas station you see once you get into the Yukon. They can be very far apart.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/21/2020

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