Wednesday, September 19, 2012

From Mountains to Plains


We left Alaska right as the weather was starting to turn in the mountains that line the Alaska-Canada border. As there is really only one land route to and from Alaska, we retraced our path back down the Alaskan highway. So there wasn’t too much new to note.  One thing interesting was that we stopped at the Cinnamon Bun Centre of the Galactic Cluster. They had huge cinnamon rolls for sale there, so I bought two.  They weren’t as good as my mom and grandma’s, but then again, whose are?


For almost as long as I can remember in this new lifestyle, minus our week-long stay in Driggs and the two days it took to get to the Rockies at the start of the trip, we have been in bear country. In fact, I was beginning to think that all of Canada’s trash cans were the bear-proof type. But all of a sudden yesterday when we started east across Alberta, we found that we were no longer in bear country and trash was taken much less seriously.

I have also found that I am a Kansas girl, through and through. I like trees, as every Midwestern should. They provide shade, a spot of green, and a bit of a different sound when the wind blows through them. But, I find that I am one that just “can’t see the forest for the trees.” I like wide, open spaces that allow you to see forever. Forests that come right up to the road and don’t let you see in or past them just annoy me (a bit anyway). I just feel like I can’t see anything at all. I did find a compromise, though. If those forests are on hills or mountains tall enough for you to see things in the distance, then I am ok with that.


Most people, like my husband, can’t stand driving through the plains. He finds them really boring with no scenery to entertain him. I am sure that I see things differently since I was raised in the golden fields of southwest Kansas, but I find the plains very fascinating. They aren’t just drab dead plants with a shockingly exposed sky for as far as the eye can see. They have many different plants and colors. It is a sea of its own sort, with waves from the wind. The blues of the sky complement the golden hues on the ground. There are also random treasures hidden in its flat expanses, like our current campground. We are nestled on the bank of a lake that couldn’t be seen from the distance as the land just dipped down for the lake and then resumed its flatness on the other side. My husband has found one appreciation for the high plains that cross North America: there are no hills which the van has to labor to climb.




Buffalo Pound Campground

We have found we are approaching civilization again as we have cell reception most of the time and a radio station as well. This happens as you get farther south and east in Canada. Ironically, this will likely change dramatically when we cross the border. We will be back in wilderness area in the northern US.

In the second-to-last place we found internet (yay for Tim Horton’s!), I decided I must download a few programs to make my life easier. First, I needed a way to create a “real” wireless access point from laptop, since ad-hoc networks weren’t recognized by my camera or phone. (Thanks, Connectify!) Then I also downloaded various remote software so that I could control my laptop from my phone. Oh the life! Now that I have got them running, I can prop myself comfortably in my seat and not have to lean forward to skip the intro! I love efficiency, especially in laziness! I still haven’t gotten my camera to send pics wirelessly to my laptop yet, but I am getting closer; it at least now recognizes the network and connects. 

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