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-Page'--=Fiday; April 17, ,141-The-Michigan Daily
THE CANADIAN ROCKIES extend along the Alaskan Highway from British
Columbia to the Yukon Territory. Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, is
located at milepost 1,109 of the 1,520-mile Alaskan Highway.
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(Continued from Page 3)
apart these carefully packed items and
make me pack up the rubble.
Instead, they made me prove that I
had enough money to make it through
Canada and into Alaska. I squeezed by
with an Esso credit card and $230.
On previous trips into eastern On-
tario, I had become used to flat, dull
countryside. But I was surprised by the
western section. There were huge green
hills on one side of the road; on the
other, sheer cliffs met Lake Superior.
Heyden, Michipicoten River, and
Wawa rolled by. It was getting dark,
and I started looking for a place tostop
I noticed that cars were parked along
the highway and that people were cam-
ping. There were cut-offs next to the
road with other informal camping
areas. I pulled into a cut-off and set up
I HARDLY SLEPT THAT NIGHT.
Noises like hundreds of cars pulling into
the area kept me alert-the din turned
out to be trains in the distance. Bears
were surrounding me in my
imagination-the tarp was flapping
against the side of the truck. I vowed
never to spend another night camping.
At dawn I woke up and looked out-
side. I had camped next to a tree-lined
lake that had early morning mist rising
above it. It seemed sacrilegious for a
human to be in this environment.
I compromised. Each day I would
drive to regular park campsites, where
other campers would be at least a mile
MY DAYS QUICKLY became
routine-as if I had no past and would
have no future. I would drive about 100
miles,stop to fill my thermos,and the
next nice spot I found, I would stop and
I never drove more than 400 miles a
day during the 12-day trip. This was my
opportunity to see places that I
probably would never visit again.
After reading as much as I liked, I
would get back into the truck and
resume my journey, stopping whenever
the scenery was interesting.
NO SIGNS WERE necessary to
welcome me into Manitoba. The
regional division was clearly visible. I
was driving from a very hilly, sparkly
region into flat horizons. Winnipeg,
with hundreds of churchspires and old
stone houses, was Manitoba's only
Saskatchewan turned into an
exaggerated Manitoba. I never worried
about timing as I passed cars-I could
see the road ahead of me for miles.
Once again, there was a visible line
separating Saskatehewan and Alberta,
with Alberta becoming more lovely the
further I drove.
ONE MORNING I noticed Elk Island
National Park, just outside of Edmon-
ton, on my map. It seemed as good a
spot as any to stop, and I wanted to see
at least one national park. When I en-
tered and paid my camping fee, the
woman at the toll house told me to drive
slowly and to watch out for any buffalo I
Elk Island is a buffalo reserve, and
the herds are free to roam as they
please. It was common to hike and find
stray buffalo a few feet away.
The next morning was sunny, so I
took a blanket and book to a lake about
a mile from the campground. That day
was one of only three times on the trip
that I talked to. anyone other than
during business transactions.
A GROUP OF people were playing
baseball with a slat from a picket fence
and a tennis ball. They asked me if I
wanted to play and asked the inevitable
question, "Where you from, eh?"
When I told them I was from Detroit,
they ran around saying, "Eh, we have a
'You'all' here." I guess that's the
Canadian definition of someone from
the United States.
The foothills of the Canadian Rockies
became prominent once I passed Ed-
monton. I was rapidly approaching the
point of no return on the trip-soon I
couldn't turn around and head back
THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY. So many
tales are told about this 1,520-mile long
road leading through British Columbia
and the Yukon Territory into Fair-
My trip had been spent in relative
ease so far. The roads were good all the
way until this point. I would begin
driving on gravel very shortly.
Dawson Creek-where the highway
begins-was a magical destination
throughout the trip. I didn't have to
make any decisions or be particularly
careful until I arrived here.
THE TOWN TURNED out to be the
capital of cheap diners. This was the
only time that I drove further than I
really wanted during a day-but I had
to get out or lose my senses.
Any point along the first 50 mils of
the Alaskan Highway could be the pin-
nacle of a nightmare. A little to the
right of the road was a sheer drop. The
tiny bridges across gorges were
breathtaking, both because of the
beauty of the scenery and because the
bridges didn't seem to be structurally
sound. But driving along a road out of
the side of Canadian Rockies was
The pavement gave way to gravel
about 50 miles outside of Dawson
Creek. On this road, patience was re-
defined. Speeds in excess of 40 miles
per hour were plain stupid.
THE FIRST MORNING I drove on
gravel I was plagued by an impatient
Honda. It passed me once, spraying
stones over the windshield of my truck.
I cringed and imagined the glass
cracking before my eyes. After a short
Continued on page 14
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Being realistic is the most important
factor when planning a vacation.
Think beforehand about the expenses
incurred by staying in hotels, transpor-
tation other than bus or plane fare, and
entertainment. Multiply these costs by
the length of stay, as well as where you
will be going.
IF YOU ARE planning to vacation in
San Francisco or New York, your costs
will be higher than in Flagstaff,
Arizona, where the cost of living is less.
Don't forget about inflation--;a trip now
will cost more than two years ago.
Plan carefully how and what you are
going to pack. If you plan to go to an ex-
pensive restaurant only once, don't
pack three suits. Plus, there are laun-
dromats, so you don't need to carry
your entire wardrobe on a trip.
Vacations are times to relax and
something you have wanted to do for a
long time. If you feel guilty about never
having read Dostoevsky's The Idiot,
don't plan to read it on vacation. If you
are having a good time, the book won't
be read anyhow and will only be bulky.
IF YOU ARE planning to take a slow-
moving trip )train, car, bus) take along
a few paperback books that you would
like to read because they are enjoyable.
Find out about used book shops in the
town you are visiting. On the way home
you can trade in the old for some new
ones, thereby lessening your book load
Small games are a lot of fun on trips,
too. Cards are invaluable, as well as a
traveling Scrabble game. It's in-
teresting to look at scenery, but the.
human mind needs variety.
If there are special things you like to
- eat (especially if you are a vegetarian)
bring small amounts for your longer
trips. Most truckstops are partial to
WHEN DRIVING cross-country, con-
sider picnicking in some of the state
parks. Grocery stores usually cost less
than restaurants, and the parks have
hiking trails for exercise.
For additional exercise, as well as
fun, look into public recreational
facilities such as swimming pools and
tennis courts. Often these can be used
for a low price. Ask about nearby lakes
and hiking trails. In many places there
are bicycle rentals for reasonable
prices, and you can see quite a bit more
this way than byrwalking, or driving in
a fast-moving car.
Make sure you bring proper iden-
tification. A driver's license or state ID
is essential. Student ID can be helpful,
too, because many restaurants and
theatres will give you a discount with
BE SENSIBLE about choosing foot-
wear. Sounds silly, but how much fun is
it to walk with four blisters on each
foot? Chic is chic, but it's more fun to be
able to walk.
Try to keep your money in more than
one place. If a thief gets lucky, your
vacation money will be wiped out. A
thief will not want to take too much
time searching all of your possessions
for every penny you have-better yet,
bring traveler's checks.
A good buy if you're driving any
distance is a can of "instant spare." If
you are unfortunate enough to get a flat
tire, this will inflate it and enable you to
travel approximately 25 miles or to the
nearest gas station. It can be bought in
most hardware stores for about $1.50.
When you are buying souvenirs, think
about what you are going to like one
month from the trip. It's easy to be
carried away with a particular item,
but usually it's not that valuable when
your memory fades a little, and the ex-
pense of the item won't be worth it.
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