Back from the Road Trip of a Lifetime

In July, August and early September, I drove from Houston, Texas, to Fairbanks, Alaska, and beyond, covering 10,582 miles. I found a lot of incredible scenery along the way and will be posting the best shots in my Landscapes section. When you drive from Houston to Calgary, you’re not even halfway to Fairbanks. Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory are immense. Frankly, the vastness of the wilderness is somewhat intimidating.

I learned that:

  • Canada and the U.S. are virtually identical in size.
  • Yet Canada’s population is 1/9th that of the U.S.
  • 75% of Canada’s population lives within a hundred miles of the U.S. border.
  • Canada’s three territories (Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut) contain 40% of its landmass and just 4% of its population.

The point: the northern parts of Canada are very sparsely populated. It gets pretty lonely up there in the Yukon. I also learned that:

  • The Yukon is bigger than California, but has only 30,000 people, 20,000 of whom live in Whitehorse, the capital.
  • You top off your gas tank EVERY time you pass a filling station; they can be several hundred miles apart.
  • You can easily drive a thousand miles without seeing a stop light.
  • Budget an extra windshield for your vehicle; they have gravel the size of golf balls in the Yukon
  • You better love trail mix and Slim Jims

I counted a grand total of three grocery stores (not counting the convenience stores attached to gas stations) in the Yukon territory! I also talked to people who drove more than 600 kilometers to buy groceries (that’s about 400 miles).

But the scenery definitely makes up for the lack of creature comforts! Your jaw will be dropping around every corner. I will be posting more images from the trip in coming days. The first is Canadian Rockies Near Canmore, Alberta.

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