Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Rainbows, Bears & Beaver, and all before the Alaska Highway!

The city of Jasper seemed another, slightly middle of the road version of Banff. Looking a little cheaper and more relaxed, and without everywhere being covered in an expensive, branded label. Although maybe it’s not quite summer yet. We left Jasper and his beloved Banff behind us and headed north, via a westerly bend. Our destination: Dawson Creek, and the start of the Alaska Highway.


The drive into, and through British Colombia is probably my favourite yet. The roads are smooth and virtually empty, the views laden with mountains and an abundance of massive Christmas trees, and we’ve enjoyed wildlife in abundance. One huge owl (odd to see one in the middle of the day) twitted and woo’d us, batting its huge eyelids as it said hello. Two bears bumbled along the roadside, nonchalantly picking berries, gazing at us and wondering if we’d be a more satisfying meal. Two chipper moose enjoyed a lush luncheon before awkwardly ambling into the overgrowth (they have a leggy, gait, as if delicately trying to step over invisible barbed wire), a golden eagle briefly soared alongside us while presumably, also checking the nearby lake for a family-sized take out, and a second wolf watched us, with his young beady eyes, as we crossed his path. I presume not all who travel this road have so many spectacles, even in a lifetime, but we’ve managed it in one day, and it’s not even 3pm!


I’m sat drinking a cup of hot earl grey (I’m British, remember), as the hazy sun attempts to go down (it struggles up here at this time of year), and I’m now watching three beaver meander around in the reflective stillness of the river. Seeming to play with their food as they paddle and breach the surface, catching it with ease on every dive, one breaks off and goes on a slow adventure into the fast flowing section of water I’m sitting on. Curious and careful, yet experienced and arrogant of my presence, it stays close to the bank, switching between a swim and a back-legged walk as its arse lifts out of the water like a creeping canine.


I assume he’s looking for some bush to much down, and carry a fresh trunk back to his beloved, who is carefree, frolicking with all her fish. Only finding damp, hanging twigs on his pilgrimage, he floats into the currents and swirling pools, before taking one last look at me, just for good measure. He dives, and I never see him again. Privileged but fishless, I’m going to retire to my bunk. We found a dirt track and service road under an electrical pilon, so as long as we don’t look up, the view in twilight, as it has been for most of the political landscape in the U.S. recently, is rainbow coloured.


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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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