Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Camouflaged, but not for my furry friends.

tumblr_nr76vcIldS1s6y006o2_1280

The start of the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek constantly reminded me of how the north works – practically, hard, hands on, in extreme weather, overcoming the wild, and with no apologies. The industries up here are oil, gas, logging, infrastructure maintenance, and survival, and everyone seems to enjoy it a little rough around the edges…so to speak.

I was glad that the only section of the Alaska Highway (so far) where dusty mens yards resemble children’s unmade bedrooms was the first few hundred kilometres. However, instead of toy cars, plastic dolls and being strewn with computer game boxes, they were filled with rusty wreckages of oversized man-toys and piles of solid-industrial “stuff” stopping anyone from seeing the carpets. Beyond the semi-organised, weathered junk yards, the long road rolled smoothly, through one epic view to another.

tumblr_nr76vcIldS1s6y006o1_1280

After a few hours, it’s clear to me what KP was so excited about. Vast, expanse, of land (seemingly) untouched by man. There simply isn’t anywhere else on earth that there could possibly be any more large pine trees. Days and days of driving, and the pine forests are relentless.
We are here to enjoy the views, the wildlife and to explore any civilised place that is in our path – there aren’t many on the road north west (places, not civilised people!), so we’re sure to find a few surprises when we do come across them. One thing which is a sad surprise early on our drive, is that even though we are (seemingly) in the wilderness, there is extremely little wildlife. “Seemingly”, because there is a lot that can be hidden among densely growing trees in the Yukon, and on further investigation, things become clearer. The trees hide dozens of oil and gas wells, and large logging operations alongside a network of maintenance and staging areas. We see the hoards of trucks with hundreds of freshly cut trees, and flat beds carrying thousands of processed planks and pieces for instant construction. It may appear to be a wilderness up here, but it’s alive with industry, logistics, large business, and though it isn’t shouted about, a lot of money. Very little of which seems to remain here. The wild has been turned, and although there is much green cover, it feels like it’s camouflage for things that aren’t furry.

The industry does however thin out, and the articulated trucks on the highway begin to fade. We begin to notice more RV’s and travellers who are out to see the north as we are, a few hundred more kilometres north west of Dawson Creek. At this moment though, with little more than trees that disguise, roads that run tiresomely straight, and only common birds and bugs to admire in the wild, I’m still a little uncertain about what is so exciting on the road up ahead. An eager optimist, I’m hopeful…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I’m now mainly in Malawi.
Go Untamed Safaris is now up and running.
Between work days and in the rainy season (December to April); I am planning some expeditions and seek out some experienced individuals keen to be involved.
I will be in the U.K. January to March 2018.

For safari and expedition details:

email: info@gountamed.com

http://www.gountamed.com

Top Posts & Pages

%d bloggers like this: