Tuesday, December 29, 2009

High Noon In Two Rivers

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

No kidding, folks... I took this photo at exactly noon today!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 50-50

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

How did you spend Christmas night? Aliy, Allen and the dogs spent it by heading out for what's called a 50-50. That's a 50 mile run, a 5 hour rest then another 50 mile run. This video offers you a look at their preparation, and some nice footage of the dogs "up close and personal." Yup, that's what we do for fun around here, get out in the cold and dark to shoot video of dogs and go for all night runs! Makes your tummy ache from eating too much holiday food seem not quite so bad, eh? Enjoy!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy The Pet Dog?

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

I know it's been a week since we were in Anchorage, but I just got this photo off one of my pocket cameras and thought it was funny enough to share with you.

Allen and Aliy were sitting in the Anchorage airport waiting for our flight, when Happy hopped up on the seat between them and made herself comfortable. I laughed and said, "She looks kinda like Happy the pet dog!" Aliy laughed and said, "You know, Happy has really surprised me on this trip. She's done great with all the travel, the people, the hotel… Everything. She might actually make a good pet dog one day."

One thing's for sure, our crazy Happy girl has come a long way from being chained to a boat motor during a blizzard in a remote Alaskan village.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Says "Mission Accomplished!"

Hi!... I'm Happy... I'm always Happy... That's why they call me Happy!

Well, I'll tell you... It's been another whirlwind day here in Anchorage! We had meetings all morning, then photo shoots all afternoon and our big presentation tonight at Covenant House. The boss did a really good job talking about how hard it is being a human sometimes, and that "winning" sometimes means solving each problem you face and keeping going until you finish. I never knew she had such a hard time on the Iditarod last year!

I was quite the star of the show, though, and everybody loved me! I got lots of attention and it was all really great except for hearing dogs barking from inside a little black box. It was really loud, but you couldn't see any dogs inside it. It kinda creeped me out.

Anyway, Aliy says I did a really great job here and Allen even said I was "Perfect!" (He really likes me, you know, now that helped him get all the way to Nome. Have I ever told you that I'm an Iditarod finisher?)

So, I say "mission accomplished" here in Anchorage!

We just got back to our room at Clarion Suites, and I headed straight for my inside dog house. Seriously, this celebrity stuff is exhausting. I'm just human tired and ready to go home! We have a midnight flight, after which we'll get back the Kennel at about three o'clock in the morning. That's really late, even in dog hours. I don't care, though, because I can sleep in as late as I want tomorrow. We celebrities get to do that, you know.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about my trip. We shot a bunch of pictures and video today, so you can expect to see lots more about my trip here on the Dog Log. You're excited about that, I know!

Love, Happy The Sled Dog

"Hi!" From Happy In Anchorage

Hi!... I'm Happy... I'm always Happy... That's why they call me Happy!

Okay, so I'm in Anchorage. What a day! First, I was the only Iditarod sled dog on the plane and didn't have to share my cabin with anybody! In the first photo you can see me arriving at the Anchorage airport. The humans were worried about me, but I took it all in stride. I wanted to use the escalator, but they made me ride in an elevator instead. You know what an elevator is, right? It's a really big dog house that goes up and down.

In the second photo you can see me checking into the Clarion Suites Downtown. Actually, my people handled that for me. I'm the star so I don't have to do those things. Besides, I don't have a thumb so I can't hold a pen.

We have a very nice room, and here's the coolest thing: I had room service and it was really good!

I have to go to bed now and get my beauty sleep. Tomorrow is a big day!

Love, Happy

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Humans, Happy Headed To Anchorage

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

Aliy, Allen and I are all headed to Anchorage today. Our mission is to meet with sponsors and supporters to get a jump on making Iditarod arrangements, plans, etc. Plus, Aliy is doing a presentation at Covenant House on behalf of SP Kennel Lead Sponsor Horizon Lines. She will be using some of her stories and videos from last Iditarod to talk about focusing on goals, overcoming setbacks and perseverance. As we all know, she has plenty to share!

As part of her presentation, Aliy is bringing along a very special SP Kennel dog who has her own rich history of overcoming hardships in a remote Alaskan village to become an Iditarod finishing sled dog. That's right, Happy's going to Anchorage to share her celebrity and stardom! When told that she was going on the trip, you can see that Happy's reactions went from surprise to bewilderment to something that appears to be denial.

That dog always cracks me up, and when I think about Happy getting a bath, flying to Anchorage and staying in a hotel room... Well, I can't help but think it's going to be hilarious!

I will try to post something from Anchorage, but if I miss a day please bear with me and stay tuned!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Running Errands

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

I just shot this video a few minutes ago and wanted to post it right away. It's really no big deal, but it is a perfect little example of life around a sled dog kennel. I did a voice-over introduction on the video, so I'll skip typing it here... Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Training On The Woodcutting Road -- Part 2

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

In Part 2 of Aliy's "Woodcutting Road" trail video, there are a couple of treats in store for you.

First, Aliy exchanges taunts with a bothersome raven, surely something you won't see and hear every day!

Second, Happy The Sled Dog puts on a show that her fans -- and everyone! -- will surely enjoy.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Everybody's Got An Angle!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

I know this is a Dog Log, but sometimes we just have to share a little flavor of life in Alaska. Here's the sign from the Denny's in Fairbanks. Am I the only one, or does this make you smile too?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Outtake: Howling With The Big Dogs

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

This 30-second video is so dumb I probably shouldn't post it. You really have to be a "dog person" to appreciate it.

Here's the set up: While I was editing the Happy Thanksgiving video on my Mac yesterday, my sweet, dumb companion dog Stella heard all the howling and started joining in. It made me laugh, so I grabbed a camera.

I honestly don't know if Stella realized there weren't any real dogs, but the instinct to howl with the big dogs must just be irresistible. Enjoy...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hook Up And Head Out!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

A number of you have asked about "hooking up the dogs" so we're going to bring you a series of posts about it.

For starters, we thought it would be a good idea to show you the process from start to finish from a fixed viewpoint. To do this, I set up a camera in the Kennel's exit chute and started it rolling. The problem is that it took about 16 minutes to hook up 16 dogs, and that's just too much video to ask anybody to sit through.

In the editing process I tried speeding up the video and, frankly, I think it got more interesting the faster I pushed it. Ending up at 8-times normal speed, I think it turned out to be pretty entertaining too. It all starts out so orderly as the first few dogs are hooked up, but the more dogs there are and the closer it gets to them heading out… Well, you'll just have to see for yourself.

While that camera was running, I walked out in the field to shoot the dogs on the run… Always fun to watch. I've included that at normal speed at the end, and I think you'll find it provides some helpful "slow down" time from an otherwise hectic, chaotic stretch of video.

With no further ado, here's what Aliy and Allen do every day and sometimes twice a day. We invite you to buckle up and hang on!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy's New Collar

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

A number of you have written to ask what's up with "Happy The Sled Dog" so we thought we'd give you a little update.

Happy is doing just great here at the Kennel. She is training on a full schedule with all the racing dogs and she looks really good. I asked Allen about her and he said, "Well, she's not our best dog... But she's not our worst dog either!" High praise from Allen, indeed!

The biggest thing in her life right now -- besides being able to flaunt the fact that she's an Iditarod finisher to all the new, young racers! -- is that she's got a new collar! In this video, Aliy explains and Happy shows you just about everything that makes her the unique sled dog she is!

Note: We promise that there will soon be a lot more about Happy here on the Dog Log! Stay tuned!

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Walk With The Pups

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

I was getting ready to take Stella and Tig out for their afternoon romp when Aliy said she was ready for a break and suggested we take the puppies out for a walk, too.

Although the pups mostly stay in a pen with their mother Pepper, they have been allowed to romp around the dog yard for brief periods. As you know, they also have been in the house from time to time. Today, however, was their first official "walk" down the driveway and out into the big field.

As you will see, the video is pretty chaotic. Frankly, I spent most of the time with the camera down at knee level, shooting freehand and hoping for the best. Add to that the fact that Aliy and I are both using our best -- i.e. most idiotic -- puppy-attention-getting voices. Plus, Tig and Stella tried their best to get our attention… Well, let's just leave it at being chaotic.

The video turned out, however, to have some really great puppy moments. So, I decided to abandon any efforts at editing and have just strung the clips together.

Bottom line: If you like puppy videos, we think you're gonna love this one!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Pupdate!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

We brought the pups inside for a while this morning and had a grand time with them.

Scooter was active and outgoing, especially enjoying time laying on Allen's chest. Smoe played hard then crashed for a perfect little puppy nap.

Sissy has the best mustache in the Kennel... Perhaps in the entire dog universe! (We hope her doggie friends don't tease her about it.) And then there's Spoog... What more can you say than "Too cute!"

All the pups are doing very well and growing like crazy! Pepper is a very good mom, and all the dogs are helping to socialize the pups in the Kennel pack. Stay tuned for future Pupdates!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It Feels Like Winter Is Finally Here!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

A picture's worth a thousand words...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Macgellan Update: Ready For Action!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

Just a quick, final update to report that I'm ready for action!

I had, of course, a few of the usual, "It's never easy!" challenges to contend with. A couple of frozen jacks on my camper required a little ingenuity and the use of an old-style camper jack that Allen just happened to have lying around! Sorting out and hooking up the rest of the "utilities" each had their idiosyncrasies, but nothing a half-dozen trips to the hardware store couldn't fix. To my great satisfaction, I'm now all set up with power, heat and internet in my camper!

What more could I want? Well… A guy's gotta have a dog! That's right, my sweet, quiet, low maintenance roommate from last season has joined me again. I brought Stella over from the Kennel, opened the door to my camper and said, "Go on, get in there!" It took her less than three seconds to figure out where the bed was and take up her usual bed-hogging position. Welcome home, Stella!

So, I'm ready for action and hope that you are too!

Each Dog Is An Individual

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

It's one of the most fundamental principles we have of being "dog first" at SP Kennel: Each dog is an individual. We recognize their individuality, we respect it and we do everything we can to accommodate it.

Most of the time, a dog's individuality shows up in little ways: Where in a team they like to run, which other dogs they like to hang out with, how much they enjoy being handled by strangers, etc.

While getting media off of Aliy's camera the other day, I found a little gem of a video clip that I think really illustrates the dogs' individuality. Here's the set up:

When a team returns to the Kennel after a run, most dogs are pretty mellow and ready to chill out. They've done their work and they're ready to head back to their houses for a hot meal and a good, long rest. As a result, most of them will wait patiently to be unhooked from the line, either quietly standing around or even laying down. Usually their tails are wagging, but mostly they're pretty relaxed and low energy.

Except for this one dog we've got. No matter how far she runs, she's always full of energy when she gets back to the Kennel. As you will see, that's actually an understatement!

(I suspect some of you may have already guessed who she is…)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Every Picture Tells A Story

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

We had just a little sun the other day when Aliy took a visitor out for a ride-along on a training run, so I grabbed a bunch of shots as they were leaving the Kennel. Although at first glance they don't really seem to be very informative, a closer look shows that every picture tells a story. Take a look at this photo and see what you can see.

Besides the obvious facts that there are 14 dogs running and we don't have much snow yet, let's zoom in on a few parts of the photo to see what else we can observe… Especially about the personalities of the individual dogs.

First of all, we've got talented young Dingle in lead with his head down and working very hard to impress his beautiful, leggy co-leader, Petunia. Dingle is a 3-year old who is really coming into his prime. He was one of Allen's main leaders on the Iditarod last year.

Petunia is a 5-year old who is fully in her prime. Although she is an absolute sweetheart around the Kennel, she is always a focused, hard working dog with strong leadership qualities while in harness. She knows she is one of the prettiest sled dogs in the world, and she uses that to her advantage.

Next, we've got the veteran Spicy, an experienced and talented 5-year old, running in swing with Malibu, a 2-year old rising star. True to her nature, Spicy has her head down and her tug line tight with her focus clearly on the trail in front of her.

Malibu has momentarily picked her head up to check me out. While in some cases this can be a sign of lost concentration, here it is a sign of "surveying the scene" that lead dogs must be very good at. Keep your eye on Malibu this season, as she is likely to be an important young member of the team.

Behind them you can see 7-year old Bullet, one of those rare dogs who can -- and will -- do anything you ask her to. Whether it is leading in the most difficult situations, setting the pace while running in swing or being a solid member of the team as she is here, Bullet is a dog who earns everybody's respect. She may be shy and not very affectionate around the Kennel, but Aliy won't go anywhere without her.

Finally, we've got the rest of the team:

Skittles is head up and sassy, and Spot is "in the zone." Behind them you can barely see both solid young Chica and the always hard working and cheerful Teddy. Next is Quito, another of the talented 3-year old crew, and behind her are Tyson and Nutmeg, working hard like good team dogs do.

And who do we have back in wheel position? The last dog on the right is young Bonita, yet another of the solidly developing 3-year olds. The last dog on the left… Well, that's our dear, sweet, dumb girl Happy… No focus, looking off the trail and momentarily "gone mental" as Aliy calls it. If I had to guess, right now she is thinking "Squirrel!"

Every dog is an individual, every team is unique and every picture tells a story!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Macgellan Update: Greetings From Fairbanks!

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

After eight hard days of driving, I arrived in Fairbanks late this afternoon with a real sense of accomplishment.

It would be impossible to describe the AlCan drive in words, but I'm confident that I have enough good photos and video to edit into something special for you to see. I promise to work on it as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I'd just like to give credit where credit is due. My trusty truck -- whom I call "Darth" for obvious reasons -- performed spectacularly during the entire 2,300 mile journey. Here is a photo of him on the road today from Tok to Delta Junction.

Considering the number of people I talked to along the way who suffered breakdowns, flat tires, busted axles and the like, I am very thankful for a mechanically uneventful drive. Thanks to Darth!

I decided to stay in town tonight rather than push on to the Kennel. Partly because it is already getting dark and I didn't want to try to get set up there without being able to see what I'm doing. Mostly, though, because I'm pretty worn out and wanted to give myself a night to rest up a little before diving into the fast pace of the Kennel.

And fast paced I can assure you it will be! Just as soon as I get done smooching every dog in the yard, I'll have a meeting with the bosses and "get after it!"

Stay tuned!

AlCan: Day 8 -- Tok, AK to Fairbanks, AK

It snowed overnight in Tok, and was still snowing pretty heavily when I hit the road this morning. The visibility was sufficiently poor that I got very few usable photos from my dash-cam, but here's one that will at least give you a feel for what I was dealing with.

For about a hundred miles northwest out of Tok, the road is almost perfectly straight and flat. The terrain is lightly wooded throughout this part of the Alaskan interior.

The Alaska Highway ends in Delta Junction, AK, about 1,400 miles from where it started in Dawson Creek, BC. There's not much in Delta Junction besides fuel, food and other travel necessities, but it's a substantial establishment by comparison.

At that point, my road trip from Seattle had been about 800 miles longer, with yet another hundred miles to my ultimate destination in Fairbanks. I turned right on the Richardson highway and kept driving.

The Richardson is one of Alaska's few major roadways, running from Valdez in the south up to Fairbanks in the north. I have driven this part of the Richardson many, many times before during my previous winter's sled dog escapades, so it felt very familiar to me. The sky had cleared and the road was plowed, so it was a pleasant, comfortable final leg of my road trip.

Pulling into Fairbanks actually felt a little anti-climactic, quite probably because I was pretty worn out -- even numbed -- by eight days of solid driving. Nevertheless, I was well aware that I had successfully completed my epic road trip, very happily without major incident or problem.

I hope you've enjoyed -- or perhaps I should say I'm glad you've endured! -- the journey with me.

Here is the final documentary video for Day 8:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AlCan: Day 7 -- Haines Junction, YT to Tok, AK

I'm really glad I pushed the extra hundred miles into Haines Junction last night, because the overnight weather made the roads pretty slick and treacherous. The moment I started driving, I knew it was going to be a long, slow day!

There was a low, heavy overcast most of the time, but it opened up for moments here and there to offer some nice views. I would definitely put the combination in a "Beauty and the Beast" category!

Overall, I was able to average only about 30mph. In addition to the road's slickness, it had many "frost heaves" in it, undulations of a foot or more in depth that appeared out of nowhere and made my rig buck like a bronco. One minute you're cruising along, and the next you're bouncing out of your seat.

This section is by far the most challenging of the entire AlCan highway, though even at its worst it was never as bad as I feared it might be when I planned the road trip.

Mid-afternoon I rolled up to the Canada-US border and cleared through after only a few questions. A welcomed difference from my ordeal coming into Canada!

From the border, it's about 90 miles to the town of Tok, mostly along straight, flat, tundra-crossing roadway. It winds through mountain passes in places, and occasionally offers pretty views.

It took me almost ten hours to complete the day's three hundred mile drive. (I'll let you do the speed calculation on that for yourself.) This was definitely the hardest day of driving yet, a clear indication that I am pushing the season. I'm glad I only have one more day to go!

Here is the documentary video for Day 7:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

AlCan: Day 6 -- Watson Lake, YT to Haines Junction, YT

I got another early start this morning -- in the dark, of course -- leaving Watson Lake, bound for legendary Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The morning coffee road report -- quite the social event in these parts -- called for a "crunchy" road the first hour or so, then clearing up considerably. The report was accurate, but -- thanks to the trusty road crews who had obviously been out -- the way was mostly plowed, graveled and much better than it could have been.

With my camper loaded on the back of my truck, the total weight of my rig is almost seven tons. That much mass creates a lot of momentum and limits my rig's agility.

Driving in road conditions like this calls for soft hands on the wheel, soft feet on the pedals, sharp focus and plenty of patience.

It also adds a bit of tension in the neck and shoulders -- if you catch my meaning -- so the whole experience becomes pretty tiring as the hours go by.

By late morning, however, the skies cleared, the road improved and I was able to get back into cruise mode.

The Yukon Territory is very sparsely populated, so any kind of establishment or habitation becomes noteworthy. Cresting a hill and seeing the small town of Teslin -- in its amazing locale! -- is a very pleasant and reassuring moment. The very substantial bridge crosses an arm of Teslin Lake.

The combination of few roadside services and making good time on clear roads prompted me to skip lunch and drive straight through to Whitehorse. I had planned to stop there for the day, but it was only 2pm when I arrived so I decided to push on another hundred miles to Haines Junction.

I stopped in Whitehorse only long enough to fill up on fuel and grab some snacks, then was back at the wheel. Almost immediately, the weather closed in and the road turned moderately messy.

By the time I reached Haines Junction at 4pm, I'd been driving almost eight hours straight and was quite ready to stop. I covered a lot of ground today, in varied conditions and through mostly vast, uninhabited terrain. More than once I commented aloud to myself, "This is some road!"

Here is the documentary video for Day 6:

Monday, October 26, 2009

AlCan: Day 5 -- Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT

It was still dark when I left Fort Nelson, BC, this morning, partly because I got an earlier than normal start but mostly because I'm sufficiently far north that latitude is significantly shortening the days.

This stretch of the AlCan is where the road crosses the Rockies, and while the passes aren't high by continental standards (only about 3,000 feet) the season, temperature and weather make them not insignificant.

Over morning coffee I'd gotten a range of reports about road conditions heading north, everything form "clear and easy" to "slick and miserable." So, I will admit I had a slightly heightened sense of anticipation about what my drive would be like.

After an initial "crunchy" patch, the road was quite clear and drivable at moderate speed. After several long, fairly steep climbs, I was "up top" and treated to some lovely sights.

Not long after, I had my first wildlife encounter -- which I filmed and narrated quite extensively in the video -- and was warmly welcomed into Yukon Territory (YT).

My lunch stop was quite entertaining. I pulled into the Rocky Mountain Lodge which -- despite there being no cars in the lot -- had a sign declaring it open. I envisioned a bowl of soup and a nice sit by the fireplace, only to find that during the winter the menu consists of a ham sandwich on dark bread to go. Thus, my "lunch stop" took all of five minutes and I was back on the road!

The weather cleared considerably in the early afternoon and I had a beautiful drive for a few hours.

Later, a very low overcast set it and a combination of light snow and drizzle made the roads a bit more challenging. Dropping my speed a little solved the problem, and I was quite comfy and happy, warm and dry, listening to my book on tape for the next few hours until reaching Watson Lake, YT.

Overall, it was a long and tiring day on the road, but so full of interesting views, experiences and encounters that I'd say it was the best day so far on the road trip.

Here is the documentary video for Day 5:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Macgellan Update: On The AlCan Highway

Note: This is an excerpt from my contributions to the SP Kennel Dog Log

Howdy!... Macgellan here...

After three days of driving north from Seattle -- including a ridiculously long and involved inspection at the Canadian border! -- I passed through Dawson Creek, BC, this morning. While there -- after filling my fuel tank, belly and coffee thermos -- I stopped to have my picture taken at the famous Alaska Highway "Mile Zero" monument. You can see my "rig" in the background.

I am now in Fort Nelson, three hundred miles along the highway. I have been taking photos and video along the way, and I hope to wind up with something good enough to edit together for those of you who may be interested in what the road is like. For now, I will tell you that it is a generally good road, punctuated by patches of disrepair and some rather scary dives and climbs. Overall I am averaging about 50 miles per hour, a speed which seems to keep my knuckles from staying permanently white. The scenery is spectacular, but I can't really take my eyes off the road long enough to enjoy it!

I hope to reach Watson Lake tomorrow, then Whitehorse the following day. From there it should be only two more days to Fairbanks. So far the weather has been overcast but not bad, and I'm hoping my luck holds!

So, there's a brief update on my progress toward the Kennel. As we always say, "Stay tuned!"

AlCan: Day 4 -- Chetwynd, BC to Fort Nelson, BC

Leaving Chetwynd, BC, this morning, I was tempted to take a cut-off road that bypasses Dawson Creek and connects with the AlCan a bit further down the road. This would save a few miles, but I was informed that the road wasn't very good and wouldn't save me very much time, if any.

Plus, it would have meant missing the actual beginning of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, BC, and that seemed dumb in the context of my overall road trip. So, I drove to Dawson Creek and stopped for breakfast, fuel and a photo op. At right is the monument you see as you drive through town.

The official "Mile Marker Zero" is a few blocks away in the center of town. I also took a photo there, which I posted separately on the SP Kennel website to update folks there about my progress.

Heading northwest out of Dawson Creek, the road feels different. Partly, I think, because you are now on the actual Alcan highway, but also because the landscape is very different. The foliage has become much more sparse, the open ranges more barren and the distance between human establishments greatly increased.

The occasional 18-wheeler may go barreling by, but the traffic is remarkably light and you have a very strong sense of being alone and "out there."

The road itself is generally pretty good, always paved but not always smooth. There are some steep climbs and descents which deserve your attention.

There is sufficiently sparse development along the road that you're quite entertained by the few places you pass. This was especially true for me at the "Sasquatch Crossing" where I was happy to stop for coffee and a few friendly words with another human being in the middle of nowhere.

With the initial enthusiasm of starting a road trip long behind me -- and the energy boosts that come from the novelty of new surroundings successively diminishing -- it was a long day on the road. I never doubted my intentions, plan or resolve, but there was a moment when I realized I was not yet half way to my destination that I said aloud to myself, "Wow… This is a really long drive!"

In due course, I reached Fort Nelson, BC, where stopped for the night.

Here is the documentary video for Day 4: