In late June and early July 2015, I took part in an 17-day "Northern Field Botany" course. The course was offered through Western WA University's Biology department and I was able to take it as part of my Masters of Education in Environmental Education program. Four undergrads, myself and the instructor stuffed ourselves into a rented Suburban with camping gear, clothes, food and enormous plant presses. We traveled everyday but one, hiked frequently, collected and pressed plants most days (and well into the night), and saw an amazing amount of the vast British Columbia and Yukon landscape, plus a bit of eastern Alberta. It was incredible. Below are just a few of my 1400 or so photos - split into two slideshows. The first focuses on the plants, and the second features landscape, wildlife and the class participants.
Daily Travel Outline
6/23: Left Bellingham; camped off Bowron Lake Park Road near Barkerville.
6/24: Hiked the Jubilee Trail near Mt. Murray, then drove to Prince George, turned west on Hwy 16 and camped at Paaren Beach Provincial Park.
6/25: Hiked Mt Pope then drove to and camped at Beaumont Prov. Park
6/26: Hwy 16 to Hwy 37 North to Meziadin Junction. Then took 37A to Stewart, BC and over the Hyder, AK for a side trip to the Salmon Glacier. Then back to Meziadin Junction; camped at Meziadin Lake Prov Park.
6/27: Continued north on Hwy 37 (called both the Dease Lake Hwy and the Stewart-Cassiar Hwy in this area). Crossed the Yukon border; got on Hwy 1 (the Alaska Hwy) going west; camped at Teslin Lake.
6/28: Side-trip to the Carcross Desert, then Whitehorse, including at the Beringia Interpretive Center. Then Hwy 2 north (the Klondike Hwy); camped at Twin Lakes CG.
6/29: Hwy 2 to Hwy 5 to Tombstone Territorial Park.
6/30: Hiked and camped in Tombstone again.
7/1: Left Tombstone; spent a few hours in Dawson. On the official start of our "transect," drove back down Hwy 2 to Stewart Crossing then up Hwy 11 “The Silver Trail.” Camped at Five Mile Lake.
7/2: Drove up to Keno Hill, then back the way we had come to Carmack then east onto the “Robert Campbell Hwy” (Hwy 4). Camped at the Little Salmon Campground.
7/3: Drove the “Robert Campbell Hwy” all day with side-trips both north and south on Hwy 6 (the Canol Road). Camped at Francis Lake campground.
7/4: Continued southeast on Hwy 4 (Bob Campbell Hwy) to the Nahinni Ridge Rd, which we side-tripped up and back down on, then continued on Hwy 4 to Watson Lake; took Hwy 1 south into British Columbia where Hwy 1 became Hwy 97 (both the “Alaska Hwy”). Camped outside the Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park.
7/5: Morning at the hot springs, then continued southeast on Hwy 97. Hiked in Boulder Canyon and camped at the MacDonald campground on Muncho Lake.
7/6: Continued on 97 through Muncho Lake & Stone Mountain Provincial Parks. Hiked the Flower Springs Trail, then southeast to “Sasquatch Crossing,” where we camped in the grass of a make-shift fracking village.
7/7: Drove up to Pink Mountain, a tiny Provincial Park, then continued on Hwy 97 to Dawson Creek where we got on Hwy 2 and then Hwy 43 and crossed into Alberta at Grand Prairie. Drove east out of town to the Kleskun Hills Natural Area to camp.
7/8: Hwy 40 south towards Jasper Nat’l Park. Camped at the Wild Horse Recreation Area
7/9: Drove to and spent a few hours in Jasper Nat’l Park, then drove all the way to Bellingham. Crossed the border around 9:30pm.
I'm going to start posting short "photo essays," sharing news and images from my naturalist jaunts and adventures!
Mary Kiesau - naturalist, educator, photographer, writer. Works at the Methow Conservancy as the Educational Programs Director, and is working on her M.Ed. in Environmental Education right now.