Yesterday we drove up the Alaska Highway to Fort St. John. I was leading the ecumenical Good Friday Service at Fort St. John Presbyterian Church. The drive always provides amazing vistas of the South Peace District in British Columbia. On this trip, I was not the driver. As navigator I was able to dictate when to stop for a few pictures. We have had an unusually mild winter. There is precious little snow left. I say ‘precious’ as the way below normal snowfall has the farmers concerned for this summer’s crops.
The appearance of the fields with their lack of snow may indicate spring, but the colours prove otherwise. There is no hint of green yet, the nights are still quite cold and the ground has not warmed enough to encourage the tree buds to swell or the dandelions to push forth. The scenery remains grey, beige, old gold, with shrinking patches of bright white as the snow retreats before the lengthening daylight and increasing warmth.
A half hour along the highway the pavement gradually rises to a breathless view of the Peace River near Taylor, BC. Suddenly one is above a panorama of this deep cut into the prairie stretching the entire breadth from south-west to north-east. The descent is severe, tractor trailer drivers are instructed to check their brakes before heading down the 10% grade to just before the Taylor Bridge. Provided is a link by a truck driver descending Taylor Hill in winter. It’s snowing so you won’t see much of the view.
It is apparent that this driver frequently drives through the Peace, notice the windshield chip – left side a little more than half way up. Almost every person living in the Peace has either chips or a full width crack in their windshields. They do not sand the highways in the winter. They use gravel, otherwise the wind, strong and persistent, blows it off the highway. Here is our windshield after a trip to Fort St. John a year ago. People around here say, “Until you’ve replaced your windshield, you can’t call yourself a resident.” When you do replace one, your first chip repair is free. Ones the size in the picture don’t count. (click on the picture for a larger view, or any picture for that matter) In this case if you don’t replace your windshield you are liable to receive a ticket from the RCMP.
Giving up on that rabbit trail, here are some more pictures of the vistas at the Peace River.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.