I liked hanging around the “World-Famous Alaska Highway” sign in Dawson Creek, even at this time of year when tourist traffic is still sparse. Within minutes we met an Alberta man who’d left his job and was encouraged by his wife to take off and see Alaska with his camera. He’s always wanted to do it, and finally he’s doing it.
Then a German couple drove up to pose by the sign. They’re making a pan-American trip, having started at the southernmost tip of South America in 2006, driving a squat, industrial-looking Toyota RV. While we were talking, a minivan came roaring up, a young guy hopped out and climbed up on the cairn under the sign and had his picture taken in a blink, jumped down, and they roared away again.
And then, just as we were about to leave, a big luxury car with Alaska plates pulled up and an older couple stepped out to photograph each other with a box camera. I offered to take their picture together. What a pleasure to meet the Gages, on their way Outside for some family celebrations. He was wearing a WWII Veteran hat, so I asked if, by any chance, he had worked on this highway. No, he said, he was in Germany at the time, serving in Patton’s Army. Further probing told me that George C. Scott played the general very realistically. “I met the man,” said Mr. Gage, “and I didn’t like him much.”
All these lives intersecting in one very active place in the far reaches of Canada. All following an adventure of their own making.