CCSTA BC Board Director, Colleen Easson, and her husband, Norm, are preparing for one wild ride. This June, the couple has decided to embark on a 1,600–kilometre road trip from Prince George, B.C. to Yellowknife for CCSTA’s 2016 AGM.
Driving through Canada’s north involves careful preparation and the Eassons have already begun mapping out their trip, which will allow them to experience wide-open landscapes, endless forests, mountain ranges and a multitude of wildlife.
Norm says he got the idea to make the trip by car at last year’s convention in St. John’s, Nfld. after socializing with attendees from Yellowknife. After approaching Colleen about the idea, who he says was admittedly “not too excited” about it, Norm eventually had her “concede” on the condition that there would be no tenting involved. He agreed and the trip was on.
The couple’s route to Yellowknife will follow part of the original Deh Cho travel route, which is promoted as the journey between “Mile Zero” of the Mackenzie Highway, starting at Grimshaw, Alta. and “Mile Zero” of the Alaska Highway starting at Dawson Creek, B.C. This great sweeping tour of Canada’s far frontier will follow the path of gold seekers, trappers and explorers and will put the couple in close range of two UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Wood Buffalo National Park and the Nahanni National Park Reserve. Their journey will also cross three of the world’s foremost river systems, including the Peace, Liard and Mackenzie and will showcase thundering waterfalls, historical settlements and locals living on the edge of the modern and ancient world.
Deemed as a “road trip less travelled,” this journey to Yellowknife is anticipated to take three days but travel time will depend upon unforeseen circumstances like, “the number of bison travelling along on the same route,” says Norm.
The Eassons plan is to drive north through Dawson Creek, B.C., east to Grimshaw Alta., north to High Level, Alta. and into the N.W.T. The couple will enter N.W.T approximately 180 km north of High Level at the 60th Parallel Visitor’s Center, which is where Highway 35 becomes N.W.T. Highway 1.
“Highway 1 is known as the Waterfalls Highway. We will then continue travelling northbound and change to Highway 3 a ‘bit’ south of the Mackenzie River crossing near Fort Providence, N.W.T. Highway 3 is known as the Frontier Highway,” Norm explains. “We will then travel through the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary for 80 km before reaching Yellowknife.”
With 1,600 km to travel, Norm says he and Colleen plan to overnight somewhere around Grimshaw or High Level, Alta. and then again in Fort Providence, N.W.T. He stressed that there are few opportunities to stay overnight in a hotel/motel before reaching High Level and that accommodations are also quite sparse on the way from High Level to Yellowknife. However, with several months of planning, he’s sure the couple will arrive at their destination in good time and with plenty fond memories in tow.
“I get to turn 68 (years old) on June 5 so both my birthday and Yellowknife are north of 60,” Norm jokes. “I am looking forward to completing the trip. Colleen, I suspect, is looking forward to the arrival in Yellowknife.”
Known as the Aurora capital of North America, Yellowknife is a small but diverse city that is located in a remote part of the Canadian Shield, which offers stunning scenic wonders, vibrant aboriginal culture, historical charm and modern amenities. Sitting on the edge of the Arctic Circle, Yellowknife is known as the “land of the midnight sun” as it provides visitors with a contrast of nearly 24-hours of sunlight during the summer months and dark winter skies lit up by the aurora borealis.
With all of its spectacular natural beauty, it’s no wonder that this year’s AGM titled “Walk in the Light” sold out quickly. The event is being hosted by the Yellowknife Catholic School Board of Trustees from June 9-11 and is bound to be a CCSTA event to remember.
For more information on the 2016 AGM or to find out how you can get on a delegate waiting list, please visit www.ccsta2016.ca.