If you are a fan of wildlife, driving on Alaska Highway is what you would love to do. You can see so many wildlife just by driving on the highway. For example, just yesterday, I have seen 3 Squirrels, 3 Stone Sheep, 3 Black Bears (making total 9); 4 Elks, half dozen of Seagulls, a number of birds (which I didn’t get any picture) and several dozen of Buffalo!
I am actually not a fan of animals. They can be dirty, smelly and dangerous. Yet, whenever I see something moving, I can’t help but to pick up my camera. Well, I have to admit, even they might not be the cleanest or safest creatures to have, they can be very cute and adorable on paper. I would love to keep them safe in my photos. 🙂
When I talked to the motel owner, a man originally from Germany, about animals, he assured me that there is no need to fear bear (mostly Black Bear here). “Never yell or run, though. Just back off slowly and talk to them, in a general voice.” He talked with a slight accent. “Yes, bear spray is very effective. In fact, it is better than a gun.” He told me a story of someone shot a bear six times which were all on target, yet the bear kept on running toward him until it drop dead several feet in front of the man. “But bear spray would send them running another way. You see, they are very sensitive in smelling. They don’t like the smell of bear spray.” This truly made sense to me.
We talked a lot more than just animals. It is still off season here. With very few guests, the owner has more time to share. I learned that he is here, in Canada, because of his father who died of cancer at age of 50. Both his father and he loved Canada (the pass word for wifi at the motel is ilovecanada). They were here before riding on a motorcycle. Before his father passed away, he encouraged him to move to Canada where his heart belonged to.
“At the time, we were about to sign a big contract to set up 50 stores in Germany. My father told me not to do it! Making money isn’t everything.” He also talked about his grandmother who had trillion of dollars in the bank, but she was unable to buy a slice of bread during the war. “Money is important, only to an extent. It cannot buy time, or life.”
I agree with him. Similar things happened to my paternal grandparents. Both of them were professors and relatively rich at times, but they died of poor men (for political reasons). Money certainly isn’t everything. That is why I am here, on this journey, to experience life.
Don’t get me wrong. We do need money. Without it, I won’t be able to take this trip in the first place. I had to work hard and saved as much as possible in order to take a trip like this. But how much do we have to have? How much do we have to save? How much one has to “pay” for in order to get the money?
I guess here comes what we might be able to learn from the animals: they do “work” hard in order to survive; they pray enough to get by; they do save food for the cold days. However, they don’t “work” all day, every day without enjoy life; they don’t kill just for the sake of killing (not as greedy as human); they don’t save as much food as possible to last for a life time, certainly not to store food to last their children’s life time (in China, this is very common)!
What do you think what we can learn from the animals?
(Elk crossing road)
(Stone Sheep on top of a hill)
(A Squirrel with mouthful of food)
(Seagulls walking on thin layer of ice)
(Moving, moving, moving! Buffalo’s journey forward)
(A young Buffalo just woke up from his nap)
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html