A trip through two states, two provinces, and two territories

Spahats Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park Taken by Andrew Mackay
Spahats Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park
Taken by Andrew Mackay

In an ambitious journey, the past four days has seen my dad and I head from Seattle to Grande Prairie, Alberta. That’s about 800 miles, not including detours. Still to come are northern British Columbia, including Fort Liard in the Northwestern Territories and Watson Lake in the Yukon. Coming down on the western coast of BC, we will enter Alaska at the tiny ghost town of Hyder (which is for all practical purposes a Canadian town), and end up in Vancouver on the 30th.

While the first two days were gorgeous, including the pictured falls at Wells Gray north of Kamloops, B.C., and the narrowest point on the Fraser River at Hell’s Gate, since then it has been rather bleak. Western Canada is facing huge forest fires all, with hundreds added in the past couple days. All the smoke made the usually great views from Jasper not worth much, and it has been getting worse as we’ve worked out way north on the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies.

We hope to eventually get past the fires and return to clear weather. I have gotten used to the driving conditions of rural Canada, and find it if anything rather exciting.

Photos will continue to trickle in. I will be combining my iPhone 5S photos (like the pictured one, shot using the panoramic feature), and my dad’s work on a DLSR camera that takes rubbish pictures whenever I try to use it.

Another war fought with the machete

9 Dec: A Christian man with a knife chases a suspected Seleka officer in civilian clothes near the airport in Bangui.
A Christian chases a suspected Muslim rebel with a knife. December 9th, 2013.
Credit: Jerome Delay/AP

The Central African Republic has rapidly become a place of unimaginable violence and cruelty as Muslim rebels battle the government and Christian militias for control of the landlocked country. The BBC reported a couple days ago that Muslims have been mutilated in the capital’s airport (a massive refugee camp now), and that

There is no more safe part of the city for Muslims. We see them being killed everywhere in Bangui, and Christians as well.

We were at the morgue two days ago, and it really was a scene out of Dante’s Inferno. They showed us the death records in case after case of people who had been lynched in the street, shot, burned.

These scenes are repeating themselves throughout the country, not just in Bangui.

That French peacekeepers witnessed this but did not intervene does not engender confidence towards their efforts- before and now- to keep religious and ethnic violence from engulfing portions of the country where the groups live together or nearby.

With the incredible brutality in mid-90s Rwanda in mind, one would hope that lessons have been learned. However, the history of post-colonial Africa is one of Western nations creating conditions for religious, ethnic, and national conflict and taking inadequate measures to prevent it.