By Alan Sirulnikoff
Atlin, BC – It was at moments like these – fishtailing on the ice and snow of the Alaska Highway – that I wondered what the hell I was doing here, and if this was the price of impatience. Despite the previous night’s snowfall that continued into the morning, I quickly gathered my things, left the warmth of the motel room, and headed out into the crisp -15 degree C air of Watson Lake.
When the first Europeans arrived in North America there were some 60 million bison (commonly called buffalo) roaming the grasslands and plains. There were herds from Great Slave Lake to Mexico and from the Rockies to the Atlantic. Yet even by the time the pioneers in Canada and the US started crossing the plains, in wagons pulled by oxen, that number had dwindled to about 20 million, the result of not only white hunters, but the adaptation of the horse by Plains Indians – as they called them at the time. Continue reading