Nearly two weeks after finishing the drive from the Midwest to Fairbanks, I find myself marveling at the photos my wife Gosia snapped. Each turn of the Alaska Highway brought a new peak to admire. I stood beneath a couple high-risers and risked falling over backwards gazing up. Traffic was sparse in Canada. From the Customs booth north of North Dakota to the Alaska Highway exit at Beaver Creek, Gosia and I never glimpsed a passenger car with a U.S. state license plate.

The grand views in the Yukon were almost worth the now-busted windshield on my Chevy Uplander. The thrown gravel was from one of the pushy semi-trailer trucks barreling across the graded highway.Fairbanks seems to have as many glass repair shops as it has bars and churches. I’ll soon get the windshield fixed.

Each time we stopped for gas, I purchased coffee. Canadians like their coffee, I learned. Even in the middle of nowhere, I found coffee counters at the service stations.

One morning, I poured a cup of Joe and turned to find a female six-foot trucker tapping her booted toes with impatience.“Forgive me for getting between you and your coffee,” I joked. We shared a giggle over that.

Gosia and I traveled on moose time. We pulled over at dusk and dared drive in darkness only about two hours in the morning.

A fellow we met in a service station told me a moose recently destroyed his pickup in the dark. The moose hit the right corner of the windshield.

“True, he took out the entire side of the truck, but if he hit dead-center he might have come through the windshield,” said the driver.

Our neighbor at our flat in Warsaw, Poland, where Gosia and I have a second home, has a daughter whose car collided with a moose. The poor critter landed on the hood. A wide collection of freeloading bugs streamed out of the dead beast’s hide and crawled up the cracked windshield.

On another morning I snapped a photo of a cow moose watching us from a safe distance. The mother nosed her yearling to escape into the woods.

We saw more bison than moose in Canada. About a mile before an outpost with gas pumps at Mile 590 at Contact Creek, Yukon, a large herd of bison rested on the road away from snow drifts both natural and plow made.

I had no trouble guiding the Chevy through the herd. Once free of the herd, I stopped to watch Gosia try to maneuver past beasts as big as her Jeep Renegade.

“Uh, oh,” I gasped. The herd’s leader got up and started moving. Gosia backed her vehicle a little and then gunned the Jeep right past him. My wife was close enough to snatch his tail. (But why would she?)

Gosia Nuwer’s new pal

After we stopped at the Contact Creek station, Gosia recounted her adventure. “I was watching his ears and they twitched,” Gosia said. “I knew he was thinking, and I stopped as soon as he moved.”

“Great, now you can add bison sign language to the other languages you speak,” I joked.

I asked the Comfort Creek owner about the bison. “Oh, yes, they have terrible tempers,” said the woman who emigrated here 38 years ago from Florida. “Our neighbor is the librarian in Watson Creek. She stopped in front of a herd and a bison charged. He totaled her car.”

I turned to my wife. “That librarian should have watched the big guy’s ears twitch, right?”