Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Alaskan Highway - Mile 404

What a treat this is to travel the Alaskan Highway! We knew from our research that the Highway is constantly under construction at one place or another. But, we didn't expect to see the first construction right in Dawson Creek when we left that place on Monday (June 1). Actually, that was not too hard to take compared to what we encountered the next day (today). More about that later.

Before leaving Dawson Creek, we did a little food shopping at the Safeway. Now their prices were at least reasonable compared to another food store we found that, for example, was charging $19.95 for a whole chicken!

We drove 173 miles on the Alaskan Highway. The scenery was very green. Don't know about their truck drivers, though! They fly past us from either direction with their large empty flat bed hauling trucks. Guess the drivers are in a hurry to get home after unloading their cargo. We saw only one highway patrol car so far and he was stopping one of the truck drivers.
We went off of the main road to drive 6 miles on the old Alaskan Highway. Half of it was not paved and we were sorry we did that. Our RV tosses up so much dust! Here is a picture of the beautiful wooden bridge we crossed.
We ended up at the Buckinghorse River Wayside Provincial Park.
There were only 5 campsites taken out of the 35 that were available. What a beautiful place by a river. Later, we sat around a fire that Dorothy made and ate Jiffy Pop campfire popcorn that Jerry made and did not burn. It tasted delicious.

We are already starting to feel the effects of the changes in the sun setting and rising. It is now 10:45 p.m and it is still light outside. This morning, I happen to wake up at 3:45 a.m., and it was light outside. The guy next to us just told us that he was up at 3:30 a.m. and it was light already. Good thing that someone told us about buying night blinders before we left home (the Tempur-Pedic ones that are so soft with memory foam). Last night was the first night I needed mine and it worked great. Jerry has been using his for some time now.

Today we stopped at the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum where we learned more about the building of the Highway (we watched old film footage) and saw the items used back then. The American Army, with the permission of the Canadian government, started construction of the road in November 1942 (November!!!) to provide a passage over land to get to airstrips and ports in Alaska. This was in the event the Japanese tried to attack Alaska and then down into the United States. It took 20 months, with 25,000 men, to complete the 1,500 mile Highway.

More about construction on the current Highway: this is what we encountered today in one spot.

What about all the animals? Didn't we see any? Well, yes, we did. We saw elk, caribow, bear, moose and stone sheep. Seeing the moose by the side of the road was most interesting. Just as we came up to him, he darted across the road right in front of our RV. Luckily, Jerry had slowed to 15 miles per hour -- or we would be eating mooseburgers tonight. And, this time, my camera was ready.

Tonight (June 2), we are staying at the Toad River RV Park. (As you can tell by this blog entry, there is wi-fi at this park.)
Dorothy and Dave decided to travel up the Highway a bit to find a Provincial Park. Because they are gypsies at heart, as we are, each couple is free to do its own thing. We each go our own way during the day, but then Jerry and Dave plan how and when we will meet up again. This gives each of us the freedom to go where we want, stay as long as we want and yet, get together to catch up down the way. It seems to be working for both of us.
The temperature outside was 81 degrees today. We ate dinner tonight on that bench in the picture. We have really lucked out with the nice weather we've had.
Don't forget to scroll down to see the additional larger pictures at the bottom of this blog.
Next stop: Muncho Lake.
Everyone, take care and keep enjoying the life you love.

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