Monday, July 7, 2008

The Alaska Highway

Well, I'm sorry it's been so long. Internet and cell service have once again been difficult to come by. We're now in Cooper's Landing, AK on the Kenai Peninsula. It's been over 3,000 hard miles since the last entry, so I'll try my best to catch you up.

We left Edmonton to head north to Alaska. The word, "highway" has a different meaning up here than it does in the lower 48. A highway essentailly is any paved road of any size, but even some dirt roads qualify. The Alaska Highway is mostly two lane and paved, but there are some pretty long gravel sections. After Edmonton, you travel to Dawson Creek, BC. Dawson Creek is a fairly large town and the official start of the highway. The terrain is exceptionally flat in this section, but rather than the grassy plains of the US, there is the great boreal forest. Endless conifers line the road in uniform green for literally hundreds of miles. After Dawson Creek, there is a long series of river valleys and eventually, you reach Fort Nelson. Fort Nelson is the last thing most people would call a town before Whitehorse. From here in, towns consist of a gas station, a restaurant, and a hotel. That's it. At Watson Lake, there's an interesting roadside attraction. The Watson Lake Signpost Forest contains well over 60,000 signs and license plates from all over the world. Chances are that wherever you're from there's already a sign here for you, but you are encouraged to add your own. We found a sign from Buford, GA and a Lightnin' RV license plate!

On the road we saw some elk and buffalo as well as Stone Sheep, a close relative of the Bighorn that lives in BC and the Northen Territories, and a bunch of black bears. We one sow with two cubs and two others with one each. They were grazing on shrubs that grow on the side of the road. Greg got great photographs. The next day on the road from Watson Lake to Whitehorse we saw three grizzlies doing the same thing. They were content to watch us from the shoulder and eat wildflowers. We then pressed on to Tok, AK. We were excited to finally be in Alaska and back in the USA. Canada is nice, but Alaska feels like home in comparison.

From Tok, we drove North. Tok is at about 65 degress N latitude, and we stayed up to 10:30 looking for the sun to set, but the sun was still very high in the sky, so we decided to call it. From Tok, the road continues to Delta Junction and the official end of the Alaska Highway. It's 1444 miles from Dawson Creek to Delta Junction. There's a lot more for me to narrate, and it onlt gets better, but the fish are calling me from the river, so I'll continue catching up tomorrow.

1 comment:

Betsy & Ted Wieber, Duluth, GA said...

Jason and Greg --

Now that's some serious mileage! We continue to enjoy checking in on your adventures. Of course, the Fairmont Hotels in Banff are probably more our style of camping!

We just visited young Ted in Manhattan for the July 4th holiday. He is learning to "survive" in that strange land of skyscrapers, shows, and subways. We did spot a few wild creatures there also.

We are glad to know that you are safe and still speaking to eachother. Continued good fortune.