Onto the Alaska Highway

Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Jun 28, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sikanni Campground

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We drove on from Edmonton in the morning. Canada's urban road system never ceases to amaze me. They have a main loop that goes around the city, but it isn't access controlled, so there are stoplights everywhere. One stoplight had at least 2km of cars lined up waiting on BOTH sides. Exit ramps anyone?

Anyways, we continued northwest on the 4 lane divided highway up to Grand Prairie. We stopped for lunch and I considered getting the oil in the rental car changed, but decided to wait it out longer. At this point the car was around 6000 miles on the odometer with a recommended change at 7500.

Leaving Grand Prairie, the highways quickly, and permanently, changed over to 2-lane rural mode. I had been dreading this, however we quickly realized that there was basically no traffic on the 2 lane highways. Even when encountering another vehicle, passing was easy (especially with a V8 sedan).

We arrived at Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alaska Highway, in the late afternoon. At the tourist office we watched an hour long video on the construction of the highway. Amazingly, the 1400+ miles was initially constructed in just 8 months in 1942 with 1943 being used to tidy up and rebuild the hasty initial work. Of course, nowadays almost the entire thing road is paved to Fairbanks. After taking some obligatory photos in front of "Milepost 0", we headed on down the road along with dozens of other RVs and a few motorcycles.

The tourist offices in each province seemed to all have a handy chart that listed all the campgrounds along the main tourist highways, so we selected one about when twilight was coming on and set up camp. It seems like camping typically costs $12-$15 per tent per night here in Canada. We took a walk down the river where we camped and looked at the relic supports for the original highway bridge. I heard a rustling behind us, but didn't see anything. A few minutes later, I saw a bear cub jump into the river about 100 yards downstream and swim across. Crazy wildlife.
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