On the road to Alaska :: British Columbia is a HUGE province!

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Tim returned from Austin earlier this week with a cold, and since we share EVERYTHING, I now have the cold as well. 🙁

On Friday at 1pm we finally managed to leave for Alaska, and headed toward Lynden, Washington, where we crossed the border into Canada. After answering a few questions like “Are you bringing in any firearms or weapons?” and “Do you plan to meet anyone in Canada?” (by the way, how do you answer that one? No sir, we intend to be extremely unpleasant, ugly Americans and not meet anyone!) and “Are you traveling in Canada for business or pleasure?” we were quickly through the crossing and onto the Trans-Canada highway for a while before turning north onto Canada 97.

Our destination: Prince George, BC, before stopping for the night. That would give us a 500-mile day, or about 10 hours. We enjoyed the afternoon drive through the hills of southern BC and despite a wrong turn that took us all the way to Kamloops before we realized it (and ultimately resulted in our enjoying part of the “family” of burgers at Canadian A&W restaurants—I had the Teen burger and Tim had the Mama burger!), we then were able to take a winding, mountain cutoff road to get back on track and saw some beautiful scenery that we would never have seen otherwise!

We passed 100 Mile House, BC (one of many great town names up here!) and it had just gotten dark—around 10:15pm—and continued to Quesnel, BC, (about 90 minutes south of Prince George) before stopping for the night. We dry camped alongside 10 other RVs in the…drum roll please…Walmart parking lot!

Wildlife count for Friday: I saw a gray coyote while Tim was sleeping.

Saturday morning we awoke and cleaned up, then walked into the Walmart to get a few groceries before hitting the road. We passed through Prince George and continued toward Fort St. John, where we purchased the quintessential Milepost guide and got on the Alaska Highway.

The scenery just got better and better! We took a few videos along the way, and they are posted on our Facebook page—be sure to check them out and let us know what you think! We apologize in advance for our nasty windshield, but it’s very hard to keep it clean with all the bugs up here! 🙂

The road is much like a rural road in the lower 48, with two-way traffic, winding curves, and occasional one-lane construction traffic with a pilot vehicle. There are some bumps and patched areas along the way, but nothing (yet!) that we couldn’t navigate without dropping below 40mph. There are also patches of gravel and chip-sealed pavement, but it’s been a pretty good drive so far.

We drove another 485 miles on Saturday, and stopped for the night at Sikanni Chief, BC, in a campground right along a river. Beautiful! My cold was in full force yesterday, so I alternated between taking medicine, sleeping, and driving. Tim is feeling quite a lot better now. After a little time by the river with Chase, and a quick dinner, we crashed in the RV around 10pm. It was still light out! Crazy.

We checked out of the RV campground a little before 11am today, and within 15 minutes of being on the road again, we saw a mother moose and her baby grazing right along the side of the road! We stopped and I was able to take a few photos…REALLY need a looong lens for this! The mother and baby hung out for a while until a few more vehicles stopped and then a yellow lab in another vehicle started barking, which caused Chase to start barking, and then the moose decided maybe it wasn’t as safe as she thought for her baby and they trotted back into the woods. It was so cool to see!

The truck and RV are really dusty now, after driving 15 minutes behind a pilot vehicle on only gravel. Between the dust and the bugs on the front of the RV and on our windshield, both are ready for a good wash!

The scenery here is amazing! And this province is incredibly HUGE! We have driven it from south to north, and it is pretty incredible! Imagine seeing mountains, pine and leafy trees, gorgeous clear rivers and pristine blue/green alpine lakes everywhere as far as the eye can see, in any direction! That is what today’s drive was like! Unending beauty! We crossed over the Rockies today at Summit Pass (elevation 4821) and drove on some roads that reminded us of driving through Glacier National Park, except there were no guard rails!

We stopped this afternoon at the Strawberry Flats Campground on the south end of Muncho Lake, which the Alaska Highway runs right past. It’s a giant lake and the water is blue-green in color and crystal-clear! The pictures of the lake below are from an overlook high above, but it was really cloudy and the water didn’t appear the color it actually is. We stopped to let Chase swim in it and he had a great time retrieving a tennis ball several times in the very-cold water!

He was so tired afterward that he nearly fell asleep standing up in the truck several times (we have a funny video of it on our FB page!)! And when we stopped for the night in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, he went right to his cubby and fell asleep, not even waking up when we ate a pizza for dinner. Those of you who know Chase’s fondness for food know that that’s really saying something!

So yes, we are in Watson Lake, YT, at the Downtown RV Park (there really isn’t any such thing as a downtown in Watson Lake), and not dry camping somewhere because Tim needed to grade a few papers for one of his schools, thus requiring wifi. No complaints from me! 🙂

Watson Lake’s claim to fame is the “World Famous Sign Post Forest,” a patch of ground right along the highway that is filled with signs others have brought and attached to posts. We drove by it tonight, and intend to spend a few minutes there tomorrow before continuing our trek.

We have driven almost 1500 miles since leaving Anacortes, and still have a solid day and a half or more of driving to get to our next home site in Palmer, Alaska. We hope to make it into Alaska tomorrow night before stopping, and then to Palmer sometime on Tuesday.

We saw a lot of wildlife today! Here is the count:

  • Mother moose and baby moose
  • 30+ Stone sheep Mother
  • Black bear with two cubs
  • 20+ bison
  • Another black bear
  • 10+ bison

Can’t wait for tomorrow! I still need to get a little work done tonight, and it’s already midnight! Hope you had a great weekend and if we have internet tomorrow night we’ll post again! In the meantime, enjoy the photos!

by candy

show hide 6 comments

07.26.2010 - 5:26 pm

Kimberly You know being the girl with no sense of direction or any head for geography what so ever, I need little maps of all the places you go so I can keep up. I’m so confused… guess I need to do some googlemaping. 🙂

07.26.2010 - 6:06 pm

Bill Rice You may need to start limiting Chases activities. Remember he is about my age. Enjoying the comments and photos. Watch out for idiots.

07.26.2010 - 9:00 pm

Joy Love the mountain vistas…and the river rock mosaics! Thanks for taking us along on your travels
Joyful

07.27.2010 - 8:47 pm

Tim Kimberly,

Candy is working on getting a map to follow us on our page here. Currently, we are 40 miles northeast of Anchorage. Thanks for following along!

Dad,

Chase is getting older but he is a puppy at heart. Of course, he is also sleeping like a rock in the camper right now. Traveling takes it out of him now (see the video on the Facebook page later tonight…it shows how old he is getting!)

Also, no idiots to report on the roads. In fact, hardly ANYONE on the roads. We were out there alone for most of the journey…no traffic issues (and no McDonald’s either, except for Whitehorse, YT).

Joyful,

Thanks for following along…more pictures coming shortly!

08.07.2010 - 7:58 pm

Belinda Walker the pictures are great.. Bobby said I could not look anymore because I would want to goooooooo again. He is ready to return home, he wants to go to Colorado the last of Sept w/ friends and we need to get home and get ready AGAIN. I am getting used to being on the road and could stay another month or so. Have fun for us. Love u B&B

08.08.2010 - 12:10 pm

candy Oh Belinda…we soooo wish you two had come up here! We would have had a great time! But you were smart to pay attention to signals. What dates in September will you be in Colorado? We’ll be there until probably the 12th or so.

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