Made the 300 km trip today from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson. In fact, Fort Nelson is very proud to be at the 300 km marker and like to say that they have the longest main street in the world – The Alaskan Highway.
Despite that claim to fame, Fort Nelson isn’t much more than a widening in the road. The town is heavily dependent on the area’s gas and oil exploration business along with lumber and agriculture. And tourism. Don’t forget the tourism. There are several hotels/motels in town and they even have access roads to make it easier to stop:
There’s some good home cooking:
and some fine accommodations:
The boys come in from the fields each night and fill the regular motels:
They bring lots and lots of mud and it’s everywhere – restaurants, hotels, streets. But, I’m sure the town doesn’t mind as long as they keep coming back:
More photos of Fort Nelson in today’s photo album…
The Alaska Highway has been rerouted several times since the original road was laid down. Mostly for safety reasons like when they came up with a replacement for ‘Suicide Hill’ which was so steep, there was a sign at the top that said “Prepare To Meet Thy Maker”.
Occasionally, there is a sign directing you to some still-standing Old Alaska Highway sight and that’s where I went to see the curved bridge at Kiskatinaw –
It’s still in use – I drove over it today.
It was built to make two roads meet up that couldn’t be redirected and it has a 9 degree curve and it’s banked to allow water to run off. It is 534 feet long and the road surface is made of WOOD!
It’s a pretty impressive bridge and I walked out on it to take photos of the upstream and downstream views (in photo album)
The forests here are unlike any I’ve seen in the states. These aren’t your ‘doh-dee-doh strolling through the trees’ kind of forests. These are dense, primal woods where you can’t see 5 feet deep into them. And they go on forever.
That’s why it’s so important to be watching as you drive – things will bolt out of these woods right across the road and be a real concern to drivers. I saw at least one deer/car accident.
I also saw some WILDLIFE. A grey wolf and a red fox both raced across the road ahead of me. Saw lots of deer on the fringe of the forest and saw a pretty nice young buck melt into the trees when I drove past.
And, I saw a black bear. Hoo hoo! He came out of the woods about 1/2 mile ahead of me and was walking along the tree line where a small stream ran parallel to the road. There wasn’t anywhere to safely pull off the road to get a pic of him, but I slowed down and paced him for a while – he ignored me the whole time.
Still haven’t seen a MOOSE. Lots of moose crossing signs, but no moose.
Well, tomorrow’s another day.
Couple of days ago, Vancouver lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup (that’s hockey for you non-believers). After the game 7 loss, Vancouver had a riot with lots of injuries, overturned and burned cars, and smashed & looted stores. It’s a pretty big deal up here and the very great majority of Vancouverites are very upset and angry at the rioters. They believe their town is far too civilized for this nonsense and have taken some commendable actions.
For one, the day after the riots, hundreds of volunteers showed up downtown to help clean up the mess and fix up storefronts. I’m not sure how many volunteers we would get at some of our larger cities after one of these stupid sports-related fiascoes but I thought it was a fine gesture.
Also, a lot of people who saw the videos and photos of these idiots rioting are turning them in. Some of the boneheads made it easy by posting on Facebook about their activities. Others simply recognized the culprits and gave them up.
A particularly interesting story is about a 17-year-old kid who is supposed to be a potential Olympic water polo athlete caught doing this:
He has since apologized and said it was stupid and he was ‘caught up in the moment’ and takes full responsibility. There’s a good story about it at:
The only bad thing? The whole apology and manning up stuff was watered down when his dad said that the photo was ‘misleading’. Really, Dad? Your kid is stuffing a gasoline-soaked lit rag into the gas tank of the police car which, coincidentally, is shown blazing away moments later, and it’s “misleading”?
Dad, let the kid take his medicine and don’t try to minimize the incident…
Today’s Travel: 286 miles
Total Travel To Date: 4655 miles