Lens-Artists #100: Long and Winding Road

This week Tina has chosen “The Long and Winding Road” as our challenge. During our travels we have driven on so many long and winding roads I wasn’t sure which ones to include.

As I thought about how to approach this challenge, my mind kept going back to our 2013 RV trip to Alaska.  There were many long and winding roads during our journey but I decided to focus on just one.

Exactly seven years ago today we were in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada at the start of the Alaska Highway (also called the AlCan). Before returning home we would travel on every mile of this long and winding road.

The United States military began construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 to provide an overland route to Alaska. The approximately 1400 mile road from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, Alaska was completed in 8 months and 12 days.

Mile Zero
Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway! in Dawson Creek, BC

As you can see from the photo above, like many other travelers, we posed for a picture at the famous sign marking the beginning of the Alaska Highway. (The actual location of mile marker 0 is in downtown Dawson Creek, BC). There’s more about our stay in Dawson Creek at Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway.

Part of the road was paved, part was gravel, and part was under construction. There were frost heaves and pot holes, some marked with signs and some not. Sometimes we would go for miles without seeing another vehicle. We stopped at pull outs for breaks and never had a problem finding campgrounds or diesel fuel.

Gravel section of the Alaska Highway in the Yukon
The Alaska HIghway in the Yukon

We drove slowly and enjoyed the wildlife and magnificent views.

Moose on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway

As I worked on this post I thought of how empty this road must be this summer with the U.S./Canadian border still closed. I remember the campgrounds, restaurants, and stores we stopped at along the way in Canada and Alaska. These businesses have a short season and depend on summer travelers to make it through the rest of the year. I hope that they will be able to make it until next year when hopefully people will be traveling again.

I am so grateful we made this trip when we did. I still dream of returning to Alaska. Next time we will not be towing our fifth wheel along the Alaska Highway. Instead, I see airplanes and ships in our future.

Thank you to Tina for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Long and Winding Road

Twists in the Road

While on our RV journeys across the U. S. and Canada in our fifth wheel we have come to many twists in the road.

Moose on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway
Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado
Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado. This road flooded in September, 2013, about 2 weeks after this photo was taken
Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway
Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few of our favorite twists in the road.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Favorite Canadian Memories

I recently posted our Favorite Alaska Memories so now it is time to post our favorite memories of traveling through Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory. We spent 23 nights in Canada and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and friendly Canadian people.

We started our travels in Canada by spending almost a week in Alberta in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.

We saw lots of wildlife as we drove through British Columbia on the Alaska Highway before arriving in Alaska for the first time.

After a week in Alaska we drove through Canada to Dawson City, Yukon and across the Top of the World Highway before returning to Alaska.

Our journey back to the lower 48 took us along the Cassier Highway through British Columbia.

For a map of our entire journey be sure to check out Our Route. And for a list of all the campgrounds where we stayed check out our Campground List.


Day 30: Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

Day 30: Friday, June 14, 2013. Liard Hotsprings, BC to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. Downtown RV Park Site 2. 190 miles traveled.

Watson Lake, Yukon Territory is the site of the Sign Post Forest. The forest was started by an American soldier who was working on the Alaska Highway in 1942. He erected a sign pointing to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. Today, it is filled with signs, now including ours.

We experienced sticker shock at the liquor store in Watson Lake when we paid $13 for a six pack of Canadian beer. The grocery store prices were sky high, too. But, even so, we enjoyed our visit.

After all our planning and traveling we feel like we are ready for anything.

Day 27: First day on the Alaska Highway

Day 27: Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Triple G Hideaway site 87, Ft. Nelson, BC. 290 miles traveled.

I read this book as we go along to warn Henry of steep grades and to see what is up ahead
I read this book as we go along to warn Henry of steep grades and to see what is up ahead

Our journey on the Alaska Highway has finally begun! The Milepost is a must have book when you are making a driving trip to Alaska. It warns of steep grades, shows where places of interest are located, and tells where to look for wildlife! It also has the campground phone numbers which makes it useful to call ahead when we have cell service. We haven’t had cell service since we left Dawson Creek.

We drove along looking for moose and bears all day. No luck today.

The only bad part of the drive was a couple of areas with 10% grades. The worst one was a downhill grade on a winding part of the road as we approached the town of Taylor. I could look down into a gorge as we drove.

We arrived at the campground about 3:00, got fuel and spent the afternoon watching the RV’s arrive.

One of the most fun things about RVing is meeting people in the campgrounds. Everyone we met was going to Alaska. We were parked between a couple returning to their home in Anchorage from Seattle and a family with two boys who have been traveling the country since February, 2012. We also ran into some people from Savannah we met in Dawson Creek. So far on our journey we have met people from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, California, and various other states.