Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Segment 5. Whitehorse, Yukon, to Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Aug 14 - 31, 2009, 915 miles, 2522 cum. miles

Doug's Pletscher two-legged kickstand, purchased in Fairbanks on July 17th, which bit the dust from the rigors of the Denali & Alaska highways Aug. 15th. RIP. Graciously replaced by Pletscher.
Another RIP, dating from WWII Alaska highway construction.
A dog & her master.
Here's our personalized roadsign, duly posted for all posterity at the Signpost Forest.
Signpost Forest at Watson Lake, a milestone along the fabled Alaska Highway.
No kidding. They were roaming all over the place.
Stay clear, everyone said.
Here's the rest of his harem & brood, blocking the Alaska Highway.
Action shot. They can run, quite fast, faster than we can, whoa.....
Hey!!! Keep going the way you were going. We instinctively knew that eye contact was not a good thing.
Our camp in the rain the night of Aug. 21st, next to Smith River Falls. 
Here's a close-up, after a steep climb down the cliffside.
The gang, relaxing in the Liard Hot Springs. Relaxing, that is, until Doug passed out from staying too long in the superheated water.
Laird Hotsprings (actually, right at the location of the pool above) was terrorized by a black bear on Aug. 14, 1997, when the bear mauled & killed both a woman and a man who came to her aid. Several others were mauled & injured. The bear was finally shot by a man who was staying in Laird Provincial Campground, and luckily had a rifle in his rv. Jason & Jeff obviously aren't a bit worried that another bear might be lurking in the brush behind them at pools edge, but I was (as usual).

Jeff, checking out wildlife on the road ahead. That wildlife turned out to be a 2000 pound bull bison. Jeff and Jason proceeded first, and of course, got by him without incident. Now it was my turn, but as I cycled to a point perpendicular to the bull, he took a long look at me and decided he didn't like what he saw (or, maybe he did). Next I knew, I was standing on my pedals cycling madly down the hill as the snorting bull took off after me. He was right on the highway, in the opposing lane. I managed to crank it up to at least 24 MPH, but he was still closing on me. Just as I was thinking about how I might be able to stop & pull out my camera, the bull tired and pulled off the highway. I just kept pedalling, pumped up 110% with pure adrenalin. Thank God that was a downhill section, otherwise...Well, it would have made for a great photograph.
Here's the info kiosk at the entrance to Muncho Lake Provincial Park, a spellbinding place with immense raw natural beauty. Note the red tailed hawk, and the lurking giant.

Graphic, but we didn't see any that day.
High waterfalls. Mesmerizing.
More of the same.
We were right at the very beginning of the Rocky Mountains, which stretch from Laird River south to New Mexico.
At the crest of the Rockies, rainfall flows East or West, sometimes North. This crest is called the Continental Divide.

The following three photos show the very beginning of the Rocky Mountain Range. Sobering.

Here's the RV to end all RV's. Bigger than a bus, and towing a Mercedes tricked-up convertible. Classic overconsumption. A roadside creek, golden from some sort of mineral in the water.
Moose, near Summit Pass, at milepost 373, the highest point on the Alaska Highway at 4250 feet elevation.
Fantastic landmark features at every turn.
Another roadside tragedy marker, one of many.
All the comforts....
Fort Nelson, at milepost 307, only 66 miles from Summit Pass, has the lowest point (1000 feet elevation) along the Alaska Highway, at the Muskwa River crossing.
There were no suitable campsites in or near the town, so we were forced to stay the night of Aug. 26th in a motel. No pets allowed, of course. The next morning, early AM, the sound of the motel housekeeping guy knocking at our door was met by an "Arf-Arf" from Lucy-dog. We high-tailed it out of there, but at least we got a well deserved good night's sleep.
Moonlight. We also saw the Aurora Borealis one night, but the photos didn't take. It was awesome. It was like the sunset photo at Pink Mountain which follows, but the reds were replaced by greens & blues, in an undulating curtain that kept rising and falling...
Sunset near Pink Mountain.
Another shot, a few minutes later. That night, we camped on an old airstrip.
Just when you thought you'd seen the last of the hills....
At long last, Dawson Creek, BC, at the milepost zero marker on the Alaska Highway, 1523 miles from Fairbanks.
Grande Prarie, Alberta here we come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are a little late but congratulations on such a great dream !!! We met you in the campground in Whitehorse, camping next to you. Gary and Cheryl from California. We loved your adventure and have thought of you often. At the moment we are on a 34 day cruise, around South America and were in Tierra del Fuego, Torres del Paine and at the moment being buffeted around by high winds and tall waves. You were with us at the end of the PAH. Hope all is well in your life, Cheryl and Gary