Watson Lake, Yukon Territories

It’s been a few days without any kind of electronic access so we have a lot of catching up to do. Last post we were in Grande Prairie BC and I was complaining about how disappointed I was in the oil and gas field development in the area. We were up and out fairly early on June 7th (for us) and on the road by 0730. This was the sight going out to the oil fields as we were headed into town.

Miles of bumper to bumper cars and trucks headed to the oilfields.

I am sure the oil and gas business is good for the local economy but the roads and environment take a beating.

The trip from Grande Prairie to Dawson Creek was uneventful and we crossed from Alberta to BC with no fanfare and another change in time zones. We stopped at the Walmart in Dawson Creek for a few supplies and then decided we would make the run up the Alaska Highway to Fort Nelson. We knew it would be a long day and sure enough, 400 plus miles later we were at Fort Nelson and quickly decided to go a bit farther to Tetsa River Lodge and Campground, one of the stops on my bucket list because of their famous cinnamon buns (I know, crazy but true).

The famous “Mile 0” of the Alaska Highway. An obligatory shot.

Kim at the Alaska Highway Information Center gave a couple of tips on things not to miss on our trip north.

First on the list was this bridge, the only remaining curved wooden bridge from the original Alaska Highway.

We wouldn’t have seen this without Kim’s great advice on where to find it. The new Alaska Highway doesn’t make this easy to find.

We continued on toward Fort Nelson. Along the way there was plenty of evidence of the frequent forest fires along the highway.

We have seen lots of signs warning of wildlife but we haven’t seen much real wildlife until now.
The scenery doesn’t change much at first.
After we arrived at Fort Nelson we decided to move on a bit farther to Tetsa River Lodge and Campground where we spent the night. Nice quiet wooded sites with power and water.
Our home for the night…
and breakfast in the morning. The world famous Tetsa River cinnamon buns. And yes, they are that good.

After we left Tetsa River the topography finally began to change and we left miles and miles of trees behind. It started to feel “big” like we thought things should feel on a journey to Alaska.

more warning signs were followed by…
Stone sheep.
And a few more formidable roadside creatures as well.
Kim at the Alaska Highway Information Center said we had to stop here for a soak, so we did. Water temperature was 104 degrees. We soaked for a while and then mosied on.
Fuel stops and towns are farther apart and smaller and the mountains loom in the distance.
Odd things start to become “famous”. Like Toad River, famous for thousands of…
The highway is actually in pretty good condition but there are some spots that demand attention…
Just as in Vermont, there is a short construction season so there is road work and dust…
but also great natural beauty.

and finally we are out of BC and in the Yukon. We found the boundary marker – one foot in each province.

We are spending the night at Watson Lake, dry camping in a provincial park. Watson Lake is also home to another famous oddity of the highway north, the signpost forest.

We found lots of Vermont memorabilia among thousands of signs and license plates. Folks have been here before us.

This is probably our last post until we get to Fairbanks since there is no cell or wifi service along much of our route north. So don’t be concerned, we’ll be back as time and technology allow. Until then…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *