Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 4: Canadian Fun

July 30, 2011 - Waking up in a nice soft bed was an awesome experience. For the past couple of days Bruce and I were taking naps in the passenger seat; not very comfortable. Sadly, however, we were on a time schedule, so the bed was quickly replaced with the truck seat in record time.

The City of Dawson's Creek was quite so we decided to check out a couple of the tourist spots. In this town, the tourist spots are Milepost 0 of the Alaska Highway...and...nah, that's about it. The historic mile marker is located in the downtown section. Because there was no traffic, we were able to get up close and personal with the marker.

Milepost 0 in Dawson Creek, BC.

After that, we decided to go to the old milepost marker, the original one. This milepost is buried under a stone cairn with signs and interpretive signs around it. The tradition is for people who are leaving for Alaska to take a picture here with the vehicle pointed the direction that the arrow points to. Bruce and I decided to take a picture of the truck facing the opposite direction since we were headed the wrong way.

You should have seen people stare at us as we took this picture;
 they thought we were crazy.

Rain 2 Kilometers

After leaving town, we headed towards Prince George. The trip took us through some beautiful and scenic British Columbia and was wrought with strange weather patterns, wildlife, and the elusive Roadside Port-a-potty.

Yes, there was road construction ahead. We didn't have to wait for very long, and were off down the road within a half hour. The trip took us through some mountains and a large section of forest, and in all, was an amazing trip. Then it rained.

The main thing about any part of the Alaska Highway is mud. Some roads can be dirt or just plain dirty. Couple that with rain and you got yourself a mess. However, Bruce and I decided to turn what could be considered a minor nuisance and change it into something fun.

Alaskans having fun.

We then passed through a lake system and into Prince George. We only stopped long enough to get a bite to eat and some gas before the next leg of our journey.

The Scariest Drive of My Life

It was my turn to drive as we went to the city of Kamloops. Kamloops is up in the mountains, this fact is important to remember for the rest of the tale.  This has to have been the worst driving experience in my life...yes, even worse than Thompson Pass in the fog.  Normally you start these tales of with the classic "no (explicative), there I was" or what Bruce recommended; "I had just changed my shorts." You choose your favorite one.

The roads started off just fine, straight, wide, and well repaired. This changed quickly as soon as the sun went down.  Suddenly the road started to climb. While this wouldn't normally this wouldn't be a problem except there was no barrier between me and the inky blackness on the right side that I took as a massive drop.  On top of that, for an hour and a half there were no road lines, no center and no edges. It was as if the local government ran out of paint. Basically all I had was an inky black ribbon in a midnight black sky.

By the time we arrived in Kamloops my face was white, my fingers hurt, and my life flashed before my eyes at least a dozen times.

Towards The Border

After free WiFi and a burger in Kamloops we headed out towards the US border.  The roads continued to be windy, but on mostly flat ground. Additionally, the road quality started getting better as we neared the border.


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