Monday, August 17, 2009

Fri, Aug 14: On the ALCAN to Toad River, British Columbia, Canada

We are up early, for us, this morning. It gets light really early up here! That is alright though, because Carolyn discovered that the pictures of the "0" Mile Marker did not transfer to the computer and Dick had erased the chip already. So about 9AM, we drive the mile and a half back into town and take the pictures again. We are officially heading north by 9:30AM. It is a clear cool morning, the road is good and the traffic is light.
Our first stop is about 15 miles north of Dawson Creek for a 10KM loop along some of the original Alaska highway
and across the only curved wooden bridge left, the Kiskatinaw bridge. Back on the main highway we head to the Peace River crossing. The road dips dramatically down to the river valley and we have a great view over the valley. This river created a bottleneck for the highway originally when it was only a ferry crossing. Then the first bridge, built in 1943, collapsed in 1957, the current one was built. We sort of slide across this bridge as the road bed is made of steel grating with ribs running parallel with the traffic. A pipeline crosses the Peace River with us.Dick says it is like driving on marbles and it feels plain weird!
The land is still rolling farm land, but the farms are getting farther apart now and the land is less cultivated. After about two hours we are in wooded, mountainous country.
The road is still good and there is lots of oil field activity.

By lunch time we reach Sikanni Chief River and the RV park where we were planning to stop. Since it is too early to stop, we buy gas and the owner lets us pull into one of the riverside camp sites to have lunch.
This is a rustic camp ground in a pretty setting, not too different from the rest we see.
The next true town is Fort Nelson, but it is still a bit early to stop, so we decide to go on to Toad River. The RV park there gets good reviews. Unfortunately the road's quality is going down hill fast.

After Fort Nelson we are back in the Canadian Rockies with fast moving clear rivers along side the road.The road is as much gravel as it is paved now, but it is still marginally OK. We see some deer, and moose along side the road and a Black Bear and her two cubs running across the road. We drive along Summit Lake in the Summit Pass area. This is the highest pass on the ALCAN at 4,250 feet and the lake can still have ice in late June.
From here, we descend into the pretty MacDonald River Valley and follow the river for the next twenty plus miles. It is a rough, dusty drive, but the scenery is worth it. Unfortunatly we have more camera problems at this point. We get to Toad River Lodge and Campground about 5PM. It is a welcome sight and they show a vacancy, yeah! The campground sites back up to a large beaver lake and the whole place is very picturesque and rustic! We get set up in our space and walk around a bit. Carolyn goes in to get dinner started and Dick finds the beaver lodge and gets a couple of pictures before the beavers disappear.

Dick fixes garlic spaghetti and we settle in for a pleasant evening. Again we go to bed before the sun! There is a lot of daylight here during the summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment