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Day 8: Kicking off the Alaska Highway!

June 13, 2013

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Today we officially began the Alaska Highway. It connects Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada to Delta Junction, Alaska, USA. It’s 1,390 miles long (luckily, we are just going to Tok, Alaska on it, so only 1,282 miles on the same road!)

We kicked off the trip at the beginning: Mile 0 in Dawson Creek.

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We stayed last night at the Mile 0 Campground in Dawson Creek, so we could get a full nights sleep. The campground is right near a cute park and great walking trail, so we got to take Sasha for an evening stroll (at 8pm, still light out). We finally went to bed at 9:30pm (hey, that’s 12:30am for your East Coasters!) and it will still so light out, that I was cursing losing my sleepmask at Megan’s house.

Mile 0 Campground

You know that feeling when you wake up and think you’ve only slept for a short time? We experienced that this morning when we woke up at 4:30am, and it was so light out we thought that we had only slept for about half an hour.

We hit the road for our 600 mile, 12-hour day of driving. Within an hour of me driving, Matt revoked my driving privileges due to my lack of efforts in passing slower cars.

The scenery is just so amazingly beautiful. It is almost untouched by humans, so it just feels cleaner and fresher. Matt & I kept joking we should just set up camp in the woods and see how long we can survive.

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We saw so much wildlife today! Like…

Bears

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Bison

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Stone Sheep

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& Wild Horses and Foxes. It was so cool seeing the animals out in the open: normally the only time you get to see them are in zoos or on farms.

About 8 hours into our drive, we saw signs for a Hot Springs, and decided to be impulsive and pull off. It was the Liard River Hotsprings Park, apparently a well-known destination. For $10, we got to swim and relax in water ranging for 108 to 126 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The walk to the hot springs pools was really neat: it was down a long boardwalk where you could see hoof prints from moose in the mud, and a lot of pretty plants. We ended up chatting with some older couples from Illinois, who had ridden up on motorcycles.

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At the hottest end of the springs, there were stacks of rocks. The legend is that if you can handle the heat and make it to the end and put a rock on the stack, good luck will come your way. Never one to resist boiling lava hot water, Matt made the journey (twice!) to bring us luck.

Brave, Brave Soul

Brave, Brave Soul

 

We also got to cross into another Canadian Province!

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When we reached our destination of Watson Lake, we quickly made our way over to the Watson Lake Signpost Forest. What is the signpost forest, you ask?

Signpost Forest

It’s a huge collection of signs: street signs, license plates, handmade, everything you can imagine, all in one place. The official count of signs is over 72,000. We spent almost an hour slowly exploring and looking for cool signs. Here’s what we found!

Traveler's Rest!

Traveler’s Rest!

Tiger, GA (!!!)

Tiger, GA (!!!)

so many signs

Note To Self: Email Them This Picture

Note To Self: Email Them This Picture

One cool thing the city could do (or I guess, a school group could do) is catalog the signs. That way people can go online and look to see which row their sign is on, or look for ones from certain destinations. We spent a long time looking for a Clemson one, but we finally found it!

Go (Clemson) Tigers!

Go (Clemson) Tigers!

Even Anderson had a sign

Even Anderson had a sign

Sasha has also started to reach her toddler phase on this trip. She has gotten terrible! She kept rolling in mud, so we had to move her out of the cab and into the bed of the truck.

Clearly Sasha is being a lady

Clearly Sasha is being a lady

She then decided to sleep in the plastic bin that had been holding my clothes. Every time we looked back, there Sasha was – perched up like a kitten in a basket.

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She has also taken to climbing on top of picnic tables.

As if she doesn't have a bowl of clean water

As if she doesn’t have a bowl of clean water

We just don’t know what to do. She is so bad, but so darn adorable when she’s being bad. Tonight for discipline, we added steamed rice to her dog food. I don’t think we’re doing this dog parenting thing right….

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2 Comments

  • Reply Nancy June 14, 2013 at 01:32

    Talk about déjà vu! We have pictures at those same places 30 years ago! Glad Matt got to see some wildlife. 🙂

  • Reply Byron June 14, 2013 at 06:35

    I can hear Matt saying “boiling lava hot”

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