MILE “0” AND COUNTING ON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY
Tucked in the campsites, our little caravan of two found a “home” among the pines and aspens in Whistlers campground of Jasper National Park.
Most days were flexible, as our routine would naturally spring into action. On a nice evening, Brent often “manned” the grill while I chopped and diced vegetables picked up from the store or if we had been lucky, a local farmers market.
With only a few days to spend in Jasper and allowing time for Brent to work, we had to make choices on the places we would visit.
Our first stop was an evening walk around the pellucid waters of nearby Lake Annette.
Lake Annette is one of two lakes with beaches and warmer waters due to its shallow depth. Of course, warm is relative when talking about glacial-fed alpine lakes. While it wasn’t warm enough for an evening swim, it was the perfect place to quiet our minds and take in our first taste of Jasper National Park.
The next morning we got an early start and headed to the Jasper Farmers Market where we picked up some fresh cherries to eat on our way to Mt. Edith Cavell.
Mt. Edith Cavell is named after a British nurse who was executed after helping allied prisoners escape from occupied Belgium. Appropriately named, Angel Glacier is easily spotted draping gracefully down the face of Mt. Edith Cavell.
We opted to take the shorter path of the Glacier Loop hike to get a better view of Mt. Edith Cavell and the surrounding mountains. It was perfect for the kids.
Thing 3 slept most of the way nestled into his carrier against my chest. I’m sure someday he’ll look at these pictures and ask to come back. We’ll be happy to oblige!
Not too far from Mt. Edith Cavell is Athabasca Falls, which is a very easy walking trail that winds itself around and over the river where you can take in the views.
I love this photo of Thing 2 and his friend. While we grownups stand in awe poised with our cameras pointed at the falls, the boys reached out in sheer joy letting the mist cover their faces and bodies!
All too soon it was time to pack up and continue traveling north. We stopped at rest stops to stretch our legs and walk our furry family members. We saw a giant beaver gnawing his way through a log in Beaverlodge, Alberta.
We’ve driven through hundreds of miles of mountain scenery and I’ve yet to get bored. In fact, the more we see the more I want to immerse myself in this spectacular landscape. Good thing because we still have more than a thousand miles to go!
Finally, after an overnight in Wal-Mart, we arrived tired but happy in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Dawson Creek is where the Alaska Highway begins.
Although we’ve traveled thousands of miles from Key West, Florida to get here, in a strange way it feels like the adventure is just beginning. As we’ll discover in the upcoming days, the Alaska Highway has a way of making each day a new adventure.
We originally planned to stay overnight in Dawson Creek but upon arrival, decided to stay two nights so we could spend a day exploring the town and running some important errands like getting the truck’s oil changed.
The next morning our group headed over to the Historical Milepost 0 arch to take pictures. I thought you guys might like the silly photo best.
We enjoyed visiting Dawson Creek Art Gallery housed in the nearby grain elevator. The gallery showcased local and regional artists. There is also a sizable collection of historical Alaska Highway construction photos.
The Milepost 0 Alaska Highway Monument is located in downtown Dawson Creek. Since it’s in the middle of an intersection (not a busy one!) we took the more traditional route for a family photo … if you can call sitting in the middle of an intersection traditional.
Across the street from the monument is The Alaska Highway House. A Go RVing Facebook fan had suggested we visit the museum, and I’m so glad we did. The museum traces the history of the Alaska Highway from its inception through construction to today.
The Alaska Highway was built as a response to the Attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII. Its purpose was to be a military supply lines to defend North America. Official construction began on March 8, 1942 and was completed a mere eight months later on October 25, 1942.
That evening our group celebrated reaching the Alaskan Highway with a taco dinner in our RV.
The next morning, our dream of driving the Alaskan Highway became a reality. Seventeen miles north of Dawson Creek, we followed an optional side road that traverses the original old highway and crosses the Kiskatinaw River Bridge. It is the only original wooden bridge built along the Alaska Highway that is still used today.
Our goal for the day was to get to Fort Nelson. So far the conditions of the road have far surpassed any expectations we had. In fact, we’ve traveled highways in California in much worse condition!
There are plenty of roadside pullouts to stop for breaks. So it’s not uncommon to meet other RVers on the same journey.
Two hundred and eighty three miles later we pulled into Triple “G” Hideaway Campground at Fort Nelson. After a long day of driving, it was the perfect spot to relax and share wildlife spottings around the campfire.
Tomorrow should be exciting as we begin to cross the Canadian Rockies and head to Laird Hot Springs. Laird Hot Springs was the most suggested Alaska Highway stop by the Go RVing fans. I can already feel myself slipping into the hot soothing water.
Do you have a particular road or route you’ve always wanted to drive? What sort of stories do you like to share around the campfire when you #GoRVing?