Panama to Alaska 2008 travel blog

Start of the Alaska Highway

The right donut stop

Kistkatinaw river bridge

bear


We left Grande Prairie to head for the Alaska Highway. For perhaps the first time we felt that we had not seen anything of the town. We had spent a lot of time stopping on the route yesterday and, when we got in, I found that the internet connection was good and was able to catch up both with this journal (except photographs) and the main rally one of which I am editor. Anyway, we gathered that we weren’t missing much and our hotel was in the middle of an industrial estate. These places aren’t always exciting.

Some miles out of Grande Prairie there was a herd of deer, some with antlers, in a fenced field. They were being farmed. Grande Prairie is in the middle of a fertile prairie with plenty of animal husbandry. The landscape changed later to a road with wide grassy verges and with varying trees, mixed deciduous and pine and frequently many silver birches. It didn’t change for 500 kilometres!

A few things enlivened the day: A stop in Dawson City beside the zero kilometre mark marking the beginning of the Alaskan Highway which was built in 8 months in 1942 as the USA thought that the Japanese might invade through Alaska. A diversion along a part of the old highway where we drove over the only remaining original bridge which is curved. Two sightings of bears and one of a moose with a baby.

When we arrived in Fort Nelson we carried out various jobs on the car including some first aid on the crack in the windscreen, carried out for free by a very generous pair of technicians. Then we went to the museum where we watched a film about the construction of the Alaskan Highway and saw a garage full of old cars!

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