May 25: Our first day’s journey on the Alaska Highway was scenic and peaceful. We traveled a total of 285 miles from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, British, Columbia, on Highway 97. It was partly cloudy with the sun peeking through enough to make our stops pleasant, somewhere in the 60s. We had sun rays poking through the aspen stands and the tall spruce all along our route. There were no complaints from the Hurleys at all.
We were enjoying all aspects of B. C. The first half of the day we noticed signs for numerous gas and oil exploration companies which are blossoming all over Alberta and British Columbia. Also, the logging companies are busy as well. Their signs were posted along the highway indicated the areas that were reforested in the late 1980s. The signs stood in front of hills and valleys thick with trees. There are also signs at Historic Mileposts for the Alaska Highway construction. One interesting one was the Milepost for Suicide Hill. This story illustrates the danger that the highway builders encountered. Click the photo to read about it.
After our lunch at about 80 miles into the highway, we began seeing snow-capped mountains along with the thick spruce forests and aspen stands. Seemed as though civilization had disappeared. It was peaceful to wind along the roadway, without many other vehicles, up and down the grades and around curves.
And then it happened! We had our first moose sighting at 1:29 p.m., on Day 5, May 25, at 190 miles from Dawson Creek, B.C. There he was, a young bull moose, standing right next to the highway. We didn’t get a photo of this one though. Just the warning signs along the road. The various types of signs became a point of interest also. So, we began making a quick study. We already knew to watch for the heaves in the road caused by the harsh winters. They are marked with a unique pyramid type sign just at the point of the problem or with orange flags. Since we were looking for that type, any road sign seemed to be more noticeable. After a while, we decided how user-friendly the Canadian signs are, mostly without words, just symbols. So I decided to gather a few for posterity. And why not share with my friends? Here they are. Can you guess what they mean? If you’d like to take a look, click on the album below.
We enjoyed our first 285 miles of the Alaska Highway. Our first stop was Fort Nelson, established in 1805 by the Northwest Fur Trading Company. For us tonight, there’s a convenient little corner in the IGA parking lot. The manager was very welcoming. See you up the road.