The Alaska Highway – Dawson Creek to the Yukon

On the 5th day from Alabama I arrived at Dawson Creek, and the official start of the Alaska Highway. RBT_1420-EditI received a respite from the snowy weather and enjoyed stopping and taking it all in as I drove along that late afternoon. RBT_1443-EditI took a side trip on the Old Alaska Highway and visited the historic Kiskatinaw Bridge, which crosses the Peace River, and was the first curved bridge to be engineered in Canada. RBT_1450-Edit.RBT_1460-Edit.RBT_1463-Edit.RBT_1472-Edit-2.RBT_1478-Edit.RBT_1499-EditPretty soon I was under the spell of the Yukon, while still in British Columbia, the long days beckoning me to drive on. This photo was made just before 8pm. I continued until just shy of Fort Nelson.RBT_1513-EditI awoke early the next morning, having bivvied in a pullout, made some coffee on my camp stove and started into Easter Sunday. I had no idea what a magical morning it would be. I felt as though I was given gifts in all the animals I was allowed to fellowship with that morning.RBT_1522-EditI’d heard the bears were still in hybernation, but low and behold in the still-early dawn I spotted a black bear still in a bit of a stupor from the long winter sleep. I let her be and moved on. RBT_1530-EditThere were a few icy patches on the road, but the day held much promise. RBT_1548-EditI was blessed with a sighting of Stone Sheep, a fairly rare sighting in these parts according to the locals. RBT_1555-EditSoon after that sighting I saw my first caribou! It’s known as a caribou when it’s wild, and a reindeer when it’s domesticated. RBT_1602-EditAs I dropped down and across the Toad River the clouds were beginning to thicken in the sky. I was fortunate to be there at a time when the rivers had thawed just enough to show their turquoise color. RBT_1606-Edit.RBT_1609-EditBy the time I’d reached Toad River, the snow was coming down in earnest. There were patches of road that were totally white and I wondered what the rest of the day would hold. I drove up the road to Muncho Lake and checked the weather report. There was a time or two when I remembered some kids on an Outward Bound course singing, “Jesus take the wheel,” when things were challenging. I probably sang that phrase a time or two that day. RBT_1613I’d hoped to soak in the hotspring at Liard, but it wasn’t to be this trip, a big storm was said to be moving in and I wanted to stay ahead of it. I did like this old home I ran across in Liard. RBT_1624-EditThis day would also provide my first sighting of wood bison, a bison that lives in the mountainous regions of Alaska. My blessings kept up until they were in a heap. RBT_1638-EditThe scenes along the Liard River were breathtaking. RBT_1641-Edit.RBT_1647-Edit-2I’d say soon, but it took a good few hours of driving that day to finally reach the Yukon, a place that’s long held a nearly mythic place in my mind.  RBT_1652-EditA beaver dam (below)RBT_1660-EditAfter years of reading Robert Service, here I was, crossing for the first time ever into the Yukon Territory. RBT_1656-Edit

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