Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 5

Rush Hour on The Alcan: 4 cars ahead of me, 3 oncoming and more behind me.
The morning weather in Fort Nelson was overcast and steady flurries which continued for the rest of the drive on the Alcan (Alaska Highway) which ends at Dawson Creek.  The road continues to be steep hills and a few tight turns but mostly the challenge is the steepness of the hills.  The traction on the road was still good despite the flurries.  The traffic was definitely picking up after Fort St. John which is the next to the last stop.  Still 3 oncoming cars, 4 ahead and I think 4 behind me is more than I would see in a day in the Yukon outside of established communities (sometimes including).  Click here for a few more pictures for Wed and 2 for Thurs.

Dawson Creek (not to be confused with Dawson City or Beaver Creek) is Mile 0 but it is still 1000 miles from the US/Canadian boarder.  Given the low pressure system coming up from Vancouver into the southern British Columbia Mountains, I opted for the slightly longer and more familiar route of going through Alberta.  The route into Seattle is all mountains and with new snow could be a stressful drive.  Turned out the system blew itself out pretty quickly and it would probably have been okay.  From Dawson I drove East toward Edmonton, Alberta.  Crossing into Alberta I lost another hour moving into the equivalent of US Mountain time.  I found myself in the first major city, Grande Prairie at 8pm and started looking for a hotel to find they were pretty full already (2 hours short of my goal).  Turns out the oil companies have employees living in the hotels and there was a conference.  I almost went on to the next town but the Motel 6 clerk said they were full too.  I finally found a place and turned in early to get an early start on Thursday.

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