Dateline: Dawson Creek
Ah, mountains! Finally! Altitudes, views, and spirits have all lifted. Never mind all the whinging about the endless grind across the northern prairies, now we’re really arrived at the true start of the adventure. No pic today, as this connection is a bit slow and iffy. But the critter count has begun: 1 wolf. Very cool. It just sauntered across the road. A bit bigger than Mayo and considerably leaner (ahem). And gray, of course. And very self-assured. Top of the food chain, and all that. As I scrambled for the Kodak, the wolf’s pict-o-detector went off and it shot into the brush. After shooting through “Moose Row” (which was without moose und sqvirrel), we’re now at the Northern Lights RV Park, a very rustic but oddly charming place on the real true Alaska Highway just outside Dawson Creek. Guarded over by the enormous akita Bear, who Mayo gives a paws-up to.
The biggest surprise so far is the abrupt jump in the quality and quantity of road services. I am not making this up: We passed more rest areas in the first hour today than in the entire trip along the Yellowhead Trail. And more gas stations per kilometer. I was quite puzzled by the dearth along Yellowhead. I kind of figured that the Alaska Highway is an adventure for AARPies in huge RVs, so it’s probably not too challenging a deal for younger folk. Yet on Yellowhead, I really had to watch for places to stop, had to gas up at every opportunity, and had to not just blast down the road. If the Alaska Highway takes even more care, wow, it would be a nightmare for older folks. Well, early signs indicate that it’s probably easier, at least in terms of roadside support. We’ll see how it goes as the first true leg is taken on tomorrow: Fort Nelson, Mile 300 of 1200 or so to the border. I’m stoked.