May 30 to June 8
After our four-day stay in Grande Prairie, the weather cleared up and we headed down the road to Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaskan Highway. It was a short, 68-mile trip, so we were in no rush to leave early, and we had a roadside attraction to stop and visit: the Giant Beaver in the town of Beaverlodge.
After a nice, relaxing drive, we settled into the Mile 0 RV Park for 2 nights. Of course, the first thing we did once we got settled was head into the center of town and take the obligatory picture at the most popular photo spot, the historic Milepost 2.
These signs here at the Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) Park give a succinct history. Remember, you can click on any photo to enlarge it.
We then walked about 3 minutes west to the Historic Milepost 0 marked by a cairn and post in the middle of the main intersection in the historic town area.
While there, we visited the Dawson Creek Station Museum.
George Dawson was a geologist/explorer and two areas are named after him: Dawson Creek here in British Columbia, and Dawson City farther north in The Yukon.
I found this amusing. Laundry was hard work. Guess I shouldn't complain about doing it now in modern times.
The following pictures are taken as we did a self-guided walking tour around the historic district. There are many murals on the buildings.
Okay. We are going to flash-forward a few days now. We did depart Dawson Creek on Wednesday, June 1, and headed 140 miles up the Alaska Highway to Pink Mountain. For reasons that I will detail in the next post, we're going to skip a few days and backtrack 90 miles to Fort St. John, where we've been since Thursday, June 3.
From Fort St. John, we did a drive one day to the towns of Hudson's Hope and Chetwynd. It was a drizzly day, but we really needed to get out and just chill out for a bit.
Hudson's Hope is a very small town that you take a very windy, up-and-down road to visit. Not a road I would be happy to take my rig on. It's very early in the season, and not much was open, especially since it was Sunday. But the major attraction in the area is the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. This is a large hydroelectric dam on the Peace River, creating the massive Williston Reservoir. The dam is one of the world's largest earth-filled dams at 610 feet, and the reservoir is the third-largest in North America.
We then drove south along Highway 29, along the shoreline of Moberly Lake. We saw our first black bear along here. No pictures, though; we went by too fast and there were vehicles behind us. We reached the town of Chetwynd, known for its collection of over 150 chainsaw carvings throughout the public areas. The chainsaw carvings project started in 1992 as an event to draw visitors to the town for its 50th-anniversary celebration of the start of the Alaska Highway (the Alcan back then). The Welcome sign was commissioned and made for the celebration. Local fundraising started to bring more carvings to town. Then in 2005, Chetwynd hosted the first annual International Chainsaw Carving Championship, with 7 carvers attending from British Columbia and the United States. It is now grown into an annual event on the second weekend of every June with carvers coming from all over the world to participate.
The detail in the carvings makes it hard to believe it's been done with a chainsaw.
These two carvings are on either end of a picnic table in a rest area along the road. It's beautiful.
It would be really neat to see the event, and whereas it is occurring this coming weekend, we are really hoping to have our issues resolved and be back on the road north to meet back up with our fellow travelers. But that story will be told in the next blog. Stay tuned!
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