Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 3 – Watson Lake, Yukon to Fort St. John, British Columbia

This morning started with another visit to the sign forest. We were able to locate the sign we left 18 years ago. It had been relocated, but was still hanging.

[ The Sign Forest in the morning ]

[ My father pointing at his sign - Medford Lakes Neeta School (Top Sign) ]

We have driven far enough South/East that it was light out for the start of our drive. Today we crossed through the Canadian Rockies. It was definitely the best day of driving we've had yet. The road itself was pretty smooth. The first couple of hours were on unplowed roads, but we were able to keep our speed up and had no problems. The drive reminded me of winter rally racing down logging roads. I couldn’t believe that we were actually on a highway.

[ The Highway ]

[ Plume of Snow ]

[ Chillin' ]

Northern British Colombia is amazing. We were surrounded by evergreens and huge snow covered mountains. We passed some more wild life today including a herd of probably a hundred wood bison, some caribou, a couple foxes, a deer, and a moose.

[ Driving through the Canadian Rockies ]

[ Wood Bison ]

[ Caribou ]

We stopped for lunch at Liard Hot Springs Lodge. We had passed several lodges and gas stations, but it was the first one open in over a hundred miles. The food was great. I had pan-fried perogies with sausage, onions, and bacon pieces. My father had pork chops.

[ We passed many closed lodges and gas stations ]

With less than half a tank of fuel, we decided to fill up before continuing onward. That’s when we learned that the lodge had run out of diesel. The next open town, Fort Nelson, was another 200 miles ahead of us…the last one, just after Watson Lake, was 120 miles behind us. Luckily after making some phone calls, the owner found us a lodge 40 miles South that was closed, but would sell us some diesel if we made it there within the next hour. Due to our time constraint, we didn’t get to go check out the hot springs.

[ Getting robbed at the pump...I converted it to be about $5.25 USD per gallon ]

[ Muncho Lake ]

[ Following the Curves ]

After filling up with outrageously priced diesel, we were able to continue on to Fort Nelson. From there out, the highway was pretty much wide open for the next 230 miles until we reached Fort St. John. There were lots of long straight sections which made driving in the dark much easier than the last couple of nights. The driving lights we installed were well worth the trouble. It was too dark to really see our surroundings, but the stars were bright. We also saw a number of oil rigs burning brightly. There were a lot of steep hills as we neared Fort St. John. I was amazed at how long and steep some of the downhills were. I got the mercedes up to 135 kilometers per hour tonight (About 82mph). With the help of gravity, that's pretty much max speed.

We arrived in St. John at about 10:30, an hour later than we thought due to an unexpected time zone crossing. We drove about 535 miles today making our total trip distance around 1500 miles so far.




1 comment:

Kaija said...

Wow, looks like a sweet trip so far! The photos are gorgeous; they really make me excited to come home for the winter.
Can't wait to see what else this adventure will bring!

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