Day 2 on The Alaska Highway

Alcan Day 3 7Yesterday was another driving day, day 2 on the Alaska Highway and our third in a row. We are moving through at a slightly faster pace than we originally planned at this point. It is great to have that flexibility.

Alcan Day 3 1Alcan Day 3 2Last evening, before we stopped at the rest stop for the night, we noticed a sign about construction work down the road. Since our motor home has a rear radiator, we read that it is possible for rocks to get propelled into it causing damage. Hector planned to install a rock screen to shield the radiator and had already purchased mesh wire for the job. So this morning he installed it. And, while he was installing it, it began to rain lightly. But he perservered.Alcan Day 3 3

Tip of the day: Attach wire mesh as a rock screen for rear radiators.

Cut the wire mesh to appropriate size, attach it to chassis or other hard metal brackets using zip ties.Alcan Day 3 4

Today’s driving recap:

Road Name: BC Hwy 97, Alaska Highway

Road Type: 2-lane

Road Conditions: Relatively smooth.  Occasional gravel breaks or rough patches.

Miles Today: 271

Miles driven from Canadian border: 1068

Miles on the Alaska Highway: 343

Driving Time: 5:30

Alcan Day 3 5Alcan Day 3 12The scenery changed slightly with more forested areas with lots of pine trees and hillier terrain with mountains in the distance. There are some steep grades in this part of the drive, reducing our average speed. We spotted our first bears today, all three were black bears, and black in color as well.Alcan Day 3 14Alcan Day 3 11

The first gave us our closest look, he crossed the road and then walked along the side of the road for quite a while. He had quite a thick, wet, shiny coat, and no doubt had taken a dip in the nearby river. And now he was munching away at some greens.Alcan Day 3 15

Alcan Day 3 13The others went back into the forest when they saw Island Girl approach.Alcan Day 3 9

The morning rain shifted to cloudy conditions with some very pretty clouds, then to a sunny, warm afternoon. I was not expecting it to be this warm, so it was a nice surprise.Alcan Day 3 8Alcan Day 3 6

Alcan Day 3 18We stopped at the Trapper’s Den Wildlife Emporium just before Fort Nelson. The shop sells native crafts, moccasins, mukluks, fur hats, and lots of other stuff.  Alcan Day 3 21Alcan Day 3 19Alcan Day 3 20

They even had camo lingerie (Wilderness Dreams!). It is a small but cute store with a very nice proprietor. She was talking to a couple of other locals in the store, and their accents were very Fargo-esque.Alcan Day 3 16

Next we noticed a Tim Hortons next to the gas station where we filled our tank, so we stopped to eat lunch and use their Wi-Fi.Alcan Day 3 23

Alcan Day 3 22And then continued to the Fort Nelson Visitor Center. Just across the way is the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum. The theme of the museum is transportation, and just in front of the entrance there is a monument commemorating the workers who helped build the Alaska Highway.Alcan Day 3 55

Alcan Day 3 56Then you enter the first building and oh boy, there is almost too much stuff at this museum. Pioneer artifacts, taxidermy displays, including an albino moose cow.Alcan Day 3 38

A display of artifacts from the Alaska Highway construction, antique telephones, a small general store display, antique signs, old radios, maps, an antique jukebox and more.

Alcan Day 3 51Alcan Day 3 59Outside there are all kinds of antique trucks and antique heavy equipment used in the building of the Alaska Highway as well as some fabulous vintage cars in a large garage on the property. And lots of license plates and tools.Alcan Day 3 54

Last, but not least, there are several buildings from the era of the Alaskan Highway, mostly there to display more artifacts – a typical house, a church, a log cabin.Alcan Day 3 32

Several young men were around to open the buildings and provide information about the artifacts inside. All for CA$5.

I think it must be tough to be a place “on the way to something else”. And so the people here make a heartfelt effort to provide visitors with the opportunity to connect with some of their history. Good for them.

We left Fort Nelson planning to spend the night at a rest stop about 50 miles away. Everyone we spoke with and everything we read said that this next part of the drive was the prettiest on the Alaska Highway, and there would be lots of wildlife.Alcan Day 3 10

As we left, we encountered some steep climbs and the mountains grew nearer. We climbed to the summit of Steamboat Mountain at 3,500 feet with beautiful views.Alcan Day 3 60

alcanday3065The first rest area we reached had a motor home sitting in the one spot with a view so we continued to the next one. There was a fifth wheel in the next overview but it had a wide area open with views so we stayed there.  A beautiful spot.Alcan Day 3 62

alcanday3066Alcan Day 3 63We settled in and watched a bright red sun setting in the sky. We know the best is yet to come.

~ BrendaAlcan Day 3 64

10 thoughts on “Day 2 on The Alaska Highway

  1. I did remember this museum, too many to look at and I managed to have a photo with the guy that started it all.
    Yup, Steve also did that mesh thing as well, its prudent for protection. From Ft Nelson, things will get more scenic and wildlife will be abundant. I noticed you are really moving at a fast pace too.
    One other tip I could share which you may already be doing is that I had the Milepost opened in my lap as we drove along and read out loud to Steve the description of the road condition and or what to expect to see along the highway mile for mile. That way Steve will be aware and be prepared of what lies ahead especially the road.
    Stay safe.

    • I know, too many museums, but it’s nice to see some of them. The Milepost is on my lap every day as well!

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