Thursday, June 15, 2017

Down the Alaska Highway

Heading south from Watson Lake in the Yukon, one of the ‘required’ stops is at Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park.  There is a campground, but the most impressive feature is the huge natural, outdoor hot springs that are open for public swimming.  I went for a dip in the evening, and although the campground was full and the overflow area looked busy, there was still plenty of room at the pools for a leisurely dip.  I returned very early in the morning, and had the whole place to myself for the best part of an hour.

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There are concrete benches under water.

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The warm, humid, oasis like surroundings created by the hot springs has created a unique environment, that attracts a wide variety of vegetation otherwise unusual in this area.  This in turn attracts moose, waterfowl, and bears.  These geese were feeding right beside the boardwalk leading to the springs.

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Back on the road, the wildlife show continued, with more bison, bears, and sheep.


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The Alaska highway narrows somewhat as it winds it’s way through Muncho Lake and Stone Mountain provincial parks, then widens again as it approaches Fort Nelson.  I found fuel prices in Fort Nelson quite out of line and way higher than in other nearby areas.  Diesel price was $1.289/L in Fort Nelson, while I purchased diesel in Watson Lake for $1.169.  Watson Lake is almost 1000km further north on the same road.  I also purchased fuel in Dawson City, Yt for $1.169 just previously.  Dawson City is about 1500km or almost a thousand miles further north on the same road.  I saw fuel tankers headed north all the time right through Fort Nelson.  If you are traveling the Alaska Highway, I recommend that you avoid purchasing fuel (or anything?) in Fort Nelson.  I sent a note to the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Nelson complaining of the price, but received no reply, so perhaps they don’t care!  End of rant.


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South of there, our route left the Alaska highway north of Fort St John as we turned west again along the mighty Peace River.  A very controversial dam is under construction there at ‘Site C’.  A new government in British Columbia may affect the outcome.

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I found a nice spot with a great river view to spend the night, before heading through the town of Hudson’s Hope for another tire repair – of the same tire that was repaired up in Whitehorse earlier.  From there we went to have a look at another older dam on the Peace River, the W.A.C. Bennett dam, named after the provincial premier at the time.

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There is a visitor centre on site, and dam tours are available for a small fee.  The tour goes right down into a tunnel under the dam to see the power house and the water as it exits the turbines.

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After the dam tour, we headed down into Prince George to meet some friends, then through Jasper to take in a retirement party, then on home to cut the grass and get ready for the next road trip!IMG_2732IMG_2735

6 comments:

  1. Glad you had Safe and Enjoyable trip.
    Looking forward to future adventures.

    It's about time.

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  2. Anonymous11:05 am

    I really enjoyed our trip! Well, my trip was through your pictures, but enjoyed it just the same! Thanks for sharing!
    Bonnie

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  3. Having a place all to one's self is the absolute best of the best. Some great pics of Hailey there. Don't think I have ever had the opportunity to immerse myself in a hot spring. A few bed springs here and there but never a hot spring well not unless I could call them hot bed springs. I better get outta here..........

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  4. The Hot Spring all you yourself. Lucky you.

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  5. Sounds like you had a good time.

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  6. Been reading backwards in your blog tonight, you take fantastic wildlife pictures. Very impressive. Safe travels.

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