Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On to Dawson Creek and Milepost 0

We left Cardston and the mountains and headed north across open prairie.  Unfortunately, our plan to go to Grand Cache to see Earl and Kathleen, who we met in Mesa this winter, did not work out so we headed straight to Edmonton.  That was a 340 mile day, more than we usually do, but our goal was to get to Dawson Creek.  Most of the drive was uneventful with heavy traffic through Calgary.  After a couple of nights in Edmonton we drove 200 miles to Valleyview and then 155 miles to Dawson Creek, BC, the official start of the Alaska Highway at Milepost 0.  We have traveled 715 miles since crossing the border.

While the exchange rate is in our favor we are finding prices to be higher than when we were here two years ago.  I think part of it is because the Canadian north country economy is booming with energy production.  Glowing Embers RV Park where we stayed now has many workers living there and the price was $7.00 a night higher.  Nanc got a haircut and the beautician, who was from Whitehorse, Yukon, told her they are leaving Edmonton because it has become so expensive.  We filled up with diesel at the same station we used on the last visit and the fuel was $.97 a gallon more, while the price we payed in Montana for our last US fill up was actually a few cents cheaper then the last time.  We did something we have never done in the RV, we filled the tank two days in a row to take advantage of Alberta's cheaper, only $5.05 a gallon in Grand Prairie as opposed to $5.70 in Dawson Creek, prices. And it is only going to get more expensive the farther north we go until we are in Fairbanks where it is presently around $4.10.

Weather wise, the temperatures have been fine with highs in the mid to upper 60's and lows in the 40's and 50's with not a lot of wind.  It has been one of those if you don't like the weather wait five minutes and it will change kind of experiences.  For three days in a row it has been sunny, partly cloudy and raining all within a matter of a couple of hours.  That is still much better than the weather they had here last week when it s**wed.
We saw a lot of this with huge farms on the prairie.
An iconic symbol of the plains is the grain elevator as every town seems to have one that can be spotted from miles away.  
And in the middle of many of those farmers fields you will often see one of these.  As I said, the economy here is booming.
Nanc did some more time behind the wheel and I discovered something.  I have thought for a long time that she tells me to many time that I am going to fast.  Well I discovered that it must be the passengers chair because I found myself saying the same thing to her.  She is getting more confident with more time at the wheel.

Some scenes from along the road.
The Rochfort Bridge Trestle is the second longest wooden railway trestle in the world.  It has been in service since 1914.
And a horse enjoying the view.  We did have an encounter with a cattle truck.  We are often passed by these trucks filled with cattle on their last ride and I usually slow down to let them get by as the sides are always covered with poo.  On our way to Edmonton one passed us, and as usual I slowed, but as soon as the truck pulled back in front of us the whole front of Opus was covered with a spray. YUCK!!!  It was not a fun clean up, but as they say, SH*T HAPPENS.
Our first moose and it was a flying one.  I guess it is that high so it will look like it is walking on the snow in the winter.
Our first gravel road, though it was only one mile off the pavement to the campground.
Most of the construction we have hit so far is just making the highway from Edmonton to Grand Prairie four lanes.  We expect to hit more construction as we get further north.  There have been a few frost heaves, but they have all been well marked with plenty of time to slow down.  This is also typical of the traffic since leaving Edmonton. 
 All over North America towns seem to have some kind of huge monument to the regions history and culture.  Beaverlodge is no different with its big beaver.  Made me think toothpaste:)
We were welcomed to BC with the usual nice sign and the distant rain that caught us. Even though we were travelling on a paved road the rain totally ruined the nice wash job that I had done on the CRV and Opus in Montana.  There are at least two RV wash businesses in Dawson Creek and more along the Alaska Highway, so it must be a regular occurrence.
After 715 miles we are at the beginning of The Alaska Highway, Milepost 0.  Only 1523 miles to Fairbanks.  We have met people in every campground who are on the same trek.  Some are soloing it and others are with caravans.  We are planning to do a bit of both.  At some point we will hook up with Dennis Hill's Loosey Goosey group for at least a couple of days, but for now they are a bit behind us.  I'm sure we will see them down the road.  

1 comment:

John & Lora said...

Oh, my! You have our sympathies!! We've also been sprayed by a cattle truck and the clean-up is a REALLY sh*tty job:) Looks like you're really cranking it up north - safe travels!