Alaskan Highway – Dawson Creek to Watson Lake

We finally arrived in Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alaskan Highway built by the US government at the start of WWll to enable the movement of war material so as to defend the western frontier of the United States from Japanese invasion. The road is 1486 miles from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks, Alaska. It was built in less than a year. It’s been improved upon over the years but it is considered one of the top accomplishments of our modern culture.

All the pictures you will see below and those in many of the blogs to come were taken from this road….Route 97 North. I will alert you that we are leaving the Alaskan Highway whenever we take side trips.

All mileages in the Milepost book use this monument to determine the distance from Dawson Creek. The distance is given in km. One km is .6 miles.

Our first wild critter as we started north on Route 97

 

We met Brian, a great guy, at Muncho Lake. He teaches photo-journalism in Illinois and is doing the Alaska tour on a motorcycle. Thanks to him we have a great picture of both of us on Muncho Lake at sunset. We hope we cross paths with him again on our respective journeys.

These are Stony Sheep that were licking the salt from the gravel on the side of the highway just south of Strawberry Flats.

Approaching Muncho Lake and the Strawberry campground where we stayed Wednesday evening.

We met Brian, a great guy, at Muncho Lake. He teaches photo-journalism in Illinois and is doing the Alaska tour on a motorcycle. Thanks to him we have a great picture of both of us on Muncho Lake at sunset. We hope we cross paths with him again on our respective journeys.

Mountains in the distance as we pulled out of Muncho Lake and continued north on Route 97.

This picture is interesting in that it shows the alluvial plane that has formed over the years as run off from intense summer storms races down the side of the mountains into the valley below and then in a torrential flood runs into the river in the foreground. The power of the water moves rock and debris onto the valley floor and forms the alluvial plane you see on the far side of the river.

This is a replica of the first sign constructed in Watson Lake back in the 1942 by the soldiers that build the Alaskan Highway. They liked the idea so they began to put up signs from their home towns.

This is what it looks like today…….67,000+ signs and still growing daily as tourists and visitors continue to add their own signs. The sign forest must cover at least several acres or more.

Here’s the view out our front windows just after the thunder storm passed. The sky behind us is very dark and still spitting rain and bolts of lightning…..the thunder rolling off of the hills is impressive!!

This is the valley out our side window. We are hoping to see a moose or two down there at dusk (about midnight)

Here is the video for this part of our journey.

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