Saturday, July 23, 2011

Moving to Alaska: Day 8

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada
Miles traveled: 412
Total miles traveled: 1162

Leaving Edmonton signaled the beginning of the second half of our trip. The trip from Pullman to Edmonton had been a sightseeing trip. We took it slow, took in the sights, enjoyed the drive, and basically treated it like a driving vacation. We covered 710 miles in 7 days and it was, by comparison, a pleasure cruise.

The second half of our trip, Edmonton to Fairbanks, was where the rubber hit the road. The necessity of getting to Fairbanks in a timely manner coupled with the sparse places to stay the night meant we had to cover some serious miles every day. We had just 4 days to cover 1,826 miles. Vacation was over, it was time to get to work. We filled up on a good breakfast and hit the road.

Somewhere just outside of Edmonton we stopped at a little roadside market. They had fresh produce as well as souvenirs and ice cream. There was also a tipi that was open to explore. Of course the kids thought it was pretty neat to go inside and look around. Jonathan had a hard time understanding just how someone could live in something like this, especially in a place with cold and snow.
A semi-decent family picture.

We stopped for dinner in Grand Prairie. It was beautiful there but definitely a prairie, it was as flat as flat could be for miles around. The wind in Grand Prairie was intense. It was almost a challenge to walk straight. It looked like there was some pretty interesting things to do and see in and around Grand Prairie but we were on a schedule so stopping to explore was not going to happen. Maybe next time (HA HA HA!)

Sign showing the directions out of Grand Prairie. I think heading west sound like a good idea! :)

Our drive to Fort St. John also took us past Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada. Beaverlodge has the distinction of being home to a giant beaver statue. The novelty of the whole thing necessitated a stop for a family picture.

Our family with the giant beaver. Wouldn't that have been a great Christmas card!

The most momentous part of the days journey was reaching Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada. Dawson Creek, not to be confused with Dawson City, marks the official beginning of the AlCan. From here it was a mere 1523 miles to Fairbanks.

Our family with the famous Mile 0 sign post in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada.

The road to this point was so much better than I had expected. We had four lane, divided highway for quite a while out of Edmonton and when the road did go down to two lanes it was still a very well maintained road. And so far we had not yet found any of the infamous Alaska Highway frost heaves. That would change!

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