Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's A Wild Life (Bonanza)

The last time you heard from Snake and Inspector G we were in Bemidji last Tuesday night. Wednesday we entered Canada south of Winnipeg and headed west on Canada 1 through Ragina (rhymes with Vagina…I’ve been waiting all week to say that) and Highway 11 to Craik where we spent the night at the C&T Motel which we dubbed the Bates Motel. Craik is a tiny town with mostly dirt streets and one motel, straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The few towns-people we met could have been extras from the movie.

Thursday we picked up Canada 16 and pushed on through Saskatoon and Edmonton, then Canada 43, stopping in Whitecourt at the Howard Johnson’s for the night where we conversed to the wee hours with some local oil and gas field workers about how Canada could supply all of our energy needs if we would just let them.

Friday dawned cold and rainy which quickly transitioned to colder and snowy. After about an hour we pulled into a rest area to thaw out. It took way too long to thaw our hands under the warm air dryers and running water. Our fingers had to be very close to frost bite and us to hypothermia.

We pushed on through the snow and rain through Grand Prairie to Dawson Creek, BC, the start of the Alcan Highway and a major milestone on this trip.

We rode as long as we could and finally stopped for the night at the Bucking Horse River Lodge (read truck stop) near Pink Mountain, about 120 mi short of our preplanned destination of Fort Nelson. After canceling three nights reservations in a row and trying to make up miles and taking potluck where we could, we finally caught up to our schedule in Watson Lake, Yukon Saturday night, the home of the World-famous Sign Post Forest. I brought a front license plate from Bat Cave, NC with me to nail up in the “Forest”. I had wanted to put up a “Lake Lure – Gem Of The Carolinas” plate, but nobody in Lake Lure, including the Visitor Center and the Chamber of Commerce, could tell me where to get one. The fruit stand in Bat Cave, however, had plenty of Bat Cave plates. It's much cooler than the Lake Lure sign anyway.

The ride from Pink Mountain to Watson Lake was a wildlife bonanza. We saw bears, buffalo (Woods Bison), moose, an elk, and an eagle.

We entered Alaska on the Alcan Highway around 2 pm Monday 6/6, another trip milestone,
and arrived at the Fox Creek B&B in Fox, just north of Fairbanks around 7 pm. Supper was at The Silver Gulch Brewery that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives last year.

Tomorrow we are off to ride the Haul Road, aka the Dalton Highway, north to the Arctic Circle, where we plan to spend the night in Wiseman, population 21. I'm pretty sure there will be no internet in Wiseman. We will be back here at the Fox Creek B&B on Wednesday night where Jeff and Arna are our lovely hosts. Jeff is a media specialist at U of Alaska so internet access is assured.


  1. See you Thursday night in Anchorage. Hope you are taking food with you to the cabin in the Artic Circle. Just sayin . . .

  2. I loved this post--sent it on to friends and family. I think you are on every man's dream trip. What a great wife you have.

  3. What an adventure- loved the pictures of the wildlife!

  4. What an adventure you all are having! That WE are all having through you. Thank god it's you!I think I'm gonna go eat some marshmallows or play a video game. Or no, maybe I'll look at a map...

  5. Yay, glad you guys made it! Thanks for posting!