Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Friday July 10, 1998 - Alberta

Alaska Highway Mile 0, Dawson Creek
Young's Point AB - cloudy, sunny, windy

I was up early and on the road by 8 am. Lots of road construction today. I stopped for gas in Fort Nelson and would have liked to taken the turnoff for the Liard Highway. But I have no clean clothes and am looking forward to my stop in Edmonton to do laundry. Yohan could use the rest break too. Besides I am already two weeks behind my schedule and I don't know if it's a good idea to get even further off schedule.

I stopped in Taylor just past Fort St. John where there was a refinery with a huge plume of flame. At the Visitor Centre there the woman at the desk kind of took the ball and ran with it when I told her I was driving across the country. She loaded me up with lots of brochures about the Yellowhead Highway, Dawson Creek, Newfoundland and a local campground on the Peace River. She advised me to stop in Hinton on the way to Edmonton, to stay at the local campground and to visit the Alaska Cafe and an art gallery in an old grain elevator in Dawson Creek. She said there was a Swiss couple at the Peace River campground building a raft to go down the Peace River on. She asked me about the Dempster since she said visitors often enquired about that.

Dawson Creek grain elevator
The sky was beginning to look threatening and I didn't really want to stop now so I continued on. I did stop in Dawson Creek to photograph the Alaska Highway Mile Zero signpost in the middle of an intersection. Yohan decided to stop to poop while crossing a road and the light was just turning red. He had quite the audience of stopped cars for that.

Pretty much from the start of the day I was out of the mountains and driving through rolling forested land. Then I started seeing cows in pastures, a first on this trip. By Dawson Creek I was seeing brilliant yellow fields of canola. In Dawson Creek the grain elevators were labelled "Alberta Grain Pool" even though Dawson Creek is on the BC side of the border with Alberta. The first oil wells appeared after crossing the border into Alberta. Now I was travelling through serious ranch country: grain, cattle, oil wells. The price of gas dropped dramatically, in Grande Prairie I paid 50 cents per litre of gas

I stopped to eat in a park in Grande Prairie and changed into jeans, it was starting to get cool. Around 10 pm I left Grande Prairie. The campgrounds have changed, they are mostly in town with no trees or privacy. There are lots of fast food places and strip malls and all very flat.

I decided not to go to Hinton because that would have added another 250 km to the distance to Edmonton and there were storm clouds in that direction.

I pulled in to Young's Point provincial park west of Valleyview just after midnight. It was now clouded over and quite dark, I needed my camp lamp to setup the truck for sleeping. Shortly after going to bed it began to rain, but I had ensured that everything was stowed in a dry place so I went to sleep.

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