We found the Mile '0' Post of the Alaska Highway and took the obligatory picture of it. The most amusing thing about the post is that it is not on the Alaska Highway at all! Apparently, back in the 1940's, some driver hit the post in its original location in the traffic circle at the end of the Alaska Highway. When the post was rebuilt, it was moved to the center of the intersection of 10 Street and 102 Avenue. It escapes me how this is a safer location.
We actually started off on the 'Alaska Hi-Way' today. Not too far outside of Dawson Creek, there is a loop of the old highway that one can take. This goes over the Kiskatinaw River Bridge, the only original wooden structure still in use. The newer highway bypasses this point because modern trucks are too heavy for the old bridge. This 531-foot bridge has a wooden deck and a 9-degree curve. All along the modern highway, short segments of the original road can bee seen.
After Fort St. John, we took a detour to the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. Bennett was the premier of British Columbia for 20 years or so. The Bennett Dam is the largest hydro-electric project in B.C., and it supplies 33% of the province's electricity. This earth-filled dam is over 600 feet high and 1-1/4 mile long. The powerhouse was blasted out of the bedrock and houses 10 generators with a combined output of about 2,300 megawatts - a VERY impressive structure.
Back on the Alaska Highway, the traffic between Dawson Creek and Ft. Nelson
is rather heavy. The long strings of RVs and travel trailers (aka the 'Parade of Homes')
can be tiring to deal with. At one point, we saw a pickup truck with its fifth-wheel travel
trailer in the ditch - it had hit another truck and ran off the road. The rest of the trip into
Ft. Nelson was uneventful except for some wildlife. We saw a North American Bald Eagle,
what appeared to be a river otter, a black bear, and some deer.
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