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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Days 27-29: Homeward Bound...Whitehorse, Yukon to Grand Cache, Alberta

We drove from Whitehorse, YK to Toad River, BC on September 3, 2007, Day 27 of our Alaska trip, most of it in rain and low clouds, although it started out to be a beautiful day. We saw some buffalo along the Liard River, including one big herd of them just south of the suspension bridge over the Liard River.

100_0704-Bison, South of Liard River Bridge
Buffalo, South of Liard River Bridge

We considered camping at Coal River but decided to go the extra 120 miles to Toad River, where we had stayed on Day 12 on our way north to Alaska. It was a beautiful drive, or would have been if the clouds hadn't obscured our view of the mountains; but we were both ready to stop when Toad River finally came into view. We had supper in the lodge's restaurant before finding our campsite and hooking up Harvey.

The next morning, Day 28, was bright and sunny, a welcome change from the rain and dreariness of the previous day and night. Our goal for the day was Fort St. John. The drive from Toad River to Fort Nelson was beautiful and packed with abundant wildlife, including caribou, moose, and deer.

100_0707-Along Alaska Hwy near Stone Mtn Prov Park
Along Alaska Highway, Near Stone Mountain Provincial Park

100_0711-Caribou
Caribou

100_0715-Summit Lake
Summit Lake

100_0716-Caribou
Caribou

100_0719-Caribou
Caribou, not caring that Doug and Harvey were in a hurry.

We stopped at Fort Nelson for gas and some Subway sandwiches. Not finding a convenient place to stop for lunch, we ate our sandwiches on the fly. We saw more deer and a large black bear on our way from Fort Nelson to Fort St. John. No pictures, though. Doug and Harvey were pointed towards home.

We stopped for the night at the Shepherd's Inn, north of Fort St. John. They had a restaurant and motel and about five RV spots. We took one of the RV spots. We had supper in the restaurant, and it was very good. Then we returned to Harvey to take our showers and relax for a few hours before bedtime.

We got off to a slow start on September 5, Day 29, deciding to have breakfast at the Shepherd's Inn restaurant. That, of course, took longer than our usual breakfast in Harvey. Then we filled up the gas tank, also at Shepherd's Inn; and a problem with their credit card machine held us up another 10 minutes or so.

We drove on into Fort St. John, to the Walmart there, and did some shopping before doing any serious driving that day.

The weather was good all day, except for a few brief light showers. Changing our home-going route a little from our northward journey, the day's route took us from Fort St. John, British Columbia to Dawson Creek, British Columbia; then to Grand Prairie, Alberta; and on to Grand Cache, Alberta, where we stayed at the Grand Cache Community RV Park.

100_0724-Scenic Overlook Near Grand Cache, AB
Scenic Overlook Near Grand Cache, AB

4 comments:

  1. Ah, a journal makes sense. :) Nice that you went a little different route on the way back. I don't know if I've ever seen caribou.

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  2. WOW oh WOW. It is so nice to share this trip. I looked at the red markers with the caribo shots and wondered if they were survey for a new road or someone's research project. Often with plant studies one marks the ones they are looking at.

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  3. Fascinating pictures.Not often that one sees caribou on the road.

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  4. Elizabeth - We saw more caribou than deer up that way. But I don't believe I'd ever seen them before that trip.

    Steve - I really appreciate your interest in this experience. You make writing about it fun. :) As for the orange markers...they were placed along the highway to mark some of the worst frost heaves, giving motorists a little advance warning. I'm not sure what that cluster of orange markers to the right of the photo were marking, though.

    Ruth - Thanks. I don't know what the range is for caribou...whether you would have them in your area or not. It was fun seeing them, but I suppose it would get old if you saw them every day...especially on the road.

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