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Entries about bears

July 22 to July 26 - Alaska Highway Adventures

Tetsa River Services, Cinnamon Buns, Liard Hot Springs, Watson Lake, Gout (Ouch)

sunny 20 °C

We left Dawson Creek before 7:00am. There is an airshow, and a rodeo in Fort St. John this weekend and we wanted to avoid the traffic that will come with that, so an early start was called for.

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Our expectations of a slow moving highway were quickly erased. We pretty well had the highway to ourselves...some truck traffic and oil patch workers heading towards their 7 day a week jobs, but no lumbering motor homes in our way.

We stopped at the Kiskatinaw River Bridge, 24 kilometers froma beautiful curved structure, the only remaining original bridge from the construction of the Highway. The bridge is 531 feet long and very lovely to look at.

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Our run into Fort St. John was uneventful, and we found ourselves at the only Starbucks in the city before 8:00am. Our coffee needs satisfied we headed north, stopping at Kilometer 100 for a photo of the 30 foot tall wooden lumberjack marking Clark Sawmill to the west.

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We continued on with very little traffic to contend with. Mostly we were passed by pick-up trucks, and the occasional semi truck as we headed north, past kilometer 200. We gassed up at Pink Mountain, at kilometer 226. Gas here was $1.30 per liter. We plan to gas up roughly every 200 kilometers or so on this journey. We blew through the 300 and 400 kilometer markers and were in Fort Nelson, at kilometer 454 by just past Noon.

We paused for lunch and headed north, with another full tank of gas. This time gas was $1.14 a liter. Our goal for the day was now the somewhat funky sounding Tetsa River Services and Campground, home of the (reportedly) best cinnamon buns on the planet. There is a small camp ground with 15 amp service, showers, etc. We called it a day travel wise at 3:00pm, after travelling 575 kilometers in total for the day.

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This is the washroom at Tetsa River:

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The road is excellent, very little traffic and we made much better time than the last time we travelled this road northbound, in 2005. Road conditions were excellent for the most part, with some minor construction. Jenny drove two hours in total and attempted to back TaJ into our camp ground spot for the first time. While it was a game effort, she was ultimately unsuccessful.

We saw no wildlife today, but expectations are high for tomorrow as mountain sheep, bison and moose abound in the next phase of our trip.

July 23-24

Tetsa River Services was a pretty cool place to stop, but it rained all night long. The owner told me this was common in her area. She said they got over 50 mm (2 inches) of rain overnight. It was nice to sleep with the patter of rain on the roof. We tested the cinnamon buns at Tetsa River Services and can recommend them to you. Probably in the top 5 I have had in my life.

The road to Liard is wet and winding. It rained almost until we reached the gates of the park:

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Today is our birthday and we plan to spend I, and tomorrow, at Liard River Hot Springs. Our campsite is nice and it is about a 1.5 k walk to the hot springs, along a lovely boardwalk. In all we did the walk out and back 4 times during our stay, so we logged about 12 kilometers of exercise.

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Only one fly in the ointment is my left foot. I am now developing gout. Ouch! I did some damage to it climbing hills in the Northwest Territories, and combined with a less than stellar diet the past two weeks I am now paying the price. I can barely walk by the time we leave Liard, headed for Watson Lake.

Our stay at Liard was lovely, this is truly a worthwhile stop. On our last walk out to the hot springs, we came upon a momma moose and her calf. No camera with us, so no pic.

July 25

On the road into Watson Lake we came across a bear and her two cubs as well as another fine specimen of Bison:

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We boot on into Watson Lake and stay at the Downtown R/V Park. A desolate gravel parking lot greets us on arrival, but the services are good. Price is pretty steep as well; $42.50, with the Good Sam discount. The laundry, washrooms, etc, were impeccable. Here is a view of our site:

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I did manage to get into the local health clinic and get a prescription to deal with my gout. It will take a few days for this to clear up, but so will my diet. I am now vowing to cut my alcohol consumption to one drink per day and to clean up my food intake as well. One bout of gout is plenty.

We did go up to the milepost village in Watson Lake. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger:

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The night was uneventful with the exception of a bar close by the R/V park having a singer, until 2:00am. Country and Western love songs and she done him wrong songs!

July 26:

No pictures for today. It was simply a decently long drive to Whitehorse (450 kilometers) We are now in the Whitehorse Library, getting up to date with the blog and e-mails. We are now 1445 kilometers from Dawson Creek, and will stay here for 2 full days before departing towards Alaska.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 17:45 Archived in Canada Tagged bears bison tetsa_river cinnamon_buns liard_hot_springs watson_lake Comments (2)

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