8/15/2014 – 340 mi south on the Alcan to Pink Mountain
The Alcan north of Fort Nelson is very scenic, and makes for fairly fast traveling (excluding any construction zones obviously). South of Fort Nelson is oil country, and the road is pretty boring. The construction zones we encountered in this section sometimes took quite a while to get through, and generally slowed the overall pace down. Despite essentially riding all day, two days in a row we rode less than 400 miles per day due to time spend getting through the construction. Also, don’t land at the end of your day at Pink Mountain, or anywhere within 100 miles of there. It’s all oil country; busy, expensive, noisy, industrial. The hotel was terrible, but the restaurant was good. They wanted $25 to set up a tent at the campground across the road.
8/16/2014 – 377 mi
Dawson Creek is “mile 0,” the official beginning of the Alcan, so now we can say we’ve ridden the entire Alaska Highway.
Alberta is hilarious with the camping prices in their provincial parks. They wanted $25 for a tent spot with access to a pit toilet. We laughed, and donated $5. British Columbia charges about $12 in their provincial parks. The sign on the shelter says no camping in the shelter, so we did not set up the tent in there. Nope. Sure didn’t. (We did).
This picture makes us chuckle, as we’re making dinner with entirely with stuff we got for free. We’re still using the free fuel we got in Denali. Also, we were given that freeze-dried food in Anchorage. And the spoon? The spoon was also free; apparently the latch mechanism on Kevin’s non-magnetic tank bag gets a bit magnetized sometimes. The spoon hitched a ride the night before and made it 100 miles on the bottom of the tank bag before Kevin noticed it. We figure it didn’t want to be trapped in oil country any longer either, and made a bid for a life of adventure on two wheels. Also, I think that spoon is our only physical souvenir from this entire trip.
8/17/2014 – 408 mi – Back through Jasper and Banff National Parks
While not the quickest way, riding back through Jasper and Banff national parks is definitely the most fun and scenic way to head south. The weather looks a bit ominous in the photos, but we really had a pretty decent ride without much rain.
We continued south out of the parks on Rt 93. Lots of touristy hot springs towns in this area. The landscape also changes rather abruptly, or at least it seemed that way to me. The parks themselves are unique, but still evoke western Alberta and British Columbia. Once out of the parks, the southern part of British Columbia transitions quickly to the drier climate of Montana. It felt like we went from the Pacific Northwest to the American West in just a few miles.