This morning we checked out of our hotel, Fort Nelson Hotel in Fort Nelson, British Columbia.
This was the view from our room window. We saw the indoor pool. Look at the carving on the balcony to our right. This morning was different. Our moms said we needed to hurry, we had a long drive today. What? We have never known how far we would get any day. We just drove and stopped to look and explore where ever we wanted. Something is different today. We have traveled a little over 1,000 miles in more than one week. Not traveling very fast or very far each day. Now, the moms tell us we have to drive about 2,000 miles in three days. OK, we can do this, but why?? Soapy and his mom have flights to visit a friend in Tampa, Florida. OK, let’s get going. We are still driving through and admiring the gorgeous scenery, of course. First stop is in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. This is the official beginning (or for us, the end) of the Alaska Highway.
We enjoyed our trip, but why was the Alaska Highway built, and why did it need to be completed so fast? The tourist information says this: The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 forced the America and Canadian governments to re-evaluate the security of North America. They needed a secure supply route to haul military goods and materials from the lower states to Alaska and it had to be completed in less than one year. The story of the men, the equipment, and their triumphs over nature to open the northern passage is as legendary as the men who risked their lives to build the highway. Next to the official beginning of the Alaska Highway is another sign explaining things, but it is covered with bumper stickers now. But you can see it is mile 0 here.
This is an exciting drive for many motorists. Across the street, we saw the Surveyor Statue.
This statue is a tribute to the tens of thousands of men who arrived in Dawson Creek in the spring of 1942 to build the Alaska Highway. The Iron Surveyor statue stands as a reminder of the amazing feat and of those who lost their lives in the effort. Standing above the traffic circle that leads you onto the famous highway, the surveyor points northwest along the path that became first a mud track and finally the paved highway we have today. Created by local sculptor, Karl Mattson, whose family has ranched in the region for generations, the statue is welded from scrap metal from local farms. The clothing and surveyor’s transit are true to the style of the 1940’s. If you go to Dawson Creek, spend some time here to visit museums and walk around the town. There is so much history and so many interesting things to see here. But we have to keep driving for the next there days. Our next stop was for a beaver.
Here we are in Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada. In 2004 this giant statue of a beaver was built here, next to the Visitor’s Center. Each town along the Alaska Highway and roads leading to Dawson Creek, try to have a reason for travelers and tourists to stop. Beaverlodge has, according to Roadside America, the world’s largest beaver. This beaver is 15 feet tall, 18 feet long and sits on a log that is 20 feet long. And, weighs 3,000 pounds. The beaver was built to commemorate the town’s 75th anniversary. This was our last photo stop. We drove to Edmonton, Canada tonight. The next day we drove south through Calgary, Canada and into Great Falls, Montana, USA. Another long drive and we arrived home, west of Denver, Colorado. This was a great trip, but of course, we did not see everything. Some day we would like to drive leisurely, through the USA and Canada to Dawson Creek. There is so much more to see, but maybe??? So many place to see, so little time to travel and explore. We hope you drive all or part of the way to Fairbanks, Alaska. It was beautiful and fun.
Love the beaver!
We did too. Had decided no more stopping after Dawson Creek, but couldn’t resist one more stop and photos. And a quick walk around town. Glad we did.
Goodness, that is one enormous beaver.
Not something I would want to meet by a lake in the evening. Or anywhere at any time. But did like the statue.