Our destination today is Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and the official start of the Alaska Highway.
We drove through the small towns of McLeod Lake (pop. 70) and MacKenzie (pop. 4,500). McLeod was the first trading post west of the Rockies, established in 1805 by Simon Fraser. McKenzie was named after the famous explorer, Sir Alexander MacKenzie, who camped here in 1793 on his epic journey to the Pacific.
There were patches of snow and a few distant waterfalls on the Rockies. There are bridges, lumber mills, logging trucks, and rivers, creeks and lakes around every turn.
CONNIE SPOTTED A LITTLE BLACK BEAR!! It was grazing leisurely along the highway. This generated quite a bit of excitement in the car.
Here we go, again! Connie is in charge of keeping track of how many times we stop for roadwork and repairs. Today, we made our 7th and 8th. One lane of the two-way highway was washed away, in two places. Major damage!! The stops are not long and give us time to get out, stretch our legs and enjoy the outdoors.
We had lunch in Chetwynd ("Community Carved From Success."). Lunch was at A&W. None of us had eaten at an A&W for years, since we were "youngsters." After lunch, we took time to look at the incredible chainsaw carvings that line the Main Street through town.
Before we entered Dawson Creek, the landscape changed from dense forest to rolling farmland with fields of yellow flowers, canola oil seeds and cattle.
In Dawson Creek, we made a beeline for the Milepost 0 Alaska Highway Monument and the Historic Milepost 0 Arch to have our group photos taken. (See the attached photo.) 100,000 travelers pass through Dawson Creek each year to begin their treks on the Alaska Highway.