Fort Nelson, BC

Once again, our hotel has free internet access to its guests, disproving once and for all this whole notion of “the wilderness”. 😉 Unfortunately, my hiptop (finally!) has no signal, so I can’t attach any photos. That’s OK, though, I didn’t take many with the hiptop today anyway. Neener neener.

Today, we rode from Dawson Creek (mile 0 of the Alcan) to Fort Nelson (mile 300). Mileages are, of course, theoretical, as the highway changes length every time there’s construction, which is pretty much constant.

That said, we haven’t had a single problem with roads yet. Before this trip, people asked me if I was nervous about bringing a street-only bike (as opposed to a dual-sport) to Fairbanks; I said “no”, but the truth was that I didn’t know. Let me tell you — as far as Fort Nelson, at any rate, a Vespa could have done this trip. We hit one section of under-construction grooved pavement between Cache Creek and 100 Mile House, and a couple of short sections of frost heaves today, but that’s it. I ride worse roads on my commute. Course, I just jinxed myself and tomorrow, we’ll ride through the Amazon River Basin or something. But up til now, it’s been smooth as anything.

I’m going to tell you guys a secret. There are huge sections of the Alcan that are Really Frickin’ Boring. No one wants you to know this: not the tourism departments, not the other adventurers, and not even me, since I want you to keep reading this blog. But today, we rode through at least 200 miles of flat, straight road, surrounded on both sides by forest that’d been clear-cut for about 50′ on either side of the road. That’s it. Every once in a while there’d be a river, or maybe a bend in the road. Otherwise: road cut through forest. It is mind-numbingly boring. The only thing to do is ride at around 100kph and scan the roadsides constantly for interesting animals. I didn’t see a single one today — every time I thought I saw an animal, it turned out to be either a log or a blown 18-wheeler tire — the closest I came to a Real Live Wild Animal was a large deer on the side of the road which was immediately frightened away by a retarded tourist who drove their RV right up to it.

People, tourists on this road are amazing. I have, so far, seen tourists scare away two animals; three, if you count myself. As Steph said, when they tell you to stay in your car for safety, they’re talking about safety from the other tourists. I was nearly run down two separate times yesterday by a car full of old people while walking from my bike to where Steph had seen a bear (yes, mom, I was still plenty far from the bear). The old people just kept veering into me as I was walking, over and over. I had to physically jump out of the way of their car twice. These people are crazy, I tell you. Each time we’ve seen an animal, we’ve been alone out on the highway; within 30 seconds, there are RVs parked from here to San Francisco. I swear. Once one RV parks on the shoulder of the road, look out; soon there’ll be twenty. It’s unreal. I’ve been stuck behind so many RVs by now that I’m started to have the major manufacturers memorized.

I can’t wait until I’m old and can buy an RV and drive it at 45 MILES AN HOUR across the globe. Wheee!

Today’s ride was slathered in “caution: moose” signs, but, as I said, I didn’t see a one. Instead, I took pictures of the signs. Hey, close enough.

We stopped for the night at a hotel with the world’s largest attached liquor store. My college town didn’t have a liquor store this well stocked. It was amazing. I didn’t buy anything; merely walking through the door gave me an alcoholic contact high.

After perusing the booze, Steph and I went into the hotel’s hot tub. Mmmmm, hot tubs. It felt really super good. We ate dinner at Dan’s Pub across the street: more steak, beer, soup. I eat so much better on vacation than I do In Real Life.

Our colds are subsiding. We still make disgusting noises, especially in the mornings, but I don’t feel nearly so much like I died last week and just forgot to lay down. We all went to bed at 9:30pm last night, being the party animals that we are, and I think it did everyone a world of good. Now I’m just always dehydrated and have a scratchy throat. This town is pretty much LungInfectionsville, though, with all the mud and dust and diesel trucks going through. I’ve been holding my breath since we pulled in around 5:30pm. Fort Nelson’s city motto is “The Resourceful Fort Nelson!”, which you know is never a good thing for the environment or for the squishy pink bits inside of you.

Tomorrow should be a great day: Fort Nelson to Watson Lake has the AAA “scenic route” little dots all along it on our maps. Yay! I’m about ready for some spectacular scenery.

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