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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5 Responses to Fort Nelson, BC

  1. Linda says:

    I don’t think you need worry about boring any of us and stopping us from reading your blog. 😉
    Btw, I got new motorcycle boots. Steph might be interested, since she saw how hot-glued my old ones were. 😉

  2. Barb Weiss says:

    Miraculously, even though I check the blogs 4 or 5 times a day, I’ve managed to avoid catching that nasty cold. ;o) Attached are 3 steaming mugs of homemade soup guaranteed to ease your symptoms.
    Sounds like the Alaska Highway is bumper to bumper RVs. Somehow I imagined it totally deserted except, of course, for the wildlife. Watch out for those moose (mooses, meece, mice?) they are enormous!

  3. ed says:

    Kinda amusing the contrast in connectivity to not many years ago, when even credit cards were a bit uncertain when travelling north of Fort Nelson and folks highly prefered cash (at least that was my experience).
    Yup, if you had time to read the email I sent, I jokingly warned about the utter dullness of the hwy till you get a ways past Fort Nelson. And the sheer number of RVs, which are even more startling when you realize what seemed to be a small car being towed behind is actually a full-size Jeep Cherokee. The RV’s are kinda scary: 1) cuz they could prob run over an entire kindergarten class w/o even noticing/feeling the bumps; and 2) there’s generally only two small people in each – the amount of empty space and stuff being carted around the country is boggling. On the flip side things quiet out quickly once off the Alaska Hwy, but that’s hard to do.
    Not that this should deter anyone from going … just don’t expect wilderness and unending solitude the entire length. Or go more into the off season (but before the snow, if you can time it right).

  4. tom lloret says:

    Is it possable to pass the slow and the dull? How about gas stations?

  5. carolyn says:

    >Is it possable to pass the slow and the dull? How about gas stations?
    If you’re sticking to the Alcan, you pretty much have to deal with the spruce trees. 🙂 But it’s really not that bad…I mean, it’s Canada! It’s very pretty, really. Just a bit monotonous.
    There are plenty of gas stations — I think the longest we went between stations was 150 miles between Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) and Haines (Alaska). Everywhere else was 100 miles at the absolute most.

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