Day 7- Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT

Today was again one of the short legs of our adventure. We started out in the rain which lasted almost to Muncho Lake. It was raining as we drove up into the Rockies and the temperature was dropping. The lowest temperature was about 45 degrees. I thought we would have to put our coats on at one point.

We were again seeing no wildlife and were speculating if our chances would be better if it stopped raining. Sure enough, not long after the rain stopped, we saw two moose cows in a small lake right beside the highway. We stopped and took several pictures. They were very wary of us and moved to the back of the small lake. It was still pretty overcast. Normal rainfall levels in the YT are much lower than in BC so we were pretty sure there would be sun before long.

We stopped at Muncho Lake to eat our sandwhiches and admire the view. Mile Post highly recommends it as a high point along the Alaska Highway and rightly so. The sun was starting to come out as we were leaving and we saw three Big Horn Sheep right on the side of the highway. We were getting excited as things were starting to look up on our adventure! Quite a way down the road with full sunshine we came across a black bear busily eating flowers about 100 feet off the road in a grassy area. Of course we had to take a bunch of pictures. This time we stayed across the road from it.

We had seen in the Mile Post that there were wild buffalo along this stretch of the highway and sure enough, we came across two huge bulls grazing right beside the highway. We were so pumped! A little further on we saw three more big bulls grazing so we stopped and took more pictures. A short way down the road, we found a whole herd in a meadow just by the road. We estimate there were about 50 or so in the herd. We couldn’t believe our luck. We saw a few more buffalo along the road after that but by then we felt like we had seen buffalo. We were hoping to see some elk but only saw one dead one today.

The condition of the highway continues to impress us. I would compare it to a good county road in Texas with wide shoulders in most spots. We did come across more extensive repair work today which generated a lot of dust. The car is so dirty it is barely recognizable. It is difficult to describe how empty this part of the world is in terms of people. There is quite a bit of traffic on the Alaskan Highway, however.

We ended the day in Watson Lake,YT. This town’s famous for it’s Sign Post Forest. Starting in 1942 people started putting up signs usually showing where they are from and how far away. The sign census as of 2010 was over 70,000! We ended the evening seeing a film about the northern lights in the domed theater at the Northern Lights Centre.

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4 Responses to Day 7- Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT

  1. Sounds like a really eventful day! How long did that bug hitch a ride? I never had heard of the sign post forest, thats really neat. Glad you got to see so much wildlife, those buffalo are just mind blowing!

    • homas333 says:

      A very good day. The bug visited while we were stopped for road maintenance. The Sign Post Forest takes up an entire block! In the center there is some old road equipment used to build the original AlCan. I videoed a lot of it. Those buffalo are huge!

  2. Nancy says:

    Good to hear from you! It sounds like another incredible day on your adventure! It looks like Northern Exposure for sure! Glad to hear that you are keeping your distance from the bear – remember how fast they can run! Maybe the van can have a bath once you get to Anchorage!


  3. Nancy says:

    Paul, I got your voice mail message this afternoon and understand that you may not have cell phone coverage in Haines Junction on Thursday night. Sheila Gibson is worried that you are going to run out of gas. So, don’t forget to fill up when you have a chance – even if you don’t need it!

    We had the reception for the minority students on campus this evening. We had about 100 people in attendance and it was a huge success, especially considering it was our first attempt. That is the last big thing on my agenda for this academic year. I am ready – more than ready – for vacation!

    It is clouding up and thundering outside. I sure hope it rains.
    See you Sat. evening!


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