Last week we found ourselves in a sign forest, and then floated along in a prehistoric like spring. This week I’m going to take you to where the road to Alaska begins.
We left Laird right after Patricks Sunrise soak. He though ahead and pre-prepped the night before so he could enjoy a morning soak. Not me, I had no intentions of getting up that early to do ANYTHING, much less walk two MILES for a thirty minute soak. At this time in the journey I was still appreciating sleep much more than pretty much any early morning excursions. I did have the inside ready for transport when he got back, so I didn’t end up lazing about for too long.
Living and traveling in an RV actually means a lot of prep for each journey.
The Vibe has two opposing slide outs. That means It’s my job to clear a path for the slide outs. When slides are brought we loose most of the living area floor space. The living room and kitchen loose 4 ft every time time we move. It’s my responsibility to prep the inside for travel. With the vibe it meant rolling up the carpets first. Then I store the items that normally take up floor space in the slide space.
Everything needs to be secured for travel.
It’s a fact of RV life. Another Rv fact of life is that everything should have more than one use. This is where we talk about the many uses for crates. I use all different types of crates for many different things. In the vibe I would use them to store items for travel. For instance the stuff that I would keep on my kitchen table, along with my desk or work stuff. I would then use those crates as our tech table when in “living” mode. Conveniently they easily fit under the dinning booth, out of the way of the slides. Big breakable items like my guitar and a few other items travel on my bed or on the couch. It’s not a life for everyone, but we absolutely love it.
We didn’t travel far that day, only 127 miles, which for us isn’t far.
We stopped at Fort Nelson for the night at the Triple G hideaway. It wasn’t a planned overnight, but a happy little accident. We found this place after stopping into the visitors center to ask if there was a dump site in town. The woman at the desk directed us right across the street, to the RV park we somehow missed when turning in. She also filled us in on some of the history of the town. Info that included what building collapsed recently. Then I learned how that collapse lead to a building that combined the activity center, the library, city hall, and visitors center. I’m telling you do not ignore visitors centers for all the town tea.
The visitors centers are often a plethora of information about the local area.
We needed to shower, to dump our tanks, and do some laundry. We decided to stay for the night, rather than dump and run. I was really looking forward to a long hot shower so that was on the agenda right away. The shower house is always something I’m going to take note of in any park I’m at. I once joked on Facebook about how I was going to start a blog focused solely on rating shower houses.
Getting a good rating on a shower shower house is a real need thing, and I still might. You never know. Weirder things have happened. I mean, I once hosted a weekly internet talk show focused on weed. That’s weird, but it was so fun.
Ok back to the shower houses.
This one was OK. It was usable, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. After 3 days of not washing my hair though, I was not complaining. It was the booth type showers that have very little room to maneuver in. Outside of the booths open up into a larger locker room type situation. It was clean enough and I appreciated a long hot shower. After a good 30 minutes, I know I felt cleaner. We did some chores, ate some grub and crashed hard. We were still getting into the groove of this whole traveling full-time gig, and it was proving to be exhausting.
Our next leg of the journey was 229 miles into Dawson Creek. We had planned for an earlyirsh start, but we were delayed when we met Mel from YoloMel. This is a perk of RVing, meeting other RVers. It can get lonely on the road, away from family, so chatting with others helps. We now follow each others journey on Instagram. you should check her out, she goes to some pretty cool places.
I mentioned that I thought I recognized her from our time at Laird.
We got to talking about her trip up to Alaska and the cool once in a lifetime sites she saw. She had recently started her year of travel in her sweet camper van, or Class B RV. While we were dreaming of leaving Alaska, so many were dreaming of getting there. That’s a really cool thing we have now heard often from fellow travelers. It helps remind me what a truly epic destination the place we call home is.
We ended up pulling out an hour behind schedule. Which meant that it wasn’t until around 6pm that we reached Dawson Creek and got camp set up. We didn’t have enough time to check out tourist attractions, but we had plenty of time to do some grocery and provision shopping. Lucky for me there was one store in particular that grabbed my eye when we pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall and it was not a grocery store. I had just found DCCC, Dawson Creek Cannabis Company.
The name and the very subtle store front for some reason screamed, “come explore me”, so I did.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the apothecary like set up along with the museum like displays throughout the store. It was gorgeous. I’ve seen my fair share of cannabis shops being in the industry for the last 8 years, but this one made me happy just being in there. The in-house video advertisements they had playing were absolutely hilarious and very clever.
The owner happened to be there when we came in and even he added to the old time pharmacy feel with his apron. He spent a bit of time sharing the history of his shop and how it had changed names recently. I loved hearing the info about the local laws and how they have changed since full legalization in Canada. He shared how it’s made getting product easier for him, and in turn me, as his customer.
If you find yourself looking for that green smoke while in Dawson Creek, head to DCCC, and tell Mathew Rivard that Tokin Tina from Alaska sent you.
The next day was all about the exploration on everything Alaskan Highway. We started at the Mile Zero RV park, where we also happened to be parked for the few days we were in the area. The office for the park is also the entrance into a little re-created Pioneer Village called the Walter Wright Pioneer Village. It’s a little main street replica with store fronts and a school. It’s only opened in the summer, and unfortunately we just missed its last weekend. It was fun to explore the little ghost town anyway. Peeping in windows and reading the plaques along the way. I’m hoping its opened on our way back up in the Spring.
After exploring the ghost town we decided that the best place to start was the famous sign that everyone takes their tourist photos at. We were no different. We did all the pics we could think of, then headed into the visitors center. It’s conveniently located in the same parking lot as the famous sign. I’m going to say this again I can’t stress enough what a great resource visitors centers are. This one also comes with 3 museums. The first being the old train station. My favorite part. It showcased the residence for the family of the station manger. It’s open to the public and I encourage you to go explore. It was so much fun looking through train station relics that filled every room. It was a history lovers dream. I loved imagining how people filled their days in that space.
Next to it was the Alaska Highway Museum.
It’s here that I learned that the Highway was built in 1942 and was 2,700 km long. Built by soldiers for the WW2 efforts in Alaska. I also learned that it has been re-routed more than once. There was a cool film playing in the back corner that actually had photos and footage from the many camps, and building sites along the way. Not gonna lie, I once again spent way too long in a tiny museum soaking in the seemingly useless info. The third museum shares a parking lot but is technically in the building next door. It’s also not all a museum, it also has an artists attic. A place for locals to come and not only make art, but also display it. It’s in an old elevator factory. How Cool is that?
As we were leaving the person at the visitor center desk told us how to get to the oldest, still standing completely wooden bridge from the original highway. It’s along the original route and is no longer in commission. In fact its been closed to vehicle traffic due to shifting that occurred during their last big earthquake. We had to go see it right away because I’m also obsessed with bridges.
When we got there I was really surprised by how large and imposing this bridge actually was.
Especially when I remembered that it was made entirely of wood. I was expecting a short squat bridge right over the water. I was wrong. It was HIGH and it was long, and it was old. I could actually hear the wood creaking and groaning just sitting there with nothing on it.
I Conquered my fear of heights for about 5 minutes and actually walked onto it. No lie, I didn’t even go halfway across before I was turning around and practically running for the safety of solid ground. It was all that creaking that psyched me out. Patrick had no problems walking all over it while I had mini panic attacks watching. My mind kept playing the scenarios in my head about it collapsing. Even when he decided to hike down to the river below, all I could think about was having to dig him out of the rubble of that damn creaking bridge. I loved it. Yes I was freaking out, but it was a gorgeous bridge and I admired his lack of fear. I will walk across it one day, I’ll just wait until the engineers deem it safe.