Published: July 6th 2008July 6th 2008
Dawson Creek Alaska Highway Sign
Never one to pass up an opportunity to show my grandchildren a picture of their grandfather on his mighty steed on his Alaskan Adventure at the official start of the Alaska Highway.
Good evening all,
I know you have not heard from me for several days. Lack of WiFi in the great Northwest is few and far between. I am now realizing how much time it takes to pull this off and keep everyone posted. And thanks for all the great remarks. I would love to answer each and every one, but suffice it to say, I love reading your remarks and posting to the travel blog.
I stayed at the Dawson Aurora Suites last night to get caught up on laundry and blog to that point...great to sleep in a bed. Now, I'm not complaining about sleeping on the ground because it seems to be good for my back! Did you know they serve continental breakfast from 4:00 to 10:00 am? Sun started to come up around 4:30 am.
I also want to say a big hello to two sisters that I met at the Mile O milepost who were on their way to Valdez to met their spouses. Marilyn Frost (Spokane) and Carol Albright (Lewiston, ID) were two gutsy ladies to undertake the 1500 mile journey by themselves. You go ladies. It was great to chat for a
Pointing NW to Alaska
Here's a great picture of Dawson Creek and the road leading into town. This rusty image of a surveyor has directed probably millions of travelers to the Alaska Highway.
few minutes and thanks for the compliments. Hope your journey was safe.
Incidentally, the speed limit on the Highway is 100 km/h or 62 mph...sometimes it seemed like I was poking along and other times it was way too fast for the road. I am getting into the roll on throttle in the mountain driving. That's what a motorcyle is made for.
Gravel is a huge factor and one I have to always watch out for. Saw two moose...dead. Did not want to see the vehicle that hit them. Saw some live moose later on along with buffalo, elf and many bears along the side of the road.
Okay, let's get started on the Alaska Highway, focal point for this entry. I will try and get some facts and figures to try and comprehend the huge endeavor the military undertook. Gen Spry, I know you would love to study more about the undertakings on this 1500 mile road. I have a great book and DVD you can look at when I return.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was to produce one of the great engineering feats of the century.
Two sisters heading down the road to Valdez
Two sisters, Marilyn Frost (Spokane, WA) and Carol Albright (Lewiston, ID) pose for a "grip and grin" in front of my Goldwing. They were heading to Valdez to meet up with their husbands. Marilyn had driven the Alaska Highway 13 times! WOW. Thanks ladies for some great conversation and I hope your trip was successful.
The west coast of the US and Canada and all of Alaska lay open to a possible Japanese invasion and the defense of the area was of paramount importance in the early days of the war. By February 1942, President Roosevelt authorized the US Army (Corps of Engineers) to proceed and on March 2, 1942 the first train carrying troops arrived in Dawson Creek. Total troop strength was over 11,000 soldiers. Finally on October 20, 1942 troops working south from Alaska and north from Whitehorse met at mile post 588. Thus the pioneer road had been completed in record time (eight months and 12 days). Basically it was a one lane road that was later reconstructed to widen to 26-32 feet. Cost was $138M and placement of 133 bridges and 8,000 culverts. Enough for history.
Well about 150 miles into the highway it really started to rain and downpour. I had all my rain gear on, but after a while you just need to take a break and get out of the elements. I was near a really beautiful lake called Lake Muncho. It was impossible to pitch a tent in this downpour so I came across a place
What a great way to spend a rainy night!
The Double G Service cabins near Muncho Lake provided a great nights rest after riding in the rain for several hours. It was simply great. Now I don't know if JoLynn would have liked it!
called Double G Service to get out of the rain. Well I ended up paying $51.00 for a rustic cabin and meeting the proprietor, Jack Gunness, a crusty old drill sergeant type that had a great story to tell.
He wanted to make his fortune along the Alaska Highway and came to the area in 1977 with the intention of staying only two years....31 years later he is still there. According to Jack, the road was still gravel in the 70s and people were always breaking down. He did a pretty brisk business. Then the cost of fuel skyrocketed and many roadhouses died out. You can still see "closed" signs at many businesses. He said RV would come by in 50-60 unit caravans headed up North.
He's run a cafe, hotel, bakery, is the postmaster, and weather service reporter as well as give boat tours on Lake Muncho. He produces his own electricity, burns over 100 cords of wood a year to heat the place, and just all around handyman.
He serves the best breakfast for about $12 with some of the best bacon I have ever had.
Well, it was a long day but one
Jack Gunness-Double G Service at Muncho Lake
From first look Jack Gunness looks pretty hard to get to know, but after a while he was showing me around his little piece of the world that he has been operating for 31 years. He is known for miles around for his bakery and cookies and they were very tasty. His breakfast is all made from sratch and the hash browns and bacon were awesome. Thanks Jack.
that might seem like it was headed to being a dull day....Jack changed all that and I could have visited with him for hours. What a story he has to tell.
Until next entry, I'm Rob Keller.
There are more photos below