Day 6, October 15, 1997: Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek, BC

This will be a short one. The roads were good, the scenery was nil, and nothing much happened...

There was a fairly heavy fog in Fort Nelson when I left and it stayed with me for a few hours until the terrain got high enough that it became a cloud below me. This was a cold fog, precipitating out little ice crystals that blew around the highway in response to passing vehicles. The fog was dense enough that driving was as if in a cotton wool tunnel. Visibility was good enough down the road to maintain good speed but the scenery, if there was any, was blurred into nothing.

As it turned out, most of the drive was along what seemed like a series of high N-S plateaus divided occasionally by river canyons. The northern part of the drive was clearly through a logging area - all the signs were there, including logging trucks hurtling out of the murk toward me. The central part of the drive shaded into what was clearly an energy production area, apparently natural gas is a big thing in this region. There were also a surprising number of agricultural features toward the south with hay production giving way to wheat. I can verify the latter because of the number of wheat elevators in the area.

Dawson Creek is a bigger town than it was the last time I went through it 20+ years ago. One constant is the marker in the middle of town marking mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. This often-photographed marker has been through a few reincarnations in its 50-year history but has remained a popular feature to be photographed with. By the time I arrived here, the temperature was an absolutely balmy 12-degrees C. - pretty much tee shirt weather for an old (former) Alaskan. This was a major relief after the past few days.

The only other exciting thing in my day was the ritual washing of the Alaska Highway from the car. If you added up all the dirt the Miata has had on it in its entire life, it couldn't match the load it went into the car wash with this afternoon. A "tooie" and a "loonie" ($2 and $1 Canadian coin) later in the machine and she looked fairly presentable.

Image for today is the aforementioned marker and before and after pictures of the car. Hey, they can't all be winners and I warned you that this was a dull day.

My original plans for tomorrow were to push on to Riverside, Washington but after looking at the distance involved, I have decided to find a mid-way point and stop there. Don't know where it might be, but I'll try for something a bit more interesting to report on tomorrow (now, finding something more interesting than today shouldn't be to difficult, should it? ).

Tomorrow we press on to SOMEWHERE in southern BC and continue the next leg of our 12,000 mile solo tour driving on the edge of the US.

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