Dawson Creek, BC to Delta, Alaska

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Rancheria YT to Liard River BC, Alaska Highway

29 March 2013 - Friday

It was cold last night! Woke to -15C (5F). Gotta love the programmable thermostat in the fifth wheel, it warmed up the fifth wheel before we got out of bed!

Steve took the dogs out for a pee while I started coffee & breakfast. When he returned he announced that the truck had a flat tire. Had us wondering if the gravel construction zone just a few kilometres before Rancheria Lodge had something to do with it.

After breakfast Steve changed the tire while I strolled around with the camera and dogs.

Rancheria Lodge
Honda generator for the block & oil pan heater and changing the tire at Rancheria Lodge

Historical Rancheria sign
Sign marking historical mile 710 at Rancheria Lodge

On the road at 9 a.m. Hoped to get the tire repaired in Watson Lake, although it was Good Friday so also hoped a shop would be open. JB's tire repair shop was and had the flat fixed in 30 minutes for $25 but they pulled all the balancing weights off the rim so we left the spare on the truck.

South of Watson Lake near km 965 there is a massive electronic sign marking the boundary of British Columbia. The sign indicated water across the road at km 583 ... another 400 km south on the highway. Seemed a bit early to advising of this hazard!

Alaska Highway
Sign advising of a hazard 400 km further along the highway

The Alaska Highway dips into B.C. then back up to Yukon. Contact Creek Lodge is on the bit in Yukon and has the cheapest fuel south of Whitehorse. We topped up at Contact Creek and noticed they were closed on Easter Sunday.

Back on the highway, some of the rest areas were plowed out, some weren't. We pulled into a large looped viewpoint overlooking the Liard River to stretch our legs and pee the dogs. The dogs didn't need to pull too hard to send us sliding and slipping on the icy surface!

Alaska Highway
Snowy & icy viewpoint a couple of kilometres north of km 875

Overall, the highway was in great condition.
A newer portion of the Alaska Highway near Lequil Creek has a roller coaster look and feel.

Alaska Highway
km 855 on the Alaska Highway with snow covered ditches, near Lequil Creek

The highway parallels the Liard River for several kilometres. 

Alaska Highway
Liard River

Nearer Liard River Hotsprings the snow diminished a great deal.

Alaska Highway
Much less snow near Liard River Hotsprings

The bison were along the highway throughout the B.C. portion of our day. The overcast made for difficult wildlife photography though, so this was the first group I captured with the camera. 

Alaska Highway
Bison are often on the Alaska Highway near Liard

We were looking forward to arriving at Liard Hotspring and hopeful a campsite would be available! 

Alaska Highway
Approaching Liard River

Alaska Highway
Slowing to turn into Liard River Hotsprings

In past years, winter campers had to overnight in the day-use parking area. This year some sites were cleared out. The change rooms at the hotsprings had recently been rebuilt and I wondered if the sites were cleared to provide accommodation to the construction crew.

Camping at Liard River Hotsprings
Setting up camp in the provincial park campground at the hotsprings

The temperature was warm as we settled in. After lunch it was time for a dog walk. Then we headed up to the hotsprings for a long soak. Four hours later we felt very relaxed and comfy!

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