A section of highway with multiple personality disorder

Day 4: Fort Nelson to Watson Lake

The reason we drove like madwomen yesterday was so Sharyn could spend two hours parbroiling herself in Liard Hot Springs. I went for a walk instead, along a boardwalk bordered with wildflowers that had no business growing at this latitude, including an entire marsh filled to the brim with what I think were violets.

We were on the road again by 4 p.m., a section of highway with multiple personality disorder. One minute it arrows down through a spectacular granite gorge where stone sheep, including four rams with full curls, a dozen ewes and one lamb, are licking up salt at the sides of a road that is more patch than pavement and your car shares the lane with alders and aspens.

The next moment the road widens to a highway with shoulders as wide as the lanes and you’re going over the top of a mountain with a view all the way south to Banff and all the way north to home.

The next you’re traveling along a river that has over time been reduced to a mile-wide corridor of gravel with a moose cow and calf standing hip deep in the only remaining channel and three RVs trying to ram each other for the best site from which to take a picture.

Alaska Traveler Chatter

Dana View All →

Author and founder of Storyknife.org.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’ve driven that highway…well, maybe not THAT highway, but one that included what could barely be called a trail, through stone sheep country. There was virtually no traffic that day so we pulled as far off the ‘hiway’ as possible (6 inches, I think) and just gaped. How do they do that? Gamboling from rock to rock as if they were on flat land. Hunkered down on what seemed to be comfortable rock ledges. Mostly we wondered how they taught those babies to levitate at such an early age.

    • Every time I drive it the Alcan is gobsmacking. First trip was south and I drove through the Okanagan Valley in BC and saw fruit growing on trees for the first time. Picked some, too. Last time (two years ago in May) I saw my first cinnamon bear. And of course gorgeousness wherever you look.

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