Tagged with " Dawson Creek"
May 11, 2009 -

Mile 0

Like Moosejaw, Dawson Creek is a faded old town milking its heyday for all its worth. Even though it sits at Mile 0 of the Alaska highway, it is not the place to place to stock up on supplies and enjoy one last taste of civilization. Locals recommend heading about 75km up the Alaska Highway to Fort St-John, a larger community. It is still a ‘must stop at location’ for history buffs or if only to catch a glimpse of the famed Mile 0 markers:

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The town is quiet and sleepy. Some folks, like the managers of the Mile 0 RV Park where I’m staying seem jaded to all the folks who come and go while others, like the gals at the tourist info centre or the wonderful manager of Read’s Books, recognize that giddy tourists like me are not only the lifeblood of this town, but also the source of memorable stories.

The city, like Dawson City in the Yukon, is named for George Mercer Dawson, a Canadian scientist and surveyor.

George Mercer Dawson, from one of Dawson Creek's many murals

George Mercer Dawson, from one of Dawson Creek's many murals

Dawson Creek was originally a farming community, but soon became a railroad hub until it was invaded by American troops in the dead of winter of 1942. That invasion will be described in further detail in my next post, but to show that I’m not exaggerating:

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Most of the town being shut tight on Sundays, I only did a walking tour yesterday afternoon. It was disappointing and I quickly gave up. Most of the landmarks on the tour have been destroyed and I got tired of markers saying that ‘such and such was located here in Dawson Creek’s hey day.’

I then went home, refilled my Nalgene water bottle, and set off to walk part of a trail that starts about a block from the RV park and which goes straight through town. Some stretches were quite desolate while others had me going through shanty towns.

Dawson Trail

This morning, I visited the railroad museum that gives a bit of general history of Dawson Creek.

Dawson Creek Visitors' Centre and Museum

Dawson Creek Visitors' Centre and Museum

This exhibit gave me pause. It makes note of the ‘old-style’ Canadian money:

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Old-style?! Heck, I remember how unimpressed I was when these ‘old fives’ were replaced by the blah new version, as well as the kerfuffle when the dollar bill was replaced by the loonie! The former was only about ten years ago and the latter about twenty years ago (already!!!). It’s a bit shocking to be thirty and to see familiar things become antiques! 😀

The rest of what I did and saw belongs in the next post, so keep reading! 🙂

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British Columbia, Canada, Travel    No Comments
May 10, 2009 -

Distance is Relative

It was at about 60km shy of Dawson Creek that I saw my first sign announcing Whitehorse, 1,500km away.

At this point, 1,500km seems like a hop, skip, and a jump.

By the most direct route, Whitehorse is 5,500km from Ottawa. I don’t believe in getting from A to Z without passing by the whole alphabet, so I’ve put about 7,000km on Miranda since I left Ottawa in September.

1,500km from Ottawa would take me to Madison, Wisconsin, a distance that I’ve driven in three days; two very easy, one very hard (+1,000km).

So, sitting here at Mile O with just 1,500km to go, I anticipate a leisurely week of meandering through the muskeg, knowing that I’ll be there soon enough and don’t need to even think about my June 1st deadline, while I’ve heard my  neighbours at the park say that they need to ‘ride hard’ because Whitehorse is ‘so far away.’ *shrugs*

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British Columbia, Canada, Driving, Itineraries, Nice Folks, Social, Travel, Yukon    No Comments
May 10, 2009 -

Dawson Creek!

This was a short, easy driving day with a definite end goal, the Mile 0 RV Park in Dawson Creek.

I stopped once to stretch my legs, at the entrance to the Peace River Valley:

rest area at entrance to Peace Valley tourism region

rest area at entrance to Peace Valley tourism region

Arriving in Chetwynd, Chainsaw Sculpture Capital of the World (I can’t make this stuff up!), is incredible (I need some new adjectives); the town rises seemingly out of nowhere! I had hoped to dump there, but was cursed by one of my biggest pet peeves–single signage. That is, there’s a sign indicating that there is a dump ‘that way’, but once you go ‘that way’ there are no further signs. So, I gave up and resigned myself to full hookups in Dawson Creek. Chetwynd was a surprisingly full service town with a lot of big name stores. It is considered to be the ‘most livable small town in BC.’

Moreover, my house battery is behaving strangely for the first time since I installed it, so I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of doing two or three more nights without hooks.  The issue is that my voltage was only at 12.2 when I parked last night when, after a full three nights on plugged in at 15A, it should have been fully charged at 13.2v! Very worrisome…

I pulled into Dawson Creek just shy of noon this morning and am comfortably settled in the okay, but nothing spectacular, and quite noisy Mile 0 RV Park. Staff is unfriendly. Hookups and wi-fi are good.

Now that I’m all caught up, I’m off to explore. 🙂

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Batteries, British Columbia, Campgrounds, Canada, Electricity, Technical, Travel    6 Comments
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