The Wildlife Highway

Brown bear on the side of the Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway could just as well be named the Wildlife Highway for all the creatures who hang out at the side of the road.  They seem so much less threatening when there is a metal shield (your RV) between you and them. We kept our eyes open for black shapes in the grass - they could well be bears, bison or moose.

Black bear has dandelion lunch

Another telltale sign of wildlife are RVs mysteriously parked at the side of the road. There are no facilities around so chances are they've spotted a critter. If you ever have to stop for some reason other than animals - you will find vehicles slowing up to try and work out where the animal is.

Adding my sign to the forest
Earlier in the day we left A Nice Motel (named after a Mrs Nice) in Watson Lake and visited the Signpost Forest - a tribute to homesickness from all over the world. The tradition began when a lonely soldier started erected signs to his hometown as he worked on building the Alaska Highway. You can make your own sign and hammer it to a post in the forest. More than 70,000 people have done the same.
My own hometown signpost
We continued south on our route through the boreal landscape - recognisable from the aspens, firs, pines, spruce, wild rose and favourite of the moose - the willow. The landscape changes once in British Columbia - it's greener and more lush and at Liard Hot Springs campsite we park our RV. In the springs we meet a couple who are full-time RVers. They no longer have a house but travel year round. They are on their way to Alaska from Wisconsin.
Liard Hot Springs after a long day on the road
They are retired and the woman tells me you really have to get on with your partner for it to work. Wise words. It's fascinating to meet the folks who are drawn to the highway. The Alaska route is on the bucket list of many Americans - as their last frontier. Every one you meet is happy to tell you where they are from, where they are heading and what brought them here.

Bear doing what bears do in the woods

Last night we were viewing a black bear. He was strolling through the grass having a good munch - completely unaware a bunch of journalists were trying to capture him on camera. Then suddenly he started stamping his feet. We thought we'd discovered some rare sort of animal behaviour. We refocussed our cameras and waited for the next step. All I can say is - it is true what they say about bears in the woods - and we all captured it on film.

The moon over the Alaska Highway
Here's a little bit of video I shot on the highway. ...

Read: The folks on the Highway
If you want to know more about the Alaska Highway try these links.
Northern BC Tourism
Yukon Tourism
Tourism Dawson Creek
PBS - great history of the Alaska Highway
The Milepost - tons of info here

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