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Fort Nelson to Nugget City, YT
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Rainy, occasional sun, mid 60s

On the road by 7:45, we soon stopped to feed Bill's sweet tooth for breakfast. Tetsa River Services & Campground is famous for it's homemade cinnamon buns. The place is also off the grid. Operated by a couple of very friendly, backwoods types, they run a generator for about half of each for power. Besides the buns, fuel and campground sites that they sell, they offer a very nice assortment of local artisans' products. The cinnamon bun was huge and very good, the bathrooms and the fuel pumps worked. By the measures that count, a good place!

Wildlife count: A moose just before Muncho Lake and a herd of bison just after. We're not seeing nearly as much wildlife as we expected even though we're being pretty diligent about trying to spot the critters.

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Moose Inside Highway Maintenance Shed, Likes the Salt?

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Bison Herd near Muncho Lake

The Toad River Lodge featured a collection of hats. They are mostly hung from the ceiling. How many? They claim more than 7,200 hats from all over the world. It's quite a collection!

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Tiny Portion of Toad River Lodge Hat Collection

A short stop at Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park provided an opportunity to stretch our legs. A very nice path and boardwalk lead to the springs. These springs are left mostly natural, having added only the boardwalk, changing rooms, composting toilet and boardwalk. It was a very nice facility and quite popular.

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Laird River Hot Springs

The Alaska Highway crosses the border between British Columbia and the Yukon Territory quite a few times on the way north. We entered "Bigger than Life" YT for the first time today. And, one of the first places you come to in YT is Watson Lake. Famous for its "Sign Post Forest" we simply had to stop. The forest was started in 1942 by a US Army soldier in Company D, 341st Engineers, working on construction of the Highway. At this time they count more than 72,000 signs. The tradition, of course, is for visitors to add their own signs. We were not prepared; maybe next time. While there we met a motorcyclist from Indonesia. He's been on road for 4 years so far, making his way around the world.

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Watson Lake Sign Post Forest Stretches On and On

The camping options weren't very good in Watson Lake so we moved on a few miles to Baby Nugget RV Park in Nugget City, YT. Did I mention grit earlier? Well this place, though nice enough, was grit on steroids. Oh, yeah, and it rained that evening. Did I mention wet grit? Maybe not, but I'll bet you can imagine. Oh, did I mention mosquitoes? Yeah, they were on steroids, too.

We braved grit, rain and mosquitoes to make our way to the on-site establishment for dinner; the "Wolf It Down" restaurant and bakery. (Since these places are isolated a campground, for instance, tries to provide everything the traveler might need.) Actually the food was very good but it was way expensive. Since the tables were all taken we were seated with a truck driver from Edmonton. A nice guy, he hauls gasoline and diesel fuel from Edmonton to Teslin about once a week. The 1,200 mile trip takes two days each way hauling more than 100,000 lbs of fuel in his double-bottom tanker rig. Most of the year he loves the drive. However, he says crossing the mountains can get pretty dicey in the winter.

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Typical Double-Bottom Tank Truck Rig Hauls Very Heavy Loads

While there we also met a couple from Ephrata who live just a few blocks from the house we rented when we were first married. They, too, are on their way to Alaska.

In bed by 9:30!