Day 44. Tuesday 12 June. Drury Camp to 30k East of Coal River. BC. Canada. On Alaska Highway heading South East.

It’s close to 9pm and we have made camp and enjoyed a great repast. Our camp tonight is probably no more than 80m from the main highway. In a small clearing that I suspect was used by contractors to park machinery during the roads construction, or reconstruction. Only a tiny opening between the trees that opens out into a circular clearing. My guess is that we will hear trucks going past all night but traffic is quite sparse at this time. 

Back to our camp last night. Right beside a lake, and stream running into it, used many buckets of lake water and a car brush to set about peeling back the mud and dust from the wagon.  In the end, she is visible again and looking great. I will look forward to playing a strong hose on the underside to make it more accessible to greasing and checking without getting caked in dust. 

The road east this morning is more dirt but it’s in great condition and a pleasure to drive on. Ross River was the main settlement that separated us from Watson Lake. Barely a car on the road. The road altered in width and quality often but we whistled along at 90+k’s. 

A porcupine and a baby brown bear which skipped across the road too far ahead of us to take a pic, were the only sightings of wildlife on the road. Lots of Moose sign but no moose. Fortunately! Now I’d like to put the records straight. There are a number of immutable sayings such as, ‘as day follows night’. ‘Is the Pope catholic’? ‘Do bears poo in the woods? The last is now in question. I think they walk out to the roadside, poo and go back into the woods! Good housekeeping practice you see. Little piles of it all along the roadside. 

Tail end of a Porcupine
Tail end of a Porcupine

With 14k’s to go to Watson Lake and the needle on red, I asked Jen to check the vehicle User Manual to see how many litres or gallons the tank holds. I thought it was 80L and calculated that we would just make Watson Lake before it ran out. When she told me it was 75L and a warning ‘not to run out or professional assistance may be required’. It started missing. I shut it down immediately and emptied a 20l jerry can of fuel into it. Whew! It started without a problem and we continued on. Wiser. 

Two nights ago I decided to check the air filter element. It was pretty cruddy but banged the dust and junk out, and refitted it. Contemplating it, while waiting for sleep to arrive, I decided to replace it the next morning with the spare I had. What a difference in performance. Yes, the old one was quite blocked up but it felt like the engine had grown another cylinder. The new one was a K&N cleanable job and used in sports cars etc. Lets hope there is no repercussions through the Mass Airflow Sensor, which electronically measures and adjusts the fuel and air mixture. 

If you want girlie talk, wait till Jen writes tomorrows blog..:)

Jen stocked up with groceries and handed over one of her arms for the pleasure! 

Watson Lake. WOW!! Someone there has a serious problem. If your street or town nameplate is missing, it’s odds on that it’s nailed to a post in Watson Lake. There are rows and rows of them, from all over the world. I didn’t have a spare two hours to see if a NZ town featured.  

Some of the 75,000 signs. Can you see yours?..:)

The Visitor centre availed us of wifi and we were able to hurriedly post a couple of days to the blog and pay a bill or two. Unfortunately these systems run on “dial-up” speed, so there is no chance of writing emails etc. No time to reply to blog comments either. 🙁

A large electronic message above the highway just after leaving the town said “Caution. Bison on the Motorway”. Sure enough further down the road, a massive bull Bison calmly grazing the berm, no more than 20m from the road. What a magnificent beast. In the little settlement of Fireside, we thought about pulling into what appeared to be an abandoned RV park but decided against it as there was one of these animals calmly eating the grass where we would need to park!!

A male Wood Bison. Magnificent animal!

674k’s for the day and only 1381k’s to Edmonton by Saturday. No pressure! This is a beautiful part of the world and we are rushing through it. It’s for an excellent cause though. How could we miss a Land Rover show!!!

2 Comments:

  1. Hi Dennis and Jen, I’m typically not a big reader, but I’m having a great time keeping up with your journey. Tuk sounds like it was quite an experience! My Wife Jaime wants to know if you saw the Northern Lights while up there? I’m amazed at the ground you’re covering – its epic!

    • Hey Logan, Yes, we have been doing too many K’s and slowing down a bit. 24hour daylight in the North right now. No “Lights” till around October. They would be amazing to see! 🙂

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