Dogs and Dragons in British Columbia… The Alaska Highway Series

Fraser River at Hope, BC

The small town of Hope in southern British Columbia features this view of the Fraser River.

Adventure travel and the 1400-mile Alaska Highway go together like biscuits and gravy. I’ve driven it five times, once by myself in 1986 when I left Alaska to return to California and two round trips with Peggy since. The last time we traveled with our friends Bob and Linda Bray. Peggy and I were on our way up to visit our son and his family on Kodiak Island where Tony was working as a helicopter pilot flying rescue missions for the Coast Guard. Bob and Linda were going to join a nephew fishing for halibut.

Bob Bray

Bob Bray and I have been friends since he looked like this…

While driving the highway isn’t the challenge  that it once was, it still gives  travelers a taste of the Far North. Over the next few weeks I’ll take you over the highway from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Anchorage Alaska as part of my Wednesday photo essays. Today, however, we have to get to Dawson Creek. There are various ways to reach the starting point but out last trip took us from Hope, British Columbia up through Prince George, which is the route we will follow today.

Alexandra Suspension Bridge across Fraser River

We followed Canada’s Highway 1/97 out of Hope following the Fraser River. One of our first stops was to admire the old Alexandra Suspension Bridge across the river. It’s a beauty that is no longer used.

Alexandra Suspension Bridge, BC

Another perspective on the Alexandra Bridge.

Grates on Alexzandra Bridge, BC

Looking down through the grates at the Fraser River!

World's largest cross country skis, 100 mile house, BC

The Visitor Information Center at the 100-mile house featured the world’s largest cross-country skis! Communities throughout Canada use such fun gimmicks to capture the attention of tourists.

William's Lake Visitor's Center, BC

I am a fan of tourist information centers in British Columbia. In addition to being chock-full of information and friendly people, they are often beautifully done, like this example in William’s Lake.

William's Lake Visitors Center

This car in the William’s Lake Visitor Center was a spoof on how much stuff tourists load on top of their cars.

Hanging basket petunias closeup, BC

Hanging baskets of petunias were featured outside. While such baskets are common now, I first became familiar with them on a trip to British Columbia in the late 60s.

Peggy kayaking on Dragon Lake, Quesnel, BC

We stopped at an attractive campground on Dragon Lake in Quesnel where Peggy went kayaking to celebrate her birthday.

Peggy Mekemson Kayaking in Quesnel

A closer look.

Ducklings on Dragon Lake near Quesnel, BC

Peggy’s Birthday Parade

Weaving dog agility trials in Quesnel, BC

The next morning, we found the campground had gone to the dogs. We were in the middle of dog agility competition. This little fellow was weaving between posts.

Dog agility trials, jumping in Quesnel, BC

Size didn’t matter in the trials. These bars were lowered for the little fellow shown above.

Dog agility trials in Quesnel, BC tunnel

Dogs are required to maneuver through a number of different obstacles including tunnels. The clock is ticking.

Dog agility trials, across bridge in Quesnel, BC

Watching the owners was as fun as watching the dogs. The woman in pink is urging her dog along. The man running along behind is the judge.

Fraser River Valley

The country changes as you move into the interior of British Columbia, becoming drier.

Train tracks along Fraser River

Rivers have always served as access to the interior, first for river travel and then for building railroads and roads along.

Wood carving of Praying Mantis at Chetwyn, BC

We were in for a real treat when we came to the town of Chetwynd, which is close to Dawson Creek. Wood carvers had been at work in an international competition. This praying mantis had taken first prize but it had a lot of competition!

Pumpkin scarecrow wood carving at Chetwynd

Such as this scary pumpkin head scare crow…

Drangon carving at Chetwyn, BC

And this dragon with an attitude. Or…

Dragon slayer Chetwynd woodcarving

…a bas-relief of St. George slaying a dragon.

Carving at Chetwynd, BC

Or this old gold miner apparently telling you to stay out of his claim.

Scary carving at Chetwynd

I am not sure what this fellow is up to but I wouldn’t want to meet him on a dark night— or in the middle of the day.

Mile zero of the Alaska Highway

And then we made it to Dawson Creek and mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. Bob, Linda and Sister.

Sign at Beginning of Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek

Peggy and I. Next Wednesday, we begin our trip up the Alaska Highway.


FRIDAY’S POST: Another in the MisAdventures series. I abandon the Graveyard for the Pond.

MONDAY’S POST: Rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

WEDNESDAY’S POST: We begin our journey up the Alaska Highway.









31 thoughts on “Dogs and Dragons in British Columbia… The Alaska Highway Series

  1. You always post the most interesting things with such great photos. I love all of them, but that little dog weaving between the posts is so cute! He looks so happy!

    • Love the vision of a bunch of folks skiing along on the two skis. 🙂 The skis would need to be a bit fatter. It could become a Winter Olympic event! BTW, in early California history a guy known as Snowshoe Thompson delivered the mail back and fort across the Sierra Nevada mountains on snowshoes and cross country skis during the winter. While his skis were the length of the BC skis, they seemed to be twice as long and fat as today’s skinny versions. –Curt

    • From what I know about you, Gunta, I can’t imagine you not loving it. A month would do. 🙂 One week up, one week back, and two weeks there. Of course a whole summer would be better… –Curt

  2. These are great photos. So much beauty in BC. I couldn’t stop laughing at the Williams Lake pile up. Wouldn’t that make a great article? Things I have seen on people’s cars. Now that would be a fun research project.

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