4 - Jasper, AB to Prince George, BC
to Dawson Creek, BC
with visits to MacKenzie, Hudson's Hope, Tumbler Ridge and Monkman Provincial Park
Thursday, June 25, 1998

At midnight saw stars and a clear sky. By morning it was high clouds with patches of blue.

Drove out to Maligne Lake but decided (again) not to take the tour boat since the weather was clouding up. Saw a couple of elk with large racks near Medicine Lake both going and coming. Got some pictures.

Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Elk at Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Elk at Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Elk at Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Elk at Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Headed west for Prince George. It clouded up and started showering - some were really downpours. Didn't stop at Mount Robson since everything was socked in - glad I got to see it in 1997.

The weather got better as the highway descended.

Stopped at Rear Guard Falls and took the short hike - 20 minute round trip including taking pictures.

Not very high, but wide and an impressive display of the power of moving water. This spot is the upper limit of an 800 mile Chinook Salmon migration.

Rear Guard Falls near Prince George, British Columbia
Rear Guard Falls near Prince George, British Columbia
Rear Guard Falls near Prince George, British Columbia
Rear Guard Falls near Prince George, British Columbia

The sun came out for a while and then the showers came back as I continued west. Nice valley, mostly forested with some meadow/cultivated ranch areas. Mountains on both sides.

Arrived in Prince George, BC about 3:30 p.m. and stopped at the Connaught Motor Inn.

Friday, June 26, 1998

Awoke to an overcast sky. Replenished food supplies at Overwaitea Food & Drugs - interesting name for a food store <grin>.

Checked out the Fraser Fort George Regional Museum and Park but the museum was closed and I decided not to wait for it to open. Moved on to the Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum.

The sun was out now. Had to wait a few minutes for it to open, then spent almost an hour and a half wandering around all the exhibits.

Lots of interesting stuff - one of the rail passenger cars reminded me of what we rode in going to the Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge in 1950.

Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum - Google Map
Prince George Railway & Forestry Museum
Penny Station 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Penny Station 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia

Inside Penny Station 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Inside Penny Station 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Nechaka Pulman Car 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Nechaka Pulman Car 1913, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia

Inside Endeavor Pulman Car, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Inside Endeavor Pulman Car, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Inside Endeavor Pulman Car, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Inside Endeavor Pulman Car, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia

Steam locomotive 1520, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Steam locomotive 1520, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Diesel locomotive, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia
Diesel locomotive, Prince George Railroad Museum, British Columbia

Click for more Prince George Railroad Museum

Gassed up - both the car and me - then visited the Huble Homestead Historic Site - another bit of interesting Canadian history.

Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia

Kitchen, Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Kitchen, Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Dining Room, Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia
Dining Room, Huble Homestead near Prince George, British Columbia

Click for more Huble Homestead Historic Site

Drove on and camped at Whiskers Point Campground on McLeod Lake.

Saturday, June 27, 1998
Worlds Largest Tree Crusher, MacKenzie, British Columbia>
Worlds Largest Tree Crusher, MacKenzie, British Columbia

A beautiful clear and SUNNY! day. Headed up the road toward Dawson Creek.

Made side trip to MacKenzie, BC where I saw the World's Largest Tree Crusher - used when nearby reservoirs were constructed. Nice relatively new modern town.

The World's Largest Tree Crusher is the Stuff of Nightmares. The Le Tourneau G175 Tree Crusher is an absolute beast of a machine.

Designed specifically for land clearing, the G175 is the only one of its size.

It steamrolls trees with 60 tons of weight and three five-blade wheels.

Returned to the main highway and proceeded - construction delay - stopped at Bijoux Falls which was nothing special.

Bijoux Falls, British Columbia
Bijoux Falls, British Columbia

Stopped at Chetwynd, "Chain Saw Carving Capital of the World" but didn't find much of interest.

Drove north on Highway 29 to Hudson's Hope, BC with a stop at the Peace River Dam Visitor Centre. Some interesting displays about the dam and dinosaurs. Took the self tour of the dam, which wasn't very interesting - but the displays were nice.

Hudson's Hope is the third oldest settlement in British Columbia - first visited in 1793 by Alexander Mackenzie.

Drove by St. Peter's Anglican Church in New Hope.

St. Peter's Anglican Church, New Hope, British Columbia
St. Peter's Anglican Church, New Hope, British Columbia

Returned to the main highway, then south on Highway 29 to Tumbler Ridge, BC - a new town started in 1981 to support a nearby new modern coal mine and an electric powered railroad to service the mine. Nice modern town.

Drove out to the Monkman Provincial Park for the night. The day had been mostly sunny with late afternoon showers.

Sunday, June 28, 1998

A new sunny with clouds day. Visited the nearby Kinuseo Falls on the Murray River - 225 foot drop - nice falls and cascade.

Considered one of the great natural wonders of the province, Kinuseo Falls are a highlight of Monkman Provincial Park. Above the falls, the folding and faulting which occurred with the uplift of the Rockies millions of years ago can be seen as an “S” curve on the far wall.

Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia

Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia

Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia

Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia
Kinuseo Falls, Monkman Provincial Park, British Columbia

Returned to Tumbler Ridge and took the Heritage Highway toward Dawson Creek. Very nice scenic paved road - better than the main routes.

Arrived at Dawson Creek, British Columbia for lunch.

Visited the Dawson Creek Railway Station Museum and Visitor Center.

The museum, housed in the original 1931 railway station, features an extensive collection of highway memorabilia, pioneer artifacts and wildlife displays and an interesting movie on the building of the Alaska Highway.

Visited the Walter Wright Pioneer Village which at the time of my visit had only a few buildings, nothing much in the way of interior displays, and commercial tourist shops in several buildings. UPDATE: As of 2019 it apparently has been updated.

Walter Wright Pioneer Village represents a cherished part of Dawson Creek history. Situated right on the outskirts of the city on the Alaska Highway, the park is a heritage site that explores the rich agricultural history of the area before the construction of the Alaska Highway.

Sudetan Hall sits at the entrance to the village and is one of the original community halls built by the Sudetan Germans who immigrated to this area in 1939 to escape persecution in Nazi Germany.

Most of the building are from the early 1900's and are furnished with well preserved artifacts from the period.

Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Walter Wright Pioneer Village 1998, Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Mile 0, start of Alaska Highway, Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Mile 0, start of Alaska Highway, Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Construction of the “Alcan” Highway (ALCAN was the military acronym for the Alaska-Canada Highway) officially began on March 9, 1942.

Army engineers were ordered to construct a road that would proceed in a northwesterly direction from the railhead at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and connect with the existing Richardson Highway at Delta Junction, Alaska. They punched a pioneer road through the wilderness in 8 months and 12 days.

An overland link between Alaska and the Lower 48 had been studied as early as 1930, under President Herbert Hoover, but with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, it was deemed a military necessity. President Roosevelt authorized construction of the Alaska Highway on February 11, 1942.

The U.S. secured rights-of-way through Canada in March. The formal agreement between the 2 countries stipulated that the U.S. pay for construction and turn over the Canadian portion of the highway to the Canadian government after the war ended. In turn, Canada furnished the right-of-way; waived import duties, sales tax, income tax and immigration regulations; and provided construction materials along the route.

This article from The MilePost Guidebook website provides additional detail and a video.


Building The Alaska Highway - National Geographic