Watson Lake & the Sign Forest

We drove west of town to stop for a few nights at Baby Nugget and StarLink saved us from being Internetless.  There’s no cell service once you get outside any of the small towns along the highway, and Watson Lake was just like the others.  We got there and realized there were no sewers at the campsites, any of them, so we headed over to the dump station to unload the tanks from 5 days of dry camping.

The next morning we headed into town to refill the fridge as Dawson Creek was the last place we picked up groceries.  We stopped by the Sign Forest to see if we could find our sign from last time, and we were able to find it almost immediately.  Took a few pic’s, then headed over to the grocery store.  It was much nicer than the last time we stopped there, well stocked with most foods,  and we even got to pick up fresh cinnamon rolls (which seems to be some sort of competition along the Alcan!)

The following morning Larry and I checked out the liquor store in town and picked up some Yukon Gold, one of our favorites from up north.  It was the first time we had seen it on this trip.  While we were there, we noticed a lot of Fantasy Tour folks driving into the Downtown RV campground, so we drove over to check it out.   Kathy and I had stayed there once and it was a place I would never go again.  But it was the only campground with sewers for a long way in any direction, and you are squeezed in like sardines.  We have never seen anywhere else that you are so close to the RV in the next site.  Folks with slides practically touch the next coach’s slides.

That evening Larry and Sue told us just how pitiful their Fantasy Tour experience had been when they attended the Balloon Fiesta with Fantasy.  That sealed it for me, I will never use them, but I probably wouldn’t have anyway.

We didn’t do much else in Watson Lake, and we probably should have only stayed 2 nights instead of the three we booked.

The next morning we headed out for Teslin Lake, the halfway point to Whitehorse.



Muncho Lake

The road from Ft. Nelson was OK till we hit Tacna Lodge where it turned to a couple miles of potholed washboard dirt.  It seemed like 50 miles!   Further on we entered a pretty long canyon where I received a phone call.  It was my Cuz and we got to talk a bit and only a few minutes into the call I realized there was no way I could be getting this call.  Apparently WiFi calling via Starlink was working in this canyon!  That was pretty cool.

We arrived not long after midday on a Thursday and there were still a few sites available as we drove in, but it wasn’t long before the 15 sites right on the lake were taken.  We lucked out and got to reserve our sites.  Neither Larry nor I knew they changed the rules for this summer’s dates and allowed about 1/2 the sites to be reserved.  My buddy Scott figured it out and told me just a few days prior to it opening up for reservations on the dates we wanted.

I told Larry and we were both able to get the sites we wanted on the BC Parks reservation site.   Last time we were there, it was only First Come, First Served.

Our site was beautiful and right at the water overlooking the beautiful blue- green lake out our windshield.  Larry and Sue were just to our left so their motorhome is pointing at the lake too.  (these are back-in sites)




We headed out for the drive to Laird Hot Springs which was 45 minutes away.  On the way we drove past some sort of shrine on the side of the highway and I wondered if it was for the folks that got killed near there while we were going to Alaska last time.  Turns out it was as we stopped and looked at it when going home.  2019 Canadian Killing Spree

On the way back from Laird there was a large Bison walking down the middle of the bridge.  We waited till he got to the end of the bridge and walked off the side of the road, allowing us to pass.

That evening we had reservations for dinner at the Northern Rockies Lodge.  It seemed odd to need reservations at such an out-of-the-way place but they were required.    I had the Goulash, Kathy the steak, Larry the Schnitzel, and Sue had the beef stew special.   The food was ok.   We decided not to come back for dinner Monday evening.

After dinner we walked outside to see smoke had rolled in, which was not a great sign.  We had to go back to the motorhome to see if we could figure out where it was coming from.  Turns out the fire was quite a ways away, north and east of us.  By the following morning the smoke was gone and didn’t come back.

It rained most of the day on Sunday, but the nice weather came back on Monday and we drove back to Laird Hot Springs for another dip.  We saw many caribou, bear, and many bison along the way back.   That night we ordered takeout from the lodge:  three Schnitzel dinners..  and a burger for Kathy.

Tuesday morning drive to the Yukon




Fort Nelson for a Night

The drive to Fort Nelson started out on a very smooth road till we got to Profit River where it became the Alcan road I remembered, lots of potholes to dodge and a few frost heaves to boot most of the way into Ft. Nelson.

My plan was to fuel up some in Ft. Nelson all along; but when I checked that afternoon, I noticed that fuel was almost exactly the same price in Whitehorse as Ft. Nelson, so I put in as much as it would take.  It was about $5 a gallon there,  quite a difference from the $3.50 diesel @ Costco in Grand Prairie!

We had another one-night stay at the Triple G Hideaway, a very nice place considering all the others on the Alcan highway.   We didn’t do much there, although the ladies found a gift shop to drop some coin.  We now have a couple new pillows with bears on them.

We headed out in the morning for a leisurely drive to Muncho Lake.


Pink Mountain overnight.. UGH

This campground was Larry and Sue’s go-to overnight between Dawson Creek and Ft. Nelson.  Last time we had stayed at Charlie Lake Provincial Park as we hadn’t stayed in Dawson Creek.   We had stopped in Ft. St. John to get Dusty into the vet to get some medicine to fix his loose bowels from the night before.  None of the home remedies had worked this time.  He will turn 16 years old in Alaska this summer.

We got to Pink Mountain a couple hours after our traveling companions and when we pulled in, there were no signs indicating where to park the rig to register.   I pulled over toward the front of the store and the worker bee came out saying we couldn’t park there.  He pointed where we should park, and I suggested they put up a sign to indicate that… He laughed.   With that I knew this was going to be a fiasco.  And I was correct.

As we drove in to find our pull-thru site, we encountered freshly created washboard roads.   It seems they just graded the roads with a bulldozer and it was a tracked one so it created washboard as it graded the road.  (that is probably why you never see a tracked dozer grading roads.)

We made it to our site and hooked up the electric and started to deploy when I noticed we were inverting and not on shore power.   When I looked at my Power Watchdog EPO Surge Protector, I saw it was blocking the 94 volt power they were trying to supply to us.  Yikes, that is lower than I have ever seen, Anywhere.   I immediately called the office and told them what I found.  The same guy said they only have 30 amp power.  I explained that doesn’t matter, all the different  amperage’s outlets should have 120 volts.   Then he said they were working on the generator.  Oh Boy.   By about 7pm the power was up to 115 volts, which is good enough.

But of course it didn’t stay that way.  All night it was dropping below 100 volts if you tried to pull just 10 amps from that 30 amp supply.  I finally just pulled the plug and used our batteries to run anything that draws any power like the coffee pot, microwave or toaster.

That place was a bad joke.  Never again…

I have never been happier to leave a campground than I was that morning.

Dawson Creek & Chetwynd Carvings

We drove to the Mile 0 Campground and checked in.   Another dirt campsite with only 30 amp service.  We drove over to the main sign to take some pictures and check out the gallery and gift store.  We got the picture part, but the gallery was closed Sunday and Monday.  Oh well, they missed out on some cash,  but I was happy 🙂

That evening we headed out to a local tap room for some burgers, and on the way Kathy had to take pictures of the real Mile 0 signpost, which is not the big sign near the circle and art gallery.  The tap room was called the Post & Row.  We got to try fries with brown gravy.  It was better than poutine in my opinion.

On the way back we stopped by the museum on the campground property as we saw what looked to be a car show going on.  It was an interesting museum and we got to talk to the locals from the car show.  Turns out this was just their dinner show and their big one is in July and takes up most of the town instead of the museum.   They were talking about 500 cars on display.

The next day we decided to drive to Chetwynd where they have a chainsaw carving competition.   It was about an hour’s drive west of Dawson and we found probably over a hundred carvings to look at.  They lined the roads for miles.  Based on the markings, folks come from all over the world to compete and make their carvings.   It was pretty cool, as in windy and cool.  The carvings were pretty incredible things to see.




Grand Prarie

We were very happy to leave Whitecourt Lions Campground with all the highway noise..  The roads so far have been pretty smooth till the last leg from Valley View to Grand Prairie.  Lots of unmarked frost heaves.  It was a bumpy road.

We headed south of town to Camp Tamarack.  It was a nice campground.   We took an extra day here to stock up on groceries, and on the day we left, we went to Costco for the best price on fuel so far on the trip, $3.50 per gallon.



Whitecourt AB

We stopped at a Lions campground here for one night on the way to Grand Prairie.  We pulled into our spot and when I got out, I was bombarded by the sound of trucks without mufflers going uphill on the highway that was maybe 50 yards from our site.   Oh My, was that loud.   And it continued for hours and hours.  And actually the pickup trucks were the loudest.  One of the worst campsites that I can remember.  We sat outside at our picnic table and played some Yahtzee and were serenaded by the highway.   We were very glad to leave this noisy place early the next morning.


We drove for hours from Calgary to Diamond Grove RV outside of Edmonton in Thick Smoke.  I run the air purifier the whole time with it right up front with us and plugged into the 120v outlet at the bottom of the dash by the steps.   When we arrived at the campground the smoke was dissipating and by the next morning was gone.

We had been jones’n of pizza for at least a week and we decided to hit a Boston Pizza again.  We had been to one in Prince George the last time we were traveling thru Canada.  It didn’t disappoint.

The following morning we drove over to Stony Plain and looked for the Murals we read about,  there were a lot to see and took a few pics of the ones Kathy liked.

Then we headed over to find the Stony Plain & Parkland Pioneer Museum and spent a couple hours wandering around with a guide.  It was interesting.  On the way back from the Museum we stopped at a Grain Elevator museum but we ended up leaving without going in.   After that we all agreed to find ice cream, I found a place on google that had pretty good ratings.   We drove over and it turned out to be a trailer in the parking lot of a strip mall.   And true to their reviews the ice cream was delicious.

We were at the campground a few days and it turns out or campsites were unfortunately right across from the playground.  The issue was that from about 9am till around 8 pm there were Screaming Kids there and lots of them.  It was amazing how loud they could be and it seemed to never stop.  I don’t know how they could scream so much, I was amazed how long they could scream, I would have thought they would have been horse after just a short while.  If I was their parents, I would have sent them away too.  We were happy to leave that campsite and head for Whitecort… till we got there.  We will let you know what happened there on the next post.


We left early on Friday morning to head north toward Calgary and fuel up near Trans Canada Highway 1, which was at least a couple hours away.   That fuel stop would allow our next fill to be in Grand Prairie, about 500 miles north.  GP is the last reasonable priced fuel stop before Anchorage.  Lucky for us, we left the smoke behind in Waterton and it was an enjoyable ride till we got to the fuel station.   Then it got difficult.  Seems it was the start of the Canadian long weekend and everyone needed fuel, so it was a madhouse getting in and out of there.   Not real fun with a 65′ long rig with all the folks jockeying for position.   And of course I forgot to take into account I was paying in Canada money when I prepaid inside, so I had to do it twice to fill the tank, which only meant I was there even longer.

We arrived in Cochran and Google Maps took me thru a new neighborhood with lots of small roundabouts.   Next time I will look much closer to the route it wants to take and set a few way-points if it’s going to do something stupid like that.  Bow Rivers Edge Campground was down this odd roadway with construction all around it.

We paid and pulled into our site.   It was fairly tight once in there and there were fairly tall hedges between us and our neighbors.   It was a bit smokey there, so when it cleared up the next day, there was a bit of celebrating going on all over the campground.  It was so smoky that I started to research filters on Consumer Reports.   Of course, I didn’t find any of their tested models available near me and ended up buying a 3M Filtrete Air Purifier model at Lowes.   It surprisingly worked well and now we have one for our time in Alaska too.  Last time in Alaska we were dodging smoke most of the trip.

We went out with our travel companions one evening while there to a local Tap Room, Half Hitch Brewing for Burgers.  The beer was good and so were the burgers.

Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier National Park

We arrived at Waterton Lakes campground to 72+ degrees, blue skies and a light breeze.   Heavenly!  This next picture is the view to the hotel from our campsite.   The next afternoon you could barely see it.

Took a walk over to the Red Chairs — it’s a Canada   thing — and sat down to look at the beautiful view.  It was nothing less than spectacular!  I could have sat there all day.

The following afternoon the smoke arrived and depending on the wind, it made seeing the mountains a blur!    Larry & Sue arrived a little after 5 pm the day after we arrived, leaving Billings, MT, around 7:30 in the morning.  That’s a really LONG drive!   He mentioned that was the longest he’d ever driven any of his RV’s, and would not do that again if possible.   They started full-timing in the early 2000’s.

That evening we all were very hungry and Larry had spotted a pub on his way in, so we drove over there.  We went into the “Pub” but the only food they served were nachos.   There was a restaurant just down the hallway, so we went down there.  As we got to the host table, I said to our group, “We might be under dressed for this place.”  It was beautifully set up.

Lucky for us, they didn’t care about our attire.   It was one of the better meals I’ve had on the road.   My potato soup was to die for.  I had never tasted anything that good before that I can recall.   I had the curry chicken on rice, which was good too; but the soup, wow, I will never forget that.  Everyone else loved their dinner too.  A really surprise fancy dinner!

We drove over to the Prince of Wales Hotel, which turns out wasn’t open yet. They were still removing the boards from the winter closure.  They wouldn’t let us inside, but we got to check out the view, and what a view it was! (even with the smoke)  Gorgeous.  The hotel was set to open up the afternoon we were leaving.  We looked into staying for an extra day or two, but it was Victoria Day long weekend and the campground was fully booked.

We left there and headed out to Cameron Lake, a 22-mile winding mountain road.  Beautiful day use area.  The lake still had lots of ice.  We wandered around there for about an hour.  It was a beautiful spot.   While driving out we passed the first oil well in Western Canada.  There was a replica just off the road.   Some waterfalls and Caribou grazing on the side of the road.  There were also a herd of Big Horn Sheep right at the turnoff to Cameron Lake.  There were a few of these large metal grates built up next to the road which may help prevent ice from hitting the roadway.  Not sure if that is what they are for.

On the way back, we stopped at a fairly large waterfall not far from our campsite.  I had been hearing it for a couple of days, so we decided to check it out.  It was a spectacular roaring falls.  Lots of water crashing down.  Took some pics and headed back to the campground to make lunch.

The next morning we headed out another small road, which was much shorter, not as beautiful as the prior day, but very nice nonetheless.   After we got back to the main road, we headed over to Haybarn.  Sadly, there was no Haybarn out there that we cold find.   But there was some camping areas and a small building that looked like toilets.   That one was a pretty smooth dirt road, and along the way out we stopped to watch a couple Grouse which seemed to be courting.

We hitched up the cars and headed out Friday morning to a campground outside of Calgary in a small town called Cochrane, AB.