Day 5 – Grand Prairie to Fort Nelson, BC

Great day of riding.  Kind of a late start, which we’d planned because we knew we had a short day today, and we both needed it.  Been having pretty serious internet problems, but finally posting.

Twenty-five hundred miles from home,

Somehow I’m not alone.

Music and this moment are my companions

Whispering truths as we roll through the deep canyons.

Oh yea!  Poetry now!  Never tried that before.  I think I pulled a muscle in my brain that’s never been used before.  And yes, I know that Brad is also with me, but I’m not putting a dude in my poetry.

Brad checking out the large local beaver.

There’s only so far I’ll go for a friend.  Besides, I’m alone in my helmet all day.  Tomorrow, interpretive dance.  Maybe mime.

We left the pre-fabbed, insta-city oil boomtown of Grande Prairie and bee-lined for Dawson Creek – famous for being the zero-mile mark of the great Alaskan Highway.  This road that we’ll be rolling for four days is truly a remarkable feat of civil engineering stretching over 1,500 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska (and we’re going to ride the entire thing, some of it twice).  Because of the threat of Japanese invasion in 1942, the highway was conceived to provide a land link with Alaska connecting a series of air bases in Canada.  A pioneer road was constructed in the remarkably quick time of nine months through some of the most remote and scenic country in North America.

The real ride begins. Ten minutes later, I went through this intersection right through the red light. Awesome start.

Remote doesn’t quite describe this land though. There were stretches today where we did not see a building for 50-100 miles, and we would often go 20 miles without seeing another car.  Incredible.  There is just nothing up here but wide, rolling views of forest and dark beauty and a long-stretching road.

Making friends during construction hold-ups. Meet Denise, the friendly stop sign lady.

And, the road is phenomenal.  Of course, we’ve only done about 300 miles of it so far, and we hear it gets worse, but for having only three months to work on it in some of the remotest land on the continent, I’m more than impressed.  There are some monstrous potholes you really need to watch for, but overall, it’s smooth sailing so far.  I did see a family of four living in one of the potholes it was so deep.  They waved.  Seemed real nice.

Our road for the day.

The riding was so great, and I have entered that travelling space that the “when are we going to get there” has been replaced by actually hoping for more miles.  Yesterday, I looked down at the map, and we were only 20 miles from our destination, and I was actually hoping for more.  Sick.

These flowers blanketed both sides of the road for miles at a time. Unreal.

Short post today.  Feeling great, but exhausted.

And of course, the route update.  The Yukon tomorrow.

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9 Responses to Day 5 – Grand Prairie to Fort Nelson, BC

  1. twotoned30 says:

    Félicitations, mon ami sur deux roues!

  2. jennifer cizek says:

    Wags, you are h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s, great post and photos. Thanks a million buddy.

    • ericgwagner says:

      So glad you’re enjoying it Jennifer! Seriously struggling with the wifi up here, so getting a late start on the blog action. Who knew the Yukon would be light on wifi?

  3. Daddy Wags says:

    Eric, great pictures, and really enjoyed the poem. Looking forward to reading about the Yukon.

  4. ericgwagner says:

    Dad, coming from a fellow poet, that means a lot to me. 🙂 We’ll get the latest post out soon. Stupid Yukon internet.

  5. buzzy lunsford says:

    Sounds really wonderful!!

  6. Joyce Lee says:

    Hi Eric,
    My name is Joyce Lee and I am the manager of the Dawson Creek Visitor Center. I happened upon your blog and am hoping to get permission to use your great photo of the two of you standing on the Mile O Post. I am submitting an article for a local newspaper about the Mile O Post. I like the color and frame of your photo. I need to submit my article within the next couple of days, so am hoping you get this email. If you agree, could you send me a jpeg to
    Thanking you in advance.
    Joyce Lee

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