Arctic Circle Expedition : March 22, 2007
Visiting the Sign Post Forest, Liard hotsprings and arriving back in Dawson Creek
Mar 22 - Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Watson Lake to Fort Nelson
The group got a rare late start on the morning and visited the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake. This unique tract of land contains more than 70,000 signs from all over the world left by crazy travelers much like ourselves. Neal brought a sign from Roanoke Virginia to add to the forest. The one big problem we had was the depth of the snow surrounding the posts. This gave Neal a chance to practice his snowshoeing. He started off well but soon disappeared into the 4 foot deep snow. Jim joined the action and soon became just as stuck. Eventually after struggling for some time they were able to hang the sign and after a group photo we were on our way.
The drive to Fort Nelson was fairly uneventful except for one minor overheating of the 101 and subsequent loss of coolant cap on highway (later found by Kim as they drove by) The scenery driving South seemed to be even more spectacular as we crossed the Northern Rockies than it had on the way North in the blizzard. Wildlife has also been abundant in this area. Over the last several days we have seen, wolves, lynx, elk, bison, bald eagle, moose, arctic fox and mule deer. One animal that we have seen that seemed unexpected is the raven.
We also travelled through the Stikine volcanic belt, which stretches from Alaska to lower British Columbia. There are nearly 100 volcanoes, three of which have erupted in the last few hundred years. There were some striking examples of volcanoes as we passed from Whitehorse to Fort Nelson.
The group stopped at the Liard river hot springs. Kim was the daring soul of the group and went for a relaxing dip in the 40-50 C (107-125 degree F )water. Quite a neat thing with the snowy backdrop and an ambient temperature of 20 degrees F.
The final part of the day was spent climbing the last of the Rockies from Toad River to Fort Nelson.
Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek
The group made another uneventful drive to Dawson Creek. Mike has now driven more than 1630 miles without an engine cooling fan. The truck is beginning to suffer high temperatures when climbing hills. ALMOST HOME! We now have 380 miles to go to return our trucks to their container in Edmonton. Neal and Eric are still looking at their long drive back to Virginia.
Total distance travelled so far: 4360 miles
Lowest temperature: -42 degrees F
Thank you to all of our fans around the world who have followed this and other trips online. We currently have recorded over 600 unique visitors to drivetheglobe.com a day during our travels and nearly 7000 per month from all over the world.
A special thank you to all of our sponsors for this trip; CSI Surplus, MacKinnon Transport, Rovers North, Rooly Optics, Casio Pathfinder Watches, Penzoil, Canada Goose Expedition Wear, Pull Pal, GPS Accessories and the Gearshoppe.
We would also like to thank Kim Groenendyk for all of her logistic support and trip planning and Pat Macomber who planned and organized the expedition.