Pink Mountain, not elephants
July 31, 2022 (Sun)
There was no trip log yesterday because Harvey didn’t go anywhere and neither did we. Harvey sat in the parking lot and rested, while we did laundry, some light shopping, exercised in the pool, soaked in the hot tub, and enjoyed our free breakfast.
One fun thing about coin-operated machines in Canada: they don’t take quarters! Our brains are so wired to see a coin slot and think “quarters,” that Robert went to the front desk to get $10 worth of quarters for laundry.
“What do you need them for?” asked the concierge, because Robert looks American and clueless.
“Laundry and vending machines, of course,” replied Robert, because Duh.
“Oh yeah, they all take loonies! Here you go!” and hands Robert ten coins.
Not only have Canadians eliminated pennies, they also have $1 and $2 coins. The one-dollar coins have a picture of a loon on the back and Queen Elizabeth on the front. They quickly got dubbed “loonies.”
The two-dollar coins are made from two different metals (it looks like a dollar coin ate a penny), so they’re called “two-nies.” You gotta like a country who admits their money is loonie-toony.
9:00 am Dawson Creek
Breakfast at the hotel breakfast buffet! And a nice breakfast it is, other than the last piece of French toast, which could easily have been used as a hockey puck at a local game. But the nice attendant lady went and got more of them, only less robust.
Yesterday, we had a chat with the attendant lady who cheerfully told us we didn’t need to wear masks any more. She then went on to describe how she was terribly sick for two months with Covid, even though she was vacc’d and boosted.
“Um, exactly,” was our reply.
10:55 am Mile Zero, Dawson Creek
Here we are at Mile Zero for the Alaska Highway!
We’ve been calling it the Al-Can highway, because we weren’t paying attention. For the first year (1942), it was called the Al-Can highway (because it connected ALaska and CANada). Apparently, this name was a little too ripe for comedy (“Oil Can Highway”), so the US and Canada agreed that Alaska Highway was a better name. (In case we forget to mention it later, this is the 80th Anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway!)
In the beginning was Harvey
And then we joined Harvey
Also, this isn’t exactly Mile Zero. Seems the original Mile Zero marker at the actual Mile Zero got hit by a car shortly after it was installed, so it got moved to here, where it’s harder to hit.
We also get some Mile Zero gas for $1.90 a liter.
Ah! Finally some nice, cool weather. It’s in the low seventies here and we’re very comfortable. We take particular delight in noting that it got to 95° in Woodinville yesterday. Ha ha—all that driving north has finally paid off!
Of course, the Extreme Heat advisory has immediately been replaced with a “Severe Thunderstorm Warning,” and we’re hoping to get to our stopping place before we have to dodge lightning strikes.
The terrain started out as mostly rolling hills and farms that has gradually given way to rolling hills and trees. We don’t feel as though we are out in the wilderness. It feels more like driving up to Bellingham—first you get the Skagit Valley farms, then a bunch of trees.
There are plenty of places to stop for gas and donuts.
Typical scenery with town in distance
2:00 pm Pink Mountain
We reach our stopping point at mile 143 on the Alaska Highway: the booming metropolis of Pink Mountain, population 100. It’s about halfway to Fort Nelson and has an RV park. It’s a bit of a ramshackle RV park with dirt roads and sickly-looking trees (and the owner originally assigned us to a spot occupied by somebody else), but it’s home for the night.
There is a Pink Mountain somewhere around here, but it’s about 10 miles in the wrong direction and apparently it’s not bright pink, so it doesn’t sound worth the effort.
Pink Mountain is also the only place in British Columbia with a herd of free-roaming bison. So we stop at the Buffalo Inn for lunch.
Robert orders a chicken burger and gets the most amazing looking chicken salad he has ever seen. It’s full of spinach and chicken and green peppers and cucumbers and all manner of greenery.
The waitress explains: “I wasn’t sure what you ordered, so I brought you this!”
Since it’s delicious, we don’t object. Also, it’s way healthier than what Robert ordered. We’ve discovered a restaurant that serves you what you should eat, not what you want to eat.
Harvey parked at Pink Mountain RV Park
9:30 pm Pink Mountain RV camp
After a late snack (we didn’t need dinner on account of that chicken salad), we make the bed and fall asleep counting lightning strikes, as the rain pours down on the very waterproof Harvey.
“One, two, three—oh, that was half a mile away”
“One, yawn, two, snore”
By the numbers
"Numbers don't lie. Women lie, men lie, but numbers don't lie." (Max Halloway)
Miles traveled so far: 938*
Estimated Percentage of total road miles: 27%
Days so far: 7 days
Estimated Percentage of total road days: 23%
Gini & Robert