Mono Lake, CA 2018

Thursday, June 8, 2017

On the Road to Alaska

Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson: 283 miles

A quick camp review from a one-night stay.

I know some of you just drive and find a place to stay at the end of the day, but I am most comfortable if I have a reservation, even if it's called-in the same day.  There have been plenty of open spaces at the parks we have stayed in since leaving the Vancouver area, and I know we could have just driven in, but try as I might, I feel uncomfortable for the last few hours before arriving without one. 

Monday we were at the Bluebell Motel and RV park in Fort Nelson. I called on Saturday. It was easy to find, right on the highway where our Rand McNally said it was. We have full hook-ups, and because we were in the pull-through spot that is closest to the building, we had excellent WiFi. The space was super level, there is a gas station out front for our morning fueling, and because the motel is between us and the road, it was very quiet.  Good place!

Note: I should have posted the above while I had good internet. It was hopeless for the next few days! 

Fort Nelson to Liard Hot Springs: 190 miles

It was very nice to be able to leave the Jeep hooked up overnight and to be able to just pull out in the morning.

We are now well into the "land of the midnight sun". I have read that in Fort Nelson, on mid-summer’s eve it never gets truly dark in the night. Well, on the 6th of June, morning comes very early. I woke up to morning light and was ready to start the day. But then I looked at the clock and saw that it was just past 4 AM! Back to sleep I went.

We had two destinations today. The first, Testa River Services and Campground, was only 70 km up the road.

I had read that they had wonderful cinnamon buns and were a “do not miss” delight. 

Well, if you like cinnamon they really are great. Note: that is a full size paper plate it is sitting on.   Yummy.  Craig passed, choosing only to have some coffee because he doesn’t like cinnamon very much.

On our way from Fort Nelson to Liard we saw two bears and our first moose. All that time in the far Northeast last year, and I never did see a moose. Well there it was just standing by the side of the road, watching us drive by.

We also saw several groups of stone sheep, and several groups of buffalo.

They like to lick the salt on the edges of the road. They don’t seem to mind the cars at all.

The scenery was beautiful and quite varied. This was one of the many mountains we saw.

We did go through one awful patch of highway. It was being regraded and was dirt and gravel. I’m not sure if they were getting it ready for repaving or not.  But it was very dusty and all the vehicles, including ours, got terribly dirty.

Ok, so the Alfa doesn't show the dust very much, but it was like fine cement.
You can see it behind the wheels and on the Jeep. Dark cars and RVs looked terrible.

Our second stop was at the Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park, where we dry-camped for one night. The campground has a very easy entry, off the Alaska Highway. The system is to drive in, pick out a site, unhook and back in, and then go and pay for it at the entrance. We arrived at about 1:30 PM and there were still many empty sites, but several rigs had to wait for us to get out of their way. Thereafter we watched numerous RVers drive past our site looking for a place.

Soaking in natural hot springs pools is another “everybody does it” experience.  After getting settled we donned our swimsuits, grabbed our towels and went over to the springs.

There is a good size day-use parking area that many RVers use, who do not want to overnight. We drove the Jeep there, after washing the mud-like grime off the windows.

There is a quarter-mile boardwalk through a boggy area to the springs.

There is a changing house and a deck along the natural pool. This is the hot side, and at the far end, under the bridge is the spring itself. The farther from the spring, the cooler the water gets. We tried going in this side first but it was, as Goldilocks said, “too hot”!

We were happy to hear that the other pool was much cooler, so went there first. 

After awhile we were prepared and went back to the hot side. 
It is nice and in the center of the water there are several benches, which we took advantage of. 

Another tip is that if you go, wear water shoes or flip flops in the water. The bottom is covered with rather sharp stones.

After a nice soak we were happy we had decided to camp there for the night.  We were both very relaxed, and driving was the last thing we wanted to do at that point.

We were well rested the next morning, and got an early start.

Check back soon for more about our trip. 


  1. The road gets much worse closer to the border.

  2. Ahh yes. I loved that spring. So glad you took advantage of it. Did you bring a,sign for the sign post forest? Ours is there.

  3. Glad you stopped for the Cinnamon bun. Yummy! We also liked Liard Hot Springs a lot.

  4. Just had to compliment you again on how well you write about your adventures. I'm going to enjoy this, Merikay!

  5. It was fun to see Liard Hot Springs again. It has been 14 years since we were last there. We are enjoying following you again.

  6. Such a wonderful adventure and the scenery looks amazing, gotta love the hot springs too.

  7. My RV often looks as dirty as yours and I'm not even in Alaska... :cD

  8. I'm really enjoying your trip with you. We went there in 1999 and you bring back lots of wonderful memories.

  9. ahhhhh, hot springs. Always a welcome respite. I am really enjoying your trip.


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