Alaska Highway Day 2...

What we have come to discover is that the legendary Alaska Highway is pretty well history now - no more dirt roads, no more Suicide Hills, and far fewer curves. That said, the allure of it still lingers and we are so motivated to see it all.

Our guide for this trip is the quintessential travel tool-  The MILEPOST®, Alaska’s best known and most extensive travel guide. It was first published in 1949 as a 72-page mile-by-mile guide to the recently opened (to the public) Alaska (Alcan) Highway. This guidebook has more than 700 pages of detailed travel information on 30 major routes—including the Alaska Highway and 60 side trips, totaling more than 15,000 miles of road in Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. Wow. It's almost overwhelming.
The Milepost really is complete. It's hard to explain it, really. Each mile where there is something, ANYTHING to see, it tells you about it (railroad crossings, turnouts with litter bins, etc). Many are quite interesting, however, like Milepost 234. This one told of a major re-routing which occurred between here and mile 275 in 1992. The road change eliminated 132 curves in the highway. Can you imagine how crazy it was to drive those 35 miles with all those curves? The above historical milepost was installed for the Highway's 50th. At the time, there were dozens of interpretive panels identifying the significance of the locations, along with mileposts and historic signs. At one tourist center, we found a vintage mile-by-mile guide of this commemorative plaques project. So far, we are very surprised at how few remain, 25 years later.
Canada has rid her section of the ALCAN Highway of "miles" and has switched to kilometers, which can get very confusing for me and my math skills.
Interestingly, there is a variety of signs to read along this roadway...



And there is beauty, too.
At milepost 239.2, we learned about the Beaver Creek Fire, which jumped the Alaska Highway here in 2015. The smoke closed the highway for about a day. The fire burned an estimated 19,700 acres.
And we have called it a night at Fort Nelson (milepost 300). Called 'Zero' by the military troops because it was the beginning of the roads to Whitehorse and Fort Simpson.  To learn more, we attended the Welcome Visitor Program at the Visitor Center. There is much to discover on our road trip north.

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