Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday 21 August 2008: Round trip from Fort Nelson, BC to the BC/Northwest Territories border via rental car























































This morning I drove a rental car about 215 miles round trip from Fort Nelson (which lies at mile 300 on the Alaska Highway) in northeastern British Columbia up the excellent Liard Highway to the border with the Northwest Territories (NWT) at the 60th parallel (60 degrees north latitude). Incidentally, the photo of me at the 60th parallel was taken by balancing my camera on my sweater on the hood of the car and using the camera's ten-second timer.
.
Below is a link to a 55-second video clip I took at the border. As it begins, we are looking from the BC/NWT border along the paved highway back into BC. The camera then swings counter-clockwise approx. 250 degrees. You will notice that at this point the highway turns from good blacktop pavement into a good gravel road. There is an official welcome sign into the NWT another 1/4 mile along the highway. That white sign is just barely visible in the video clip. I wanted to film at this point where the road surface changes.
.
My car was rented from National Car Rental at the Shell station in "downtown" Fort Nelson. The cheapest rate was CAD 70 per day plus taxes and CAD 0.40 per km with no free kms!
.
Round trip driving time from Fort Nelson was about four hours, including many stops for photos along the way. The Liard Highway is signposted for 80 km/hour (49 mph) but no one I saw was driving that slow. On the Liard Highway itself I passed only nine vehicles while heading north and eighteen vehicles when returning south.


video

After returning to town I toured the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum. There I saw a 35-minute video about the construction of the Alaska Highway (then called the "Alcan Highway") by soldiers in only eight months during 1942-1943. That seems like an incredible feat!
.
Before returning to my hotel I took photos of the nearby Thriftlodge which had burned down.