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"two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Be bear aware on the Alaska Highway

Liard River Hotsprings
Liard River Hotsprings was a place planned to visit. We pulled in with every intention of soaking up some mineral waters. We encountered some other travelers who were coming out of the springs and mentioned that the springs were in the process of being cleaned. Old Montanans, we know our way around mineral pools and their seasonal cleanings. We decided to forego the soak.
A black bear photo op just north of Liard River Hotsprings

Within seconds, the bear was on the road shoulder,
ready to investigate the truck
We had been somewhat concerned about leaving our dog alone in the truck during our outing, anyway. After all, the Milepost has a caution in red about Liard, “Beware of bears.” We continued our drive and were soon overcome with relief. We saw a black bear several yards off the highway by some woods. We stopped to snap a photo. The bear ran toward us at some speed, apparently curious about us. Just one more photo, we thought. By that time, the bear was all but in the truck. We drove off quickly.

Getting ready for the Alaska Highway—RV mattress upgrade
The mattress that was supplied with our lightweight travel trailer is truly lightweight. We purchased a three-inch deep memory foam mattress pad from Costco. This pad laid on top of our trailer mattress turns the RV mattress into a comfortable “pillow top.” The pad is slightly longer than the trailer bed. This only works to our comfort advantage.

Some limits to cellular phone coverage
The Alaska Highway provided its own special form of amusement in billboards. Billboards would advise us that we should combat poaching by phoning a toll free number to turn in poachers. A check of the cell phones proved there was no coverage. Another check every 300 miles or so would show the same—no coverage. We could not have phoned in to report a bad driver, a forest fire, or any of the dutiful messages along the road. It is certainly possible that Canadian cellular phones worked well, but our phones with their US plans did not come alive again until we were well inside Alaska. 

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