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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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Entering the Yukon Territory on the Alaska Highway

72,000 signs mark points of origin from
visitors to the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake

Watson Lake
Watson Lake, Yukon Territory is just inside the Yukon border. Its Sign Post Forest, one of the most visited attractions along the Alaska Highway, the story goes, began in 1941 when a homesick U.S. Army soldier building the Alaska Highway posted a sign that pointed to his home town of Danville, Illinois. One count in 2012 lists an excess of 72,000 road and street signs, license plates, signed paper and metal plates, burned and carved wood signs, and other placards representing all corners of the world. Another list claims +100,000.

There are several RV parks at Watson Lake, one of which we used as a stopover on our return trip, the Downtown RV Park:

The Signpost Forest on a couple of acres sits at the north end of the town of Watson Lake. 

We spotted the "Old Tucson-Nogales Highway" sign
representing Southern Arizona
During June of 2012, mudslides closed a section of the Alaska Highway, leaving a number of visitors stranded in Watson Lake.  In the frontier spirit, so the story goes, playwright Karin Fazio Littlefield, en route to a performance elsewhere in Alaska and also stranded, set up a stage within the Signpost Forest for a performance of a play. 

The array, arranged around walking paths, could
take days to explore. 

Getting ready for the Alaska Highway—bedding
We brought flannel sheets for the summer in Alaska. That choice worked well. We also brought along an electric blanket. Were we to go to Alaska again, we would do it again.

Things to bring to Alaska—first aid kit
After we stock the medicine chest as anyone would at home, we stop and consider what else we might need, what we are almost certain to need at some point and what it would be lovely to have if we managed to be on the road for, say, a year.

Accommodating for first aid situations is a priority. So much so, we keep two fully stocked first aid kits. One remains in the travel trailer in a cabinet near the most-used entrance door. The other we keep under a seat in the truck. Additionally, we keep a first aid kit for our dog. It has medications our pet has needed in the past, and other tools that could be useful in case of illness or injury. 

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