For the past week I have been engrossed in the must have Alaska Travel Planner “The Milepost”; and although I bought this book almost a year ago, and have read bits and pieces since then, I have now started to seriously read it. Anything you ever needed to know about travelling to, from and in Alaska can be found in this incredible book. The Milepost provides a mile-by-mile description of all major highways and roads, with detailed information on every single city, town, community, national park, campground – you get the picture.
So today I thought I’d share with you some of the bits and pieces of info I have found interesting.
Firstly, the Highways – awesome names unlike what I am used to from Europe, where your average motorway is called the M3 (UK), A2 (Germany) or the Autostrada (Italy). In Alaska I will be travelling on the following Highways: the Alaskan Highway, the Haines Highway, the Glenn Highway, the Tok Cutoff, the Taylor Highway, the Klondike Highway, the Campbell Highway and my most favourite of all the Top of the World Highway. How can you not want to drive on any of these?
Some of the crazy things that I have so far found along my route (and I have only read as far as my day 5 out of 26 days) are the World’s biggest Golf Ball in Taylor, British Columbia; a Giant Beaver in the aptly named town of Beaverlodge, Alberta; a giant Lumberjack statue north of Taylor, British Columbia (apparently he wears a Santa suit at Christmas); and the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake. I am sure there are many others which I haven’t gotten to yet, but it gives you a flavour of what’s out there.
Another thing I have noted and highlighted for myself are the various different warnings that are given in red font in the Milepost:
“CAUTION: Watch for moose northbound next 25 km.”
“CAUTION: Caribou next 25 km.”
“CAUTION: Watch for bison on road.”
“CAUTION: Watch for Stone Sheep on highway next 16 km.”
“CAUTION: Highway descends 9% grade next 3.5 km.”
and most importantly: “CAUTION: Watch for bears! Do not feed bears! A fed bear is a dead bear!”
I think it’s fair to say I will see some wildlife given these warnings, but please someone explain to me who would ever think that feeding a bear is a good idea in the wild that makes this warning even necessary. I am sure Pete (one of my blog followers, who lives in Alaska) has many stories of some lunatic tourist trying just that.
Anyways, lots more reading to do as I want to make sure I don’t miss anything exciting, wacky and out of the ordinary on my adventure.
As my friend Clare recently commented on a previous post, I might be travelling alone, but I hope to take you all with me via this blog.