We got showers and laundry done at the campground, a pretty good deal for our$13.00 overnight fee. We went downtown and saw the official start of theAlaskan Highway, Mile "0". Oddly, it looked like much ofdowntown was closed.
We went into the Dawson Creek Visitor’s Center and couldn’t help but overhearsome loud, rude Americans at the counter. We looked at the guest book, Ithink they were the ones from Palm Beach, FL. They sounded like NewYorkers (much of New York retires to Florida, you know). We talked to the girl atthe Visitor’s Center about a restaurant for lunch. She mentioned that manystores were closed on Sunday and suggested Tim Horton’s. It’s a chainbased in Canada and we’ve seen it before. She said it was a real Canadianexperience.
So we went to Tim Horton’s. It was a soup and sandwich kind ofplace. Most of the staff seemed to be in a coma, especially the sandwichmaker. Another customer asked if anyone was making sandwiches when she sawhim slowly cleaning off the mayonnaise container while four people we waitingfor their meals. Not exactly "Fast" food. We finally forour food, but we had to fashion our own iced tea. The tea they had wasbottled and sweetened. We got a hot tea, they referred to it as"steeped tea" and a cup of ice. They had to go to the back forice.
We drove quite a bit today from Dawson Creek to Jasper National Park. Driving along the Alaskan Highway we saw more farms and privately owned landsrather than the hundreds of miles of undeveloped lands we saw north ofhere. This area of Alberta is more developed than Yukon Territory orBritish Columbia. We started looking for a campsite when we got near Jasper. We checked out one provincial campground and found it was $20.00 per night andhad several guys being loud and drinking. We’ll just look for a spot toboondock.
We found a gravel road outside Hinton and little further and went upit. As we rounded a corner we saw several men in reflective safety vestscombing the woods. The guy obviously in charge came up the thetruck. Andrew said, "I’m sorry, we were just looking for acampsite. We’ll turn around." The guy in charge sternly says,"Can I have your names. Write them on a piece of paper,please." Andrew says, "Uh, yes sir. What’s this allabout?" He says, "This is in case the police want to talk toyou." (gulp!) Andrew asked, "Did we do somethingwrong? Are you looking for someone?" Of course, Andrew and Iimagined escaped murderers lurking in the woods we’re about to camp in. He says, "I’m not at liberty to say." (GULP!!) I asked, choosing my words very carefully, "Is this something we need to be careful of while camping in this area? We can drive a little further down the road." The stern guy gave me kind of a grin, nod and wink as if to say that would probably be a good idea. He got our names and cell phone number, but I told him that the cell phone doesn’t seem to work in Canada. He kind of chuckled at that. He finally revealedthat they had a ranger that had "gone missing" and that’s what thesearch was about. We wish them luck in finding their missing ranger ingood health!
We drove further down the road toward Jasper and found another provincialcampground that just had a couple of others there and we camped there for thenight.