Posts Tagged ‘cafe’

Lake Bonneville

25th January 2011 by Helen
Tree of Peace aka Utah Tree

Tree of Peace aka Utah Tree

After our night at the rest area we headed on west towards Wendover.  Our first stop was to be the Tree of Peace, also known as the Utah Tree.  I was looking forward to seeing this modern work of art.  The picture in the tourist book made it look as though it was somewhere you could stop and contemplate.  But no.  The I80 at that point has signs saying ‘no stopping’, there was no car park and the tree itself was fenced off with no access to it.  Shame.

Paul overlooking the Bonneville Salt Lake

Paul overlooking the Bonneville Salt Lake

So we headed on to our next destination – Bonneville Salt Flats.  All I can say is the scenery was stunning.  This is the only known place where the land is flat enough for far enough to undertake land world speed records.  Ten miles of flat ground, where from the start you cannot see the end because of the curvature of the earth.

Helen & Landy - where the road ends at the Bonneville Salt Lake

Helen & Landy - where the road ends at the Bonneville Salt Lake

We headed down the road towards the flats but were disappointed to find where the road came to an end the land was covered in water.  Of course, we should have realised that in winter the land floods, but dries out to recreate the flat salt bed in the summer.  We’ll have to come back another year to test Landy’s world speed record!!

Back on the I80 we stopped at the Salt Flats Café – a genuine Mexican American café.  Our friend Carl in Seattle told us to look out for Mexican café’s where there are Mexican customers because that’s where the best Mexican food it.  He’s right. We had a fantastic meal and very good value.

And so it was we continued on to Wendover where we stayed overnight in the lorry park between Burger King and McDonalds.  A rose between two thorns.

Distance travelled – 74 miles

Animals on the Alaskan Highway

11th November 2010 by Helen
reindeer on the Alaskan Highway

reindeer on the Alaskan Highway

reindeer on the road on the Alaskan Highway

reindeer on the road on the Alaskan Highway

After wistfully reviewing our lack of having seen any real wild animals yesterday, everything changed today.  First we saw a fox, briefly, but still we were delighted to see even a fox.  Later we came across a small herd of reindeer standing in the road.  Then a large fox was sat in the road in front of us.  Then we passed several Wood Bison munching the grass along the roadside, mostly in pairs but some in larger groups.  We later learn that Wood Bison are considered an endangered species in Canada and 20 a year are killed on the Alaska Highway in car collisions.  Then we see more reindeer, more Wood Bison, and even we think, some moose.

Alaska Highway

Alaska Highway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska Highway - Wood Bison

Alaska Highway

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scenery is still very white although the road itself is largely clear of snow.  The wind blows the snow from the verges back and forth across the road that makes it look like smoke swirling across the road.

entrance to Sign Post Forest, Watson Lake, Alaskan Highway

entrance to Sign Post Forest, Watson Lake, Alaskan Highway

Sign to London in the Sign Post Forest at Watson Lake on the Alaskan Highway

Sign to London in the Sign Post Forest at Watson Lake on the Alaskan Highway

At Watson Lake we learned a little about the history of Sign Post Forest – a homesick serviceman working on building the Alaska Highway put up a sign to his home town.  Others followed suite and the forest grew from there.

 

Sign Post Forest on the Alaska Highway Watson Lake

Sign Post Forest on the Alaska Highway Watson Lake

We have learned the truth of the rumour that Canada is expensive.  Accommodation is twice the price here than it was even in Alaska (a shower for a non-staying guest is typically $10 in Canada).  Food in cafés and supermarkets is also more expensive than Alaska.  We’re looking forward even more to getting down to the ‘Lower 48’ on the basis that even Alaska was supposed to be expensive.

the approaching sunset

the approaching sunset

All along the Alaskan Highway, the few cafés and garages that are open sell reminders that driving the Alaskan Highway is considered a ‘journey’ in itself.  It’s largely a truckers’ haul route, and not so many car drivers want to do the drive.  It’s long, winding and hilly.  In the winter it’s snowy and icy.  In summer it’s renowned for its mosquitoes, although allegedly there is also not a single mosquito along the Alaskan Highway – because they are all married and raising large families. Through Alaska and Yukon in Canada the driver is passably well catered for with lots of roadside rest areas, each with basic toilets and bear proof rubbish bins (you have to press a lever inside the handle before it will open), as well as several marked parking laybys.  But once you get into British Columbia these pretty much all disappear.  There are still the bear proof rubbish bins but no marked parking bays and no ‘rest areas’.  All the more reason to learn the origins of the phrase ‘looks like pee holes in the snow’.

Route – Teslin / Swift River / Rancheria / Nugget City / Watson Lake / Liard River / Coal River / Muncho Lake / Toad River / camping just before Summit Lake

A day in town

27th August 2010 by Helen

Thursday 26th August

After an easy morning pottering around our overnight campsite we set off into town to tackle the slow internet connection.  It’s unbelievably frustrating after being used to hi-speed connections in the UK.  Did a bit of shopping and had a meal in the same café as yesterday (no knives at all as we both had meat that was already cut into what is presumably considered to be bite sized portions).

Getting out of town created its usual problems, this time all the more so as darkness was falling.   The larger the town the more tracks there are leading out, and there’s no telling from the town itself which tracks will converge and in which direction they will ultimately go.  After finding our first choice of track converged with some others going the wrong way, getting back into town, finding another track that led to a tarmac road that ended abruptly at the airport, and an episode of the driver shouting at the navigator, we finally found ourselves travelling in the right direction.

Campsite – just outside Daladzadgud

Distance travelled – 36 km