A true adventure by John M and Kay A Coffman
On leaving Rugby, ND we headed north on Route 3/281 which turns into Rt. 10 at the border with Canada and the location of the International Peace Garden. We could have taken a more direct route to Alaska but we wanted to see as much of the Canadian provinces as we could. We would be entering Canada in the province of Manitoba, going north to Riding Mountain National Park, where I had planned on doing some collecting of butterflies and beetles for my insect collection.
We camped at a campsite in Riding Mountain Nat. Park, our first night in Canada. On leaving there, the next morning we drove north to Dauphin, Manitoba and took Rt. 5 west to the border with Saskatchewan (which became Rt. 10). Traveling to Yorkton and then to Saskatoon we were on Rt.16 which runs across Canada, called the Yellowhead Route. We visited several of the museums on the way displaying huge farming machinery. At one museum we saw a bottom plow with 20 bottom plow shovels. It takes big machinery to farm those wide open prairies. We really enjoyed the museums. I loved the old tools and machinery.
We were amazed at how colorful the fields were. Bright yellow with the canola in bloom and bright blue with the flax fields in bloom.
The next night was spent at North Battleford. Somewhere between N. Battleford and Lloydminster we were cruising down the road and all of a sudden a deer jumped out in front of us and I hit her at 65 mph broadside. I didn’t have time to take my foot off the gas pedal. I thought our trip had ended right there. It must have been one of those huge Saskatchewan deer I been reading about in Outdoor Life. It was a big one as I recall.
We limped into the next little town and wouldn’t you know it, we found a body and fender shop. I parked in front and went in and told the man my story. He went to the shop door and called everybody to come. Must have been seven to eight people working there. They all came out with hammers, pry bars and whatever else they had and within a hour the hood latched again, the fenders let the tires revolve better…We were back on the road. Cost? $0.00. I gave him a donation. I still didn’t have an air conditioner though.
At Lloydminster we reached the province of Alberta. We got on Rt. 43 after going through Edmonton continuing to Whitecourt and Grande Prairie. We soon reached the province of British Columbia. At Dawson Creek we got on the Alaska Highway staying the next night a Fort St. John. The Alaska Highway is 2451 km long. It took us 11 days to get to Alaska from home. Anyone traveling to Alaska would do well to purchase the book “Milepost,” A guide to essentially every mile of the Alaska Highway. Don’t go without it.
To be continued. Check with us next month for a continuation of this adventure…John & Kay