Before 1942 you could get to Alaska from the lower 48, but it wasn’t an easy drive. Things changed with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and it was deemed a military necessity to build a supply road through Canada to defend the West Coast in the event of an attack. Construction of the Alaska Highway began in March of 1942 and was completed in November of that same year thanks to the combined efforts of American soldiers and civilians from both the U.S. and Canada. Cutting in and around mountains and alongside lakes and rivers the highway is truly an engineering marvel. And I would probably not be sitting here in the Yukon Territory capital of Whitehorse writing this if it had not been built. Great scenery and much wildlife along the way. If you look closely at the Sign Post Forest (in Lake Watson), you’ll spot a Boston sign from Mass General. They took a more direct route than I did!
Beautiful! What happens if you run out of gas? Are there any people? Lol!
Annie: There are gas stations, although not many. I try to not let the gas gauge go under a half tank. The Yukon Territory is larger than California (186,000 sq. miles), with a total population of under 40,000. Most of that is in Whitehorse (29,000).
Like sister Ann’s sense of humor on snakes and gas!
And love the history lesson and pictures!!!
It’s great following you journey Jim. I love the graphic on the Continental Divide. I shared this with my daughter, as she learned about this in school over the past year. Summer solstice draws near. I hope you are enjoying the never ending daylight while you adventure.
Dan: Good to hear. Glad that I might be adding some educational value also along the way. Just arrived in Fairbanks and got my tent set up. I’ll take advantage of the weather when I can.
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Dan: Yes, funny, I hadn’t thought about the summer solstice. I think today the sun goes down around 11:40 pm and rises around 3. Pretty crazy.
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I bet it’s especially challenging. Whenever I’m in my tent, I wake with the sun. I’m sure I’d have some trouble with that. Ha.