The 98 Alcan "Virtual Route"
A day-by-day description of the 1998 Alcan
Participants will have already arrived from their home states or countries
and finished preparing their vehicle for the trip. The afternoon might
be filled with some last minute shopping in Seattle,
The Emerald City, a quick lunch nearby at Redhook
or Cafe Veloce, or a cruise
past Bill Gates House, Lake Washington's most popular construction
site. Teams will gather at 8pm at Bothell's Wyndham Garden Hotel for a
reception and final registration details.
From the Wundham Garden, the rally will start north on Interstate 405.
Soon leaving the Interstate behind, rallyists will wind their way through
the Cascade mountain foothills before crossing into British Columbia, Canada,
near Abbotsford. With a long drive ahead, we download the free Super,
Natural British Columbia Screen Saver and check out some of the scenery
Saturday August 29 (Day #1)
Joining Canadian Highway 1, the route winds north through the rugged
Frasier River Canyon. At Cache Creek the rally finally joins Highway 97
North and the rolling prairie of BC's Cariboo Country. One final TSD out
of Williams Lake, and as evening falls we enter Quesnel
. This first day has covered 540 miles in about 12 hours.
Departing Quesnel, we take an alternate route on the Old Prince George
Highway for another TSD section, then rejoin Highway 97 North. Time for
a quick burger and gas in Prince
George, then we push on quickly while checking the Central
Interior of British Columbia Weather Forecast. From Prince George
the route turns west on the Yellowhead Highway, turning off at Hazelton
for a late afternoon tour of 'Ksan
Historical Village. This area of BC is the "totem pole capital
of the world", and 'Ksan features a carving shed with native artisans at
Sunday August 30 (Day #2)
From here we start a long TSD on forest roads, then join Highway 37
north. At Medzian Junction we head west again to the twin costal
towns of Stewart, BC and Hyder, Alaska. Hyder has a population of
100, and the title of the "Friendliest Little Ghost Town in Alaska".
The dinner menu features halibut, the local drink is Alaskan Amber, and
all transaction are in Canadian currency since the only bank is in Stewart.
We depart Hyder via a TSD that ends with a great photo opportunity at Bear
Glacier. From there the route returns south and west to Prince
Rupert, BC. We'll arrive by early afternoon with plenty of
time for shopping and dinner before departing at 9pm on the Alaska
Marine Highway System ferry M/V Matanuska.
Monday August 31 (Day #3)
This day will be spent on the 408 foot M/V
Matanuska, with stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau,
Tuesday September 1 (Day #4)
We depart the ferry at 7am in Skawway, Alaska. The stores here cater
to the cruise ship and ferry schedules, so we'll have time for shopping
or breakfast before departing town with a TSD near the old Chilkoot Trail.
After this, a stop for lunch and some sightseeing (Yukon
Picture Library) or shopping (Yukon
Artist Jim Robb) in Whitehorse before a final TSD for the day
and another 300 miles north to Dawson City. After checking in at the Eldorado
Hotel, we spend the evening planning activities for the "off" day here
Wednesday September 2 (Day #5)
A day of optional activities in the northern Yukon! Some possibilities
Thursday September 3 (Day #6)
round trip via the Dempster Highway
Goldfield TSD & tour.
Other local attractions. Visit Midnight Dome, the sternwheeler
graveyard, the Gaslight follies, Diamond-Tooth Gertie's gambling hall,
An 11-hour round trip on the Yukon River to Eagle,
Alaska via a 45' jet boat. (One can also combine a 1-way
jet boat to Eagle with a 30 minute return by air charter..).
This will be the first of 2 fairly long days. Today we'll drive from Dawson
City to Watson Lake with a brief stop for lunch in Whitehorse.
Friday September 4 (Day #7)
A 600+ mile driving day from Watson Lake through the highest and most rugged
part of the Alaska Highway, past Summit Lake, Muncho Lake and the Liard
River. The day ends with a long after-dinner TSD out of Fort Saint
John through the Kansas-like rolling hills of the Peace
River Region. A photo stop in Dawson Creek at the Alaska Highway "Mile
0" marker, and we head for our hotel with some lasting impressions of this
northern farmland Scenes
from the Peace Region.
Saturday September 5 (Day #8)
start from Dawson Creek, heading south to Jasper. The highlight of
this trip is the new Bighorn Highway, a new paved route through some great
scenic, remote, and empty country (the 1987 Alcan made it's way northbound
here through 150 miles of mud and gravel).
Sunday September 6 (Day #9)
The event will finish at the beautiful Chateau
Jasper about 2pm local time, with an afternoon to catch some local
shopping and sights before the 8pm awards banquet.