Monday, June 12, 2017

Dawson Creek: "Mile 0 City"

As usual,  we were up early, Shadow and I at 5:30 to walk outside the campground. We waited until after 9:00 to leave the campground and drive to downtown Dawson Creek, a small city of 12,000 at Mile O of the Alaska Highway. We spent the morning taking in some of the  sights and attractions. It was a warm and sunny 18º.
Dawson  Creek's most famous landmark  is the Mile "0" Post marking the beginning of the Alaska Highway. It started as a  four-foot piece of wood. When the post was hit by a drunk driver and demolished in 1946, it was replaced by a more elaborate marker, a 10 foot high post. It was  replaced in the 1960s with a metal post. It doesn't mark the geographic beginning of the highway but rather the centre of the "Mile 0 City."
A stone cairn designates the actual beginning  of the highway. It was located in a traffic circle but moved across the street to the corner of a park over concerns for tourists' safety as everyone wanted to pose for pictures beside the cairn.
We saw several murals depicting the history of the city painted on the exterior of buildings.

We saw the Iron Surveyor Statue, a tribute to the men who built the highway. It stands above the traffic circle that leads to the highway. The statue is welded from scrap metal  from local farms and points northwest.

We visited the Alaska Highway House, a small museum where numerous exhibits and historical photographs depict the construction of the highway and  the life of the soldiers and civilians who built the highway in 9 months. We watched a very interesting one hour film which included soldiers' personal accounts.
We also visited a very unique building, the Grain Elevator Art  Gallery. Dawson Creek did have 11 elevators dating back to the 1920s. By 1984 only one remained. The 750,000 pound elevator was moved to its present location and converted  to an art gallery with a three storey ramp  to displayed art work. It was declared a National Heritage Site in 1984. The art work was very good.

We ate lunch, bought  gas @ $1.05.9 and took hwy 2 south into Alberta. We passed through a few small communities before arriving in Grande Prairie at Camp Tamarack RV Park at 4:45 Mountain Time.

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