Day 30: The Road Home

UserJessica DohertyTime2013-03-17 23:02:19

Thursday, March 14th 2013 Muncho Lake, BC to Grande Prarie, AB ~ 500 miles

We woke up to COLD again. Maybe about -10F. As we went to let the dogs out, Tim came out of his box SICK. Shortly after letting him out he started projectile vomiting and diarrhea. It looked the same coming out of both ends. Man alive. He was bunked with Ada last night and Ada got blasted by him in the box. The box was in nasty condition. Oh man, I really hope we can try to keep the other dogs from getting whatever this is.

We fed everyone and Tim wanted no part of food or water. Everyone else ate and drank fine. Good thing Tim has good weight on him. Some of the others I'd be worried about if they catch this, as a couple are underweight as it is and can't afford to miss meals or become dehydrated.

We got on the road about 930am PT. At Toad River Lodge we got 2 BLTs to go (they have good food) and topped off the gas tank at $1.59 per litre (yes, that's right, about $6.40 per gallon). You need to ride the Alaska Hwy on the top half of your tank, can't mess around. Many places are closed in the winter and taking a chance on running out of gas is just not worth it. We still have not had ANY cell service since Tok, AK. Not even in Whitehorse.

About 1130am, we pulled off the road and spent 45 minutes getting new hay out of the roof cargo carrier and cleaning out each dog box and filling them with new hay. It's so cold we are keeping all the dogs box door louvers closed but the condensation from their breath inside is forming a lot of ice on the inside of the doors. This dog box stinks in the cold. It's been fine at home, but on this trip it is subpar. Other than the ice forming on the doors, the boxes are warm though, the dogs seem very comfortable.

The drive from Muncho Lake to Fort Nelson is pretty twisty and goes over the highest point on the Alaska Hwy around Summit Lake.

Fort Nelson looked way bigger this time through than when we came through a few weeks back. Still no cell service, phone says emergency calls only. I got this phone before we left ~ it's an AT&T GoPhone, prepaid. It's been pretty good, it roams in Canada but I think only picks up Rogers Network up here as other folks I know picked up service in Whitehorse, Watson Lake, Fort Nelson, etc...

The drive from Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek (~280 miles) was miserable. Gas is insanely expensive in Fort Nelson and it was snowing and cold. It's a 2-Lane Hwy with trucks outnumbering cars 10-1. Trucks blow the new snow swirling on every pass and make whiteout conditions basically everytime you are behind them or pass them head-on or overtake. Just dangerous and stressful driving in general. There are tons of hills and the trucks go up the hills at 20mph and you have to follow them in a mini whiteout. It's near impossible to pass them because you can't see the road or if anyone is coming.

I gave a call to my parents when I finally got cell service in Fort St. John, BC. All is OK at home other than Ivan has something going on. My mother thought he had some bites on his face. I thought that was odd. He's not out with any dogs that would scrap with him. I told her to use the Chlorihexidine to clean the wounds and if any of them swell to bring him to Dr King.

At Dawson Creek we stopped at Wendy's, it was getting dark now. We passed the Hnatuik's from Ontario in this area. We decided to push on and try to get to Grande Prairie, Alberta.

The ride from Dawson Creek to Grande Prairie was just as bad, but in the dark. I talked to Kelley McGrath, she was a in Valleyview, the same town we stayed in on the way out, about an hour east of Grande Prarie. We pulled into Grande Prairie 11pm MT. We lost an hour as we passed through the second time zone since we left AK. Grande Prairie is a busy place, lots of stuff going on there. There were tons of places to stay but many had full parking lots. Alberta has tons of oil workers and they stay at hotels/motels a lot of the time. We were really tired and ended up just pulling into Super 8. $133 + tax for a room was real pricy but it was a nice room with a jacuzzi tub. Not like we had the energy to even get in the tub. We fed the dogs and we let them out at 1am for the last time. Tim seemed a little more perky and even ate and drank a little tonight, good.

The snow seems to be all the way through Alberta through to Saskatoon, SK so we need to decide if we will take that route or head south to Calgary and into Montana instead. The weather shows 50F in Montana! Now that would be a treat...

Tomorrow we need to find a place the dogs can have a little fun without having any incidents like we had with Ada on the way.