Day 43, Thursday, 5/31/18
Fort Nelson, BC

It was cold when we woke up, so we decided to warm up in the springs. There were only a few  people about this early giving us the run of the pool. This was a great way to start the day! After breakfast, we started making our way to Fort Nelson, about 300 miles away, leaving the low hills and broad plains of the Liard Basin ecoregion to begin our crossing of the Canadian Rockies. Spectacular mountain views and less snow than a month ago. Still so beautiful!

Early Morning at the Spring
Starting the Climb 
Rockies in the Distance
We passed a number of hiking spots into small canyons. Each trail starts at an alluvial fan immediately off the ALCAN. While it looked dry, a sign at one of the hiking spots said the hike was best done in the fall when water levels are low. The trails lead over berms created to keep water coming out of the mountains from flooding the road.

Alluvial Fan
One More
As we neared Muncho Lake, we spotted a few Stone sheep. The males (rams) have large, strongly curved horns while the females (ewes) have smaller, straighter horns. Stone sheep range further north than their Bighorn cousins.

Stone Sheep
Stone Sheep Ewes
Stone Sheep Ram
Continuing south, we arrived at Muncho Lake. This is where a truck carrying plywood rolled over into the lake. Twenty nine days later, there was no sign of the accident (and no plywood to salvage!)

Muncho Lake
ALCAN Along Muncho
We picked up Toad River just before leaving Muncho lake Provincial Park. There are hot springs on the river but access is limited to hiking, by air or water and bathing is not recommended. The springs are part of a provincial park. Needless to say, we didn't check it out. We saw a few more sheep and Chris spotted a moose in the brush off the road.

Moose Checking Us Out
Toad River
Toad Rivert

The ALCAN has a deservedly notorious reputation. We found the road to be in good shape but there are sections where it's a bit hairy.

We spotted a couple of black bears on the side of the road.

Black Bear
All along the way, there were RV's and campers heading north, probably one every 5 - 10 minutes. On a section of road that was being worked on, a truck heading north threw up a small rock that dinged the windshield. This was the one and only issue we had on the entire trip. Pulling into Fort Nelson, we found a shop that did a quick repair to the 'rock chip'. These are pretty common. (We saw quite a few vehicles with full width cracked windshields in Alaska, the Yukon and BC.) Glad we fixed ours before it spread!!

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