My third night I camped in the Mile Zero Campsite in Dawson Creek, B.C. where I had camped with my family 33 years previously when we were moving to Whitehorse. I arrived at twilight and felt a charge of relief, at the end of a long day of driving, to find exactly the rest stop I was looking for at the starting point of the Alaska Highway.
Day four was my fortieth birthday. I wandered back into Dawson Creek to try and find the restaurant where I remember having been challenged by the largest pancakes in my seven year old world of thirty-three years earlier. The only place that looked as if it could have been the right place was closed, so I settled for coffee and a bran muffin at a motel on the way back to the campground. Between pavement and road realignments the Alaska Highway is infinitely improved but still a spectacular drive. It still has its nerve-wracking moments like being blinded by the dust from transports while driving through the construction zone on Steamboat Mountain where, despite improvements in the road, the bottom of the valleys still seem an awfully, awfully long way below the road. I saw three caribou and so many mountain goats that I gave up on counting them before the end of the day. It was a long day of driving but I crawled into Watson Lake around 11 p.m. having stopped to pump up my tire every fifty kilometres of the last 200 rather than emptying my trunk and struggling with the spare tire.