Today we continue our drive on highway 97 till our destination for the night . The first halt of the day was at the sign post forest , located at Watson lake. The sign post forest was created in 1942 when USA soldier Carl K Lindley spent time in Watson recovering from a injury . His Commanding Officer asked him to repair a directional post , he repaired it and added a sign post to it indicating direction & mileage to his home town Danville , Illinois . Soon the trend caught on and now it almost has 77000 signs . It is located right next to the highway just opposite to Visitors center . You can get a sign made at the visitors center and place it in sign post forest .
We also visited the visitors center basically to take inputs of the highway and any other attractions which we can see en route .
The Visitors center
Some information cards
As we continued with our adventure suddenly we saw warning signs about buffalo's in the area and to drive cautiously ,we slowed down and we saw a huge herd of buffalo's with few of them very huge as big as our Suv . However they we grazing leisurely along the sides of the highway in fact walking just next to our car . The sight of grazing giants was beautiful after sometime we drove ahead .
This Giant must be over 400 kgs
After a small halt for lunch the next stop was at Liard Hot Springs . After parking our car we took a small walk to the hot spring area . The Liard River Hot Springs originally known as “Tropical Valley” – were used by Athapaskan and Kaska peoples as a traditional cleansing spot. The first written record of the hot springs was made by Robert Campbell in 1835, while exploring the area for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The Hot spring itself is very well maintained,in spite of so much rush but every thing was neat and clean .The hot spring is divided in three pools , hottest ,less hot and less hot ,there was no time restriction however we decide to leave the hot springs as we had to travel a long distance for our night halt .
Entrance to Hot springs
Sam Elliott look alike actually he is a gold miner returning from Alaska
Piece of gold from Alaska
Deepak and Malhar
Middle hot pool
Today our night halt was at Northern Rockies Lodge located at the banks of Muncho lake .We took the log cabins with lake view ,the cabin was really beautiful and perfect for a family like us . In spite of tiredness hats off to Netrali spirit, she took to cooking and got a nice meal ready for all of us , after dinner it was time to call it a day .
In the morning I woke up early as usual but today Shaunak and Malhar were with me we took a small walk along the lake side and to the water aerodrome . The muncho lake is almost 12 kms in length and about 1-6 kms in width. It almost runs along highway 97 at certain places . The jade green color of water of lake is due to presence of copper oxide leached from bedrock underneath . In local kaska language muncho means big water.
After a quick breakfast it was time again to move .We drove to a cell tower which was located in nearby Rockies , there we saw the berries which are very dear to bear. How can self and Deepak keep away ,we just plucked a few and tasted it was fantastic and off course we all tasted the berries,no wonder the big bear loves them.
Splendid surrounding view from cell tower
Shaunak ,Netrali,Deepak and Malhar
Lovely highway 97
Netrali and Malhar
Our next halt was at the the famous cinnamon roll at Tetsa . It a small family run petrol stop with a lovely bakery and actually the cinnamon rolls are lip smacking and they are huge . The staff is excellent in fact they brewed a tea for us -fantastic gesture.
Cinnamon Roll cafe entrance
Our next stop was the famous Dawson City from were the Alaska Highway originates ,its a beautiful town we went to the iconic start sign of Alaska highway and after a quick bite we were back on the road .
By the time we reached Prince George it was almost 9 pm and most of the shops were closing down After brain storming for few minutes it was decided to try the stone baked pizza . This is a small Italian family run restaurant and actually the pizzas are stone baked ,they were crispy and tasted great.
We reached our hotel and called it a day ,we also decided to leave the next day after having early lunch .
Next morning walk took me to some other parts of Prince George it is a nice city ,after breakfast it was time to pack up and move . In between we decided to have early lunch at Spice of life restaurant of Mr Sharma,we called him up and requested him for quick early lunch,he was very happy .
Mr Sharma is from Himachal now settled in Canada from past 15 years along with his family. Again his story is inspirational and struggle to success. Mr Sharma had done a catering course and was a chef in renowned Indian hotel Chain before moving to Canada . Initially after working for few years in Vancouver he decided to start his own . He raised money by selling his property back home and started a restaurant in downtown Vancouver , however competition soon caught up with him and business went into loss , he had to sale everything and start working again .
After working for some time he again started a restaurant with different menu and at a different area . Since Mr Sharma is himself a cook his restaurant become popular very soon ,however again this time due to increase in property rent rates and additional taxes by city it become difficult to survive.
Inside Spice of Life
He wound up everything in Vancouver and moved to Prince George ,here he brought a place which was three times bigger than his Vancouver place and his client base increased and today he has almost 25 employees, catering business as well as a small party hall . He has a huge loyal customer base ,the main USP is he grinds his own masala's , does not buy ready made one's and off course he & his son are very humble and down to earth people, if in Prince George please visit him if you want a specific thing to be made he will do it .
Small party hall
After sumptuous lunch it was time to drive ahead ,as adventure has not yet ended .
Ride Safe Firm Saddle