Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 6, 1972 · Page 84
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August 6, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 84

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, August 6, 1972
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Page 84
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I «t»IM Hiu-ltn* Krirli. V«. tithing .Swimming Dancing SANS SOUCI MOTEL :l2K»irt Hlvd. Hurknir Knirh. Va. lEl'tlU Kir ftf serrations Wrilpnr ····················I roil \ms.wiiu ANN. Canilina Bwli. ! N . C . 2 S I 2 S · l'(iiii|iliiiirniiry I'lMiliiii'inal Brrjkfasl · (aliir IV ll|iliiinal · Air I mid. · Orawir I Mr Balli.s · Nwiiiiiiiinj hull · linlf I'riv. · (Miiiijj Near · Aims [rum Ail' PHI \HnillM I. Moil ISIS PHOM 1 1 9/4 58-528 1 3022 E. Ocean View Av«. Right on Rt 60 NORFOLK, VA. 23518 Efficienciej--Color TV Air Conditioned--Healed Pool Strotten A Short Poiner Manageri PHONI 703/3«3-S»4i (ONTHEOCEAf! Motot Horn -- to»tt Low FaH Rates Begin Labor Day Here's luxury at modest rates. Spacious rooms, air conditioned ... heart OOO of town... free parking O up ., .TV in every room. v f , p,, lon Phone (703) 428-4921 .f/J 1 ^ VIRGINIA BEACH Oceanfront at 21 si. Doot. N On this spot, Ity tin- shore of K I mine Lake, rilihon- c u l l i n g rcrcinonici o f f i c i a l l y opened the Ala-ska Highway. The Road Runs North By Ruth McLin The Alaska Highway After 30 Years Still a Challenge fViVm/./ii/* inn MOTEL AND APTS. OCEAN VIEW IEACH , M i 1 I.uxurliuia ROM HIM «rul Fur- '.**.» * 1 ApiU. Fatnily -Ml, Kll. -l I'liunra. Air l*n»l Hrarlin »*lr Brarli. . C,,r.. lli.,1 l.. 'nlnrTV. 209tE. OCEAN VIEW «VE. IKWFOU.V*. 23503 W.»n. 703/513-3605 f ........ ............. O/i ln«» Ocran Front AMBASSADOR EAST MOTEL Th« Finest in Resort Accommodations. New Addition. Ulta Modern. Pool. Color TV. Excellent Loco- tion. Rooms and Family Apts. TeU83/249-2141or24§/H7S Ocean Drivo Section NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. 29582 fvfitlnrmui f fmmiHn R.V.CAHOON.INC. Super Market 4 COTTAGES FULLY FURNISHED OCEAN FIONT, 2-3.4 BEDROOMS For Complete Housekeeping Off Sceiin Inlet-- l hone919-441-S35* NAGSHEAD, N. C. 27959 "If there were any other way I could get this rig back to the states," the man pulling his 25-foot, mud- spattered trailer with a Lincoln Continental spat out the words, "I'd never touch a n o t h e r f o o t o f t h i s highway." "Is it really thai bad?" q u e s t i o n e d " a n " e l d e r l y woman stepping from the cab of a truck which carried a medium-sized camper. "Why, I was just saying .to my husband that I hope they never pave this road! There ought to be some places left which are an adventure to travel." Thirty years after the birth of the Alaska Highway, opinions about it still range f r o m o p t i m i s t i c e n - dorsement to downright hatred. The famous road is s t i l l g u a r a n t e e d t o please, anger, fascinate, alarm, or thoroughly captivate the many touris'ts who will head north from Dawson Creek this summer to dare a 1,523-mile journey into the North. As any North American map will show, it's a long way to get to the starting place of the road, no matter what part of the states you come from. But to most people, everything up to Dawson Creek. British Columbia, 700 miles north of the U.S.- Canadian border, is mere preparation for action. At first you are disappointed. You leave Mile 0 at Dawson Creek with four new tires and two spares in the trunk. A gravel guard covers the radiator grill and plastic protectors shield y o u r h e a d l i g h t s . You've laid in sleeping bags and survival kits and here you are, purring along an e x c e l l e n t paved r o a d , passing Peace River area ranches and even slowing CHARLESTON, W.VA. · down for the sizable town of Fort St. John. Then you hit it. With a crash you descend into a chuckhole large enough to lose a tire. And you slow down. You are now on the Alaska Highway. Even with some chuckholes, and few are that large, the road is a lot different from what the 341st engineering regiment found when they left the train at Dawson Creek on an early morning in March, 1942. They faced the assignment of building a military highway through unbroken wilderness, an artery to link the railhead at Dawson Creek with the existing Richardson Highway in Alaska. The army corps of engineers was given less than a year in which to build it. The Alaska Highway has been called a triumph of "guts a n d t r a c t o r s . " Without guns and the usual battle front dangers, it was, nonetheless, a real battle of World War II. The north country fought back with every weapon it possessed against this invasion of its historic privacy. It mired the tractors and carryalls in deep bogs of mud and muskeg, choked the intruders with mountains of billowing dust or froze them with 40 decrees below zero temperatures. And always in summer there was the most irritating enemy of all--mosquitoes. Griping about the food, the mosquitoes and the heat or cold, the men fought it through and won. On October 25,1942, the road, such as it was, lay connected in one long, unbroken triumph of 1,523 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to' Fairbanks, Alaska. For 1,221 miles the Alaska Highway winds northward through British Columbia and Yukon Territory. From the Alaska border onward the road is paved. Contrary to its war-time reputation, at no place is the road hazardous. It is known, in fact, as one of the best all- weather graveled highways in the world. Road alignment, grades, bridges and visibility are good. You could average the distance o f a n o r d i n a r y d a y ' s stateside driving, since you have over 20 h o u r s ' o f daylight during the summer. Three hundred miles a day, however, is considered a good limit, and you might enjoy the sights more if you drive 200 to 250 miles. Since a non-paved road r e q u i r e s c o n s t a n t maintenance, road graders in operation soon become a familiar sight. A recently smoothed and watered section easily allows speeds up to the 50-miles-per-hour limit, and you will look forward to these stretches of dust-free road. If you plan to be one of the many visitors this summer to pose in front of milepost 0 at Dawson Creek before driving the Alaska Highway for yourself, you'll find it a trip you'll never forget. You will enjoy your trek even more if you keep a few things in mind. When you reach the Canadian border, you will need no passport if you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. It will be well to carry with you a valid driver's license, a document establishing your citizenship, car registration card, and proof of financial responsibility. The best time for you will vary with the purpose of your trip. Generally, the most satisfactory months for summer travel are June, July and August. The worst months would be latt April and early May, due to the ice breakup and resulting mud- d y c o n d i t i o n s . W i n t e r offers a smooth, snow- packed road, less traffic, no dust or mosquitoes and terrific views of mountains and snow-covered landscapes. It can also bring temperatures near or below- zero, and must be planned for accordingly. Lodging facilities and service stations are spaced 50 miles or so apart-along the entire route. Overnight rates range between $10 and $20. Gas is expensive, generally about 75 cents per gallon in the Yukon, but this is an imperial gallon, about a fifth more than a U.S. gallon. Don't depend on a certain station being open, since it might have shut down for some reason. Adequate campgrounds spot the highway. Most offer a central camp kitchen, water and some pre-cut firewood. Travelers with self-contained campers or trailers will find roadside space to pull out onto frequently, but should take care never to leave the road onto a n y t h i n g but a s o u n d , graveled area. During summer, wear light, long-sleeved clothing, with a jacket for cool nights. Although much is written and said about mosquitoes, a good repellent keeps them at a distance, and if you are camping, an insect-proof tent allows you a good night's sleep. ty finding a tire the right size when you need it. Make sure your car or truck has heavy-duty springs if you are pulling a large trailer. You may wish to install gravel guards over the "radiator grill and put on headlight protectors for flying graveh For your car or truck several things are a must. You should have new tires, with one or two spares. You may not need the spares since many people travel the whole way without a flat. But, if you do have tire trouble, you might have difficul- Two adults making a one- way trip from the U.S. border to Fairbanks or Anchorage will probably spend around $300. This allows $110 for lodging, $97 for meals and $93 for gas and oil. Your reaction to the Alaska Highway will depend on your sense of adventure and your reaction to beauty. You need time to appreciate the limitless space about you, the soaring snowcapped peaks of the Rockies and the St. Elias Mountains, t h e land jeweled w i t h thousands of lakes and rivers that twist, wide and deep, through spruce and birch forests. You will have extra hours of daylight to watch for fox, brown bear, moose and rabbits surveying you from the side of the road. You will be thankful you stocked up on film before you left the states. If you have to make the trip in two weeks, forget it. Since the highway itself requires about five days in travel time each way, you will return frustrated and angry if you push yourself. If you have a month or more, fine. That will allow time enough to enjoy the country on the way as well as at least two weeks in Alaska itself. During this 30th birthday year, the Alaska Highway still offers a combination of excitement, beauty and just enough of the element of s u r p r i s e t o m a k e i t interesting. Sunday Gazette-Mail

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