Day 124 of the Journey

The Alaska Highway may have been improved in recent yearst, but driving it still takes a toll. Tha’s why we were sure to stop at Liard River Hot Springs in Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park for a reviving soak.

The Liard River Hot Springs are a necessary stop on the Alaska Highway.

The natural springs are in a lush area of British Columbia, which is home to 250 species of plants including orchids, and the soaking areas themselves have not been so “civilized” that they’ve lost their natural feeling.

The Liard River Hot Springs.

Yes, some steps and railings and boardwalks have been added to make it easier to get in and out of the hotter Alpha pool and deeper (and, therefore, cooler) Beta pool (which was closed when we were there due to bear activity), but the rest of this area has been left as mother nature made it.

The Liard River Hot Springs.

At the Alpha pool, water flowed in from the spring itself, then collected and deepened (to about rib cage level) through a long curved pool that still had small pebbles covering the bottom. Then the water flowed slowly out over a small waterfall that you can sit under if you like. Three underwater benches let you comfortably immerse yourself to about chin level and the water was truly hot.

After a tragic bear attack at the hot springs several years these absurd warning signs were put up.

Back on the road, we saw more caribou and buffalo on our way to Watson Lake, home of the famous Sign Post Forest.

Animals are plentiful along the Alaska Highway and so are signs warning you of the danger.

Wacky Sign Post Forest

Started in 1942 by a homesick army engineer who was in Watson Lake working on the Alaska Highway, the original collection of a few road signs on display on the outskirts of town has exploded into a bewildering maze-like forest of more than 54,000 signs (many of them obviously stolen) from around the world. Sign Post Forest is impressive and pointless at the same time. Regretfully we didn’t have a Trans-Americas Journey sign to leave behind.

Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake.

Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake.

Karen at Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake.

With skies darkening ominously, we opted out of camping and chose to stay at the intriguingly named Air Force Lodge instead with our host Michael, an effusive German who owns the place.

Here’s more about travel in Canada