Originally Posted by Ed Brodt
Jack in Alaska. That is amazing. I bet you have witnessed the gradual closing of all those Inns, resorts, Cafes, bars along the Alaska Highway. Some appear to be falling apart and others look like the owners walked away yesterday. My wife and I were speculating that the paving of the highway has contributed to that, since people can travel further in a day now than they could in the past. Therefor people are driving past places where they might have had to stop before. What are your thoughts.
We have lived in the Yukon for 30 years and I also grew up here. The first time I drove up the highway, it was 1968. I was only 6, but i vividly remember how bad that road was. Narrow, not paved for the most part and the dust was unreal. We only travelled short stints each day and there were a ton of small little lodges and gas stations.
Now the Alaska Hwy is all paved, except for those areas where it's under construction and being widened out, and it is a much faster drive. And for exactly this reason, the highway lodges have slowly closed up over the years and travellers hit the main towns along the way for gas and lodging -- whether an RV park or a motel.
Many sections of the highway were diverted to straighten it out (less twisty) and widen the road. But there are still some stretches where there "Old Alaska Highway" wasn't destroyed and you can turn off and drive it for a short stint. It is sort of paved (LOL) and it is so narrow, you will feel you are in a back alley. Back in the day, it was quite an adventure when you had to pass a semi-truck on those narrow roads!
In any event, it's a beautiful drive and I highly recommend it. Great country and very friendly people (even if I do say so myself!)