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The "Alaska Highway" movie
 
Did you know that there is actually a movie about the construction of the Alaska Highway?

Because the Alcan was built during World War II, "Alaska Highway", a movie about the construction of the road, was produced in 1943 starring Richard Arlen, Ralph Sanford and Jean Parker.

You can watch it free at Anchorage Memories.com


 
Back in the Day
 
The constant sound of gravel hitting the under carriage of your vehicle would grate on your nerves and busted headlights, broken windshields and flat tires were a badge of honor.

The Alaska Highway, also known as the Alcan (Alaska/Canadian highway) was roughly 1,387 miles of a narrow, barely two lane dirt and gravel road that twisted and turned through wilderness, over creeks, rivers and up steep mountains.

It was not a road for Sunday drivers or the faint of heart.

 
Alcan Construction
 
As tough as it was to drive, it was incredibly difficult to build.

Construction began on March 8, 1942 and was pushed to an early completion on October 28, 1942 because of Japan's attacks on the Aleutian Islands.

 
Alaskan Nugget
 
While most travelers think the original Alcan had lots of twists and turns because of the terrain, it was really because of something else.

All those twists and turns were planned to help protect military convoys from air attacks during WWII.

 
Mile Zero Post (the Canadian side)

If you're headed to Alaska on a road trip, it all begins at the "Mile Zero" post.

The beginning of the Alcan Highway is in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

In the old days, this was where the pavement stopped and the narrow dirt road to Alaska began.

And, in those days, if you were driving away from Alaska, this is where you left the rough, gravel road and started driving on the quiet, smooth surface of a paved highway.

 
Sign Post Forest
 
At around mile 635 while driving through Canada's Yukon Territory at Watson Lake, you come across the now world famous attraction known as the "Sign Post Forest".

It all began when weary Alcan travelers started nailing license plates to make-shift posts for other travelers to see as they stopped for a bit of much needed rest. It was a sort of "calling card".

Today, you'll see license plates and signs on display there from all over the world.

 
The Last Section of the Old Gravel Road
 
While the picture above is not of the actual last section of the original Alaska Highway to be paved, the last section was paved in 1992.

Today, you may still come upon breaks in the pavement where you have to drive on gravel or through road construction.

When Mary and I last traveled the Alcan, we had to slow to a crawl because we were driving over large rocks through the middle of a major road construction project.

 
After Your Long Road Trip
 
When you were headed for Alaska, this sign looked mighty good.

Your long, hard adventure was finally nearing an end.

 
Alaska Nugget

Tok, Alaska, located 92 miles from the Alaska/Canadian boarder.

On our last drive to Alaska on the Alcan, we stopped in Tok at a car wash that offered a high-powered hose to wash away what seemed like a ton of thick road mud that was caked to our car.

 
Alcan Stories
 
You can read very interesting and fun stories about the Alcan Highway, written by our Anchorage Memories website visitors.

These stories were all written by folks who braved the road.

Check out "Alcan Highway Stories" right now.

And remember to take a look at the free full length movie
"Alaska Highway".



 
We Drove the Alcan
 
Hello, we're Mary & Mike (Mary is the pretty one on your left).

Yes, we braved the Alcan. Four times for Mary and 6 times for Mike. Spring, summer, fall and winter. Oh the memories. Oh the broken headlights, windshields and flat tires.

Do you have a comment, question, or just want to say "hey"?

You can easily contact us at Anchorage Memories.com

Now, until our next Magazine on the first Sunday in December, we hope you and yours have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Mike & Mary
Anchorage Memories.com

 
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Canyon Country, CA

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