This was a very eventful day. We left Charlie Lake Provincial Park Campground at 9 AM….a new record for leaving a campsite for us. We had a long drive to our next stop so we wanted to leave early. At around 11:45 AM we pulled into Buckinghorse River Wayside Provincial Park for lunch. We ate in the trailer overlooking the river. We pulled back onto the Alaska Highway after two motorcycle past and headed north. After about 30 minutes of driving we were on a long straight section of the highway, Felicia said, “there is something in the middle of the road”. As we approached, we saw that one of the motorcycles we saw earlier had crashed. The rider was lying on the shoulder of the roadway and the bike was a few hundred feet ahead in the middle of the highway. We were the first ones on the scene and we pulled off the shoulder and put the flashers on. We jumped out of the truck and approached the fallen rider. He was banged up but conscience and basically in great pain. His partner on the other motorcycle said he hit a pothole and crashed. We fortunately had some cellular service and Felicia was able to get through to emergency responders who said they would send an ambulance; however, we were in the middle on nowhere, between Fort St. John and Fort Nelson and it would take over an hour to reach our location. Another vehicle stopped behind us with a German couple. With his help, I was able to get the downed motorcycle out of the roadway while others were assessing the condition of the injured biker. The Germans had an impressive vehicle called a Unimog. They have been travelling throughout North and South America in this beast of a vehicle. Two vehicles headed southbound also stopped. One was a Canadian who works in the local energy industry and lives in Fort Nelson. The other was a 5th Wheel from California that miraculously was driven by a Paramedic (with his family)…..thank god! He assessed the condition of Don, the biker, while I put out traffic control warning signs and flares. Don was from El Segundo, a retired Aerospace Engineer. He likely had a few broken ribs, abrasions on his arms and legs and some head trauma. He was in pretty good shape considering the crash he just took at 60 mph plus. His helmet and leather saved him as they showed the signs of major road rash. The Unimog left and we along with the Canadian and Paramedic directed traffic and attended to the biker while his biking partner, Mike, made some phone calls. Even with our traffic control in place, several vehicles sped through the area. One RV towing a car hit the same potholes as they went by so hard that they pulled over up the road to see if the car that they were towing was still attached. Finally after an hour and fifteen minutes, the ambulance arrived and told everyone to leave the roadway. It was another unique experience along the Alaska Highway that we will not soon forget.
We got back underway and discuss how fortunate Don was to survive a bad crash like this in the middle of nowhere. We stopped for fuel in Fort Nelson and continued up the highway. We saw our first bear along side the highway! At about 5:30 PM, we pulled into Tetsa River Services and Campground for a cinnamon bun. Since they had laundry facilities and there were limited campgrounds to the north, we decided to stay for the night. We had a partial hookup of 15-amp power and water and we did a couple loads of laundry. We watch a couple of movies in the Airstream before we went to bed after our eventful day.