The Milepost – Don’t Leave For the Great White North Without It!

May 1 2009

The Alaska Highway, like many of the highways in the northwest, are marked every mile by mileposts, Mile 0 being the beginning of the highway. Billboards display where a business is by a number, and that number is the milepost marker, very simple and effective.

A couple of the guys I was travelling with in Alaska last summer had mentioned a travel book called The Milepost. Then a couple of days later in a restaurant, we met up with a crew riding KLR 650s that we had been playing leapfrog with on the first few days of the ride. They had a Milepost open on their table and I asked if I could have a look at it. I couldn’t believe the amount of detail the book offered.

Since 1949, The Milepost has been guiding travellers through all of the major highways in the northwest portion of the continent (Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska) with mile-by-mile descriptions and pinpoint detail.

That detail is updated every year by ‘field editors’ and includes fuel stops for man and machine, accommodation, camping, best spots to fish or see wildlife and much more.

It even goes into minute detail as to the type of terrain a particular campground has, if a location has emergency phone service available or if they have a fax machine, or if there is a towing service. It seems nothing is left out. One entry I noticed said there is motorcycle repair at ‘The Abbey’ – 3.5 miles past the junction with the Parks Highway on the Knik-Goosebay Road.

Some of the descriptions are broken down to such small sections of a third of a mile–why?–because there is something worth noting. It could be a traffic light or a crossroad. There are regular entries in red throughout the book of dangers like; road conditions, potholes, rough road, steep inclines and of course, common animal crossings and gathering locations. Even high mountain roads with unpredictable weather patterns are mentioned.

The Milepost offers travel advice for just about any type of vehicle including the motorcycle. But at approx. 8 ½ x 11 x 1 inch, 800 pages and about 3-pounds, The Milepost might be a little bulky for motorcycle travel, but it does offer a wealth of information to the traveller if you can fit it in. MMM

The Milepost,, ISBN 978-1892-15424-8, $29.95 Canadian.


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