When we decided to join Leonard’s two cousins on this trip, we weren’t sure how far we were going to go. We knew we wanted to go up to Ft St John but after that we were just playing it by ear. We had been to Alaska twice before on fabulous trips and felt that we really didn’t need to repeat that. The driving became pretty effortless and the miles slipped away and so we made the decision that we would go as far as Watson Lake just over the Yukon border so that we could say that we had been to the Yukon. Well, when Leonard was getting a haircut in Dawson Creek, he told his barber that and she said “Why are you going to Watson Lake, there’s nothing there. You might as well go on to Whitehorse, it’s just a little further and a much more interesting town.” So that became our plan.
The tradition began during the Alaska Highway Project in 1942, when a U.S. soldier spent time in Watson Lake recovering from an injury. A commanding officer asked him to repair and erect the directional signposts, and while completing the job, he added a sign that indicated the direction and mileage to his hometown of Danville, Illinois. Others followed suit, and the trend caught on. In 1990, a couple from Ohio added the 10,000th sign and today there are over 77,000 signs in the Sign Post Forest. The number continues to grow.