Saturday, August 6, 2016

Moving to Alaska: Part Four

Location: Jasper National Park, AB to Dawson Creek, BC to Watson Lake, YT to Tok, AK to Anchorage, AK
Lodging: Comfort Inn, Ramada Inn, Young's Motel, Airbnb
Mileage:1,864 miles
Weather: 40-70°F, cloudy, rainy

The fourth and final installment of our road trip adventure involved driving through British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska. Cody and I drove this part of the trip two years ago, and it definitely felt like familiar territory.

After leaving Jasper National Park, we headed for Dawson Creek, BC. My goal for our time in Dawson Creek was to get a picture of the "Mile 0" sign that signifies the beginning of the famous Alaska highway. The last time we drove this route, I totally spaced out getting a picture and was disappointed.  Thankfully, this time I was successful (also thankful that Cody has a better memory than me)!

After Dawson Creek we hit up another tiny town with a fun tourist attraction. Watson Lake, YT is famous for their Sign Post Forest. The forest contains rows and rows and rows of signs from all over the world.  It was fun to walk about and pick out familiar locations.  We even found one from Petoskey, Michigan! They do allow you to hang your own sign, which we didn't get a chance to do. My goal for next time is to remember a sign or old license plate, so that we can leave our own mark on the forest.

From there, we meandered through the Yukon and eventually entered Alaska at the Tok, AK border point.  The roads on this section of the drive were atrocious.  Long stretches of the highway were unpaved, with huge chunks of gravel and mud. We actually ended up with a cracked windshield just outside of Tok, thanks to a semi flinging rocks up with his tires. The crack was little (thankfully) and we were able to seal it with a simple kit we found in Anchorage. Another thing to point out about this part of the trip was that it is extremely isolated. If you ever plan to make this drive carry extra gas and/or stop at every gas station on this stretch.  Better to be safe than sorry, especially since the cell service is non-existent for hours at a time.

Throughout our isolated drive we also had many close encounters with wildlife.  We continued to see bears, wolves, deer, and mountain goats.

Our most exciting in wildlife sighting (in my opinion) was our run-in with a huge herd of bison.  The herd had taken over the entire highway, which forced us to sit in the shoulder for many minutes. Bison are huge, so there was no way we were inserting ourselves into the middle of the herd. Thankfully, a semi came up on our side of the road and we were able to follow him through.

Finally, after fourteen days on the road, we reached Anchorage.  It was honestly a breath of fresh air to be back in civilization.  Anchorage is a large city with roughly 300,000 people living inside city limits.  We enjoyed many days of shopping, restaurants, unlimited wifi, and other normal amenities.

Now, it's on to our next leg of the move...Pilot Point, AK!

Your turn...Have you ever taken a big road trip? Where did you go?
Currently listening to...Blood Bank - Bon Iver 


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