I quit counting the days. There’s such a gap between when wifi is available on this trip, that I just decided to contribute to the blog whenever I can. As I type this, we’re spending a couple of days in Fairbanks, AK. We’re a day ahead of schedule and tried to add another day in Denali, but reservations aren’t available for the extra day. Our reservations are for August 1 – 3.
If you’ve read anything about the AlCan highway you’ve undoubtedly read the part about the ‘rough road between Destruction Bay and the U.S. border in Beaver Creek.” Disregard whatever you imagined while reading it because IT’S WORSE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE! Actually, the road started to change as you cross the bridge at the Donjek River. While climbing uphill, the road worsens with the passing of each kilometer. There are deep holes in the road where your tires will sink clear to the rim. My problem is that my 6-Wide Sport is wider than my Ram 1500, so, as I looked for areas without potholes for my truck, my LG was tracking wider. Mike was behind me and said that it reminded him of a pinball machine as my LG hit the potholes and swayed back and forth. To make matters worse, it was raining heavily while we were climbing. The only saving grace was that I could see the potholes better because they were filled with water. I just didn’t know how deep they were. This went on for at least 20+ miles. I had to come to a complete stop several times just tp try and figure out how to circumnavigate the numerous potholes. I felt sorry for the motorcycles that were ahead of us. I’m thankful to say that all three of us made it through without a flat or broken axel. We probably averaged about 15 mph.
The rest of the road was a piece-of-cake. Granted, there were frost heaves that created bumps and rolling areas, but nothing like we just experienced. It was a good feeling to drive up to the U.S. border just past Beaver Creek. We stopped and took a few pictures before crossing. We were asked a few questions and welcomed back to the U.S. by the border officer. I changed my odometer from KMs to MPH and headed toward Tok; the first large (?) town in Alaska after crossing the border. In Tok, we found a campground after stopping at a restaurant recommended by other travelers that we spoke with; “Fast Eddy’s.” We sat down to a meal of halibut and a salad bar. John and I stopped by a grocery store in Tok to pick up a few items. As we were walking around the aisles I heard someone say out loud, “Is that Greg Seely?” I looked up and saw Stan Burt, a friend of mine from Boise, ID that I had worked with for 20+ years. We hadn’t seen one another in over 10 years. What are the chances of running into an old friend 3,000 miles from home? What are the chances of recognizing one another after so long?
The following day; that would be yesterday, we left Tok and headed to Fairbanks; where we are currently staying. So far on this trip we’ve seem 5 moose, several Stoner Sheep, 3 bears, an elk, and several herd of bison. I’m taking advantage of this 2 day layover with a hot shower and was able to do a load of laundry. It’s still hard to get used to daylight well into the night. We haven’t seen dark since we left home!
Have I mentioned that it’s rained every day since we started out on this trip? It’s only for a couple of hours each day, but it always seems to coincide with the time of day that we’re trying to set up camp. I’m not talking little showers. These storms come with a vengeance and loud bouts of thunder.