We Made it to Alaska!

We left Haines Junction, YT on Friday morning  (6/30) and headed north on the Alaska Highway.  About an hour up the road, we stopped to admire the jade colored water of the massive Kluane Lake.  We planned to go on a nearby hike, but instead I had a mishap at the Slim River Visitor Center.  I wanted to get pictures, and I was looking at the scenery instead of where I was walking.  A pothole grabbed my left foot.  I tried to prevent falling, but that just made it worse.  Dust flew as I tumbled down onto the gravel parking lot.  I think I scared the folks nearby, as one of them ran over to help me.  Good thing I always travel with a nurse.  Laurie got out the emergency kit and patched me up, but I was in no longer in the mood for a hike.  Now I have a few scrapes and bruises to help remind me to be more careful. 

Kluane Lake is impressive, even when the weather is cloudy.
See that pothole straight ahead between the two buildings? Neither did I.

The rain started as we got back on the road, and didn’t stop for the rest of the day.  The stretch of the Alaska Highway from Destruction Bay, YT to Tok, AK is famous for difficult driving.  The thawing permafrost creates sudden dips and bumps in the road called “frost heaves”, which require constant repair during the summer months.  We kept our speed between 25-40 mph for the next 200 miles of driving.  There were long stretches of gravel and a few areas reduced to one lane.  We took our time, but still felt a lot of bumps. 

Low hanging clouds dominated the weather on Friday and Saturday.
The mountains faded away and we saw more and more lakes.

On Friday evening, we stopped at Discovery Yukon Lodgings, a private campground near Koidern, YT.  It seemed like a nice place, but with all the rain and my bumps and bruises, we didn’t explore much.  In fact, I didn’t even get any photos.  I know, it’s hard to believe. 

The landscape became tundra-like for mile after mile.
This photo doesn't really show what the road was like, but it is the best I have.

Canada Day is celebrated each year on the first day in July. This is a holiday for its citizens to recognize what it means to be Canadian.  We thoroughly enjoyed our 2+ weeks in Canada. The  people were friendly and the scenery was spectacular.  I was just getting used to kilometers and liters.  And, I really like the favorable exchange rate.  We awoke to more rain on Saturday morning (7/1), and since we aren’t Canadian, we didn’t do any celebrating.  Instead, we drove about an hour to get our selfie at the famous Alaska sign.  Ever since I was a child, I’ve  dreamed of going to Alaska.  I’ve been to every other state, so it was a big deal for me to reach the border. Now I can say I’ve visited every state.

We made it! Hooray!
Celebrating our arrival with a nice IPA at Fast Eddy's restaurant in Tok, AK

The road conditions improved and the rain let up as we drove from the border to Tok, AK.  We stopped for a bite to eat and then settled into a campsite at the Tok RV Village & Campground.  We hope to make it to the Fairbanks area tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “We Made it to Alaska!”

  1. What a fun journal of your adventure! Thanks for sharing! I went to Alaska last summer and it was such a beautiful place to get to and explore.

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