Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Big AK

As of July 27th, we made it to my parents house in North Pole. We stopped just outside Tok, AK the night before, after an 8 hr drive. Tok is about 4 1/2-5hrs to our destination(from Moon Lake we made it in 2hrs!). At first we were talking about just making the drive to finish, but as soon as Dad told us to stop for the night we couldn't resist. We stayed at Moon Lake SP for our first night in Alaska. Trevor mentioned how we started our camping-cross-country tour with rain and ended it in rain also. How fitting. We know now rain's not going to stop us from having a fire!

I won't be posting any pictures here, but will post some links of the places we camped/rv'd(whatever). There's just too many pictures right now, and looking through them makes me dizzy having to go back and forth to the calendar and remember what was know, I'm just lazy and want to type for now :P. I'm thinking Power point would be a good program to use for a slide show. On to that later. For now, put your Imagination Caps back on as I brief you(well, this is going to be a long post, so spare about 10 minutes) on our tour through Canada and add a couple of others things I had forgotten:

July 23, 2011

In the last post I failed to talk about our ride up I-5N. Because it felt like a long and arduous battle to get through Tacoma and Seattle, I had completely blocked it out by our excitement of crossing international lines. While Trevor navigated through what felt like a cattle herd of speeding cars, I was able to log-on for a brief moment on facebook. Trevor wondered if Washington was actually a state or just one big city. Not living in Seattle or Tacoma, it just felt wrong that there were so many people in the limited interstate space provided. Trevor described it as Tacoma being the spill over for Seattle, but not having the infrastructure for traffic..period..they just built the damn interstate without any real planning! At any rate, we made it out unscathed and everything died down once we reached Bellingham.

We took the exit to Chuckanut Drive(hehe) and stayed at Larrabee State Park just before the window closed at 7:30p. With it being so close to the weekend, and summer still, there were already family’s with droves of children running around. I still don’t understand why kids congregate around the restrooms. I think they just like to hear their voices echo as they shriek around the facilities. Despite the kids, Larrabee was sweet. The trail we walked, with the dogs, was very dense with moss covered trees and ferns. We walked to the boat launch so Trevor can say he’s been from East Coast to West. Freighters could be seen off in the distance as the tide ebbed with thick seaweed. My lungs were soaking in the fresh smells and my eyes taking in the trees. Why do I love trees so much? Must have been a monkey or sloth in a past life or something.

The next day was Canada.

As of tonite, we are just south of Vanderhoof, B.C. at Dave’s RV Land. We ended up meeting a very sweet couple. Andy and Ollie, young at heart, adventurous, and loving grandparents, they are on their way to Alaska by ferry. We told them we’re on our way too but by house-on-a-wagon. It turns out they just so happen to be stopping into North Pole to take a picture of the Santa Claus House for their grand kids to see. This couldn’t be any more of a bigger sign that we’re almost there ourselves! Ollie broke out her B.C. maps and showed us places that will have gas stations along the way. They reminisced about their tour of America some time ago from Florida and explained how they’re taking a six week vacation to tour Alaska staying in hostels and tent camping. Sounds like us soon! Well, guess we’ll have to stay in one place or a job long enough to retire so we can do these things. NAH!!!haha! Andy's advice to us was to "speak to as many travellers as you can. Someone will have important information you'll need; and you'll always make a friend." He's right.

Are you tired of reading all this yet? You can stop at anytime, I know this stuff gets boring, especially with no pictures!!

After Dave's RV we drove another 8 or so hours up Canada HWY 37 just south of Dease Lake to Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park. We've been listening to the book "The Life of Pi"..We highly recommend listening to the audio if you know you are taking a long road trip. Let's just say, I'll always think of this story whenever we're in boat..anywho..Kinaskan Lake is one of those places I wouldn't mind taking a week to get back for a longer visit. Our second night with a fire. The park lady, Margaret, gave us a bin of extra dry firewood and a hatchet, and we were able to get our pyro fix for the night. Just love poking a good fire! Ha! Remember the drought in the South? Our last campfire was at Big Biloxi CG.. So, Thanks Canada! Our next long haul took us through Nugget City(nearly abandoned it seems, so lets say Junction instead) where we filled up and crossed the border to Yukon Territory and were finally on Alaska HWY 1! What a bumpy ride! At this point we noticed the sign to Fairbanks: 1010(kilometers) which breaks down to 627 miles..doesn't seem so far now, right?

Well... we ended up driving just short of Whitehorse along Teslin Lake, a 92 mile lake frequented by gold seekers looking to get to Dawson City during the late 1800's. We stopped at Johnson's Crossing Campground. We noticed how our dogs love to hide in whatever near by tall grass or weeds are available. Maverick just tries to be invisible to the mosquitoes. We stopped in Whitehorse the next day. The town is bigger than what I remember. Another place I would love us to revisit. Topping off, we're back on the road again til Moon Lake. This last leg of the trip was hella crazy. Don't believe anyone who says they had a smooth ride from Whitehorse to Beaver Creek! The bumpiest highway ever with road construction, danger trees(we waited 20 or so minutes with a very bored road worker holding the stop sign between his feet as he leaned on his car waiting for the go ahead; the tree was bent over enough that it appeared to pose a danger of falling onto the gravel hwy..didn't seem close enough, but guess people need work to do), and some areas still gravel; we wondered how all those busRV's were going to make it. The road just rises from the constant freezing and thawing. Going 40 felt treacherous at times. So again, hope those busRV's got to where they needed to be. Also, for a while, it felt as though we were the only people going into Alaska. Everyone seemed to be leaving. More room for us, we thought.

After clocking in 6,311 miles(or 10,156.569 km), we ended up seeing countless cows & deer, a newt, 2 large slugs, 5 black bears, a caribou(or maybe a reindeer), some brave chipmunks..and one not-so-lucky chipmunk followed by the driver laughing so hard because she ran it over, and a horse in a small lake village. The water was so damn clear and the horse came right up to us(we slowed down as it moseyed on up the road). A semi finally tooted his horn to hurry him out of the way. Video of that to come later. Our first moose(this link just for fun)sighting was here in Alaska. Just yesterday afternoon, we saw our second moose in my parents yard. A mother moose Lucy would love to chase..NO WAY DOG! Moose are soooo damn big, it's crazy!

Today(July 31st), we just got back from Quartz Lake. This is my dad's favorite lake to fish. My dad and our friend Mel ended up with 4 trout all together. The last trout was Mel's at 18in length & 4lbs. And of course, she's going to have Trevor cook it up for us in a couple of days. YUM! We also acquired some salmon from friends. My friend Nick came back from dipnetting for salmon in Chitna a couple of days ago. He invited us over for a super delicious dinner of fresh salmon cooked with dill, lemon and butter(one w/Cajun spice), with homemade potato chips, salad and garlic bread. Then our neighbor across the street came back from the same place, today, and will be giving my dad some of his salmon catch as well. Once I figure out shipping fish, I'll be contacting any takers. I have a few in mind already who are interested.

We will keep this blog and post our latest adventures as much as possible. We're expecting our adventures to be many. If you loved following us on our crazy-ass road trip, please continue to do so for our future trips. The journey never ends! Live! We want to say thank you to family and friends who offered their time and space to us. We are so grateful for your love and support from past, present and future. We love you and look forward to speaking with you, emailing, facebooking, and/or seeing your sweet faces again soon. Love Always.


~m & T

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