Today was the day. The big push. Not only were we trying to gain a lot of miles, we knew it was going to be over THE WORST section of road. The stretch from Destruction Bay to Tok is notorious for its frost heaves, pot holes, and other tire/axle/furniture busting features.
We left Johnson’s Crossing after partaking in their “world famous” cinnamon buns (except mom, she had a scone, and said it didn’t compare with Papa John’s breakfast cookies). Once all were fed and nourished, we hit the trail. Our first stop ended up being in Whitehorse. Sometime in the past ten years they put a bypass in, and so we actually had to “exit” the highway in order to go into town. We found a gas station and fueled up. Then mom and the boys went shopping in a Real Canadian Superstore (that really is what its called) while I went searching for my Yukon Territory geocache.
I think mom was happy for me to go geocaching for once, because I came back with coffee! A REAL coffee. The geocache was hidden outside a combination bicycle/coffee shop! After locating the cache, I had to pop in and purchase two americanos. It was the best coffee we have had in over two weeks.
Once getting our hot bitter beverage fix, we jumped back on the highway and headed north. The smoke in the air got thicker throughout the day due to the multiple forest fires burning in both Alaska and Canada. We made a stop at a roadside rest area to make sandwiches and continued our drive.
We had gorgeous views driving around Kluane Lake, stopping to refuel in Destruction Bay.
Image from tripadvisor
As expected the road was the pits. Literally. For miles and miles and miles, we endured long waits for pilot cars in road construction, and shook ourselves along washboarded, heaved, pock marked roads at 20mph. We also were sharing a radio channel with another Uhauler who was more chatty than we, and we eventually pulled over into a rest area to get the channels synced up to a quieter frequency. It was a really nice stop, full of beautiful views and some informative charts that showed us how the topography is thought to guide trumpeter swan (and other bird) migration. It was a needed break from the stress of the road and noisy and radios.
What WAS a pleasant surprise, is that the bad roads didn’t last as long as we expected. They are rebuilding the roadbed from Beaver Creek (Canada border) all the way south for 40km, so while it was slow and loose gravel, the road was actually REALLY good for the final 30km in Canada. Once we crossed the border, I was also pleasantly surprised that they have repaved the stretch of road from Tok to the border (about 90 miles). All in all, it was a great day of driving.
We crossed the border into Alaska at 5:40 pm ADT. We arrived in Tok, got a campsite, and headed over to Fast Eddie’s for supper. Tonight the boys don’t think they will ever go to sleep. The sun isn’t going to set until 11:35pm and then it rises again at 3:30am. They don’t call this the Land of the Midnight Sun for nothing (even if it does technically set before midnight).
Tomorrow, we start the drive to Anchorage. Sounds like the carpets are getting cleaned in the morning, so we won’t actually be moving anything into the house until Thursday, but perhaps we’ll unload the Uhaul into the garage, staging the boxes by room so we don’t have to live in boxes for the next two weeks, but rather unpack at our leisure without a forest of cardboard around us.
So for tonight, we rest with full bellies knowing we are so very close to our new, and former, home. Alaska, we love you and we’re so glad we’re home.
And there was evening, and there was morning. The ninth day.