Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Great Adventure: July 12-17

We started our drive from Spokane, WA to Ft. Richardson, AK on July 12. It really was a great drive that day. The weather was beautiful and on paper it was only a 6 hour drive, so reality for us was an 8 1/2 hour drive (two dogs and a baby really add on time, plus we had a long wait at the border). The rest of our six day drive consisted of 10 to 12 hours a day driving.

It was day two that we really saw the beauty in the BC Rocky Mountains. I couldn't believe how we were driving right through these gigantic mountains. It was unbelievably beautiful! As the days went on we really experienced the majesty and the beauty of the Lord's great outdoors. I am so glad we were able to see it.

We saw numerous black bears, buffalo, mountain sheep and caribou walking along the sides of the road. We were told about all the moose along the ALCAN but we only saw four and they were all females in the distance. But we've seen a handful since being here in Anchorage. And most have been on Ft. Richardson.

We were able to see a few glaciers in the mountains

The gas prices throughout this trip were unbelievable! If it weren't for the Army paying us for this trip we probably would have never gone. It cost us around $50 for almost 9 gallons of gas. Ouch! Of course we did drive two cars, so our gas totaled $2,000 for the trip. We thank the Army for picking up the tab on that one.

It was pretty interesting driving on the ALCAN and not really knowing when the next gas station would show up. They had road signs with towns posted and the kilometers left until we got there, but a town really consisted of a lodge and the family running the lodge. Most had a gas station but it was only one or two pumps. We had a rule that we would never let our gas tanks get below half a tank. We know people who actually did run out of gas because they got to the gas station too late in the evening and it was closed. Thank the Lord that didn't happen to us!

This was our first road sign that said Alaska! This was on day 5. We were so excited! The end was nearing!

At the end of the ALCAN right before you get into Alaska there is a 50 or so mile stretch of these "roller coaster roads". THEY'RE TERRIBLE! It really is a ton of little dips in the road that sneak up on you. You're constantly hitting the brakes, swerving, listening to your car crash to the was soooooo not cool.

On day 6 we finally made it into Ft. Richardson. Our cars proved to be faithful and got us there safely. On day 4 my CD player broke which was a huge bummer, but Justin brought his ipod adapter which uses a radio station so you can hear the ipod and we were both able to listen to the ipod if we were both on the same station. Pretty cool! I also got a ton of rock chips in my windshield and had to replace my brakes once we got to Anchorage, but besides that we were never broken down on the side of the road or had any car accidents. Praise the Lord! You really are out in the middle of nowhere without any cell phone coverage with hundreds of miles between "towns" and only the occassional passerby on the road.

Here's a picture of Joelle with one foot in the Yukon and one foot in Alaska

1 comment:

KDoug said...

Great pictures Beth! Did you drive one car and Justin drove the other? OMG!!!!! More power to you. That is insane. I don't even drive on our 4 hour trips.

Thanks for sharing.