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Bringing Home the Postal CJ-8 Anchorage, Alaska Durham, North Carolina (HOME) Tok Edmonton Lethbridge, Alberta Great Falls, Montana Johnson's Crossing Dawson's Creek Helena Sioux Falls Rapid City Columbiana Clarksville, MD LaPorte, IN
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7/19 2:55 AM Pacific time, rest area 4 km south of Beaver Creek, Yukon Terr., Canada
Forget Tok. We blew through there and just kept on cruising. The time change we just went through at the border makes it seem much later than it is to us. We have had no problems and the border crossing was simple. We will have to find gas ASAP in the morning as we're below 1/4 tank since everything after Tok was closed. The sunset, which started out around 11pm is turning into sunrise right now and the views have been extraordinary! See for yourself!

Tomorrow is the first big day, since we made the border tonight there's nothing to delay us, we'll head off at the best possible speed (which is averaging about 40-45 thus far). Until the morning...

7/19 3:54 PM Pacific time, near Johnson's Crossing, Yukon Territory
So far, today has been divided into two distinct halves - before Haines Junction and after. There was 100 miles of construction and disgusting road on the way from the border where we stopped to Haines Junction. I imagine we didn't average more than 30 mph on that part of the drive. The Jeep took a beating too, as there were potholes the size of Volkswagens that you couldn't see for the mist, dust, and rain. I really thought we lost the rear axle a couple of times. Luckily, we're still in one piece and on the road.

Everything south of Haines Junction has been great road at 60+ with little traffic. We stopped in Whitehorse for lunch, which is the capital of the Yukon and the largest town we'll see until Edmonton. The scenery has been great again today, but we've been trying to get along, so I haven't stopped to take pictures. I did take one of the Dog in the aftermath from the construction and I forgot to do it before we cleaned it up in Haines Junction, so this is after the window and light cleanup in Whitehorse. There's also a typical scene of what greets you over every hilltop. I'm trying hard not to get used to it so I don't start to take it for granted. :)

We're gunning for the Watson Lake area, which is right on the border of the Yukon and British Columbia, although we'll drop into B.C. for a time just before we get to Watson Lake. We're still ahead of where I'd even hoped to be at this point, so we'll keep on trucking and maybe there will be time for the side trip to Glacier that I really want to manage.

7/19 11:10 PM Pacific time, Laird Springs British Columbia
We made it to and past Watson Lake, so we need to set more realistic goals. Before we left Anchorage, we talked to a number of people who had driven this road and the only place that every single person said we ought to stop at is the Laird Hot Springs. It's a small park were there are natural hot sulfur springs and we noticed at about 8pm that we would be able to make it before the gates closed at 11 PM. Neither of us could think of a better place to end the day after sitting in these seats for hours.

I'm now here to tell everyone that reads this and everyone that ever talks to me about the AlCan: STOP AT LAIRD HOT SPRINGS! If you can make it at the end of the day it'd be that much better. I've never felt something that was more relieving in my entire life. They stink to high heaven, as do you after you get out, but was it ever worth it!

We are camping at the roadside near a lodge and I had every intention of getting these reports in on the modem, but the phone lines here have been down for the last couple of days, so it's going to have to wait.

The Dog's doing fine, the windshield leaks and I haven't had a long enough dry spell to try and seal it with the goo I brought. Wish I'd thought of that one back in Anchorage. We'll head out in the morning and see where we can get.

7/20 7:25 PM Pacific time (almost Mountain), just south of Dawson Creek B.C.
Well, we've been hitting it hard today, with short stops and hard driving over decent roads. The first part of the drive today was on the hilliest and hardest roads we've hit yet, between Laird Springs and Ft.Nelson (and almost all of it in the rain with our leaky windshield). A good part of the reason why it was tough is that the highest point on the AlCan is Summit Lake Pass and that's what we hit.

The next, say, third of the day was on the most deserted part of the entire trip until now. The stretch of about 100 miles between Ft. Nelson and Ft. St.John is nothing but gentle, hilly road and trees. I'm sure I'll think that was heaven compared to some of the Midwest, but it certainly wasn't terribly interesting to look at.

We made it to the end of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek and you can see the very touristy photo we just had to take. We're pushing on through after a quick stop for food to go and seeing how much more we can do tonight. I'm hoping that we hit somewhere that will get me online to get these in!

UPDATE: We made it all the way to Edmonton. Actually, just south. We were doing well and found some gas late, so we cruised on until about 3 AM. It took some doing to find a motel with a room, but we slept indoors last night and got cleaned up, which I'm sure everyone we encounter today will thank us for. The driving lights scored big last night on the road, we would have quit much earlier if it weren't for them. They made life easy. We're going through Calgary and taking my side trip through Glacier, so there ought to be plenty of time.

 
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