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The drive to Alaska

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Before making the long journey from Oregon to Alaska I waited patiently for my new fiancé Jenni to arrive from New Zealand. The plan was to drive all together, me and my two girls (Jen and Lucy), all 58 hours of it... but Jen never made it. It seems the USA can be less than efficient in the processing of travel visas. So it was just Lucy and I who set off North.

From beefing up trailers to stalling vehicles, and packing for a permanent move from Oregon made for a busy time indeed. It took my mind of the days of driving to come.

I packed my 14 foot McKenzie River Dory with all of my stuff from Oregon - including an Austin Powers pinball machine. I headed north early afternoon and made it all of 15 miles before my first repair! For one, I didn’t realize how much stuff I was bringing to Alaska, and second, the trailer was not built for 22 hundred pounds. Eek.

The fender was rubbing on the tires but after a few blows with the sledge hammer she was good to go. Making just one stop at the grocery store I crossed the Canadian border at 11pm and was at 150 mile House by 4am to catch a few winks in my trusty Previa van.

The next stop was Teslin where my trailer, again, broke down. Or shall I say I broke a suspension bracket - it had ripped from the frame and was welded by some guys building gold trummels. Shout out to the Teslin Napa for the welder link. I was off again through prince George and into Smithers and from there it was off to the Bell Irvin River - a river I’ve always wanted to fish but didn’t as I was to excited to reach destination Alaska. Lucy, however, got a little play time in the daisies.

After a rainy night and a good pot of coffee I headed towards Dease Lake, a very expensive place to buy gas, but a good place to sleep. Alongside the road were a three pack of Brown Bears, two wrestling cubs and a patient mother.

From there it was off to Whitehorse, then to Destruction Bay where I spent the night in a luxury hotel. No, my mistake, I slept in the van. The roads thus far had been better than the roads in Oregon, smooth sailing, but upon crossing the Canadian/Alaskan border in the last 500 miles to Cooper landing SLOW was the operative word.

Long road trips or travels are essential in my opinion, they give you long times of quiet thinking and reflection, not to mention the beauty of Canada. But the most beautiful place I saw on my road trip was my last stop... Cooper Landing, Alaska.

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