Alaska, here we come again!
Our final, final visit to the Mothership went well and we made new friends while there. We ended up in an impromptu caravan heading west but eventually parted ways in Wisconsin. We pushed on and ended up stopping in North Dakota, a new state for us.
This ended up being a maintenance stop for us as we found that Nemo’s cap was walking off the back. The closest ARE dealer was back in Fargo, so we turned to the next best source of information: YouTube! We found a couple of ARE videos that gave us enough courage (information) to tackle this ourselves. We unloaded the cap, with camp management approval, and were able to reposition it with only minor injuries – I pulled a back muscle!
With the cap sorted, we pushed on and opted for an overnight near the border before making the jump into Saskatchewan – a new province. The border crossing went smoothly so the next order of business was finding a Tim Hortons for pastries. Don’t judge us, it’s tradition!
Two nights after crossing into Saskatchewan, we arrived at the border of Alberta, another new province. We provision and also find a great bakery. It takes us another day to cross most of Alberta and we end up at a provincial park. Even without reservations, we managed to find a campsite. We also find another location for the bakery from the previous day. We keep going and end up missing the Dawson Creek Visitor Center and mile-0 (starting point) of the Alaska-Canada Highway. Perhaps next time.
Now in British Columbia, the scenery starts to get more interesting. Up until now we have been primarily in flat farmland. As we entered the northern edge of the Rockies, we start to see bison, bear, elk and more. We end up stopping at Liard River Hot Springs for a couple of nights to take a break from driving. Although we had to reach Anchorage in time to meet friends flying in from Cayman, we had pushed quick enough from the border that we had some flexibility with our schedule.
The springs were a great way to relax but we needed to get going. There were still quite a few kilometers (when in Canada) to go. We stopped in Watson Lake to dump our tanks and fill our water, shower and do some laundry. Driving well into the night we ended up in an uneven spot that was useful the next day. The angle of the ground was such that we could easily access Bubbles’ underbelly, so we take care of a few things before moving on.
We had another stop near Kluane Lake and then our final push to Alaska, arriving in Tok on the 4th of July weekend. It was hot, really hot. The Alaska Highway was not in great shape, as it hadn’t yet been repaired at this point in the season. The warm weather was quite strange compared to last year. This year also had a large incidence of wildfires, evidenced simply by looking at the sky.