Journals and Galleries

We're in Alaska

A tough day.

It’s a 400 mile trek from Whitehorse to Tok, AK. We got off a little late (10 AM) but we were gaining an hour at the AK border thanks to the Alaska time zone. The weather was almost perfect again although a bit more cloudy. We expected a challenging drive with breath-taking views and that’s what we got.
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Our route went west to Haines Junction where we encountered Kluane National Park. This is a spectacular 5 million acre park with towering mountains exceeding 17,000 ft. At Haines Junction, we were forced north with Kluane constantly off to our left.
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As we proceeded north, we came to the town of Destruction Bay. For those familiar with name on the Alaska Highway, this is synonymous with “bad road”. The highway, at this point, suffers significantly from frost heaves and general disrepair. We had to drive slowly and cautiously for the next 80 miles. This brought us down to 40-50 mph and occasionally down to 20. With 5 miles to the border, the road becomes a gravelly dirt road with washboard bumps and dust that didn’t quit. We had to go 10-15 mph for this entire segment (accompanied by unkind words and thoughts). Literally at the AK border, the road was beautifully paved. It was like a breath of fresh air,
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We arrived at the Tok RV Village at 6 PM, totally worn out and ready to relax. We did run over to Fast Eddy’s Restaurant for Maureen’s mother’s day dinner. I’m glad she loves spaghetti.

We completed the RV setup and upon inspection, we had minor bounce induced incidents in the Bighorn. A couple of drawers opened but nothing to be concerned with. The reduced speed and constant attention was well worth the lost time. We have made this drive with less caution and have paid a messy price.

Oh - the wildlife sightings. We saw 2 black bears. The first was a large guy munching along the side of the road. The second was much smaller that ran across the road not far in front of us. Some “jerk” actually got out of a car and was pursuing it up the hill. He must have missed the story about the woman that got killed by a black bear 2 days ago. Black bears are not to be trifled with (or chased). Soon after that a huge brown bear (grizzly) almost ran into to us. It was racing out of the brush on the left side of the road and just as it hit the road, it spotted us and did an immediate u-turn. Last but not least, we saw a moose about 50 ft off the road munching on newly sprouting leaves.
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We passed the 3,000 mile mark today. Tomorrow it’s off to Anchorage. This is a 320 mile day with another long 80 miles of messed up roads. We’ve been forewarned that the Tok Cutoff suffered significant deterioration over the winter and repairs are just starting. Tomorrow is also when we say good-bye to the Alaska Highway. It continues to Delta junction, 120 miles west of Tok.

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