4 Days to Fairbanks

4 Days Ago…(5 now)

I left Missoula. I want to stay, but with the weekend coming I am really looking forward to the road. No work, just white lines, mountains, and beautiful places. I’m going to drive to Seattle and take the ferry to Ketchikan, Alaska. Seattle is only 6-7 hours away and I’ve contacted my friends there with the hope to hang out before I head to the port. I decide to stop in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and see about getting a ferry ticket.

I fill out the details and get a $1300 ticket price! Oh, that’s too much. I was hoping with more like $500. It’s Friday. I have to work Monday. How far is Fairbanks? 2260 miles…I can do that. I get my oil change and head North.

Currently…

I’m sitting in Barnes and Noble. My fingers touching the keys and I could just write and write and write. Stories are swirling around my head. Oh I have to tell you about Bob, I have to tell you about the French Hitchhikers, and I have to tell you how beautiful it is up here! I feel like I’ve lived a novel worth of stories, beauty, and orchestrated moments in just 4 days. I’ve determined that I’m going to turn this into a book one day. I’ve taken a ton of pictures and I can’t help but want to share all of them and explain each one, each moment and what I was feeling but I’ll try to just give you a few.

an_exchange_of_hats

In Jasper I picked up Louis and Aurélien. What an orchestrated moment! They ride with me all the way to White Horse, Yukon.

first_time_tasting_spam

I had to make sure they had a true camping experience; introducing them to the PB&J, SevenEleven Slurpees, and most importantly SPAM!

first_seven_eleven_slurpee

They really made the drive awesome! We laughed and more than anything sighed. Every bend in the road left one of us awestruck. I thought of a game, but we didn’t play it. Every time you express a form of awe on the Alaskan Highway you have to put a dollar in a jar. By the time you get to Alaska you will have spent more money on Awe than gas.

flecks_of_golden_autumn

The roads are pretty rough sometimes, most times. We passed a pilot truck in a construction vine with a sign saying caution radioactive, and then just ahead was a truck spraying liquid. I was relieved to find it was just water.

working_on_the_road

Louis and Aurélien made sure we didn’t miss the essential stops of Liard Hot Springs and the Sign Post Forest at Watson Lake.

the_sign_post_forest

The truck is insanely dirty and only has 3 bulls-eye cracks in the windshield. Not too bad considering every time we passed a semi a rock hit the glass. At least that’s what it felt like.

caked_in_dirt

I let them have the master suite when we camped. Bobby and I slept in the front. In the morning Louis says “So Dwayne, How much for your truck? No seriously, how much for your truck?” It’s really that comfy. I love it.

sleeping_in_the_front

I’m still trying to process everything that happened. So many funny stories. At one point Aurélien says I think your dog is sick. I reach my hand back and…BLAAA…Bobby pukes in it. I fought the gag reflex and drove like a champ, if I do say so myself. Gagging now just at the thought.

we_made_it_to_the_yukon

Now. I’m in Fairbanks, Alaska. I can’t wait to tell you about Bob, the first real Alaskan I’ve met. And I can’t wait to write more about the drive, but I might save that for the book :)

wild_and_scenic_highway

So for now, I’ll leave you with just a couple more pictures. I hope you enjoy them, and more than that I hope one day you can see them for yourselves!

valley_off_the_alaskan_highway

I kept getting little blips: “The mountains here seem flecked with gold. Clouds ooze out of them, and then dance around them. They are like great sleeping giants, clothed in elaborate rugged garments.”

muncho_lake

3 Comments

    1. They were great guys. :) With the PB&J they said “So, that’s how you eat Peanut Butter!” They didn’t care for plain PB because of it’s consistency but the jelly made it better for them. In short, they liked it! haha. They loved the slurpees.

  1. Bob is “interesting”, have sat and listened to him for hours. Did you meet Hook? He takes outragous wild-life pictures, gets really close, not afraid of anything….captures Alaska!!!!!!!!!! Hope , or I should say, I know those pictures,of your experience in Alaska,are not only on your camera, but like me…..they are forever burnt into my mind and memory! What an adventure, your book will inspire those who want to live the DREAM, but only a few will or can take the journey. I wish I was still there, miss everything about Alaska, but know in my mind, I will return! Hope you have taken pictures of my Barbee, she too is the essence of optimism that empowers that great wilderness. Will talk soon……..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: