Bonkoski's Alaskan Trip Journal 2008 travel blog

Coming up on the Canadian Customs and driving straight throught

Awaiting our turn at the US Customs 42 miles north of Haines,...

Somewhere in the Yukon Territory, Canada between Haines and Haines Jct.

Driving around Destruction Bay, Yukon Territory; where all the construction began!

The road is beginning to get very is the interior of...

Now we cannot see much due to the dust and the bugs...

We seemed to have some awesome beauty far from the dust; and...

The Chugach Mountains in the background as we stopped along the Alcan

My photo along the Alcan as we stopped for a bit of...

A black bear spotted in th Yukon along the Alcan

Me, taking a photo of Bob taking a photo of the black...

Our new lack of sunroof on the Jeep!...All after the Alcan

The gravel spread through the Jeeps' windshield area

Our Sourdough Pancake & Reindeer Sausage in the campground

It was the morning of the 4th of July, 2008...everyone was in...

T SIZE=3>Thursday, July 3rd. The Alfa headed out of the beautiful valley that wrapped itself around the quaint fishing town of Haines, Alaska. We actually left Larry & Dar awaiting parts in Haines. Hopefully, the parts would still arrive that day, and they would be on the way….being somewhat behind us! The temp’s were still in the 80’s and the sun was still shining. We’ve now celebrated the days that were filled with the brightness and the warmth of the sun. As we continued 40 miles north on the Haines Highway, we were aware that we would shortly be leaving the state of Alaska, briefly, and entering into the province of British Columbia, for a few hours. The border crossing, 42 miles out of Haines was very small, situated in a thickly wooded section of the roadway. There were a few small pickup trucks and motorcycles directly in front of us, being searched. The incredible bible of our trip, the Milepost 2008, continually stated that if you’re traveling on the “cheap”, one would draw more attention to themselves at most border crossing. So far, we found it to be true. The small hut were two or so men checked passports, vehicles and such, was infiltrated with mosquito’s that were blood thirsty and ready to attack! Once ok’d by the officials to continue, we did!

Shortly into our trek through British Columbia, a very quick and large wolf ran across our path. Too quick for a photo! As we entered into the Yukon Territory of Canada, we reached Haines Junction; 146 miles from the town of Haines. There, we needed to pick up the famous Alcan Highway, once again, and continue our planned route of the day of 454 miles, to the town of Tok, Alaska. We truly did not know the condition of the Alcan that was ahead!

A bit of history of this famous 2 lane American/Canadian roadway; the Alcan begins in the town of Dawson Creek, British Columbia; Historical Milepost 0, and officially ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, at Milepost 1422. Fairbanks is an additional 298 miles beyond the end of the Alcan. It weaves it’s way thru a variety of terrains, small towns, and incredible vistas of beauty. It, the Alcan, is not like any other road we’ve traveled. It has its’ own story!

Construction of the “Alcan” Highway (ALCAN was the military acronym for the Alaska-Canada Highway) officially began in March of 1942. It ended 8 months and 12 days later in October, 1942. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the roadway was deemed a military necessity. With what we would now consider primitive equipment, this road was built by following existing winter roads, summer pack trails and winter trap lines. For the soldiers and the civilian workers building the Alaska Highway, it was a hard life. The Alcan is the only road into our 49th state, Alaska. In 1948 the highway was opened to the public. They continue to work on it due to the heavy snow and frost heaves. Our last 200 miles to Tok we experienced the worse of the Alcan!

We arrived back into Alaska, in the small town of Tok, after 11 hours of driving over portions of gravel, around construction areas, and the worse sections of frost heaves (mostly in the Yukon) that were in dyer need of repair. We understood to slow down as soon as we spotted a small orange flag near the shoulder; however, not all dips and bumps were marked. We began to watch the oncoming vehicles headlights as they bounced along, signaling to us what was just ahead. Our Alfa looked liked it went through a war! The Jeep encountered the most damage; besides the dirt and gravel inside the brake drums, we lost our sky roof . Somewhere in that stretch of road hell, the glass was totally shattered and zillion pieces scattered within the Jeep. The photos were taken to share with you, and with AAA!

Once in Tok, we located the Sourdough Campground for the night, cleaned the Jeep, made a few cocktails, dinner and bed! Larry and Darlene made their way to Tok, arriving exhausted at about 1:30 a.m. and parking the “Jungle Cruiser” in a vacant lot for some much needed shut eye. We were all glad to be off that section of the Alcan, even if we had to face it later in the trip.

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