August 12...Tuesday. The journal has been a wonderful aide in keeping track of what day it is. Today, the 12th of August, we’re over 1400 miles from Fairbanks, where we turned and headed south; and over 2600 miles yet from home.
In 51 miles after departing the Rotary RV Park, we ended our entire travel encounters on the Alcan. The famous highway was now behind us! We had traveled the renowned, worldly acclaimed highway. One that offered the driver many diversities. A highway which has taken many lives of armies of men during the 8 months of construction in 1942. Words, nor photos can truly explain this mighty road. A traveler of the Alcan must approach the drive with great expectations. The only road to our 49th state…Alaska! The “Last Frontier”. The only road in and out of the state! As your great expectations are met with all the wonderful encounters of this rugged, and most awesomely beautiful state, your anticipation of the return trek of the Alcan rises with a slightly altered outlook. One now knows what to expect, and counts the down mileposts from Delta Junction to Dawson Creek…in a shear excitement of its’ termination!
Our personal experience of this famously renowned highway, the Alcan, has been as follows:
1. A shattered sunroof on our Jeep, somewhere before to Tok. AAA replaced it in Valdez.
2. Two major stone chips on both the Jeep and the Alfa, probably along the same stretch as the sunroof not yet replaced.
3. Cracked windshield on the Jeep
4. Dislodged center windshield of the Alfa…not yet repaired.
5. Broken valve stem on the Alfa…fixed in Anchorage
6. Bent rim on the front of the Jeep…not yet repaired.
7. Various dents in the Jeep, with scratches on the Alfa, & stones lodged in the Jeeps brakes…I recall that being fixed by Larry & Bob.
8. Broken bicycle rack…re-welded in Wasilla
Larrys’ boat trailer encountered two broken stem valves, as far as we now. I believe he returned home, in better shape than when he started the trip; due to all the parts he added along the way!
As we continued on our eastward bound trek for Edmonton, Alberta, I programmed the GPS, (“the bitch in the box”). Our next week started to develop with a new route and agenda. Our return trip to Michigan, now included Montana, the very northeast corner of Wyoming, and South Dakota. We were headed to Glacier National Park in Montana, also Little Bighorn. Finally, the Badlands, the town of Deadwood, and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. We anticipated being home before Labor Day!
We suddenly got sidetracked by a road sign near Edmonton, AB. Instead of hooking up the motor home in a nice 4 star comfortable RV park, we dry camped in the parking lot of a casino! YEAH! As most of our casino encounters, we didn’t win, but we certainly enjoyed a great dinner and a wonderful diversion of the long drive! We popped the champagne bottle; Bob finished off 2/3ths’ of it!