Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Driving the ALCAN - south

My vacation started on May 25th when Katja and I hopped in my car and drove out of Anchorage towards Tok, AK.  I chose to take a short day and do a little more research on the roads through the Yukon and BC.  After that first day, we tried to cover at least 450 miles a day.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but you have to understand, the road conditions are equivalent to serious road construction that most of us have experienced in the lower 48.

Katja and I ended up camping out twice, once at Squanga Lake and again on the Sikanni river.  Both offered fishing, but conditions did not produce successful fishing.  Katja had a great time non the less.  She is always glad to spend time outside of the car and her seat (aka her kennel).  Hopefully, the fishing will be very different and much more productive on the drive back north.

We got to see an abundance of wildlife on the drive.  Thankfully never too close.  I was amazed at how many bison live throughout the Yukon and British Columbia.  I also didn't expect to see Dall Sheep, which are more often found high in the mountains, climbing the treacherous cliffs with ease.

I did stop at Fort Nelson along the way to purchase some miscellaneous fishing gear and contact some people to let them know how the trip was going.  I went to the local library and got online to touch base with Molly and my folks.

Some other highlights of the trip down were driving along the Frazer River.  We also stopped in the small town of Clinton, BC (not even marked on my map) and got in touch with some people while enjoying a wonderful Dirty Chai.  Shortly afterwards, we turned onto Rt. 99, also known as the Sea to Sky Highway.  This was probably one of the most amazing roads I have ever driven in my life.  It included some extended ascents and descents sometimes at 13-14 % grades.  My little Subaru loved it!  Katja probably did not, due to the windy road conditions.  It had spectacular scenery!

It was only when I started approaching Vancouver that I realized I actually missed my last hotel stop, so I just kept going and finished the drive a day early by driving on to North Bend, WA to visit and regroup with my northwest friends before I finished my trip home by flying into Reagan National airport.

It was a great trip and I'm looking forward to the return trip with Molly and two more dogs.

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