Journals, Photos and Videos

Leg 12 - to Tok, AK

We’re in Alaska! What should have been an easy, relaxing 4 hour drive was anything but. The condition of the road from Burwash Landing to the border (100 miles) was horrible at best. We actually expected it but still were taken aback.

The campground that we stayed at last night was almost great. We parked between the peaks of Kluane National Park and Kluane Lake. The backend of the camper was about 20 yards from the edge of the lake which was entirely frozen. Although we didn’t have access to WiFi in the RV, there was a strong signal in the lobby which was really awesome and stayed open all night.

What was wrong then? The power was too sub-par. It was 15 Amps but blew their circuit breaker with the slightest usage. We were glad to have stopped there though. It was a great alternative to the RV park in Haines Junction which was under water.

We discovered just how hard it was on the RV when we stopped for lunch shortly after crossing the border. When Maureen opened the door to get our lunch. she was greeted with the entire contents of the freezer lying on the floor. And the freezer was closed, not only when we started but when we stopped for lunch. We had apparently failed to fully secure the freezer completely.

The chaos didn’t stop there however. The couch (a HEAVY sofa bed) had bounced about a foot from the wall. All the drawers in the kitchen were open, as you can see in the picture. A plastic cabinet that we put in for convenient storage found its way into the middle of the living area. But other than initial shock, there were no serious consequences and once more we have a lessons learned. (We need a to do an entry on the lessons we have learned!)

Maureen spoke with a fellow traveler who pulled into the spot next to us and he said that the only solution is to chill and spend most of the 100 miles from Burwash Landing to the border at 25 MPH. We will take the advice of a guy who had made the same trip 13 times. Certainly the voice of experience.

The scenery continues to impress. On our left, the Kluane Mountain Range was inspiring all the was to the border. When we entered Alaska, the impressive scenery disappeared - for a while. After a few miles, Wrangel-St Elias came into view. It was with us all the way to Tok. We will visit Wrangell in a couple of days. (Check the entry “Some fun information to understand the size of these parks.)

It turns out that we never saw that sight on our 2004 trip because of extensive forest fires and overbearing smoke. We were a bit taken aback with this discovery. The 2004 Alaska fire season was the worst on record in terms of area burned by wildfires in the U.S. state of Alaska. Though fewer individual fires formed than in 1989 when almost 1,000 were recorded, more than 6,600,000 acres (26,700 km2) were burned by the approximately 700 fires that ignited

We plan on regrouping here in Tok. There’s not much here but the campground is very nice - maybe the best we’ve stopped at on this trip.