Journals, Photos and Videos

Tok, AK to Haines Junction, AK (via Destruction Bay 290 Miles)

It was 30º when we started rolling this morning. We got a 9AM start with a bit of anxiety about the day's drive. The first 100 miles of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway from Beaver Creek to Destruction Bay (hmmmmm……wonder how this highway got its name!!) were, in fact, destructive on our way up in April.

We were greeted with a horrid patch of dirt road just after crossing the border. It wasn't long (1/2 mile at most) but had serious washboard. On the way up, there were several gravel sections but this one was the only one we encountered today. The Canadian construction folks have been busy this summer.

We were ok by the time we got off the gravel washboard, but shortly hit a dip that only affected the driver side. I glanced at the mirror and saw the top of one of the slides extend out about 6 inches and then bounce back. At that point we were prepared for a mess in the RV.

When we finally stopped at Canadian Customs and were asked to allow for an brief inspection, we got what we expected. The cabinet doors had popped open and contents were strewn all over the inside. The poor Canadian inspector was not quite sure what to do when he saw the mess. He just mentioned he wanted to take a peek into our freezer to make sure we were not bringing fish back for sale. He took a quick peek and pronounced us OK to leave. Think he felt sorry for the mess we had to face.

Stacks Image 553
Stacks Image 557
Stacks Image 561
We cleaned some of the mess but opted to wait until we got to Haines Junction to deal with most of it since it was likely we could encounter more bumps and surprises.

The rest of the drive however showed that they had not only fixed the gravel sections, but had fixed the vast majority of the worst potholes and frost heaves. We had to avoid some rough spots but, compared to other trips, this one was a walk in the park.

We need to mention that this section of highway runs along the eastern side of Canada's Kluane National Park. It has majestic snow covered peaks and shares the border with Wrangell-St Elias. With the sun cooperating today (as opposed to snowy in April), the sights were striking. This shot, from the parking lot of the campground, shows how far the fall foliage has progressed and the awesome look and feeling of the mountains as the clouds circle their tops.
Stacks Image 567
We lost an hour due to time zone change and drove very conservatively the rest of the way arriving at the Kluane RV Park at 5PM.

We need to give a plug to Sirius Satellite Radio. While we couldn't get any reception in Cooper Landing due to mountain interference, we actually got a steady signal as far north as Chicken and even better reception when we left Tok.

Amazingly, we were able to listen to the CU-CSU football game yesterday and the Broncos game and the Bears game today. It's really a great companion since the programming is diverse and entertaining and there are great stretches of highway with no alternative.