The Road to Alaska

Our time in the Lower 48 was becoming limited as the Alaska Highway was calling our names. As we packed up the car in Bozeman, we were ready to get on the road to Glacier National Park. The Highline Trail was a backpacking loop we had been dreaming about for years, but it seemed that the Spring weather had a different plan for us. As we pulled into Glacier in the rain, we got word that the West Entrance was closed two miles up due to flooding, and the East Entrance...well the East Entrance was only open for 6 miles until the road came to a close due to 44 inches of fresh snow. Now we had a choice to make. We could hang around Glacier for a few days waiting for the sun to come out, or we could make a sprint to Banff National Park in Canada where the sun was suppose to be shining for the next few days.

Chris driving the Subaru through Glacier National Park, Montana.

Chris driving the Subaru through Glacier National Park, Montana.

After finding a campground, making sandwiches in the rain, and crawling into the camper only to find that the windows had leaked and our home was now soaked...the choice was easy...we were going to be saying good-bye to the famous "Going to the Sun Road" to search for the real sun! We woke up early the next morning in hopes to see the sun rise in Glacier and get on the road to drier land! 

Megan at sunset in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Megan at sunset in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Elk at sunrise in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Elk at sunrise in Glacier National Park, Montana.

After making an early morning loop through the small part of Glacier that was open we hit the road for the U.S./Canadian Border. To no one's surprise the car was turned inside out. As we waited we chatted with one of the men at border control to get some info on carrying our "bear" gun across the border instead of shipping it again.  The man looked shocked that we had even asked and quickly shamed us as he said "You can't just carry a hand gun through Canada...this is Canada." Oops our mistake. Guess we'll be shipping it back too!

From the Border the sun was shining and we were Banff Bound! Now, for those of you who have never been to Banff, or even heard of it...get out a sticky note and write this one down! From the time we entered the park until we left their gates a couple hundred miles later, we never stopped seeing mountains. And we're talking crazy, jagged, snow topped peaks, with crystal blue waters flowing around every corner. I know what you're thinking...this is a photo blog, you all don't want to hear about it you want to see it!

The Athabasca River in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

The Athabasca River in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Megan repelling off Mount Hector in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. 

Megan repelling off Mount Hector in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. 

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

After a couple days of climbing in Banff, our "gotta move" jitters were getting the best of us. On the road again we went! Now I guess I don't know what we were expecting the Alaskan Highway to be like, but we had pretty much prepared ourselves for a long, flat boring drive once we made it past Banff. To our surprise, though the mountains never truly disappeared from our view.

After hopping on the Alaskan Highway in Dawson's Creek, Alberta, we were greeted everyday with stunning views, tons of wildlife, and Tim Horton's Frozen Lemonade in just about every city. 

The Alaskan Highway.

The Alaskan Highway.

Fox off the Alaskan Highway.

Fox off the Alaskan Highway.

Our Tear Drop Camper on The Alaska Highway.

Our Tear Drop Camper on The Alaska Highway.

I firmly believe that once this trip is over, we will be the "Random Knowledge" champs of the world, because Megan has spent about 75% of this trip googling random questions that pop into our heads. "What's the population here?" "What city has the most snowfall?" "How long did it take to build Mount Rushmore?" "When did they start making 14 inch long Twizzlers?" Google it! Now, since we had no service in Canada, and WiFi was limited we were using the 2016 Milepost as Google for all our Alaskan Highway questions. As we were reading one afternoon we came across the write up for the Liard River Hot Springs. The Liard was a natural hot springs that had spots up to 126 degrees Fahrenheit. This was arguably the best 5 dollars we had spent the whole trip.

Megan at the Liard River Hot Springs off the Alaskan Highway.

Megan at the Liard River Hot Springs off the Alaskan Highway.

As hard as it was to leave the Springs, there we were back on the road once again, on the hunt for some road side wild life! Since being on the highway we had seen moose, foxes, black bears, and even their cubs. One evening we had set up camp when we looked up to find a small grizzly and her cub snacking on some grass not too far away. Honey, grab the camera! Hopefully that's the first and last time we have a grizzly bear sighting that close!  

Grizzly Bear off the Alaskan Highway.

Grizzly Bear off the Alaskan Highway.

Grizzly Bear cub off the Alaskan Highway. 

Grizzly Bear cub off the Alaskan Highway. 

After a couple days of driving in Canada, we had finally made it to the Yukon...that's right we had driven from Knoxville, Tennessee to the Yukon...words that I thought I would never say! Now, as exciting as it was to be in the Yukon, the Alaskan fever had officially set in. We were ready to be out of Canada and eager to get The Last Frontier. Not to mention...that sunshine we had been chasing since the Midwest was shining bright in Valdez. Let the great sunshine chase begin again! We woke up early that morning and began our 14 hour push into Alaska. Finally at 10 pm...or 11 pm...or 9 pm...what time zone are we in? We didn't know who's phone was irght and the sun was clearly not going down anytime soon to let us know...but to be honest we didn't even care. We had finally made it to Alaska: Land of the Midnight sun!

Megan celebrating at the Yukon sign off the Alaskan Highway.

Megan celebrating at the Yukon sign off the Alaskan Highway.

The famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada.

The famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada.

The Alaskan Highway.

The Alaskan Highway.

--Welcome to Valdez! Coming Soon!--