(Loonie is what they call the $1 Canadian coin)
A sunny morning greeted our last day in ALASKA. 15 in all and yes we will spend more days traveling in our car than exploring AK…WAS IT WORTH It? U Betcha!
One more quick visit to Wrangle St Elias NP with clear views of the front range of 12-14,000 footers, a hike along the bluff above the River and we boarded Redd-Y for the long bumpy (no flats yet) ride to Tok and the Canadian border.
Along the way we have learned so much about the building of the Alaskan Highway in 1942 with full out support from the US military and many soldiers from the Deep South who knew little to nothing about winter. 1400+ miles and all completed over unbelievable terrain – ALL IN 8 MONTHS!!
After the hike we charged up for our last “Recharge Alaska” session at the Glennallen Subway shop and headed for the border with sites seen from a different vantage point. All the views seemed new and the mountains in Wrangel St Elias we’re more open than on the way in.
A long wait for a pilot car to help us cross a construction site and we reached the Canadian border around 11 pm and still the summer light hanging on. Arriving at Beaver Creek with no place open for sleeping. Even tried the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) station and no one answered my knocks and bell ringing.
With the midnight dusk deepening we set up the tent on the visitor center grounds totally missing the “No camping” signs until morning…whopppsie
COOL DIP AND THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
After apologizing for our guffaw with the Visitor Center ladies, Sid stopped in. We had met Sid Van Der Meer (84, originally from the Netherlands) and a collector of almost anything you can think of. He gave us a tour at his living museum in Beaver Creek, and just look at the photos and visit Sid’s website, featured in multiple articles and media productions. Here is a man with a very clear purpose and vision and he plans to live many more years and has a son who is following in his footsteps, at least with his love of old autos. including at 1951 Buick, our first family car.
The nasty road to Haines Jct was more mild than we remembered. Perhaps we are just getting acclimatized to our “Northern Exposure”.
Stopped for a late breakfast at Burwash Landing for a “Flo” charge. Thanks to the Yukon government for supporting the EV movement with free charging for the time being.
Talk about inspirational characters, at Berwash Landing we met 2 bicyclers Gary 58, from Germany doing a short jaunt from Anchorage to Juneau. And Seth, 28?, from Michigan, about a month in to his point to point journey from Prudhoe Bay on the northern most tip of AK to the southern most tip of Argentina. I said to Seth “ that will take a year” and he said to me “ that’s what I’ve been thinking”. I’ll be following his journey on Instagram, oh my!!
And there was also Brian and Jean with their dog, Puddles, and their Vistabule teardrop trailer – from Minnesota and they know Paul’s brother, Peter through Holden Village. Another small world moment.
The least I could do after that meeting was to take a Dunk in Lake Kluane the largest lake in Yukon. Temp, possibly 50 F but no more. Mindy caught the Yukon shower on video, now how to show that here.
Back on the road to Whitehorse. No word from Malkomb so we just charged at the Visitors Center and got a ton of help from Lindsey and Michelle in finding a place to stay on our way to Watson Lake. Everyone was full up except a small hotel in what looked like a giant cooler on the continental divide (that’s either the Bering Sea to the west or the Arctic Ocean to the north). We were happy to have a bed to share after another loooooong day on the AK highway.