Day 9 – Haines Junction, YT to Anchorage,AK

Today was to be our longest leg in our trek north so we left Haines Junction at 6:40 AM. Haines Junction is the town with the million dollar vista. It is located at the foot of the Elliot Mountain range and the view is spectacular from everywhere in town. We headed out on the Alaska Highway and soon started seeing wildlife. In short order we saw a black bear and a porcupine. Soon after that we saw a moose (very elusive). During the day we ended up seeing 5 moose, 3 bears, a porcupine, a bald eagle, a wolf, 2 chipmunks and 100’s of big ravens. Of special note was the beautiful grizzly bear. We pulled right up on him and he continued to eat grass without giving us any attention. Also one of the bears and 2 of the moose ran across the road in front of us.

One time today was a bit unnerving. We had stopped when I had seen a moose to take a picture. As I was backing the van back to where I had seen the moose I pulled the car to the shoulder. Unknown to me the shoulder was very soft and the van’s tires slipped off and we got stuck. Some guys stopped to help and we tried to push it back onto the road but no go. We determined that the narrow strip of rocks beside the road were solid so after removing the bigger rocks I drove off the road and took off like hell down the rock area. When I got going fast enough I jumped the van back onto the road. No damage to anything but our nerves but it was thrilling too!

We saw several different mountain ranges on our way, many snow capped and as we  got within 200 miles of Anchorage saw several glaciers. The highway for the last 150 miles before the US border was very rough and under construction in many places. This slowed us down substantially. We were on the road today for almost 13 hours so we are pretty bushed! But we’ve conquered the AlCan Highway! After fiddling around Alaska for some days we will conquer the AlCan in the opposite direction.

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