We crossed the border

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Tok River State Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Friday, July 23, 2010

   I forgot to mention yesterday that we turned from the Cassiar scenic highway onto the Alaskan Highway. My brother Jerome had explained that the Alaskan highway looked like a bulldozer went through, cleared the trees and they built a road in the middle of it. That's a good description. The Cassiar Highway seemed to always have a view of beautiful mountains filled with trees and roadsides lined with wildflowers. The predominant color was dark pink but there was also yellow, white and lighter pink at times. They were gorgeous. I wondered aloud at one time that I hoped they were actually wildflowers and not some kind of noxious weeds that the highway department would be trying to wipe out at some time.
   So this morning we are going west on the Alaskan Highway through the Yukon Territory. At one point it dips back down into British Columbia for a stretch and then goes northwest again. There is a stretch from Whitehorse to Haines Junction that is terrible road. It's like a roller coaster, heaved we learn from the permafrost. We lower our speed considerably from the 55-65 mph we travel on good road. That converts to about 100 kilometers per hour which we've learned to convert quite readily after being in Canada for almost a week.
   Our goal today is to get to Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory by this evening so we can cross into Alaska first thing tomorrow morning. Slow and steady is the pace today as we get some fair roads for awhile but then get into a really bad stretch further north. It was also rainy today for only the second time, the first being the other time we drove on gravel roads through a construction zone. The rain filled on the dips on the highway which made it that much more difficult to tell how deep they were sometimes. We were really wondering how the motorcyclists got through it as it seemed downright hazardous for them.
   Even with the bad roads, we realized we were going to get to Beaver Creek by about 5:00 and that there were a couple RV Parks just across the Alaskan border that had pull through campsites so decided it would be worth the extra hour of driving to get there. The last 100 miles of road until the Alaskan border were by far the worst. I wondered at times if the car was going to get bounced right off the hitch! There were a few sections where the Canadian Dept. of Tranportation, Highway Department and US Government were doing testing to determine how to avoid the heaving in these areas. These are sections where the ground is permanently frozen under the highway. It causes major problems.
   We were so relieved to see the "Welcome to Alaska" sign. It was raining at the time and it was getting late in the day so we took a picture of it as we drove by but didn't bother stopping. Customs was easy again which was a relief and we thought we'd be at the RV Park in the next 3-5 miles. We got there and could see from the road that the pull-through sites looked like miniature lakes! They weren't level and each must have had a dip because they were full of water. We tried another campground across the road but they couldn't handle rigs our size and recommended that we go on to Tok. That was almost an hour's drive but within 10 minutes we were on smooth wide roads with shoulders. Oh, how we take for granted what we have some times.
   We found a state park just off the highway and a few miles from Tok, AK. They had pull through sites but no services which was okay. I had a cell phone signal about half way between the border and Tok so figured I should have broadband for Internet and e-mail also. It will be a pleasure to be able to connect with family and friends again after not having service most of the time in Canada.
   We went for a short walk around the campground as it had quit raining by the time we set up.
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