Although this has nothing to do with SI, I think this email from my daughter is interesting:
Hi !!!!!!!!Some of you have been waiting patiently to hear how my trip from
Alaska to North Carolina went~ here goes!!!(For those of you who don't have time to read it right now, this is LONG)
I started out Friday, March 12th around 2:30 in the afternoon (I had planned to leave earlier, but had to repack the car 3 times to fit most of my junk
in!) I ended up with 3 tires on a roof rack (had studs on the car) and no rear view!
March 12: Traveled north through Alaska to Tok, then south to Beaver Creek ~just over the US/Canadian border where I stayed the night in a hotel that much resembled a trailer, but clean at least. The drive was absolutely beautiful,lots of rolling hills and mountains~I stopped to take some pictures before I left the state. The roads were OK, but you could see where it would be bad when the snow melted ... big holes packed with snow, every time a semi would come past the other direction, it would kick up so much snow from the sides ofthe road that visibility was ZERO for about 30 seconds~(8 1/2 hours drive)
March 13: Left Beaver Creek expecting to make some serious
headway through the Yukon~HA !!! Yea, right!!! About an hour into my drive through LOTS of mountainous 2 lane roadways, I came upon MAJOR 'highway'construction. So
major, that you had to wait for a truck to come and guide you through ~ going a grand 8 miles per hour! After my tour of Canadian roadwork, I was back on my way to Haines Junction...the weather was great! Bright and sunny ~ just
when I got back up to speed (around 85-90mph) I hit more major construction ~same thing, had to wait 30 minutes for a 'Pilot Truck' to guide me through ~ BIG rocks in this road, I think they had just blown up a mountain or something
~ I finally got back in gear towards Haines junction~Made it past Whitehorse and Watsons Lake...some very pretty driving through the Yukon, if someone had the time to do a lot of sightseeing/camping/hiking, this area would be very
enjoyable (LOTS of solitude) MAJOR mountains, 2 lane roads...It was about 9 PM somewhere near Watsons Lake,
when I decided to stop (middle of nowhere the whole trip) and water the snowbank... I found a small turnout area on the side of the road ~the roads were pretty snow covered and it was hard to tell where the road ended and the snow
began ... as I was stopping, my tires caught the edge of the road/snow and sent me sliding into a snow bank, no biggie, just in a snowditch and stuck (and pissed off!) Here I was in the middle of B. F. E. with almost NO
traffic, and had just passed a sign that said BEAR WARNING!(duh, great place to stop, but when ya gotta ~) I said a few words to the snow and got out my flashlight and a flare and went to the road... LUCKILY within about 5 minutes
(temp outside about 5 degrees) I flagged down an older couple in a 4wdrive ~ they happened to have a tow rope and pulled me out (drug me against the snow bank quite a ways first, but I wasn't gonna complain) Ironically, they were
on their way to Anchorage from a visit with their daughter in WA~ their other daughter lived in NC~ I guess considering the road conditions and having fizzled my nerves a bit, I decided to stop at the next hotel..which they informed me was about 30 min down the road~over an hour later, I got there~No room in the INN~only had 8 rooms~so I kept truckin ... about another hour later, I came to a cute little cabin/hotel in Muncho Lake, British
Columbia~owned by a German family, they had 2 rooms open, sort of a fishing area, no TV, no phone~but VERY clean, if anyone ever wanted to travel to the middle of NOWHERE(ha) I would strongly recommend this little place.(12 1/2
March 14: Left Muncho Lake to head toward Fort St. John, BC, then on to Dawson Creek on the border of BC and Alberta~ nothing too exciting this part of the trip, finally got to some decent wide highway around Fort Nelson, BC (where the Alaska highway ends) I suppose it is called the Alaska highway because the roads suck, just like in Alaska(lol)... Then I headed into Alberta. This was great driving, wide highway and lots of sunshine! Until it got dark... I was close to Edmonton and hit a major snowstorm...I had already cleaned off my headlights from all the slush along the way 4 or 5 times, and now they were once again covered, very little visibility, and lots of snow on the road~ I was pretty tired too, so I decided to stop one exit before Edmonton in Spruce Grove. This was a cute little town and I stopped at what looked like a decent hotel ~ wrong ... turns out it had a big bar and a '24
hour coffee shop' attached, the rooms were decorated with a folding table and chair ~ at least they had TV and phone, otherwise scumville. Needless to say, the picture taking pretty much stopped by this point, the beautiful mountain
scenery that I had encountered seemed like it was never ending :) (13 1/2 hours drive)
March 15:(Monday) Well, nothing like heading into a big
~foreign~ city right at rush hour! After getting through traffic in Edmonton, I breezed through to Saskatchewan where right over the provincial border, I was
handed a hefty speeding ticket. I was only going 50 in a 35, it just seemed too slow for traffic... I guess the dirt covered, packed car with Alaska plates kinda stuck
out! The police officer was kind enough to inform me (3 times)that if I didn't pay the ticket, that I would not be allowed to drive in Saskatchewan ~ according to his tone, he was obviously saying not to worry about it, but to
slow down ~ he also was nice enough to inform me that there were 3 more highway patrol posts between there and Saskatoon (the next big city). After leaving the nice officer and making sure he was going the other direction, I put the cruise control back on 85 and went drivin! The roads
were so great! I don't know why the Canadians insist on doing 60mph~Well, they DO insist on going so slow, and handed me a SECOND speedingticket~ I cruised through Regina and headed toward Winnipeg. OK, I slowed down, for a
while ... in the province of Manitoba they seem to follow the same silly speed limit and handed me a THIRD ticket! ( 3 in a day, ouch!) It was just so nice outside, not much traffic, and the best roads I have ever seen ~what is wrong
with those Canadians anyway?? :) All I can say, is that I am lucky to NOT have been on US soil, although I was thinking I might get in big trouble if I got another fine ~ sneaky cops ~ don't speed in Saskatchewan or
Manitoba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was getting dark and THANK GOD! ~ THE US BORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No problems getting into or out of Canada. I was hyped to finally make it back to the US, so any fatigue was gone! I entered the US in North Dakota and drove on to Grand Forks. The US speed limits were usually 70 and I was a
little more careful! (I quit counting hours and started counting miles here~~ 956 miles driven)
March 16: I left Grand Forks and headed into Minnesota toward Minneapolis~I got there right after rush hour, so it wasn't so bad ...I then trucked on to Wisconsin through Madison and down to Illinois... Chicago... 4:50pm~SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It took me almost 2 hours to get through Chicago, and that was on a bypass of downtown ~ if I never see Chicago again, I won't be upset!!!...Not even stop and go traffic, just STOP!... Why do they have 15 toll lanes and then stuff
you all back into 2 lanes directly after the toll booth?? Could that have ANYTHING to do with the traffic jam? Finally made it through and headed to Gary, Indiana... Once again, a beautiful sunny day! Passed Indianapolis and
stopped for the night in Scottsburg, Indiana.(992 miles driven)
March 17:(Wednesday) I was determined to get out of the car by the end of the day! I headed into Kentucky and missed rush hour in Louisville,but got smack in the middle of it in Lexington ~ ho-hum ~ this is why I don't like big
cities. Cruising through Lexington and down through Knoxville,TN ~ very pretty! ~ by the way, there is nothing to miss from North Dakota all the way through Kentucky (unless you are really into cows) I started hitting
mountains again, but this time ~ no snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Through Knoxville to Asheville, NORTH CAROLINA! :) ALMOST HOME!!!!
I actually live north of Charlotte in Huntersville (Concord till the 21st of April). Driving was slow because of the mountains, butbeautiful ~ Asheville will be nice to visit again sometime. About 3 hours later I made it to the
Powerteam shop in Huntersville (the new beau is on a Winston Cupteam) . The guys there washed a few layers of the dirt off my poor little car. It WAS brand new, now it has a few paint nicks and scratches and a cracked windshield from rocks on the road~ :( that all
can be fixed though.
Quite a trip! But well worth it! My 2 cats are still in Alaska and will be flown down Tuesday (they'll hate the 11 hour flight) After an entire day of rest, I then went to Darlington, SC with Joe for the weekend race. (HE drove!)
Things here are great and I start work for a dentist on Wednesday!
TAKE CARE EVERYONE!!!!!!!:)suzie
Is there anyone out there from my generation with daughters?
(Curtis '57)...DAN BLAINE
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