It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us here on the blog. We’ve been busy driving like mad to make it from Alaska to the East Coast of the Lower 48 in less than 24 days. If you’ve missed out on the news so far, we have embarked on a six month road trip around the U.S. for the winter! Luckily we’ve been capturing the days by making LOTS of YouTube Videos!!
Everyone asks how we came to take this trip. It’s pretty simple, we’ve talked about it for years. We have always wanted to spend time exploring our beautiful country and since moving to Alaska, we would be able to have the added bonuses of wintering in warmer climates and visiting family and friends we don’t see as often as we would like along the way! We really started getting serious about making the trip happen this past winter and spring. Every year, we’ve talked about it, but THIS YEAR, things started to look like the stars might align and we would really be able make it happen. As the year progressed and each piece of the puzzle fell into place, we allowed ourselves to get more and more excited. In the summertime, we started to mention to our families that we MIGHT be headed south for the winter, but we kept very realistic expectations that if any one piece of the puzzle fell away, the trip would have to wait. Having the chance to meet the many RV bloggers who came to Alaska this summer, only served to fuel the fire that drove this trip, as we very much wanted to experience what our fellow bloggers shared with us about the full time RV lifestyle. In the final weeks of August, the last three major factors fell into place and we realized, we could do it! The North American Road Trip would happen!
We left our home in Seward in the trusted hands of friends on September 20th, went to Anchorage for five days of business and then took off for the great beyond on Friday afternoon.
The Unofficial Start
We knew we were cutting it close in terms of weather by waiting so late into September to leave, but we were hoping we’d get out of the state without incident. We didn’t! In the video below, we share the experience of getting stuck on the side of a mountain in the Alaska Range on the Tok Cutoff, our first night on the road.
Day 1: Stuck in a Snowstorm
At first it seemed like this was a terrible start to our trip, but as it turned out, we realized the universe had put us right where we were meant to be. We made a new friend and shared our humble abode with him, when the weather prevented him from moving down the road, despite there being no room at the nearby inn (literally). We were also in the right place at the right time to visit with someone on a very important occasion. If we had gone on to where we had planned to spend the night, we would’ve been without phone service and would’ve missed that opportunity. The details are probably less important to you, than the fact that we realized for the first of many times, just as the universe had lined up the stars to make this trip happen, that same greater power would make sure we were right where we were supposed to be at the exact moment we needed to be there. It’s humbling and empowering at the same time to have that realization when taking a trip like this and we’ve frequently been reminded that it’s really not by accident that we decided to take this journey.
The weather cleared the next morning and we were on our way again with blue skies and hearts full of hope. Thankfully, the remainder of our drive down the AlCan was uneventful, precarious at times, but nonetheless without incident.
Day 2: The Morning After and the Northwest Territory
Day Three was lovely! We saw wildlife, had the chance to check out the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake and leave our mark. The best part of the day came at the end though, when we rewarded our tired bodies for surviving the many hours on the road with a nighttime soak in Liard Hot Springs.
Day 3: Bear, Bison and a Bath
You’ll love day four. The Canadian Conservation Officers boarded our rig to ensure we were not transporting poached/illegal fish or wild game meat. At the end of the day, we had planned to have Chinese food for dinner at a restaurant Ben ate at with his dad when they drove our truck up back in 2008, but we never found the place. So we ate at a food truck instead. You’ll love the accents and friendly nature of these chefs.
Day 4: COPS and Taco in a Bag
We took the obligatory photo at the Alcan Sign in Dawson City. A little tired, but no worse for the wear, we pressed further down the road that night.
You might guess by the title of Day Five’s video that the road we chose left a bit to be desired. The day was off to a great start, we enjoyed beautiful farmland scenery in the morning hours, had lunch with our good buddies from JenEric Ramblings in Williams Lake, BC and then took off again hoping to clear the U.S. border by nightfall. Hoping, was the keyword in that last sentence…we made the mistake of believing the Milepost map and decided to take what turned out to be a steep, curvy highway across the mountains. 45 miles turned into over two hours of driving. We did witness an amazing sunset as well as the rising of a huge beautiful moon, but let’s just say, I became intimately familiar with first gear and left new finger indentations on our steering wheel. We finally found the big eight lane highway that we had hoped to reach and Ben started saying, “wouldn’t it be nice to find a Wal-Mart to park in overnight?” Well, we did in Merritt, BC and without much more thought, we exited the highway, parked the rig and went to bed. The border would have to wait another day…
Day 5: Sure, let’s take that road
Ben made his way back into the driver’s seat the next morning. As the day progressed, we were actually grateful we had decided to stop the night before. We drove through Peachland, BC that morning, which proved to be a breathtakingly beautiful region, one we would have missed if we’d driven through in the dark. We’d LOVE to stop here in the future for a time, as they had vineyards and wineries, fruit stands on every turn, two shimmering and inviting lakes and adventure sports all around. We resisted a great deal of temptation as we drove through this area, we were about to cross the border into the U.S. and didn’t know what fruits and vegetables they would allow us to bring as the list fluctuates regularly. We are of the mind that it is sacrilege to pass up wine tasting, but I had developed a migraine and Ben was behind the wheel, so neither of us really needed to partake of such liquid delights. Finally, we wanted to stop and play! We had been driving for DAYS and everyone in the RV (dogs included) were anxious to get out and stretch the legs. We pushed on though and crossed the border around 11am. They took our tomatoes and bell peppers, asked a few questions and sent us on our way. What a great feeling, we had made it! We drove the last few of hours from Osoyoos to Spokane, found another Wal-Mart, ran a few errands, had dinner with friends and went to bed. Tomorrow, we would play, today we needed a good rest.
Day 6: Back in the USA
Hope you’ve enjoyed this leg of our trip, it gets even better when we start stopping at fun places and doing cool stuff, so stay tuned. Be sure to subscribe to our blog and YouTube Channel and follow us on our social media outlets to keep up with us on our North American Road Trip!