The last three days of the drive were pretty much through sparsely inhabited territory, but to connect all the dots, I offer the following.
Here’s Joe capturing the scenery from the laundromat at an RV park in Haines Junction, YT.
This is the view Joe saw from the porch.
We stayed at a small wifi-less motel in Haines Junction, whose name escapes me, lost in the blur of tiny, dark and “rustic” roadside hideaways. We awoke and took to the highway toward the Alaska border and the village of Tok Junction.
By now, we were pretty inured to the spectacular scenery, but here’s some.
And here’s some more.
And this is Kluane Lake, which we drove beside for about 50 miles.
We drove at this mountain for 20 minutes before veering to the right.
We were getting pretty blase by this point, but then, a ways up ahead, we saw something large and brown rooting around by the roadside.
It was a mama grizzly and her cub. We stopped as close as we dared and took some pictures.
As we snapped away, mama started walking along the ditch straight to where we were parked. Instinctively, we felt it best to remain in the car. With my finger on the window button. That safety glass will hold them off.
The grizzly could probably tell from the look on my face that we were no threat, but she didn’t even bother to look up at us or at the other cars that stopped.
The two of them just walked off into the trees. Just another day in the forest. Damn tourists.
I won’t go into detail about every mile of the last two days driving except to say it rained both days in the morning.
But then it cleared up every afternoon.
The state of Alaska provided generously for our every need.
About two hours out of Anchorage we passed an interesting roadside attraction. It was a sort of curated collection of rusting old mine equipment. Of course, we stopped.
This was labeled as a coal separator so I guess it is. It did seem kind of “happy to see us”, though.
These are a collection of portable single cylinder gasoline engines used for hoists and such.
Everything there could stand a little restoration.
This limited edition lime green Dodge Charger with official NASCAR spoiler was parked in the lot next to us. I was going to ask what year it was, but the crazy woman animatedly talking to herself behind the wheel frightened me.
We continued on into Anchorage and found Kim and Dave’s house without any trouble. They were off camping with the kids but Pauline came out to greet us. We exchanged hugs all around.
After 14 days and 5,375.9 miles, the odyssey was over. Joe and I were quite happy to relinquish the keys.
We relaxed in the condo all afternoon while Pauline happily drove her beloved Forester to the supermarket, an oil change, and a car wash. Then she treated Joe and I to a home cooked meal of mashed potatoes and ribs. It was fantastic.
To round out the day, we went out to a local bar, The Long Branch Saloon, in the bright 10 PM daylight. It was…interesting. We had a couple of beers and then straight home to bed.