Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coming To Alaska

There were supposed to be two more runs to Tok- one from Burwash Landing at the end of Kluane Lake to Border City just over the Alaska border and after clearing customs (which by the way was quick and easy, despite the fact that they took two of our lemons to keep Citrus Canker from spreading the Alaska citrus crop- yea, right!). The second run should then have been from Border City on in to Tok. But when the alarm sounds on the dash and the Anti-lock Braking System indicates a failure, well, it's time to reconsider things. So since the regular brakes were in tact, we decided to keep going and do it all in one run to the only place left where help of this kind may be available. This run must be done slowly. Despite the fact that most of the road is paved, there will be times when you wish it were not- it gets really bad at some places and too much speed could be a real problem in a hurry. I don't call this stretch the Alaska Highway. I call it the "Are you really sure you want to go to Alaska Highway." because if you don't- time to turn around. If you do, keep it in Drive and proceed with caution. Drink something other than hot coffee in your mug on this road, otherwise you will be more likely to wear it than drink it. You will pass IDA's place by Beaver Creek. The old knock knock jokes will start to fly. Who's there? Ida. Ida who? I'da been here sooner but the car broke down! This is a fitting joke for this road. It could happen!!!!!

With bad brakes on your mind, the trip, which is other wise wonderful despite the road condition, seems like an awful long run. We joked that we would not stop in Tok and proceed to Siberia across the polar ice cap just so that we could color in Siberia on our visited places map.

As you will see from the slide show, the swans were pairing up and beginning to rest, eat, and nest. They are beautiful birds and frankly unexpected in these parts. You wouldn't think such a large bird would come all the way to Alaska to summer vacation...but that is what they do for sure. Also in the slide show today, expect to see the wounded coach get encircled by hungry and opportunistic coyotes looking to feast. Then watch for the moose in the construction zone who held us up even further by playing "Chicken" (see the theme here) with the pilot car.

Not on the slide show is the fact that Alaska has a time one of its own- 4 hours earlier than the time on the East Coast. Which is somewhat important as the insurance adjusters on the East Coast start calling us here in Alaska at 4 in the morning because of the accident in Whitehorse back a few days. I have mixed feelings about this. I am delighted they are right on top of things. I just wonder if we could take care of business a little later in the morning. Yawn! And now off to see if Willard can get a handle on the brake issue!

Oh and in the "Alaska Is Heaven" department- All but the 5 of the last 47 miles into Tok is a brand spanking new, nicely paved, smooth road into town. And by the time you get here? The last 5 miles will be done too.


millymoy said...

dear marilyn and greg, i look forward to seeing your progress day to day. get those brakes fixed so you can relax and get on up to chicken and say hi to mike and his bride. mary and i will see them in august, and you too maybe! bill. ps. just finished reading tisha! it was fun to read.

BIG SKY CHEF said...

Thanks for all the Great Pics. For Us that are parked for awhile, it's folks like you two that keep the On The Road Blood Flowing