Monday, June 24, 2013

AK to CA: Day 4

Tok, AK to Haines, AK...via Canada?!

Wildlife: 1 brown bear, 1 mama black bear with her cub, lots of swans, and two swimming moose 

Today was the longest day of driving that we have planned for this trip.  To get to Haines, where the ferry will take us and our car down to Bellingham, it was about 440 miles from Tok.  About half of that road was filled with frost heaves (basically making it like a roller coaster ride!).  It was slow going for part of the day, but we had beautiful weather and mostly cooperative passengers.

The view out my window for most of the day
At the first border crossing, we made the obligatory stop at the "Welcome to Alaska" and "Welcome to Yukon" signs.  But we couldn't bring ourselves to pose with both.

Ava contemplated making a run for the (right) border.

We spent a good portion of our morning and early afternoon traveling around Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon Territory.

After a early afternoon stop in Haines Junction for leftover Moose's Tooth pizza and a treat at the VIllage Bake Shop, we were finally on to new-to-us territory.  After having driven the Alaska Highway three times, it's nice to not know what's coming next.  And the road to Haines was full of fabulous surprises.  The first of which being this stop, which occurred because a certain girl has a knack for needing to use the facilities when there are none actually available.

Most of the road between Haines Junction and the Alaskan border runs through enormous mountains, at tundra level.  Even though it was 65 degrees, there were still plenty of patches of snow.  There weren't many places to pull off to take photos, so we finally just pulled to the shoulder to capture this view.  We were the only vehicle for miles, anyway.  Note the white ribbon of road.  The mountains were just enormous.

After our second border crossing of the day, which was as simple as the first, we were happy to be on Alaskan soil for the last day, for now at least.  We pulled into Haines around 4:30, and are staying at another peaceful cabin in the woods at the Beach Roadhouse, with a peek-a-boo view of the mountains and bay.

After dinner at The Bamboo Room, which was quick classic diner food, we are enjoying our front porch...this time without so many killer mosquitoes.

Tomorrow: a run for the grown-ups, wandering around Haines, and relaxing before our midnight ferry journey.  While on the ferry, we will probably be incommunicado unless we get a signal while in port.  Our stops include Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan before over a day at sea to Bellingham.  We'll check in when we can!

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