Time to head back to the Lower 48 or “civilization” as everyone in my family calls it. We were hoping to spend a lot more time driving back down, but life doesn’t always work out the way you want. While we can’t play as much as we want on our way back down we are taking a different route.
On the way up we took Hwy 37 which most people think is prettier and drops you in the middle of the Al-Can so the way home we choose Hwy 97 which lets you ride the whole Al-Can and gets us back to Seattle with only spending an extra 35 minutes (according to Google). Plus taking this way we get to hit Dawson’s Creek or as it is also known Mile 0. Plus I really just wanted to go to Dawson’s Creek and see if I can find Pacey and Joey (if you don’t get it Google).
We drove from Coldfoot to Tok where we decided it was best to stop do some laundry and get a shower in. We don’t relish the idea of driving late on the highway and it had been awhile since we had clean clothes or clean hair. Plus we weren’t quite ready to leave Alaska in our rearview mirror just yet. I got in a short run in Tok and actually ran a wee bit on the Alaskan Highway, plus one for being a runner.
The Old Man had some good interviews in Whitehorse and if nothing else he got to hear a lot of cool stories from people following their dreams/heart's/passion and still enjoying life. With “summer” so short everyone there enjoys their time outdoors and they make sure they are doing things outside of just working all the time. We did find a 1 acre fenced dog park for the pups to run around in. It was just like the woods only with a fence so no bears, porcupines, or moose. The dogs would chase squirrels all they wanted and they did even though neither of them were feeling 100%, I think they were missing Alaska and all that space.
The original plan was to spend a few days in Whitehorse and play, but time not being our friend we had to head out as soon as the Old Man was done interviewing. It is widely know that I am not a huge planner when it comes to our travel and it drives the Old Man crazy. Well chalk one up for not planning. We headed out of town early and figured we would get a few hours under our belt to make the next day a bit shorter.
After passing a few bears and driving through a herd of Bison we drove past the perfect camping spot next to the river and right off the road. We backed up, because you can back up when driving through the Yukon, and parked Luna hopped out and were amazed by our luck and the beauty. Busted out the chairs the wine and ate some leftovers while sitting around the fire listening to the river run behind us.
Up early for some reason and ready to get on the road. I took off while the Old Man slept and had the privilege of driving through the beautiful Marsh Lake area. Oh man it was a true thrill to get to drive slowly, without many other cars or trucks and with the Old Man asleep so I could enjoy the peace of the lake with no radio, windows down and the feeling of being alone. Living in a van is great, but it hinders too much alone time so these sneaky moments when I get them are really nice. I even made a few stops at the scenic views just to step out and enjoy the beauty.
After all my stops and a few more stops because of construction the Old Man woke up and we were already half way to Dawson Creek guess that is a perk of getting a freakishly early start to the day.
The only real plan for Dawson's Creek was to see the Mile 0 sign and sleep. We found a cheap place to sleep next to a bar and restaurant. Again the next morning I woke up freakishly early, so I drove away once again with the Old Man still asleep. I hit the mile 0 sign got my pictures. I was noisy enough to wake up the Old Man so I fed him and his hungover stomach and he went back to bed and I went back to driving.
The rest of the drive back to Seattle had a few bright spots, but I now know why everyone said that the drive up Hwy 37 was better than 97. Hwy 37 is a bit more remote but the scenery is prettier.
We crossed over the border in the Nexus lane with our fancy Global Entry claimed our Canadian coffee we were drinking and worked out way back to Seattle. Canada is great, but I am happy to be back where I know exactly what the speed limit signs mean and I don’t have to do math.
Next up Montana!