Thursday, October 22, 2009

AlCan: Day 1 -- Seattle, WA to Hope, BC

After doing as much planning and preparation as I could, my Seattle to Fairbanks road trip commenced this morning. Sooner or later, you just have to start driving. Originating from a city like Seattle, the drive invariable began on a fast urban freeway. The fall foliage was a beautiful reminder that winter is on the way, and that it is about time I got started on my journey north.

After a couple of hours on the road, I pulled up to the border crossing in Sumas, WA, honestly expecting a swift clearance to continue on my way. That's not quite how it worked out, however, as the Canadian immigration officials seemed to be more than a little perplexed about what a guy was doing driving a truck and camper through their country to Alaska in winter.

Once their questions began, it was clear that my life choices are sufficiently outside their mental comfort zone that further investigation would be required. So, I was asked to pull over, my camper was searched, I was broadly questioned about my life, my background was checked, my websites were reviewed, my money was counted and then -- almost two hours later -- I was handed my documents and wished a pleasant journey.

Once in Canada, the road opened up quite a bit and the drive was easy, pretty and enjoyable. The weather remained overcast with occasional rain all day, but that's pretty much to be expected throughout this area at this time of year.

Unfortunately, the border crossing episode put me a couple of hours behind my schedule for the day, so I stopped a bit short of my mileage goal in the town of Hope, BC. I checked into a funky little motel that was perfectly adequate for my simple overnight needs, then had some dinner at a Chinese restaurant across the street. I hit the rack very early, happy to be on my way and looking forward to moving farther north and more into the wilds.

Here is the documentary video for Day 1:

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