Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AlCan: Day 7 -- Haines Junction, YT to Tok, AK

I'm really glad I pushed the extra hundred miles into Haines Junction last night, because the overnight weather made the roads pretty slick and treacherous. The moment I started driving, I knew it was going to be a long, slow day!

There was a low, heavy overcast most of the time, but it opened up for moments here and there to offer some nice views. I would definitely put the combination in a "Beauty and the Beast" category!

Overall, I was able to average only about 30mph. In addition to the road's slickness, it had many "frost heaves" in it, undulations of a foot or more in depth that appeared out of nowhere and made my rig buck like a bronco. One minute you're cruising along, and the next you're bouncing out of your seat.

This section is by far the most challenging of the entire AlCan highway, though even at its worst it was never as bad as I feared it might be when I planned the road trip.

Mid-afternoon I rolled up to the Canada-US border and cleared through after only a few questions. A welcomed difference from my ordeal coming into Canada!

From the border, it's about 90 miles to the town of Tok, mostly along straight, flat, tundra-crossing roadway. It winds through mountain passes in places, and occasionally offers pretty views.

It took me almost ten hours to complete the day's three hundred mile drive. (I'll let you do the speed calculation on that for yourself.) This was definitely the hardest day of driving yet, a clear indication that I am pushing the season. I'm glad I only have one more day to go!

Here is the documentary video for Day 7:

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