Archive for July, 2017

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Days 25-26 – Fairbanks

July 27, 2017

I’ve spent the past day and a half in Fairbanks and have done almost nothing (I’m up to season 3 of Burn Notice). This was basically a repeat of my Port Angeles hibernation, just more or less intentional this time.

It’s currently about 6:30am on Day 27, and the plan is to spend the next four days or so traveling The Dalton Highway, which is an unpaved, 400 mile road that reaches into the northern reaches of the state. It’s main function is to be a shipping and supply route for the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields on the Arctic Ocean, but it’s a public highway, so wanderlust civilians such as myself can also drive it.

This should be the most “extreme” segment of driving on the trip. By all accounts, this highway is remote in an older sense of the word and seriously, no kidding, not for the foolish or unwary.

I dunno. We’ll see what happens.

In the mean time, here are a few photos of downtown Fairbanks:

2017-07-26_9608_Fairbanks

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Day 24 – Whitehorse to Tok, Alaska

July 27, 2017

Well, after 2,400 miles by road and 300 miles by ship, I’ve made it to Alaska. So whatever else happens, my “Road Trip to Alaska” has lived up to it’s name.

I spent the first part of the day driving the majority of the Klondike Highway through Yukon to Dawson City, a town on the Yukon River that’s the last settlement before the Top of the World Highway takes you into Alaska.

The scenery wasn’t quite as epic as the previous few days, but that was fine. I sort of needed the break.

2017-07-24_9049_Yukon 2

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Days 22-23 – Prince Rupert to Whitehorse

July 27, 2017

The last two days were a 17 hour, 850 mile drive through northern British Columbia and southern Yukon. It turns out that northern British Columbia and southern Yukon are more than a little scenic. “Gorgeous” may be the word.

Before I got to any of that though, I had to get out of Prince Rupert. I’m sure I would have been more into the town if I was a fisherman, and the weather wasn’t helping, but walking around, I couldn’t get adjectives like “dank” and “dreary” out of my head.

2017-07-23_8385_Port Hardy

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Day 21 – Inside Passage

July 24, 2017

The weather didn’t cooperate. On the day of my much anticipated sea voyage through the Canadian section of the Inside Passage, it was cold, raining, and gray from sunrise to sunset. *shrug* What are ya gonna do?

Even cold and gray, the Inside Passage is something to see.

I arrived at the port at 5:30am, and after an interminable wait, rolled onto the ship. Or is it a boat? I’m still not sure.

At 150m long and with seven decks, the MV Northern Expedition is by far the largest boat… er, ship I’ve ever been on:

2017-07-21_8131_Inside Passage

Om nom nom nom

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Days 17-20 – Vancouver Island

July 24, 2017

After my last post went up, I got a call from BC Ferries, with whom I’d had a reservation for the July 25th ferry from Port Hardy, Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert, northern British Columbia. It turned out that a spot on the July 21st ferry, which I was wait listed on, had opened up. So my stay on the island, which was originally scheduled for two days, then ballooned to 10, was now down to six, with four remaining.

I’ve spent those four days sort of kicking around the island, in the general direction of North. I generally wasn’t taking a lot of photos per day, so instead of four micro posts, I’ve combined the four days into one super sized one for you. Get ready for a lot of scrolling.

I started Monday with a late breakfast in Nanaimo, ambled through a few book stores, and walked the water front.

2017-07-17_7102_Nanaimo

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Day 16 – Victoria to Nanaimo

July 17, 2017

This first day of my extended stay on Vancouver Island was light. I rolled my ankle pretty bad yesterday, in a parking garage of all places, so I need to once again take it easy for a few days.  I have a few ideas for the next week penciled in, but I’m not too worried about keeping a schedule.

Today, I took the scenic route from Victoria to Nanaimo, a port town about 60 miles to the north. The direct route is Highway 1, a four lane divided highway -which is also the western start of the Trans-Canada Highway- along the East coast.  I instead mapped out a route that would take me along the more remote West coast and then through the mountains across the island and into Nanaimo. That route didn’t quite work out, but more on that in a minute.

My first stop was for lunch in Sooke, a town that it should be noted has an annual festival called Sookapalooza.

2017-07-16_6871_Sooke

At the delightfully named Whiffin Spit.

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Day 15 – Delayed

July 17, 2017

‘Hit a snag this morning.

My plan has always been to take a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, spend a day or two on the island and then take a long distance ferry from Port Hardy, on the northern tip, to Prince Rupert, on the mainland in northern British Columbia. I liked the idea of the long distance (the trip, or maybe I should say voyage, takes 16 hours) ferry because it was different than what I’ve done before and because it goes through the Inside Passage, something I’ve always wanted to see.

I didn’t want to make a reservation for the long distance ferry too far in advanced, because I couldn’t be sure what day I’d be getting into Port Hardy. From what I’d read, if the ferry was full on my intended departure day, I’d have to wait at most a day or two for an opening. I was fine with that.

When I called this morning to go ahead and make a reservation for the 17th, the day after tomorrow, I was told that the ferry out of Port Hardy was booked solid until August 6th.

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