I can now cross driving the AlCan off my bucket list , since we just completed a trip from Alaska to Portland and back! It was a long haul – about 5,500 miles – but it went pretty smoothly and we saw lots of beautiful scenery. There was a plethora of wildlife along the route as well, including black bears, grizzlies, caribou, bison, elk, porcupines, beaver, mountain goats, deer, fox, ermine, swans, geese, hawks, rabbits and moose.
We didn’t stop at every attraction along the way, but we did hit a few of the fun ones:
The Hell’s Gate Airtram on the Fraser River was closed when we came through, but we did get to see the trams move across the canyon as they did safety checks on the equipment.
We picnicked at the 108 Mile House Heritage site before I wandered the 13 historical buildings from the old 108 Mile Ranch and 105 Mile Roadhouse. The Clydesdale barn was my favorite. I seriously considered digging up some of those amazing white and purple iris, but figured that would be frowned upon by the caretakers.
We missed the numerous chainsaw carvings in Chetwynd on the way down due to traveling at night, but enjoyed seeing them as we passed through during daylight hours on the way back.
Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church was created in 1954 out of a quanset hut previously used by the US Army during construction of the Alaska Highway. Today it’s the most photographed church in the Yukon.
The main reason for the trip was to pick up my 1955 F-100, which we trailered from Virginia to Portland last fall. We also loaded up several family heirloom items of my husband’s while at his mom’s house including a grandfather clock, plane models and a set of china with glassware.
Of course I took the opportunity to shop at retailers we don’t have in Alaska while there, with a pilgrimage to Home Goods, World Market and Marshalls. Posts on the treasures I found at each, along with a few others will be coming soon. Additionally, I enjoyed a session with personal shopper at Macy’s, which I will share in another post.
Because we live in Alaska, our visits with family are few, so making the most of them is important. Before leaving, I made sure to squeeze in some family portraits with the hubs and his mom.
But even with that, we still had many admirers along the way. Someone would ask about the F-100 every time we stopped, even when it was for road construction and we chuckled watching folks stop what they were doing to watch us go by. One guy stared so hard he fell off the bike he was riding!
All said and done, it was a wonderful experience full of fun memories.