We took the same way back — the Alaska Highway to the Cassiar south to the Yellowhead Highway, then south on the Cariboo Highway to the US/Canadian border. Bob put in some serious miles each day — sometimes over 400 — and we were at the crossing within a week of leaving Denali.
It gave us time to see some things a second time and reflect on our amazing journey. Of course, the most amazing things are those not caught on camera. I like to say, when I go anywhere without my camera, “We’re going to see something amazing today,” because that’s sort of the Murphy’s Law for us photobugs.
Even so, I snap away when I can at the oddities that strike us… In no particular order, here are some from the last several months.
Fellow RVers will appreciate the compact practicality of not only leaving your truck camper behind, but not having to take it off the truck:
Packing is usually tricky, but the owners of this car seem to have figured out what the rest of us haven’t:
I like collecting names of businesses (like the Basshole Bar and Grill in Lakehead, CA) and mottos (like JB Lawn Company’s “We Keep Growin’ a ‘Lawn'” near Salem, OR). Signs are fun, too…
…although it’s surprising how many businesses pick a pretty font but neglect to think about whether anybody can actually read their sign from the road. By the time we figured out this was a cafe, we were past it (didn’t look like it was open, anyway):
We saw so many closed roadhouses and businesses it was a good thing we weren’t keeping count:
How fast could you tell if your rig would fit under this bridge? Think fast! You’re going to be under it soon!
And why don’t more cities put recycling bins around town so you can toss plastic bottles and shopping bags, aluminum cans, and other items into them instead of stuffing them into garbage cans?
And how about a recycling station for used oil and anti-freeze, like this one?
It’s good to look up. Sometimes the clouds are doing amazing things we’d miss if we didn’t gaze at them now and then:
Just don’t look up for so long you miss those critical orange flags along the road, marking where bad pavement lurks. (If only they were in the right places… we were sure they left them after some places were repaired and didn’t mark places that needed them… but hey… something’s better than nothing, right?)
Of course, extra flags and signs always help:
Accuracy didn’t count with this pilot vehicle, either. (Car?? Really?!?)
We got really good at estimating how far away a vehicle was and which direction it was headed by looking at the dust it kicked up:
If only we could have driven the RV and truck under this waterfall, we might have gotten at least a little of the dirt off:
Coastal communities get it: not only do they make life jackets available for free to ensure children use them on the water, but people respect the initiative enough not to steal them:
Isn’t “Rent-A-Can” a better name than “porta-potty”?!? We think so, too.
We don’t even want to know what this sign is advertising….
…but got a kick out of this place…
…that had this sign in front of it:
(Brings alive the old saying “One person’s junk is another’s treasure,” doesn’t it?)
Much is different in Alaska — everyone who’s been there, even to visit, would agree. But counting? Maybe it’s me, but no matter how long I stared at this sign, I couldn’t figure out how the eight numbers for “Seats Available” matched the seven days of the week:
RVers have seen so many drivers like this one we probably should be used to them… you know what I’m talking about: the people who tail you so close you pull over to let them pass — just so they can slow down in front of you. Here’s just one violator.
And what’s up with this guy? Does he think if he’s not looking at that caribou it won’t suddenly decide to come after him?!? He hasn’t heard the old adage: “Closest one to the wild animal is the first one gored.”
Were we the only ones scratching our heads about the idea of “subdivisions” in rural areas? A series of signs pointing to “subdivisions” lined the Alaska Highway east of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. We just want to know, subdivisions of what? At least give us a hint.
I’ve written about the need some people must have to leave their mark on the world, even if it’s with rocks on a hillside. No matter how many places we pass like this one, I’ll never understand it.
Those of us who grew up in the Midwest and frequent the West aren’t surprised to see cattle guards on the front of tractor-trailer rigs. Maybe they just look bigger and stronger up here, but this looks more like a moose guard, don’t you think?
Sometimes we just see something that begs a photo, even if it is on the fly from the side window:
A series of train tunnels across the Fraser River:
I missed centering this photo as we passed the sign, but you get the gist….
Hoo boy. And after those fabulously empty two-lane highways (yes, I’m thinking of the Cassiar Highway… the Tok Cut-Off… even the Parks Highway in some sections), this mass of traffic was not welcome. Nope. Not one bit.
It was late August 2013, and our Alaska-BC-YT adventure had come to an end.
But wait! There’s more! Watch for future posts on some things we learned that might help you if you’re planning a trip to the land of the midnight sun, including why we opted to drive solo rather than take a cruise or travel with a caravan.