Three days ago we put our thumbs out in Whitehorse to once again meet a new day with new possibilities, unknown motorists and new sights. Our first that day was Beat. He was a soft-spoken man who immigrated from Zürich Switzerland 17 years ago after his truck broke down in Haines Junction while he was on holiday. This was a common theme among residents we have met, but I don’t think it will happen to us. Beat was a hospitable man who was eager to show us the sights and share the history of the area. He took us the long way through Champagne (above photo) on the original Alaska Highway completed in 1942 by the U.S. Army for the purpose of connecting the contiguous U.S. through Canada to Alaska. We were dropped off in his home of Haines Junction where traffic was at an all time low. All we could do was keep smiling and hope for the best.
Adam came to our aid with his rusty, trusty pick-up truck on his way to see his girlfriend in Bur wash Landing. We shared an apple and some cheese and enjoyed a quiet ride of beautiful scenery for 170 km.
We slept in an abandoned campground where we were greeted by two huge black labs who befriended us, slept right outside our tent and guarded us all night. Good dogs!
The next morning, much to our surprise, our ride was a family in an RV. Our first ride in one. The Murakami family immediately made us feel like part of the family. They were kind and generous and so much fun to travel with. We sang camp songs, played cards with the kids and stopped at all the tourist sites. It was very much like being in National Lampoons Family Vacation.
When we crossed the border in to Alaska the border patrol officer took one look at us, turned to Mr. Murakami and said “picked up a couple hitchhikers?” then proceeded to lecture him on the possible dangers of bringing hitchhikers across the border who could be carrying illegal drugs! Though we may have felt like part of the family, I guess we didn’t look it.
So after 24 amazing, interesting and unique rides, we have arrived. The home of awe-inspiring vistas, vast wilderness, Glacier carved valleys, King Salmon and today, rain. We are road weary but happy to be here safe and sound. Happy to have a home base for a few weeks before the other half of our journey begins.
With gratitude & Love,