Welcome Back! Those were the words that the customs agent said to me as he handed back our passports crossing the border into Alaska. That could easily be the phrase of the day although I'll get to that shortly. From Haines Junction this morning we trekked the nearly 300 bumpy but beautiful miles to Tok, Alaska. Note the fourth picture of Kluane Lake, the largest body of water in the Yukon spanning some 150+ square miles of surface area. It truly is massive and amazingly beautiful. Although the kids paused occasionally to enjoy the joy and a couple of moose, they were appropriately engaged in the 3-D version (noted above with their spectacles on) of The Polar Express. The top two pictures were obviously taken at the border. The second however, is unique in that it is the international boundary marker. In essence, I stood with one foot in the Yukon and one in Alaska.
We entered Alaska at 1400 hours local time. Alas, our last time zone change, and we are now four hours behind the East coast. From the border the road increasingly got better although there were still a number of frost heaves left over. For those that have driven in the North, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you that do not heaves occur when the road settles due to the perma frost. At any rate, it makes for a bumpy ride. The two unlucky passengers in the back of the Burb look like bobble heads when we go through the heaves.
We arrived at Tok in ample time set up camp and make a run to the local grocery. In celebratory fashion on the occasion of our arrival in the motherland, we had grilled steak and chicken tonight. Lori will be embarrassed as I share that we had instant mashed potatoes but nonetheless, they went well with superbly grilled steaks on our first night in Alaska!
We are staying at the Sourdough Campground. A rather nostalgic place along the ALCAN noted for its nightly ritual of pancake tossing. The object is to toss the leftover morning pancakes into a bucket. Each contestant gets two pancakes/chances and upon successfully hitting the target, the lucky thrower gets free breakfast. Of all people, our non-breakfast lover, Tara, completed the feat in one toss. We told her she at least had to try a pancake tomorrow morning. The rest of us will pay to watch her eat her free breakfast I suppose. At any rate, this has been a fun campground to stay in. We enjoyed fellowship with two other contestants from Florida, traveling in their retired years. On a side note, I've determined that one must have gray hair in order to own a full size RV. If you don't believe me, just notice the hair color of the driver the next time you spot an RV.
Well, tomorrow our ALCAN journey will come to an end and a new journey will begin. We are slated to look at houses all day Thursday. We do appreciate your prayers as we will soon be faced with decisions concerning where we will live. The blog will continue although possibly not as intensely regular as it has the last two weeks. In any case, thanks again for those of you that have followed us along the way and have lifted us in prayer as well. Blessings to all, more to come from Eagle River/Fort Richardson!
Brad, Lori, Tara, Shayna, Marissa, Kavan, & Reba too!
Phrase of the Day: "Get in Mommy and I drive you to Alaska." (Kavan speaking to his mother shortly after his picture above was taken as she attempted to remove him from behind the wheel. This photo was taken in Beaver Creek, Yukon, 20 miles from the border in Buckshot Betty's parking lot.)