Fri 13 Nov 09

Anchorage, AK! Four days, 2570 miles, on a wintery drive to Alaska. Pretty good.

Today we made it from Whitehorse, YT in one long push of about 17 hours. I drove the Alaska stretch starting about twenty miles east of the border in Yukon (about 11 hours). The morning plan while gassing up in ridiculous cold in Whitehorse had been to stop at Tok, AK (about the halfway point), but we rolled into Tok at about 3:30 PST and decided we could make the last 328 mile run. Made Anchorage at 11:15 local time.

Roads again were ice and snow packed in Canada, with frequent frost heaves added in for good measure. Jostled all morning. Much better condition on the US side. Some magnificent views of flanking Alaskan peaks, even under cloudy skies, for much of the day.

We did hit about 150 miles of snow flurries while crossing mountain passes in AK, again after dark which slowed the pace considerably. Roads were very dicey in the blowing snow. On an uphill climb while I was driving, the twelve-foot trailer we were towing inexplicably seemed to lose traction and began spinning us toward the shoulder (car had been fine, but I felt the tail yanked away). I tried to correct, thought I had it for a second (but probably actually had over corrected), felt the car begin to spin the other way, again corrected and suddenly had no control as we spun into the oncoming lane and came to rest facing the opposite direction we’d been going on the far side shoulder. If you’ve ever spun out in a winter you know the feeling, but believe me, spinning out with a massive trailer tethered to your bumper adds another level of excitement.

Smell of burning tire rubber and heart a-pounding, but otherwise everything intact. Good thing it was November in Alaska and traffic was almost nonexistent. Carefully pulled back across the highway and dialed back our already slow pace another 10 mph until quite a ways down the road when the jumpiness had passed and the flurries had died down.

So I’m sure we missed a ton of Alaska scenery in the dark-driving, but hopefully the gained day in Anchorage will bring a little sight seeing. I fly back to WA on Sunday.

3 thoughts on “Fri 13 Nov 09

  1. ZDad

    Good to hear you made it OK. Did you get some photos of scenery and dead or alive animals? Looks like we’ll both be flying on Sunday. I arrive in GR Monday afternoon for my week of late autumn.

  2. JOZ

    Wow, Josh, some scary spinout. So glad you held it together and were able to continue on unhurt and arrive safely. Could you see much on your flight back?

  3. Josh Post author

    I’m not sure how well the pictures turned out. I think I have a bunch of pictures of road with some trees and mountains speeding by. I’ll get a few pictures up at some point this week.

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