Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 7 Alaska Hwy -- Tok to Delta Junction -- Fairbanks

We did it!!  After driving the first 109 miles of today's trip, we have driven the entire length of the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, AK.  There the road becomes the Richardson Highway and it is another 100 miles to Fairbanks.  For the most part the road was fine with only the one stretch in the Yukon across the permafrost being really bad.  Overall it was a wonderful trip with great scenery and many animals.  I would say to anyone thinking about doing the trip, DO IT!!!!  To describe it in one simple word, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! 

We had been told that fuel would get more expensive the farther north we traveled, that did not prove to be true for us.  Our last fill up in Montana was $4.04 a gallon, in Edmonton it was $4.97 and $5.05 in Grand Prairie.  But because we have a 150 gallon tank we were able to travel north across British Columbia, where it was more expensive, without buying fuel while still having as least a fifty gallon reserve.  It was $6.20 in Fort Nelson, BC and our friend Wallace paid $7.18 somewhere else in BC. Farther north in Watson Lake, Yukon it was "down" to $5.62 so we bought enough to make it to Whitehorse where it was down to $5.45. There we put in enough to get to Tok where it was "only" $4.50.  In Tok we put in just enough to get to Fairbanks where it is $3.98, cheaper than Montana.   This strategy worked for us, but make sure you always have enough fuel to get to the next major stop. Many places that are listed in the Milepost (which we had from 2012) were either out of business or not yet open for the season.    
It was overcast when we left Tok and the mountains were shrouded in clouds.  The sun did poke through a few times, but we did get rained on. 
There were many lakes along this section.
And where there are lakes there are moose.  I sure would not want to hit one of these big guys.
We crossed several rivers and streams on narrow bridges  This one dates back to 1943.  As you can see there was still very little traffic.
Milepost 1422.  We got our End of the Alaska Highway stamp in our log.
Nanc had her first encounter with the giant Alaska mosquitoes.  This was a sign of things to come, as she got her first mosquito bite in Fairbanks while we were sitting out enjoying a warm, sunny day.  I'm sure it is the first of many. 
Near the Delta Junction visitors center there are several pieces of old construction equipment used to build the road and an old cabin with a sod roof.  The thermometer shows why we won't be here in the winter, -72. 
Don't miss The Sullivan Roadhouse in Delta Junction.  The roadhouse was originally on the Valdez Fairbanks Trail and is a great example of the kind of stops that were available for early travelers.
The roadhouse sat empty for several years until someone in town remembered that all the old furnishing where in storage.  So you get a look at exactly what the place was like years ago.  Even the hand cranked Victrola still works. 
Our first look at the Trans Alaska pipeline.  Right is a comparison of the size of earlier pipelines with the newest one.  Bottom is a "pig" that travels through the pipeline to clean it.  
The last few miles of the day were along the Tanana River into Fairbanks.

We made a reservation for a week in Fairbanks so we can explore the area and receive our mail.  We then have two unscheduled days followed by five in Denali National Park.  After that we will head south to Anchorage and the Kenai to explore and do some fishing.


Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Yeah, you made it. The mosquitoes hit us bad in Fairbanks.

Mem said...

not sure if my other comment got posted but wanted to let you know we are following your blog as we are a little behind you.