Driving to Alaska Day 11: Hello Alaska

Welcome to post 11 of 18 in our Driving to Alaska series. We hope you enjoy the stories from this unforgettable 4,000 mile road trip!

The Yukon Territory to Slana, Alaska //

We woke to another chilly, overcast morning and didn’t waste any time cooking, cleaning, and packing up.  While preparing breakfast our camp neighbor, a man who appeared to be in his 70s, struck up a brief conversation with us.  He drove a one-of-a-kind homemade camper that looked like a small cabin built on the back of a mack truck.  He told us how he spends his summers in Alaska, his winters in Baja, and has called the road home for 44 years.  I wished we’d had time to hear more of his stories, there was no doubt he had many to share, but our deadline to reach Talkeetna was quickly approaching.  It was time to get back on the road.

Only 750 miles remained to our final destination but the worst road conditions of the trip thus far slowed us down.  Scars from frost heaves in the form of a patchwork of asphalt repairs created an undulating service every few hundred feet.  Our speed would top out at 50mph, often falling to 30.  It took constant diligence on Mark’s part to not hit one of these bumps with too much speed causing the truck and trailer to catch air.  

At 4pm we reached the international border where we pulled over for a celebratory photo and marveled at the 20’ wide swath of forest that had been cut down to indicate the boundary line.  It could be seen stretching on for miles in each direction.  The official border crossing was quick and uneventful with only a few standard questions asked and a brief look at our passports.  Seven days after crossing into Canada from Idaho we were returning to the US, we’d made it to Alaska.

A couple of hours after crossing the border we set up camp along the Copper river.  After 9.5 hours of driving and over 400 miles of rough road covered, we were all fried and ready to call it a day.  With the end of the trip only a day away and 9 straight days of driving behind us, the fatigue was setting in.  Cade & Becca rigged a tarp for protection from the off and on rain and got right to cooking dinner.  

Eat. Sleep.  Get back to driving in the morning.  

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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