Day 28: Leaving Alaska

UserJessica DohertyTime2013-03-17 22:53:00

Tuesday, March 12th 2013 Fairbanks, AK to Haines Junction, YT ~ 500 miles

Today did not start exactly as planned. We woke up late because I stayed up till 2 in the morning writing this log. We had planned to meet Dawn for breakfast in Fairbanks at 815. We figured we'd do that, then come back and feed the dogs and be on our way.

Breakfast at the Cookie Jar on Danby Rd was a good choice. I'm glad we got to do that before we left as we did not get to spend that much time with Dawn while up here as we were traveling gypsies for the first week and then racing took over.
After breakfast, we went back to Hotel North Pole and fed the dogs and emptied the room.

We decided that we would not kill ourselves on the way back until we got done with the Alaska Highway. After that, we were going to make tracks.

We are leaving Fairbanks just in time because very cold weather moves in tomorrow. -30F at night. I hope it warms a little for the ONAC teams that will be racing this weekend. Ken and Lori Chezik were at the Hotel as well and I was very glad I was finally able to meet them on this trip. Very nice people.

We stopped at the Knotty Shop in Salcha and then in Delta Junction to let the dogs out. It's avg temperatures out, maybe in the teens. The skies are clear. We hope to get to Haines Junction, Yukon tonight ~ about a 500 mile drive. The drive to the border was uneventful. I spent most of the time writing this log and looking at the Alaska landscape. The plug in power adapter we bought yesterday so I can power up the laptop in the car is worth it's weight in gold. I didn't have it on the way up and that was just plain silly. Once you cross into Canada, Customs is another 20 mile ride in. The road immediate changes from good surface to rougher and the frost heaves that last all the way to Burwash Landing start. With that being said, the road surface is way better than when we came. It is fairly clear with the thick ice covering that was there on the way now gone.

The Border was as easy as coming into Alaska. They knew about the World Championships and the other major races going on like ONAC ~ there are so many mushers going back and forth this time of year.

We see a few moose along the way close to the road ~ always keeps you on your toes.

The last 2 hours of the ride to Haines Jct was dark with twilight sky behind us and black in front. The stars were incredible. A sliver of a moon was above the mountains to the west in the twilight and looked magical. In one scene you can see black sky with incredible stars and twilight sky to the west above the mountains with the moon. Just WILD. We were going through some of my favorite stretches of the Alaska Hwy and the dark gave the mountains an entirely different feel, I was glad we had seen this section in the day on the way here but am now glad to see it in the dark. We pulled into town about 11pm PT. We are going to loose time heading back east, almost an hour a day, especially after we finish the Alaska Hwy that ends in Dawson Creek, BC.

We get a room at the Cozy Corner Motel for $90. The guy who gave us the room was a bit grumpy but all in all was a good room and the beds were comfy. After we fed the dogs, I slept for about an hour, then we woke up at 1am to let them out 1 last time.