A few days ago I asked my mom if she had read my most recent blog posts. She told me that she had, and they were “very funny”, but she suggested that I add more pictures, and more stories about things that we did along the way. She wants a blended variation culture, photography, activities and anecdotes. Well, that’s what I want too. But I had to inform her, and now you, of the sad truth. I actually didn’t take that many pictures, and we really didn’t do that much on our trip up here.
See, we had never driven to Alaska before. We didn’t know when would be a good time to go. On one hand, we needed to get there so we could have as much time this summer as possible to attempt to stuff our bank accounts. On the other hand, we didn’t want to drive through the middle of winter, only to get to Alaska and find out that they don’t start hiring until July or something. We did our research (mostly on Wikipedia and the weather channel), talked to people, and finally made a confident and educated decision to leave at the end of April. The glass half full results were that we got here before the rest of the seasonal rush of employees seeking employers, but the glass half empty results were that the drive up here wasn’t prime. Turns out everything was still closed. EVERYTHING. I’m talking campgrounds, bathrooms, visitors centers, museums, EVERYTHING. In addition, the summer greenery was still a distant future, and our surroundings were predominantly brown and mushy. Not to say it wasn’t a beautiful and amazing trip because it was… it just didn’t make for beautiful and amazing pictures all the time. And since we couldn’t stop anywhere for funsies, we drove about 13 hours a day, which doesn’t really make for beautiful and amazing stories either. To make matters worse, we carried a very dear guidebook with us called the Milepost, which had vivid colorful pictures of tourists in t-shirts enjoying themselves at each stop along the way. They must have come sometime in July.
Maybe I should send this picture to the Milepost:
There were a couple of exceptions to the brown and mushy majority, and Haines Junction was one of them. The “town” (heh) of Haines Junction is aptly named. Can you guess why? I bet you can. In the center of “town” lies a junction. One road takes you to Haines, Alaska. The other one takes you to Tok, Alaska (that’s where we went). There is nothing in the town of any interest at all really, but outside of the town, leaping up out of nowhere, is the most glorious mountain range you will see with your own eyes ever. Holy cheese and rice, look up the word majestic in the dictionary and I would be mighty surprised if you didn’t find a picture of the Kluane mountains next to it. Then we drove across Kluane Lake, which paired very nicely with it’s mountain counterparts in terms of size. I remember saying to Justin,
“I’ve never felt so small”
Miles and miles of mountains and lake and no one else around to see it but us. And one other car that kept getting ahead of us, then driving really slow, then pulling over, then doing it again. That was a little bit strange.