End of the Alaska Highway

August 20, 2012

This morning we call the auto shop regarding our new transmission; “has not arrived yet-maybe Thursday” we are told by Amy, her cheery voice annoying me.   I yell out a profanity and our drive continues.  Dick wants to explore Valdez since we have a few extra days.

On our drive, we pass through the North Pole and there is a huge Santa Claus statue reminding me of the one we use to have in Carpinteria, off Santa Claus Lane.

At last; we make it to Delta Junction, mile 1422!  We take photos by the monument that marks the highway’s end along with the giant mosquito sculptures on the lawn.  There is a small visitor center/gift shop located nearby and everything in the store is 50% off.  Souvenirs are purchased along with 2 certificates confirming that we have reached the end of the Alaska Highway.

As we resume our drive, we cross the Big Delta Bridge where we pull over and photograph a spectacular view of the pipeline suspended across the Tanana River.

The Milepost suggests we tour Rika’s Roadhouse, a 10 acre State Historic Park on the river.  Historic structures include a museum, barn, blacksmith shop and pleasant paths that lead us through beautiful gardens.

The rest of our ride is filled with amazing snow covered mountains peeking through the clouds.  I can see the pipeline which runs parallel to the highway.  There are many streams and lakes along the way and the ubiquitous signs that say “watch for moose.”

The steady rain begins which unfortunately puts a damper on our viewing.  It is late in the afternoon and decisions are made to find a campground as the rain is persisting and shows no sign of stopping.

The Paxon Campground is a good choice and there are great views of Paxon lake.

When asked by friends and family how I am handling the journey, I must quote Charles Dickens, but changing the first line of his famous “A Tale of Two Cities” to the present tense.

“It is the best of times; it is the worst of times.”    ( I’ll expound in a future blog.)

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