Alaska, we made it!!
Alaska, we made it!! Yep finial got here, actually we got here ahead of schedule. Only because I need internet access to work.. Northern BC and the Yukon really are out in the sticks!
So we finally got Pete back about 11pm on Friday, new input shaft, new clutch, and new hole in my wallet.
The plan, as usual, was to be on the road early Saturday morning 8-9’ish. And as usual we left about 11:30’ish. As I driving up the road I notice I have no engine brake!!! (Used to help slow the vehicle, it’s that really noisy sounds you hear from trucks sometimes), since we are heading into the northern tip of the Rockies this is something we cannot do without! So back to the Peterbilt dealership we went. My mate Frank there figured out it was the sensor on the clutch pedal that was stopping the engine brake from working (also affected the cruise control as I found out later) and with after a little adjustment and a simple work around (Making sure the clutch pedal is completely up) we were back on the road. Yeah!!!!
So we drove until I’d had enough and camped out at a pullout on the side of the road and awake to this…..
The scenery along the Alaska Highway is spectacular!
We stayed the next night at a campground just west of Watson Lake in the Yukon, the plan was to spend a couple of days here but the internet connectivity as not good enough for me to be able to work, plus there wasn’t the nicest of places to be for several days. From what I sure along the way not many of the campgrounds were anywhere one would want to hang out at…. I guess this is because 99% of all people how stay probably are only overnighters. What was surprising was the amount of closed businesses that we passed along the way, and I don’t mean close for the season but boarded up, broken windows, etc, etc, etc. These were mainly gas stations, hotels, service centres etc etc. One would think with the amount of traffic these places would be good! So gassing up needs to be planned a bit, also explains why we sure a lot of cars and bike travelling carrying extra gas cans. The campground we had planned on relocating to just north of Destruction Bay turned out to be nothing more than a parking lot on the side of the highway, a very very unappealing place to hang out! The decision was to keep going and campout in a rest area… but of course all rest areas in the Yukon are posted with signs stating that overnight parking is not allowed. Which is most strange considering that there are very little in the way facilities (or anything for that matter) where one could stay and such great distances between what little there is. So we stopped at the first rest stop with the plan of staying screw it and staying overnight anyway, if there was a fine it probably would have been cheaper than some of the crappy campsites. The next rest area was perfect it was a bit off the road and had a nice tree barrier. I was with the kids and the cat taking a little walk to take in the beautiful scenery whilst the trouble and strife started dinner when she called out to me saying she thinks the car may have moved within the trailer! Yeh yeh, I said, probably just something falling in front of the door. After a quick look I know we had a wee bit of a problem. With the mount of movement due to the road conditions (frost heaves, road repairs, etc) the strain on the straps holding the car in place ripped out and snapped one of the tie down brackets from the floor allowing the rear of the car to shift… take a look at the photos below..
It wasn’t hard to get the car back into place, took me about 30 minutes and a couple of choice words.
But after eating diner I decided that we were going to just get back on the road a go all the way to Tok, Alaska. This I had anticipated would only take us 5 or so hours. Well after only about 5minutes of been on the road we ran into some of the worst frost heaves I have ever seen. It was funny, about a day before I was only thinking about many of the things I had read about the roads been so bad and thinking that they there pretty good, I seen a lot worse in Quebec! But I had to take that back, we spent the next 200km’s at an average of 30-40km/h. In some ways I was kind of glad I was doing it in the middle of the night when there was no traffic. Then there was the last 20km’s before the US border which was completely ripped up for road works even slower! Then we crossed the border and boom, great roads! All the way to Tok. Been Canadian now I have to say I’m a little embarrassed by the state of our roads in the Yukon. We pulled into Tok around 6am, pulled to the campground got setup and I was able to be online in time for work.