Our year in Ketchikan, Alaska, plus an announcement!
We left home the day after college graduation. Dale picked me up from my parents’ house, the house I grew up in, and I told my parents and sister goodbye. I was 23 but still so attached to my parents that you might say it was via umbilical cord, yet here I was, moving thousands of miles away. I climbed into the Ford Ranger, its camper stuffed with our belongings, and turned to give my house one more look. Then I started to cry. Even after we had hit the highway and were headed north, tears continued to stream down my face. It started to rain, a storm so heavy that Dale could barely see, but he said later that no way was he going to stop; I would’ve made him turn back. I cried until we hit Dallas, and then, suddenly, I quit looking back, and the tears stopped.
It was May, 1993, and Dale and I were moving from New Braunfels, Texas, to Alaska.
It used to be that the Alcan took some serious mettle to traverse. You had to carry spare tires and car parts and know how to use them, and you might spend your nights camped in the middle of nowhere due to lack of services.
I’m posting this a few days after leaving Denali National Park, where we tent-camped for ten days. I have so much to share about Denali. It’s one of the most special places on the planet. People from all over the world visit and then keep coming back, again and again.
The weather forecast for our time on the Alcan showed nothing but rain. For days, it was supposed to rain. We were going to miss some of the stunning scenic views that make the Alcan legendary, all because of rain.
From August 30 through September 3, 2016, we drove the Alaska Highway, colloquially known as the Alcan. It’s been on our bucket list for a very long time, and we finally made it happen this year. This is the first of several posts about various aspects of this fantastic trip.
After Banff, our next stop on the road trip was neighboring Jasper National Park, another Canadian beauty. Jasper is the largest of the Rocky Mountain National Parks, covering more than 4200 square miles. We only spent two nights in Jasper, but we made the most of it.
There are no words to adequately describe Banff National Park, and as a writer, it’s really, really frustrating when my vocabulary comes up so short.
I guess if I had to choose an appropriate adjective, it would be ridiculous; what with its UNESCO World Heritage Designation and pristine ecosystem and dense evergreen forests and towering mountains, and oh yeah, its immense glaciers, Banff is just plain ridiculous.