This is it, guys - we dunnit and we're here. Left Tok this morning in some difficult road conditions - the first few hours were wet ice - but as we worked our way down the Tok Cutoff, the storm that was hovering over Glennallen kept moving north and west of us, and within a couple of hours we had gorgeous sunshine over the freshly snowcovered mountains. Jaw drops around every corner stuff. Worked our way over the Mentasta Range and then began to hit some of the edges of the rain/snow stuff near Glennallen.
But between there and maybe 50 miles north of Palmer, we had sunshine again. Weather so much better than we expected. A long stop at a road construction area conveniently placed us underneath a couple dozen Dall sheep on the cliffs high above, so we just pulled out the long lens on the camera and watched them while we waited to proceed.
So really the only weather we hit, besides the knuckle-whitening road stuff this morning, was just as we descended into the Mat-Su Valley, rainy and thick with clouds. Arrived at George and Becky's house an hour and a half ago, and have just been visiting and relaxing since. Becky has a pot of soup on the stove and six loaves of bread in the oven - I know I'm home. :) We've made this trip a bit of a gastronomic experiment all the way actually - had some great 'fruit of the forest' pie last night, um, and today... (some experiments take repeating)
So it's 5442 miles later for me, and 4362 miles for Phyllis, and we haven't killed each other yet. Phyllis still has six days here - we never needed the disaster buffer - and so we hope to get rested and then do a little more Alaska exploring to maximize her time here.
Phyllis says she feels every mile in her hind end. I guess that means that any of you who want to know what that feels like, know who you can see about it.
The dinner bell is ringing, so we're signing off. Thanks for riding these miles with us.
Peg and Phyllis
We were unbelievably lucky with weather this entire trip, despite the 90F in the beginning. It's interesting to go from feeling sweaty and hot to a parka and gloves. If the good weather had held, we were going to drive an extra couple of hundred miles so I could see the end of the Alaska Highway and drive the whole thing, but that wasn't safe and we were both tired. That we even considered it was amazing.
And no, I certainly did not drive on snowy mountain roads. Except for 6 hours, Peg drove the entire way. I am a happy passenger. But I do feel all those miles. One of my desperate hopes is to go to Seward and take a harbor tour to see wildlife (Note: never happened. I couldn't willingly get in the car again for 5 more hours.)
If you have never driven the Alaska Highway, I strongly urge you to consider it. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is not to be missed in your lifetime.