We woke up Sunday morning just a week after we traded in the van for our new truck and got ready to start our push through the Al-Can highway through Canada and into Alaska. In the last week, I have already driven more than a 1,300 miles and hopped on a plane to San Francisco and back to Edmonton. Between Jasper and the border of Alaska we are looking at roughly a 1,500 mile drive while expecting at least some of it to be rough and under construction. We would normally prefer to drive no more than 200 miles per day even when road conditions are good. That means it would take us more than a week to cover this distance if we drove every day. In anticipation of this journey and the lack of Internet connection along the route, I took the whole week off from work so we can try it push out more miles each day.
Leaving Whitefish we were ready to take on the long drive ahead of us. We have been prepping for this for months and we are all antsy to get moving. The 60 miles from Whitefish to the border went quickly and we all got across the border checkpoint without any issues. Well, except the Costco frozen chicken that we had in the freezer. Apparently there is a bird flu outbreak and it is not welcome into Canada.
We split from the caravan and headed west from Banff in order to make our way back into the United States through the top of Idaho. Our original plan was to head over the Calgary to check it out but not having steady Internet and phone is becoming a bit of a drag. After having been with the group for the last couple of weeks and with the Works before that, it will give us a chance to spend some quality time alone for a change.
During the summer of 2012, we met a few of the folks that we are on this caravan with in Denver for the inaugural Alumafandango rally. Before we parted ways at the end of 4 days hanging out together, we decided that we should try to get together again in a year. Tiffani from Weaselmouth said to us, “Hey! What do you guys think of Banff next year?” We didn’t think much of it at the time. As you might already know, we often don’t even know where we will be next week let alone a year from now. We said, “Sure, if we are around we will try to make it.” My thought at the time was that there is about a 25% chance at best that this will happen. Well, today that chance became 100%.
The drive from Kelowna to Glacier National Park is about a 150-mile drive. Though not necessarily a long one, it takes some coordination for a bunch of Americans, most of whom have never towed a trailer in Canada before.
As we headed towards the border crossing just north of the town of Oroville, Washington, our caravan was already pretty segmented into several groups. One of the rules of traveling with this many trailers is to not all stop at the same restaurant or gas station at the same time so we don’t jam up traffic for any one location.