Friday, April 19, 2013

Counting Down

Back when I made the decision to take this trip to Alaska and set an approximate date, it was so far in the future that I could only imagine. But the months and weeks have been flying by, and I'm now counting down days. As I write this, it's 38 days till I leave. I have a feeling that these last days are going to fly by.

As I read and review the Milepost (the bible for anyone driving the AlCan highway) I keep wondering just what I'll see.  I've read about various side trips and they all sound very beautiful, whetting my explorer appetite. But I think I have to exercise a little restraint and think about more than just what I might be able to see. For example, one place that looks truly beautiful is Monkman Provincial Park in British Columbia. There is a waterfall there that I would dearly love to visit, but the road to it is 39 miles of gravel (and then 39 miles back).  I've driven gravel roads before – specifically the road to Mowich Lake at Mt. Rainier in Washington – and it was a challenge. I think I have to be nice to my tires and windshield, so I'll probably pass on that one.  But there are lots of other places that are equally beautiful and more easily accessible.

Many people have asked me how far I'm going to go.  The answer – as far as I can!  To Fairbanks (where I have a friend who owns a quilt shop, that's a no brainer!!) and then down to Homer. Back up to Anchorage and down to Seward.  And DenaliNational Park; I had read that the camping spots and bus tours at Denali fill pretty quickly, so I made those reservations back on New Year's Day. Maybe, depending on time and road conditions, I'll make it all the way up to Circle (just above the Arctic Circle).

There are main routes and alternate routes described in the Milepost, routes such as the Top of the World Highway. Do I take that in one direction? I think I need to ask advice of other travelers on the road about that, and see what the road is like.

Part of the planning is visiting quilt shops along the way. The advice I've been given is that if I stop at the quilt shops and promote my book and tools, I can deduct the miles driven – how great is that!! So now I'm plotting the location of quilt shops all along the way, and sending them e-mails to let them know I'll be coming (and bringing presents!). Hopefully they'll be willing to talk to me.

I'll see you back here in a few weeks, and will start posting photos of all the wonderful places I've been able to visit. Till then…..