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A One-Way Ticket to Alaska (Part 7)

November 5:

We slept in today. After a night like last night, I think we deserved it.

Because we drove so far in the dark, we weren’t sure what the landscape was going to look like come morning. We knew we were somewhere in the Rockies, but that was it.

It was a pleasant surprise. Snow-covered mountains and evergreens surrounded our little safe haven.


As we drove alongside Muncho Lake, we could see how clear the water was from the road. I couldn’t believe how pristine it appeared. The surface barely rippled as we stared at the bottom in awe. All I could think about was how relaxing it would be to kayak those waters. All J.T. could talk about was how big he thought the fish probably were in there. Two very different mindsets.


The Northern Rockies were a sight to behold. Mountains, rivers, and lakes surrounded us in every direction. You begin to understand why people make the treacherous journey just to bask in their beauty.


But you have to be careful not to lose focus.

In Alaska, they use gravel on the roads instead of salt because the wildlife will sit in the middle of the roads to lick the salt.

Well, they use a combination of salt, gravel, and sand in Canada. Which meant we occasionally came across caribou on the roadways. They would lazily walk into the ditch as we approached and would immediately walk back onto the road once we passed. They might not be the brightest, but they were adorable.


Once we left Muncho Lake, most of our day was spent driving on icy roads and through dense fog. I had to take Dramamine for the first time today. I can’t say if it was from the food, the winding roads, or my body taking revenge from all the adrenaline from the past few days.


As we made our way south, the landscape began to change dramatically. The Rocky Mountains faded in our rearview mirror, and what lay before us was odd and foreign.

I grew up in the panhandle of Texas. A place so flat and barren, that from my grandmother’s kitchen window I could see the water tower by my house on the opposite side of town. Now, I was staring at uninterrupted trees for as far as the eye could see. From the road to the horizon, in every direction, was nothing but snow-covered trees. This was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and I’d never felt so isolated. I could only see through the first three rows of trees lining the ditch, and everything past that was shrouded in mystery. One could walk fifteen feet from the road and be lost forever in the labyrinth of evergreens.


As the sun began to set, we were both too tired to keep driving. Today had been another full day of fighting poor driving conditions, and we were ready for bed.

Out in the middle of nowhere, and I mean that literally, was a small hotel called Sasquatch Crossing. The two-story building was on the side of the highway somewhere between Sikanni Chief and Pink Mountain in British Columbia, Canada. J.T. had actually talked about wanting to stay here earlier, so we pulled into the parking lot with heavy eyelids and hoped they had a room.

Apparently, we were the only ones staying there, and they didn’t have anyone else booked until next week. Which is creepy, but I can now say I’ve been the only guest at a hotel.

If you ever stay here, I highly recommend trying their clubhouse sandwich! I inhaled it!


November 6:

Today, we woke up and immediately hit the road. No breakfast. No coffee. Just a full day’s worth of driving before us.

We were bound and determined to make it to Edmonton, Alberta. However, the idea of spending another 8 hours in the car was depressing. I think everything is finally catching up to us. We’re both exhausted, grouchy, and sore. This “race” to the border, and a journey to relocate is not a leisurely vacation.

I tried to focus on my surroundings and not how much my back and knees ached.

As we got closer to Alberta, the sea of evergreens melted away into pale yellow meadows. Rolling hills replaced mountains, and I couldn’t help but think of Texas. Being able to see rustic homes and horses from miles away was comforting at this point. There was also a part of me that was sad we were leaving the winter wonderland, but driving on clear roads made it all worth it. I also got to drive a good chunk of the day, including when we crossed the border into Alberta!

Fun fact, we did not see a single “Welcome to British Columbia” sign. It was kind of a bummer.

Today has most definitely been the most boring day of our drive so far. Excluding J.T. singing everything he did while solving a sudoku puzzle, nothing really noteworthy happened. We saw a very gory road kill scene (I will spare you the details), a minor accident involving a horse trailer (don’t worry, the horses were fine), and a ton of deer. Oh, and we passed a llama ranch. I definitely wasn’t expecting to see that in Canada! It was nice to be surrounded by civilization again though. We’ve seen more cars today than every other day combined. And J.T. was probably thankful he didn’t have to drive as much today, even if he thinks my driving is scary.

We made it to Edmonton around 8:30 PM and found a Holiday Inn for the night. Tomorrow, we’re hoping to make it to the US border. Fingers crossed we won’t have any issues coming back into our own country!

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