The Journey to Alaska

The journey to Alaska is a long one when you’re going an average of 45 mph. That’s life in Vie! It took us 5 days of driving 10-12 hours per day to make it from North Cascades NP in Washington state to Fairbanks. It was a long road, but it really wasn’t as terrible or treacherous as everyone made it seem like. There were definitely sections with road construction and lots of gravel, but it wasn’t awful. We didn’t get a single chip in the windshield. I even drove like 20 miles (out of 2,130)! Say what?! We were warned about: hundreds of miles of road construction, mean truck drivers who want to run you off the road, and winding, steep, narrow roads of death. We were also tipped off that, that the Alcan Highway puts the 101 to shame. Out of all the things people said, I think the last comment is the most true, but I’ll let you decide for yourself!

The light was insane and kept changing the color of everything around every turn.

Yeah, the road to Alaska is rad. From rugged, snow capped mountains, braided rivers, to a sea of trees… and lots and lots and lots of open road. Also, we saw multiple bears on the highway and had to slam on the breaks to avoid two of them on separate occasions! That was kind of crazy.

The craziest part was that it stayed light almost ALL night!

We were wearing sunglasses at 11pm… what is this place?! Vladimir thought that we were driving WAY past his bedtime haha.

Even after the sun “set” around midnight or so, it still remained light.

Every other turn of the road was so insanely beautiful that I kept bugging Cees to stop the car!

The roads were pretty rocky, I’m not gonna lie (but STILL doable – you know you can do it if VIE made it) and after five days our brains were getting a rattled. The good news is, the kitty decided that he doesn’t hate me and used my lap as a shock absorber pretty much the entire ride.

Here’s a secret to avoid going insane on this highway: look out the window, and download books on tape! We listened to Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London. Both were awesome and perfect for getting us stoked about Alaska.

I guess now is a good time to tell you I’m pregnant! With a furry baby. Ew, I hate how his little white hairs have ruined all of my clothes. I am a crazy cat lady! Ugh.

Finally, we are back in our own country! It was nice to have cell service again and normal gas stations. But, we did miss the Canadian accents for sure. Canadians are also SO nice by the way. It was definitely pleasant rolling through their country.

On our last night on the Alcan we busted out our UCO Flatpack grill and made Shishkabobs! It was one of the best meals ever. I was so happy to just enjoy good food and relax.

We marinated chicken in olive oil, lemon and herbs and the steak in garlic and this random, delicious BBQ dipping sauce that we got at a local store near Lassen Volcanic NP. Ahhh it was all so good! My mouth is watering just typing this.

Side interview with Vladimir: “To be honest, dinner is taking way too long, you humans are the worst…”

…”Wait is that chicken I smell?”

The Flatpack grill is rad because it folds really flat and small, so there’s no excuse to leave it home!

For our second course–S’mores obviously.

Trip Totals:

Flat tires-0

Chips in the windshield-0

Days driving-5

Lost Kittens-0


The next day we powered through to Fairbanks and it was a good feeling knowing that we didn’t have to drive hundreds of miles…at least for a day or two. We had a crazy idea– we’ve decided to drive all the way to Deadhorse and go to Prudhoe Bay to swim in the Arctic Ocean!!! It’s the farthest north you can possibly drive in the U.S. Stay tuned for that adventure and Gates of the Arctic NP coming up next!


  1. Oh my gosh. Madison. When you said you were pregnant MY HEART LITERALLY STOPPED OMG you cannot joke with me like that!!!!! Ughhhhhh.
    PS I’m so jealous it hurts. And I feel you on the cat hairs… those white ones are the WORST.

  2. Pam Sheppard

    Your pictures of the Alcan bring back great memories. My dad was in the Air Force and we moved up there in the ’60’s. We drove from Vermont to Anchorage. The Alcan wasn’t paved at the time. The beauty of that road is incredible. Just to let you know. It often snows in late August and early Sept in Fairbanks. My cousin lives there and post pictures. Enjoy the Arctic!

  3. K

    Amazing photos! Makes me want to visit Alaska so badly. I’m enjoying following your blog so much, thanks for sharing your travels!

  4. Grandma

    Can’t wait to hear more and to have you two and Kitty closer. Looking forward to seeing you in Yellowstone and at the cabin! Miss you!

  5. Your photos are so inspiring! I can’t wait to get up to Alaska. Maybe summer 2018…
    Curious if you would recommend your route for a larger rig, or were the roads too narrow and winding?
    Really wish my tortie cat would walk a leash. Then she might not be such a fur puddle. She has all the hair colors. So no outfit is safe!

    • Cees

      THANK YOU! The Alaska Highway is TOTALLY open to “big rigs”. We saw a ton of big RVs (in fact the road was FULL of them) going up and down the whole way. You guys would make it for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *