Oh Canada … And Into Alaska

Since our last input, we made our way north through British Columbia into the Yukon. Finally got used to converting kilometers to miles. Not too bad a math challenge. Another opportunity to keep our minds young. From Whitehorse up to Dawson City, we were then in the “gold country”. The day we hit the Yukon – it snowed! Then, we had three days of good weather and sightseeing in Dawson city, then crossed the Yukon River, the third largest river in North America, on a small barge (!) to continue our trip to Alaska. Wasn’t that exciting? Not your average mode of transportation.

Along the way, we have experienced multiple springs, lacy new leaves on the trees, green, green sprouts, over and over: one in California, one in Oregon, one in Washington, as we head north, the season follows. Now in Alaska, we get another go at it. Since it is my favorite time of year, ain’t it grand?

All of this territory – both Canada and Alaska – continues to amaze us. Vast, vast, vast landscapes. Truly beyond description. I don’t even think that any of our pictures can capture what we have seen. Although only at +/- 3600-4500 feet, not too high by Sierra standards, it seems much higher, with slopes falling off to both sides down and down, mountain ranges far off in the distance. As far down as we were in the Canadian Rockies, we are far up traveling across the Top of the World Highway. From Dawson city to the Alaskan border, we were the only travelers on the road beside one car and one truck almost until we reached Alaska. The Top of the World Highway was an adventure – mostly unpaved for some 70 miles until we arrived in Chicken, Alaska. If you haven’t heard, story goes that they couldn’t figure out how to spell Ptarmigan, so they named it “Chicken”. We’ve been spitting dust for hours.

As we bed down tonight, one more item to share – picture this: it is 10:30 PM, we take Mimi out for her last walk before bedtime. The sun is still an hour or so before going down … Yes, an hour and it is 10:30 PM! This land of the midnight sun is very difficult to relate to anyone who has not experienced it. It is mostly light all night long, and it’s going to get more so as we approach June 21, the beginning of summer. Even though you’ve been up since 7 AM, it still seems like daytime, so your head is not ready to go to sleep. It is soooooo weird. Mimi, of course, has no problem but Dad and I pull down all the shades and close the door to the bedroom, to try to keep out the light. But, I don’t think we could live here in the winter when there is NO sun for most of the day. This sure is an experience, though, that we would not have wanted to miss.