Day 2-10 ish
Woke up day two and Petras right eye completely swelled shut. No explanation. A little Benadryl and she was good as new. It isn’t unusually that she has one or two cuts on her face or legs at any given time. Ken calls her scar face, she is pretty tough.
Once we crossed the border into Canada we started working on our Canadian accents pretty seriously. I think we are both doing pretty well at it. The problem is, its hard to turn off and we end up holding regular conversations with our new personas ending all sentences in “eh”?
I would say our three favorite spots in Canada were Liard Hot Springs, Jasper and Banff. The hot springs were really nice. It was a really long day of driving, I think we arrived around 10pm, so it was dark out. Side note: the spot right above our heads (where the truck and the camper are merged) pours cold air, rain, and/or snow right on our necks. You can see my clever (not so helpful) duct tape/binder clip quick fix in the photo above. We both wore multiple layers including our problem solvers (puffy jackets) and winter hats just to keep kind of warm. That is a top priority project that will be worked on when we reach Arizona. So needless to say, after 3 full days of driving and freezing our asses off, we were more than looking forward to an evening soak in the hot springs.
We pretty well booked it through to Jasper and Banff, stopping as little as possible just for potty breaks and fuel. Camp spots are easy in Canada, even though most everything is closed this time of year, there are tons of parking lots and pull offs on the side of the road that we can park in overnight for free with out being bothered. We are pretty self contained and don’t need any hook ups that campgrounds offer. The night driving through Fort Nelson into Fort St. John was pretty sketchy. Super dark, tons of huge trucks with big bright lights going really fast. Poor little Chinookie Dookie has a hard time keeping up with the big boys.
The next night we stayed at a campground near the entrance of Jasper, one of the only open campgrounds in the park. Being day 5, we were both in major need of a hot shower. The next day we drove all the way through Jasper and Banff. The weather in Jasper was pretty cloudy/rainy/snowy so the views were limited, although still really wonderful. By the afternoon the weather lifted a bit so we were able to enjoy Banff a little more. In Lake Louise we stopped at the massive hotel/resort and took the typical photo in front of the beautiful teal green lake and then walked around the hotel, trying to blend in and not look like complete homeless people. Despite the signs stating entrance was for guests only, we didn’t get kicked out and were able to get warm for a minute and enjoy a break from the road for an hour. After finding out that the Radium Hot Springs was open we decided to pop in for a quick soak and warm up. I’m not the hugest fan of hot springs that are in swimming pools because it feels like you are just taking a bath with a bunch of strangers, but either way I was freezing and enjoyed warming up in the stranger bath.
Somewhere along the road there we ended up with a flat tire. Ken swapped that bad boy out so stinking fast, I just love him. *Swoon* <3 It could have been a pretty shitty situation but he stayed so calm and made it no big deal. Once we crossed the border into Montana we planned on buying a new set of tires but decided on just replacing the one that blew out and will replace them all once we get to Arizona. Ken had been to a Montana junk yard to replaced a tire a few years back so he knew exactly where to go. Once we got there he was pretty shocked/excited to find that not only did that have the size we needed but it was the exact same tire with the same tred as the others. Score! $50 later, a stop at the fancy new Taco Bell and we were on the road again.
We cruised through Montana in about a day and a half, I am sure the case of Redbull we got at Costco contributed to our endurance for the long days. I had never been and was pleasantly surprised by its beauty. We stopped somewhere along the way to let the pups potty and stretch our legs. Fall is upon us and the colors on all the trees were changing, even the needles on the pine trees, I had never seen that before.
Ken's uncle Dewey lives in Jackson, WY and is just getting settled in his new house. So we shot straight down for a very quick visit, not before stopping at a car wash to get our girl all spiffed up. Wanted to make sure we didn't look like complete dirt bags when we pulled in. Had a couple of yummy meals, caught up, SHOWERED, did a load of laundry and hit the road the next morning... Just as the massive moving truck showed up, perfect timing.
Jackson through Utah was a bit of a blur. We were trying to find a balance of go go go and get to AZ with taking every opportunity to enjoy every site and moment. I think we did a pretty good job.
It was our last night camping for a while, and the camp spot did not disappoint. Pulled down a bumpy dirt road, greeted by a few cows and found ourselves a nice flat spot. I made us a fancy dinner of turkey sandwiches with canned soup, served with only the finest of boxed wines, Red Bota Box. The stars that night were spectacular.
The next day was the day we arrived in Scottsdale. Made a quick stop at the Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell, it was quite impressive, way bigger than I anticipated. The next 100 miles or so were suuuuuuuuper windy, our girl was struggling a bit to go up hills at elevation.. but she made it! We arrived in Scottsdale around 6pm to dinner ready and macaroons for dessert. Nana is the best.
The next three weeks or so we will be ripping in and turning the Chinook into our Honeymooner.
Clean, pack, clean, pack, clean, pack, rinse & repeat. The moment was here.. everything was diligently packed up in totes and in our new blue box, cabin cleaned, Honeymooner all loaded and somewhat organized. One final sweep in the cabin and we were on our way, HONEYMOON! Because we got a bit of a late start we knew we wouldn’t be making it too far tonight. So as we sit here at our perfect camp spot for the night, we are pretty ok with being 50 miles from Glenallen.
We stopped a few times before reaching Anchorage to stretch our legs, let the dogs potty and snap a few pics of the amazing fall we are having. Hit up the Costco for some cocktail fixings and snack food and got out of Anchorage. One last stop in Eagle River to see our friend Laura (Boomer) for a speed visit/ belly rub. She has the perfect little belly bump! Hugs and she sent us on our merry way with special homemade gluten free treats! YUM!
The drive from Boomer’s house to our camp spot tonight was dark, windy, rainy, and a bit foggy. Can I just say my husband is a champ driver, I didn’t get car sick at all… and thats saying something.
Life is feeling pretty damn good. Husband is reading his new book that he grabbed at Costco about the quake of ’64 and all cozy in his sleeping bag. I’ve got a blanket on my lap, glass of wine to my right, black dog snuggling to my left and the white dog is crashed out in the front seat on her bed.
I forgot how much I loved blogging. In 2010 I did a good stint of traveling and blogged the whole thing and loved it. I was very hesitant to do it but am very thankful to have the memories to look back on. Ken says it makes sense that I love it because I am a documenter. I like to document the memory.. photos, videos, blogging. I would say I get that bit from my dad, it is rare to find him doing anything fun without the go pro in hand.
Hoping to make it to Haines Junction tomorrow. Night night for now.