When you drive to
the Alaska-Canada Highway
is the only way to get there. This is
some highway and one you’ll never forget.
The Alcan Highway
The highway weaves in and out, around mountains, and across flatland's. There was so much snow that the road was like a trench with great walls of snow above six-feet high on each side in lots of places. Picture driving in the kind of trenches you see in the Olympics for the bobsleds. Thankfully, you seldom meet another vehicle, but on the downside, this can be a bad thing if you are sucked into the snow bank. That did happen to us and finally a large truck came along to pull us out. A person could freeze to death out there in the wilderness. For March it was cold, no need to worry about food spoiling.
We (there were three of us) slept in the truck. There are very few motels or gas stations between the long stretches of wilderness.
It took us about six days to make this trip from
Texas. What a drastic change. We left the eighty-degree temps for the low
twenties. In Montana, we ran into a blizzard and had to
stop for the night because of whiteout conditions.
It’s a good thing we bought several pounds of smoked sausage to take along on the trip because we literally lived on that almost the entire time. Everything was expensive, so we only got a motel room once on the road.
We had stopped somewhere along the way and were going to try to grill something on a small pit we had in the back of the truck. What a joke that was. It was too damn cold to hang around outside. We crawled back in the truck and broke out the sausage.
Later, we were sucking fumes so we pulled into a gas station and had to stay there until daybreak when the guy came to work so we could fill up and get on the road. We ran the motor just enough to take the chill off the truck so we could dose off during the night. There was nothing else around, just this small gas station in the middle of nowhere.
We stopped at a tiny market close by the motel and got the stuff we needed for burgers. We had the hamburger with us already. It stayed frozen in the back of the truck since our escapade of grilling it on the side of the road a few days earlier hadn’t worked out. I think we probably got some produce. It’s been so long ago I really don’t remember.
Once back at the motel, we had to do what we could in the tiny room with just enough room for two beds. There was a small bath to the side so we set the mini-Weber grill on the toilet seat. I know this sounds bad, but you do what you have to do. We had a good laugh about it all and I’m sure anyone would have thought we were nuts if they could see us cooking food in a bathroom, not exactly the most sanitary place in the world. Those were the best burgers though and our only real meal since leaving
Heck, maybe anything would’ve been good.
We were probably just starved for any kind of food besides sausage.
We were all pretty scroungy looking by that time. It did feel good to take an actual shower that night and get on some cleaner clothes.
That was one long trip. When we finally arrived at the
state line, we found better roads even if the snow was about the same. We drove into Anchorage, another few hours away, and ended
up in a commune where another friend was staying. I’ll end this here because life in the
commune is a completely different story.
Have you ever endured such conditions or lived in a commune?