Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Reversing down the Alaska Highway

9th November 2010 by Helen
We joined the Alaska Highway at Delta Junction ready to travel south

We joined the Alaska Highway at Delta Junction ready to travel south

Waking up this morning we cooked up our sausages on our small stove.  Seemed to take forever in the below freezing temperatures.

The campsite is really well catered for in the summer season.  There is a log cabin for public use.  Peering through the windows, we could see a wood stove for heating, a large area set aside for kitchen facilities, big pine table and plenty of seating.  The mezzanine floor is presumably available for sleeping.  We would have loved to have had a look inside but it was already padlocked shut for the winter.  As well as plenty of benches for day campers there were sturdy braziers for BBQs and wood in the wood pile under the porch of the log cabin.  Campers pitch their tents in among the trees.  The launch for the boats is easy to access and runs straight into the lake from the campsite.

We took a short walk around the edge of the campsite looking at all the animal tracks.  Clearly the four-legged hunters had been out and active while we had been asleep.  In amongst the trees was evidence of the squirrels feasting on the pine nuts they’d found.  The surface of the lake itself was rock hard and we could see where fishermen had been down there and drilled holes in the ice to go fishing.  Tyre tracks across parts of the ice suggested the depth of the ice was pretty thick.

Explaining the history of the Alaska Highway

Explaining the history of the Alaska Highway

Sorry to have to rush away we cleared up and headed south again. 

The change in Landy’s plans mean we have to negotiate one of the bureaucratic challenges of travelling again.  In this case it means we have to find an attorney as a matter of urgency to get the power of attorney signed so our US agent can act on our behalf with Customs.  So, we had to stop at the next main town on our route, which was Delta Junction.  No signs to be found anywhere for Lawyers or ‘Notaries’.  The teenagers working in the garage don’t seem to know what an attorney, lawyer or notary is (maybe that’s a good thing, least they won’t already have had to use the services of one in their short lives so far), but they do direct us to the court house who have the power to act as a notary and we got our POA signed.  Then it’s off to the library to get it faxed!!

We hope we don't meet one of these in this manner - not so forgiving as the hind quarters of a horse

We hope we don't meet one of these in this manner - not so forgiving as the hind quarters of a horse

Delta Junction is famed for it being the end of the Alaska Highway, built in just 8 months by the US army in response to security concerns raised by the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1942.

From there we made good time down through Tok (pronounced like ‘oak’ with a t on the front) and camped just short of the Alaskan-Canadian border.  Temperatures still below freezing day and night (average minus 7 C).

Route: Delta Junction / Tok / camped just short of the Alaskan/Canadian border

Back on the road again

6th November 2010 by Helen
some cars carry their own snow ploughs - seen around Anchorage and on the roads around Alaska

some cars carry their own snow ploughs - seen around Anchorage and on the roads around Alaska

After filling up on food and fuel we were off this morning, heading up north towards Fairbanks on the Parks Highway.  We pass through Palmer, Wasilla, Houston and Willow.  Soon we had the great Alaska Range mountains on our left, although heavy snow clouds hit the great Mount McKinley from our view.  To our right rose smaller hills and mountains and in between were forests of trees heavy with snow, their branches bowing under the weight.  Suddenly huge spectacular gulches opened up before us, and disappear from view again as we crossed the bridge that spans the gap.  But not before we have marvelled at the depth and texture of the scene caused by the snow, trees, and rocks.  We stop at one crossing of the Chulitna river, fascinated to see the freezing process and take photos.  The water close to one bank is frozen with mounds of snow on top.  The other side of the river the water is still flowing but already we can see the ice that has formed on the river bed, causing the water to flow over the ice.  The different depths and thicknesses cause the river to shine in differing shades of blue and white.

The road in front of us - heading up the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks

The road in front of us - heading up the Parks Highway from Anchorage to Fairbanks

Passing Cantwell, the Alaska Range mountains draw closer to us until we pass through them, past Denali Park, Healy and Nenana, where we stop to sing Na ne na na, na ne na na, hey hey hey …. just for you Stuart so you have a choice of “can’t get it out of my head” songs (also known as ear worms)!!  It’s November and most tourist places are closed: fox this, grizzly that, all with names that reflect what this land is best known for.  Some would say we’re mssing much going straight past the Alaska Range and Denali National Park but out of season we are valuing other sights – the snow covered trees and freezing rivers.  Dog mushers are out too, running alongside the road in places.  We’ve not been subjected to tourism and tourist prices and temptations.  Our one day walk in downtown Anchorage gave us enough exposure to tacky souvenirs.

 
Paul on the Parks Highway - moments before he started throwing snowballs

Paul on the Parks Highway - moments before he started throwing snowballs

And so it is the evening is drawing in.  The ground has levelled out after passing the Alaska Range.  We are still some way from our first destination of Fairbanks and so we decide to camp.  We find a parking sign that leads to a layby, separated from the road by a bank of trees, and make camp.  While I organise our ‘stuff’ and sleeping arrangements Paul cooks up chicken drumsticks.  They take an age to cook in the outside temperature of minus 10 degrees Centigrade.  Afterwards we place our food in a special bear proof tub and leave it a little way from the camp.  The bears should be hibernating by now but we have learned that although hibernating bears stay mainly in their dens for the winter they do come out from time to time for food.  We aren’t taking any chances.

We’re looking forward to testing out our new super duper winter weight sleeping bags, bought just a few days ago in Anchorage.  Night night.