This post is rated AAAA!
Yesterday was our BIG Arctic Circle (AC) adventure. We set an alarm so we could get on the road because we knew it was a 12 hr round trip. We started up the Dempster Hwy at 8:15am. This was not the best day to ride up the road (highway is not really a good term for it...think Ice Road Truckers) as it was raining. Unfortunately we missed out on many of the incredible views due to the clouds. But we persevered and made it. It was 252 miles up the road to the AC. There was a stretch about 75-100 miles long that was thick mud and quite slippery. We saw a car off the side of the road which looked like it rolled. We were glad to have 4 Wheel Drive on this section. We made it to the top and turned back about 3:30. We rented a gas can that needed to be returned by 9pm and we never thought we'd make it. It was after 4pm when we left Eagle Plains after getting some gas. That was 229 miles up and still on the far side of the bad section of the road. But we were very fortunate that it stopped raining and the clouds had lifted. We thought we wouldn't get back down until after 10pm. We flew down the highway and made it back to return the gas can at 8:45. So about 6.5 hrs to get up and under 5 hours to get back down. We only made 1 quick stop on the way down. The Jeep is caked with mud. You can see in the video we posted yesterday. (scroll down)
Anyway WE WERE INSIDE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE! We even did a GeoCache up there! w00t! It was COLD up there!! I wore a Teletubbies beach town around my head to stay warm!By the time we got back to the RV everyone was SICK of being in the Jeep and all wanted to do our own thing. We decided that we would not be in any hurry to get up at all. I had been sleeping poorly (even with a sleep mask on), so I took an Advil PM and slept for 9.5 hrs. Best sleep of the trip!
We took our time this morning and got packed up to head down the ferry line. There is a ferry crossing the Yukon River. We were going to do it with the Jeep hitched up, but we ended up unhitching and sending Jake over with the Jeep ahead of the RV. (Cars go in a different line) He was able to take lots of pics of the RV going over on the ferry. Those pics are on our other camera and will need to be uploaded another time. (We have 3 cameras, a video camera, and my phone which does both pics & videos with us and we still need to get them organized. Not to mention 2 different laptops to organize on! AND we never know what the internet connection is going to be. Right now we are using the WiFi in the main building at the RV park!)We continued on the day with Eric driving the RV and me in the Jeep. The Top of the World Highway is SOOO beautiful (I today's views made up for the missed views yesterday!) it is very rough...especially the US side. The border crossing (Poker Creek) is at the high point of highway. We got a very cool stamp in our passport and then went down about a 1/2 mile to the Welcome to Alaska sign!WE ARE IN ALASKA!!! We continued on the road down through Chicken, AK where we a little boy and his dog befriended Dori & Parker and chatted with his family a little bit. We got some funny pics in Chicken! The road was MUCH improved from Chicken down the the Alaska Hwy. For anyone reading this who is going to drive the Top of the World~ unhitch your tow vehicle and drive separately! I was able to go ahead of Eric and let him know of upcoming holes, curves, and vehicles via the CB radio.
We are know in Tok, AK. It's like Tokyo (with out the yo!) We are staying at a great RV park (Tundra). Tomorrow we only have 200 miles to get to Fairbanks, which we will take at a leisurely pace. We hope to stop and see Santa along the way!
Before I sign off, I want to show one of the incredible views we had today! We truly felt like we were on top of the world!!