Thursday, July 12, 2012

We’re Driving the Alcan in 2014!

We're finally going to do it! We may be about a decade late but better late than never, right? So what are we going to do? Drive the Alcan, of course! From the start in Dawson Creek, BC, to both the ends - first at Delta Junction, about 1,400 miles from Dawson Creek, and then at Fairbanks, almost another 100 miles up the road.

So how can the Alcan have two ends?

Well, because there are two monuments claiming to be the end of the Alcan. Delta Junction started out as just plain Delta back in the early 1900s, a camp for workers on the Richardson Highway, which runs through Fairbanks. The Alcan went to Delta Junction but Alaska assigned the same highway number to the section of the Richardson Highway that runs from Delta Junction to Fairbanks. Therefore, Fairbanks also claims to be the end. Whatever. We'll see them both!

And why 2014?

A couple of reasons. First, we want to go while we're still young and sprightly. We'll both be in our early-mid 50s in 2014 and don't want to wait until either of us are pushing 60. We plan to camp much of the trip and I can already tell that my hips are increasingly less inclined to rough it as time goes by (you know, sleeping on an air mattress or camping mat). So sooner will be more comfortable than waiting. The second reason is money. While we'll doubtless use our credit card to pay most expenses while on the trip, we will also pay the balance in full when the bill comes due.

Let the fun begin!

So we'll be researching, planning and saving up for the trip over the next two years. And I'll be sharing here as our plans unfold. One of the first things we need to figure out is how we'll actually get to Dawson Creek. We'll drive, of course, but there are a couple of main routes we could take and other less traveled roads that will still get us there. So I guess I'd better get out the maps and start dreaming.

Now, if anyone out there has driven the Alcan, or if you plan to, or even if you just know someone who has, I'd love to hear all about it so leave a comment, ok?


  1. Great trip to make. We drove up to Anchorage in 97. Went in through Montana. Loved every minute of it. I hear the roads are even better now (with the exception of the ever present construction). Must stop in Liard at the Hot Springs. Stay at Trapper Ray's that night - or camp in the area.Enjoy the trip - and take your time. I think we traveled 6 hours a day so we had plenty of time for our son (he was 10 then) to stretch his legs.
    Traveling at night can be iffy - tough to see groups of animals on the street. Oh and you may get to see wild horses (it was my first time)so beautiful!
    Have a great time!

    1. Thanks for the advice! I just found out about Laird Hot Springs last week and added that to our list of must-sees. I really appreciate your recommendation for Trapper Ray's. We're planning on car camping about 2/3 of the time but I'd rather have a real bed so any time I can make an excuse to get a room, I will!

      We plan to be gone about a month and don't plan to do any night driving. I just don't see as well at night now and we'd miss all the scenery! Plus, there should be enough daylight that we'll be able to make good progress each day, if we choose.