And In The End…

Day 25: Banff, AB to Regina, SK (879km, 15929km total) As we left the Rockies, highway 1 treated us to just a few final sights, perhaps even the best mountain views in all Banff. There was even an elk, the last of the northern wildlife we'd missed up until this point, as if it knew we were one short of completing our menagerie. Unfortunately, after a traffic-ridden stop and go through suburban Calgary, the road led only to Saskatchewan, a land of flat boring nothingness interspersed with ghost towns and these. This particular one, unlike most, is not abandoned yet.…

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Banff Is A Funny Word

Day 23: Prince George, BC to Banff, AB (659km, 14670km total) Finally, a beautiful wilderness I have no desire whatsoever to climb all over... these mountains are just too much! This was just a first glimpse coming into Banff; before we spent a whole day wandering around the Canadian Rockies today... Day 24: Banff, AB to Lake Louise, AB/BC to Radium Hot Springs, BC to Banff, AB (380km, 15050km total) This has to be one of the most beautiful scenic routes on earth, going for a day's drive through giant mountains filled with exotic wildlife, it felt more like a…

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Slow Boat to Canada

Day 20: Lake Laberge, YT to Sbekagway, AK (221km/137mi, 13293km/7638mi total) Most of this route was on roads we'd already seen back through Whitehorse. On the branch toward Skagway, though, there was one of the most bizarre landscapes in the entire north: the Carcross Desert. This tiny true desert, created by a mountain rain shadow, looks spectacularly out of place at best in its climate. The crossing back into Alaska, on the same mountain pass once traversed by the dreaded Chilkoot Trail, was still snowy even in late June. It's easy to see why so many 99ers' journeys ended here,…

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It Was On the Marge of Lake Laberge

Day 18: Anchorage to Tok, AK (318mi, 7061mi total) Leaving Anchorage, we passed through Mat-Su County, a region named for its two spectacular glaciers, the Matanuska and Susitna, which form the two main rivers of southeast Alaska. It was a tourist experience again, basically, but I got to see and almost approach the Matanuska glacier. (Leave it to my parents to stay off the ice, even the part on the tour, on trumped up fears of falling through!) From a distance, the glacier looks almost like a snowfall. But not so much standing at its icy face! This was as…

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On Top Of The World

Day 11: Dawson, YT to Fairbanks, AK (623km/387mi, 8129km/5051mi total) In the mountains above Dawson, last winter's snow still hasn't melted, this despite being above tree line and in direct sunlight at least part of the day! It wasn't even cold here... maybe 60-65 degrees. Starting to sound like a broken record here but... I want to get outside and be a part of this! The border checkpoint was tiny, and consisted of this informational sign, a cabin, and a little shack no larger than a toll booth. Which is probably about what one would expect all the way up…

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There are Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

Day 9: Fort Nelson, BC to Whitehorse, YT (951km, 6974km total) Finally, this was the North we were looking for! Back on the Alaska Highway, the scenery opened up into the far northern end of the Canadian Rockies, towering stone peaks I would have loved to climb if I ever had the chance again. We were isolated enough though that even car-window wildlife watching was possible. Mountain goats would wander straight into traffic, giving the perfect opportunity to see them up close and personal. One of the more notable roadside attractions on the way to Alaska is the Signpost Forest.…

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