Categorized | Travel, USA

ALCAN Highway Day 1 – to Delta Junction

I haven’t written anything in awhile, but I plan to change that with my trip down the ALCAN Highway. I will go back and write about my experiences in the village in Alaska, but right now I want to tell you about my long road trip home. I’m driving from Anchorage to Texas and doing the entire Alaska-Canadaian Highway (ALCAN). Today was my trip from Anchorage to the start of the ALCAN in Delta Junction.

Alaska to Texas ALCAN Highway Day 1:

The day started off well enough. The rain had passed through town and the early drive was simply amazing. Blue skies, bright white clouds, and contrasting mountains and streams were all along the way. I really liked the Glenn Highway. It was stunning. Along the highway I saw two moose. The first one scared the bejeezus out of me. A huge moose just came sauntering across the highway in front of me. I didn’t come close to hitting it, but it made me slow down and definitely woke me up.

My plan was to drive to Glennallen and then to take a short detour over the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. There was a park entrance and visitor center just a few miles from where I had to turn to go to Delta Junction. It was a great idea, if I do say so myself.

I got to the visitor center, looked around, got my passport stamps (I’m hooked and will talk about this in another post), and started to head out back to my car. I was headed to get my camera to go on the short walk around the visitor center when a couple was trying to tell me about a moose on the other side of a building. I crept up slowly and peeked around the corner only to see him peeking back at me.

It was amazing. In a few short minutes we had half dozen visitors and three park rangers watching the moose. One of the park rangers felt it was the same one he saw the day before near the rangers housing. They thought it was hanging around where people were because it was about to give birth and this way it would stay far enough away from predators. It was huge!

They are fascinating animals. I got to see three today, and even though the last one was in the woods I got a few decent photos.

I’d love to go back to Wrangell St. Elias one day. There is a ghost town and village inside the park where the old Kennecott Copper Mine was years ago. I didn’t have enough time today though since it is a four hour drive to the mine from the visitors center. I have a feeling I will be back to Alaska one day though.

Other than moose, I got to see the Matanuska Glacier on the side of the Glenn Highway. I didn’t even realize there was one on the highway but glad I got to see it. So far just getting to the ALCAN Highway has been quite an experience.

I’m spending the night at the Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast here in Delta Junction. So far so good. I will review it later on after the stay.

Road Conditions:

For the most part the roads were in great shape. Occasionally I would come across a short piece of the road that was marked as rough, and each time it would be. By rough it was humps and bumps that make going the speed limit feel like you are riding a roller coaster. Other than that there were short stretches, usually 50 feet or less, of gravel. Each were marked ahead of time allowing me time to slow down. Overall I was really pleased with the road conditions. From everything I’ve read tomorrow will be where I see the worst part of the highway. We shall see.

Day 1 Totals:

Miles – 366 miles
Cups of Coffee – 1
Bathroom stops – 2
Moose – 3
Bears – 0
Caribou – 0
Times stopped to take a photo – Lost Count

Below are a few photos I took today. To see more check out my Flickr Page.

About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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