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This is a picture that comes up for Tok, in Google Maps

Check out those mountains

Here’s my first crack at a schedule. As expected, I don’t manage to get there as early as I might like. Then again, there’s a little wiggle room in there, with only one really bad driving day. (Two, if you count the final day of Alaskan driving.)

  • 8/31 – Montpelier, OH (chosen semi-randomly, pet-friendly motel) – 281 mi
  • 9/1 – Madison, WI (hoping to rely on the kindness of friends) – 336 mi
  • 9/2 – Melrose, MN (another pet-friendly motel) – 367 miles
  • 9/3 – Winnipeg, Manitoba (haven’t chosen a place to stay; hostels are in “shady” area, motels expensive; may go past the city entirely) ~360 miles and the Canadian border crossing
  • 9/4 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – 486 miles (dear god that’s a long day) ((but Firefox says I got the spelling on the first try!))
  • 9/5 – Saskatoon (I may just sit out the next day, because that’s a lot of driving time, the day before – we’ll see)
  • 9/6 – Edmonton, Alberta – 326 mi
  • 9/7 – Dawson Creek, British Columbia – 370 mi – this is the beginning of the Alcan, and when I get around to buying a copy of the Milepost, I may well change up everything following this point
  • 9/8 – Fort Nelson, British Columbia – 283 mi
  • 9/9 – Watson Lake, Yukon – 318 mi
  • 9/10 – Haines Junction, Yukon (stopping in Whitehorse) – 367 mi
  • 9/11 – Tok, AK – 293 mi (a couple of passes to cross that day, plus customs, so I’m comfortable keeping it short – also, this is the northernmost point of my trip – 63°20’5.3″N, compared to Pittsburgh’s 40°26’20.5″N … and for those who are rusty in geometry or geography, there are 90°, total, from the equator to the pole.)
  • 9/12 – Glennallen, AK – 139 mi (fair bit of deep valley driving)
  • 9/13 – Anchorage, AK – 181 mi (a few more passes, kind of intimidating – if the Subaru doesn’t work out, this may be slow going)

Now, if we get the Subaru, or if I am over-estimating the difficulty of the passes, there’s no big problem combining the last two days. Honestly, I’m going to want to–I’ll be so tired of driving, by then. But I don’t have really solid information about that part, yet.

So, best case, I’m looking at rolling into town the evening of September 11. But I think my estimate of the 13th is probably more realistic. If anybody knows someone in one of these towns–Madison excepted–who doesn’t have cats or mind visitors, I’d be most obliged. I’m not sure I’m gutsy enough to couch surf, tempting though that is, but the hospitality of friends-of-friends would be greatly appreciated.

Other than “almost 500 miles in one day? you’re crazy!” does anyone have any thoughts? :)

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August 2009