We just got back from a two week road trip up to Alaska. We splashed around in the Arctic Ocean and then spent a few days with Chris' family.
Here is our route:
Seattle to Deadhorse (c) and then back down to Anchorage (d). Our grand total: 3,700 miles.
Basically, it's like driving from Seattle to Miami, with a detour to Chicago, and then adding on a few hundred additional miles.
The kids were fantastic road trippers. We swam in hot springs, saw a bunch of cool wildlife, and drove to the top of the world. nbd.
One of the highlights for me was seeing a wild wolf in Canada:
Alaska Fish & Game has allowed the big packs of Denali to be shot by trophy hunters so I'd pretty much given up hope on seeing our largest native wild canine.
Until this guy loped across the road in Kluane National Park in the Yukon. My background is in environmental science and wildlife biology; seeing this guy made me giddy.
Liard Hot Springs in BC.
And the Arctic Circle in the very, very far north:
The is only one reason that there is a road north from Fairbanks across the arctic tundra: the pipeline. Love it or hate it, this big 'ole pipe gave us access to scenery rarely seen by the casual tourist.
Don't let anyone convince you that the arctic is a flat, boring place. It is spectacular.
But when they say that Deadhorse is a dump...well, they weren't lying. :) The sweet ladies at the general store were thrilled to see kids, however.
The road stops here: Beaufort Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. Temperature: a freezing 38 degrees fahrenheit.
And then we headed south to spend a desperately needed week of relaxation with my in-laws. After two weeks of roughing it in the truck camper, we were ready for showers, clean laundry, and a bed that wasn't on wheels.
Observe: the laziest fisherman that ever lived.
And now, time to start school. We have a KINDERGARTENER this year!! Eek.
Two more favorites:
Kluane Lake in the Yukon (Canada).