I don’t know what it is about the trek to Alaska, it’s hard to enunciate into words. It’s certainly been one of the more profound experiences in our lives and we don’t ever see a day where we might not want to do it again.
These days, there’s nothing exceptionally difficult about making the road trip from the mainland US to AK. Especially compared to the Alcan Highway’s early inception, and even fairly recently before the Alcan was re-routed to a somewhat more sane route through the mountains and both routes were largely paved. But even with that, there’s still a challenge in it…it’s not cheap, it’s not a short commitment and if you tent it, it can still bring it’s fair share of challenge to the person who chooses to go there.
If you don’t enjoy a good road trip, this type of trek probably shouldn’t be on your bucket list. For many, it’s just a romantic notion, “I’d love to do that someday!” The reality is, this trek is long. And by long, I mean it can be entirely across the continental United States and back long…and that doesn’t even include what it’ll take you to get almost to Canada. Our last trip clocked in at just a hair over 7,500 miles…and that could be a short trip compared to some who make the trek. But, for many, it could almost be described as a passion, a must-do…and when they do it, it almost completely consumes them.
This road gives me a feeling. A groove. A groove so good that when I get behind it, I can just go and go and go with barely anything to disrupt me from my dream. It’s a peace, a time to reflect without external intervention or obtuse modern realities creeping in from all sides. It’s a throwback to more natural times in a primitive environment where life truly is decided by the weak and the strong, the healthy and the sick, the brave and the cowardly. It’s a gateway to another world, another time where people do right by each other always and we need little other than our word. It’s a reminder that little else is worth our time other than nature, our friends and our families and that all other divides are roadblocks to becoming who we really are. It’s a place where I could scream at the top of my lungs for no living soul could hear it and yet oddly, a home for many people that defy anything nature could possibly throw at them.
I could say so much about this place. And if you’re one of “those” kinds of people that truly believe and think they would enjoy this road trip…you need to do it. You need to figure out how to scrape the pennies together, get your stuff together well enough to make the trek and to borrow an overused corporate phrase, just do it.