We left Homer to start heading out of Alaska. We took two days to get to the Canadian border, stopped outside of Fairbanks one night, then Tok the next night at a fun campground we went through on the way in. It was fun to go back to a spot that felt familiar to us, and stay the final night in Alaska. We wanted to hit up Kluane Lake and Kluane National Park region which is part of one of the largest world heritage sites. This lake is gorgeous, we drove by on the way in and wanted to camp there on the way out.
Next we went to Haines, which is the South East corner of Alaska, it’s coastal, and after driving through Canada you end up back in Alaska. Haines was a quiet place, but we happened to arrive on the week of the State Fair, so there was a lot going on, and it was a blast. Lots of music and fun fair stuff to do. We went to the fair two days, it was awesome because you could go in and out. So we went twice a day in the am and pm. They also had a fun parade. In Haines we saw more bears than in the rest of our stay in Alaska. We saw 7 bears in one day all along the river in this one spot where they were said to roam. Haines had all that we experienced in two months of Alaska, but in one spot! They had eagles, bears, moose, fishing, glaciers, and the coast. We also found the hammer museum in Haines an fun place to visit!
We took a boat over to Skagway, a cute town with wooden walkways, and very iconic gold rush style buildings. They made us back the airstream onto that ferry, which is never fun, but luckily the crew there was super helpful! From here we drove up to Laird Hot Springs which everyone has been recommending since day one. This spot was stellar, and a must not miss for anyone driving to or from Alaska. Truely magical.
When we were driving to Laird Hot Springs our Sirius radio connection came back, and we heard one of our favorite band playing at 13 night stretch in Madison Square garden. The show was from the previous night, and it was phenomenal. We had thought about going for months, but we kept thinking well we’ll be in Alaska. All of the sudden we started doing the math and realized if we pushed we could make it there by the final night of the show. So we decided to do something crazy, and drive all the way to NYC.
The first day we were pumped, and drove all the way to Dawson’s Creek, the start of the Alaskan highway, which is actually in Canada. We had inspiration to keep driving because each night they played the live shows from the night before that were happening in Madison Square Garden. We realized we had to drive a minimum of 10-12 hour days to make it in time, but we wanted to arrive early to see a relative who was about to leave for a month to go to California, so we started to drive more like sun up to sun down. The farmland in Canada was gorgeous, and very well kept. We drove all the way to Saskatoon the second day. We camped in Saskatoon at a place called Black Strap Reservoir. That day we realized that the Canadians often had very very very oversized load trucks with hay or tractors that they took down the highway, and we thought we should get back to the American highways to get more time under our belt, and save money on gas too.
The third day we drove through Saskatoon into North Dakota, Minnesota and just into Wisconsin. We camped at a place called Willow State Park. The next we drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and in to Pennsylvania on the fourth day (we went more like 18 hours this day). That night we just camped at a Walmart. The final day we drove the last leg, just in time to see our brother in law in Baltimore making it there by day 5. Around day 3, I felt like we were truck drivers and I started to wonder if we should rethink this as a possible career. Around day 4, I wasn’t sure I could keep going. Not going to lie, this was a lot of driving in 5 days, and technically 6, since that was the day we left Haines Alaska. So 6 days to drive across the whole country from Alaska, if you can drive like a truck driver.
We decided to stay in Baltimore with our relatives and taking the train up was to NYC to see the concert. That way we could visit with our relatives and avoid taking the Airstream into NYC. It was great to visit Robin, Greg, Deb, Gabe and Noah’s home in Baltimore. What a beautiful place! We had no idea the farmland was so amazing there. It was super gorgeous! We also went from the cold and rainy summer of Alaska and Canada into the hot and humid summer of the east coast, very much a contrast. We had a couple awesome summer night dinners with them on the patio and swam in the pool. We got to meet there 5 dogs, take walks around the beautiful neighborhood and see fire flys at night!
NYC was a trip to go into after the peace and quiet of Alaska and Canada. Definite culture shock, but also super exciting. The concert was a blast! We had a 24 hour trip in NYC, saw some good friends, stayed in a hotel and partied until 3 a.m. After we went back to Baltimore and had a salmon and halibut dinner with our relatives from our catches in Alaska and stayed a night refreshing before moving down the road.