Our Last Leg

We wrapped up the trip by driving 500+ miles from Eugene OR to Placerville CA to stop for a few days with our son, his wife, our two grandchildren. Several in-laws are in town visiting so we get to reconnect over dinner.
Then we get to spend the weekend playing with the grand kids and catching up with their parents.
We head down to Sacramento for some last minute back-to-school shopping and then we are off, south, towards home. We cover the 350 miles in good time, missing any major traffic problems in Sacramento or LA. The Jeep just hums along as well on the highway as it did in the Yukon mud. We glide down the I-5 across the dryness of the central valley. We finish a book on tape. Usually this stretch of freeway is boring but we are charged up, closing in on home and it actually looks different, as if we are looking at it with different eyes, seeing it for the first time. Finally we cross over into the LA basin, brown air never looked so good. We finish up the last miles to our home in Pasadena and say a little prayer of thanksgiving.
The Grateful Dead have a famous line: ‘what a long, strange trip its been’. But it has a somewhat negative connotation that does not apply here. Long, strange and wonderful would be more like it. Maybe the Grateful Dead were referring to a mind altering experience, in which case it definitely applies. We still cannot wrap ourselves around the trip we have been on.
Simple numbers come up, we are out exactly 7 weeks, we covered 8,654 miles, 220 hours of time behind the wheel. I do not have an exact fuel count but it is about 400 gallons of fuel, probably about $2,000 due to expensive fuel on remote parts of the trip. We haven’t added up the hotel rooms, restaurant and food costs and other travel expenses like the ferry and flight to Tuk. I don’t want to say that costs don’t matter, we did a lot to minimize costs but the key was to do what we want and that is exactly what we did.
We would do it again in a minute.

We started in Arizona with family & our son’s drum show, then on to Utah, Big Bend, Ogden and Brigham City. On to Idaho, Pocatello, Flathead Lake and the Big Hole. Then the Going To The Sun Highway, still memorable. Into Canada and our night at the Prince Of Wales Hotel, the Calgary Stampede. The family visit to Wetaskawin & Edmonton and exploring Edmonton. Then the adventure got serious on the Alaska Highway starting in Dawson Creek. Mile after mile up to Whitehorse and Dawson City where we took in their music festival. Then the key to the whole trip, the adventure up the Dempster Highway; Tombstone Park, Rock River mosquitoes, Eagle Plaines, countless miles of tundra, Tsiigehtchic, ferry crossings and on to Inuvik and Tuk which were are as remote and different as a place can be and actually be inhabited.
The trip down and then the Top Of The World Highway and into Chicken Alaska. The road trip to Valdez AK, back to Beaver Creek Yukon and down to Haines AK where, if we ever win the lottery, we will have a place at least for the summer. Then staying in Juneau and exploring other Alaskan towns on the ferry route. Prince Rupert and the road going east. Cute little Clinton BC. Then into Washington; the county fair in Canby, dinner and some time exploring Olympia. A couple days in Eugene to rest up and play and on to California, family and home.
But the overview doesn’t tell the tale, the details that bubble up do; the bears in Haines, walking on glaciers, kayaking around the point, new music in Dawson City, 24 hour sun, endless open spaces... May the memory bubbles never cease. Thank you for reading and staying connected. We wish you wonderful memories in your own adventures.

12 comments:

Duplans said...

Hi Guys,
My name is Blaise, from Switzerland. I found your blogg googling Jeep Liberty road trips. Have been following your trip almost daily from the start. You made a fantastic journey, and readers like me could feel how much you two appreciated almost each minute of it. This is great, congratulations for the tour and many thanks for sharing it with us.
(and yes, some sceneries do look like switzerland ! ;-))
Warm Regards !
Blaise - Geneva, CH

Duplans said...

Hi Guys,
My name is Blaise, from Switzerland. I found your blogg googling Jeep Liberty road trips. Have been following your trip almost daily from the start. You made a fantastic journey, and readers like me could feel how much you two appreciated almost each minute of it. This is great, congratulations for the tour and many thanks for sharing it with us.
(and yes, some sceneries do look like switzerland ! ;-))
Warm Regards !
Blaise - Geneva, CH

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