Epic Road Trip to Alaska 2024!!

Back in 2019, our family of 7 drove to Alaska from Indiana. We left late April and were back by August. It was an amazing trip and I had fun writing about our daily adventures and the great distances we were driving. We are making the trip to Alaska again, but this time we are going as a caravan, the tent revival crew is with us!

Read on if you would like to follow along as we venture north, waaaay north, to Alaska!

Day 1 – Newberg, Oregon to Chilliwack, BC; Canada (329 miles)

Red tape stress in the midst of adventure…

Today we left Newberg, Oregon to start our journey across Canada and into Alaska. There are 8 campers total in our tent revival team, but only 5 will be making this epic Alaskan journey as well as the box truck that carries our tent.

We left this morning and encountered lots of traffic in Seattle and the surrounding areas.

At the border crossing, some of us went through quickly and easily, others had their campers searched, and others had to come back the next day with additional documents. The box truck was a bit complicated to get through, but it worked out eventually.

Around 11pm, after several failed attempts at finding a place to stay, we settled in at a Walmart for the night.

Day 2 – Chilliwack, BC; Canada to Cache Creek, BC; Canada (152 miles)

Mechanical stress in the midst of beauty

This day was a day marked with mechanical issues. We only made it to (just north of) Cache Creek from Hope. It should’ve taken us 2ish hours to make that drive, but it was an all-day ordeal.

While waiting for our friends to cross the border, we made a pit stop in Hope, British Columbia, Canada. The kids played at the park, we walked the dogs, and visited a few shops. Unfortunately the tunnels we visited in 2019 were closed due to storm damage.

The highway just north of Hope is beautiful! Steep inclines and curves follow the River through the thickly wooded mountain range. The ride was peaceful for about an hour, then one of the trucks started having trouble… It was stop & go, troubleshoot, repair, for the rest of the day.

Day 3 – Cache Creek, BC, Canada to Burns Lake, BC, Canada (410 miles)

God still works miracles, even on trucks!

The guys got up early to try a few more things on the truck. Matt gathered us for prayer around the truck and then we had some warfare worship. We decide to act on the faith that we would make it to our destination, that the truck would run smoothly. It did!

We made much better time today and covered about 450 miles. There were several stops today to get backup truck parts and extra coolent. We also made a pit stop in Quesnel, BC; Canada. This town offers RVers a great little free dump station and fresh water fill up. It was a busy spot and ended up taking us a while to empty and fill tanks.

Day 4 – Burns Lake, BC, Canada to Dease Lake, BC, Canada (460 miles)

Into the wild…

We started the day with a circle-up prayer outside of the campers before we drove off. Wildlife spotting has increased as we find ourselves in increasingly remote areas. We have seen black bear, moose, dear, a fox, a porcupine, and a wolf today!

Cassiar Highway is truly breathtaking. This remote stretch of British Columbia forced us all to unplug – there is no signal here. We no longer travel with cds, there is no radio station that we could find, we found ourselves driving in silence in this wildnerness and there is something extra special and peaceful that is hard to explain. My heart is at ease, and I am overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of God.

There have been lingering mechanical issues slowing our pace today. However, we were able to make it to Dease Lake for the night.

Day 5 – Dease Lake to (just north of) Haines Junction, Yukon (500 miles)

“You shall go out with joy…”

Waking up today I could feel the physical toll of early mornings and long hours in the truck. I felt a little irritable…

We filled up the water tanks and fueled up for the journey ahead. Our first stop for the day was at Jade City. We really didn’t have time to be making pit stops so early in the day, but we knew that this would be the only opportunity to stop here on this trip. It was a fun stop for the kids and the adults too.

At our second stop for the day, we fueled up at a gas station just inside the Yukon territory. Matt was chatting with the gas station employee who had a terrifying grizzly bear story. He had the scars all across his face and neck to prove it! We will now be referring to him as the Yukon welcoming committee, helping to protect tourists that might underestimate what a hungry bear will do!

While driving along, it occurred to me that it was a waste of time to be irritable. I was in the place we have been anticipating for over a year, and even though I was physically worn out, this place was just as beautiful. So I decided to soak it in.

As we drive along, I remember God’s promise to us years ago…

“You shall go out with joy & be led forth in peace, the mountains and the hills will break forth before you & all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

So, today I choose to go out with joy.

Day 6 – Haines Junction to Fairbanks, Alaska (475ish miles)

Frostheaves and cloudy skies

Today we drove around Kleune Lake and Destruction Bay. The landscape changes drastically here. There are still giant, beautiful mountains, but for some reason it seems like you can see forever, the sky feels bigger. This area is nostalgic for our family because in 2019, on our way back from Alaska, we saw the most beautiful rainbows and big fluffy clouds in these big skies. This time, it looked more like storm clouds off in the distance, in the direction we were driving, and yet the clouds looked colorful like rainbows again.

The frostheaves. I think they are named well, as they make your vehicle heave if you are going too fast when you go over them. Too fast as in 25mph.

This section is tedious and we are thankful for the beautiful views along the way.

Border crossing was smooth and generally uneventful, just as we hoped it would be. We did get a picture at the Alaska sign, of course.

We stopped in Tok to fill up the trucks and some of us gave our rigs a much needed bath. We also stopped in the gift shop for some Alaska t-shirts and such.

This last stretch into Fairbanks was also tedious, and we were all feeling very sleepy…

Day 7 – Rest Day

Tired and Confused

Today we rested. Sleep is good, it is also tricky here with 24 hr daylight. I also had the days a bit mixed up and we start the revival on Saturday, not Friday. We did that to give ourselves more time for the drive, but somewhere along the line I forgot. Sorry traveling friends…

So today we took it easy for the most part. We all had to assess any damage that occured to our rigs along the rough Alaskan Highway. We discovered we would need to repair one of the slides and replace some of the blinds. We also did some cleaning and settled into our spot for the week.

To be continued…