Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 11th, 2012: Heading Back to Tok

We said our goodbyes to Valdez and headed back up the road. Of course it was the usual beautiful drive as we passed the waterfalls. The road sliced through the narrow canyon before heading up towards Thompson Pass.
Its a steep and long steady pull and our truck heated up, so I pulled into a turnout and we waited a bit for it to cool down. Now I had checked the fluid levels before leaving Valdez and all were fine but we had boiled some out and so I added more to the overflow tank.
Continuing on we reached the pass and all was well. Soon we were north of Glennallen at the Tok Cutoff. Now Milepost describes the Tok Cutoff road as quite good in some places, filled with potholes in others, and now and then bad spots where the road is trying to fall off into the drunken forests. To this I would have added, gravel washboardy stretches from hell, yeah that's a pretty good description.
It was a scenic drive and we passed a mountain that's a sixteener, yeah a sixteen thousand plus high volcano. Trumpeter swans occasionally dotted the tundra lakes and moose warnings were everywhere.
After about one hundred miles the low coolant light came on and so we pulled over and looked for rocks. I added a little more fluid but it didn't need much and so we drove the rest of the way to Tok,(I did find some nice rocks which I added to our load).
Arriving at Tok, we camped at the same spot we had when we came north and later went over for happy hour with Steve, Mike, and the two Sandys. They had just arrived from Fairbanks and were also heading south.
Trading stories about our travels since Salmon Camp, they talked of the ice truck road to the Arctic Circle,(be sure to read their blogs, they are both on the side bar of blogs we are following).
So tomorrow we cross back into Canada and head south. The original plan is to head to Hyder and the Cassier Highway, but it will all depend on whether or not the truck behaves. Its not that the Alaskan Highway is any better but there are the occasional large towns/cities along the way. Clear skies.

ps We are heading into Canada so we will only post when we have free wifi, in other words we are going off the grid,(as our daughter would say)

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting post. Have a safe return trip coming south.