I've added a link to the right of this page titled "Pictures from our trip to Alaska" that will bring you to a Shutterfly page that contains pictures and info. about our recent trip.
It is a work in progress; I need to add captions to pictures so that you will know what is where, etc. So far, I only have about 25 captions posted (but we're about to go do some more sightseeing, so I'll have to come back to the project later).
We got here a little after lunchtime (we stopped in North Pole, AK to eat), went straight on Post to see if we could get lodging there, but we couldn't, soooooo we're staying at the Holiday Inn for...I don't know how long.
Tomorrow, we go back to Post to sign into Fort Wainwright, and then sign into Housing to get onto the waiting list for housing. Phillip doesn't have to sign into his company until after he "in-processes".
So far, we like what we see. (There's a Barnes and Noble here, so I'm happy.)
As far as the drive....We're TOTALLY glad we did it, because we saw so many beautiful things and got a whole new perspective on the lay of the land, and life in general, but next time...I'm flyin' out! Two weeks in the car to ANYWHERE is just a little too long for me!
Thanks to all who've wished us well, and a safe journey.
3,579 miles (with just a bit more for side trips) so far...
And remember, that's only 11 days of driving, but I say it's 15 (AK Bound) because we've been out of our house since May 9th.
The above map reads...Harker Heights, TX to Dallas...to Raton, New Mexico...to Englewood, CO...to Dubois, Wyoming...to Butte, Montana...to Calgary, Alberta...to Edmonton, Alberta...to Dawson Creek, British Columbia...to Fort Nelson, British Columbia...to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory...to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this evening.
Tomorrow, we will hopefully be in Fairbanks, if not, then we may stop in Tok, Alaska or somewhere near there. We have until May 28th to officially report to Fort Wainwright, and we are way ahead of schedule, so we have been taking some short days/drives to give ourselves some rest from the road.
I know that I said that I'd post everyday if I could. The truth is, by the time we get into our hotel in the evening, we are a bit tired and I don't have the desire to tell you all that we've seen and done; and trust me, there's a lot to tell you! This has truly been the trip of a lifetime! I never thought that Gabe would be as excited as he is to see what there is to see; Sarah is so young, that she won't remember this, but I'll have lots of pictures to show her in the future. Both of them have been real troopers and we've only had a couple of very minor meltdowns from Sarah toward the end of a day.
When we get to Fairbanks, and I have more time, I will tell you more about the trip and post more pictures...
We left Calgary this morning and drove about 3 hours to the largest shopping mall in North America!
We're staying at the Fantasyland Hotel in the West Edmonton Mall; I sprung $50 more on our room reservation to surprise Gabe (and the rest of the family), and upgraded to a "Canadian Rail" room. We have a gigantic jacuzzi tub smack-dab in the middle of the room, and bunk beds for the kids; even the shower looks like it belongs in a sleeper car. The guys walked the lower half of the mall with Sarah and I, and then we separated so that they could enjoy the water park (in the mall).
Tomorrow, we stay in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and then wake up Friday morning to get our start on the ALCAN Highway...
We are a little more than halfway finished with the trip.
Yesterday was a FULL day. We woke up in Dubois, Wyoming (a charming little town in the middle of nowhere, it seems) and headed straight for Old Faithful.
I am keeping a small written journal in the car, so that I won't forget what is what...it's kinda all running together for me now. I will try to get back to you tonight with a more detailed description of what the past two days were like. Hopefully, we will be in at least Calgary, Alberta by this evening.
Oh, and the pictures from the road are amazing, if I do say so myself. This side of the United States is just BEAUTIFUL, I tell ya! I'll also try to post some more pictures so that you can see.
We left the hotel in Raton, New Mexico this morning and headed north on I-25. My friend, Melanie, was not expecting us until late this afternoon, so we killed some time touring Fort Carson, Colorado and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Wow! What a day! Gabe barely played with his Ipod Touch or watched the DVD player...he was loving the sights outside.
As for our visit, with Melanie and her family, it was so good to see all of them. We spent the afternoon at her house, drank some Shiraz, and had dinner at a nearby restaurant...I really do miss seeing her on a regular basis.
Tomorrow, we drive on toward Yellowstone National Park, about 550 miles from where we are now.
Here's some pics from the trip so far:
A bird outside of our hotel in New Mexico.
The Garden of the Gods.
(there's a whole lot more to it...)
Balancing Rock at the GOTG.
The view from the road (just getting into Colorado).
The Big Texan Challenge.
I'm off to bed now, and hoping that little Miss Sarah does not wake up at 5 am again tomorrow...
We've arrived safely in Raton, New Mexico for the night.
Tomorrow, we push on toward Highlands Ranch, Colorado (just below Denver) to see my friend, Melanie; I'm so excited to see her, as she has been truly been a great friend for fifteen years now.
Our adventure started on Sunday night, when we checked into the Shiloh Inn in Killeen. I wanted to make sure that everything that was being packed up on Monday was clean and ready to be stored for however long it will take to get to us in Fairbanks (I'm thinking that we will be without our household goods for at least a month).
Sarah's allergies have been doing a number on her, and so I took her to the doctor on Monday to make sure that she was clear for take off, so to speak (we called Phil's parents an hour after they left our house on Sunday morning, and asked if they could come right back to help us, when I realized that she was sick enough for a doctor's visit; it turned out to be a very busy Monday... they were visiting for the weekend because Gabe made his First Communion on Saturday).
So, we packed up on Monday, and loaded up on Tuesday. By 4 pm on Tuesday, we'd cleaned out what was left in the house (stuff that the movers couldn't pack, etc.) and said our good-byes to what had been our home for the past five years. I tell ya, it wasn't easy to drive away.
Wednesday was a day for us to tie up loose ends. I spent what was left of some massage gift certificates, and Phillip got his truck serviced for the trip. For dinner, we went down to Round Rock, TX to eat at the Saltlick one last time.
Yesterday, we checked our mail, one last time, at the house, turned in our house and mail keys, checked Gabe out of school early, and were in Dallas by 2:30 to get my car shipped (Military Vehicle Processing Center). We met Connie at Aunt Wendy's house. While waiting on Wendy to finish an important meeting, we ate ONE LAST TIME at Campisi's and brought the leftovers home to Wendy.
This morning, we left Wendy's house at around 7:45 am and drove toward Amarillo. Our plan was to make it out to Palo Duro Canyon (south of Amarillo), but it rained all day so we decided against seeing the canyon. We had lunch at The Big Texan, canceled our hotel reservation in Amarillo, and pushed on to where we are now.
All in all, it's been an exciting, yet exhausting past few days...
I will do my best to post something every night. I realize that tonight's post is a little "choppy", but jeeeze I'm tired.
Wish us a safe journey, please, and take good care of yourselves, as well.
We went with Gabe's Cub Scout den to tour the CTC Flight School campus this past Saturday.
Here's Phillip and Gabe posing for the camera...
and Sarah, not to be outdone, posing too.
Here's Gabe checking out the view on a flight simulator.
But Sarah had to see the real thing (or as close to it as she could).
We all learned quite a bit; had lots of fun.
We met some good friends for lunch at The Dead Fish Grill on Lake Belton, and then went together to an airshow in Temple, TX afterward. Sarah told Clark about how much fun it was to run around the hangar, to see how many times Mommy and Daddy would tell her "Don't run, Sarah!". And then they watched the planes fly overhead and clapped at the appropriate times.