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Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Journey of a Thousand Miles....

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. How about a journey of four thousand, two hundred or so miles? We recently drove, yes, DROVE from Anchorage, Alaska to the beautiful rolling hills of West Virginia, where we plan on settling down, and enjoying our new beginning.  Some pictures of the crazy, scary, and ultimately joyous trip....

At first, throughout the Northernmost part of Alaska, and on into the Yukon Territory, this is how scary cold and icy the drive was.


It would take an entire day sometimes, to see another car passing us on the road. Our cell phones did not work either. You cannot even get an AM radio station on the car radio. We bought flares in case we got in trouble, and needed to attempt to flag someone down for help. You truly understand the meaning of "wilderness" once you have driven the Alaska - Canada Highway, called the AL-CAN. More stark and cold roads were to come....

And if you care to know, no, I'm NOT the serene passenger reading books, dreaming up recipes, or listening to an I-pod....I am the terror-stricken, nails embedded into the vinyl, bug-eyed nervous wreck, awaiting terror, spin-outs, and untimely death at every moment. I'm sure I was a total comfort to Dear Husband, who probably could have cheerfully strangled me those first three or four days....onward...

There is an austere beauty to travelling in these conditions, and the sight of a lone farmhouse, or gas station was comforting - there are PEOPLE out there!



And sometimes, during the most breath-taking points of the drive, there was ACTUALLY a guard rail!!! Oh unbridled joy!

But most of the time, it was hair-raisingly scary...i.e., high, icy mountain passes, without the benefit of any such protection...like this..


Ever so gradually, the conditions began to look less foreboding. I really thought I might actually live! But then, I was completely unprepared for....THIS...





And THESE!..........


As you can see, though...smacking into a two-thousand pound wild animal was a far more relaxing thought to me than skidding sideways....on ice, head-on into a tree. So relaxing, in fact...that I remembered having a camera. But then, I forgot....we still had to make it over the Canadian Rockies!  YAY!!! I could have BOTH of my favorite road-trip experiences...ice...WITH wild animals!!!



Oh, yes, that's Rudolph and all his Caribou buddies barely getting out of the way of our "less than in total control" vehicle...


We also narrowly avoided were privileged to see arctic fox and ptarmigan. But then, just when I wished I believed in serious drugs anti-anxiety medication, a beautiful thing began to happen.....

The roads, they were not quite so snowy! The sky! It was not quite so grey!



And then the drive began to be beautiful...

Then, before I could say "anxiety attack" it REALLY got pretty...

And just look at that whole LACK O' SNOW and ICE going on up in here!  Sidebar, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, we went to a lovely, and quite inexpensive (for Canada) restaurant called Montanas Cookhouse, (which was delish) -  and pictured below, in Hudson, Wisconsin The Green Mill,. I had the Thai chicken salad...which was yum-tastic, after all, freaked-out foodies need to dine well, too.




Well, one bright and wonderful day (about six days into the trip), a miracle happened...



WE WERE BACK! Back in the good old, U. S. of A! After a modicum of semi-dignified behavior at the US/Canada border, Dear Husband had to pull over so that I could kiss American soil, flop around on the earth like a gasping goldfish, and generally make a fool out of myself. Plus, my brain could stop calculating things in metric vs. imperial.....what were they thinking? Litres? Kilometers? Off with their heads!  Before I knew it, we'd flown through Minnesota and Wisconsin, and passed a monument of baseball in Chicago...


That's right...Wrigley Field. I apologize for the traffic in the picture, but when your tush has been glued to a seated position in a car for seven days, stopping to sight see (especially in Chicago traffic) was not an option....then, we zoomed past the last barrier state to reaching our goal state......



We passed Notre Dame!  I hummed the fighting Irish song in tribute, but we had to press on.  Finally, late at night, after all the trials and tribulations, hair-raising roads, and comfortable hotel rooms...we'd made it...Dear Husbands' home state...


Yes, the beautiful, patriotic state of Ohio! After a few days of much-needed rest and recuperation, we arrived at our final destination...

We are filled with gratitude to finally be here, we are tired from the long journey, we already miss our friends in Anchorage, but a new life beckons.  Eat well and travel safely my friends...and stay tuned for the next post about the perils of nominating yourself to cook the Thanksgiving bird for your in-laws, and Buckeye madness! Thank you for all your well-wishes during our upheaval and I look forward to my culinary pursuits in this beautiful state.

Pixie

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