You can drive to Alaska?

Oct 29, 2013

We encountered this question a lot when we decided to drive from Georgia to Alaska. Our families asked, our friends questioned, and lots of hotel front desk people gave us funny looks. But yes it is possible, you drive through Canada...

Exactly one year ago today we arrived in Anchorage after an 11 day road trip. We piled in my SUV with more stuff then we should have brought, 2 toddlers, and me one very sick 12 week pregnant lady (at the time). When we got orders to Alaska we had to decide whether we wanted to fly or drive. My husband wanted to drive, I in my state of morning sickness hell wanted to fly. But my husband had good reasoning, we would make money if we drove because of the weight of stuff we were bringing. He also pointed out that if we drove than it is more time together as a family, because we all know once he gets close to the base they may be able to smell him therefore he will have to go back to work. So grab your Dramamine if you get car sick...this is going to be a long ride.
Before we left I had my last doctors appointment in GA and my doctor thought prescribing me some kind of anti-nausea meds would help with the drive. He gave me the options of the ones that will knock you out, or the ones that will make you constipated. He was worried because I had lost 7 lbs and could really only keep warm chicken broth down. He didn't want me to get too dehydrated on the drive, since hospitals would be few and far between. I chose the one with the side effect of constipation...I mean I didn't eat...how bad could it be? I tried a half a pill a couple days before we left and ummm...no! It knocked me flat on my ass!! The reason you aren't sick is because you aren't conscious!! So I threw them out. 
The boys had dvds to keep them busy when they were not sleeping. We also had tons of games, and crafty-like things for them to play with. I have to say that they did awesome!! We let them out to run around every time we would stop. I became a master of quick change diaper stops. 
The quality of most of these pictures is very poor simply because I was curled up in the fetal position in the front seat 90% of this drive. The husband would wake me up and say "hey hey hey get a picture" many times it would take me too long to get myself focused without throwing up that I would miss whatever he wanted a picture of in the first place. Which is a recipe for marital road tripping bliss...
The boys were made for some hotel livin!! They were pros by the end of this trip, Ace could push any and all elevator buttons, swipe a key, and order room service like nobodies business! Pierce could destroy an entire hotel room in 10 minutes flat! 
 When we finally made it to Seattle, we decided to take a break for a few days and just relax. Seattle is my very very favorite city. It is where the husband and I met, it was were we got married, and we had not been back since Chris got home from his first deployment, so we wanted to show the kids around. Pikes Place was also the best place to reload on snacks and things for the kids. 
When we made it into Canada the ride started to get a little scary for me. I have never driven in snow and ice. I have never seen so many wild animals in the road stopping traffic or lunging at cars. Between my nerves and the morning/all day sickness I was one crazy bit**! Not to mention that on many of the highways there are no guard rails when going around the mountains so I would have to close my eyes and pray that we made it through. My husband kept assuring me that this was not his first rodeo and I could just go back to my fetal position and be quiet...but he doesn't have that kind of luck. 
My car also hated the cold...it would constantly tell us my tires were flat when they weren't.

Once we got through Canada we headed into the Yukon. If anyone is doing this trip I highly recommend that you buy the book Milepost. It tells you everything you need to know about driving the Yukon, and the Alcan (the Alaskan Highway). It has every hotel, road, gas station...everything!! But the hotels are limited, and when you get to the towns that have a population of 14, the "hotel" is more like a brothel so beware!!! I remember one of our last stops, initially we were planning on driving to the next "big" town that had a hotel name that we recognized, but the kids were tired, I was SO sick, and the hubs was sick of me dry heaving, so we stopped. We pulled up to the only motel and right away Chris and I looked at each other and said HELL NO! This is the place where people enter and never leave. It was like a scene out of the movie Wrong Turn. There was a woman, possibly of the pretty woman variety if you know what i'm saying, standing outside the door in a skirt, a corset, and fishnet stocking in 13 degree weather. Oh with her dog...

Negative, I would rather sleep in the car. So we stopped at the gas station for some red bulls and ginger ale for me and kept pushing forward. 
The snow was piling up by the time we were getting close to Anchorage, I had never been in snow or weather like this before. I am from Vegas we like it hot! But the kids were amazed. They couldn't get enough. Every time we would stop I would bundle them up and let them play in the snow until their little faces said it was time to get back in the car. 
As soon as we got to our hotel in Anchorage, which would also double as our home until we found a house, we unpacked the car and the husband and boys went shopping for more cold weather attire and played non-stop. I laid in bed and tried to be somewhat happy about this new adventure. Pregnancy hormones, no sunlight, 24 hour sickness, and house hunting on a time crunch made me eligible for a 72 hour psych hold!!

After being here a year, this will be my first winter and Avalons that we will be able to get out and enjoy family frostbite winter wonderland goodness. Last year I was on bed rest for the majority of the winter, so that was fun. But we will be here for another couple years, not that I am counting down the days until I never have to shovel a driveway again or anything...

So here's to the tundra, and the road trip that got us here!!


16 comments:

  1. WOW.... just wow. You are one amazing woman, I can not even imagine!

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  2. What a pretty drive! I can't wait to see pictures of your adventures this winter. I'm too much of a baby to ever want to be stationed in Alaska even though I've been told by many CG families of just how great it is.

    The pretty woman variety.. hahahahahaha!!!

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  3. Wow such a long trip but man you are a trooper!

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  4. Oh my Lord. You are amazing! What a long freakin' drive. I am not sure I could do that with toddlers. Yikes! And do do it while pregnant...just wow. I would throw up driving down the road when I was pregnant, so, in my mind, you pretty much deserve a medal. :)

    Your pictures are beautiful though and I am sure it is something that you will remember forever. The picture of the boys on the sled is adorable!

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  5. you are far more of a trooper than I would be!!!! Enjoying this blog :)
    http://thebees3.blogspot.com/

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  6. Whoa that was a crazy roadtrip story! I cannot even imagine! And that pic of all the buffalo was totally creepy since you mentioned that there was the chance of them getting crazy. I've never even been past the Canadian border, so all of the snow and wild animals would've been totally freaky for me. But it's SO beautiful up there! I love love love pictures of Alaska. I'm not sure how much you enjoy it since it's so cold but it sure it gorgeous.

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  7. Wow. You are two very brave souls. And you are a saint for agreeing to drive! I've seen Alaska from a cruise ship in July and found it fascinating. But the no sun thing? You'd find me under a UV light!

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  8. What an amazing road trip! I would love to go to Alaska! We're from the cold so I guess it wouldn't be too much of a shock for us, but the scenery would be much better haha! Glad you made it alive too ;)

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  9. I love this post and I must know your secrets of keeping two young boys occupied for so long. I can't believe you guys drove there in October, you are amazing. I can barely keep mine from killing each other on a 45 minute drive home. :)

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    1. We loaded up on dvds, all new ones that they had never seen before. We also never ran out of snacks, that was key!! And every time we stopped for gas or a bathroom break, which with me pregnant at the time was a lot! We would let the boys out to run around for a few minutes. Also we tried to find parks along the way that we could stop and have lunch at, or an early breakfast and my husband would run them around until they were asking to get in the car!! It was hard, but we paced ourselves considering the weather through canada and the yukon was kind of scary...

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  10. Did you have like a DVD player for them each or just one for both? Snacks are good too! Did you stop and buy some along the way or just pack enough for 11 days? Do your boys fight constantly about the other one looking at them, etc? Did you stop for dinners and just pack your breakfasts and lunches? I hated being pregnant and peeing every 13 seconds!! That as always ridic. :). Were there many or any good places to stay in Canada and beyond? My hubby is a good mountain driver but I'm afraid I'll pee myself if/when I have to drive through them!

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    1. Yes, we had a dvd player for each of them because god for bid they share a single thing. Snacks we packed a ton of to begin with, but then we would always restock if we were getting low. We would always try and have one meal out a day and then pack sandwiches, or something for later on. I was incredibly sick so i didn't eat much of anything. When we would find a grocery store we would get fruit and veggies for the kids as well. There were okay places to stay in Canada, but once you hit the Yukon it is really sketchy!! Like some nights we just drove straight through because the places we had marked to stay at didn't sit well with us. Driving around the mountains was terrifying. My husband was really good about it all though. I think if you do the drive in the summer it is not bad at all. We also had tons of games and markers for the kids to draw on the windows (washable). And to be honest they slept a lot.

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  11. Mine don't share either, except maybe in the cover of darkness when they think no one is around. How far apart are they? Mine are 16 months. Packing lunches and meals are super smart! How on earth did you pack all of your belongings into your vehicle!? Or did the military move some up beforehand? We will probably end up taking both our vehicles and a giant uhaul truck too... Which I am just so excited about I could pee. I got car sick too when preg so I feel your pain there, eek! How did you drive all night? Did one of you take over when the other was tired and then just stay when you found somewhere safe in the daylight? My husband is an amazing driver but I'm scared myself of having to drive mountains. Did you drug the kids? Haha. I wish Benadryl put mine to sleep but alas, no such luck. Sleeping a lot for kids is GOOD. :) sorry for the 800 questions. I've let mine put stickers on the windows before but then hubby complains it obstructs his views ha! Can't win...

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    1. They are 19 months apart. The military moved all of our household goods, so we packed what we needed in a cargo carrier on top of our car, and then kept all our trip needs in the car. We also shipped one car so that made things easier. I did not drive more than 10 minutes the entire trip. My morning sickness or all day sickness was so bad I was in the fetal position most of the trip, my husband is a saint! haha. I would highly recommend buying the book Milepost. it goes into extreme detail about driving the Alcan. It tells you every gas station, motel, hotel, restaurant, everything. For us it was hard because we drove during the off season so most places were closed. But if you drive during the summer you have many more options of places to stay.

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  12. 19 months is a good span. That's a great way to go if the military moved your household stuff. I wish we could ship one of our cars. I looked up the cost and it was like $5,500... holy moly that's dumb! I had all day sickness too with my last pregnancy and got car sick, sounds like your husband is truly a saint! I'm sure I would have maimed mine if he made me travel while 12 weeks pregnant. :) I have pre-ordered the 2014 Milepost through Amazon but it doesn't come out til the end of Feb. I didn't think about things being closed during the off season. I also didn't think about an above car cargo rack, that's a great idea too. Where'd you get yours from?

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    1. I forget where we got our cargo rack, I will ask the husband. Give me your email and I will let you know :)

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