Friday, June 28, 2013

Final Leg

"I'm going to let you through, even though both of your passports are invalid."  

That's what the U.S. customs agent said to us when we were at the border crossing back into the U.S. from Canada.  Why in the world would our passports be invalid, I'm sure you're wondering. (as I was at that moment)  Well, that's what happens when you don't actually SIGN the passport once you get it.  We'll chalk that one up to a little detail sliding amongst all the chaos of packing, traveling, and moving. - But we did kind of feel like dumb-asses!  The agent said that we were the 9th Coast Guard family that had crossed the border that day.  All PCS-ing.  Tis the season!  (But, I bet they all had valid passports)

This is the final leg of this massive road trip we've been on for what feels like a long time.  It's been an unbelievable experience, but really, Key West feels like it was a looong time ago.  Our final leg looks like this:

After we left Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, we crossed the border with our invalid passports and trekked on over to a small town in Alaska called Tok.  It was another truly beautiful drive, especially in the Yukon near Kluane Lake.  The reflection of the mountains and sky in the lake was so clear and glassy, it was incredible.  But, side bar - I'm sure that water was freezing-ass cold!

Stunning Kluane Lake in the Yukon

There was a fun little stop right after crossing the border with a Welcome to Alaska sign, and the official International Boundary marker between Canada and the U.S.  Of course, we had to stop and have some fun being in two places at once.  Cheety, too.  :)

Two paws in Canada and two paws in the U.S.

I think I like the Welcome to Alaska sign almost as much as the Minnesota Welcomes You sign.  I like when they have some oomph to them, not just a rinky dink little metal sign that you can easily overlook.  Now, this is a welcome sign:    (North Dakota should take a note!)

Our new home state!

We've got wood work, we've got carved moose and bison...craftmanship, I'm sayin'!  My point being, I liked the sign.  Moving on.

On our drive that day, we had our first Grizzly sighting.  It was so exciting. - They were completely unfazed by the drivers that were pulling over to check them out.  They just went about their business, eating dandelions and ambling around. Not even Cheety barking out the window bothered them!  I guess you can be nonchalant when you have no natural predators.  We saw moose the day after the bears, too.  Also a momma and baby, and then later a male by himself.  Enormous & very cool to see.

Momma and her cub

Our next stop was in Anchorage, where we spent a few nights for another road breather.  It was pretty cool to see the mountains right there while still being in a city environment.  We mostly walked around downtown and along some of the hiking trails with the Pugbull and checked out the REI store. 

The view from our room in downtown Anchorage

We hit the road again on our way to Homer, where we stayed for a few days before the ferry ride to Kodiak. The drive to Homer was nice and short, only 4 hours compared to some of our marathon 9 hour treks.  It was another beautiful one.  I keep repeating myself, but so many of the drives have been spectacular.  Maybe it's because I've lived in flat, flat Florida for so long, but those  Just gorgeous.

The lobby of The Hilton in Anchorage. - Frighteningly HUGE!!

Our hotel in Homer was really fun.  Our room was "ship's quarters" style, so it was super cute and cozy.  It felt like you were sleeping in a sail boat.  Hubby was in heaven.  It was definitely a tiny space, but it was unique and kind of fun compared to the standard hotel rooms we'd been staying in for most of the time.  (except that little shack in Iskut!)
Nautical, no?

It was right by the water and the town of Homer had a good vibe.  Like a little fishing community with a hippie/artsy undertone.  We only had one day to explore before leaving for Kodiak, and we desperately had to do some laundry, so part of Friday was fun with laundry day.  

The Driftwood Inn - Homer, Alaska

We're both kind of tired at this point, so we've been holed up in our little ship's quarters cabin relaxing for most of today.  Plus, it's kind of chilly out there & I have a  Pugbull heating pad keeping my feet warm.  We'll leave for the ferry at about 11:30PM tonight.  And the sun will just be setting.  Which I don't think I'll ever get used to!  Looking forward to my first glimpse of our new island home.  More to come after we dock in Kodiak... 

The beach in front of our hotel

It's hard to be Cheety.

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