Day 7 - Al-Can Highway Shut Down -Travel Pivots to Points West
Updated: Jul 4, 2022
It seems that it is not our year to travel by car to Alaska in 2022, and perhaps not anyone else either.
We are disappointed but not devastated.
We are Manufacturing Sunshine with a New Trip West!
They say things happen for a reason. I guess for Linda Misencik (travel buddy) and me today, that rings true. We feel blessed that we won't get stuck on the only highway going into Alaska with little to no recourse, even though we've planned this adventurous trip for a year. Thankfully, I received a text at 10:41 am from my good friend and former neighbor, Casey S., who alerted us about the Al-Can Highway. It was shut down two days ago in both directions due to significant washouts and a wildfire. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/alaska-highway-closed-north-of-liard-hot-springs-after-road-destroyed-by-washout-1.6508744 I'm not sure we would have realized this news or checked out the route before driving on July 5th without the notification coming in today.
One could say that the original trip from Annapolis to Anchorage in an Accord is a bust! But the trip to Bozeman, MT, Calgary, AB, and Banff along the great Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Vancouver, BC, in an Accord is certainly not a bust. We are looking at this new and exciting adventure as a silver lining in being safe with our type of road travel and car camping. The detour route (not suggested to tackle) is much longer and probably wouldn't be suitable for my sedan.
While pivoting with new plans all day today, as well as canceling our Delani trip plus the campgrounds/tee-pees and hostels in Alaska, we came across this recent Facebook post regarding this issue at hand:
"BREAKING: Don't plan on coming to Alaska on the Alaska-Canadian (Alcan) Highway for the rest of the year… The only road to Alaska open is the Stewart-Cassiar Highway that follows the western Continental Divide up the Rockies, which is rustic… You can also take the Alaskan Marine Highway from Bellingham, WA, to Haines, AK, but most sailings are booked. This is the Laird River (Laird Hot Springs) that overshot its banks…and took out the Al-Can".
We also learned of hoardings in earnest with trying to purchase gasoline and groceries in the Yukon, and, frankly, the areas we were supposed to go to this week are in total pandemonium.
The blessing of all the cancellations is knowing and making thoughtful decisions about averting the devastation on the Alaskan Highway before we drove one mile North of our trek.
Our first two stops will not change, including Bozeman, MT, and Calgary, Alberta, and points West on the Trans-Canada Highway 1. Once we get to Vancouver, we will begin our trek back across the PNW, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and back to Colorado to drop off my passenger, Linda. We've got an open schedule to visit national parks and points of interest by car/tent camping if we can get into them. Oh, and that tent Linda insisted we pitch today - a piece of cake. It took less than 10 minutes to have it up and lay down inside to make sure it is a go.
Our newly planned trip will be epic and beautiful in a different way. I'm counting on it - and a fierce game of Yahtzee thrown in for good measure each night!