Been there, done that

About 3 miles shy of Chistochina, Alaska, USA
We cross through US Customs by showing our drivers' licenses, birth certificates, and saying about two seconds to the customs agent. He never asks to see the dogs paperwork, doesn't search the van, doesn't try and keep us away! Wow, the government hasn't found out about us yet!

We are ecstatic to be here, finally, our ultimate destination! We made it! We made it! Now all we have to endure is hundreds more miles of badly deconstructed road, gas prices that will top off at 2.81 a gallon, and four dollar cans of Campbell's soup. OK, and some other bad things, too, but not today! Not now! We are ecstatic, like I said, absolutely ecstatic to have made it here!

We stop in Tok, Alaska for a fountain Diet Coke, my first in almost two weeks. We hang out at the visitor's center, trying to arrange a ferry ride (Goddess, we're so tired of driving). We try and we try and we try, but it just isn't going to happen -- too expensive (which probably wouldn't stop us) and booked up too late (and we don't want to rely on stand-by). We eat at The Salmon Bake, an amazing restaurant that dishes up salmon, salmon chowder, salad, bar, bar-b-qued beans...yummy.

Alaska is beautiful, so far, but not as beautiful as the Yukon or British Columbia. We decide to head down to Valdez to check out Prince William Sound for ourselves. Skip and I both have a B.S. in Marine Biology and we were in school during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We want to check for ourselves to see how the Sound is recovering.

We head out of Tok, decide to get gas in one of the eight towns between here and the road south to Valdez. Alas, none of these towns are more than a (closed) gas station, all of them selling gas at 2.75 a gallon. We bypass most of them and end up coming really really close to running out of gas by eight pm. We decide to camp before we run out, so that if we bike to get gas, it will be tomorrow morning when stations might be open instead of at night...

We see beaver right before we camp. I get out to take pictures of them and one of them clacks his huge teeth and slaps his big fat tail right at me, makes me jump. Agressive Beaver! We are euphoric with glee, playing Uno by candlelight, drinking our Special Wine that we've brought all the way from Tallahassee. It's amazing, tastes like a $40 bottle of wine. We are so amazingly happy to be here!

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