We got up on time, ate breakfast, and got the truck over to the shipping yard. We were moving like professional travelers -- no bad attitudes, nothing forgotten, energetic, excited, and ready to go. That all came to a halt when the guy asked "Can you take the hitch off your truck? If not, I may have to charge you extra." Long story short, the lady who advised us on our transportation did not exactly give good advice and so here we sat, looking at a woman who was waiting for $1100 to be paid before we could ship the truck; no other possibilities. We spent an hour taking care of that and getting it turned it and we thought things couldn't really go bad from there. Never say that ... Ever. Next we needed to cash our rent deposit check and get some Canadian money, so we headed to Wells Fargo ... the one on University. I could not figure out how to get near it, so I ditched that for an easier location (College St) and with brand new attitudes we all strolled in, to find out that the check was no good and they also do not store foreign exchange there (and neither does Delta's) but we were encouraged to go to the one on University...right. The one good thing that came of all that was that I got to see a friend for one last hug, and I really needed that hug.
With new fervor and a map of Fairbanks, we were able to get within 1/4 mile of Wells Fargo and I was happy with that just knowing that we were making lemonade out of today's lemons, and the whole walk was full of singing, holding hands, and skipping -- what's bad about that?? As luck would have it, Will got a call from a potential hirer so he sat and talked while the kids and I got our money exchanged. One quick text to the landlord ended with a transfer of funds and the closing of a door (our recent apartment experience) that lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. We hiked back to the car, got Subway in North Pole, and headed for our first stop on this great new adventure -- Delta Junction Visitor's Center.
I know I told Barb that we were not going to stop in Delta, and so no need for a street parade goodbye, but it just felt right to start our trip there instead of Fairbanks. We got our quick selfie with the mosquito and that is when I realized a horrific truth -- the movers had packed up my real camera. I felt that lump come up into my throat but there was no fixing 'that' one so after my ensuing hot flash prickles cooled off, I searched for the good that would come of not having my camera. That was a tough one but I came up with, "now I will savor every view instead of photographing it." That did NOT really make me feel better but I said it out loud, my family smiled and agreed, and we took our selfie. I saw Jackie inside and she offered to take a better one. I love you, Jackie :). We finally pulled out of Delta around 1pm (two hours late) and made a stop at Mukluk Land in Tok just for a pic. The road near Border City turned out to be the worst stretch of road on the entirety of the Alaska Hwy (no lie!) and Border City is no longer open. When we crossed the border, we had minimal issues from having my houseplants with me and not sealed up, but the funniest issue was that we had two apples in the car and apparently those are not allowed in British Columbia so we had to promise (actually Ellie had to promise) the customs agent that they would be eaten and the core thrown into a trash receptacle before we went to bed tonight.
We made it to Discovery Yukon without seeing any animals but the main thing I noticed was that the fireweed is at the VERY tips and there is fresh snow on all the mountain tops. Those two sites made me cry. I want to see Rainbow Ridge once more with that powdered sugar topping, and the hillsides going yellow and red. Do you know how hard it is to hide your crying when you are in the car with your husband and kids, who are all having constant conversations about our travel plans?? It's pretty impossible for me. The car got quiet for a little bit so it was time to just act silly until we made it to Discovery Yukon. The people were so nice. This is a definite YES place to stay!! We opted for a Yukon Wall Tent because I knew we will get hotels later and I wanted to drag out our current lifestyle. It had two double beds with bedding (nice flannel sheets and thick comforters) but when she saw the kids she pulled out four sleeping bags and told us to take them "in case". And I"m embarrassed to say that we paid $20 for a space heater and WE USED IT along with all the covers AND the sleeping bags. It was near 40 degrees but what got us was the humidity. It was so cold that my nose hurt in the middle of the night. They showed us a video of a black bear who was just in the campground eating soap berries, but we never saw him.
In all today, we drove 249 miles and were in the car for 12 hours.