Saturday, July 27, 2013

AK2MT -Day 5

July 27, 2013 - Day 5

Tacoma, WA - Superior, MT 420 miles

Fuel Stops - 2

Pit Stops - 2

Movies -Brandon couldn't remember what the kids watched... Men! ;)

Our room was expensive ($113.00) a night, and not that comfortable. We stayed there long enough to sleep (7 hours) and then got the day started.

Krispy Kreme was the first stop of our final leg on our journey to MT. Brandon and the boys loved watching the donuts being made and loved eating those warm, sweet morsels. We usually have donuts and a coffee-house coffee every Saturday morning, I think I'm taking myself off the donut ritual. Nothing will match up after those Krispy Kreme's.

After our so-called-breakfast, we went to pick up my car that had been shipped from Fairbanks. Brandon found a few scratches and dents that he claimed weren't there before. We were given a check for $550.00 to cover the damages.

After fueling the vehicles up we began our journey east, me following closely behind Brandon and the boys. I hate driving. I get bad anxiety in traffic. Driving in Seattle traffic was WAY out of my comfort zone. Gone was the 55 mph speed and 4 lanes of traffic I have grown used to for the last 8 years. Within the first 5 minutes a pickup truck squeezed in between Brandon and me. Right after that a tractor trailer tried merging. I had to stomp on my brakes or else I would have been hit. I lost Brandon in the process. He called and told me to take the Renton exit, so I did. I didn't change lanes after that though, and soon was heading to Renton instead of going north to 405. I called Brandon, screaming like a Banshee and dropping the F-bomb an infinite number of times. Brandon told me to pull over... how the hell was I supposed to pullover with all the traffic!?! I took the first exit I could and put Superior, MT into my Map app on my iPhone. It gave me directions to get back on track. In the meantime Brandon kept calling and calling. I missed a turn that i was supposed to take and was heading south again! I told Brandon to just sit tight ( in not so polite language) and let me figure this out. I finally found my way onto 405 and then onto I-90 heading East. After this little blunder it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day.

Heading out of the gas station
Home away from home

We traveled a total on 2,700 miles in five days, had an awesome adventure and made many memories.

Left Fairbanks at 80,000. Arrived in Superior at 82,700.

The final leg of our journey to our new home will begin the beginning of September sometime. We are all so happy to be back in Montana for a while, surrounded by friends and family, but missing the ones left behind.


AK2MT - Day 4

July 25, 2013 - Day 4

Prince George, British Columbia - Tacoma, Wa 595 miles

Fuel Stops -2

Pit stops -3

Movies- Strawberry Shortcake, The Cat in the Hat, Tangled, Curious George, the beginning of

After a long night of Dillan getting up and wandering the tent and crying, I was more than ready to start the day. The boys found blueberries and raspberries to munch on while Brandon and I tore down camp.

The kids started getting a restless starting as soon as we put them into their car seats today. They fought over toys, food didn't sound good, movies didn't hold their interest. It took a few hours of driving for everyone to settle down. After this the rest of the day was business as usual. Overall the boys did so great on this trip. Friends and family kept telling us that driving with two small boys would be hell, that we would be driving night and day in hopes of getting home quicker, that no amount of books, movies, and activities would distract them, that we'd want to give our kids something to put them to sleep. I'm so glad my boys proved them wrong. They were a joy to travel with.

The remainder of our Canadian drive was gorgeous; Valleys, mountains, fields, cows, horses, lakes and rivers gave us lots to look at. The boys loved the long trains and the many tunnels we drove through.

Broke down and bought food in Canada. TOTALLY worth the price.
Lovely construction

The border security was a breeze to get through. We weren't asked if we were carrying guns, plants, fruits/veggies, etc. I think that Brandon's military orders to PCS played a big role in that.

The USA!
1st hot meal in 4 days.
Attempted iPhone Space Needle shot at night.

We decided our trailer of belongings would be safest on base, so we made room reservations at Billeting on McChord AFB in Tacoma, Wa. We took much needed showers and fell into bed shortly after 12:00am, pacific time.


AK2MT - Day 3

July 24, 2013 - Day 3

Dease Lake, Yukon - Prince George British Columbia 570 miles

Fuel Stops - 2

Pit stops - 3

Movies- Calliou, Despicable Me, Ant Bully, The Sand Lot, Winnie the Pooh

We woke to rain. The boys played in the rain and were put into the Tahoe pantless due to falling down in mud puddles. Tanner was less than happy about this. He is at a picky stage when it comes to what he wears.

Tanner's quote of the morning; "Don't say dammit momma, say AWWWWWW!" Thanks Tanner. I'll keep that in mind for next time.

We have not had to stop for food since entering into Canada. For the past month, every time I'd go grocery shopping I would pick up a few extra snacks. The day before we left we got a few rotisserie chickens. We got yogurts, cheeses, and deli meat. I also made some hard boiled eggs. With all the granola bars, trail mixes, jerky, olives, fruit snacks, etcetera, we have had more than enough food to keep us going. We also got an iceless cooler that plugs into power outlets in the car. Thats where we stored our food items that needed to be chilled. It was so convenient. We kept it in between the boys' seats. Brandon stopped for coffee or a pop a few times and always came back to the truck wishing he hadn't gone in for the beverage due to the outrageous prices!

Today we saw our first law enforcement vehicle. We had traveled a total of 1,166 miles at this point. The second one at 1,405. The third was at 1,434

The rest of the trip down Highway 37 was foggy, rainy, and didn't give any great opportunities to take pictures. The trip wasn't dull though. There was lots of road construction to keep us on our toes. At one of the pit stops Maggie found some poop to roll in and then Duckie went and ate some. So then we had to take some time to go wash the dogs.

Back from her river bath
Tiny narrow bridge
Sleeping babes
Road trippers

We saw a variety of animal crossing signs throughout the day; caribou, elk, moose badger, and deer. We saw four black bears on four different occasions. The first one crossed the street in front of us and sat down in the ditch. The second one was just moseying along. The third and forth ran across the roads and into the bushes. We saw a moose running along side the road. We saw a bald eagle making circles in the sky. After coming off of highway 37 and onto Yellowhead Highway 16 we started seeing lots of cows and horses in the fields, which thrilled my Alaskan boys.

Bear 1
Yellowhead Highway
Tanner picked me flowers
Tanner found a bug, Dillan came and threw it.

Finding a place to camp along Yellowhead Highway proved to be a challenge. We ended up putting up our tent on some land that was for sale, along the highway. By the time we pulled the sleeping bag up to our chins, there was a big yellow moon out and it was totally dark outside. Tanner said "What is that noise? Sounds like Eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!" Brandon and I started laughing. Crickets.


AK2MT - Day 2

July 23, 2013 - Day 2

Kluane Lake, Yukon - Dease Lake, BC 590 miles

Fuel stops - 3

Pit stops - 2

Movies - Curious George, Rio(twice), Toy Story, Bambi, Callio


I had a horrible nights rest. Dillan slept next to me. He didn't want to settle down. He is a total wiggle worm when he sleeps. At one point I found him squished between the tent wall and mattress, on the floor. After that he wanted his face pressed to mine while he slept. Everyone, except Dillan, got up early. He was carried to the Tahoe in his jammies, still sleeping, while we tore down camp. He got up to play for a bit before we left though.

Sleepy little Dillan
Maggie didn't want to leave camp
Wild strawberries
Wild strawberries
Wild Strawberries

The rest of the day hummed along. I didn't read or crochet because there was too much scenery to take in. The boys watched movies, did flash cards and played with toys. We stopped for over an hour for lunch and played around. Maggie gets really bad anxiety on long car rides now, so she was given a sedative to put her out for a little while.

Driving through Yukon Territory
Driving through Yukon Territory
Driving through Yukon Territory
Lunch in the making
Lunch break
Playing after lunch

We decided to take Highway 37, which is a more scenic, less populated route. The roads were narrow and had no lines on them. We saw one moose and lots of squirrels. Our first day.

Highway 37
Highway 37

After traveling 146 miles down Highway 37, we decided to set up camp. It was nearing dark and raining. We were on the lookout for a little pull off that would be big enough for our tent. As we were driving along the rain let up and a campground with only one person in it appeared. That is where we made camp for the night.


AK2MT - Day 1

July 22, 2013 - Day 1

Fairbanks, AK - Kluane Lake, Yukon 425 miles

Fuel stops 4

Pit stops - 3

Movies - Hercules, Curious George

Our day began began at 6:00am at Bridgett's house. Brandon did some last minute packing and then we said our tearful goodbyes. I know that no matter how many times the Air Force moves us, leaving Bridgett, her family and Alaska will be the hardest move we ever make.

Tanner hugging Lucas, who refused to wake up.
Auntie and Uncle getting their last cuddles in.

We had to get our loaded trailer and truck weighed in North Pole before heading out to base for Brandon to finish up his out-processing. After out-processing we brought Dillan in to get his 18 month immunizations. We followed that up with a stop at Brandon's shop so that he could say his last goodbyes. After fueling the Tahoe we were finally ready to hit the road at 11:15am.

In North Pole we hit 80,000 miles
The shots knocked him out
Loaded and ready to hit the open road

The jets at Eielson have been grounded due to sequestration since April. They have gone up only a handful of times during this time, but as we were leaving we got an awesome send off as all the jets were doing training flights.


Our first stop was a mere 90 miles down the road in Delta Junction. We got burgers, fries, onion rings and milk shakes at our favorite burger stand there.

Dogs all comfy in the back.

Our last pit stop, before crossing the Canadian border was in Tok. We stopped at a gravel pit surrounded by gorgeous fireweed. The boys ran, climbed hillsides and threw hundreds of rocks.

This is what it takes to get ONE kinda smily face.

Last scenic pics before entering Canada.

First, but not last, road construction

CANADA! The border security was super easy to cross. We just looked over our passports, answered a few questions and were sent on our way.

Crocheted one wash rag