Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive the pilot truck from Fairbanks to Tok (pronounced like "poke" except with a "t") and then pick up a wicked awesome truck in Tok and drive it back to Fairbanks. I want a truck. They're so much fun to drive. Anyway, we have a pilot truck for the Taylor highway because the Taylor is narrow enough that we need to have someone ahead of the coaches to let the coaches know who's coming toward them and to let people coming toward the coaches know that we are coming toward them. Did you follow that? Anyway, the following pictures are pictures I took while driving to and from Tok. Tok is about four hours from Fairbanks along the Richardson and Alaska highways. I left at 2:00 pm and got back around 12:30 am. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive. I saw five moose along the way. This picture is one I took as I was driving back into Fairbanks. It's about 12:30 am here. Also, I apologize if some of the pictures have reflection on them or white dots on them. I took some of them through the window while I was driving.
Here's one of the moose I saw as I was driving along the Richardson Highway. The Richardson runs from Valdez to Fairbanks. It was started as a sled trail to connect the coast of Alaska with the gold fields of the interior.
This is a shot of the Alaska highway. The Alaska highway starts in Dawson Creek, British Columbia and ends at Delta Junction, Alaska. It is 1422 miles long. The people of Fairbanks argue that the Alaska (or Alcan) highway ends in Fairbanks but the official end, according to government records, is Delta Junction.
Here's me driving a wicked sweet truck back to Fairbanks. Maybe I should stop taking pictures and just drive.
This state is so beautiful it makes me want to cry.
No, really, how will I ever be able to leave this place? It's painful, it's so beautiful.
Oh my gosh. Where else do you drive along and have views of the Alaska range?
It's so beautiful here. The pictures don't even begin to show the amazing beauty.
This is the official mile marker of the end of the Alaska highway. This is also Delta Juntion. This is my only picture of Delta Junction because this is the only interesting thing in Delta Junction.
This is me at a place called Rika's Roadhouse. The river behind me is the Tanana. Rika ran a roadhouse for years for gold miners and others that were travelling up the Alaska highway on their way to Fairbanks and the gold fields of the north.
Rika's has AMAZING strawberry rhubarab pie!
I tried to get a picture of the peacock at Rika's. The ducks in the cage were hissing at me. I don't know where they got all their attitude. They were in a cage. Hah!
This car reminded me of that old lady car in "Cars" so I had to take a picture. It also reminded me a little bit of Mater in "Cars" - check out the tires.
The public restroom at Rika's.
Rika's Roadhouse. It's now a giftshop where they sell Russian made gifts and AMAZING furs. I was tempted to buy a beaver scarf. It was the softest thing I ever felt and if I had $150.00 I would have got it. Because I'm a teacher and so I have $150.00 to spend on a scarf I don't need.
This is the Tanana river.
This is where the pipeline crosses the Tanana river. They have security here 24/7 to make sure no one tampers with the pipeline. They also have video cameras monitoring the pipeline. If someone messes with it, Alyeska will be there immediately. Also, the pipeline is a matter of national security and so it's protected by the FBI. It's a felony to tamper with the pipeline.
Here's just another view of the pipeline.
Here's the Tanana just outside Fairbanks.
Here's another picture of the Tanana.