Saturday, June 23, 2018

Day 21 Back to Tok

We were up and at it early this morning.  After a quick breakfast and squaring away the inside, I went out and retrieved the power cord and hose.  I also, took advantage of our sewer connection and emptied the holding tank.  This configuration of the Airstream Interstate has a combined black and gray water tank.  The valve is electrically operated from inside the van.  The weather was wet and cold as usual so I had to make quick work of this task.

As we were leaving, we tooted the horn at the Sweet Cheeks Bakery folks and proceeded towards the edge of town.  We needed fuel and stopped at a place on the outskirts of town where the price was a bit less than in town.  We paid $3.86 a gallon.  More than all the other places in Alaska, but cheaper than any place in Canada!

We will be taking the Tok Cutoff Road at the junction of Hwy 4 and Hwy 1 in Glennallen.  We've heard a lot of bad things about this road.  The alternative is to stay on Hwy 4 to Delta and then the Alaska Hwy back to Tok.  

It was foggy and rainy as we approached the summit but we stopped at the Worthington Glacier State Recreation Center.  We were the only ones around.  You can hike up to the glacier, but due to the weather, we decided that the shot below was good enough.  Plus, we had left our bear spray in the van again.

Van Haulin in the parking lot, ready to make his break.

The Tok Cutoff Road has some spots that aren't good, but then there are some spots where it is good.  Much like all the other roads we've encountered so far.  When you get to a bad spot, you slow down.

We are glad that we came at this time of the year.  Even though it has been rainy and cold, we've really enjoyed the weather.  It is really hot and humid back in TN.  It was fun seeing what remained of the snow.

Another thing that surprised us was how fast we were able to make the tour around the paved roads in Alaska.  I know we could have spent more time at each place if the weather had been a bit more cooperative.  Maybe next time.  When you look at a map of Alaska you will notice that the area where the paved roads is a tiny fraction of the rest of the state.  They could divide Alaska into two separate states and Texas would be the third largest state!

Our plan is to stop in Tok for some souvenirs and to top off the fuel tank.  This will be the last place to buy fuel prior to re-entering Canada.

It is 253 miles from Valdez to Tok.  The scenery isn't the best we've seen but still better than a lot pf places we've been.  We want to try to get as close to the border as we can today.  It is another 90 miles from Tok to the border crossing.

There are several campgrounds that we can stop for the night.  One is called Lakeview which is a Fish and Wildlife campground and it is free.  If we get there early enough, we might be able to score a spot.  If not, there are lots of pull overs where we could stay for the night if we needed to do so.  We've not done that at all this trip, preferring to stay in campgrounds.

We stop for fuel in Tok.  There are three stations there.  The Chevron is the most expensive, but you can use their dump station with a fill up.  We didn't need to do that so drove on down where the other two stations are.  Once is a Shell station and the other is a no name.  The Shell station is packed and the no name is empty.  Same price, so we go to the no name and fill up at $3.47 a gallon. 

All the miles driven from Tok and around Alaska and back to Tok totals up to 1770 miles.  

We arrive at the Lakeview campground and find a lot of spots still open.  We choose the best one for us and pull in.  It isn't very level and it takes 4 lego blocks to get the passenger side front tire up high enough to be level.  It is muddy as well, but it seemed to be holding.  Of course, it is still raining but we get out and walk the loop to check out the lake.  It is peaceful here.

As the afternoon starts to run into night, more and more campers show up and soon the campground is full.  Everyone must be tired as it is quiet here and we have no issues sleeping.

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