The Great Alaskan Adventure

Pat picked me up at the airport, ’round midnight, last night. I’d just flown from Anchorage, via Seattle. The flight home was an efficient, six-hour ordeal. But how, you ask, did I end up in Anchorage in the first place?

The answer is simple: 3,000 miles (5,000 km) of paved roadways–snaking from Bozeman to Lethbridge Alberta, Calgary to Edmonton, Edmonton to Dawson Creek, to Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Tok, Fairbanks, Denali National Park, and–at long last–to Anchorage, Alaska!

Our wildlife sightings include:

  • Seven black bears.
  • Four moose.
  • One marmot.
  • One fox.
  • One gray wolf.
  • Too many caribou to count.
  • Lots of buffalo (or bison, if you prefer).
  • Dozens of Dall Sheep.
  • One porcupine.
  • Eight ptarmagins.

    We stopped off at Liard Hot Springs (just past Muncho Lake, in British Columbia) for a night. Driving in to the camp ground, we happened to run into some friends from Bozeman: Alfred, Evan, Jessica Potter (why is Jessica always Jessica Potter?), and Christin–who were themselves on their way to Alaska (for a wedding in Valdez). I should have snapped some pictures–the hot springs were amazing!

    In Whitehorse, Yukon, we stopped off at the Yukon Brewing Company. Their tasting room doesn’t sell pints–but gives away free samples. We were treated to a full gamut of nine beers.

    Which brings me to an interesting point: contrary to popular wisdom, America has substantially better beer than Canada. To say that Canadia (Canada’s largest domestic) is better than Bud misses the point: they’re both bad. What Canada seems to lack (or at least Western Canada) that America (at least the coasts and the Rocky Mountain Region) has is a vibrant microbrew scene. I’m sorry to say, but the best beer from the Yukon Brewing Company (probably their Yukon Gold) wasn’t quite as good as the worst beer I’ve had from The Bozone.

    So next time you meet a Canadian who makes some disparaging remark about American beer–well, you just tell that Canuck that he (or she!) wouldn’t know. Also, curiously, Budweiser is quite popular in Canada. If it’s so bad–why do they import so much of it? Also, Kokanee is a premium beer in Canada. It was recommended to us, several times, as a “good Canadian beer.”

    In Fairbanks, we visited The Blue Loon–a pub theater on the outskirts of town that I never thought I’d get to see. Unfortunately, a band–rather than a movie–was playing on the night we happened to be in Anchorage.

    Between Fairbanks and Anchorage, we stopped off at Denali National Park and Preserve. We had the good luck of being able to see the park’s eponymous feature: the 20,230 foot tall Mount McKinley. It had that ethereal quality where, looking at it, it was hard to discern if what one saw was mountain or cloud. In the occasional Bozeman sunset, I’ve seen equally awe-inspiring clouds–only this wasn’t any cloud.

    In Anchorage, we dined at The Moose’s Tooth–which is positively the best pizza and beer I’ve had in a long while. If you’re ever in Anchorage, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

    Click below to see the pictures from the adventure!

    The Great Alaskan Adventure!

  • About Mark Egge

    Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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    2 Responses to The Great Alaskan Adventure

    1. Sagar1586 says:

      Mark Egge: 1

      Chris McCandless: 0

      Alaska: 1

      ps that joke was funny.

    2. markegge says:

      Bwa ha ha!