Prince George to Fairbanks
We left Prince George with the idea of arriving to White Horse in the Yukon Territory, but we didn’t expect all the inconveniences we found along the way. This is a long drive, more than 1600 Kms. on just regular highways with very few gas stations. After only 400 kilometers we had the first stop because there was a bad accident ahead. We spent three and a half hours sitting there without knowing what was exactly happening or when could we finally move along, we slept for a while and talked with our neighbors while the minutes passed slowly and we got increasingly tired knowing we had a very long way ahead.
Finally the road was opened again and we took the road that would take us to the famous Alaska Highway, after 4 more hours, we decided to take a 60 kilometers detour to the town of Stewart to get gas and rest. It was in this detour that we encounter a black bear; we got great pictures of him. And ahead we found an immense glacier from which emanated not only water but a very icy wind that freeze our ears! When we got into town, we started looking for the cheapest hotel because there were so many mosquitos that camping was impossible. And by cheap, I mean the cheapest in town, because they were all very expensive, although their quality was very low.
Nonchalantly we strolled along one of the town’s streets and suddenly we found a sign that said: Welcome to Hyder, Alaska… our mouths dropped. It happens that this town is a ghost town located in Alaska territory, but you can only get out of it through Canada. The pictures will explain better what I mean by ghost town. It is so desolated that there are no American customs officers, only Canadian. It was funny because we went all around town taking pictures and less than a half an hour later we were back with the officer that just a while ago had given us the welcome for him to stamp our passports again.
At sunrise we were back on the road that every minute got worse. Once on the Alaska Highway, we rushed to get to White Horse; thank God the troopers are not very numerous in this part of Canada, so we could speed without problems.
When we got to White Horse, we had an unexpected surprise. All the hotels were completely booked. For those who do not know, camping this time of the year is impossible due to the amount and size of the mosquitoes, they get in your nose, ears and the surround you as a cloud waiting to devour you.
In these conditions, we didn’t have other choice than to continue driving all “night”, although it never gets dark, there is only a long sunset from 1am to 3:30am. So we continue on this road full of holes, rocks, curves while it rain continuously.
Almost at 6am we got to the border and we took care of the respective paperwork. We continued driving until midday when we arrived to the North Pole… yes, that’s the name of a town near Fairbanks where Santa Claus’s house is located. This is the real address where all the letters written to Santa delivered.
We visited the house but were a little disappointed, it was a store of Christmas items and decorations and their prices were to run. I was expecting something more entertaining, adapted for the children that come to visit, but it was simply business. They even offer the service of sending a letter from Santa (with a stamp that will say North Pole) to any part of the world, were supposedly Santa will congratulate you for well behaving…very ingenious way of making money.
With more than 36 hours without sleeping, we looked for a hotel in Fairbanks and almost collapsed!