Crossing the border into Alaska was a bit surreal. Not only because the lane was extra wide for us (hooray!) or that the check-in was on my side (I’m sorry, what’s my name again?) but that after three weeks of intense driving, new experiences, and more anxiety than normal, we had finally arrived. It wasn’t particularly stunning right off the bat but I do have to say, the mountains in Canada right before you cross the border are breathtaking. We had to use our imagination just a bit from all of the smoke from local fires but it was amazing just the same.
And the street signs - they were familiar. And the speed limit - in miles per hour. The most striking thing though were all of the Bald Eagles. Everywhere. We’ve seen so many now, they almost seem normal and not incredibly rare.
The Haine’s campground wasn’t far from the border but it took us awhile to get there due to road construction. We’re hoping that once we making our way back in a couple of days, it will be all clear.
Upon arrival, we unpacked, got settled and then I found my way to the grocery store. I was checking out when the cashier asked me where I was from. We talked about starting from Tennessee and I mentioned that one of our goals was to make it to Alaska on this adventure and the guy behind me in line said, “You’re here. You made it.”
Yes we did.
We took walks around town and found a trail area where we crossed our fingers in the hopes of seeing a moose or some bears. Once again, no luck. My mom did however see a Bald Eagle fight. Okay, well we thought it was a fight until we learned on our whale watching adventure in Juneau that eagles do a swirling, spinning, in flight “fight” to mate. Alrighty then. Apparently this is where “falling in love” came from.
Interestingly, my most intense anxiety came from anticipating the day we would drive onto the ferry from Haines to Juneau and have to leave Phoebe in the truck. Yep, no dogs allowed on board. I wasn’t afraid of getting on the ferry (although that would become a new horror - stay tuned) but instead I had this extreme fear that something may happen to Phoebe over the four hours we would be away from her. My mom did excellent crate training with her and we talked to the vet about how we should prepare. But that visit only heightened my anxiety when they said that sedating her wouldn’t be the best idea because she wouldn’t be able to regulate her own temperature and if she was in fact nervous, we wouldn’t want her to choke on her vomit in her sleep. Awesome.
So, needless to say, the week leading up to the ferry excursion kept my heart pounding and nerves rattled right up until we were backing (YES BACKING) onto the ferry….