The Road to Home

9:30 AM

What felt like a bazillion miles finally we are in Alaska. We have made most of this trip with no phone signal with AT&T International plan, because AT&T tweaked there signal I guess. I’m gonna give them a talking to when I get home.

Anywho, we are about 35 miles from Tok, AK when we blew two tires on one side of the trailer, rubber was slightly on fire and had to take the fire extinguisher to it, and the best part it broke all the u-bolts and the springs. So, we are stranded on the side of the ALCAN waiting on a service truck to install new u-hooks. This poor trailer has taken a beating cross country from Florida to Alaska, Alaska to Florida, Florida to Alaska. So, three times this trailer has been dragged to the pits of hell and back. After this it will never make a trip like this again.

We have met some really nice people on this trip. Marcel who gave us diesel when we about ran out and a gentleman that we have been traveling the same way with. This particular gentleman gave me a ride into town to find help. Then he brought me back. A grande total of 65 miles out of his way.

I might not be home, but I am in Alaska.

Today we are supposed to make it to Anchorage, spend the night and then make it home on Wednesday, which is tomorrow. It just might not happen. All I want is to sleep in my own bed.

So close, yet so far.

Update:

We are now at Willard’s RV repair – Auto, Electric to get a few more parts to fix the trailer. Willard came out to us and was able to replace most of the parts and get us rolling to his shop. It’s 1:30 PM now and we are still going to try to make it to Anchorage. It’s only 342 miles to the Walmart.

Tomorrow, home.

Are We There Yet?

Yesterday, we pulled into Battleford, Alberta for the night.  As Dad was trying to keep us from dying, he hit a curb and blew a tire on the trailer.  First tire casualty and it wasn’t the roads fault.  We were going to spend the night in the Walmart parking lot, but decided we both wanted to take showers and take a break from the trailer.  So, we got a hotel room.  The Travelodge.  It was just renovated and the rooms were very nice…….but…..no A/C.  The room was extremely hot, but the beds were extremely comfortable.  So, we took out showers, opened a window, had a few drinks, and went to sleep.

We left The Battlefords this morning and was able to arrive in Dawson Creek, British Columbia for a grand total of 598 miles.  It was a tough one, but we did it.  We drove for almost 12 hours.  Tomorrow we are just going to drive as far as we can.  There is still a little snow on the ground,  frozen lakes and ponds, and break up is almost over for Canada.  Crossing rivers you can see the large floating ice burgs flowing down and the flooding that happens when snow melts.

Driving was nerve racking and stressful.  There were times I did’t know if we were going to be able to find a gas station to fill up Spike with diesel.  We managed to pull through without running out of fuel.  The roads are worse than the ALCAN!  Riding in the truck towing the large trailer and hitting bumps, dips, holes, cracks in the road feel like you’re being manipulated in a washing machine.  I feel my brain rattling in my head and it’s been giving me headaches.  Once we stop driving, my head calms down.

Tomorrow we start on the ALCAN where the roads are actually less bumpy and torcheres  than Canadian roads.  If we keep going driving the distance we are doing, we can be home hopefully in four days.  We have to stop in Ninilchik, AK to pick up Trubel, our new bear dog puppy.  She’s a cutie!

20180428_2045057050990921230268930.jpg

Tonight, we are staying in the Walmart parking lot in Dawson Creek.  I am sitting in the McDonalds as I write this blog.  Dinner.  Dinner is and was awesome.  Have you ever heard of Poutine?  Nothing like gravy, real cheese curds and fries.  YUMMY!!!!

So.  Like I said.  We are just going to drive tomorrow.  I have no idea hoe far and where we will be sleeping.  I love a good adventure.

I hope I can blog tomorrow.  It’s hard to find internet when there are no campsites open yet.  Hence, McDonalds.

Good night everyone.

Hello Canada!

April 26, 2018

Today we crossed the Canadian border and our vehicle and trailer were searched. The border guards were very nice and joked with us. I guess because we spent 5 months in Florida they wanted to make sure we weren’t criminals. Lol.

LATER

We were able to get to Portage la Prairie and pull into a Walmart. Dad and I had a drink and mapped out the test of the way home. Ate the most beautiful big mack I’ve ever seen and it was good too. Had a few drinks and spent the night in the parking lot.

Good day. We hope we can get to Battleford, AB by tomorrow night.

So Long MO, Good Bye Iowa, Hello South Dakota

April 24, 2018

We left our campsite Cottonwood RV and hightailed it out of there. We ran a little late and didn’t officially get on the road until about 8:30 am.

It was a fairly smooth ride with some traffic scares and rain. We finally drove out of it just before Omaha. Then it was sunny and nice. Temperature was about 65 degrees and dropping. We ended up at a KOA in South Dakota that was officially closed but they were so nice that they let us stay the night. No wifi. But it had a great dog run and Taco was able to run all his energy out with Gandie.

I griller thin ribeye steaks and asparagus for dinner. It was so good. We had a great night.

What a Long Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Today, we woke up early around 6am and got the ball rolling. We were on the road by 6:30ish and stopped for gas which lead us to officially travelling by 7am. So long B-ham! We quickly left Alabama to Mississippi and then to Memphis, TN then got into Arkansas pretty quickly.

Then Missouri. Dad and I thought we were avoiding rush hour and took a detour through what we now think was Missouri wine country. It was very very hilly and it was a two lane black top with switchbacks. The little towns were more like villages and they were very touristy. There was a vineyard every couple miles. They all had German sister cities as well.

Hermann Wine Trail Map

We drove on 100 up and down. It was such beautiful country and we were so busy looking and enjoying the views to even think about taking pictures.

Oops! My bad.

Any who, we then popped out on 70. We then made it out of St. Louis alive during rush hour traffic. 125 miles later we made it to Columbia where we stopped for the night at Cottonwood RV park. Very nice facilities and people. I definitely recommend staying there.

We got set up and I made blackened chicken fingers and French style green beans. It was yummy. After showers and a few drinks it was time for bed.

Bad Luck?

Monday, April 23, 2018

What a miserable day! We woke up extremely early to finish the last bit of packing and clean up at the reno house. Everything was trying to go smoothly, but of course, who do you think we are? We are the Steele’s. Nothing comes easy and so therefore we work extra hard to make things happen and to make it right. We had everything loaded including the dogs and it was about 11:00am. To make things worse I tried to start the engine. Guess what! No, not chicken butt, but dead batteries in Spike! (Incase you are just tuning in, Spike will be played by a very large dark forest green Dodge 3500 Bully Dog dually.)

Any who, a couple hours later of trying to charge batteries, we were able to jump off Spike with an extra battery. Next stop, Windstream. We needed to drop off the modem and the other modem that was mistakenly shipped to me by the online people. Then, I had to call and cancel my service. Just another fun issue we had to deal with. And so goes with the bad luck with the hitch. It’s too low for the trailer. Had to stop at Tractor Supply for a shorter drop hitch. Then, Dad and I couldn’t get the ball to let go ,so we had to buy a new one.

So by the time we headed out it was about 2ish PM. (Cue forehead slap)

We made it to the other side of Birmingham late that night/early morning. It was a really rough night. We had a vodka drink and passed out.

Still in Florida

Well, we finished the house!  FINALLY!  We are underway cleaning the house and packing up.  We’ve been extremely busy trying to get ready to go home.  Today, I will be painting decks and finishing the last bit of pressure washing that needs to be done to the siding of the house.  Then, we are ready to get the kayak racks onto of the trailer and pack up and leave.  The rain slowed us down due to the fact all that’s left is outside work.

Dad also has to finish installing the new main breaker panel.  He started it yesterday, but then had to make a ton of town runs to try to finish it.  So, the house is being run by our generator.  Of course, it’s a baby generator and will not run the well.  Again, we live with no water.  At this point, I think I’m used to it.  It’s really no big deal.  We will be on full power again today.

Hopefully we will be leaving for home by Sunday or Monday.

Here’s a little tour of the master bath.

Home Sick

I’m really in a melancholy mood today.

It feels like it’s been years since we left our home in Alaska.  It’s starting to fade.  I’ve been looking at pictures of my view and house to just make sure that it is real and not just a dream that is fading.  We’ve finished the inside of the house we are renovating down here in Florida and now I have been working on the outside.  I’m pressure washing the outside of the house and giving it some curb appeal with plants and red mulch.  It’s looking good!  We even have sale pending on the house and property.  First showing of the house and we had an offer.

All that’s left is to paint the stairs and decks, finish up the pressure washing of the house, painting or final siding the rental house, and, of course, packing up the trailer and doing the finishing touches to the sleeping quarters in the trailer.  I really miss home.  I miss my friends.  I miss my bed.  We will be leaving on April 11 or 12th and high tailing it back home.  We think we can drive about 600 miles a day while we are in the lower 48.  Once in Canada, depending on road conditions, we will try to do the same.  I’m thinking we can make it home in 8-9 days.  I can’t wait.  I am champing at the bit to get home.

We will be shooting footage and blogging our way back home.  So stay tuned and maybe we will see you on the road.