Back on Track – Sort Of

“Where have you been?”

“Where are you now?”

These are questions that keep coming up in my feed, emails, and messages. I know Kevin and I have been MIA for a time now, but we have not given up on our dream to travel the Pan American highway. We have simply had a minor glitch.

But allow me to digress a bit. Our last blog, written by Kevin, left you in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula where he was “Slammin’ Salmon.” After that we made our way to Homer and then over to Valdez where we took the most amazing glacier tour.

It was about this time we got a message from Rachel, our youngest daughter, who was preparing to move to Australia. She had routed her flights to travel to Canada, then Hawaii, before continuing to Oz.

The message read in part—I’m going to be in Calgary Canada on September 2nd. If there is any way for you guys to meet me there, I would love to travel with you for a week or so.

Absolutely! This gave us about three weeks to get to Calgary. The spread sheet came out and we made a list of all the things we still wanted to experience and see in Alaska before we crossed the border and made our way to an adventure with Rachel. They included a drive over the Top of the World Highway—an experience much more frightening that the Dalton Highway, but what incredible views! We also spent a few days in Chicken, Alaska—yes, it is actually named Chicken—where Kevin learned and became addicted to gold panning, before crossing the Yukon River on a small ferry into Canada.

With mixed emotions, we left beautiful Alaska and made our way to Calgary excited for our new adventure with Rachel.

We took a few days to get to Calgary and along the way took in a traditional Cancan show at Diamond Tooth Gerties in Dawson city; Kevin became quite the minor forty-niner with his gold panning skills; and we were awed by the Canadian Rockies.

The day we met Rachel at the airport we headed straight away to Banff. The next week was spent exploring the incredible teal blue waters of Lake Louise, Lac Beauvert, and Moraine Lake, hiking glaciers, and eating at the many outdoor restaurants that line the streets of Banff and Jasper. If, after seeing the following pictures, you want to visit these places yourself (and you should, it’s breathtaking), Rachel has written some great travel guides. You can find them at Easy Guide to Visiting the Town of Banff – The Nomad Natural and  Beginner’s guide to the Town of Jasper – The Nomad Natural

It was during this time we got a phone call from our oldest daughter, Amanda. Amanda lives in our rental house, and she informed us that a water line had broken beneath the concrete foundation of the house. After getting bids that ranged from $5,000 for a bandaid with no repair of the damages created to get to the pipe to $25,000 for a full repipe, also no damage repairs. So, we made the decision to hop off the Pan American Highway temporarily and head back to Washington.

One jack hammer rental, back-breaking digging, a ceremonial burial of a time capsule and $1,200 later, the pipe was fixed, and the kitchen floor looked good as new.

But, since we were staying with our daughter, Kevin saw a few other projects he wanted to take care of. So, after more than a month we were back on the road. However, our route to get back to Calgary and pick up the Pan Am exactly where we got off has been tweaked a bit. So, if you click on our Where Are We tab on this website and notice we have gone off course, don’t worry, we have not been hijacked, we are making a wide circle around the USA to get back to where we hopped off the PanAm. We plan to winter in Arizona, then make our way to Georgia to visit our middle daughter and her family in the spring, a few stops on the Eastern side of the country, then up into Canada and back to Calgary. We should be back on the Pan American within the next year, in the meantime, we’re on an adventure!


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