Well, where to start. We drove from South Dakota to Alaska going through Montana, Canada and then finally through Alaska. I am so glad we did that road trip. It was absolutely unforgettable. We drove 6 days driving between 6 to 8 hours a day. I tend to get sleepy after a while and travelling with 3 kids and 2 dogs it was exhausting to say the least. I would complain and say how horrible it is to road trip with kids but in all honestly I couldn’t fault them. They did amazing. The last 2 days we needed to make up time on our journey to make it on time so we actually ended up doing 2 10 hour days of driving. On those days we had to stop so we could take an hour nap before hitting the road again. Obviously with plenty of toilet and food stops along the way also.
The scenery driving through Canada was just absolutely breathtaking. If there is one road trip you should do in your lifetime driving through Canada to Alaska has to be one of them. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did. After our 6 days of driving we finally made it to our destination, Clear AFB Alaska. Literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest city was 1.5 hours away and the nearest town was 45 minutes the other direction. That town 45 minutes away we chose to move to just because it was the only place that had houses a school and a little grocery store. Me and the children were there from late august where the sun didn’t set till 10pm until may.
Around February is when the sun started coming up high enough to reach over the mountain and i have never in my life been so happy to feel the sun on my face. As soon as it was up and over that mountain it was back down again. I have never seen the sun rise and set as fast as it did but that hour of sunlight hitting my face was the best hour of my life.
Those winter months were tough, there was no daylight. Well, apart from maybe 3 hours and even then the sun didn’t come up over the mountain. during those dark mornings and early evenings it was very hard to get out of bed to get the kids ready for school. mix no daylight with -50f degree weather and 10inches of snow on the ground it was very, very, very rough. But in good old military fashion we got on with it. The kids got to school and we made the most of the daylight hours we got. We also got to see the Northern Lights which was absolutely breathtaking. The colors, the way they dance, the way they just come and go and really light up the sky. If you ever get the opportunity to be able to go somewhere to see the Northern lights i also, highly recommend.
The reason me and the kids only stayed till may was because our next assignment was my home country, England. When Covid hit we decided as a family that it would be best for me and the kids to go ahead early before the worst of it came and I’m so glad we did. My husband had to stay until his replacement got there in November and he said the summers in Alaska are amazing too although, unlike winter the sun never goes down. There were plenty of times my husband would send me photos of what 2am in Alaska summer looked like and although the sun wasn’t out it constantly looked like the 5am summer mornings. Bright enough to still see everything.
Even as I sit here writing this I’m smiling because other than having my babies and getting married and moving back home, Alaska scenery and that road trip through Canada was just one of the best things I have ever done in my short 28 years of existence. Alaska isn’t a place I would personally choose to live but I really do miss how beautiful it is there. living in such a small town really felt like you were apart of a community.
Our little wood cabin house was in the middle of the woods not too far but far enough from the shop and school that we really felt like we were constantly camping out in the middle of nowhere. We often would have moose walk across our drive way, lynx would visit right up to our front door, we would hear coyotes and wolves howling. It was jam packed with wildlife. If I ever won the lottery I would defiantly do that road trip again and go back to visit Alaska 100 percent.