07-Alaska Trip

Alaska Trip: Days 6 Left over Day 5 issues, More driving, Proof of Insurance, The Hotel

I don’t think I mentioned on the Day 5 post the issue with the car. During the Yukon drive, the hose to the radiator overflow came loose and I lost a lot of antifreeze. Now normally, I would have smelled that quickly but still fighting a sinus infection, I couldn’t smell a thing. What I did notice was that the heat seemed to stop working. We had stopped a few times, so at first I assumed that the car was cold from opening the cab at 30 below, but after several miles and still no heat, I realized there must be an issue. I hit Jeremy up on the walkie and we pulled over. I was shivering from the cold and Jeremy showed more concern for me than the car – for which I am grateful. He jumped out of the SUV and started to pull out the travel heating blanket his wife had purchased despite Jeremy’s hazing her for it.

“I’ll plug this in so it can start to get warm, you can sit in the SUV to thaw out” He said. Jeremy even offered to trade vehicles for a while since the heat wasn’t working. I was more concerned about the car. We popped the hood and I noticed the hose. Now I don’t think Jeremy quite understood how bad it was, but he knew it wasn’t good. I figured the car had lost enough fluid that it couldn’t circulate through the engine to keep the heat going, but it also wasn’t cooling the engine. And I have no idea what these temperatures would do to the car, the thermostat, etc. What I do know is that we don’t have any antifreeze and pouring in water at 30 below would be bad. Thankfully, a couple of motorist stopped by and offered to assist with a bottle of antifreeze. We were only 30 or so miles from Tok but the car was so overheated that we waited in Jeremy’s SUV while the car cooled down.

So back to Day 6 – we stopped at the gas station in Tok and had the attendant top off the radiator with the proper water mix for these conditions. We stopped at the local restaurant for breakfast, but missed it by five minutes and had to order lunch instead. After that is was all road ahead.

Proof of Insurance Issue:

To get into Canada and back into America, Jeremy gave me several pieces of paper, including proof of insurance for Canada and the US. apparently, during the boarder crossings I misplaced the proof on insurance card. You cannot drive onto base without it, so when we finally got into North Pole, we had a problem. We are parked in front of the visitor center when I notice the paper is not in the glove box. Jeremy and I had both seen a couple of long days and were exhausted. As I looked for the card, Jeremy must have said how important it was that we find it 3 or 4 times before I snapped at him. I was tired and cold but I knew the card had to be in the car and it would just take some digging to find it amongst the cargo in this over stuffed car. But in the back of my head I was thinking, “its not that big of a deal – he has insurance and we can always get another card printed”. What I said was “Jeremy – I get it – I know how important it is!” I felt bad about snapping at him, it was entirely my fault that it was missing and he has a lot more invested in this trip than I do. Luckly, only moments after snapping at him, I found the card and all was forgiven.Logan Sackrider

The Hotel:

Dana and Logan were already on base waiting when we got there. Logan seemed very happy to see his daddy! The hotel on base was likely a very nice room as far as hotels go, but felt extremely small when trying to fit three adults and one toddler along with several bags. We ate dinner from the left overs that Dana had at the hotel. I think Jeremy and I went out to meet the Realtor and his new home, but it may have been on Day 7. I know that Jeremy and Dana went to a friend’s house on base (Dana met a friend online a year earlier that lived on this base), allowing me some wind down time to just relax.