Alaska - Nature’s Last Preserve

In 2018 we had a dream of making our way to the most prominent mountain on earth, Denali. Alaska had been a fantasy of ours, more for skiing than summer activities, for a long time. Building on our first year as a couple, with numerous backcountry trips under our belt, we decided to take the plunge and go for a three week overlanding adventure.

With our Tacoma loaded up with all of our camping supplies and smiles on our faces, we left Calgary August 17th, and headed into the Rocky Mountains, where one of the largest forest fires Canada saw in 2018 was waiting for us.

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Highway 16 / Shovel Lake Fire 2018

The fifth largest fire in a year where the entire province of British Colombia was engulfed in flames, we made the first day of our trip into a push to be upstream of the smoke. While driving a revelation washed over us, when we discovered that looking into the sun would hurt our eyes again. The entire sky was so thick with smoke that the sun was dim, and looked like a martian moon that was easily viewed, peaking through a crimson sky.

Our first stay of the trip was incredible!

Fraser lake was the staging area for the 200+ people from as far away as Australia involved in fighting this inferno. We camped across the lake, with the fire raging across the reflection of the water. As darkness fell, we could watch hotspots flare up against the black of night, with it mirrored from below. The trip was already a success!

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The first taste of the 49th state

Steward BC / Hyder AK

A friendly joint town of around 500 people, at the southern tip of the Alaskan handle. Border controls do not exist to enter the US here, as there is nowhere to go past Hyder. Our favorite campsite of the entire trip, up by the Salmon Glacier, was located in the backcountry