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I haven't been everywhere yet,

but it's on my list!

  • Writer's pictureDeborah Latham

Two Chubby Chicks in a Micro RV - Part 4

RV'ing from the North Pole to the Alaska Highway and.....back to Fairbanks?

Day 3 -

The new air mattress was very comfortable! I got a wonderful nights sleep, and we were ready to continue our journey! Since we had stayed close to the lake, we got our first real experience with Alaskan Mosquitos. Jokingly called the Alaska state bird, mosquitos of 35 varieties are very prevalent in the summertime. We are both magnets for those pesky flying blood-suckers. But, we had a brilliant idea! We had purchased some Mosquito Patches to put on our clothes. We stuck those little green circles all around the windows and doors of the motor home so we didn't get attacked as soon as we opened them. Surprisingly, it really helped a lot! I honestly felt sorry for whoever had to clean the mirrors and front of the camper because they were completely black with dead mosquitos by the end of the trip!

We drove into North Pole which is one of the cutest little towns I've ever been in! Everything is Santa themed! Roads have names like Santa Clause Lane, Jingle Bell Way, Kris Kringle Drive, etc. It was so festive! Who doesn't like Christmas in July? We stopped in at the North Pole Crepery for a delicious breakfast (definitely worth stopping in here) before checking out the Antler Academy. It wasn't open that day, but we could still see the reindeer! If you want a festive Christmas experience all year long, North Pole is definitely the place to go!

After breakfast we started heading towards Valdez. Now, there are two roads to get there. One is a few more hours away, but who doesn't want to see the scenery on the Alaska Highway? Of course, we always will take the road less traveled if we have that choice! It's another hot day with no air (too bad my business only ships to 48 states...I could've had a solution for them), and so windows rolled down, we take off! We noticed a squealing noise and thought "that's not good" but, it went away after a bit! Periodically, it would come back, but the engine was still running, and the scenery around us was very distracting! The weather was absolutely gorgeous The sky was crystal blue. We had to stop on the side of the road to take pictures, because the majestic peak of Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) was finally out of the clouds. The locals said that she hadn't been visible in several weeks, so we considered ourselves very fortunate to have this gorgeous view!

We were about 3 1/2 hours outside of Fairbanks when it happened. We heard a thumping noise and smoke started billowing in through the vents. We think some kind of belt broke, but we aren't positive. We hadn't had cell service in about an hour and hadn't seen a single car in about as much time! Cynthia has a cool head and is good under pressure; whereas, I am the emotional type that cries at the drop of the hat. So here we were, sitting on the side of the highway, me bawling my eyes out, and her saying it's going to be okay!

RV broken down
Broken Down RV

Thankfully, she was right and within ten minutes, 3 different vehicles appeared and stopped to see if we needed help! One of them was an awesome US forestry agent, heading toward Fairbanks! She was gracious enough to offer us a ride, and, highlight of the day, we made a new friend! When we finally got cell service, I called the RV company and got no answer. I texted the emergency number. I continued to psycho dial until we finally got someone on the line. They had the nerve to be upset that we left the RV on the side of the road unattended! Ummmm, hello? There's no cell service, and we were in the middle of nowhere. I proceeded to demand that they needed to have a replacement RV in Fairbanks for us. Well, that entailed them driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks with it (a 7 hr drive at least). We made plans for them to pick us up in Fairbanks and drive us back to the broken down RV to transfer our stuff. This done, we spend the drive back getting to know our new friend. As a bonus for our disastrous afternoon, we get stopped in traffic and treated to a great airshow! The AFB had the Blue Angels in, and we were just in time to get a terrific show!

We were able to find the last hotel room available in Fairbanks (at a whopping $290 a night) and decided to at least take a hot shower, have some dinner, and get a nap in while we waited. That also gave us Wi-Fi to get some work done. Thank goodness for that nap, because it took forever for them to get to us! About 8 pm, I got a text to meet the mechanic and the driver at the RV at 10 pm to move our stuff. What?!? We were 3 hrs away from it with no car and the driver of the new RV was still 4 hrs away from us. How were we supposed to get to the RV?!? And what were we supposed to do? Sit on the side of the road in the middle of the night with all our stuff til the other RV gets there?!? This company made no sense whatsoever. The whole time I was asking someone to please call me and of course, no one ever did. I insisted over text that they had to come pick us up, that there was absolutely no way we could get back to the broken RV (even if there was, I would not have sat out there in a broken down RV in the middle of the night)! Our new RV finally arrived a little after midnight . I'm so thankful for that little bit of sleep we had. I don't think the driver and her partner realized just how far out in the middle of nowhere we were! After the first two hours, they told us they've been living in Alaska for 19 years, and thanks to us they were seeing more of the state than they ever had before! We arrived at the broken down RV at 3:30 am and got our stuff transferred over to the new ride, which was 4ft longer than than the previous one! What a long day it had been! We were too wired to sleep, so we decided to drive for a little while before finding a place to pull off and get some shut eye!

But that's tomorrow's story! Part 5 going soon!

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