Alaska, welcome into the wild !

Hi everybody !

After one week spent wandering in the North, here is our first blog article ! We will try to feed it until Argentina 🙂

Gregoire & I have reached Anchorage the 25th of August. Anchorage is the first Alaskan city, which is the widest State of the USA. We have been hosted there by one of the kindest man we ever met, Matt Duncan, who is a couchsurfing member, and who hosted our friends, the Travelling Farmers, a few months ago.

Matt often welcomes foreigners, and makes them a little more familiar with the local culture « It’s my hobby » he said. He generously offered us a full room where we could gear up for our most feared challenge : Getting a car. Matt is sceptical. He warns us that Alaskan cars are often spoiled and expensive.

Chilling on the couch with Matt
 Chilling on the couch with Matt

A bit worried by his warning, we start our research by diving into Craigslist. We arrange three appointments. The first guy does not show up, the second one, whose name is Sergei, brings us a very tired car. He understands that we need a solid and trustworthy one, as our trip is going to be pursued on more than 4000 miles. He advises us to keep on searching.

Hopefully, our third appointment is the good one. Kevin, a mormon bishop, brings us his Kia Sedona Minivan. Even if its outside aspect is not perfect, the motor runs great and the car is clean. He introduces us to every single detail of the vehicule. We immediatly decide to buy the car.

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Kevin is impressed by our project, and offers us a good price, plus some dryed salmon, two alaskan headbands and two Books of Mormon, his sacred book. We are extremely touched by his kindness that seems to be spread amongst the Alaskan people.

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Our days are intense in Anchorage. We have to insure the car, to register it, we have to gear up for a three-week camping trip in Canada… But we manage to respect our planning and to leave the 28th for Denali national Park. We take a long walk there, where we can see this beautiful wilderness area, and try to take a glance to Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America.

Dall sheeps running on the mountain
Dall sheeps running on the mountain
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Antoine tries to call for bears

We then leave for Fairbanks, the most northerner spot of our journey. There, we met Audrey, one of the few french women who leaves in Fairbanks, Mike, his husband, who is a pilot in the American Air Force, and their little girl Claire. Thanks to their extremely generous hospitality we manage to avoid the first steps of the Alaskan fall, and to write those few lines without shivering.

Audrey, Claire, Mike and us in Fairbanks
Audrey, Claire, Mike and us in Fairbanks

What about water ?

Of course, you are eager to hear us talk about the central theme of our project. This first week has mostly been about getting prepared for the trip, but we still noticed a few things we would like to share with you.

In a few days, Barack Obama is coming to Alaska in order to « meet the people that already experience global warming ». The amount of glaciers that are spreading in Alaska is getting smaller, and there, it is easy to observe the violent effect of global warming on glacier melting.

Margaret, a friend of Matt, grew up in Alaska. She explained us that glaciers from Katmai Peninsula, backed out for miles since she first went there as a kid. The Alaskan wilderness and people are threatened by this radical change of their landscape.

Those informations that fell on our way, bootstrapped us for what is to come.

Thanks a lot for following us. And as you read us until the very end, here is a little marmot picture. We know, it is really cute. You are welcome 🙂

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See you soon !