In my book, Guide to the Alaska Highway, I recommend people starting on the East Coast either duck into Canada right away and head west on the Trans-Canada Highway or get on Interstate 80 and head across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. I’m ignoring my own advice on this trip for a couple of reasons.
First, I have some writing to do in southern Indiana, and I-80 runs across the northern edge of the state. Next, I hate toll roads and in most of Ohio and Indiana, I-80 is a toll road. So for the moment I am sticking with I-64, though I did detour a little to the north on I-81 in Virginia and up to Hagerstown, Maryland, before going back south through West Virginia. After yesterday, let me state unequivocally that there is no level ground in West Virginia; it is truly a mountainous state.
The final reason I’m ignoring my own advice is that I just want to see some new country.
This trip to Alaska actually started easier than most, simply because my wife is currently in Alaska and will not join me on the road until she flies into Indianapolis, Indiana, next week. That made getting on the road so much easier. As a rule, my wife can’t go anywhere unless she stays up all night before we leave doing who knows what, thus insuring that she sleeps through the first day of any trip. As well, preparing for the trip myself limits the discussions of what to bring and what not to bring.
One last hug for my two granddaughters in Virginia, and I hit the road in Yorktown, Virginia, about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. After a winter spent in the southeastern United States, it is nice to be heading north and west again. If you’re on the road where I’m headed, keep your eyes out for my Winnebago Adventurer towing a maroon Chevrolet Colorado, both with Alaska plates. On the curbside of the rig in bold letters are the name of my column in MotorHome magazine, Tales from the Trail, the MotorHome magazine logo and some other after-market decorations. If you see me, stop by to visit. From here I’ll be in southern Indiana for about a week, then on to northern Illinois and Wisconsin for another week or so, then west to Bismark, North Dakota and beyond.