On the road again

One of my favorite things to do in Alaska was just… drive! I should have kept better track of all those miles, but–ball-park estimate–I think traveled somewhere around 2,700 miles by car. Sometimes I’d have a home-base and would make day trips, returning late in the evening to whatever hostel I was staying at, making the most out of the evening daylight hours. (I was always the last person to get to bed in the shared rooms I had, and often among the last few to get out the next day by 8 or 9 a.m.). Other days entailed long drives to the next destination. I was constantly taking photos along the way, either over the steering wheel or via quick pull-offs to the side of the road. I’d photograph roadside flowers, mountains, curious signs (my favorite is the Tundra Tanning and Taxidermy sign), roadside businesses (blue poppies, mug-shot saloon, knives, knives, KNIVES!) and loved it when the train would pop up parallel to the highway, its riders waving from the windows. I encountered numerous construction delays along Highway 3, which was sometimes torn down to its dirt base, and accumulated a lot of bug guts on that yellow bug of a car. Speaking of that yellow car, I racked up so many miles on it that I had to swap it out for another vehicle when it was due for an oil change (luckily, I was passing through Anchorage where I’d rented it in the first place, but I was sad to part with it!) I probably had too much time on my hands as I consumed oodles of daylight hours on the road, but I’d find myself pondering deep questions, like, you know, why does Smokey the Bear wear pants, but no shirt?

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