Tomorrow, I’ll find myself in a place that I’ve been dreaming of for the better part of two years. I’ll be on the Alaska Highway. Frankly, I’m terrified.
Photo: Justin Fricke
When you think of visiting Alaska in the summer, you probably think of cruises, resorts, and sunny hikes through Denali National Park.
When I think of visiting Alaska, I think of 3 full days of driving through the middle of nowhere, possibly running out of gas (there aren’t many gas stations on the Alcan from what I hear), avoiding potholes and down trees, and having grizzly bears claw at the doors of the van as we sleep.
Realistically, I don’t know if I’ll experience any of those things on the Alaska Highway but that’s what it looks like in my mind. Hundreds of miles of no cell service, few stopping points, plenty of roadblocks, and lots of fear.
What I do know about the Alaska Highway is that there are tons of rumors about it. I’ve heard that it’s treacherous and that we’re going to go through a whole set of tires and need a new windshield. I’ve also heard that, “it ain’t shit anymore.”
I don’t know what to believe but I’m excited to find out firsthand what it’s really like.
I’m terrified but excited, and I’m concerned at how often these two feelings seem to go hand in hand lately.
Since we dreamt up this trip, Alaska’s been the highlight of my daydreams. Not so much what we’ll do there, but how we’ll get there. There’s bound to be some hiccups, headaches, and moments of doubt. There will be lots of uncertainty and fear. But fear isn’t a good enough reason to keep me from going. What I’ve found to be absolutely true is that growth is what happens when you go for it in the presence of uncertainty. I’m terrified of the unknown, but I’m excited to overcome it and grow.
I don’t know much about the Alaska Highway. All I know is that to find out, I have to go.
So I’m going.