Not satisfied with being able to display only a very limited portion of the planned drive from DC through the US and Canada, I continued to work on it and this map shows the whole US-Canadian part of our trip. (Regrettably, the Google My Maps layers showing segments of the driving will not allow for any more points than 10 and so the planned way points show only as A-J and then restart.) When enlarged, the map shows the driving plan (as of the moment). What the map does not show is the ferry route from Anchorage to Juneau and then to Bellingham, WA – on the Alaska Maritime Highway system – that was too much for poor Google maps but which your imagination can complete.
While we are traveling without fixed time limits, we know that we need to get to the US-Canadian border for the travel to Alaska by July, at the latest, and our goal is to be in Vancouver by Labor Day (or thereabouts). Depending on when we depart, we will be covering the first part of the US (DC to Montana) in about 5-6 months. On the southern part of the journey, where we will be visiting a large number of the US National Parks on our list, we will have no time constraints and, with luck, will be visiting after schools start and the heaviest of the tourist travel season is past. If things work out as we hope, it will make for a wonderful fall season of travel through the West and Southwestern parts of the US and perhaps an early winter entry into Mexico.
This blog started when we were 188 working days away from our retirement date; we are now nearing the halfway mark between then and the “end” and things are starting to get real. We are planning our packing (and revising the list over and over), purging the house of things (thanks to great advice from other Pan American travelers who advised to do this gradually), purchasing gear for the journey (last weekend, a Delorme inReach Explorer – a satellite messaging device), and trying to take advantage of time with friends and family here.