Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’04:
Laws of Physics -- Reality (part 2)

Itinerary Take Two places the starting point in Seattle, Washington. This seems perfect because we can take the ferry up the coast of Alaska, then drive back down from Anchorage through British Columbia to Seattle.

This is the point in the process where we realize that there are really four big areas we are trying to see:

1. The Southeast Alaskan Coast / Inside Passage
2. The Kenai Peninsula and Denali
3. The Alaska Highway
4. Inuvik / Tuktoyaktuk and the Arctic Circle

Later, we realize that we actually have five areas and that we have been missing the fifth:
5. The new Canadian territory of Nunavut

Itinerary Take Two improves on the classic road trip by dropping the entire lower 48 states from our trip, but it still seems a bit long and somewhat complicated. After some further digging into details, I find that the itinerary will look something like this: fly into Seattle, take a taxi or bus to the train station in Seattle, take the train to Bellingham, catch the ferry to Juneau, fly from Juneau to Anchorage, rent a car and drive from Anchorage to Seattle. We end up with Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Boats; just too complicated.

So maybe we need to “reduce scope” a bit. Given that there are a host of wonderful cruises up the Inside Passage, we can let that one go.

Having rejected both the Classic American Road Trip and the Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Boats option, we move right into Itinerary Take Three. This plan calls for a one-way trip from either Edmonton, Alberta to Anchorage, Alaska, or the other way around. Given the way frequent flyer points work, one-way tickets will be no problem for us. A plan is born.

I should point out that this process has taken several months and we are no closer to having purchased plane tickets, rented cars, or reserved hotel rooms. But we have the time scheduled off from work, so this may turn out to be an excellent opportunity to get some work done around the house…

As you can imagine, we run into a snag. While the Internet helped kill the Classic American Road Trip, it was the cabal of car rental companies who killed the One-Way Ticket that was Itinerary Take Three. You see, we settle on the trip and begin wondering about the logistics of the car rental. In a freak accident, we decide to call about the car before calling about the airline tickets.

Did you know that it is not possible to rent a car in Edmonton (or anywhere else in Canada) and return it to the same company’s outlet in Anchorage (or anywhere else in the U.S.)? We didn’t either, but we do now.

The logical thing to do now is… Spend a couple of weeks figuring out how we can return a rental at the border and get another one just across the border. Well, that is what we do now, but I guess that would not be the “logical” thing to do. Nor surprisingly, we cannot figure out how to make that transaction work, so it is back to the drawing board.

One thing after another has killed off our grand plans. I know, you could argue that our plans were killed by sheer lack of practicality, but it would please me if you would keep your opinions to yourself so that I can bask in self-righteousness.

Thank you.

The previous installment:
Laws of Physics -- Reality

The next installment:
The Laws of Physics -- Reality (part 3)

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All materials © 2004 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler