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North to Alaska - Full Version - Final Day 1 (July 15)

Thursday - We had been warned to be ready for U.S. Customs checking our Canadian purchases for possible duty assessment when we crossed the border. We put all of those purchases, along with a list and the receipts, in a bag ready for inspection. Then, on a warm, muggy day we continued toward home on Hwy 97, passing Spence's Bridge (where the temperature was 92 degrees), going south now along the Fraser River through the tunnels, without even slowing down at Hell's Gate, to Chilliwack where we stopped at "Gloria's Diner - Home Cooked Meals" for a late lunch. Gloria was a warm, friendly Costa Rican woman who sat with us and chatted about her own attempted trip to Alaska two years before. She said, "It rained and rained and rained and rained. When we got to Watson Lake I told my husband to take me home." Now the temperature was down to a pleasant 79, overcast with some wind, when we got to the border at Sumas. The guard glanced at our passports and, after asking us how long we had been in Canada and how much we had spent on purchases, smiled and waved us through. We had only traveled 270 miles on that day, but with many delays, so when the traffic on Hwy 5 started to bunch up we decided to have dinner at good old Denny's and check into a good old Motel 6 for the night.