Hitchhiking from Texas to Alaska Part Eleven: Whitehorse to Tok

Once again, we got quite lucky with our rides. Quite early in the morning, we began hitchhiking and were soon rewarded with a ride going a few kilometers out of the city to the junction at the Alaskan highway and the highway north to Dawson City. We had been warned by Myriam, our Couchsurfing host in Whitehorse, that the road north had little traffic, and what traffic there was were RVs that didn’t pick up tourists. With our scheduled trip to Deadhorse taking place on August 2, we didn’t want to be stranded along the road and opted to take the Alaskan Highway route to Alaska.

Soon enough however, an RV driven by a middle-aged couple from Washington, D.C. pulled over and told us to hop in. We were quite surprised, since we had only been picked up once by an RV before on our trip in Yellowstone, and that was packed with children. They were headed to Beaver Creek, which was the last stop before Alaska. This was perfect for us. We rode with them past the spectacular mountains at Kluane National Park.

Going by RV

Going by RV is a slow process, since they are practically buses and had to be more sensitive than normal cars to the bumps on the road. We stopped once for lunch, and the couple gave us some of their food and shared us their life stories. (Americans are beyond great at letting you know everything about them immediately.) We eventually got to Beaver Creek, but once we were there, we saw that there was nothing but a gas station there. The couple realized this too, and decided to go over the border that day to Alaska and bring us with them.

We didn’t have to use this sign after all

The kindness of this couple to pick up two harmless looking college students drew the ire of the border official. As is the proper protocol, our driver informed the official that he had two hitchhikers with him as we handed over our passports. This immediately prompted chastisement from the official, and he told the driver that “picking up hitchhikers is dangerous,” “there are many felons that hitchhike,” “if they have drugs you are responsible,” and “guess who is responsible for bringing them back to Canada if they are denied entry.” Our poor driver had nothing to say to this unnecessary speech, and we rushed to assure everyone that we were going to be no troubles, we had no drugs, and we had sufficient funds to be in Alaska. As if that wasn’t enough, the official asked brashly to Laurent and queried, “and why should I let you in this country?” Because it’s your goddamn job…

After a few minutes of being put down by this man, we were let into the United States again. We found this entire episode to be another demonstration of just how useless these border officials are at their job. They cajoled us, but didn’t ask us to step out of the car and didn’t end up searching any of our things. What good is that? How stupid do they expect us to be? It’s not like any criminal would respond to an officer’s question with something like: “I am coming in your country to sell drugs to your children.” At least if you wanted to harass us, at least make it look like you actually are doing something effective like searching our person or bags. Our poor driver seemed a little shaken up and annoyed at how he was treated, and rightfully so. Out of every single border crossing we have made on this trip, none have caused us so much grief without cause as the American ones.

Easier than you might think!

In any case, we had made it to our final crossing before the end of the journey. We were now in Alaska! The lovely couple brought us straight to our Couchsurfing host in Tok, and we said bye to them. We had gotten into the United States with an RV, so all in all, it was a successful day.