Driving a cargo van to Alaska

I tried for the $200K SLS gullwing coupe, but settled for the Sprinter cargo van as our ride to Alaska.

By Neil Moore,
Metroland Media/Wheelstalk.com -

Driving a cargo van 3,200 km from Edmonton to Anchorage Alaska?

Sounds like a bit of a head scratcher, but where better to test the severe weather capability of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter than along an ice, snow and gravel-covered highway, covering long distances in sub-zero weather?

Press trips to sunny, southern destinations are nice this time of year, but I like an adventure and this “Sprinter Arctic Drive”, which will actually terminate in Coldfoot, AK (on leg two), promises to be one.

Day one, however, which took us from Edmonton, through northern Alberta to just past Dawson Creek (where you’ll find “mile zero” of the Alaska highway), was a bit challenged for scenery.

The highway was lined with expansive, but flat farm fields, along with warehouses, gas refineries and all variety of steel outbuildings, not to mention a continuous line of utility poles that were as unattractively strung as you could imagine.

The adventure begins - at the start of the Alaska Highway.

In terms of wildlife, we spotted several deer, a pen of farmed caribou and a dead moose.

Still, there were high points, such a plate of Korean ‘bulgogi’ at our lunch stop in Valleyview. This marinated and grilled beef dish was the house specialty and absolutely delicious.

Conversation on the road was also enjoyable, both with my driving partner, and with the rest of the journos via the two way radios provided in each vehicle.

And although the sun had set by the time we reached Dawson Creek in northeastern BC, and after doing the silly-tourist thing in front of the mile zero signpost, I felt we were finally on our way.

Final destination for the day was Fort St. John – 665 km from Edmonton.

Much better scenery promised for Day 2.

Stay tuned…

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