We made it to Skagway on the ferry from Juneau with no mishaps, meltdowns, tantrums, or scares (either from us or the girls) so I give that section of the trip a gold star. Especially since we all took a nap for a portion of the ride. For anyone who knows me they will understand the happiness this brings.
Once we got off the ferry we headed straight for the nearest fuel station which happened to be two blocks from the dock and the only one in town. Of course we didn't realize this until we had drove all the way through town, checked google maps, and realized our little blue arrow (symbolizing our vehicle) was pointed in the wrong direction. As you may have guessed, that did not make Mr. Trail very happy having to drive back. However, on the positive side, Skagway is not that big of a town so it only took a few minutes.
While Anthony topped off the truck and filled the 7 or 8 gas cans we have, I went in and got a couple maps showing our route to Hyder and where some of the fuel stations were on the way. The lady (named Candy) was really nice and let me know exactly what she thought of the gas prices driving through the Yukon. I could tell it was one of "those" kinds of subjects with her because I didn't ask anything about the gas prices through there. However, that did not dissuade her one bit from jumping up on her well-used soap box to let me know all about it. Nice lady.
Once we were filled up and settled in we started down the Klondike highway to travel the 14 miles to the Canadian border. I had my paperwork for all of us, including the dog, ready to go for when we hit customs. We started climbing the first hill through the pass and things went well for the first 2 miles. We were all ooooing and ahhhhing over the scenery and I had even tried to trick Katie into watching out for giraffes. But she was way too smart for me. She said, "Mommy, there are no giraffes in Alaska. It's too cold." Schooled by a 4-year old.
Unfortunately, after about 2 miles we started noticing this little cloud of smoke starting to form behind the Excursion. At about 3 miles it had turned into quite a spectacle. We pulled over and Anthony informed us that we were leaking transmission fluid onto the exhaust (insert heart-sinking and panic-attack moment here). We continued another mile and then stopped to let the truck cool down a little, and repeated this process a few more time. At this point it was really bad and when Anthony checked again he yelled at us to get out of the truck and get away. Apparently, something had caught fire a little but soon extinguished. We knew it was no use at that point. Anthony and I looked at each other and I said, "Well, at least we're not in the middle of Canada." So, back down the hill we went to find an RV park. This particular portion of our trip got a big, fat thumbs down.