Gluten Free in Alaska

Alaska - The last frontier

Our trip began with my White Water Rafting staff party at Tofino on Vancouver Island. We enjoyed gorgeous sunny days at the beach swimming, sunbaking & learning to kayak in the surf. James proved to be a star in the kayak, but it will be a while before we don full steamers & wetsuit booties again just to go in the water! It had been 6 months since we had been in the ocean so it was great to spend the day at the beach then indulge in a big plate of Gluten Free nachos at the local pub that afternoon. The night before I was also surprised to be able to eat a plate of Gluten Free Chop Suey at the local chinese restaurant in Uculet. I don't often eat Chinese so it was a refreshing change.

After a few days in the sun we said our farewells and headed up to the north end of Vancouver Island to catch the ferry. In total we spent 2 nights & 3 days making our way up to Alaska with plenty of whale sightings on the way. We were given beautiful sunny days, no rain & little fog and absolutely breathtaking scenery. Gluten Free food was somewhat limited on both the British Columbia & Alaskan Ferries so I had packed myself a substantial amount of Gluten Free supplies. For main meals, I took my Gluten Free bread & had the cafeteria make me a sandwich plus I used all my own Gluten Free snacks. On the Alaskan ferry we would often have up to an hour in port which would allow me to visit the local grocery store & stock up on my supplies. Even in some of the most remote places, I was surprised at the amount of Gluten Free food available.

On the 3rd day we arrived in Skagway, Alaska. This is a major stop for all the big cruise liners and the starting point for the historic Klondike Gold Rush. Much of the town is very touristy but a fun way to stretch the legs after the ferry. After a short lunch of Gluten Free ham, cheese & rice crackers from the local market, we began our drive to Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon. It was simply incredible! The golden autumn colors of the trees were all perfectly reflected in the lakes. This was scenery you dreamt about when you thought of Alaska & Canada's north.

We set up camp in Whitehorse & stopped by the local Safeway to pick up some Gluten Free pasta, ham, mushrooms & a jar of Classico Alfredo Sauce. We decided to cook dinner down at the local park overlooking the river as this is one of my favorite parts of being on a road trip. I love all the interesting places we cook dinner & all the fantastic views enjoy whilst dining. Later that evening we were lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis i.e. Northern Lights. This really was a dream come true for both of us and there would be only one other night in 3 weeks when we were lucky enough to see them again.

From Whitehorse,YK we drove the infamous Alaska Hwy up to Tok, then made a 6 hr side trip onto Valdez. Here we ventured out by charter boat onto the picturesque Prince William Sound to see Icebergs & the Columbia Glacier. This massive tidewater glacier carves icebergs into the ocean at a rate of 10 to 13 million tons a day!!! The wall into the ocean stands at about 90-100m high & is nothing short of impressive. We were lucky enough to be within 1/2 a mile from it (some people are no closer than 7 miles) but lucky for us. the icebergs had allowed us a path through. Loads of harbour seals lay about on the icebergs and not too far away Bald Eagles soared above. Sea Lions, with their 1200 pound bodies, prefer to lay around on the buoys while the "old man of the sea', the Sea Otter, floats about on its back relaxing in the freezing waters. It really was the most amazing day topped off by dinner of some of the best Gluten Free Thai food (Yellow Curry) we have had in months. Unfortunately the next day was raining so we headed off again, but we will be back in a winter or two as Valdez is the crËme de la crËme of Heli Skiing

(NB: Upon request Stan Stephen's Cruises was able to provide a Gluten Free meal for my lunch on the all day boat cruise)

From Valdez it was time to head up to the top of the world, not literally of course, but to the highway from Chicken, Alaska to Dawson's City, Yukon. During this time we mostly cooked lunch and dinner by the many lakes, rivers, lookouts & picnic areas. The views and wildlife we saw were amazing. It was so relaxing to explore this incredible country side and learn more about the history behind the Klondike Gold Rush. Dawson's City is like walking into the past. The whole town still have the same buildings from back in the day when it was the hub for the early gold panners & explorers. The grocery store is in the original style & it even has the odd Gluten Free product!

Next we continued our drive down the Klondike Hwy to Whitehorse. One memorable night I decided we had not seen enough wildlife & we should go exploring. I had found a lake on the map that was about 30km off the hwy on a dirt road. The Milepost said that Moose were known to be in the area so I convinced James we should go. About half way there I realized how long it really was! But as we had gone that far that we just continued on. Needless to say, we did not see any wildlife but we were impressed with the lake. There was a nice picnic/camping area so we set up for dinner and watched the sunset by the lake. James whipped us up a great Gluten Free Spaghetti Bolognese followed by some yummy Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse.

From Whitehorse we continued our journey to Jasper, driving the infamous Alaska Hwy. Finally we began seeing lots & lots of wildlife - Moose, Caribou, Black Bears, Coyotes, Dall Sheep, Bison, Deer and Elk. The Liard Hot Springs were definitely a highlight and still probably the best springs we have found anywhere in Canada. We continued to sleep in our van & dine at picnic areas with million dollar views.

Some of our favorite road trip Gluten Free Meals were..

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

Beef Strogonoff

Ham & Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese

Rice Crackers & Dip (Hommus or Asigo & Artichoke)

Corn Thins, Avocado, Ham, Pepperoni, Cheese

Back in Jasper, we took a boat cruise on Maligne Lake to see the famous 'Spirit Island', we hiked the Edith Cavill Mountain to see more glaciers & icebergs and had the doors of the van completely frozen overnight because we parked near a sprinkler. The drive down the Icefield Parkway was simply magical and seeing beautiful Lake Louise was a nice way to end the day.

We spent a few days in Golden, downhill mountain biking at Mount 7. The views from the top are incredible and it has the longest single track downhill run in North America. We had parked our van at the Paragliding launch pad & had our morning coffee while watching the paragliders preparing to jump off.

From Golden, it was time to start the trek home through the Glacier National Park (saw some 500 hundred year old cedar trees), Revelstoke (stoked on Revelstoke, will be back for Cat Skiing in winter), Kamloops (hhmm first warm night in 3 weeks) and finally back to Whistler (there is no place like home).


Let's Eat Out!: Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free

Let's Eat Out!: Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free

The first book dedicated to eating around the corner and around the world while managing ten food allergies including: corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat. At last! A book that gives you the freedom to eat what you want, where you want and when you want with confidence and ease. Imagine being able to go to any restaurant, scan the menu, quickly spot the safest choices and ask the right questions to avoid gluten and other hidden allergens in food preparation. Imagine exploring more cuisines and enjoying more meals than you ever thought possible, armed with the right knowledge. Let's Eat Out! provides you with everything from delicious menu items to order in 7 popular cuisines (American Steak and Seafood, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, and Thai) to which questions to ask in safely guiding your decisions. Let's Eat Out! offers you peace of mind with less effort, enabling you to have more fun.




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