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Author Topic: North to Alaska  (Read 65336 times)

Shayne

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2007, 01:58:28 PM »
Agreed on the Sunset, beautiful.  Appears as if you have taking those pictures in a MH.  Have you been hitching a ride on this trip?  Great Pics
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2007, 08:26:59 PM »
Thanks everyone, glad you are enjoying this.

I have not found anywhere in BC that has the discount books for sale. I assume we can get them in Skagway Saturday.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 12:40:05 AM by Jeff Cousins »

UK-RV

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2007, 12:09:41 AM »

Hi Jeff

We got ours at Safeways Valdez - so I guess most Safeways up there would do them.

Im not sure about getting it in Skagway as its not that big a place - could be wrong though.

Paul

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2007, 12:45:22 AM »
Day 14 Watson Lake

We enjoyed a beautiful morning at Muncho Lake watching float planes arriving and departing followed by a short drive of 32 miles to Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park. The natural hot springs are a must stop for those that enjoy a relaxing soak. For the rest like Jeff it was a chance to relax for a couple of hours and putter around the motorhome.

The day was also a good one for seeing wild animals and even getting photos of a couple of them. The take today was a large black bear not 5 miles from the Muncho Lake Campground followed by stone sheep, long horned sheep, and a couple of buffalo. We came over the brow of a hill in the middle of a conversation about the highway and the bear was right alongside the road. By the time we stopped, grabbed a camera and were ready to shoot he had ambled into the woods.

After the visit to the hot springs and lunch we drove 120 miles to Watson Lake where we are spending the night. Watson Lake began life as a trapper’s cabin for John Watson but went through a large transformation when the RCAF designated it as a key supply base for the chain of air bases leading to the Northwest. It later became a major staging area for the construction of the Alaskan Highway and is still one of the primary stopovers for those of us traveling the route.

We enjoyed the forest of direction signs that have become a Watson Lake trademark as well as visiting their interpretive center with a great 18 minute video presentation of the highway and its impact on northwest Canada and Alaska.

After dinner at the local hotel we attended a movie at the Watson Lake Northern Lights Space and Science Center that displayed the Yukon Territory Northern Lights in all their glory on an observatory overhead screen.

We returned to the campground for a little relaxing and Jeff washed the CRV that was showing a thousand miles of the motorhome’s dust!

Tomorrow we move up the highway another 180 miles to Teslin and a salmon bake at Mukluck Annie’s.

Shayne

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2007, 01:05:10 AM »
Absolutely love the animal shots.  Great pics.  This is the only way I'll ever enjoy it the same as when Betty, Terry, Russ, Lorna, and Ned recorded their trip, because the Boss won't go.  It's very much appreciated.  Thank you.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

JerArdra

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2007, 08:21:38 AM »
Jeff,

If you have lost your DirecTV signal, because of being to far north, there is a campground at Solders Summit that is at 4,000 feet.  We were able to catch up on TV the night we stayed there.  Solders Summit is where the final connection of the Alaska highway was achieved in 1942.  It was at this point that the black regiment of solder highway-builders met the regiment of white solder highway-builders when the US Army was still segregated. 

Have fun...we're enjoying your posts.

JerryF
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 08:25:20 AM by JerArdra »
JerryF  ;D  ;D

ArdraF

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2007, 02:30:19 PM »
Jeff,

Muncho Lake was mentioned last night on the History Channel in a show about building the Alcan.  Enjoying all the photos.  I've never seen buffalo in that area so that one was a surprise.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2007, 10:16:46 PM »
After reading many of these posts I think we should be thanking SUE for the excellent travel log.  Am I right?   ???
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Ned

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2007, 07:22:08 AM »
I hope you have a better experience at Mukluk Annie's than we did.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2007, 05:06:51 PM »
After reading many of these posts I think we should be thanking SUE for the excellent travel log.  Am I right?   ???

Don & Peg:

Nope, Sue takes the photos while we are on the road (unless the shot is better out my window ::)) but leaves the rest to me. The posts usually are my quiet time after she goes to bed.

Ned:

We had a great time at MukLuks. I will catch up on the posts tonight.

Ardra:

Both BC and Yukon introduced buffalo herds into the North 25 years or so ago. Both herds have become so large both Provinces are allowing hunting along the highway to try and prevent more buffalo/vehicle accidents.


Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2007, 07:27:18 PM »
Day 15 MukLuk Annie's at Teslin, YT

Our day on the Alaska Highway started out wet with the car wash Jeff had done last night a waste within 4 miles after leaving Watson Lake.  To make matters worse we ran into our first large construction project, 14 miles of muddy gravel about 50 miles west of Watson Lake. The rain later that morning helped some but we have now been indoctrinated!

We also had to purchase our first really expensive fuel, 35 gallons at 1.03 a liter or $3.67US a gallon. Fortunately we only needed the 35 gallons to get us to Haines where diesel is supposed to be down under $3.00 again.

Our first stop of the day was in Teslin where we had lunch and Jeff went through the Northern Wildlife Display, several very well done natural settings of wild animals. Up the road were two more attractions, George Johnson's Heritage Museum and the Tlingit Museum.

Johnson was an entrepreneurial native who decided Teslin needed a car before it had any roads. In 1928 he purchased a Chevrolet and had it brought up the lake by barge. George then built 4 miles of road along the lake and provided taxi service as well as using the car on frozen Lake Teslin in the winter. He also ran the general store in Teslin and was known for his photographs of the area and its people.

The local Clans of the Tlingit Nation originally were dwellers along the Alaskan Coast who migrated inland when white men from Russia and lower North America started settlements on the coast. They ended up settling along the 70 mile long Lake Teslin and carried out trade with both the inland tribes as well as the coastal Tlingit Clans. Life remained constant for them until the Alaska Highway came through the area in 1942 and their way of life disappeared. Today a great deal of emphasis is being put on returning to their ancestors' values. The totems and masks represent the history of the Tlingit as well as that of the various Clans of the local area.

We then drove 8 miles west of Teslin to MukLuk Annie's Salmon Bake to spend the evening. MukLuk Annie and MukLuk Chuck are Chuck and Annie Fenner who migrated to the Yukon 35 years ago from St Paul MN after spending their honeymoon up here a few years before. They have eight children, two of whom now run the business with their spouses while Chuck spends his time running the boat and hunting and Annie entertains her grandchildren. Annie's provides free RV camping for those who avail themselves of the salmon bake (or ribs) for dinner. After dinner Chuck loads everyone up on a large enclosed houseboat and takes his guests across beautiful Lake Teslin to feed birds leftover bread from the restaurant.  We had dinner with a couple from Tennessee who we camped with at Muncho Lake and saw again at the Liard Hot Springs the next day. It was a relaxing stop and one more Alaska Highway memory.

Tomorrow it is on to Skagway.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2007, 10:38:46 PM by Jeff Cousins »

Shayne

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2007, 08:06:43 PM »
Loved the pictures  and informative posts.  Thank you.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

ArdraF

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #42 on: June 17, 2007, 06:21:34 PM »
Quote
we have now been indoctrinated!

Yes, you certainly have!  Don't let yourself get caught behind one of the road construction watering trucks.  Let someone else get all the mud.  ;D  We learned that one the hard way.  ;)

There are often discussions on this forum of the pros and cons of tow dollies.  The worst example we ever saw was in Tok, Alaska where we watched some poor guy at the car wash struggle for an hour trying to get the tie-downs on his dolly unhooked.  They were so covered with hardened mud that he couldn't loosen them.  While watching that poor guy we decided we didn't ever want to use a tow dolly!

That's interesting about the buffalo.  Didn't know it.

Still enjoying the photos and narrative.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2007, 03:21:30 AM »
Day 16 & 17 Back to Skagway

We visited Skagway Alaska three years ago on a Princess Alaskan Cruise from Seattle. When the cruise ship docked back then Jeff saw RV’s parked at the end of the docks and said “We will be back” – well, we are! The view is from standing in front of the motorhome on the afternoon we arrived and we are two blocks from downtown Skagway and across the street from the loading point for the White Pass and Yukon RR tours.

Shortly after leaving MukLuk Annie’s in Teslin we left the Alaska Highway by taking the Carcross cutoff to the Yukon Highway over the White Pass of the Coastal Mountain Range down into Skagway. It was a rainy morning in the mountains but a hauntingly beautiful drive with clouds hanging over the many lakes along the route.

Carcross YT (Originally Cariboo Crossing) was the loading point for all the miners of ’98 who climbed the White Pass Trail to board boats or rafts to float down the Yukon River into the gold fields in Whitehorse and Dawson City. It is the terminus today of the White Pass & Yukon RR that carries tourists up over the pass from Skagway.

Leaving Carcross on the Yukon Highway we soon crossed the smallest desert in North America where ice was still on the lakes and started down the 13 mile steep downgrade into Skagway. On the way down the pass we caught up with one of the WPYR trains on its way back to Skagway. Three years ago we sat in the train watching RV’s negotiating their way down the pass and this time played the reverse role! US Customs is eight miles inside the border down from the upper pass because of the winter weather up on the White Pass they would encounter passing to and from work.

We pulled into Pullen Creek RV Park around 1:00PM and Jeff spent the afternoon getting the mud off of the CRV and m/h while Sue visited the Alaskan Garden Nursury here in town. The mixture of calcium used to keep the dust down on unpaved highways in Canada along with the local fine soil creates a clay like substance that coats vehicles with a hard coating that is very hard to remove.

Skagway (originally Skaguay) became the first incorporated city in Alaska as the seaport for the rush of gold seekers headed to the Yukon during the Gold Rush of 1898. Miners would leave Skagway or sister community Dyea by climbing the White or Chilkoot Passes into the Yukon. Within a year the White Pass & Yukon RR was completed over the pass to meet the demand of the miners. With the end of the gold rush the city remained the main access into the Yukon from the sea via the RR and Skagway survived while Dyea became a ghost town.

During the construction of the Alaskan Highway the US Army leased the WPYR and made Skagway its main supply channel for the construction equipment and supplies for the northern part of the highway. After the war the RR was shutdown as trucks replaced the narrow gauge RR hauling ore and supplies to and from the Yukon Territory. Skagway saw many depressed years until it became a Cruise Line stop for tourism in the late 1970’s. Today the 900 population community swells to over 10,000 for the day as up to four cruise ships dock early in the morning and leave in late afternoon or early evening. After the ships pull out Skagway displays its charm without the crowds of people. Locals and non-cruise tourists get to enjoy the evening hours and uncrowded restaurants.

Tomorrow we take the ferry down the Lynn Canal to Haines.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 01:12:03 PM by Jeff Cousins »

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2007, 03:24:50 AM »
Day 16 & 17 Back in Skagway (More Photos)

UK-RV

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2007, 04:29:50 AM »

Jeff

We can highly recommend the full day boat tour to Juneau from Skagway.

It was fairly expensive, and I cant remember if we had discount vouchers for it, but it was one of the highlights of our whole US Tour.

I think we left Skagway at 8:00am and stopped at Haines for 5 mins to collect a few extra passengers.

Then it was a (very) light breakfast of coffee and muffin.
The wildlife we saw on that boat was amazing, stopping for long periods to watch whales breaching.
Then, in Juneau we had a couple of hours before taking an inclusive bus tour to the glacier.
Then back on the boat for a chowder supper and the journey back to Skagway (for around 7-8pm I think)

Paul

Ned

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2007, 07:40:14 AM »
Thanks for the photos of the White Pass.  Both of our trips over the pass last year were in fog so we didn't get to see much.

Lorna and Barb took the Fjord Express to Juneau last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think it's in the discount book as a 2 for 1.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Shayne

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2007, 09:43:10 AM »
Again  Thanks for the log and pics, we are certainly enjoying your venture.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

BernieD

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2007, 10:04:05 AM »
Jeff

Thanks for bringing back the memories of our trip. We took the White Pass & Yukon RR excursion while in Skagway and then drove up the Carcross Highway leaving. We got to see both sides of the pass, actually liked the view from the MH better. We thought the drive from Skagway to Carcross was thru one of the most scenic areas we had ever seen.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2007, 01:10:13 PM »
All:

We visited Juneau on the cruise so passed on the Catamaran trip down there this time. Will spend a day in Haines and then head north again.

We are just missing the Reavises at most stops since Dawson Creek but may see them again either in Haines or Tok.

Wendy

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #50 on: June 18, 2007, 07:55:39 PM »
We'll probably never make it to Alaska so this is a wonderful virtual trip for us. And if we're ever lucky enough to get up north, well we've got lots of info here to guide us.

Enjoy
Wendy
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 07:57:25 PM by wendycoke »
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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KodiakRV

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #51 on: June 18, 2007, 08:09:02 PM »
Thanks for the journal, history lessons, and pictures!

Question:  Do you have anything on the back of your MH to protect your toad?  (Skirt, flaps, etc.?)
Frank
Florida

Terry A. Brewer

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #52 on: June 18, 2007, 08:47:24 PM »
Frank

We spent 4 months in Canada/Alaska last year & had no toad damage. We used no protection. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2007, 08:49:12 PM by Terry A. Brewer »

KodiakRV

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #53 on: June 18, 2007, 08:53:27 PM »
Frank
We spent 4 months in Canada/Alaska last year & had no toad damage. We used no protection. 

Well, I was looking at Jeff's mud-covered toad and wondering if it could be better or worse, depending on whether he didn't or did have protection...
Frank
Florida

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2007, 01:49:17 AM »
We use a Roadmaster Guaardian shield that we have had for 5 years without a chip or scratch to the CRV. I don't know if the photo shows it well enough but the mud was following the water flow over the car.

The mud had also blocked the rear camera lens which is mounted just below the roofline!

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2007, 04:55:28 AM »
Day 18 – Skagway  to Haines by Ferry

We awoke to our last day in Skagway to find four cruise ships in port and the streets already crowded! With this many people walking around more pedestrians are in the streets than on the sidewalks and driving is a nightmare.

After moving the motorhome over to the Alaska Marine Highway ferry dock we left town to visit the historic site of Dyea, the first community created by gold rush prospectors 9 miles up Lynn Canal and at the base of the Chilkoot Trail, a First nations trail over the Coastal Range into the Yukon.

Canada required each prospector to bring with him supplies to last a year which required each miner to get one ton of material over the mountains by backpack, mule, or commercial means. This meant a lot of material built up in Dyea and neighboring Skagway. Warehouses, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses created boom towns in 1897-98. When the White Pass & Yukon RR was completed at Skagway Dyea was abandoned and most building torn down for their lumber. Today a few foundations and rotted timbers remain as well as the Chilkoot Trail, a favorite of hikers and backpackers.

We returned to Skagway to get in line for loading on the MVS Columbia, one of the larger ferries in the Alaska Marine Highway fleet that was bound for Bellingham, WA. The first stop was a short 50 minutes down Lynn Canal at the sleepy little fishing town of Haines, a`favorite stop of most RVers in Alaska. The ferry was delayed as one of the cruise ships departed ahead of us and we left an hour late. The cruise down the canal is a scenic one but it cannot match the view we have at Ocenside RV Park in Haines. We are parked on the beach and facing the water looking across the canal as the large cruise ships sail past on the way down to Juneau and points south.

We walked next door to the Lighthouse restaurant after getting set up and enjoyed a wonderful meal of halibut and salmon with a great view of the water. We returned to join other RVers watching the remaining cruise ships sail past.

The campground is having a live crab feed tomorrow night that we will be here for so it should be a great stay. We will spend the day visiting a couple of local museums and Haines has an Bald Eagle Preserve with over 3000 eagles in the area.


Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2007, 11:48:08 AM »
Haines is some of our fondest memories and best photos too. Lots of eagles, grizzlies fishing in the river, misty dawns on the bay and Chilkoot Lake a few miles upstream. You should be right on time for the first salmon run there too.

That muddy toad looks familiar too - ours got that bad several times!
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ArdraF

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #57 on: June 19, 2007, 02:58:29 PM »
Frank,

The second time we went to Alaska we had our Tracker towed behind a 30' Lazy Daze.  The shield we bought to protect the Tracker arrived the day before we left and it didn't fit, so we went without one.  By the time we got home, the hood and front of the Tracker had numerous tiny pits in the paint.  We were able to get a guy fix it by matching the paint and filling in all the tiny pits.  He did an excellent job and you couldn't tell it had been fixed.  That taught us to always have some kind of protective shield on the toad, whether it's 3M film or something else.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Ned

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #58 on: June 19, 2007, 03:27:43 PM »
We used a product called Transit Shield that comes in a roll about 2' wide by 50' long.  We covered the front of the towed with it.  Our first method didn't hold up too well, so we redid it when we got to Whitehorse, I think it was.  It stayed on for the duration of our trip.  It wasn't pretty but it did the job of protecting the hood and fenders from stone chips.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Jeff

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Re: North to Alaska
« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2007, 02:46:10 AM »
Day 19 Haines AK

If there was any definition of a relaxing stay in an Alaska coastal town Haines would have to be it. Haines has one cruise ship a week that stops here (we will miss it) and you can walk a block without meeting anyone.

We started the day by visiting the Sheldon Museum, a half block up the hill from the campground. It offers a complete history of the local Tlingit tribes as well as a complete summary of the founding of Haines and its growth over the past 100+ years.

Haines has the first survey marker placed in Alaska and has been a prominent part of its early development as one of the first 11 military posts established in 1898. Fort William H Seward was the only active military fort in Alaska from 1925 to 1940 and was decommissioned after WWII.

Haines is also known for having the largest population of Bald Eagles in the world. The birds are soaring over Haines throughout the day and are easily spotted in trees throughout the area. During the late fall salmon run it is estimated 3500 Bald Eagles reside in Haines. The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve here is managed by the State of Alaska to insure the perpetuation of the largest concentration of the birds and their habitat. The American Bald Eagle Society also has a beautiful Natural History Museum here in Haines. We visited the Museum today and were fascinated.

We traveled a few miles up the shoreline of Chilkoot Inlet this afternoon to Chilkoot Lake, another bear and eagle habitat. No bears but several eagles were watching over the lake. The lake was as beautiful as the rest of the inlet and made for a great drive.

The Oceanview Campground has just that and this evening we all sat on the shores of Lynn Canal and enjoyed a crab feed sponsored by the campground. Large Dungeness crabs and a pot luck salad and desert bar will watching ships passing down the Canal! 

Tomorrow we head north towards Haines Junction back in Yukon Territory Canada.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 10:32:39 PM by Jeff Cousins »