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Author Topic: North To Alaska  (Read 61321 times)

RoyM

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #90 on: June 16, 2012, 12:54:37 PM »
I enjoyed that. I know the area well, my mother grew up in Vanderhoof.
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Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #91 on: June 22, 2012, 11:05:57 PM »
I've decided I'm not as detailed, thorough, or up to date as Linda and Betty.  But here goes anyway:

 Hazelton BC (June 15, 2012), to Prince Rupert, BC (June 17, 2012)
Saturday dawned cloudy and rainy and we were off to a slow start.  Charlie is really enjoying this campground, and so are we. 
We drove down to the suspension bridge, walked across and got a good look.  This is the 3rd bridge built to cross the gorge.  The first was made by the First Nation people.  The men of the tribe made the bridge out of logs and ropes.  When they were finished constructing it, they had the women of the tribe cross over it carrying fully loaded baskets.  The men remained at bottom on the sides of the canyon with long poles.  Why they had the long poles was not explained to us.  I was thinking it was to pull the women out of the water, Tim thought maybe it was to hold up the bridge.  We’ll never know.
The information center was on the far side of the bridge so while we were there, we stopped in and learned  there are several areas with original totem poles still standing, we drove out to Kitspox to view one of the sites.  I has 12-15 poles in various stages of condition.  Some were close to 200 years old and interesting to look at.
The KSAN Cultural Historical center is right near the campground we are staying.  It has various artifacts and a great deal of information.  The center consists of 6 long houses, each different.  I forget what one of the long houses was used for but the first is a gift shop and museum, the 3rd a visual display center in development, the 4th a “display” house, the 5th a feast house and the 6th a clan quarters.  You can arrange for a tour guide to go with you through the last 3 long houses.  We got a good idea of life of the First Nation.  This culture of First Nations did not migrate as other tribes did.  The land was so full of game and food that they never left.  We asked if they still held ceremonies in these facilities and the tour guide said: “no, we use the community hall”;  so much for keeping the old ways.
Saturday evening a very big, very red tour bus pulled into the campground.  Out popped 14 people.  The front of the bus was a plush tour bus with big comfy seats and big windows for touring.  The back half was used as sleeping compartments.  Tim and I were intrigued with how efficient everything seemed to go.  We also decided we could not travel in such close quarters and felt a bit extravagant with our motorhome
Sunday morning was beautiful and we head west toward Prince Rupert.  A big city on the way is Terrace.  The drive was just like the other drives; rolling hills, dense forest.  We passed the turn off for Highway 37, the Cassiar, which will take us up to the Yukon.  We check out fuel stations noting whether we can get in or not.  After we go through Terrace, the skies cloud up; but the landscape is just breathtaking, even with the clouds.  We pass mountain after mountain that is snowcapped; but also rivets of waterfalls along with gushing ones flowing from the very tips of the mountain.  At some spots the snow filled crevices go all the down to the water’s edge. We  are following the Skeena River with its terminus at Prince Rupert.  We also notice not many cars on the road.
Our choice of campground was the Kinnikinnick RV Park in Port Edward.  It is about a 5 minute walk from the port.  For those following us, DO NOT use this campground.  There is only one site that we can fit into easily and it only has 15 amp service and water.  However the wifi here is great.  I would rate this campground as a fish camp, not an rv park.  But, one consolation is that on the first night here we took a walk and went down to look at the port.  We kept seeing big birds fly over us and finally realized it was bald eagles…immature one.  Once down at the shore line, we counted nearly 10-12 eagles perched in the tall spruce trees, with others flying in and around us.  Our guess was that 30 or more eagles were in the vicinity.  They were spectacular; not sure we would have seen this at the campground in Prince Rupert.
We were getting desperate to do laundry and needed to stock up on groceries as we are heading up the Cassiar.  The visitor center listed “King Koin” as the only laundry in town.  Oh my!  This was an awful place; but we were desperate.  I’m thinking this is the same facility that Linda and Dean went to when they were here on their Alaska adventure.  First it was $3.00 a load to wash and $.25 for 2.5 minutes to dry.  Most, if not ¾ ,of the washers and dryers were in some state of brokenness.  It was in a bad part of town and we were glad to be finished when everything was done!  I think the idea of buying a new motorhome with a washer and dryer crossed both our minds after that experience. 
Prince Rupert has a nice Safeway grocery store, so we augmented our supplies and headed for home.  Poor Charlie has not had a good day: he waited in the car and didn’t even get a hike in for the day.  However back at camp we did walk back to the port to watch for eagles again.  There were not as many as yesterday.  One thing we did notice is that there were several mature eagles there instead of lots of immature one.  Perhaps it was a dominance thing, and the young one stayed away. 
We have decided to stay another day as we want to go through the National Historic Cannery Museum.  They were not open on Monday, so we’ll stay until Tuesday then head up the Cassiar.
 
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Betty Brewer

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #92 on: June 22, 2012, 11:29:35 PM »
I've decided I'm not as detailed, thorough, or up to date as Linda and Betty.  But here goes anyway
Surely you jest, girl friend.  I loved the details (on the Laundromat especially.)  Keep those  reports coming.  Loving them !
Betty Brewer

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #93 on: June 23, 2012, 09:42:18 AM »
Plan to spends some time in Stewart/Hyder and be sure to go up the road to the Salmon Glacier and the bear viewing area. You might be too early for the salmon runs, though, and if so, the bears are scarce.   The glacier should be spectatcular this early, and I epxect there will also be huge streams dashing down the mountain sides.  Eat some halibut in Hyder - the lady who owns the little seafood place also owns the fishing boat. Talk about fresh fish!

Don't expect much of the campgrounds, though. They serve the purpose of a place to park and that's about it. But you aren't there to see campgrounds!

On the way into Stewart stop at the hanging glacier (I think it is named Bear Glacier) along the Stewart Highway. It's a great example of its type and there is plenty of space to park an RV at roadside.
Gary
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Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #94 on: June 23, 2012, 10:08:33 AM »
I'm getting caught up...wifi is good!

 Prince Rupert,BC (June 20, 2012), to Stewart/Hyder, BC and North (June 22, 2012)
With our extra day in Prince Rupert, we took a friend’s suggestion and visited the North Pacific Cannery Historic Park.  This is located in Port Edward and about 10 miles from our campsite.  We were not sure what we were getting into; but paid our $10.00 each with senior pass.  By chance the first day we arrived in Prince Rupert, we drove out to the cannery and ran into (not really) met the cook, who mentioned just how good her seafood chowder was.  Being good chowder consumers, the first place we hit was the café and had her fabulous seafood chowder; it was excellent.  Tours of the cannery start at any time they have a group ready to go.  Our tour guide was a retired First Nations man name John.  But then he gave us his traditional name which was “Shaking Wolf”.  He had also been employed at the cannery as a young boy and then on into his adult life.  He told us he had worked many of the positions in the cannery and told us stories of what when on along; with his spiel of information about the cannery. 
This was an excellent tour, we learned a lot about how salmon are canned; but we also got a good understanding of the different cultures involved with the caning process in the early years.  The cannery employed Chinese, Japanese, First Nations and Europeans.  There were different living areas for each ethnic group; and different cultures had their specialties in the canning procedure.  John indicated that the Europeans were the pencil pushers.  He also mentioned when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Canada also gathered up the Japanese and sent them to detention centers.  That was new bit of history for us.
Apparently the various cultures got along fairly well.  At its height there would be 500-700 employees including the fishermen.  Each nationality had its own separate housing area and of course there was the company store.
After the tour we found a great hiking trail down to some local rapids.  It was a tough trail with lots of ups and downs, nearly 3 miles; but it felt good and Charlie had a great time.  The trail featured what they called reversing rapids.  The rapids were located in a small inlet and the water would flow based on tidal flow, thus reversing rapids. The sun peeked out a few times; but when we got home we pretty much “jelled”; we had been on our feet for most of the day.
On Wednesday, we pulled out of camp and began our drive up to the Cassiar highway.  The sun was shining with big fluffy clouds everywhere.  As I’ve mentioned before, the drive from Terrace to Prince Rupert is full of large snow topped mountains, breathtaking waterfalls and now we began to see more wildflowers.  With no rain, fog, mist or clouds the scenery was altogether different as we traveled back east.
At the intersection of Highway 16 (Yellowhead) and 37 (Cassiar) Tim humored me and filled the motorhome even though we were only down ¼ tank.  So now the coach and the little car are full of fuel and I’m happy.  I think it was 97 miles from that intersection to the turn off onto 37A toward Stewart/Hyder.  We had been combing the sides of the road looking for bear, moose, wolf anything wild.  We saw nothing.  Then just before the turn to 37A, Tim saw 4 black bears, a momma and her cubs.  I missed them.  A couple of miles down 37A, we saw another one.  Those were the only bears we saw during the Stewart/Hyder stay.
The drive into Stewart was beautiful, dozens of glaciers, steep mountains, waterfalls everywhere….just beautiful.  We had decided we didn’t want to cross into Alaska and then have to go through Canadian  Customs on the return to Stewart.  Bear River RV park is a mile or so outside of Steward, so we stayed there.  They advertised wifi, but it kept going in and out and was mostly OUT, so no internet.   During the middle of the first night we woke to heavy rain; but the sun was out in the morning.  We packed a lunch, loaded the dog, raincoats (they go with us everywhere now), cameras, and binoculars to drive up a 25 mile gavel road to the Salmon Glacier.  The drive was in the US and we first drove into Hyder, Alaska.  You get there through Canada and there was no US border because from Hyder you weren’t going anywhere else in the US so why bother.  Canada did have crossing guards but it was all pretty casual.  Stewart, BC is the town in the area.  Hyder, Alaska consists of a few dirt roads and a dozen or so buildings of which only 3-4 were occupied.  It took a few minutes to travel through Hyder but then we found the dead end gravel mining road that would lead us to the bear viewing area and the noted Salmon glacier.
Well….. to say the least, we were a bit disappointed.  First the bear watch area is swarming with construction workers and equipment.  There are no bears and you couldn’t park anywhere to visit the viewing area.  Last year the bridge washed out, a new one is being built.  I’m thinking it will take all summer season to complete.  We drive almost up to the glacier and are stopped by a construction worker who will not let us go any further due to liability.  The mining company, that is further past the glacier, is doing something with a helicopter and has restricted the road.  Plus there are NO bears…nada…zilch…not a one.  The salmon have not started up the rivers yet; something about the weather being so unusually cooler than normal.  But I’m thinking when they do start to come up and the bears come down to eat, the construction will probably keep them away.
Feeling sorry for ourselves, we drive back into Hyder, found the “Glacier Inn” and have ourselves a local beer.  Well, Tim had one, I had a good old Bud lite.  We also found the general store where Tim could get a souvenir magnet and I asked the owner if he knew a resident there.  My neighbor and friend at home has a high school friend who lives in Hyder…..found the friend’s house and marched up to the door, introducing myself all along the way.  We got a few pictures, said good bye.  There are about 40 residents who live there.  They all say they love it, even with 35 feet of snow in the winter.
Our plans were to eat dinner at the Seafood Express, the tour touted unique experience everyone says you need in order to experience Hyder.  We had the dog with us and were out of beer; back to Stewart we go passing through Canadian Customs.  The cute little girl asked us several questions and tried to act tough; but she was all of 18…well, maybe a bit older, but not by much.  That morning we stopped at the crossing going into Hyder to see what time they closed and I had talked to a very smiley-happy male agent…..cute I might add. 
We get our beer, take the dog back to the motorhome and go back into Hyder to experience the Seafood Express.  I have to admit, I didn’t feel it was all it was supposed to be.  We had seared Halibut which came with tons of French fries and nothing else.  Tim had a soda, I had water and the bill was $39.00.  I know lots of folks think the food is spectacular, but I’ve had better elsewhere.  I’m wondering if it was frozen and not fresh; perhaps that was the difference.  The paper plates and plastic forks made us feel much better about the cost.  When we got home Tim fixed another dinner.
Head back towards Stewart and realize we never took the beer out of the car, which was bought in Canada so now we are over the limit going back into Canada.  Well, what ya gonna do….pay the piper.  As we approach, the nice smiley-happy agent I had met that morning was checking us through.  Asked what we had done with our day and welcome back into Canada….never asked about the beer…Whew…dodged that one.
To those following us or reading this to get ideas on travel, I think if we were to do it over again, we would park the motorhome at the Meziadin Provincial Park at the intersection of 37 and 37A and take the tow car or truck down into Steward /Hyder.  You can do everything in one day.  Tim and I were also getting the opinion the bear thing is pretty hyped up.  Don’t get me wrong, the drive down is beautiful, the towns are cute, especially Hyder; but it might not warrant several days.  At least call information in Stewart to see if roads are open to the bear viewing area and Salmon Glacier.  The drive in and out of Stewart is breathtaking however and only a little over thirty miles.
Friday dawns with bright sun and it is sunny the entire way and getting warm even to the point that we have turned on the generator and air conditioner.  We are now in Iskut, BC at a gorgeous campground called Mountain Shadow.  It has 30 amp with water and a sani-dump.  It’s at the base of a mountain range with a small lake, gravel sites with grass in-between.  Very nice!  We donned our shorts, short sleeved shirts, lawn chairs and a beer….Oh wow!  This is good.  On the drive here we saw 3 black bear and one female moose.  We are having a ball. 
 
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Jeff

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #95 on: June 23, 2012, 10:43:29 AM »
Marsha:


We spent three days in Stewart/Hyder, two of which was watching a bear and her three cubs cavorting up and down the creek as well as following a black bear all the way back to town. Another source of bears is the Hyder town dump when they come in for dinner.


The glacier is breathtaking when you can get to the upper level where the two branches form.


I'm so sorry you and Tim couldn't get up there.

roadlife

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #96 on: June 23, 2012, 01:23:05 PM »
Ah, another Bud Light girl!  ;-)  My choice when a nice Cabernet Sauvignon is not available.  Lovin' your descriptions of your adventures up to Alaska and taking notes for our trip back down that way.
Road Life

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Frank Hurst

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #97 on: June 23, 2012, 01:44:07 PM »
Marsha:

Sorry that you had a somewhat bad experience at Stewart/Hyder. We camped at a private campground at 37/37A junction and drove the car into Hyder. Got a great movie of a bear catching fish at the creek and was able to go all the way to the fork of Salmon Glacier. We had a full day, but we were able to see almost everything.

Frank
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BernieD

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #98 on: June 23, 2012, 08:59:14 PM »
Male bears attack male cubs to cut down on the competition, so before the salmon run attracts the adult males, the females come down to feed their cubs unmolested. We were there on July 10th so it is still early. We only saw one bear but she had 4 cubs with her. Hope the construction gets completed quickly.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2012, 09:26:25 AM »
Too bad Hyder/Stewart didn't meet your expectations and that construction hampered your trip to the glacier. Bummer. We've been there twice and stayed 4-5 days each time and never got bored, but the second time the late salmon run was on and the bears active.  We found the people of both Stewart & Hyder to be exceeding friendly and helpful - the Hyder librarian even gave us a bunch of books that she was replacing because the locals had all read them (and we hadn't).

Your mediocre experience with the Bear Campground matched ours. We didn't go back on our second visit - we used Camp Runamuck in Hyder instead.

Marsha, ya gotta lighten up on the border crossings and such. They aren't looking to throw you in jail! And try a Labatt's beer!  Trying different things is one of the big attractions of visiting another region/country. Even if you don't like it, you still have a first hand experience to report.
Gary
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Jeff

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #100 on: June 24, 2012, 03:28:29 PM »
Carry a couple of LaBatts so you can tell Canadian customs the beer is theirs. ::)

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #101 on: June 26, 2012, 01:33:47 PM »
Ok, back to having a partially good internet.  I think we would go back to Steward/Hyder; but schedule it for the first of August. 

We are now in Whitehorse and I will be updating our travels. 

Gary, I skip sampling the great Canadian beers because of their caloric count.....It's a doozie and I'm on this diet.  I know not good to start a diet on a trip with wonderful food and drink.  We did buy Yukon Gold which is from a brewery here in Whitehorse; now that is gooooood stuff.  But basically I am a lite girl and don't really like the ale and heavy beers.  Honeywheat is my style or "lite" anything.

Roadlife Anna, I like a good Merlot or lately I've been into Shiraz and found a great one from Vancover called:  "Painted Turtle". 

Off to finish laundry, then to do the Yukon boat ride and the Frantic Follies this evening.  We are staying an extra day because the follies do not perform on Mondays.  Tomorrow we head to Skagway, take the ferry over to Haines to spend 3-4 days. 

Marsha


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Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #102 on: June 28, 2012, 02:00:10 AM »
 Iskut, BC (June 23, 2012) to Skagway, Alaska (June 27, 2012)
I forgot to mention that while on the way to Iskut, we pulled into a rest stop near Bell 1 bridge and met some folks from Texas, along with a gentleman and his wife who were going to a “Gospel Singing Campout”.  He told us “free food, free music and good singin’ “.  We were tempted but needed to continue on our way.  I’m sure it would have been great fun.
The last leg of the Cassiar Highway (37) heading north toward the Alaskan Highway (1) was a much rougher road than the first half of the Cassiar; however it was beautiful countryside.  We saw several black bears and not much traffic.    Stopped at Dease Lake to get fuel at Petro Canada and paid $1.47 per liter for diesel.  We met 3 fellas on motor cycles from Texas who were actually on their way home.  They had already been all over Alaska.  I had forgotten how friendly Texans are.
This part of the trip from Iskut to the junction was only 195 miles, but it was a long 195 miles.  The roads were bumpy and we could only average 45 mph.  About 40 or so miles south of the junction, we started noticing large area of burned trees; then we saw tents pitched along the side of the road.  All sorts of structures: lean-tos, tarps hanging off of the back of pickups, small trailers then bigger trailers, pop up pup tents.  Plus we saw people walking through the burned area with pillowcases, laundry baskets and other large containers.  I was racking my brain trying to figure out what in the world they were doing and Tim guessed it.  They were picking mushrooms;…”shruns” as he called them.  We got the biggest kick out of seeing all the different set ups.  It was a Saturday, so I’m sure folks were out there for the weekend.  This lively event went on for several miles; then all of a sudden it just stopped.  It must have had something to do with the soil and moisture content.  When we checked in at the campsite, we were told some can make $1,000.00 a day harvesting mushrooms.  I’m kinda wondering what kind of mushrooms they were picking.
Finally we reached the intersection, turn west and found the “The Gold Nugget” campground.  The only thing we can say about this facility is the campground owners are reaping in the nuggets.  It was $35.00 for a night for 30 amp and water; but they wanted $8.00 for internet.  We said no thanks and went to our campsite.  The sites are nestled in the trees and are very long.  We were talking with some fellow campers and when they went in to use the showers it was $2.00 or 2 loonies for 2 minutes.  They came back to their slide in camper and took sponge baths. 
It had been a more taxing day than we expected; and there was a café at the facility.  We both had an ok meal of roast beef; but again it was very pricey.  Tim called it a “Blue-light” special.   However while we were eating the camper next to us came in to the restaurant and asked if we had meant to leave the tow car running.  I slapped my head, and couldn’t believe I had forgotten to turn it off.  When we are driving several days in a row without unhooking, I start the car for a few minutes when we stop for the night….well it ran for a lot longer than that.  They say the memory is the first to go….
The next morning we were excited to finally be on the Alaska Highway heading to Alaska.  The road was actually really good with short patches of rock/gravel.   I had made a windshield cover for the little car, but we had not tested it out yet.  Got all set up and off we go, with me watching the back camera screen to see if a large black piece of customized vinyl would go flying off into the wilderness.  Nope, it worked. 
The weather was beautiful, so much so that we had to turn on the A/C.  We felt like real tourist today, stopping at little information areas, taking pictures and thoroughly enjoying the ride.  The Yukon is very beautiful with long stretches of highway winding in and through the trees with mountains in the foreground.  A picture postcard type of setting.  We did notice the lack of snow on the mountains, and the streams and rivers were now bluish instead of a red tinge.
Tim had to inspect the bridge at Teslin and we found the Native Center for the Tslinget First Nation.  They had a short animated movie and a very small museum.  It looks like the facility is in the process of being built and established.
We finally reach the outskirts of Whitehorse; since we didn’t leave until 11 am this morning it is now close to 6 and we are tired.  I choose Caribou RV park because they claim to have hiking trails.  It’s a rustic campground with 30 amp and water, camp sites close together and they have wifi.  The wifi is intermittent when the campground is full; but not bad when it’s empty.  We’ve begun to notice most all of the campgrounds are tightly packed and many do not have full hookups.  The laundry and bathrooms are really nice.  We plan to stay here a couple of days to do laundry, grocery shopping and tourist things.
It’s now Monday and Tim is desperate to get the little car washed.  Got that chore done then we visit the visitor center and found a grocery store.  We still have trouble figuring out that darn “put your quarter or loonie in the slot, stick the key in and release the chain so that you can free a grocery cart” routine.  Seems we struggle every time.  Since we are driving to Skagway and then on to Haines by ferry, we want to be somewhat stocked up as we aren’t sure what we’ll find.
Tuesday is a fun packed day.  We’ve decided to take a two hour boat ride down the Yukon River and learn the history of the river.  Before it was dammed up the river traversed through “Two-Mile” Canyon, a whirling-swirling dangerous section of the river.  Many miners hoping to reach Dawson City attempted to traverse this section only to lose their equipment and some their lives.  After that the city fathers decided only approved guides could take you through.  We learned Jack London, the author, was one of the guides for a few years.
That evening we went to the “Frantic Follies” in downtown Whitehorse.  Oh my gosh, what fun.  It was well worth it.  Tim was picked out of the audience to help out on stage and was a good sport.  He was part of a magical act where one of the can-can girls climbed into a box, Tim helped wrap the chain around and of course verify that the lock was secure.  He had two gorgeous can-can girls on both sides of him.  It took him at least 20 minutes for the smile to go away after he returned to his seat.
Wednesday, we were out of camp early…real early as we had to dump the coach, then drive closer into Whitehorse for fuel.  Diesel was $1.47 a liter.  We also sprayed off the radiator and rear end of the coach and the engine of the little car…dust was everywhere. 
We drove highway 2 (South Klondike Highway) west towards Skagway.  It was only 90 some miles but we kept stopping as there is lots of unique landscape to see.  At the summit of the Caribou mountain range it was cold and windy; but the landscape is very unique with lots of small ponds or lakes full of melted snow.  It felt somewhat similar to the Bear Tooth Highway in Wyoming, desolate, rugged and above the timberline.  This road follows the White Horse & Yukon train route where the miners would struggle up the mountain taking their supplies up to gold country.  When they began their journey in Skagway they were to have a year’s supply with them.  Many never made it.   In 1998 or so, Tim and I were here on a small Inland Passage cruise ship and we rode the train up towards Whitehorse so we knew the history.  Supposedly there are remnants of equipment down in the canyon below the train line.  Often pack animals would lose their footing and go over the side.
Skagway had not changed much once we got into town.  Since on our prior visit via cruise ship, we never saw the rest of the town, but it all looked the same near the cruise ship docks.   It was just our luck that 3 large cruise ships were in town…oh joy!  Lots of tourist walking in every direction; making it a slow go for us.  We are at Pullen RV Park right on the water’s edge facing the docks.  Just FYI, I remember someone mentioning  the man who runs the park as being a grump, so I donned my best “smother them with kindness” Marsha only to find out this park has been bought by a young couple a year or two ago and he was very helpful and nice.
On our prior visit here, we had eaten at a saloon of sorts, so we began walking up and down the boardwalk to find it.  Finally we think we found it, went in had an Alaskan beer and broke our diet rule, we had a hamburger and heaven forbid….onion rings.  Oh goodness they good.
There really isn’t much to do here except shop, so we are only staying the night and are scheduled to be at the ferry docking area at 6:30 am.  Thank goodness Alaska is an hour ahead...(opps...behind).
If you are coming here, they do have helicopter rides and the White Horse Yukon train to do.  There is also a ferry taking you to Juneau that one fellow camper mentioned was fabulous.  Since we have been to Juneau we are passing that one up.  Tomorrow onto Haines, Alaska.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 11:21:48 AM by Marsha/CA »
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Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #103 on: June 28, 2012, 02:02:16 AM »
Forgot to mention:  AT&T aircard is strong and 3G.  Wifi in Skagway is spotty all over the city and cost $2.95 per hour, except the library where it's free.

Marsha~
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Wendy

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #104 on: June 28, 2012, 10:56:38 AM »
Quote
They say the memory is the first to go….

No, Marsha, the memory is the second thing to go. No one can remember what the first thing is.
 
Sounds like you're having an interesting trip. I'm enjoying reading about the trip. Remember, an interesting trip is better than a perfect, unmemorable one.
 
Safe travels
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #105 on: June 28, 2012, 02:56:40 PM »
Wendy, oh that's right.  I forgot!!!

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

ArdraF

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #106 on: June 28, 2012, 10:41:47 PM »
Marsha, while in Skagway, drive over to Dyea and find the Chilkoot Trail.  You can hike up it for a few minutes or more.  We went up about a half mile.  After doing that, you'll be amazed at the gold miners who carried heavy packs up the trail, not once but several times until they got all their supplies to the top!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Steve N Dee

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #107 on: June 28, 2012, 10:43:33 PM »
Marsha:
   I feel like I'm reading my future.  We plan to take the Alaska trip from So Cal sometime in the next five years.  We're still working now but planning to slow down and travel more in the near future.  For now it's the shorter trips which brings me to a question if you have the time?  Being from So Cal could you recommend a good CG in the greater Lake Isabella/Kernville area?  I haven't been there since I was 16, too long ago to remember, but was camping in a tent by the river near Roads End.  Obviously, that won't work in a 34' Class A.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement
Fritz & DJ, (the boys)
2005 Winnebago Journey 34H Diesel Pusher
2013 Ford Edge SEL AWD Toad
Burbank, CA

On time.....is when we get there

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #108 on: June 29, 2012, 11:19:59 AM »
Hi Steve,

Gald you are enjoying the writeup, I hope to do better on the pictures; but have been having some problems.

Re Kernville/Lake Isabella.  I would not recommend any full hook up campgrounds in Lake Isabella.  There is a dry-camping one east of Isabella called Paradise Cove on Highway 178.  There is also another one in Kernville on Sierra Way called Camp Nine.  Both have a dump station and water.

In Kernville is Camp James a full hook up park right on the Kern.

Then further up Mountain 99 heading toward Johnsondale is Fairview Campground.  No hook ups but it is right on the river with a great view.  You can use ReserveAmerica.  It's a very nice campground and has nice campground facilities ie. toliets etc.  You'll need reservations during the summer and it will be hot.  A 34' will fit into several sites.

Where are you in So. Cal?

Have fun.
Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Steve N Dee

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #109 on: June 29, 2012, 03:10:58 PM »
Marsha:
   Thanks for the CG information.  I know the area is hot in summer.  I'm more of a fall traveller.  I always take my long vaction the first 2 weeks in November.  I'm sure you know the CA coast in November is usually the best weather wise.  We are from Burbank, I'm sure you know where that is (seems everybody does).  I already have most of my reservations for this year, but would really like to get up that way next spring or fall, or if I come up with an unexpected available weekend.  Thart's one of the reasons I'm interested is that I can be there in 2 hours.  Hope your Alaska adventure is everything you'd hoped it would be.  Thanks and safe travels!

Steve
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement
Fritz & DJ, (the boys)
2005 Winnebago Journey 34H Diesel Pusher
2013 Ford Edge SEL AWD Toad
Burbank, CA

On time.....is when we get there

carson

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #110 on: June 29, 2012, 03:55:44 PM »
Quote
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement

  Once you get to the goal line,  slow down aging in a hurry. Trouble is that time seems to be speeding up faster than what you would like. I retired 12 years ago...seems like yesterday.. now I am a geezer (77) and cannot figure out where the time went. So beware, make every minute count. Running out of time is not fun.

  Great advise?    :-\



Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #111 on: June 30, 2012, 12:40:42 AM »
Ok....here are some pictures.  Tim keeps all of them on his computer and then downloads to our backup hard drive so we don't loose them.  I was having trouble getting into our network so that I could copy the photos.  I think we are up and going.  The photos have names so you should be able to figure out what they are about.
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #112 on: June 30, 2012, 02:03:21 AM »
(Yippee...I'm caught up.  Also it seems the bold part of the message can't be removed.  Something I must have done in Word.  So the bold doesn't mean anthing..I just can't remove it.)

Skagway, Alaska (June 27, 2012) to Haines, Alaska (June 28, 2012)
Since we are not early risers, we set several cell phone alarms for our 5:30 am waking time and our 6:30 line up at the ferry….geesh!  The one consolation is that it is not dark.  The dog goes out for a quick potty break and the cats miss their morning meal.  After a couple of quick cups of coffee, we unplug the coach, pull the slide in and get going.  The ferry is less than a mile from the campground; get in line then we go inside to “check-in”.  The little ferry guy comes out with a ground wheel measurer and verifies that yes, the coach is 36’ long.  They have recommended that we leave the little car unattached for a couple of reasons: one, it costs less and 2 it is easier to maneuver on the ferry. 
They begin to load the ferry, and I in the little car am the first to load…no problem.  There is a place to wait in the loading bay, so I watch as cars come in and get all lined up in their respective places.  Then the RVs begin to load.  To my total astonishment, they are backing the trailers in; both bumper pulls and 5th wheels.  And, I am thinking to myself, Oh my goodness, this will be a first for Tim.  We are the biggest and only Class A in line.  There are several Class C rentals and lots of truck campers.  Tim is nearly the last to load and they bring him in front, no backing, but he has to maneuver a tight 3-point turn into order to get into line up against the wall of the loading bay.  Everything went fine.
It was a short ferry ride to Haines, but by the time we get off loaded from the ferry, find the campground and get settled it is after 10 am.  Haines is a new place for us.  When we did the Inside Passage cruise we cruised past Haines, but didn’t know anything about it.
It is very much a quiet fishing village/town.  After lunch, we took a drive and went toward Chilakoot Lake and river flowing out of it and into the inlet. This is supposed to be a very good area for seeing grizzlies.  We have been told that there are only grizzlies here, no black bears.  The lake is very pretty and the river is fast and furious.  Near the mouth of the river is a salmon ladder and it’s somehow rigged so that Fish and Game can count the fish that swim upstream.  The total since June 1st is close to 15,000 fish.  The count for the day was only 20; but by the time we drove past later in the day it was up over 200 and every time we drove past we saw a Fish and Game representative.  We saw no bears; but we did see lots of bald eagles.  After spending nearly 2 days here, we are having a great time watching them.  They fly right over the campground, perch on masts of the boats in the harbor and are literally everywhere. 
We then drove toward the other side of Haines.  I would guess that the east/west road is maybe 10 miles long.  In the middle of Haines is the Haines Highway going up to the Alaska Highway, so there is very little traffic except for those coming off the ferry and locals.  On the west side we found a hiking trail so that Charlie and we could stretch our legs.  On the way back from the hike we noticed a large eagle nest at least 5’ in span with an eagle sitting in the nest.  The nest are very deep and so you only see a little of the bird’s head.
This campground is fabulous, not in amenities; but in location.  You back the rigs up against a fence line with the front window facing out over the water, looking at mountains, cruise ships passing by, fishing boats and occasionally sea otters.  The town is less than a ¼ mile from the campground and you can walk all over town.  When we got back to camp there was a notice on the office window that they were having a crab fest that evening.  All you needed to do was bring a dish to share and $6.00 per Dungeness crab that you wanted to eat.  Tim is not into working so hard for his dinner; but he was a good sport and went with me.  I LOVE crab; and I’m willing to work for it.  It was cold and rainy, but the campground owners had set up covered canopies and tables.  It was fun, although there was not much socializing as it was so cold and wet.  But we had a good time.
The next morning, we drove to the bear spot and didn’t see a one; but we did see eagles.  Haines has several museums.  We visited the main museum with information of Haines’ history and cultures of the area.  They also have an excellent facility called the “American Bald Eagle Foundation”.  It is a Natural History Museum and Live Raptor Center, with live bird presentations. They also do some rehabilitation.  Often they will put on presentation with different birds.  Today we saw an injured, but recuperated bald eagle being fed.   We also learned that Haines is the home of the largest concentration of bald eagles.  The inlet here in Haines has a warmer flow of water so the Chum salmon come here in early November and so do the Bald Eagles.  There can be close to 30,000 -40,000 birds here at one time. 
The weather had cleared and we got a good glimpse of the surrounding mountains topped with snow.  Near the campground is a pretty good restaurant called the “light house”.  We had a great dinner.  I’m beginning to really like the uniqueness of Haines. 
Tomorrow we drive up to the Alaska Highway crossing back into both British Columbia and the Yukon and head toward Klune Lake and Tok.  We have heard that there is a really nice campground near Klune Lake called Cottonwood, but it is in Yukon.  I called and made a reservation, as it’s close to Canada Day on July 1st and we weren’t sure there would be space.  I thought about making reservations for the July 4th holiday, but since we will be in Alaska I’m hoping we can find a pull off on the side of the road if we can’t find a place to camp.  Seems every campground except this one has had lots of spaces available.
 BTW, we are getting very acclimated to 50+ degree weather, cloudy skies and occasional rain…..It’s great.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 02:09:04 AM by Marsha/CA »
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Kevin Means

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #113 on: June 30, 2012, 02:22:28 AM »
Really enjoying your updates Marsha. Quick question... Has cell coverage/internet access been adequate or are you missing the DataStorm?

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Marsha/CA

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #114 on: June 30, 2012, 10:32:15 AM »
Hi Kevin,

We have had good cell service and air-card data service in most of the towns/cities.  If I recall only one or two places had either no cell service or no adequate campground WiFi.

With all this cloud cover and rain we've been in, the Data Storm may not have worked well, if at all.  The signal gets very degraded in bad weather.   Whereas our air-cards don't have any trouble with weather conditions and are much faster.  We really have not missed it.

Marsha~

2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Betty Brewer

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #115 on: June 30, 2012, 10:48:16 AM »


  They also have an excellent facility called the “American Bald Eagle Foundation”.  It is a Natural History Museum and Live Raptor Center, with live bird presentations. They also do some rehabilitation.   

Marsha,

When we were there,  they also offered  a river floating trip out to see the eagles.  It was a nice little gentle stream.
Betty Brewer

see where we are

BernieD

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #116 on: June 30, 2012, 10:48:56 AM »
Marsha

Its a shame you'll miss the 4th of July in Haines. The fire department puts on a really fun day. Haines was one of our favorite towns.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #117 on: June 30, 2012, 10:59:41 AM »
Haines was one of our favorite places - we ended up staying 7-8 days (that was July, 2002). Fished the river for salmon (the 'reds' - sockeyes - were running at the time) along side the bears and eagles, visited the spawning grounds in the lake (we had an inflatable boat), ate crab, and otherwise enjoyed the town and its environs. The views along thebay are stupendous!  A very pleasant and friendly place.

There is a large campground up at Haines Junction, where the Haines Hwy meets the Alaska Hwy. It's in the Yukon, of course. Kluane RV, I think it is called. The little Raven Motel also has a half dozen camp sites (it it's still there).
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

indiana journey

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #118 on: July 01, 2012, 07:34:16 AM »
Marsha,
Keep the posts coming. Love the pictures, they bring back memories of our trips to Alaska. We're hoping to make "just one more trip" to Alaska.
Have fun,
Indiana Journey

Tom and Margi

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Re: North To Alaska
« Reply #119 on: July 01, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »
I've really enjoyed your travelog and pictures, too, Marsha.  I love to vicariously travel along with all you guys making the trip to Alaska.  Brings back many happy memories of our trip in 2000.
 
Margi

 

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