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Author Topic: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"  (Read 57180 times)

Mr Bojangles

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #150 on: July 30, 2012, 04:36:46 AM »
Good luck with "gear" repair.....
Keep your reports coming........
Thank you
SAFBVET    Jim O
28 trips out.... 88,000 Miles -S  to Key West, SW to Gulf...w to Texas, NW Oregon, across Canada.

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #151 on: July 31, 2012, 12:35:00 AM »
Thanks Kev, today worked out OK. 

After hanging out in Anchorage for another four days, we made it to the repair appointment this morning. I have to give Kudos to Power Gear for getting the part to Anchorage on time for our appointment. In order to make it in time, they shipped the part from Indiana to Alaska via UPS 2 day air. That couldn't have been cheap!  We did bump into Marsha and Tim again here at the "Lead Nugget" RV park.  OK, it's real name is Golden Nugget, but that's over stating the facts.  We went out to dinner on Saturday with them to a nice place named the "Snow Goose restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewery". Good food and local brewed beers.  Good stuff!

We arrived on time at 0730 and checked in the RV. At that time we had not sent any paperwork to my extended warranty provider, Corner Stone. I figured that Corner Stone would want documentation before authorizing anything. So while waiting for the Tech to show up (they started at 0800) we went to breakfast. We came back and the coach was in the shop and was trying to figure out how to get to the gear. The service manager had called Corner Stone and had them on the phone.  They wanted some proof that Power Gear was supplying the new parts and that we were not putting in used parts.  I had the e-mail from Power Gear on my smart phone, so I forwarded the e-mail string to the rep at Corner Stone, and after a few minutes they called back with the approval.  The dealership was impressed with Corner Stone because after getting the preliminary information, Corner Stone faxed them a work order with what was to be done, the labor allowed, and the total that they were going to pay for it. 

By about 1300 (1 PM) the coach was finished and they were pulling it out. They had installed the new gear, and checked the alignment of the slide which checked out good. Inspection of the opposite gear on the other slide rail showed that it was in good condition.  When they called Corner Stone to tell them that the job was complete, Corner Stone faxed them a credit card number to run and the dealership was paid in full.  I completed my part by paying the $100 deductible. The balance of labor costs, $506.00 was picked up by Corner Stone.  The dealership was surprised that they got paid so quickly. He said that they usually wait for weeks for a check.

It had been raining in Anchorage since Sunday night, and had been raining all day. We hooked up the Jeep and just wanted to put some miles between us and Anchorage. We wound up driving to the little map dot of Gakona, Ak, and stayed at the Gakona RV park.  It is right on the Copper river.  It it a typical Alaska looking RV park, but the sites are a river view.  We have 30 amp full hook ups and paid $28. The credit card machine was down, so we paid cash.  On the way we stopped in Palmer AK, to get fuel. I paid $3.99 for diesel. I think fuel prices have dropped a few cents here recently. 

On the up side, I stood next to the living room slide as Diane hit the button. The slide moved smoothly and quietly and dropped into position. Hooray! It seems to be quieter than it was before the gear teeth broke. Maybe it was out of adjustment, and now is back in line.  I will keep a good thought. 

I was able to get Direct TV here, EL 11 degrees, and AZ of 108.  Not a lot of signal, but enough to lock on. The Verizon air card is working, but barely. I think the signal here is 1xRTT and is pretty weak.  I think we are the only ones in the park watching TV, at the neighbor is getting 1 fuzzy channel on his over the air antenna. 

Tomorrow we head to Tok, or the border, I'm not sure which.  We will see how the spirit moves us when we get up. I checked my passenger side storage bay upon arrival here today. I am still getting water inside. I think that it is still breaching the rubber door seal. The rest of the bays I have been able to resolve the water issues, but that one is being stubborn. In spite of the additional strip of rubber molding that I added to the door itself, the water is still being pushed inside. That bay is right in front of the tire, and the spray pounds that seal.  I'm not sure what to try next. 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 08:00:13 PM by SargeW »
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Kevin Means

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #152 on: August 01, 2012, 01:45:42 AM »
Awesome that Cornerstone stepped up to the plate so quickly. I love the anecdote about having the email on your phone. Ain't technology great! Interesting - your observation about the slide mechanism seeming quieter now. Kinda does seem like the problem was alignment-related.

Starting to make a little headway with Cyndi on an Alaska trip of our own. Heck, as I see it, if you own an RV an Alaska trip should be mandatory. I only show her the pictures you've taken with sunny days and cute little animals in them. You don't have many of those so I substituted some pictures of Hawaii and the new Panda bear that was just born at the San Diego zoo - said they were all taken in Valdez, but I don't know if she fell for it.

No more drizzly, cloudy day pics OK Pal. Ya gotta help me out here. And no pictures of Grizzly bears either. I love 'em but she thinks they're gonna bust through the door while we're sleeping and eat us (city girl). Maybe you could get Diane to pose next to a glacier wearing a swimming suit and sun glasses. Then I could say, "See how nice it is there honey!" And if Diane could be holding a Nordstrom shopping bag, that would cinch the deal. Alaska here we come!

Lovin' the updates Marty!

Kev
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 02:03:21 AM by Kevin Means »
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indiana journey

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #153 on: August 01, 2012, 07:27:00 AM »
Kevin,
Having been RVing in Alaska 5 times, I can assure you that the weather isn't always rainy, misty, or overcast.
On our first trip in '94 the temperature in Fairbanks was 93 degrees for three days. The "locals" were about to roast. Only one of the stores had air conditioning  (Woolworths), and the rest had their front and rear doors propped open with fans running. The weather varies from year to year, this year seems to be one of the years with rain. My wife said that Alaska is wonderful, rain or shine.
Good Luck,
Indiana Journey

Kevin Means

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #154 on: August 01, 2012, 12:51:26 PM »
Oh I believe you, and heck, a little rain never hurt ya anyway. I just have to convince my wife - the prosecuting attorney - the woman who's paid to argue. :) I'm sure she'll go... just gonna take some convincing.

Kev
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Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #155 on: August 01, 2012, 01:15:29 PM »
Kevin, you cracked me up.

When Diane, Marty, Tim (my hubby) and I were in Anchorage, somewhere in one of our discussions was the fact that Alaska is not as rugged as articles and seminar presenters have portayed.  They left you with the feeling that fuel is scarce, roads will destroy your coach and animals are everywhere.  Well, that's not true.  Gas stations are plentiful, the roads in Alaska are actually pretty good and you have to really look for the animals.  There has not been any campground where our Verizon or ATT aircards have not worked here in Alaska.  Now Canada is another issue.  Marty has that solved, whereas Tim and I are using campground WiFi when it's available.

Alaska is very accomodating to RVers.  Right now were are parked north of Denali NP about 120 +/- miles south of Fairbanks with full hook-ups, excellent air card service for internet and cable TV.  Pretty nice!!!

No offense to Canadians, but in the Yukon and upper BC, fuel stations are further apart, roads are not so good and sometimes the wifi isn't as strong.  So the issues are really getting to Alaska not being in it.

The thing that amazes me is that in the middle of summer it's 60 or so degrees.  In less than 6 months, this will all be covered with 60-80+ inches of snow and all the rivers will be frozen over.  That's something!

I know I'm far away from home, but don't feel far from home.  Does that make sense?

Marsha~
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BernieD

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #156 on: August 01, 2012, 07:31:19 PM »
When we RV'd to Alaska, Marlene was very disappointed. Our first trip was a cruise and she felt that Alaska was all ice, glaciers and white. When we were in our RV, it was green. We went to the Arctic Circle and she expected ice floes, polar bears and igloos. I walked around the grass in shirt sleeves. One never knows, do one ;D ??? ??
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Tom and Margi

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #157 on: August 01, 2012, 07:39:41 PM »
One of the treasures of RVing, based on our nearly 20 year experience, is the absolute shattering of preconceived notions!  So many areas of our great country turned out to be different, and much more beautiful or interesting, than we ever dreamed possible.
 
Margi

Betty Brewer

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #158 on: August 01, 2012, 08:05:41 PM »
  So many areas of our great country turned out to be different, and much more beautiful or interesting, than we ever dreamed possible.


Margi,
I don't think I have ever been disappointed in any of our RV adventures.  Much is attitude.  Can't control weather, so we live with it.  Some of my photos are better than others and some destinations beg us to come back on a sunny  day.  All of it is better than working!   
Betty Brewer

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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #159 on: August 01, 2012, 08:14:58 PM »
OK Kev, I'll do my best to keep the pics sunny, but Alaska has to help out a little!  Marsha was right about the Yukon and BC. We are in Destruction Bay right now. No cell, poor WiFi, 15 amp generator electric, and take your trash with you when you leave. It feels kind of like the 1960's.

The view are nice and I'll get a few pics, but probably can't post until I get to Skagway. Lots of crappy roads and road construction in N. Yukon though.  The mud has totally covered the Jeep and MH. I got a good story for the blog, but I am typing on my cell, and it's a little tough on my eyes. 

More to follow!
Marty--
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Terry A. Brewer

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #160 on: August 01, 2012, 09:09:12 PM »
Alaska 2006.......RAIN,RAIN,RAIN,RAIN

Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #161 on: August 01, 2012, 09:15:21 PM »
The trick is to follow the Brewers and Russ the following year. They had so much rain and clouds that there was hardly any rain left when we got there the following summer. 8)

Ken & Sheila

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #162 on: August 01, 2012, 09:32:30 PM »
Maybe next year will be dryer. In 97 (our last trip) it was beautiful.

ken
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Kevin Means

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #163 on: August 01, 2012, 11:01:21 PM »
Terry...

Great T-shirt! I nearly fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard! I think all of you guys are correct - especially the part about preconceived notions. I can't wait to experience it myself - all from the comfort of my RV. Cyndi's still warming up to the whole idea, but she'll get there. And I have no doubts that she'll end up feeling exactly the way many of you described - tremendously glad she did it, with great memories,

I can't wait.

Kev
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Tom and Margi

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #164 on: August 01, 2012, 11:13:12 PM »
Now, really.   ;D ;D ;D   Reality check coming.  ;)
 
If you go to all the trouble and expense to travel to Alaska through BC, Alberta and the Yukon, do you really want the weather to be just like Southern California, Southern Texas or Florida?  You need to earn bragging rights for visiting the last American frontier.  You need to struggle a little, people.  It's part of the charm!  Get that mud on your car!  Get your pictures ruined by rain and fog!  Freeze your assets off a little.  Earn that badge of courage.   ;D   Tell your grandchildren how brave you were. 
 
OK, tongue back out of cheek.  Sarge W and Marcia, I am so enjoying reading all about your travels and vicariously reliving our trip to Alaska.  Keep those reports coming!  You're both doing a super job.
 
Margi

Tom and Margi

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #165 on: August 01, 2012, 11:19:36 PM »
Margi,
I don't think I have ever been disappointed in any of our RV adventures.  Much is attitude.  Can't control weather, so we live with it.  Some of my photos are better than others and some destinations beg us to come back on a sunny  day.  All of it is better than working!

Amen, Betty!   ;D   As in most human endeavors, attitude is everything.  Lucky us to have seen these sights, even if through blurry windshields.
 
Margi

Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #166 on: August 01, 2012, 11:23:11 PM »
Betty:

You are right as always but my attitude is a lot better in the sunshine. 8)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 07:14:38 AM by Jeff »

Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #167 on: August 02, 2012, 12:19:49 AM »
Margi,
Quote
do you really want the weather to be just like Southern California

Yes!!!   ;)

Just kidding. 

Marsha~
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BernieD

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #168 on: August 02, 2012, 12:23:03 AM »
When we RV'd to Alaska, Marlene was very disappointed.

I apologize to Marlene, it was a bad choice of words. The difference between cruise and RV was expectation, not disappointment. She was nowhere near disappointed with our Alaskan adventure.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #169 on: August 02, 2012, 07:25:07 AM »
It's apparent that cell phone coverage has improved a lot since we did the Alaska adventure in 2002. And wifi was non-existent in AK or Canadian campgrounds back then.

At first we were a bit disappointed at the quantity of animals we sighted too, but we learned to get off the beaten path a bit.  A trip down most any side road found some sort of animal life. Moose were pretty common, and black bears fairly so. Otters or beaver in many waters too. Caribou took some hunting to see, though. Ditto for mountain goats and the big Dahl rams.  And didn't see any elk until we returned to Canada.
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #170 on: August 02, 2012, 10:14:59 PM »
We decided to drive to Border City, AK. A little spot 4 miles north of the Canada border. It's a little hole in the wall place, but it was convenient. Electric and water with a dump station for $20.  The name of the park is "Border City RV" and has a gas station. Naturally  they get lots of business at the gas station of folks just trying to make it across the Canadian border before buying gas.

But it was on the way to Destruction Bay that my little story comes from.  It had been raining from just about the time we left Border City. Either light or moderate rain, and mixed with plenty of road construction, it made for a wet messy day.  We were about 50 miles out from Destruction Bay coming down a long stretch of hilly road.  Many of the construction areas were short, maybe 50' in length, but were still just gravel and loose dirt.  Up ahead, just before the rise of a small hill it looked like maybe a bicyclist had laid his bicycle down in the middle of the lane that was coming towards me.  I was a little surprised, we had seen several people on bicycles, many extremely loaded with gear that would lay their bikes over as the kick stands wouldn't hold them upright.  But this bike was in the middle of the road, and just before a rise.  Any traffic coming over the hill would be hard pressed not to hit the bike. 

As we got closer I could see the rider appeared to be unloading the bike a little at a time.  As I got closer, I could tell that the vehicle was not a bicycle, but a fairly good sized motorcycle.  It was loaded to the max with saddle bags on both sides, and additional packs both front and rear.  The rider looked like he was moving around OK and was just trying to get the bike unloaded.   
 
I pulled up stopping next to him.  I opened my side window and asked him if he was OK.  He said he was fine, but he slid out on the gravel in the rain and with all the extra weight on the motorcycle, couldn't get it back up.  I didn't have a lot of room to pull over as the sides of the road were only about 2' wide, so I pulled up just past the motorcycle and over to the side as far as I could.  I put the emergency flashers on and set the headlights to brights.  The rider was still trying to unload the bike when I got there.  The bike was full onto it's left side, and looked to be a bigger BMW or something of that style.  The rider was about my size (at least with his riding gear on) but maybe just a bit older. He looked OK, maybe a bit shaken up, but still in good spirits. 

I used to own and ride a Honda Goldwing (about #1000 pounds) and a full size Harley (about #850 pounds) and have dropped both of them. Usually at a dead stop when your footing was not very good.  And if never fails, there is never anyone around to help you pick it up (and truthfully you don't want anyone around, as your pride is damaged enough).  So as I have done before, I put my back to the bike and crouched down and gripped the left handle bar and the saddle bag hook, and with a grunt, stood up with the bike. 

The rider was a bit shocked, "Oh my god, you must be a weight lifter!"  Well, yeah, but that's not why, I answered.  "I dropped a Goldwing a couple of times, so I had lots of practice".  Shortly after getting the bike up he wheeled it to the side of the road.  Within 10 seconds a Class C motorhome crested the top of the hill in the lane his bike had been in a few seconds ago. He smiled, shook my hand and as I walked away he called "Welcome to Alaska, the land of adventure!"   

I got back in the coach feeling pretty good that I had the chance to help somebody out. The rider got to continue on with his adventure, and that little spill will just be a ripple in his trip. 

By the time we got to Destruction Bay, the rain had pretty much stopped.  The rig and the Jeep are totally covered in mud from all of the construction zones we went through (pics). Some were several miles long.  The campground is really scenic, surrounded by snow capped mountains, and a right on the shores of Kluane Lake (more pics).  However, a few things you need to deal with to stay here.  There is only 15 amp power at the sites and it is supplied by a generator which runs all night.  There is a dump station on the way out, but if you have a bigger rig you may not be able to squeeze into the space allotted for the vehicle (I didn't dump when I left).  There is no cell signal, and the WiFi is free, but even going to the deck outside the office, it's pretty weak.  Direct TV was possible but frustrating because the 15 amp power kept dropping out. I have a Surge Guard on the rig that also has under voltage protection.  About 2-3 times a day the Surge Guard would kick out and the power would reset. This caused the direct box to start it's whole setup process again, about a 15 minute process. 

Oh,and then there was the bear thing.  When we checked in the lady in the office warned us about bears. OK, we have heard that warning before. But not like this one. She said that there had been 4 bears sighted in the campground this season (grizzly's).  And the last one happened just recently. A camper was out walking along the lake with his poodle on a leash.  He got to the far end of the campground when a grizzly bear came out of the brush and was staring at his dog.  The turned around and started walking back to the campground slowly at first (as you are told to do).  The bear was following him, closely watching the dog.  When the bear started getting closer, the guy panicked and started running, which also inspired the bear to start chasing him. Now the guy is yelling his head off, with the bear closing.  Fortunately a guy in an Airstream trailer heard the commotion and came out to see what was going on. He saw the bear chasing the guy so he threw the door open and the guy dove into the trailer with the dog and he slammed the door.  About that time the campground owner (the lady at the desk) came around the corner yelling and waving her arms. The bear stopped, looked at her, and turned and wandered back into the brush. 

OK, so no long walks along the lake with the dog. 

We pulled out of Destruction Bay and headed to Whitehorse for the night. A chance to do some laundry, pay some bills, and catch up on the mail and see how the USA is doing in the Olympics.  Tomorrow we head for Skagway. Oh yeah, and there is an 80% chance of rain. Who knew! 

BTW, I love your T shirt Terry!  Pretty funny, as we were pulling into the campground in Whitehorse, there are several RV's already here. We passed by a 5ver on the way to our campsite.  Some one had written on the back window of the 5ver, which was caked with mud in large letters  "ALASKA- BEEN THERE".  It cracked me up. Diane took a pic for her travel blog. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 12:26:38 AM by SargeW »
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Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #171 on: August 02, 2012, 10:35:09 PM »
Marty:

I remember the mud north of Destruction Bay. After getting the car cleaned we drove it and discovered a horrible shaking in the rear. Washing the wheels had removed the mud from the lower half of the wheels only.

Jim Godward

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #172 on: August 02, 2012, 10:59:52 PM »
We have had our car and MH a lot dirtier traveling on interstates in the US from the slush and stuff from driving shortly after a snow storm.
Jim
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #173 on: August 03, 2012, 12:24:52 AM »
Exactly Jim! That's why we don't drive in the east in the winter either!  I heard about that too Jeff. When I took the Jeep to wash it the first time after driving up the highway I stated at the underside and worked my way up.  I couldn't believe the amount of mud and rocks that came off. 
Marty--
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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #174 on: August 03, 2012, 07:38:12 AM »
 If you're going back home along Route 37 (Cassiar Hwy - I highly recommend this route ) take the little side trip to Salmon Glacier. http://stewartbchyderak.homestead.com/files/salmon_glacier_1.pdf

 It's an unforgettable sight! Fog might block the view of the glacier at the summit but you can drive farther down the road and get under it. The signs warning of avalanche danger are in place year round even when there is no danger and it's safe to drive farther along the road.

Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #175 on: August 03, 2012, 11:53:29 AM »
Marty we stayed at that "cute" little campground on Klune Lake and walked Charlie out back in the area you were talking about with the guy and his poodle.  Guess if we stay there on the way back, we better be a little more careful.  Charlie can outrun me and I'd be the grizzly's breakfast.

Marsha~
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #176 on: August 03, 2012, 08:24:13 PM »
Thanks for the tip T&K, we will check it out.

Marsha, boy no kidding huh?  You either need to get faster shoes or a slower dog.........

And speaking of bears (again) I for to mention in the previous post about a unusual sighting we had on the way to Whitehorse.  We were just approaching Haines Junction and heading up a small rise in the highway.  A vehicle coming towards us crested the hill and was flashing their head lights at us.  Realizing that there may some hazard in the road I slowed down as I approached the top of the rise. 

Coming over the other side I could see what he was flashing at me for.  On the side of the road on my side was a large brown bear. He was kind of standing there, looking up the road at us. I stopped the MH about 50' from the bear as not to frighten it.  That's when it got comical.  The bear looked at us for a few seconds, then walked out into the road, slowly.  He reached the other side of the road and stopped.  He turned around, and walked back to the center of the road, looked at us, and stood up on his hind legs!  He stood like that for 5 seconds or so.

We were astonished, it was like he wanted a better look!  Diane was frantically searching for her camera, as he slowly came down on all fours, and continued off in his original direction.  Diane managed to get a few pics of his exit, but we unfortunately missed his "pose". 

We got up and drove into Skagway this morning, what an awesome drive, even in the rain.  We passed through so many cool areas that we had not seen in Alaska before.  One looked a lot like a "moonscape" with the odd plants and sparse vegetation.

And, we finally ran into a reasonable border guard when we entered Canada two days ago.  Ready for the "third degree" of questions as we approached he threw me for a bit of a loop. He was friendly, business like, and made us feel that we were actually welcome in his country. Just when you think that you have these guys figured out..........
Marty--
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Ned

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #177 on: August 03, 2012, 09:03:33 PM »
One looked a lot like a "moonscape" with the odd plants and sparse vegetation.

That was probably the Carcross Desert, the world's smallest desert.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Tin man

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #178 on: August 03, 2012, 09:22:10 PM »
Hey Sarge

Was that horses in the background eyeing the bear?

By the way great pictures of the low stratus.

Hope the rain stops by next year..

Jim W
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2007 36G Journey SE
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #179 on: August 03, 2012, 09:45:51 PM »
That was probably the Carcross Desert, the world's smallest desert.

Very close Ned, actually it was just past the Carcross Desert. That area is a sand dune area that looks REALLY out of place.  This area is actually described by the Mile Post as a odd "moonscape" area.  It is just before the landscape turns to alpine fauna. 

Good observation Jim!  Those horses were very interested in what the bear was doing.  And shortly after the pic, they turned and took off the other way.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

 

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