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Author Topic: Alaska with the Stocks 2013  (Read 28360 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« on: May 22, 2013, 01:39:08 AM »
May 21, 2013    Day 4          Redding, CA

We are off on our encore trip back to The Land of the Midnight Sun.  We'll see new places and old favorites.

I had planned on starting my log when we crossed into Canada.  However, our adventure has already begun, so the log must also.

On Day 2 we started a 3-night stay at Lake Tahoe's Harrah's Casino.  We parked the coach in a secure parking lot behind Harrah's, and Dean went out twice a day to charge the batteries.  Last night, he noticed that the batteries had gone down too low, and he had a fault code, but it was too late to call anyone.   So he decided to go out very early this morning.  When he arrived this morning, he discovered that the inverter wasn't working at all.  He called the manufacturer, got a temporary fix and the name of the nearest factory-authorized repair shop--over 300 miles away. 

In the hotel room, I was casually preparing for a lovely shower when Dean barged in and blew my plans.  I was supposed to have another lovely day and night in Tahoe.   "Time to get out of Dodge, gotta go."  In less than an hour, we were underway.  Dean planned his own route instead of using either of the GPS-planned routes, part of which would rival Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, along CA 193, a windy route that is under re-construction.  Papers flew, the cat found a hiding spot between wall, trash can, and my chair, and the kitchen chairs went for a walk, despite being bungi-corded together.

Once the road straightened out a bit, I called the repair shop.  Amanda tells me, "We are NEW!  So please bear with us."  It seems that we will be their first drive-in inverter repair. (Shudder!)   They have repaired two other inverters, both of which were sent to them and then they sent them back out.   (Oh, dear!)  Then she told me that we should NOT come in at 8:00 when they open, but instead at 9:00 so they would have an hour to prepare for us.  (Any atom of confidence I may have had has now flown out the window!)

Then even more bad news!  The inverter is now working perfectly.  But, we know it has a problem.  How will these novices be able to diagnose it?  Will they tell us they have it fixed, and will we then discover later in the middle of the Yukon that it isn't?  The last time we had a problem with the inverter we had to wait for a part for it for 7-10 days in Whitehorse, Yukon, (Dean says 7, I say 10, and it seemed like an eternity).  It's worked great ever since.  Until we set off for Alaska...... I think our inverter is allergic to Alaska! 

RVing is an adventure--usually good, sometimes not so much, but always interesting.

We did find a great RV park--Fawndale Oaks RV Park, $29.70, FHU, escorted to a pull-thru at 8:20, so-so Wifi, cable TV but Dean says it's too dark to hook it up, very nice managers.

Tom, I didn't mean to capitalize Alaska on my title--can you fix it?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 02:10:06 AM by Tom »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Tom

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 02:10:59 AM »
Got it Linda, thanks.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 02:04:52 AM »
May 22, 2013   Day 5      Phoenix (Medford)

We "found" the repair facility despite inaccurate street signs and the sign on the building saying "Home Center" specializing in selling carpeting (from its previous tenant).  They are so new they don't have their sign up yet.  The tech spent an hour looking at the inverter with Dean looking over his shoulder.  Dean said he seemed capable, but they couldn't find anything wrong, so we paid for an hour of labor and crossed our fingers that it continues working. 

We drove through pretty country with some rain.  We went to see the new "Star Trek" movie at a nearby modern theatre.

Stayed at Holiday RV Park --FHU, $38.75,our favorite Medford area park (and they gave us each a nice fresh-baked peanut butter cookie, too!)

May 23-4, 2013   Day 6 & 7   Fairview (Portland)
We are seeing lots of pretty green and beautiful trees and the rain that keeps them that way.  Roads are great.  We're spending an extra day to tear apart the couch and access the carpet that is hampering movement of our slide.

Stayed at Portland-Fairview RV Campground ($73.18/2 days) I really like this campground's asphalt roads, pads, place to park our car, grass, and managers.

May 25-6   Days 8 & 9   Hermiston, OR & Couer d'Alene

We're just covering miles.  Good roads and pretty scenery.

Pioneer RV Park (Passport America) $18.50  FHU
Wolf Lodge Campground (Good Sam) $39.55   FHU

May 27   Day 10   Helena, MT

We drove an easy 280 miles over good roads.  We called Lincoln RV Campground all day, didn't reach them, drove up to the closed office which had a sign that said, "Choose a space."  We did, and Sherlock loves it--robins bobbing about, birds flying into the tree by the drivers' window, lots of dog walking out the front window--a cat's paradise.  And, we like it, too.

Lincoln RV Campground--FHU, gravel roads, nice spacing, around $38.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 03:37:30 PM »
WE FINALLY HAVE WIFI!!  We also have satellite problems.



Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 03:39:56 PM »
May 23-4, 2013   Day 6 & 7   Fairview (Portland)
We are seeing lots of pretty green and beautiful trees and the rain that keeps them that way.  Roads are great.  We're spending an extra day to tear apart the couch and access the carpet that is hampering movement of our slide.

Stayed at Portland-Fairview RV Campground ($73.18/2 days) I really like this campground's asphalt roads, pads, place to park our car, grass, and managers.

May 25-6   Days 8 & 9   Hermiston, OR & Couer d'Alene

We're just covering miles.  Good roads and pretty scenery.

Pioneer RV Park (Passport America) $18.50  FHU
Wolf Lodge Campground (Good Sam) $39.55   FHU

May 27   Day 10   Helena, MT

We drove an easy 280 miles over good roads.  We called Lincoln RV Campground all day, didn't reach them, drove up to the closed office which had a sign that said, "Choose a space."  We did, and Sherlock loves it--robins bobbing about, birds flying into the tree by the drivers' window, lots of dog walking out the front window--a cat's paradise.  And, we like it, too.

Lincoln RV Campground--FHU, gravel roads, nice spacing.

May 28   Day 11   Great Falls, MT

We were making good time as we headed to Shelby, and we stopped at Great Falls for gas and lunch.  Each time we've stopped for lunch, I've asked Dean for TV for entertainment and as a way to check the inverter.  I didn't want it failing us in the middle of the Yukon.  We got a sustained failure, which I think was good.  We decided we were better off trying to get repair supplies in Great Falls, so we returned to a park we've enjoyed before.  Dean, guided by the inverter technician, did a repair, so hopefully it is now fixed.

Dick's RV Park, FHU, good satellite, lots of pull-thrus, gravel pad, nice management $36

May 29   Day 12   Calgary (A DAY OF HURDLES!!)
 
We had done the pre-planning for our Canadian crossover (or at least we thought we had).

#1 Hurdle--We needed to change the settings on our satellite.  Dean had talked with Real Time Communications well in advance, and in fact, they shut down our Internet a day ahead of time in preparation for the switchover.   Dean was receiving directions over the phone, typing in the info into the computer, when all of a sudden it locked up.  Apparently, it only works with Internet Explorer, which is used on PCs, and we have an Apple.  Dean ranted for awhile about the whole world isn't PC, and the technician said he was sorry, that he only had about a 2% success rate with Apples.  Dean calmed down, and we were in that lucky 2%.  We've also discovered that our 4-year-old Motosat set-up, which cost over $6,000, is "obsolete."  The company has gone out of business, and there's a place that has 2 years of parts, and then there are no more.  So, down the line, we may have to buy ANOTHER satellite (not in my budget!)  Dean had better win the lottery.  But, we completed the download.  Problem solved (or so we thought!)

#2 Hurdle--We needed to change over our Verizon service to Canada for our cellphones.  When we went to Alaska 5 years ago, we paid $20-$30, and all was good.  Now, if we want to change over, we have to give up our current plan which has unlimited data, and when we re-subscribe for use in the U. S., we'll be paying $30 more per month and have 2 gigabytes of data instead of unlimited data.  Or, we can pay 89 cents per minute in Canada.   It gets better!  They will charge me $2.05 per megabyte of data I use if I stay with my plan.  I average less than 2 gigabytes per month, but I use the data feature a lot more when we are traveling.  Assuming, therefore, that I use 2 gigabytes per month, and there are 1000 megabytes in 1 gigabyte, could my math be right????  $4000+ per month?  Outrageous!!  Granted, I would restrict usage, but NO WAY!  I have turned off the Data feature on my phone.  Since we were still in the U. S.,  I called a friend who is Canadian and who spends half the time in Arizona.  She has the plan Verizon is trying to sell us--the North America Plan.  However, she said her brother travels between Canada and the U. S., and he has a throw-away phone for which he buys a reloadable air card.  We'll do that.  Problem solved (or so we thought!)

#3 Hurdle--The RV campgrounds in Calgary sound disgusting on RVparkreviews, but I found what sounds like a good one in Strathmore, 33 miles away.  Dean wants 50 amps, so we'll drive it for the two extra roundtrips.  However, they only accept long-term people starting June 1, we're not sure we can get in, and we don't have our Canadian phone yet.  So, we decide to stay at Walmart.  Problem solved (or so we thought!)

#4 Hurdle--As we get within 2 miles of our off-ramp, the freeway is closed down.  They are taking 3 lanes of traffic to an off-ramp that leads into a small shopping center.  We turn right, avoid the shopping center, there are cops everywhere with more road closures, but we eventually make it to the Walmart.  Problem solved.

#5 Hurdle--When we re-positioned the satellite dish, we no longer have our Bird-on-a-Wire feature (which gives us Direct TV) properly positioned.  But, we should be able to resolve that once we get our Canadian cellphone.

Dean goes down to the Information Kiosk, where we need to check in, and into Walmart to buy our new cellphone.  I have the app that shows what Walmarts allow overnighting and what you're supposed to do, and I really like it. 

Problem #1--DISASTER!  The cheapest Walmart phone costs $100, and 80 cents a minute, only 9 cents less than what Verizon was going to charge us.  Or we can have a great plan of $20 per month; the only glitch is that it is only good in the Calgary area.  Dean goes to Best Buy; same story.  Solution?  We won't be doing much calling.  We can text for free, however.

Problem #2--Dean puts up the satellite, and we don't have Internet.  Of course, we don't want to call Real Time to de-bug it tomorrow morning because it would be expensive at 89 cents a minute.  This morning they were on the phone for an hour--that would be about $54!  Solution?  Do without Internet until we get into an RV park in Edmonton with WIFI, and not use our satellite.  We'll hope that the parks we stay at have cable and WIFI.  Or we'll be going to McDonald's or city libraries and using their WIFI.

So far, being in Canada is a pain in the foot! (and pocketbook!)

Staying at Walmart on Northland Drive--No hook-ups, free, and hopefully, good security.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Chet18013

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 06:58:48 PM »
Linda, You've already missed The Royal Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. This is worth going back for a look. It's on our list of visit again, it's so amazing.

See:  http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 07:05:53 PM by Chet18013 »
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Betty Brewer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 07:32:23 PM »
Linda, You've already missed The Royal Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. This is worth going back for a look. It's on our list of visit again, it's so amazing.

See:  http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com

Chet, While that Museum is on my bucket list, Dean and Linda have been through so much so far, I'd give them a break for missing a tourist delight!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 01:15:30 AM »
Linda, You've already missed The Royal Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller. This is worth going back for a look. It's on our list of visit again, it's so amazing.

See:  http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com

We saw it in 2009, and you're right--it's amazing.  Dean wants to get to Denali before the animals head up the mountain, and he did the planning.  It is definitely a "Don't miss" if you haven't been there. 

Betty, you're so close in Idaho, it would be fun to check that one off the list.  Dean the Younger was really into dinos and we went everywhere and saw everything available about them--he was really a junior paleontologist, and I couldn't help but learn a lot since I was his chauffeur.  He even took a summer science school class on them that was offered in Cerritos.  I saw so many dinos in Drumheller that I hadn't ever heard of before, and I learned so much.  At the end of the day, I felt absolutely saturated--mentally exhausted from reading and trying to remember so much information.  If I were to do it again, I'd do it over 2 days--not that you couldn't see everything in one full day, but it's just too much to take in and remember.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 01:22:46 AM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 01:46:24 AM »

May 30   Day 13  (9th consecutive day of significant rain)  Edmonton, AB   

New plan!  Buy a phone in my name and use Verizon's North American plan, and keep the old plan in Dean's.  Dean tallies up the cost--$100 for phone and monthly charge of $150 for 4 months = $700.  Not such a good plan. 

We awakened to a loud noise, which I thought was one of Walmart's employees gathering shopping carts.   Unfortunately, it was more hard rain. 

We had only planned one stop in Calgary, the Glenbow Museum, because we had seen Drumheller (spectacular!), The Olympic Village, and the Calgary Zoo (unusual animals!)  I really wanted to see the Glenbow again, but Dean is anxious to get to Wifi in Edmonton to get the satellite fixed, and this is his trip to plan.  I did resurrect my log entry from 2009 when we went there for those Alaskan-bound RVForumers who are headed through Calgary.

   We wanted to get to the Glenbow Museum as quickly as possible because we had heard that it was spectacular, and it is only open now from 10-5.  We spent about an hour circling, looking for parking, encountering all one-way streets (Wouldn't you think that 50% of the time they would be going the right way?), streets blockaded off to allow only for light rail, and streets that curve.  We saw one place where they wanted $20 for "all day" parking.  We finally saw a sign with a green "P", no prices, no name even.  We took a chance and went into this parking garage located on the back side of a building across from the museum and only paid $5.
   The museum was well worth the effort.  With a coupon available from the "Calgary Tour Book" that we were given at the VC, we saved $10.  Be sure to get this book, as it has discounts for ALL of the attractions.  You can also download this from the internet, which our friend at the Edmonton Royal Alberta Museum had done for us.
   The theme was "Mavericks", apparently a term popular here in Alberta long before Sarah Palin.  We went to the First People's section first and spent most of our time there.  They had many true artifacts from the 1800's and early 1900's, unlike many of the other museums where they have had reproductions because so many artifacts have been destroyed or lost.  The museum has modern architecture and light pleasing lines, but a reverence for the past and the "old ones" is especially shown in this area.  The quality of their relics is excellent, and their labeling tells not only of use, but of appreciation for what their ancestors went through.  There also is much talk of the future and what they will do to preserve their history, as well as adaptations, such as an appreciation for higher education.
   In one area they highlight the history of oil in Alberta and the people who have made that history colorful.  When the price of oil skyrocketed in the 1970's, Pierre Trudeau decided to tax oil heavily.  The oil companies went to 85% of production, with possible further decreases.  Eventually, compromise worked.  The taxes were raised, but not as much, and the proceeds were split between the federal government and Alberta (the feds had wanted all the revenue).  There is still a lot of oil being produced here, and that is how Alberta pays for their beautiful museums, smooth roads, and pretty mowed open spaces.
   Another area highlighted the cowboys and Calgary Stampede that is held in July.  I have developed a greater appreciation of art, and this statue of a horse made out of BARBED WIRE wowed me!
   Another, small section highlighted their government.  I found "Bible Bill" mentioned here again, just as in the Legislature in Edmonton.  This time they had an audiotape with him promising $25 and a lower cost-of-living to each Albertan.  I wonder if they ever got their $25.
   They had a whole floor of art-Asian, modern, and historical.  We only had 15 minutes to see all of it.  We enjoyed the Asian section, and wish we had longer.  Again, we closed the museum.  Another great day!
 
We got to the RV park only to find all 288 spaces booked for the weekend, so we could only get 1 night.  I bit the bullet and paid 89 cents a minute to make a reservation at another park--it's going to be very expensive.  $51.50 + WIFI + Cable TV (I just saw that when I was looking at Trailer Life for the address) 

We headed out to get money and go to a show, but the show was 50+ min. away, and we only allotted 30 minutes (the WiFi here is terrible and won't run MapQuest). We got our money at 2 ATMs and remembered that we hadn't put the park's address into our GPS.  It wouldn't take the phone #, the address, the park's name (the park has been here for at least 10 years, so there's no excuse for this big park not being in their database), and we realized we couldn't figure out how to get home.  We don't have a detailed map of Edmonton and its suburbs.  They gave us a 6-page brochure-paper when we checked in, and it had a tiny inset map of how to get to the West Edmonton Mall.  So we went to the Mall and backtracked.  Scary!  What would we have done if that map hadn't been in that newspaper?  I have been wanting a Garmin for over a year, and in our wanderings I spotted a COSTCO.  I'm hoping to talk Dean into getting one.  Being without my SmartPhone and its Apps feels like someone removed part of my brain.  It is so frustrating!  I am so anxious to get to Alaska and electronics' civilization again!

 I wanted to do all my emails and map the places we are going here in Edmonton, but this WiFi here is next to worthless.  It takes forever, and then it takes you to the previous site or says it can't do what I'm looking for (like directions from one well-known place to another).   I'm only going to buy 1 night of WiFi and TV at the new place and see how well it works before I pay for the other 3 nights.

I called all my credit card companies to ask about foreign transaction fees while I was still in the U S.  Visa and American Express charge 3%, but Discover charges 0%.  I now know why--nobody up here takes Discover!

The banks only charged $1.50 ATM fee.  We went to two different banks because the networks they'd let us use were different, and we had decided to get $600 and not charge on our cards other than Discover when possible. 

Staying at Glowing Embers, $45.36 Canadian, FHU, mostly gravel and a little mud, but it's been raining so much I'll forgive that.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 02:13:39 AM »
I just read Henry's log, and I have info that might help those behind us in Calgary.  RVparkreviews say all parks there are terrible, as Henry noted.  On my Walmart App, I learned that the Walmart we stayed in (look back 2 days) welcomed you. It isn't spacious.  It is in a mall, but it was adequate, and I think it would have been possible to stay a second night.  I've thrown away my notes, but if you go to WalMart Allstays, ONP (Overnight Parking), there's more info.  One of them had lots of RVs, but it smelled from an oil refinery (it was on Smelter Ave.), one had a note from a resident who said that he saw lots of big rigs parked there.  I hope this helps.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 11:12:15 AM »
Linda, Don and I are also rollin, but we're about a week behind you. I'm starting up my Journal this morning. I don't know if it'll be as good as yours, though...you're a great writer!  Did you read about or look at review for Calgary West CG in Calgary? I contacted a couple of Winnebago-Itasta Travelers (WIT) members in Calgary, and they said it was a good place to stay. So that's where we're headed when we get there...we're having dinner with the 2 WIT couples while there. AND we're definitely going to Drumheller!!!   So I gotta go...and start posting my daily journal...I'm glad we're behind you by a few days. We have cold blustery weather here in Dubois WY, but nothing like the hard rains you've had for 9 days or more.
Klondike Susie (aka Salty Adventurer)
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 07:32:36 PM »
May 31   Day 14  (A SUNNY DAY WITH NO RAIN!) Stony Plain, AB

What a difference seeing the sun makes!  We broke camp and drove 20 minutes to our new, lovely home, Camp 'n Class. 

We learned at check-in that this is a special weekend--Rodeo Weekend.  We are going to join their festivities, and may spend extra time here.  We went to the Visitors' Centre and got lots of helpful information.  We went over to the rodeo grounds to check out accessibility, which looks good.  They have a large carnival going on with lots of rides, and fair food--cotton candy, etc. 

We then went to the Pioneer Museum & Museum Tea House, where I had sauerkraut soup--don't knock it until you've tried it; it was very good!  Germans were the first Europeans to establish a permanent settlement here.  The Stony Indians followed the buffalo, and the city is named for them.  We met the facility manager, and he gave us a rich history and wants us to come back for more.  We will try to squeeze that in because he promised us a personalized tour.

We then drove out to Chickakoo Lake to see "all the birds," but we only saw a few blackbirds.  It was an interesting drive, though, and was only about 20 minutes from our campground.   We saw lots of pretty country, farms, and new houses for sale with "walk-out basements."  It's interesting to see the features that are important in different areas.

Now, we're off to the rodeo--it's just across the street from the RV park.  No bull riding, but the cows are making LOUD sounds. 

Tomorrow there's the parade and pancake breakfast.  It sounds like fun, but rain is headed our way, so we may be practical and do what we had originally planned.

Staying at Camp 'n Class--$51.50 includes WiFi and TV for 3 days, Ggavel/asphalt roads, recycling, FHU, Cable TV, WiFi, wide, long spaces with a patio table and bench at each site with a patterned cement patio, green grass at each site, and NO mud. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SargeW

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 08:05:29 PM »
I don't know if this is too late or not, but here is a link to my journal from last years Alaska trip. The first entry describes my solution to the internet costs in Alaska. We went with a Canadian company "Telus".  Made terrific financial sense.  http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,54670.0.html
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 02:52:55 PM »
June 1   Day 15  (Overcast day, no rain until evening!) Stony Plain, AB

A funny thing happened on the way to the Jantzen Nature Center.  We had chosen to go to the Jantzen because rain is predicted for the next two days.  We put the address into the GPS, and it took us to the Royal Alberta Museum. 

Dean planned this trip, and being an engineer, he used  EXCEL, which puts all the information in a grid.  I have planned all the other trips using Word (paragraphs of information), and I find this grid difficult to use.  Apparently, my eyes skipped down a line, and I put in the wrong address.  So, we decided to stay and see the museum.

First, we went one block from the museum to Original Joe's for lunch.  We had eaten there 4 years ago, and it is just as wonderful now as it was then.  They serve Alley Kat Apricot beer, and it is wonderful--the last beer I had was 4 years ago at the same place.  They have the best potato salad on the planet, and all their food is fantastic.  It's a chain, and I hope to get to eat at another one on our way home.  There was plenty of food for another meal of leftovers.

We had planned to stay 6 or 7 hours at the museum, and we only had 3 hours.  They have quality displays of aboriginal culture, the animals of Canada, a superb natural history area with impressive gems and minerals, and a great temporary exhibit, "Chinese Restaurants", which addressed the whole Chinese experience, not just restaurants. 

In 1885 Chinese had to pay a $50 head tax to be able to come into Canada; in 1900, that was raised to $100; in 1930, they raised it to $500 (the equivalent of 2 years of earnings, but it took much longer to pay it off because of expenses).  They had to eat, though they ate on the cheap.  Sixteen people would rent a one-bedroom apartment, put in 4 bunk beds, and when one man left for work, another was returning.  If Chinese got government jobs in 1936, they were paid $1.12 per hour versus $2.50 for the white man. 

In 1939, the Chinese were branded "allied aliens" and barred from the military.  In 1942, a limited number of Chinese men were allowed to join the military.  In 1944, many Chinese men were drafted into service.  In 1947, the Chinese Immigration Act was repealed.

The Chinese established these little cafe's, which became a gathering place for people of all colors.  They served mostly Canadian food, with only a couple of Chinese dishes.  They did several different jobs simultaneously--perhaps laundry, tailoring, babysitting, all while cooking and serving customers.  They learned the tastes that white people liked.  They discovered they like food that was deep fried, while the Chinese main way of cooking was steaming, and secondly stir frying in a wok.  They learned that the whites liked breaded food and sweet sauces.  There were many visual exhibits and first person stories.  Chop suey was considered "pig food" by the Chinese, and they laughed at the idea of selling it to whites as a meal.  When they had leftover vegetables, which they grew themselves, they used to feed it to their pigs.  They learned that white people liked the same food when they cooked it in the wok.  As generations passed, they became assimilated, studied hard, entered professions, and their cafes were sold.  One young restauranteer, is still running his great-great-grandfather's restaurant, and he talked about the evolution of the menu.  We hope to visit Lingnan, as it is rated the #1 Chinese eatery in AB.  As successive generations of immigrants have come, they start as waiters and then open their own restaurants. 

On our way home, we noticed again what terrible drivers Edmontonians are.  As I commented that it was amazing that there weren't more accidents, we came across two serious accidents where the cars were in multiple parts and EMTs were on scene, within 2 blocks.  It's almost like a game of Chicken--really not very sensible or polite.  We also went through a traffic circle or roundabout that had traffic signals--a first-time experience for us.

Staying at Camp 'n Class--$51.50/day includes WiFi and TV for 3 days, Gravel/asphalt roads, recycling, FHU, Cable TV, WiFi, wide, long spaces with a patio table and bench at each site with a patterned cement patio, green grass at each site, and NO mud.

June 2   Day 16  (Rain throughout the day) Stony Plain, AB

We went to the Telus World of Science because it is indoors--out of the rain, and we found it interesting when we were here last time.  Dean wanted to see Body World (an extra exhibit that travels and is expensive), a display of real human bodies, showing their internal structures and organs in various poses.  The bodies have been plasticized .  This is the third Body World exhibit Dean has seen, each different from the last.  I went to the first.  It was interesting, but once was enough for me, so I spent time in their free "Mystery Avenue" gallery solving a crime.  By matching footprints, fingerprints, saliva on clothing, a total of 12 different evaluations, I correctly deduced Whodunit.   

Another gallery focused on "The Body Fantastic", and I learned several new things.  There were many interactive exhibits.  We skipped the 2 shows at the IMAX.  Total cost of admissions--Body World is an expensive add-on-- was between $46-48. 

We bought popcorn and soda because it was dinnertime, but the museum didn't close until 9, and we wanted to see it all.  When we paid for the popcorn, we learned that all of Alberta has eliminated the penny.  They round up to the nearest nickel those bills that end in a 3,4,8, or 9.  They round down to the nearest nickel bills ending in 1,2,6, and 7.

We went up to the Explorer Gallery and did brain teasers and puzzles.  Dean spent a LONG time trying to figure out a rope going through a building without crossing itself--the sign said no one had ever solved it.  I wonder if it was solvable.

Dean agreed to going to Lingnan for Chinese food (one of the restaurants in the display at the Alberta Museum yesterday).  The same family has owned it since 1947, and they have been in the same building for the last 55 years.  It doesn't look like much on the outside, but they have added decorative touches through the years.  The ceiling is dragon tiles, and it reminded me of the Chinese restaurants my grandparents took me to when I was a kid, though it was larger. 

We started with crispy egg rolls.   I didn't recognize what they were when they came.  They looked exactly like baked potatoes, but they were filled with pork and vegetables and quite good.  Our meals were delicious, but not cheap.  However, we had enough leftovers to make another meal.

Staying at Camp 'n Class--$51.50/day includes WiFi and TV for 3 days, Gravel/asphalt roads, recycling, FHU, Cable TV, WiFi, wide, long spaces with a patio table and bench at each site with a patterned cement patio, green grass at each site, and NO mud.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 02:55:52 PM »
I don't know if this is too late or not, but here is a link to my journal from last years Alaska trip. The first entry describes my solution to the internet costs in Alaska. We went with a Canadian company "Telus".  Made terrific financial sense.  http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,54670.0.html
Thanks for the help.  We are going to rely on parks, cafes, and libraries for internet, so my postings may be sporadic.  I know for sure that there was good internet at the restaurant in Tok; I think its name was Fast Eddy's, but I'll recognize it when I see it.  We added up the cost, and it was just more than we want to pay, so we'll limp along and look forward to Alaska.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 11:10:33 PM »
June 4   Day 18 (Sunny all day, Hurrah!) Stony Plain, AB

I've always disliked the database on my Jeep's GPS, and discs are very expensive (more than a whole new Garmin).  After the GPS failed to get us back to our RV campground 5 days ago, and took us on a 50-minute drive to get to the movies that are only 10 minutes away, I was done with it.  Yesterday, at COSTCO I wanted to buy a new Garmin.  It was even on sale.  Dean said he wasn't ready yet, that he wanted to tear apart the one we had, something he's been saying for a while.  I asked him when this was really going to happen.  So, we have signed up for another day in Edmonton, and he is working on it.

The GPS is working well now, so we took off for the West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, to window shop and see "Now You See It."  The movie had a great story, superb acting, twists and turns ($8)--we both gave it an "A", but the snack bar was the most expensive ever--$20.20 for 2 popcorns and 1 drink.  We enjoyed watching the skating lessons at the full-sized ice skating rink, the 2-story climbing ropes and chains with the climbers strapped into harnesses, and the wide variety of stores--every chain store in the U S must be represented here.  They have a waterpark with a huge pool and a beach.  It was a Tuesday night at 6:30, and many stores had no customers--economy???--but many stores were very upscale, too.

Staying at Camp 'n Class
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Jeff

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 01:03:53 AM »
Linda:

I also have unlimited data from Verizon and last summer we spent a month in the Canadian Maritimes again. I was able to switch our voice over to North America for $10 or $20 a month and purchased data in 300k increments for checking email when I couldn't find local WIFI to use. That did not change my data package in the US. It was amazing how far I could stretch 300k by quickly shutting down when email downloaded.

When you reach Alaska your US rates should apply.

Henry Wishard

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 10:07:29 AM »
    Hello, Dean and Linda. We are leaving Whitehorse this morning and heading north. I sure hope we cross trails somewhere and formally meet you guys. We will be staying extended time somewhere around Anchorage in mid July. The grand kids will be arriving July 11th along with my son. Happy Trails!  Protect your toad windshield, " I didn't". 
Henry & Margaret Wishard
12625 Lake Vista Dr
Willis, Texas 77318
2017 Tiffin Open Road

2012 Jeep Rubicon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 10:09:57 AM »
Linda:

I also have unlimited data from Verizon and last summer we spent a month in the Canadian Maritimes again. I was able to switch our voice over to North America for $10 or $20 a month and purchased data in 300k increments for checking email when I couldn't find local WIFI to use. That did not change my data package in the US. It was amazing how far I could stretch 300k by quickly shutting down when email downloaded.

When you reach Alaska your US rates should apply.

Interesting!  i should have you talk with them.  I called first.  Dean didn't believe it possible, so he called, and he talked with 2 different people because he didn't believe the first man knew what he was talking about.  What you did sounds like what we did 4 years ago, but we are told it is not available now.  I called to find out Verizon to see if I could call toll-free numbers, and they re-iterated their policy again.  All calls, except to Verizon, are 89 cents per minute or switch over to the North America plan and lose our unlimited data and add $30/month to our cost.

We are looking forward to being in the US again.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 10:18:54 AM »
    Protect your toad windshield, " I didn't".
We hope to meet you, too.  We'll be in Anchorage twice, June 27 for about a week, and the other may work--July 18-21.  Our kids are looking at flying up, too.  Dean wants to know if you cracked the windshield and where specifically the problem occurred.  Our windshield is currently bare, and we didn't have problems in our 3-month trip in '09.  May good fortune bless you trip!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Henry Wishard

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2013, 10:49:59 AM »
   Has a big star about the size of a quarter . Didn't notice it until last nite after the Follies. Washed it yesterday and noticed several rocks laying in the vent tray. I should had use some cardboard and tape on the toad.
Henry & Margaret Wishard
12625 Lake Vista Dr
Willis, Texas 77318
2017 Tiffin Open Road

2012 Jeep Rubicon

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2013, 03:48:17 PM »
Dean and Linda, we head into Canada in 5-6 days. You're so far ahead of us...hope we can meet up somewhere in Alaska this summer! Can you send me your itinerary on my email at susanalt.businessword@yahoo.com pls?  Then I'll compare and see if our paths will cross...we need to tip a few together and share outlandish stories for an evening or two!  Suz
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2013, 01:48:04 AM »

June 5   Day 19      Jasper, BC

We left early in the hopes of seeing wildlife.  We saw lots of beautiful country and one large elk in between swishes of our windshield wipers.  There was lots of fog in the distance, obscuring the mountains.  After paying our $19.60 park entrance fee for one day, we drove over 30 miles to our Whistler campsite, through the tourist town of Jasper.  There were lots of restaurants and souvenir shops. 

We've been told if you wait 30 minutes, odds are that the weather will change.  Since it was pouring when we got to our site, we waited, and not only did it change, but the sun came out! 

We quickly hooked up, and then we went exploring.  We found one elk resting in our campground (Picture 1).  Information we were given said that the cows try to avoid the bulls while they are giving birth and until their young are old enough (July 1), so they come into the campgrounds because the bulls won't follow them.  We just drove around and found one more behind trees where we could enjoy seeing him but couldn't get a decent picture.  Dark clouds came overhead, and it had just started raining when we got back to the RV.  Within 1 minute, it was pouring again.

Staying at Whistler Campground, $47, 30 amps, water, sewer, pull-thru,

June 6   Day 20   Prince George, BC

We got up early and got dressed quickly so we could open the drapes and maybe see bears or elk wandering through camp.   Within a minute of opening up, we saw 2 deer grazing, (Picture 1), just one circle of sites from ours.  After a few minutes, they moved out of sight, so we prepared the RV for departure.  We glanced up just in time to see the 2 adult deer and a young deer run across the front of our RV site.  Then they stopped to graze for a few more minutes.  They had been spooked by a man walking his dog.  The smallest squirrels I've ever seen frolicked in the grass and scampered around the trees. 

Dean had a clear driving day of mostly new pavement--really smooth and quiet--with a backdrop of a variety of trees.  The only wildlife I saw was the hind end of a white-tailed deer with its lovely tail swishing.

We crossed a time zone and picked up an hour.  We decided to drive around PG for a while.  We ended up at a nice, little casino, where a man from Smithers, BC, told me that the road we were planning on taking (Hwy. 37) was flooded and the bridge was out.  He said "the boys" might have it fixed by now.  I made less than $5, and Dean made $8, but we had fun and got to talk with locals.

 We found the website for British Columbia highways with our park WiFi.  We will probably have some good-sized frostheaves and a 20-minute delay for construction tomorrow, but it's nothing major now (or at least that's what we're hoping).  We will secure the eggs well.

Staying at Sintich RV Park--$34--close to town, 50 amps, pull-thru, FHU, excellent WiFi, and we are almost in the farthest RV site, good-sized, gravel sites, good cable TV reception, but many channels are not available, and those that are available aren't good.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ocsnbjs

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2013, 02:21:48 AM »
We are currently in Fairbanks and have been here 3 weeks with 2 more to go. Last week was beautiful highs in the 70's. this week not so nice colder and rain. We did not bring our coach we are staying on base visiting our daughter and her husband who is in the Army. Anyways the weather is to warm up again starting tomorrow. We miss our coach every time we go to the Walmart and see all the coaches, maybe next year we will make the drive. Have a safe trip.
2004 Monaco Diplomat
Tandem tow
GMC Envoy
Harley Ultra

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2013, 01:37:51 AM »
We are currently in Fairbanks and have been here 3 weeks with 2 more to go. Last week was beautiful highs in the 70's. this week not so nice colder and rain.
Thanks for the weather info--it is really possible to have clear days???  We got rain here in Prince George off-and-on all day.  I hope you get to make the trek through Alaska.  So far ours has been pretty uneventful, but I know the wildlife is yet to come and wonders await us.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2013, 03:12:30 AM »
June 7   Day 21   Prince George, BC

We decided to stay another day and clean up a messy computer situation.  Our old computer had a small glitch which was fixed months ago, but it couldn't run programs Dean needed.  Dean bought a new computer, but hadn't loaded on all the programs.  I wanted to do e-mail, and the old computer does that well.  However, it can't access the Wifi here.  The new computer can access the WiFi beautifully, but it didn't have the e-mail set up. 

My teaching partner and good friend passed away at age 52 Tuesday.  Less than a month ago, we had vacationed together in San Diego.  I'm so glad Dean and I are living each day to the fullest, as are you other RVers.   

I needed to take care of business, so we each did what we needed to do, did some shopping, had a delightful lunch at Red Robin, and then went to the movies.  Am I glad that we went to the first showing at 5:20 because when we came out there was a madhouse of people.  Do not go to the movies in PG on Friday night unless you go to the first showing.  They change the movies on Friday, and everyone is at the only movie theatre in town.

It rained off and on all day with periods of sunshine.

Staying at Sintich RV Park
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2013, 10:18:12 PM »
Linda, so sorry to hear of your teaching partner's death. We really relate to your comment about living life to the fullest each day...life is so fragile that every day is precious.  Tomorrow while we're on the road, I'm going to try to compare your itinerary with ours and see where and when we might meet up. Til then, enjoy.
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2013, 12:43:59 AM »
June 8      Day 22      Dawson Creek, BC
In an earlier post I had mentioned pictures, but the I-Photo had done an update and of course, those updates never come with instructions.  I often post after Dean has gone to bed, but tonight I got him to help me right after dinner.  So I now have the picture of the elk from Jasper campground (Pic 1) and the deer who were grazing outside the motorhome (Pic 2).

Today was the BEST day of our trip and the WORST day of our trip!  We diverted to Hwy. 97, and came through Chetwynd.  We really enjoyed the chainsaw carvings when we came through here in '09. I wanted to stop at the Visitors' Center and pick up a map so we could go see the new ones.  As we drove to the VC, I was awed by the beauty of the ones we passed. 

A sign said, "International Chainsaw Carving Championship, June 6-9."  That meant we could go see them actually being done!  It wasn't raining, so we snapped a few pictures of winners from 2012 while we could.  They always put the preceding year"s winners by the VC.  Although they are primarily nature-themed, my favorite was Picture 3.

We grabbed a quick bite at Tim Horton's, a first time to eat there for us.  Then we drove over to the carving area.  The aroma of freshly cut wood permeated the air.  It was wonderful.  They invite 12 carvers each year from around the world to compete.  We saw one carver from Japan, and the others were from Canada and the U. S., split about evenly.  The process is incredible.  There are two artists working on each of the 12 entries.  Some are using chainsaws.  Others are burning wood with a torch to make it black.  Some were using sanders.  One artist wanted to work on the bottom of his piece, so they had brought over a bulldozer, tied the carving on with ropes, and hoisted it in the air.  One artist does his horizontally because all his animals are featured inside a log (like a cave), and wood chips were flying.  There were lots of people, all very considerate of each other, and a feeling of community was in the air as we "oohed" and "aahed."  Each person got to vote for their favorite, and the artist with the most votes will get The Peoples' Choice Award and $1000.  My favorite so far is Picture 4.  They have to be done by noon tomorrow, and the prizes--$5000 for 1st, $3000 for 2nd, $1000 for 3rd and $500 for Carvers' Favorite--will be awarded at 1:00.  Then they will have a Speed Carving Contest at 2:00.

There were about a dozen vendors, and I thought this artist's log homes were really nice. (Picture 5)  They should be at $700-$800 each.  They had wonderful detail, and I'm sure there were a lot of hours invested in each one.

There are now 122 carvings scattered throughout the town, and I want to go see all of them.  However, we had reservations in Dawson Creek because we didn't know the championship would take our sightseeing time, so we decided to drive an hour back here to see the "old" carvings and award ceremony tomorrow. 

We were just humming along the highway, with forest on both sides, when a large dog ran right in front of the RV.  Dean hit the brakes, but to no avail.  We are both pet lovers, so we were both upset.  Why would he be out there?  There weren't any homes nearby.  Dean was even more upset when he saw the smashed front of the coach.  What an awful ending to a wonderful day.

Staying at Northern Lights RV Park--so much better than Mile Zero where we stayed in '09--nice manager, 50 amps, spacious, level sites, gravel, FHU, $40.50, less than $1 more than Mile Zero
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2013, 12:46:22 AM »
Tomorrow while we're on the road, I'm going to try to compare your itinerary with ours and see where and when we might meet up. Til then, enjoy.
Sounds like a great plan to me!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2013, 09:17:37 PM »
Hi Linda & Dean,
      So sorry to learn about the recent death of your former colleague and friend. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to you.
      Years ago, I purchased a large chainsaw carved eagle in Idyllwild. Jonathan Le Benne, the artist, carved it as I watched. It is on display in my mountain cabin and I treasure it! Jonathan also carved the totem pole which stood for many years in downtown Idyllwild. It recently had to be removed due to wood rot and insect damage.
       How dreadful about the dog & your motorhome. I'm sure that you did all you could to avoid hitting it. I feel your pain.
       Take care!
                                                                        All the best,
                                                                                Bonnie

 

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