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Author Topic: Alaska with the Stocks 2013  (Read 28196 times)

Jeff

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #150 on: July 30, 2013, 01:01:11 AM »
Linda:

Valdez to Haines Junction was a two day trip for us, no wonder you were worn out.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #151 on: July 30, 2013, 01:29:27 AM »
July 29         Day 73      Haines, AK

The park in Haines Junction was full last night when we arrived around 8:00.  We were so surprised when we opened our drapes and found the park empty when we were ready to leave at 11:00.

If yesterday was an "F" (and that's too high a grade), today was an "A+".  From the moment we entered Highway 3, the Haines Highway, it was as smooth as silk until the last few miles coming into Haines where it got a little bumpy.  I couldn't believe that the Yukon had any roads of this premium quality.  We noticed yesterday that all the lakes and rivers seemed overly full.  In fact, one lane of the highway going northbound was shut down because the water had come up above the ditch and covered the lane.  Road crews were hard at work.  The only complaint that I have today is that the Yukon kilometerposts are teeny tiny sticks on the drivers' side.

About an hour into the drive, at noon, we saw a car headed northbound, and the driver was watching a bear.  One of my fondest memories of our previous trip was frequently seeing bears by the side of the road, stopping, throwing open the RV door, taking photos, and being entertained.  This year we have seen zero roadside bears, so I really really wanted to go back and see him. He was in a gorgeous wide green meadow, well away from trees, just munching away.  Fireweed is blooming like crazy in brilliant magenta.  That picture would be so amazing we could have it professionally framed and hang it in our house.  Sometimes Dean is a saint.  He drove another 15 minutes before we came to a place we could make a U-turn.  We drove back past the spot, and that bashful bear was GONE!  It cost us 30 minutes and a lot of disappointment.

About an hour later (45 minutes from the last spot), I saw another bear in a meadow.  It took a fair distance to stop the motorhome, and it took several minutes for Dean to hurdle the cat's litter box which is holding the refrigerator in place and get his camera, and then assemble it and bring it forward.  Dean walked all the way back to "the spot", and that bear was gone, too.  We saw bear scat at several places on the road, so we know they are plentiful.

My suggestion to those who follow us is to go fairly slowly when you get to the section of the Milepost that mentions bears because they don't stay in the same place for long.  We didn't see any of the tundra swans, but at least I had the pleasure of seeing two bears. 

Not only was the road beautiful today, the scenery was too.  We ate lunch looking out at this pretty glacier.  (Picture 1) There were meadows, rivers, trees, and bunches of wildflowers.

Last Wednesday, on our first Stan Stephens cruise in Valdez, I was enjoying clam chowder, and my new crown that was put in in May fell out.   Valdez and Haines only have one dentist each, and they're both on vacation.  .  Dentists all over this part of Alaska are on vacation--I know because I've called and googled.  One dentist's office manager suggested that we go the hospital emergency room (What good would that do?) or to Juneau.   So, as soon as we got in today at 3:00, I started calling and finally got an appointment in Juneau for Wednesday.  The only way to Juneau is by plane or boat.  I called the ferry, and the fast ferry wasn't running from Haynes tomorrow, so we have to take the slow ferry.  I hoped to be able to leave early and enjoy the day in Juneau,, but the only space was on the 5:00 ferry.  We have to be there at 3:00, and it's a 4-hour ride.  Then I tried to get a hotel.  The Juneau hotels are booked with a "Search" meeting/convention.  We are paying $152/night + taxes for an old hotel by the airport.  But, we had to stay somewhere.  Oh, and we have to be at the ferry on Friday at 5:00 AM, and we're not early rising people.  Challenges!

Good news!  The Bear-itto Bakery & Eatery is still in business, and we'll try to get some raspberry bars tomorrow.  They also have wonderful breads, too.  We'll buy a couple loaves when we return from Juneau.

Bad news!  We went out to the weir to see our bear.  He wasn't there.  Our favorite parking place is now a designated Native protected area with a totem pole and roped off with flags and "No Trespassing" signs.  Also, the place by the weir that we park at is now parking prohibited and people are not allowed to get out of their cars, probably because of some bear-stupid person.  In Portage Valley,  I was told by a ranger that there was a visitor who was trying to pet a bear. 

We ate out at the Lighthouse.  Their food is good, not great, and very expensive for what it is.

Staying at Haynes Hitch-Up RV Park--$279.15/6 nights (we're keeping the coach here while we go to Juneau, which is rapidly becoming a very expensive trip), 50 amps, FHU, goooood cable TV, grrrrreat WiFi
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 01:33:52 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 #152 on: July 30, 2013, 01:32:08 AM »
Linda:

Valdez to Haines Junction was a two day trip for us, no wonder you were worn out.

Dean did the planning on this trip.  Believe me, I thought, "This should have had a stop at Destruction Bay," when we stopped there and bought an ice cream.  Dean was starting to yawn, and I thought he needed to have a reason to get up and walk around.  It was 300 miles, which I'm OK with on an interstate, but not on that road.
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 #153 on: August 04, 2013, 03:25:12 AM »
July 31      Day 75      Juneau

I walked into Dr. Logan's office fearful that in the week we'd spent finding a dentist to affix my crown that I had damaged the tooth.  Would he be able to save the tooth?  Would it require extended days of dentistry?  Would I need to have another crown made?  So much could have gone wrong.  Instead, he told me that I had chipped off a small piece, but he would be able to just clean it off, apply dental glue, and pop that crown back on.  Hurrah!  And, it only cost $80.  I think I would have paid that back home.  Whoopee!
We celebrated by going to the Capitol.

The Capitol is located in the midst of other tall buildings in downtown and does not look like a capitol except for marble columns in front.  Dean couldn't stand back far enough to get a picture because of all the other buildings that surround the Capitol, so he took a picture of the picture shown on a TV screen. (Picture 1)  The building was begun in 1910 as the federal building and the territorial capitol at a cost of $700,000.  (Picture 2)  They only had $350,000, so the residents of Juneau raised the remaining money because they were so passionate about wanting the capital in their city.  The designer whose plan was chosen got $25,000, plus a bonus because he used some Alaskan marble.  The capitol is made of concrete.  While it was being built, the first legislature met in the Elks Hall in 1913.   Originally they had no offices or staff.  In 1931, they needed more room, so they kicked out the museum and the library.  The library was stuffed with Alaskan artifacts and a big stuffed moose.

The only change they have made is to remove the ornamentation around the perimeter of the roof because it was falling down.  It has no dome or rotunda or ornamental anything--definitely "The Plainest Capitol."

The tour guide had a great personality.  He couldn't brag a lot about the capitol, so he bragged about Alaska, telling us that if you cut it in half, Alaska would be the #1 and #2 largest states.  Juneau is also the biggest capital city in the United States (in area).  Alaska is the northernmost, easternmost, and westernmost state because part of the Aleutian Islands cross the international dateline.  The federal government owns 95% of the land in Alaska.  Alaska has the highest active military presence in the United States.  It is illegal to farm fish in Alaska.

Our guide took us to the House Finance Committee Room to show us the Alaska flag.  Then he took us to the House of Representatives (Pictures 3 & 4).  Legislators work from January to April, and have a salary of $50,000.  Juneau can be reached only by plane or boat, so there are 16 legislative offices throughout the state.  Citizens can go there and watch proceedings and participate by giving information and testimony.  Legislators MUST VOTE YES OR NO on every issue. There is no abstaining.  If they aren't present, the Capitol Police are sent to go get them.  There are NO TIES.  There are an even number of senators and representatives, so if a tie occurs, they keep voting until it is decided.  However, this doesn't happen because have so many more Republicans than Democrats.  The government is very red now.  26 of the 40 representatives are republican, as is the Senate and governor.   They are not allowed to bring in any handbags, computers, I-Pads, smart phones or electronics.  However, they have made provision for the future by installing plug-ins at their desks.  (Picture 5)  There are no term limits.  Representatives have two-year terms, and senators have four-year terms.

Hinkle is the only governor to be elected as an Independent.   Hinkle was chosen by Nixon to be the secretary of the interior, the only Alaskan cabinet member.  However, Nixon fired him because he sent Nixon a letter disagreeing with his war policies.  In order to vote you must live in Alaska one full year and not be convicted of a felony.

College tuition here is $2000 per semester.  However, there are many scholarships available, and our guide makes a profit of $1000 per semester. 

We had a good lunch at The Broiler on our way to the next stop, The Glacier Gardens.  It was originally the Mendenhall Dairy.  Picture 6 shows Lee Smith, who collected milk from 4 dairies and took it into downtown Juneau to be pasteurized.  His son worked with him during his teens, and he told me who he was as he started the tour.  He helped the dairy farmer with gathering and chopping the grass from the tidal flats that they used for cattle feed.  As he left, he told me that all the dairies closed in 1966, but he didn't say why.

This had originally been glacial land, and in  1984 there was a massive landslide. (Picture 7)  The state didn't want the liability of holding onto the land, so they sold it to Steve.  He had a background in horticulture.  He started with little machinery.  The job was so massive that he ended up renting a $250,000 bulldozer.  He promised his wife that he wouldn't wreck it, but he accidentally ran into a huge rock, causing major damage.  He was so mad that he picked up a tree and threw it upside down into the soil.  He got the idea of planting "upside-down trees."  He then put sphagnum moss in the roots that were sticking up in the air and put a variety of plants in the moss.  (Picture 8)  He won first place in a Readers' Digest selection for it.  You get a wonderful, informative golf cart tour through a tropical forest that he has carved from that landslide.  They take you up to the top where you can see the whole valley, airport, and pier area.  We spent an hour there, and was educational as well as enjoyable.  I had a buy one/ get one free coupon from Alaska Toursaver, so it only cost us $25.  It is definitely my #1 pick of places to go in Juneau. 

We still had lots of daylight, and we headed to Mendenhall Glacier (Picture 9).  It's still massive, but it is in a massive retreat.  Fifty years ago, it receded 60 feet.  In 2011, it receded 437 feet.  The Visitors Center had a good 15-minute film and exhibits.  It cost $5 if you don't have a Golden Age Pass.  There is an impressive waterfall of water that flows from it (Picture 10). 

Ever since Denali, I've been hearing about how moose love "kettle ponds."  I thought they were shaped like a kettle, with the spout being the in-flow.  In reality, they form when a large chunk of glacial ice is buried by silt and slowly melts away, leaving an empty space where the ice was.  This space fills with rainwater and forms permanent ponds.

We saw so much of Juneau today that we have decided to try to catch the ferry back to Haines tomorrow morning.

Cat is staying in RV at Haines Hitch-up Park--$47/night.
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 #154 on: August 04, 2013, 03:27:32 AM »
More pictures
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 #155 on: August 04, 2013, 03:34:00 AM »
August 1      Day 76   Haines, AK

We got up at 4:00 AM to try to catch the early ferry from Juneau back to Haines.  Travelodge was kind enough to refund our $152 that we had paid for the third day.  Interestingly, they would not have done that if we had booked from a site like Expedia; we would have had to work it out with Expedia.  But, the Travelodge rate was the same as the "cut-rate" websites, so I had booked it through them, so I was given an immediate refund.

The ride was smooth.  We ate last night's leftovers for brunch in the ferry cafeteria.  They kindly provide you with eating utensils and microwave access.

Dean wanted a burger when we got off, so we went to Bear-itto's, my 2009 trip's favorite bakery anywhere.  I figured that while Dean ate his burger, I'd buy a couple of loaves of bread and some of their wonderful raspberry bars.  Well, my bakers have returned to Tucson.  Two years ago they had 35' of snow.  Last summer, the thermometer only hit 70 three times (Yes, Marsha, I remember your stories of cold and rain.)   Then this winter they had another 35' of snow, and it came early and was still giving significant snow on May 21.  I don't think we've had 3 days under 70 since we hit Alaska.  We have been very lucky.  So, they moved back to Tucson, and returned the bakery to its previous owner, a friend of theirs, who is a very nice guy, but not a good cook.  I had a small gyro, and it tasted like he used powdered yogurt in it (is there such a thing?).  Anyway, it was the worst gyro I've ever had, and the smallest, which was fine because I wasn't really hungry and it was so low in quality.  Dean wanted to buy raspberry bars and cinnamon rolls (they are small, which was fine, too).  I nibbled on one tonight, and it is really dry and also not good.  His baker is off on a binge, so there wasn't any bread, but I wouldn't want to buy any now anyway.

We passed by a farmers' market outside the local grocery and stopped.  They were selling grills and smokers, and I talked with the man about what he was making and how he does it.  He was using Traegers Veggie Spice on onions and was smoking salmon, which smelled delicious.  I wanted to buy some of his spice for our fresh fish and corn-on-the-cob tonight.  When I went into the sporting goods store where he said the grills and spices were, they had none.  Then we went into the grocery spice section, and they had none, too.  I found the man, and he checked in back and found they needed to re-order.  But, he GAVE me a container with enough for a couple of dozen ears of corn.

We unloaded, and Dean headed for the pier to buy fresh fish.  But, alas, I had too much fun talking, and all the fish markets closed at 4:00, and it was almost 5:00.  So we'll have fresh fish tomorrow night.
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 #156 on: August 04, 2013, 03:40:29 AM »
August 2   Day 77      Haines

This afternoon Dean went down to the dock to buy fresh halibut.  He was told at the fish stores that the halibut season is over here, and all that is available is frozen.  So, he bought that.

We then went to the Visitors Center, a small, busy bungalow with knowledgeable people.  We spent 10 minutes there and the Klukwans are building a new cultural center and not performing, so we will miss their dancing and storytelling a second time. 

We headed to the Sheldon Museum.  Admission to this small museum was $5, but I learned many new facts.  The Klingits were fierce warriors and guarded their trade routes viciously.  They traveled as far as Southern California to trade.  They were having an exhibit of reptile paintings by Tim Shields, a Haines artist tonight.  He let us come in while he was setting up.  His SO is a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Mosquito Lake (20 miles outside Haines) teaching 17 students K-5 with one assistant.   She showed me her Russian tortoise (Picture 1) and gave me insight to how she copes with all the grade levels. 

The artist is a biologist whose specialty is desert biology, but he loves the solitude up here, so he paints instead.  He had lots of dinosaur pictures, but my favorite was this whimsical King Kong picture with its colorful iguana and high fliers.

We drove out to the weir again, about a 10 minute drive each way, but still no bears.  Maybe tomorrow.

Dean barbequed halibut on a cedar plank, and it was delicious.

Staying at Haines Hitch-up Park--$47/night.
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 #157 on: August 04, 2013, 03:49:56 AM »
August 3   Day 78      Haines

Today was our lucky day!  We went to the American Bald Eagle Foundation on the morning ofthe dedication of the Perry Bigbee Bald Eagle Mew (a special large cage for birds).  Admission is free until noon, but we made a nice donation to help further their work.  After noon, it costs $8.

We got there just in time to see the two juvenile bald eagles being fed rabbit, quail, and fish.  (Picture 1)  I figured they were feeding a mixed diet because fish is so expensive, but it is because eagles need fur-bearing or feathered prey to be able to make pellets--just like owls.  They need to make pellets because they can't digest fat, so pellets allow them to expel the fat.  Both eagles had to have part of their wings amputated after they flew into powerlines.

After they fed the eagles, they fed us.  We were served drinks and a delicious cake.

While we were waiting for the next bird, a nice lady came up and asked me where we were from. We had no idea who she was.  I asked if she was a Haines supporter of the ABEF.  I started to move over so her husband could see better.  She said he was fine with where I was because they come every day and had seen the birds many many times.  It turns out that she is the wife of the founder of the ABEF, Dave, who is confined to a wheelchair because he broke his back 26 years ago while building the structure that houses the ABEF.  He had 3 walls in place when the 4th wall fell on him and broke his back.

As we chatted, I told her about how nice people in Haines were,  like the man at the grocery store who gave me the spice.   Then she told me that they own the grocery store where we shopped.  She was the person in the back who searched for our spice.  She told us the history of the store, which is actually an original building with three buildings added onto it, creating a large store.  This is how many of the homes here have been expanded, too.

When the young Eurasian eagle owl , the largest owl in the world, was brought out.  The first thing I noticed was her heavily-feathered talons.  (Picture 2)  Zoologists think the talon feathers may be to muffle sound for silent flight or for warmth, since they do live in mountainous areas. She had fluffy baby feathers on her breast and adult feathers on her back.  She is beginning to get the tufts of feathers that will create little "horns" on her head, so she will look similar to a horned owl.

We made one last attempt to see the bear and her 4 cubs that frequent the weir.  On our last trip, every time we went out there--10 miles--we saw the bear.  This time, we are batting zero.  We drove slowly, waited at the turn-around to give her more time, then returned.  We did see mergansers (Picture 3), who would not turn around and look at the camera. 

This must be the Year of the Bald Eagle.  They have entertained us at so many different places.  Today's story...
Picture 3--The eagle left his high branch on an evergreen, and said, "Gone fishin'."
Picture 4--Not really hungry?  Did he forget why he flew down?  Alzheimers?  He flew          back to his high perch.
Picture 5--Calling to every possible friend nearby, "I'm here!"
Picture 6--"Is someone coming?"

Weather was overcast, making the skies hazy.  High of only 68 and cool and damp enough that we'll close our windows tonight for the first time in a long time.

Staying at Haines Hitch-Up--so good that I wrote a review for RVparksreview.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #158 on: August 04, 2013, 07:47:05 AM »
Great tales, Dean & Linda. Brings back fond memories of our own stay in Haines. Love that area!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #159 on: August 05, 2013, 02:45:39 AM »
Great tales, Dean & Linda. Brings back fond memories of our own stay in Haines. Love that area!
We love Haines, too.  I think my favorite is still Portage Valley, then Seward and Valdez tied for 2nd, then Haines.  A lot of it has to do with what you experience when you're there.  I think Sodoltna would be Henry's, and we never got to stop there on either trip, despite it being planned, because it was too full of fisherpeople.
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 #160 on: August 05, 2013, 02:49:21 AM »
August 4   Day 79      Whitehorse, YT
The drive from Haines to Whitehorse was smooth 95% of the time, with occasional small wake-up calls to keep us alert.  I was a bobblehead looking for the bears we had seen when we came into Haines and for bald eagles through the many miles of the Eagle Preserve.  It was an overcast, cooler day, so I thought they'd be out, but they weren't.  Bears 0, Bald Eagles 1

Border crossing into Canada-was easy--just a few questions.

After the first 40 miles, we encountered thick fog, so we had to slow down a lot.  The fog lasted past 2:00 PM; it didn't burn off like it does at home.

Just past Haines Junction, we stopped at the brand new Da Ku Cultural Center.  We were greeted by a sort-of Native guide.  Two tribes, the Champagne and Aishihik, have combined.  This lady was adopted when she was 9 months by a military family in Quebec.  Her drunken mother had abandoned her, her brother, and her sister when their house burned down.  She has had a challenging life since she ran away from home at 13.  She had a daughter young, which she in turn, gave up for adoption.  She feels that she is being blocked form contacting her now 30-year-old daughter because she was adopted by someone in government who is East Indian.  She had two more children, who she raised and are now independent.  Ten years ago, she returned to her tribal family and has been studying to try to learn all the tribal customs and history.  She is trying to re-capture her heritage.  The artifacts were beautiful, but new, like these beautiful beaded moccasins.  (Pictures 1 & 2)  So much of the history has been lost and re-constructing it accurately from bits and pieces of information is difficult.  Many of the skins had been hand-tanned.  They are teaching members the language.  They are teaching men how to make knives and carve the handles and form the blades.  They are teaching some of the cooking techniques.  However, the moose have moved as the weather here has warmed.

They have a tradition that when a girl had her first cycle and passed to womanhood, she was moved to a separate home, separated from the village so she would not hear tribal members talking.  She wore a big embroided mooseskin hood, like an over-sized sweatshirt hood, and her body was totally covered by blankets, with only her hands exposed so she can sew.  Sewing while she was all covered up was all she did for several weeks or months.  Her mother and female relatives cared for all her needs.  Men patrolled the area lest bears be attracted by her bleeding.  This sounded really extreme to me, especially in a harsh environment where they had to struggle for survival.  Of course, none of the girls today do this.

By the time we left, it was 6:45, and we knew that Whitehorse was over two hours away, but Dean wanted to push on.  It was still light when we saw the Takhini Caribou Herd grazing by the side of the road.  Most were shy and retreated behind trees to watch us (Picture 3), while another boldly approached us and went where other caribou didn't dare to go (Picture 4).  There was only one with a rack, and he was blocked by the RV door.  Dean didn't want to scatter them by going outside the RV.

Staying at Pioneer RV--30 amps, FHU, WiFi, Great Cable TV (100 channels) $90.72
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 #161 on: August 06, 2013, 01:25:29 AM »
August 5   Day 80      Whitehorse, YT

When we were in Whitehorse at the end of May, we visited the eagle viewing area by the Yukon River.  The previous nest became so heavy that during a storm it fell out of the tree.  So the good citizens of Whitehorse built a platform, and placed a new nest in it (Habitat for Humanity for Eagles).  The eagles have since modified it to their liking. 
We went to the eagles' nest several times, hoping that we could hear them when the eaglets hatched.  But, they didn't--until two days after we left.  I have watched them via videocam that was installed by the power company at the same time they rebuilt the eagles' roost.   Technicians created one blackout period when the eagles procured a chihuahua and were tearing it apart to feed the eaglets.  A spectator today told me that there was a second black-out, of which I was unaware, when they got a cat, also.

I have watched t he eaglets have grow and mature, and I was afraid they would be gone before we could get back to Whitehorse.  So the first place I wanted to go on our first morning here was the eagle nest.  I saw them on the videocam before we left, so I knew they were still here.

Even though I've been watching them about every other day. I was amazed at how big they were when I saw them in person, or "in bird."    They mesmerized both of us.  We knew we wanted to do other things, so each time we stayed only 30-60 minutes, and our photos are from all 3 times we visited them today.  They are all stretching their wings (Picture 1).  The three of them don't fit well in the nest at the same time, and seeing all 3 in the same place at the same time only happened once.  (Picture 2)  They flapped their wings a lot, trying to strengthen and build them. (Picture 3)  After proper warm-up exercises, they took flying lessons. (Picture 4)  They got along quite well, despite almost landing on each other.

Several times, I expected this one to be brave and fledge. Determination was on his face. (Picture 5)  He was in total control, graceful and balanced. (Picture 6)  We had lift-off for the first time. (Picture 7)  But he just went straight up!  Two of the eaglets flew from one side of the nest to the other repeatedly.  In the morning, they called and called to their parents, and we couldn't see or hear the parents.  In the afternoon, when the eaglets were making a terrible racket, I thought I heard a parent call back to them from across the highway, but I couldn't find a white head in the trees.  At our evening visit, a parent did return and sit atop a tree 500' away from the eaglets. (Picture 8)  (S)he never called to them, or even looked over at them--truly a parent who believes in tough love and wants to become an "empty nester."

In between eagle watching, we went to the Jeep dealer.  Our Jeep currently only drives in 4-wheel drive, and we want to use 2-wheel drive, so we made an appointment for Wednesday and added a day onto our RV park stay. 

We got lots of information at the modern, lovely Visitors Centre.  They have a separate close parking lot for RVs on one side of the building.  It has drive-thru spaces long enough for the longest RV with the toad attached.  Amazing!  They were very helpful.

We went to Boston Pizza for lunch.  We remembered their good food from our 2009 visit.  They use prime beef in their burgers, and I can really tell the difference.  And the price wasn't too bad.  First time we've been able to get out for less than $30 in a long time, and it was big enough that I had the other half of my lunch for dinner.

Then I went to Bini's for a pedicure.  A lady I met on the Juneau ferry lives here, and she highly recommended her.  It was heavenly!  I seldom splurge on expensive treatments, so when she said it was $52.50, I was shocked.  At home, with a $6 tip, I pay $25.  Wow, this was more than double!  I was there, I wanted a pedicure, and it sounded wonderful.  She worked on my feet and legs for 2 hours without a break.  She used hot rocks, a lovely soaking solution, scrubs, paraffin, hot towels, and lotions, each one smelling better than the one before.  The nail polish was good quality, too.  I think I'd like to be rich.

Back at the RV, as I prepared our meal, I decided that my legs and feet smelled better than our dinner.  Henry, you have to treat Margaret to an appointment at Bini's--5th & Ogelvie.  She'll love you even more!

Staying at Pioneer RV--30 amps, FHU, WiFi, Great Cable TV (100 channels) $90.72/3 nights


« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 01:28:34 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 #162 on: August 06, 2013, 10:40:36 PM »
August 6   Day 81      Whitehorse, YT

We drove our to the eaglets' nest.  Two were snoozing in the nest and one was almost asleep on the rim.  So we moved on.

Next stop was their unique Apple Store.  It is privately owned, not Apple-owned, but the owner is licensed by Apple.  Otherwise, people would have to drive all the way to Edmonton.  He was very helpful, and got Dean's e-mail I-mac account fixed in less than 10 minutes--just a matter of information that Dean needed because it's a new computer, something to do with I-cloud.  Then he let Dean use his phone to call Earthlink, saving us over $100.  EVERY TIME we hit the road, we have to contact Earthlink to get my e-mail to work.  Dean's earthlink e-mail works every time.  Anyway, it's supposedly fixed now.  But, I'm looking for a new provider.

We went to Earl's for lunch--much more expensive than BP yesterday, and I didn't think it was as good.

Then we spent 2 hours driving out to McIntyre Creek on Fish Lake Road.  I had heard from  at least two people, plus the lady at the Visitors Centre, about the large number of  bald eagles and birds, and "lots of bears."  We drove 20 miles round-trip slowly on a good gravel/dirt road.  We saw about 5 mallards.  Booooooo!

A neighbor of ours who was in her late 30's passed away, and we needed to get a sympathy card.  We drove to the Visitors' Centre, and they recommended Shopper's Drugstore, where we got a supply of 5 good sympathy cards.  I figure that having our supply of sympathy cards should guarantee all our friends good health.

We stopped by the eagles' nest again.  No action.

I'm baking sympathy brownies tonight.  Our neighbors here are Pioneer are from Sylmar, California, and they are having more than their fair share of troubles.  And, he hasn't even gotten to Alaska yet.  He came to fish for silvers at Valdez.  He got a hole in his radiator from a large rock on the road, just after crossing the border.  No telephone reception.  He had to detach his toad and drive many miles to a phone.  He got a flatbed to come winch his motorhome up.  They got there at 7:00, and it was way after midnight when they arrived here.  Because it was so late, they parked him outside the repair shop instead of inside.  Good thing!  Because, during the night, his wife smelled smoke, and they were able to get their motorhome moved just before the fire engines arrived.  The building burned to the ground.  So, he needed a new repair shop.  Freightliner has too much business.  They fix big rigs first and will only do RVs if they get all caught up.  A guy has been boondocking outside Freightliner for a week with no idea of when they'll get to him.  Our friend did find another shop to fix him, but the part has to come from Oregon.  It's supposed to come next Monday.  We know what a nightmare waiting for parts in Canada is, as they are totally disorganized and don't use tracking numbers.  A group named Puralator does the deliveries.  You just wait and wait while they repeatedly screw up and never notify you.  And, Customs have to actually speak to you when it comes to Customs, so you can tell them that you are a private individual.   Eventually it does arrive.  We feel so sorry for them, and we count our blessings that it isn't us.  It could be--we drove that same road.

We had another beautiful 70 plus day.  But......When we came home tonight, it started pouring and it has continued--enough so I hope it will clean some of our bugs and juice off our Jeep and motorhome.  We are also hearing loud thunder.

Staying at Pioneer RV--30 amps, FHU, WiFi, Cable TV  $90.72/3 days
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 #163 on: August 10, 2013, 07:25:19 PM »
August 7   Day 82      Whitehorse, YT

We had to decide what we wanted to see in our limited time, and we chose the Yukon Provincial Legislature & Cultural Center because we'd already see the Whitney Museum, which was quite interesting, last time. 

In 1953, the capital moved from Dawson City to Whitehorse.  Although it appears very new and modern, the building is 37 years old.  It cost $10.8 million.  The government has grown considerable in size, so they have to house many departments in other locations. The capitol looks like an office building; it doesn't have a dome or ornate lobby.  It does have a 24-panel acrylic resin mural above the foyer, which is one of the largest in the world.  The scenes show the history of the Yukon. (Pictures 1, 2, 3, 4)

This painting is done by a world-famous Whitehorse artist and depicts the mountains, trees, snow, and people of the Yukon.  (Picture 5)

When we walked into the legislative assembly chamber (LAC), the large, bright, modern tapestry "Fireweed" stood out because it was done in such bright colors--100 of them!  The artist dyed the wool herself.  She spent 1,400 hours and used more than 90 kg of wool--most of it hand spun.  It is supposed to depict the natural resources and landscapes of the Yukon. (Picture 6)

When the Yukon became a separate territory in 1898, they were governed by a federally appointed Commissioner and council.   Shortly thereafter, Yukoners began electing their representatives to the council.  In 1979, total government was turned over to the Yukon.  The Commissioner no longer sits with the cabinet, but he does remain as the Government of Canada's senior representative and has duties similar to a provincial Lt. Governor.  When we asked questions about this role when we visited the provincial capital in Alberta, and also here, the answers about if he really has any power or is merely a figurehead, were very vague.  The brochure from Whitehorse says he "has duties and responsibilities."  When I asked what those duties and responsibilities were, our guide was clueless.  We were told in Edmonton that the lt. governor had to sign each bill, but our guide couldn't remember him ever not signing a bill.     

The receptionist, Fay, took us on a mini-tour of the legislature.  There is only one house, the LAC.  The equivalent of our states' governors is the premier.  There are 19 total assemblymen.  Currently, the Yukon party (conservative) has 12 seats, the New Democratic Party has 6, and is the most liberal party, and the Liberals (who are more middle-of-the-road) have 1 seat.  The speaker breaks ties, but he isn't allowed to ask questions or tell people what he thinks.  With such a lopsided assembly, it sounds like a boring position.  The premier never has exercised his veto power in Fay's memory, and she's been there for 2 decades.  All jobs are full-time, though they only meet for one month in the spring for a budget session and for one month in the fall for legislative business.  It is against the law for them to hold any other job.  They are not allowed to have any laptops, cellphones, or electronic devices.  That's why they have 2 pages.  If they want factual information looked up for discussion, there are 2 clerks.  Their pay depends on how many "portfolios" (cabinet posts) they have.  When they are in session, they start at 1:00, and "may work quite late--I've seen them not finish until 6:00."  Gee whiz!  That's late?  A five-hour workday??   And, they don't meet on Fridays!

Fay also wanted to tell us how well they treat their seniors.  In addition to medical care, they get subsidies for dental work or eyeglasses.  She says there is a shortage of doctors.  1500 people don't have doctors, so they have to use walk-in clinics or emergency rooms.

We went over to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.  It is a very large, gorgeous building designed to be a "meeting place."  However, there is a lack of artifacts; there are only about a dozen displays--not display cases, total displays.  Three First Nations members have made beautiful masks and mukluks, and only one item dated before 2008. (Picture 7) There were a few panels with pictures and words describing a very brief history.  They were holding a dream catcher making class, and they invited us to attend.  The instructor didn't look at all First Nation, and I think they were afraid they wouldn't have many people come.

We took in the Jeep for its appointment, spent $80, found out that we aren't harming it when towing in neutral and driving it in 4-wheel drive.  Rather than staying in Whitehorse longer, we opted to get it fixed at a Jeep dealer, probably in Seattle.

We stopped by the eaglets' nest on this overcast day, and one was just perched on the rim, watching the world.  We could see one's head inside the nest, and the third wasn't visible.  I really wanted to see them fly.  I hope they fledge soon and live happy lives.


Staying at Pioneer RV Park.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 07:27:15 PM 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 #164 on: August 10, 2013, 07:28:02 PM »
August 8   Day 83      Watson Lake, YT

We drove the Alaskan Highway.  In the late afternoon, we had rain, bright, faraway lightning, and an orchestra of loud thunder that rumbled, though it was well separated in time from the lightning.  This is very different from our crackling thunder in SoCal.

Wildlife Count: 1 slow-moving porcupine crossing the highway--still alive when we passed by him.

Staying at Baby Nugget--50 amp, FHU, good pictures, poor programming on Cable TV, WiFi available in office  $45.72 with Good Sam
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 #165 on: August 10, 2013, 07:28:47 PM »
August 9   Day 84      Bob Quinn??, BC

The first 200 miles on the Cassiar were frostheaved, rough road, some gravel, and it beat us to death--totally miserable.  After that it was pretty smooth.  We left at 9:00 AM and stopped at 8:00 PM, and we only made about 270 miles.  We stopped for lunch at Jade City.  Their restaurant isn't built yet, so we ate in the RV.  Their beautiful jade chess sets and jewelry are well worth a 20-minute stop. 

We stopped 27 miles before that at a rest stop and met a fascinating couple from Ontario.  We talked with them for over an hour.  She, too, has the problem of mixed Canada and US usage on her phone. She paid $25 to have her phone permanently "unlocked"  at a little mall shop that sells phone covers.  Then she went to ATT & bought a $25 Sim card.  She paid ATT $25 for a month of unlimited data and 250 talking minutes.  She said that getting an I-Phone unlocked costs $110.  But, every time you go back and forth from US to Canada you just put the other card in.  And, you can re-load your ATT card for more months!  When we go to the Maritimes, I definitely will do that.

We are camped next to an airstrip for helicopters, the Bob Quinn, about 90 miles from Mezidian.  In the Milepost, it said it is illegal to overnight camp in turnouts, so we looked for a rest stop.  This one is even paved.
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 #166 on: August 11, 2013, 08:52:26 AM »
August 10   Day 85      Stewart, BC

We had a beautiful drive with lots of sun, glaciers, big trees (not those scrawny black spruce), lakes, rivers, and bridges.  They are doing a lot of logging, which is clogging up a lot of the streams.  There were a couple of stops for construction projects, but generally the road was quite good.  Dean spotted two black bears in a gully by the road. 

The Bear Glacier (Picture 1) used to cover the valley, and the road was built on much higher ground, but it is receding quickly.

We were hungry, so as soon as we parked the RV, we went to the Seafood Bus.  It's as good as we remembered, but they have no diet drinks.  Then we went to see the bears.  I thought the afternoon was their nap time, and the ranger told Dean that they are at Fish Creek in Hyder from 6:00-10:00 AM and PM.

We stopped at the Bear Festival in Stewart and chatted with the vendors.  Dean bought a huge homemade ice cream sandwich for $3--a real deal.  It had two large chocolate chip cookies with ice cream in the middle.  I wanted lettuce; we haven't had any for several days.  I paid $5 for a small amount of romaine--enough to make us each one salad.

We returned to Fish Creek at 6:30, and there were salmon flopping around everywhere (Picture 2).  However, the only wildlife enjoying the fish was a few gulls.  (Picture 3)

 Finally, at 9:15, Monica came loping through the stream, trying to catch salmon.  She was named after Monica Lewitsky because she was romantically involved with another bear, who they named Bill.  We figured out that she is about 20 years old.  We saw here fishing in this same stream when we were here 4 years ago.  She missed in her lunge, and came up all wet (Picture 4).  Her eyesight may not be perfect, but we saw her get two salmon.  She just ate the skin and eggs because they are full of the protein and fat she will need to get through the winter.  Gulls will eat her leftovers.  She may be old, but I wouldn't want to tangle with her.  Look at those claws!  (Picture 5)  She completely ignored the crowd on the pedestrian bridge and stayed focused until she ran down the river out of sight.  (Picture 6)

Staying at Bear River RV Park--$38.31, 30 amps FHU, Cable TV, WiFi, trees, gravel road and pads.
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 #167 on: August 12, 2013, 03:09:51 AM »

August 11   Day 86      Smithers, BC

Today was another beautiful 80 day.  We got up really early to go see the bears, but we missed all 3 of them.  They were just leaving as we came.  We did see one they call Dog in the distance before he made a U-turn and went out of sight.  We had to be out of our RV park by 11:00 or they charge $10 per hour.

We had a lovely, scenic drive to Smithers.  Our RV park looks out at a melting glacier.  Dean wanted to go out to eat and to a movie, and I think with all the driving he's done, he deserves it.  We went to restaurant after restaurant that are supposed to be open on Sundays, and they were closed.  We finally found a nice restaurant with lots of open tables, but they were completely booked, and they told us that there would be a 40-minute wait.  They said they had too much business since the other 4 or 5 restaurants that were supposed to be open weren't.  We went over to KFC, had a quick bite and to a movie.

For those who follow--put on lots of Deet if you go to see the bears.  I can't believe the no see 'ums can bite through a heavy coat, but they did.  They really got me on my hands, ankles, and feet.  I've taken 4 Benadryl, and I'm still itching.

Staying at Glacier View RV Park--looking out at a melting glacir, $28, WiFi that is great, FHU, 30 amp, pull-thru

Interesting facts:  Canadians elect their lower house members by geographic area, but their Senate is all appointed by the premier (why even have it?)  I've spoken with Canadians and they wonder the same thing.  They spend $100,000,000 a year on it. 

They too, have scandals.  Last year Sen. Fairbarn attended the Senate and voted along party lines for 4 months after she was diagnosed with dementia and declared legally incompetent. 

The citizenry is active.  A Mariachi band played on Parliament Hill as anti-Senate activists served burritos to highlight the lengthy Mexican sojourns of Senator Thompson.  The people here in Smithers wear shirts expressing their opposition to the Albertan pipeline proposal, Enbridge.  I talked with a man wearing a shirt, and he told me that the pipeline would go right through this town of Smithers.  He said the First Nations are very opposed and have gone on record.  There have been hearings.  The final decision will be made by a 3-man committee appointed by the federal government.  He said that in the 60 years this committee has existed, they have only denied one project.
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 #168 on: August 12, 2013, 11:19:51 PM »
Good stuff, Linda!! Sounds as if you're still enjoying yourselves mightily, as we are. You are really getting your fill of wild things doing what wild things do...caribou, bears, eagles, and even very slow porcupines. Stay well...I'm surprised you could take 4 Benadryl pills and still hold your eyes open, much less write posts on reform.net...man, I'd be out like a light! Have fun, you two!
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 #169 on: August 14, 2013, 01:32:45 PM »
August 12 & 13   Days 87 & 88      Prince George, BC

We have a great RV park with wonderful WiFi, so we're taking a breather, catching up on laundry and paperwork and fixing things. 

 We went grocery shopping at the Canadian Superstore, very similar to Costco, but they sell things in smaller quantities.  Finding items was a pain in the foot!  Favorite brands are unavailable.  Many things come in much smaller sizes.  Dean bought a box of Wheat Thins, and it was half the size of a regular box.  Sugar-free anything isn't usually available.  But, I bought a couple of items that they have and we don't--just to try them out.  I wished for my nephew to be here, because many of the labels were in French only.  I can't explain why, but it felt like shopping in a huge grocery store of the 50's.  You pay a loony ($1) to get a shopping cart, and when you return it, the machine pays you back your loony.  Some people don't return the carts, and kids and homeless return them to get the loonies.  BCers are very nice and helpful.

Today, Dean wants to go downtown "shopping" for nothing.  I don't understand it, but I'll go along with it.  I'm planning on dragging him to an art museum with me.

We will be planning our ferry trip over to Victoria today.  Suggestions are appreciated.  Logistics are a pain.  Fortunately, we have great WiFi at this park.  However, Canadian websites are not nearly as user-friendly or well-thought-out as ours.  Attractions seldom give their hours, and it costs us 90 cents a minute to call.  We've made some calls, but we don't want to rack up too many minutes.

Staying at Sintich RV Park, $34, 50 amps, good cable TV, FHU, trees, nice manager.
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 #170 on: August 16, 2013, 11:00:46 AM »
August 14 & 15   Days 89 & 90      Prince George, BC

We've just been sleeping in and repairing.  We think there's only one shoe repair, and it would take him a week to repair Dean's favorite shoes--his sandals.  He'll try again in Vancouver.  Dean wants a diamond willow walking stick, so we've been all over town from the art museum to stores looking.  He's heard that there are lots of carvers on Vancouver Island, so when we're in Victoria, he'll look again.

We are all caught up with everything, so we think we're well prepared for the trip through the sparsely populated area from here to Vancouver.  Hopefully the lack of population will mean more wildlife population.  We will probably not have WiFi.

Staying at Sintich RV Park, $34, 50 amps, good cable TV, FHU, trees, nice manager.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

55cruisers

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #171 on: August 17, 2013, 02:31:34 AM »
Linda, I just want to say a big thank you for your interesting report on your Alaska adventure.  We are planning a trip next year so we have been following a few blogs this year to gather lots of information.  I have been taking lots of notes.  It is good to have honest opinions about places rather than "tourist spiel".  Enjoy the rest of your trip home.

Diane

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #172 on: August 18, 2013, 04:32:03 AM »
Linda, I just want to say a big thank you for your interesting report on your Alaska adventure.  We are planning a trip next year so we have been following a few blogs this year to gather lots of information.  I have been taking lots of notes.  It is good to have honest opinions about places rather than "tourist spiel".  Enjoy the rest of your trip home.

Diane

I'm glad we can be of help.  One of the best things I've learned on this trip is that everyone has different ideas of what Alaska is, and it sounds like everyone got what they wanted.  My biggest tip would be to buy the Northern Lights Coupon Book and the Alaska Toursaver Book.  One costs $50, and the other costs $100, and no matter what your interests are, they will more than pay for themselves.  I haven't looked recently, but I believe that each one lists all the things they have coupons for, and they are usually buy one/get one free.  If you go on just one wildlife marine cruise, it will pay for itself.  We have been twice, and we may come again.

I have also found the websites "rvparkreviews" and "tripadvisor things to do" to be very helpful.  Just google what I put in quotes with the city you are interested in.  Also, rvparkreviews tells you in the upper right hand corner what other cities have RV parks close-by.  Like, right now while we are seeing Vancouver, we are staying in Surrey, 10 min. away and close to the ferry that we will be taking for a 2-3 day trip to Victoria. My husband prefers Trailer Life and AAA, but I like the websites better.   They are more current, and they tell me of things like a steep driveway, alternative approaches, potholes, etc., that isn't rated.

Alaska offers a grand time for everyone!  The hardest part is establishing your priorities--ours were seeing wildlife.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

55cruisers

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #173 on: August 22, 2013, 01:09:53 AM »
I'm glad we can be of help.  One of the best things I've learned on this trip is that everyone has different ideas of what Alaska is, and it sounds like everyone got what they wanted.  My biggest tip would be to buy the Northern Lights Coupon Book and the Alaska Toursaver Book.  One costs $50, and the other costs $100, and no matter what your interests are, they will more than pay for themselves.  I haven't looked recently, but I believe that each one lists all the things they have coupons for, and they are usually buy one/get one free.  If you go on just one wildlife marine cruise, it will pay for itself.  We have been twice, and we may come again.

I have also found the websites "rvparkreviews" and "tripadvisor things to do" to be very helpful.  Just google what I put in quotes with the city you are interested in.  Also, rvparkreviews tells you in the upper right hand corner what other cities have RV parks close-by.  Like, right now while we are seeing Vancouver, we are staying in Surrey, 10 min. away and close to the ferry that we will be taking for a 2-3 day trip to Victoria. My husband prefers Trailer Life and AAA, but I like the websites better.   They are more current, and they tell me of things like a steep driveway, alternative approaches, potholes, etc., that isn't rated.

Alaska offers a grand time for everyone!  The hardest part is establishing your priorities--ours were seeing wildlife.


Thanks, Linda, for the extra hints.  We will definitely check out the coupon books.

Diane

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #174 on: August 22, 2013, 01:43:21 PM »
Thanks, Linda, for the extra hints.  We will definitely check out the coupon books.

Diane
Diane, if you send me  personal message thru the Forum, I will give you our e-mail and send your our log from 2009, which encompasses more sights that we skipped this time.  I hope you have a wonderful time in Alaska, and I hope you do a log.  I think RV park info is especially valuable.  Finding a good place in Denali without having to make the year-ahead-of-time reservation for the NP, was a gold mine.  I'll look forward to reading your adventures.
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 #175 on: August 22, 2013, 01:46:21 PM »
August 16

We just drove and drove.  Some areas were pretty.  We went through one large desert-like area without cacti, which surprised us.  The soil looked like sand, and the mountainous areas appeared to have lots of "sandslides."  There were a few evergreen trees with very short limbs. 

Originally, we had planned on stopping in Cache Creek, but Brookside RV Park, our destination, had no vacancies when we called in the early afternoon.  We figured that it was destiny and just decided to make as many miles as we could.  It was only high 60's, but it was very humid and hard to sleep.

Stayed at Rest Stop on Hwy. #1, MP A131 (A=Abbottsford)



August 17, Saturday      Day 92      Surrey (Vancouver), BC--An easy day???

We got an early start for us...we were on the road before 9:00!I told Dean that today would be an "easy drive" because we were only a couple of hours outside of Vancouver, and I started planning what we would do when we arrived. 

Within 5 minutes, Dean was experiencing engine overheating.  The alarm was blaring constantly and never stopped.  An idiot light said to turn off the engine immediately.  The cat hid behind a chair and covered his ears with his paws.. 

Dean pulled over at the first turnout to let it cool, but it only cooled down slightly.   The alarm and idiot light started as soon as he turned on the engine. We limped to the next turnout and waited another half-hour for it to cool, which it did slightly.  Of course, we had no cell phone service at all--ZERO BARS!  At the third turnout, a car with two elderly ladies pulled over to help us. They told us that the road ahead was more uphill and downhill, and Dean decided he had to go back to the little town behind us for repair as he knew it would be downhill all the way.  We drove for over 30 minutes before we got there.

The town was tiny, and we saw no gas station or repair facility.  When I saw the Acacia Grove RV Park, I told Dean to pull in and that they would know where the nearest RV repair was.  The manager there was so nice.  He talked "engines" with Dean for 10 or 15 minutes and said the nearest RV repair was Vancouver. He also told us that if we had gone around the curve when we turned around, the rest of the way was downhill.  We were at the top!  So, Dean decided to try again to make it to Vancouver.  The engine had cooled to normal when we made the downhill drive, and the alarm stopped its raucous sound.

We re-drove the miles long uphill grade slowly, and the engine warmed a little, but the alarm didn't go off once.  The further we went, the more beautiful the scenery became--a big, beautiful variety of evergreens.  I was quickly feeling much better. 

We had turned a 120-mile drive into a 10-hour day, but everything is good now.

Staying at Pacific Border RV Park--$302.40/7 days, 7th day free, 50-amps, FHU, helpful managers, trees, great WIFI and many clear channels on cable TV, spaces close together, but enough room for slides and awning.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:53:49 PM 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 #176 on: August 22, 2013, 01:49:23 PM »
August 16

We just drove and drove.  Some areas were pretty.  We went through one large desert-like area without cacti, which surprised us.  The soil looked like sand, and the mountainous areas appeared to have lots of "sandslides."  There were a few evergreen trees with very short limbs. 

Originally, we had planned on stopping in Cache Creek, but Brookside RV Park, our destination, had no vacancies when we called in the early afternoon.  We figured that it was destiny and just decided to make as many miles as we could.  It was only high 60's, but it was very humid and hard to sleep.

Stayed at Rest Stop on Hwy. #1, MP A131 (A=Abbottsford)



August 17, Saturday      Day 92      Surrey (Vancouver), BC--An easy day???

We got an early start for us...we were on the road before 9:00!I told Dean that today would be an "easy drive" because we were only a couple of hours outside of Vancouver, and I started planning what we would do when we arrived. 

Within 5 minutes, Dean was experiencing engine overheating.  The alarm was blaring constantly and never stopped.  An idiot light said to turn off the engine immediately.  The cat hid behind a chair and covered his ears with his paws.. 

Dean pulled over at the first turnout to let it cool, but it only cooled down slightly.   The alarm and idiot light started as soon as he turned on the engine. We limped to the next turnout and waited another half-hour for it to cool, which it did slightly.  Of course, we had no cell phone service at all--ZERO BARS!  At the third turnout, a car with two elderly ladies pulled over to help us. They told us that the road ahead was more uphill and downhill, and Dean decided he had to go back to the little town behind us for repair as he knew it would be downhill all the way.  We drove for over 30 minutes before we got there.

The town was tiny, and we saw no gas station or repair facility.  When I saw the Acacia Grove RV Park, I told Dean to pull in and that they would know where the nearest RV repair was.  The manager there was so nice.  He talked "engines" with Dean for 10 or 15 minutes and said the nearest RV repair was Vancouver. He also told us that if we had gone around the curve when we turned around, the rest of the way was downhill.  We were at the top!  So, Dean decided to try again to make it to Vancouver.  The engine had cooled to normal when we made the downhill drive, and the alarm stopped its raucous sound.

We re-drove the miles long uphill grade slowly, and the engine warmed a little, but the alarm didn't go off once.  The further we went, the more beautiful the scenery became--a big, beautiful variety of evergreens.  I was quickly feeling much better. 

We had turned a 120-mile drive into a 10-hour day, but everything is good now.

Staying at Pacific Border RV Park--$302.40/7 days, 7th day free, 50-amps, FHU, helpful managers, trees, great WIFI and many clear channels on cable TV, spaces close together, but enough room for slides and awning.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:52:53 PM 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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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #177 on: August 23, 2013, 02:25:19 PM »
August 18, Sunday      Day 93      Surrey (Vancouver), BC

I love Vancouver!  There are beautiful, lush trees, bushes, and flowers everywhere.  Vancouver has the second most restaurants per capita, second only to San Francisco.  There are restaurants from as many as 10 different cultures in one city block.  And, they are very specific.  One advertised "spicy Indian Chinese food."  The Chinese restaurants are labeled as Hunan, Szechuan, Cantonese, and Muslim.  The people here are nice, too.

We did chores in the morning, and then we went out to lunch at The Happy Dragon Chinese & Japanese.  I had noticed many Asians exiting this restaurant last night.  I've learned that with ethnic foods, the more people from that culture that eat there, the better and more authentic it is.  I ordered their won ton soup and yakisoba with chicken, and both were outstanding.  I'd love to go back again.  We were the only non-Asians in the place, and the waitress really struggled trying to speak English.

Our GPS works in BC.  Amazing!  So, immediately I got lazy and stopped Mapquesting in the RV.  Mistake!  When we got to the restaurant and put the Nitobe Gardens in the GPS, it wasn't in the memory bank.  And, it wasn't on my map.  When a nice-looking Asian man sat down at the table next to us, I got an idea.  I waited for him to order, and then I told him we were from California and were trying to find the Nitobe.  He had lived in California, and he was so kind that he took my little notebook and wrote out detailed directions.  His meal came, but he sat there pondering.  He decided that he wasn't positive of his directions.  So, as his lunch cooled, he called a friend who was born and raised in Vancouver.  His friend gave me similar directions.  Aren't Canadians wonderful! 

Confidently, we started to the Nitobe.  Carefully following the directions, we passed by the Bloedel Conservatory, which was also on my list of Places to Go.  We figured that we were there, weren't sure we'd be able to find it again, so why not go?  It is located in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park, where there are many beautiful gardens. (Picture 1)  There's a feeling of tranquility as we strolled through the gardens.  There were many wedding parties having their pictures taken in the pretty setting.  One had just been married there 10 minutes before.  After paying the small admission charge, we entered a large domed greenhouse structure.  There were many beautiful plants and birds.  A squawking yellow macaw screeched loudly.  When I approached him and spoke quietly with him, he cocked his head and listened, and then made pretty sounds. (Picture 2)  Many different types of orchids were on display (Picture 3).  Many small birds flitted among the trees and feeders (Picture 4).  There were two eclectus parrots, Ruby (the female) who had a bright red head, and Kiwi (the green male).  I would never have guessed they were the same type.  They are sexually dimorphic, which means that the female is more colorful than the male.  They live in New Guinea and northeastern Australia.  (Pictures 5 & 6)  We spent about 2 hours there, and I think Dean enjoyed it as much as I did.  We kept discovering more beautiful birds.  Dean shot almost 200 pictures, and I'm using 33 of them in my scrapbook.  My heart sang with joy.  What a spectacular day! 

Staying at Pacific Border RV Park--$302.40/7 days, 7th day free, 50-amps, FHU, helpful managers, trees, great WIFI and many clear channels on cable TV, spaces close together, but enough room for slides and awning.
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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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #178 on: August 24, 2013, 12:45:12 PM »

August 19      Day 94      Surrey (Vancouver), BC

Our Jeep has been showing that it is in 4-wheel drive and we can't open the side passenger door, so we called Jim Patterson Jeep in Surrey.  What nice people!  They told us that we were very near another Jeep dealer, and that while they would appreciate our business, we would probably enjoy the convenience of  going closer to Haley Jeep. Haley got us in right away, fixed everything beautifully, and emptied the Yukon gravel from our skid pans.  They took Dean back to the work area so he could see what exactly was wrong and were very professional.  They even gave the Jeep a quick (free) wash afterwards and got off most of the dust.  It is so much cleaner.  All staff were very nice.  Prices were quite reasonable.  We would highly recommend to RVForumers.

However, it was after 4:00 when Dean returned, too late to go to anywhere on my list.  When my daughter and I were here about 15 years ago, we stopped at their tiny casino for directions to the airport.  We didn't play, just used their facilities and information.  I had seen a picture of their brightly lit Downtown Casino, so we decided to check it out.  As we entered the driveway, four young people were seated with crossed legs.  I thought it was some kind of a sit-in.  The casino is right next to the marina/harbor, and apparently these kids had drunk or drugged too much.  When the security guard had the young man stand up, one of the girls toppled over, passed out.  The guard guided us past them. We went into the tiny bistro there. I had a wonderful chicken curry soup and shrimp stir-fry  with perfectly-cooked vegetables (hard to do), good enough to have been a fine restaurant.  The casino wasn't impressive, but I love that all casinos in BC are totally non-smoking.  I lost a little; Dean won a little.  So we broke even and had an experience.  They had free parking.  We didn't stay long because of an early ferry ride tomorrow.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #179 on: August 24, 2013, 03:00:53 PM »
August 20      Day 95      Victoria, BC

We got up at 5:15 to make the 8:00 ferry to Victoria.  We had planned to save sleeping time by eating breakfast onboard. As we pulled from the dock, there was a big jerk.  Just as we sat down, the loudspeaker called our California license number and another car's license number and told us both to go to our cars.  Uh oh!  It turned out that they needed for both cars to be moved so that a disabled man could get from his van to the elevator.  He was in the next lane over from us.  We had noted the side entry for a wheelchair and had left a big gap so he could use his ramp,  which he was able to do. However, he couldn't get from the big space to the ramp for the elevator.  So, with the help of the ferry man, Dean and the other guy created space so he could get his wheelchair up and out.   

My second priority was The Robert Bateman Center, $17/2 seniors.  It turned out to be my #1 favorite place to visit in Victoria.  Not only are the 160 works of art beautiful, but they are enhanced with modern technology.  You can pick up a phone at the desk when you enter and use it to scan the square next to each work of art.  It will give you the story behind the painting and where and why it was painted. If you see a hand symbol next to a bird picture, you can run your hand over it and hear their call--appropriately loud and long.  In two areas, if you like a painting, you can press that picture and others that he has made of similar subjects will appear on the wall.  Good idea, but a picture of a picture just doesn't make the grade with me.  In time, technology will be available to make it more real.

Robert Bateman is a wonderful 83-year-old artist who still paints and challenges himself.  He uses a variety of media to demonstrate his passion for the Earth.  He is the ultimate environmentalist, and all his works have a lesson. 

Dean liked the eagles, so he took pictures of the only two bald eagles in this art museum (Pictures #1 and 2).  This painting (#3) of a tiger rug with the Chinese graphics is about their decimating the tiger population to use the tiger parts.  Picture #4 was commissioned specifically as a gift for Prince William when he visited.  I wonder why it is still here in BC.  Did he give it back?

We ate at the Royal BC Museum Cafe', only a block away, which was recommended by the docent at the Bateman Center.  We were disappointed.  The cafe was crowded, not well organized, and I make everything they had on their menu, so it wasn't special.  Our 2 tuna sandwiches with very little tuna and one drink were $19.74.  Parking a block away from the Bateman was $2/hour at the Parkcade.  The bad thing is that you have to accurately guesstimate how long you would be gone because you couldn't add time.  If you guessed you'd be done at 3:30 and wanted to extend to 4:30, so you went back at 2:30 to add an hour's worth of time, you'd end up paying twice for the 2:30-3:30 time period.

Hotels in Victoria don't check you in until 3:00, so it was now late enough to go check in.  By the time we got unpacked, it was too late to go anywhere.  We discovered free parking was available at Silver City Cinema, just a short drive away.  We saw "Two Guns", which was pretty good.

Sherlock the Cat is staying at the Pacific Border RV Park.  We stayed at the Comfort Hotel & Convention Center--2 nights with full included breakfast buffet of eggs, meat (ham or sausage), sweet rolls, muffins, fruit, yogurt, cereals, wonderful orange juice or apple juice, make-your own waffles--total with $33 of taxes $256, modern 3-story motel, spacious room, extremely clean, wonderful, helpful staff
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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