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Author Topic: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure  (Read 38535 times)

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #150 on: August 03, 2014, 01:14:01 PM »
July 31, 2014 – Day 72

Another beautiful day today.  Lots of sunshine and warm in the morning with some scattered clouds this afternoon.  I was up at 5 AM and met the guide, Pat Murphy at 6.  We were fishing by 7 am.  Guess where he took me?  Up to Quartz Creek, to some of the very spots I had looked at the other day.  That’s what fishing with a local will do for you.  He knew when to get to the water and where it was safe to cross the river to go from one pool to the next.  I fished until 1:30 with Pat being the perfect guide.  I would certainly recommend him if you ever are in the Cooper Landing area and need a good guide.  I caught some rainbow trout and a lot of Dolly Varden, which is like a brook trout to you non-fishing folks.  My biggest was about 2 ½ pounds.
I went back to the motorhome and had some lunch.  What did I do after that you ask?  Well, I went fishing of course.  I have a feeling this may have been my last day of fishing in Alaska so I wanted to make it count.  Fished from about 3:30 to 7 PM and caught a bunch of rainbows, nothing of any great size but some sure could jump out of the water!
I just talked to Michelle on the phone.  I’m looking forward to her getting back in two days.  Tomorrow I pull up stakes and head back to Eagle River, just north of Anchorage.  You will remember we stayed there awhile back.
   
Talk to you tomorrow.

Jim
Sockeye salmon swimming in the stream.

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #151 on: August 03, 2014, 01:24:22 PM »
I have so enjoyed reading about your adventure as it brings fond memories of Alaska and our hope to get back there.  I do not fish but want to know if you put them all back or do you take some back to your MH?  Seems like you get an awful lot of them for just two people.  LOL
By the way you are doing a very good job in her absence..

Sheila
Ken & Sheila
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bhamlyn

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #152 on: August 03, 2014, 04:05:14 PM »
You are indeed doing a good job in Michelle's absence :-)  Like Sheila, I too want to know if you keep any of the fish.  I was really surprised by your statement that all the trout had to go back.

I have loved following your adventure, I think we will all be as sad as you when your adventure ends!!

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #153 on: August 03, 2014, 11:05:45 PM »
While I like to eat fish, I generally let them go so they can be there to catch again.  Some of these streams get fished so heavily that if everyone kept what they caught, you wouldn't have many fish in the river.  Plus, many of the streams I fished have limits on the size or number or both for the fish caught.  And probably most important, Michelle hates the smell of fish.

Jim

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #154 on: August 03, 2014, 11:10:13 PM »
August 1, 2014 – Day 73

Another beautiful day today.  Lots of sunshine and warm in the morning with some scattered clouds this afternoon.  I was up early to pack up WeBe.   I will drive about 120 mile today to Eagle River Campground, where we stayed about 3 weeks ago.  I left about 10:45 and got the campground around 1:15 PM.  An uneventful, almost boring, drive if you can call driving through such beautiful scenery boring.  I drove along Turnagain Arm, which was explored with the hopes that it was the fabled Northwest Passage through the New World.  It wasn’t but it is an impressive body of water, with its tidal bore.  That’s the wall of water that moves up the Arm as the tide comes in.  At this point we’ve driven a little over 5,000 miles in the motorhome and over 4,000 separate miles in our car.
There is an Alaskan law that is in effect on certain stretches of highway, like this one, that if you have 5 vehicles bunched up because the first one is going too slow, the first one must pull over and let the others by.  There were so many vehicles on the road heading to Anchorage you couldn’t tell where one group of 5 started and where the one before ended, so everyone just kept on driving. 
I got WeBe all set up and then took it easy until it was time to go visit our friends Dick and Cindi.  They are promising salmon for dinner.  We, along with their friends Tom and Dee, talked until about 10 PM.  They told interesting stories about walking out of their respective houses at one time or another and noticing that strange black dog down the street and then realizing that it was a bear, not a dog.  Tom mentioned that one of his neighbors is having trouble with a bear breaking into her freezer in the garage.  As I headed back to WeBe it was still light enough to read a book.  I hoped to get some things done tomorrow so I was going to hit the sack as soon as I got back.  It wasn’t to be.  The family in the next campsite over apparently hadn’t read the campground rules about quiet time starting at 10 PM or didn’t care.  And, who could blame those little kids, running around and playing at 11 PM in the great weather.  They finally quieted down and I went off to bed.  Michelle comes back tomorrow and I want it to get here quickly.
Talk to you tomorrow.

Jim

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #155 on: August 03, 2014, 11:11:43 PM »
August 2, 2014 – Day 74
Another restful, beautiful day.  It was 72 degrees when I was in Anchorage.  I got a haircut and did some grocery shopping.  After lunch I drove into Anchorage to a gun show that Tom and Dick were at.  I spent a fun hour or so walking around with Dick, talking guns and watching the people.  I made my way back to WeBe through Anchorage traffic and thought about dinner.  Sorry no exciting things to tell you today.  It was just a day to relax.
I was taking a walk tonight and had some profound thoughts that I want to share, since I don’t have that many. 
Thought #1  As I was driving around today through Anchorage and Eagle River, seeing the hamburger chains and the grocery stores and the phone stores and all the modern hubbub, I thought about last night at Dick and Cindi’s and their stories of the bears.  And, think about Anchorage.  If I have my figures correct, within the municipal limits there are over a 1,000 moose, hundreds of black bears and 50 or so grizzlies.  When Dick hikes in the hills above his home, he always carries a heavy caliber pistol for protection.  As I walked tonight, even in the campground, I saw signs urging me to watch for bears and moose.  It sure makes you a little more alert and aware of what is around you.  The veneer of civilization up here is just a thin layer over the wildness of the real Alaska.  Mother Nature could reach out and just take it all back if she wanted to.
 
Thought #2
 Why do people try to pretend someone else doesn’t exist?  As I was walking tonight, a couple was walking down the campground road toward me.  The road can’t be more than 15 feet wide.  I could have reached out and touched them.  As they approached, they averted their eyes, staring at the ground.  I said “Hello” and you would have thought I was invisible, the way they acted startled.  In this day and age have we forgotten how to acknowledge other people and interact with them?  This isn’t the first time this has happened.  And, I had a haircut today so I know I didn’t look so weird that they wanted to avoid me.
 
Talk to you tomorrow.

Jim

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #156 on: August 04, 2014, 01:55:27 AM »
August 3, 2014 – Day 75
I’m Back, hope someone missed me.  It was a great week away, not that being in Alaska is a hardship, quite the opposite.  But I really enjoyed the time with family and my best friend, even though it was far too short. We truly miss our family and friends. 
I arrived early this morning around 12:10 AM which was 2 AM Denver time and I was tired.  I don’t sleep much without Jim and this trek was no exception. We headed for WeBe and made it to bed close to 1 AM.  We were camped back at Eagle River Campground just outside of Anchorage.  Broke camp and began our 39 miles to Palmer, the home of the agriculture experiment.  This town of about 5,000 is part of the Mat-Su Valley (Matanuska and Susitna Valley).  “In 1935 Palmer became the site of one of the most unusual experiments in American history: the Matanuska Valley Colony.  The Federal Emergency Relief Administration, one of the many New Deal relief agencies created during Franklin Roosevelt’s first year in office, planned an agricultural colony in Alaska to utilize the great agriculture potential in the Matanuska Valley, and get some American farm families-struck by first the dust bowl, then the Great Depression-off the dole (Milepost).”  So Social Workers pick about 200 families from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and one family from Oklahoma (why just 1 family).  They moved to Palmer in the summer of 1935, given 40 acres, material to build a home and equipment to farm with seed.  The US government thought with the growing season of 100-118 long days and the unique micro-climate would grow giant vegetables.  At the Visitor Center they have a large garden with some huge cabbages, rhubarb, broccoli, and other vegetables and flowers.  The Alaskan State Fair will be held in Palmer later this month, too bad we won’t be around to see all the giant pumpkins, squash and cabbages. While wandering around the garden a tour bus with Chinese arrived and took over the garden, some had 2-3 camera’s around their necks.  After that, we tried to go see the Colony Museum because it was one of the 4 basic house plans available to the colonists.  Unfortunately, it was closed because it was Sunday.
There is also a Musk Ox farm outside of town which we went to check out but they were having some sort of race and we couldn’t get near the place.  As the young lady said at the Visitor Center, they pretty much close up the town on a Sunday.  Okay by me, we went back to WeBe and had a power nap.  Did some research for places to stay close to Seattle since we hadn’t picked a place yet but we still have about 5 weeks till we get there.  After dinner we went off for a walk which was rudely interrupted by a Rottweiler that came charging after us on the street.  He was barking, baring his teeth and basically scared the …. out of me. His collar was made from a heavy, heavy chain.  If it wasn’t for Jim and his quick thinking I would have been dinner for that dog.
With my heart still beating twice the normal rate and my whole body still trembling we walked slowly away and to the Big Bear Campgrounds office (which was in our sight) to ask about the dog who wandered into the campground after nearly sending me to an early grave.  They were well aware of the dog and reported it again to the authorities. They apologized profusely.  I was ready to go hide out in WeBe which is exactly what we did.  Jim caught up on the check book and I read. Then we did a little research for another dream vaca for 2015.  We still have almost 2 months to finish up on this adventure. But you have to keep dreaming, right?
I want to say thanks to Jim for filling in for me, I read his blogs and I think he did a great job.
TTFN

ArdraF

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #157 on: August 04, 2014, 06:11:20 PM »
Glad you're back Michelle.  I know at least one person missed you!  ;)

Jerry carries either pepper spray or bear spray when he walks.  He's been attacked numerous times by unleashed dogs, the last time just a few weeks ago by one of our neighbor's dangerous dogs ("he wouldn't hurt a flea") that has now bitten five different people on our block.  This time Jerry called Animal Control and our homeowner's assn. is getting involved.  When you spray a dog in the face it will stop and slink away with his tail between his legs.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #158 on: August 04, 2014, 08:51:46 PM »
Jimbo   you did a great job with the blog and great pictures. I especially liked the one carrying everything.  I was so nice to have Mick back in Denver for a few days and missed seeing you also.  We had some rainy weather for her!!! Keep up the wonderful travels and be safe.   Love you guys.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #159 on: August 05, 2014, 01:02:19 PM »
 I, will keep the spray in mind when walking, thanks.  And Zoe it was great being home for a few days, thanks.

August 4, 2014 – Day 76
Well we have made the big turn around and now will slowly make our way back to Centennial.  We still have plenty to see and do in the next couple of months.  But I can’t lie, it seems weird to be heading home. So many years of dreaming about this trip and all the planning it surely can’t come to an end.
Rained off and on all night and is raining as we try to get everything together to hit the road today.  Jim was working on the motorhome and I went off to the post office to get stamps.  Stood in line behind about 15 people, but the line moved fairly quickly.  We met at a turnout about 2 miles out of town and hooked up the car.  Skies went to just cloudy as we drove to Matanuska Glacier.  We visited this same glacier 13 years ago.  According to the Milepost this glacier is the largest accessible by vehicle and the glacier’s average width is 2 miles and at the terminus it is 4 miles wide.  Over the last 400 years the glacier has remained fairly stable.  To think that 18,000 years ago it reached all the way to Palmer 75 miles away.  We never should have driven WeBe down the extremely pot holed dirt road to where we paid our $35 to have the privilege to walk all around the glacier.  We suited up in our long underwear, coats, hats and gloves and began the journey.  Walking up it looks like a huge mass of dirt and rocks but on closer inspection there is ice underneath.  There were times when we were slipping and sliding on the surface.  Saw some folks ice climbing, not something I want to try.  At one point there was ice protruding up from the ground in an S shape, so I jumped on it and instead of “How to Train Your Dragon”, it was How to Train an Iceberg.  Just having some fun. But my butt was now cold and wet. Lots of little rivulets of melting glacier to cross over.  We spent about 90 minutes playing and by the time we were almost back to WeBe I had begun removing layers of clothes because I was so hot. Continued our drive on the Glenn Highway to Tolsona Wilderness Campground about 14 miles west of Glennallen.  Lots of thin spruce trees mixed in with aspen trees.    Some pretty big climbs out of the valley floor near the glacier.  As Jim drove my mind wandered a bit and began looking for odd shaped trees that I refer to as Dr. Seuss trees.  Didn’t stop to take pics or we’d never get anywhere.  We were watching the clouds build to the south of us as we drove and wondered if we could make it to the campground before the rain hit.  Well, we didn’t and the skies opened up, there was lightning and thunder too. Fortunately the storm didn’t last too long and then the sun came out with big blue skies.  Nice walk after dinner once we put the head nets on so the skeeters couldn’t eat us alive.  They still got Jim several times on his hands and he had repellant on too.  Watched a movie and going to call it a night.
TTFN
Some pics of the glacier with cloud cover and with the sun.  It really changes the look.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #160 on: August 05, 2014, 01:04:23 PM »
A couple more pics of glacier fun.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #161 on: August 07, 2014, 10:12:25 PM »
August 5, 2014 – Day 77
Cool and cloudy to start the day.  We headed to Tok.  Drove 154 miles with much of it frost heaves and road joint expansions, oh yeah.  Compared to tomorrow’s drive, this is a piece of cake.  Had a few steep climbs but nothing too bad.  We had semi views of Mount Sanford and Mount Drum, again the tops of the mountains were shrouded in clouds.  They are still beautiful even with the clouds. Made our way east on the Glen Highway and then north on the Richardson Highway for a short distance then onto the Tok Cutoff.  Not too much to tell you about this drive.  Heavily forested with spruce pine and aspen.  There was one particular area I was watching and again thinking of my Dr. Seuss trees.  I took a look in the Milepost and there was a comment about that particular forest of spruce trees. It was about “the black spruce, ball shaped tangles of spruce branches were stunted in size and often crook needles close to the trunk of the tree which is called Witch’s broom.   Witch’s broom is caused by a fungus.”  Black spruce trees are usually found in poor draining areas, such as wetlands and permafrost, where the white spruce will not grow. I looked intently but not real sure if I saw a Witch’s broom. 
We also past HAARP which stands for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program.  This program began in 1990 and is jointly managed by research arms of the Air Force and Navy.  They study the physical and electrical properties of the Earth’s ionosphere.  In short this can have an effect on military and civilian communication and navigation systems.  After all this high tech stuff we made our way into Tok without any problems and set up in Tok RV Village, again.  Had a late lunch and then went for a nice bike ride on the bike/walk trail that says “NO MOTOR VEHICLES", but everyone rides their ATV and the last time I checked those ATV’s were not pedal powered.  Oh well, what can you do?  Had some dinner, took a walk and played some Yahtzee.  I love when we play a certain number is wild, we get wonderful scores.  I’m going to bed early but Jim is staying up to see if he can see the Northern Lights.  My guess would be no but I will tell you tomorrow.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #162 on: August 07, 2014, 10:47:44 PM »
August 6, 2014 – Day 78
Up and out fairly early for us.  We knew the drive today was going to be hard.  Oh by the way, Jim did not see the Northern Lights last night.  239 tough miles, through construction zones with waits up to 15 minutes for a pilot car, bad, bad frost heaves, potholes and road joint expansions.  When I asked Jim if he wanted to stop for lunch he was not wanting to stop until we were at the campground.  He just wanted the drive over and I couldn’t agree more.  Actually, it was better than when we drove up in June.  Now there were miles and miles of gravel, dirt sometimes washboard road but they had gotten many of the frost heaves out.  Unfortunately not all the frost heaves were gone.  We speculated if they were just going to leave the road as dirt and gravel because there was no way they could get all of that paved before winter sets in.  The logistics of getting all the asphalt up here is enough to make a grown man cry.  Settled in to Cottonwood RV Park, again. Almost in the same site.  It is beautiful to look out at Kluane Lake.  The mountains surrounding us have lost some of their snow from June.  We have been surprised we haven’t seen any critters for several days now, they must be up higher eating.  Took a nice walk along the lake.  You can tell the weather is starting to change, we saw some aspen with leaves turning golden already. We also past some more rock art.  This is where people have arranged the lighter color rocks in the dirt hill on the side of the road.  Jim and I are sad to think we are actually heading home, it really hit when we saw the kilometers instead of miles on the milepost (yet they are still call milepost).  We were laughing during the drive remembering a couple we met in Tolsona Campground from upstate New York.  They didn’t leave NY until the middle of July because the guy had just retired, they picked up their first motorhome the next day and started driving a few days later.  He was so fed up with this stretch of the Alcan he was ready to put his motorhome on the ferry, no matter the cost, all the way to Bellingham, WA.  They had not planned any of the trek, just flying by the seat of their pants.  But they weren’t stopping to enjoy any of the towns or scenery, just driving.  In a way we felt sorry for them, planning is half the fun.  They pumped us for lots of information but it is really too overwhelming at this stage.  Hope they survive their trip.
The sun is going behind the mountain and Jim is desperate to see wildlife, he is sitting in the den (the driver’s seat) with binoculars staring at those mountains for anything to move.  I guess it is time for me to read.
TTFN
The pics are from our campsite at Kluane Lake- the first one is from June and the second was today, notice the snow difference?

Wavery

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #163 on: August 07, 2014, 11:09:46 PM »
August 6, 2014 – Day 78
Up and out fairly early for us.  We knew the drive today was going to be hard.  Oh by the way, Jim did not see the Northern Lights last night.  239 tough miles, through construction zones with waits up to 15 minutes for a pilot car, bad, bad frost heaves, potholes and road joint expansions.  When I asked Jim if he wanted to stop for lunch he was not wanting to stop until we were at the campground.  He just wanted the drive over and I couldn’t agree more.  Actually, it was better than when we drove up in June.  Now there were miles and miles of gravel, dirt sometimes washboard road but they had gotten many of the frost heaves out.  Unfortunately not all the frost heaves were gone.  We speculated if they were just going to leave the road as dirt and gravel because there was no way they could get all of that paved before winter sets in.  The logistics of getting all the asphalt up here is enough to make a grown man cry.  Settled in to Cottonwood RV Park, again. Almost in the same site.  It is beautiful to look out at Kluane Lake.  The mountains surrounding us have lost some of their snow from June.  We have been surprised we haven’t seen any critters for several days now, they must be up higher eating.  Took a nice walk along the lake.  You can tell the weather is starting to change, we saw some aspen with leaves turning golden already. We also past some more rock art.  This is where people have arranged the lighter color rocks in the dirt hill on the side of the road.  Jim and I are sad to think we are actually heading home, it really hit when we saw the kilometers instead of miles on the milepost (yet they are still call milepost).  We were laughing during the drive remembering a couple we met in Tolsona Campground from upstate New York.  They didn’t leave NY until the middle of July because the guy had just retired, they picked up their first motorhome the next day and started driving a few days later.  He was so fed up with this stretch of the Alcan he was ready to put his motorhome on the ferry, no matter the cost, all the way to Bellingham, WA.  They had not planned any of the trek, just flying by the seat of their pants.  But they weren’t stopping to enjoy any of the towns or scenery, just driving.  In a way we felt sorry for them, planning is half the fun.  They pumped us for lots of information but it is really too overwhelming at this stage.  Hope they survive their trip.
The sun is going behind the mountain and Jim is desperate to see wildlife, he is sitting in the den (the driver’s seat) with binoculars staring at those mountains for anything to move.  I guess it is time for me to read.
TTFN
The pics are from our campsite at Kluane Lake- the first one is from June and the second was today, notice the snow difference?
How are the mosquitoes??
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #164 on: August 10, 2014, 11:13:41 AM »
Hi my name is Zoe and I'm one of Michelle's many sisters.  She and Jim are having trouble with their computer and asked that I let all who reading their blog know and they hope to have it back as soon as possible.  Also they are going back into Canada and will have spotty internet service. 

ArdraF

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #165 on: August 10, 2014, 01:23:59 PM »
Thanks for telling us, Zoe.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Tin man

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #166 on: August 12, 2014, 11:54:31 AM »
When our son graduated from the AF Academy, his first assignment was in BED Hanscom Field some research facility.  The story of his career.  Never knew what he did.  Very vague.  But his first trip was to HAARP. 
When ever we visit him I always look at the picture he took from the facility of the Northern Lights. 

We hope we are in Alaska next year after our move To PA.  Waiting to go to contract, off to Florida in October. And wait for the house to be built this winter. 
Jim W
AKA TIN MAN
2007 36G Journey SE
2010 Escape Hybrid Blue Ox Air Force 1 Brake

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #167 on: August 12, 2014, 11:15:43 PM »
Well, I think we are back up and running.  I will try to get caught up in the next day or so, but this is what I have so far.

August 7, 2014 – Day 79
Today was another driving day so not a lot to report.  We did wake hearing a fairly strong crashing of the waves on the lake right behind WeBe.  Scurried to take a look and the wind had come up.  Last night it was out of the north and today it turned around and was coming from the south.  Poor Jim fought against the wind driving most of the way to Haines.  Once again beautiful mountains, lots of glaciers and then these valleys that are so green.  Along the side of the road, which we took Yukon Highway 3 to British Columbia Highway 3 to Alaska Highway 7, it what they call Alaskan cotton.  This flower has a very fluffy top and looks just like cotton, but we notice in many places it made an unusual pattern, a circle. We continued to watch for it and most but not always it grew in a circle.  I would love to ask an expert why it does this sometimes but not always. The other flower you see everywhere is the Fireweed.  It has a long stem with elongated dark pink petals.  The lower petals open first and moves up the stem and legend has it when the top petals bloom it means the end of summer is near.  Well, we are seeing the top petals blooming and this goes along with seeing some of the trees changing color and today we saw golden color leaves falling to the ground.  We were told by some friends that we had a chance of seeing 3 season of Alaska, maybe we are, but we didn’t think we would.
Okay enough about flowers, still looking for wildlife for Jim, he got excited to see a chipmunk this afternoon.  We have definitely hit a dry spell.  We took our time driving to Haines to just enjoy the scenery.  Stopped in Haines Junction to fill WeBe up with gas, $5.05 per gallon, just love the prices we have paid for gas.  When I was in Denver I did not complain about the $3.49 per gallon I paid to fill my car.  The price of gas here in Haines is $4.84 per gallon. It is what it is and I can’t yak about it too much.
Made it through US Customs without a hitch and as we made the last 40 miles into Haines we passed through the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.  Pretty amazing to see these majestic birds, even if Kellor, our pilot in Kodiak told us we weren’t supposed to count the eagles, we still do, 10 today. Haines is where the Inside Passage meets the northern mainland and a very artsy community.  Made our way to Hitch-Up RV Park which is at the fork of 3 roads and these are about how many roads as they have.  You probably guessed our site backs up to a road. Nice little town that sits overlooking Portage Bay with the Lynn Canal just spitting distance away.  It is 15 miles from Skagway by boat and 396 miles by car. Found Fort William H. Seward and will do the walking tour tomorrow, stay tuned for that exciting story.  Went through the small boat harbor on our way to check out Portage Cove State Park.  We didn’t see much other than a picnic spot and a place to sit and watch the waves come in, no beach just a lot of big rocks.  Decided we would try to find Chilkoot Lake State Park which is almost the end of the road for Haines. Driving along the Chilkoot River we saw all these cars pulled over so we did too and we were rewarded with a big grizzly in the water fishing.  Jim was so excited to have some wildlife and this bear did not disappoint us.  We watched for a good 20-25 minutes as the bear stuck his head in the water, climbed on rocks and scratched an itch on the back of his head. It was total enjoyment to watch this animal it its own environment.  Slowly the bear made its way up on shore and across the road.  Time for us to move on.  The campground was heavily and I do mean heavily forested.  I am not sure that any sun gets into it.  Lots of moss hanging off the tree limbs and growing on the ground.  I don’t think it would be a place I would want to stay.  Wandered back to town, past the ferry dock as vehicles were queing up for a trip.  The ferry goes between Haines and Skagway almost daily.  There is a Fast Ferry that goes between Haines and Juneau daily but no vehicles on that one.  Watched lots of fisher people, and as we passed the weir we noticed someone sitting on a chair looking down at a small hole in the fence that stretched the stream.  He was counting salmon as they swam up stream.  Never saw that before.  Back at WeBe we made dinner and some housekeeping tasks before we decided to drive back out to the river to see if there were any more bears.  We were disappointed but we have a great memory to keep of this afternoon. As we get ready for bed our thoughts are with Elizabeth and Scott for tomorrow is the day they find out what they are having.  I know it will be a little girl, I call her Petunia now, but I’ll let you know tomorrow if I am buying tutu’s or trucks, just as long as the baby is healthy.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #168 on: August 12, 2014, 11:19:46 PM »
August 8, 2014 – Day 80
Woke to partly cloudy skies and I was ready to jump out of bed today because we were going out for breakfast at the Chilkoot Restaurant and Bakery.  I love eating breakfast out and breakfast is my favorite meal.  We walked to eat and it was pretty good, the baked goods looked really good and I did not give in to temptation.  After we walked back to the campground we made our way to the Visitor Center to pick up the map for the self-guided walking tour of Fort William H Seward.  The Fort is named after the US Secretary of State who arranged the purchase of Alaska from Russia. With the US and Canada in a border dispute in 1901 the US thought they should establish a military presence in Alaska.  Haines at the time was a missionary settlement.  The building of the Fort began in 1903 which was no small feat to get men, equipment and animals up here to clear the land of all the trees and build the buildings.  The Fort was built on a hill overlooking Portage Bay, there was a 6 acre Parade  Ground, hospital, cannery, education and recreation hall, quarters for Officers, Commander’s, barracks, Guard House, Fire House, communications building, mess hall and stables.  Because of its remoteness Ft. Seward was classified as a foreign duty post and soldiers earned double credit for each year served there, but the duty was not difficult.  There was a picture of soldiers practicing their drills on ski’s, which it was said to be fun to watch the new recruits.  The hardest part of the tour was dealing with the cold weather and snow.  In the 1920’s the Fort was renamed Chilkoot Barracks to avoid confusion with the town of Seward.  In WWI and WWII the Fort was a training base for Alaskan recruits and then in WWII it also served as an R & R for those in the North Pacific.  At the end of WWII it was considered surplus property and decommissioned.  This was a tough blow to Haines economy and was later purchased by five WWII veterans in 1947 whose goal it was to establish a planned community. Now there are private residences and some businesses with some of the descendants of those WWII vets still living at the Fort.  It is very pretty to see the building sitting on that hillside as you round the bend coming from the Chilkoot River.
Decided to visit a different kind of museum today.  We went to The Hammer Museum.  They have over 1,500 different hammers.  This place was a lot of fun.  They had an electric hammer with a switch and electrical plug, a hammer that goes around corners, glass hammers, medical hammers, hammers used by the circus, well you get the idea, tons of hammers.  I did the hammer scavenger hunt and only needed a little help on a couple of them. This was a museum for Scott and Bill Bristow.
After our walking tour we went out to the cannery on the opposite side of town from the River.  It too was a self-guided walking tour but shortly into my walk Elizabeth called and well I will save that bit of news for later. I kind of lost interest, so we headed back to town and I stopped at the quilt store and made a small purchase, but the lady there gave me a few tips to see if I could get my sewing machine tension back on track.  Got back to WeBe and Jim went back out to the river to fish, I worked on dinner and made some phone calls.  Had some dinner and back out to the river for Jim to fish a little more.  He had caught 3 earlier but a big silver salmon got the better of him and his lure that Burke had given him.  He was more upset about the lure than this big fish that took it.  The front is moving in and the mist and cool air has arrived.  No more bear sightings and Jim didn’t catch any more fish.  But we did get to see some more rock art.  We have seen what the Milepost refers to as rock art, where people have put rocks into the hill on the side of the road.  Mostly spelling names but a few hearts with initials  But this was making designs with the rocks, so  balanced on top of others, some made to look like people, pretty cool.
Back at WeBe with the heat turned on and I am thinking a cup of tea would be a good way to finish the evening here in Haines.  And also what will my first purchase be for my little Petunia?  I think a pink tutu and black patent leather shoes.
TTFN
pics of Hammer Museum and the Officers homes at Ft Seward

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #169 on: August 12, 2014, 11:23:19 PM »
August 9, 2014 – Day 81
Happy Birthday Elizabeth- we hope you have a wonderful day!!!
Up early so we can drive to 256 miles to Whitehorse today. Cloudy with drizzle and some heavy fog while going up Marinka Hill.  Uneventful trip except we saw two grizzlies running across the road.  They looked to be siblings that had just been booted out on their own.  We sat there amazed how one minute you see them and then they are camouflaged in the shrubbery on the side of the road.  We wonder what have we missed seeing by being a minute too early here or a minute too late there. We had an issue with the computer, we couldn’t get our Microsoft Office to pull up.  I was so worried that all my blog entries would be lost.  Our internet still worked and we called ahead to a company in Whitehorse who said they would take a look see.  I was a nervous wreck worrying over the computer.  I know everything is on RV Forum and I can print those off but so much has been saved on this laptop.  We did check and the 1800 photos we have taken were still on, so fingers crossed this computer can be fixed.  So sorry for the delay in my blog.
Arrived in Whitehorse around 4 PM, thought we would drop off WeBe instead of trying to drive through town and park it but we were stopped by a police barricade about 1 mile from the Pioneer RV Park.  The officer told us the road was closed and we had to either wait or go back into town and come the back road to the RV Park.  We decided to turn around and go the back road but figured out how to park WeBe with Blazer still being towed and dropped off the laptop.  That was scary, you don’t know anything about this company and you are trusting them to fix your computer.  Here is to blind faith.  Back to WeBe and got checked in the campground.  The owner told us the road had been closed most of the day for an accident between a semi and a car.  The owner thought there had been a fatality.  We weren’t ready to eat yet and I needed a tomato (dang my plant for only having green tomatoes still), so we stopped by the fish ladder to see if any King Salmon had made the 1,800 miles trip from the Bering Sea.  We were told they are slowly making their way through and so far today they have had 110 Kings make it.  We watched, through plate glass windows, the holding area where they count and record gender, size and whether it is a hatchery or wild salmon.   The way they can tell if it is hatchery or wild is before the hatchery fish are released hatchery workers snip off the adipose fin, which is between the dorsal and the tail. You can also tell between male and female because the males are usually smaller with a hook jaw, female are larger, have a wider girth (because of the eggs) and her jaw is more rounded.  While we watched about 20 kings came through and it was good to see how many were wild salmon compared to the hatchery ones.  We were entertained for well over an hour.  Back to WeBe ate dinner and packed a bag to go to Dawson City tomorrow.
TTFN   
pics of Fireweed another hammer from the museum and the fish from the fish ladder

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #170 on: August 12, 2014, 11:27:12 PM »
August 10. 2014 – Day 82
Long drive to Dawson City, 325 miles, but we drove the Blazer and left WeBe stored at the RV Park.   Beautiful drive up, lakes, streams, rivers, mountains, aspen, spruce and shrubbery too. Not a lot of places to stop on the way up except for about 3 little and I do mean little towns. Carmacks was the biggest and I think the population was 400, but that was spread out over numerous miles all around the town.  We did drive past Lake Laberge or Lake Labarge from Robert Service’s poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.  The setting for the poem is on Lake Labarge.  We passed Braeburn Lodge which is reported to have the largest cinnamon rolls, I think we should stop on the way back. As you arrive in the town of Dawson City there are all these uniform mounds of dirt and rock.  They were the tailings from the dredges used looking for gold. Dawson City was Yukon’s first capital when the Yukon became its own territory in 1898 but later lost the capital title to Whitehorse in 1953.  In 1896 the Klondike Gold Rush began rapidly growing the town of Dawson from a few to over 30,000 by 1898.  Now they have steady population around 1,800.  Most people who came for the gold rush were too late as those who had been working the streams had staked all the claims.  Many of those stampeders stayed for a while working for others or getting work supporting the mass of humanity that descended on Dawson.  Still today the town has dirt roads and boardwalks.  Many buildings have been restored as they were in the heyday but many have been left to slowly fall apart.  We were staying at the 5th Ave B & B owned and operated by Tracy.  Nice accommodations, we had an ensuite in a second building next to her home.  After checking in we wandered over to the Visitor Center to get some handy dandy information on the goings on in Dawson.  Much of the town buildings are now owned by Parks Canada which has done massive stabilization and restoration to these buildings, I think around 35 buildings total.  We purchased tickets for the Dawson Films for later in the evening at the Palace Theatre.  They were short films done by local residents and some had won awards at the Canada Film Festival. We thought a little culture couldn’t hurt.  Before the Dawson Films we had dinner at Sourdough Joe’s, it was okay.  Walked along the dike which was built after the town flooded with the ice break up of 1929.  Nice view of the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers.  The Klondike runs fairly clear but the Yukon runs very dirty, very easy to see where they join and the Yukon takes over pretty quickly too.  Enjoyed the Dawson Films, some of them we didn’t understand the message the creator was trying to get across, but I guess that is part of art. Enjoyed walking the streets to see old buildings and how new buildings must adhere to the building codes that have been established to maintain the historic look. Dawson City was declared a national historic site in the early 1960’s.  Back to the B & B for a little reading before turning the light off.
TTFN
pics of a couple of buildings in Dawson City.  I especially like the homesteader cabin with the burl logs for the porch

ArdraF

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #171 on: August 12, 2014, 11:36:15 PM »
We had a wonderful walking tour in Dawson City.  The young lady tour guide had come for a visit and loved the place so much she stayed - and became a walking encyclopedia about the area.  Fascinating!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #172 on: August 13, 2014, 11:06:51 PM »
ArdaF, might have been the same tour guide, ours said the same thing. 

August 11, 2014 – Day 83

Got up and had a good breakfast at the B & B.  Met some of the other guest, a very international group I would say.  Headed back to the Visitor Center to meet up with a guide for a walking tour of Dawson Then & Now put on by Parks Canada. Talked about the history of Dawson then about some of the buildings.  We saw 2 banks, the post office, a saloon, a brothel and a general store.  There was a woman dressed in character of the 1890’s who played a role at each stop (except the brothel) along with our tour guide.  It made it more fun I think. At the bank we were told that the outside was wood with a layer of patterned pressed tin over it, the banks would do this to make the building look more secure, like it was stone. The tour lasted about 90 minutes and was very informative.  We had a little time to spare so we walked over to the Jack London cabin. The author of many books including White Fang and To Build a Campfire.  He wrote 50 books in his 40 short years.  His cabin was one room so not much to tell there. He only lived in this cabin for 1897 and spent most of his time in Oakland, California.
Went for a quick bite to eat, decided on pizza which was okay. Headed back up the hill from the B & B to the Robert Service Cabin. I have mentioned him a time or two.  He wrote poetry but he hated to be labeled as that, he preferred to be called a rhymer.  The name of this tour was “The Life and Poetry of Robert Service”. A costumed young man gave us some insights into his life, who was also called the Bard of the Yukon.  He wrote of the hard life for the miners and all who lived here.  But to support himself he was a bank teller mostly.  The guide did several recitations of his works. We also were able to walk through his 2 room cabin. 
No time to slow down now, we walked over to the Commission’s Residence.  This was a self- guided tour of the official residence of the Yukon’s federal government representative.  A very grand house with 3 floors, high ceilings and well restored on the first floor.  We toured the 2nd and 3rd floors and asked why they too had not been restored and the response was “there are no pictures of those floors for us to authenticate, so we have chosen to stabilize them and leave them as is.” The building not only was a residence for the political head but later became a hospital and later the home of a very influential and interesting woman of the Yukon, Martha Black.  As we made our way from the 3rd floor down to the 1st we heard beautiful piano music.  We stopped to listen to a young employee playing and Jim took my hand and started dancing with me.  He is such a romantic and it was very sweet.  The young lady had no idea what we were doing but when she quit we applauded her.  Then we were invited out onto the large wrap around porch for some tea, served in china tea cup on a saucer with a small spoon to add sugar or lemon. It was almost closing time and all 3 employees dressed in period costumes joined us to chat.  It sure did make me feel special.
We chose these 3 tours by Park’s Canada.  They offer about 10 different tours throughout the day and you pay for a single tour, 3 tours, 5 tours or all the tours over a 2 day time period.  I think if we had stayed longer we would have done most of them.
While the sun was out, it misted most of the day, we drove up to what the locals refer to as the Midnight Dome.  A very steep and winding road that goes up to the top of mountain overlooking the whole valley and town. What an awesome sight.  Snapped a few pictures and made our way back into town for dinner. Had dinner at the Aurora Inn Restaurant next door to the B & B.  Jim had the special of Schnitzel, which is very tenderized piece of pork cooked in a sauce with Morel mushrooms served with Spatzel (a German form of pasta, I think) and veggies.  I had some very yummy ribs.
But our day was not over yet, we walked back to the Diamond Tooth Gertie’s for a little fun and frivolity.  The girls, one singer (Gertie) and four dancers put on a 30 minute show 3 times a night to give you a little insight into how all these miners were entertained.  They do serve bar food and have some gaming tables, slot machines and such but you come to see the girls.  We were not disappointed with the show.  We sat next to a couple who are on holiday for 2.5 months from Canberra, Australia.  Enjoyed talking with them especially since Jim and the husband, Ian, both were fisherman but Sonya and I had a pleasurable conversation about traveling.  I think I am officially tired and ready for bed.
TTFN
The pics are Robert Service cabin and then a view of the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike River's ( notice the muddy and clean)

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #173 on: August 13, 2014, 11:08:14 PM »
August 12, 2014 – Day 84
Light rain over night and the room stayed very warm even with a window open.  But got up and had some yummy breakfast at the B & B. while eating this morning and yesterday the hostess’ daughter, Madsion (4.5 yo) would come out of her room all sleepy eyed and Tracy would hold her for a moment and then lay her down on the sofa to completely wake up.  When Madison came out the TV channel would change from world news to Disney Junior with Lightening McQueen and Mater.  The poor Swiss couple were very confused by this cartoon, while Jim and I enjoyed it.  We thought of Mason and how he would so thoroughly enjoy waking up to Mater and McQueen.  Gathered our things and set out to drive back to Whitehorse before the computer shop closed for the day.  They had called to say they had fix the machine, yeah. Nothing exciting on the drive back just dodged potholes, slowed for frost heaves and dodged rock on the gravel section. We did stop at Breaburn Lodge to get a cinnamon roll, this thing is bigger than both hands put together. I will look forward to breakfast tomorrow. No drizzle but had clouds the whole way, with some clouds lifting as we entered Whitehorse.  Got back and set up at Pioneer RV Park, site 134.  The sun has come out fully and we are glad to be home. Time to catch up on blogging.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #174 on: August 13, 2014, 11:09:48 PM »
August 13, 2014 – Day 85
Woke up to light rain and ready to dig into that cinnamon roll.  It was pretty good considering how big it was, just a little too much dough but it did have lots of cinnamon.  Thought we would venture over to the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum.   Little confusing to find but when we did get there the train wasn’t running because of the rain and the museum wasn’t all that great, so we headed to the local WalMart (which is horrible) and gathered a few items we needed but then went over to the grocery store which in some ways was just as bad as WalMart.  To use a grocery cart you have to insert a $1 coin for the cart to unlock, when you are done shopping you lock your cart up with the others and it will give you back your coin.  Dumbest thing I ever heard of.  Got our groceries, we didn’t want to stock up too much because of having to go through customs.  The US customs likes to keep your fruit, veggies and meat bought in Canada and we don’t want to share this time.  Shopping done and back to WeBe to put everything away.  Had some lunch and Jim headed out to fish and I was going to see if I could try the sewing machine one more time.  Couldn’t get it to work right so I went and took a power nap, then made some popcorn and cookies and finished catching up blogs.  The rain had stopped but no sun yet. 
Jim is back and the river was running really high but he did catch 3 grayling.  Downloaded books on the nook today so started reading before it was time to make us some dinner.  Dishes done and Jim was watering my tomato plant and guess what, one little tomato is just starting to turn red. I think it is too cool and cloudy for them all to ripen.  Went to wash the car but it was being used so we drove up to Mt Sima the local ski hill to see it.  Yep, a little ski hill.  What surprised us were the speed bumps on the gravel road.  And not just 1 speed bump but several.  Came back to campground and saw a camper from Kansas.  Decided to take a walk and see where in KS they are from.  As we walked past a lady came out to do dishes and we stopped to talk.  They are traveling from Paola, Kansas, that is where my sisters and I went to summer camp, small world. They are just now heading into Alaska.  Life got in their way.  We understand.  As we finished our walk we talked about maybe shortening our trip.  We’ll see what happens after the 1st of September, we still have a long way to go to get home.  We have put over 6,000 miles on WeBe and over 5,000 on the blazer.  Boy, we have driven a lot. Time for some tea and bite of those cookies I made earlier.
TTFN
I am officially caught up with blogging, yeah!!

zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #175 on: August 15, 2014, 04:42:44 PM »
Hey you two   great to have you caught up on the blog.  Exciting Elizabeth is having a girl!! Watch out Jim   there goes the credit card!!! Be safe and have a great time.  Love you

Rene T

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #176 on: August 17, 2014, 12:14:05 PM »
jmfrease5,
It looks like you stayed at a lot of campgrounds during your trip. Can you tell me if (percentage wise) how many have WIFI and cable?  In Alaska and in Canada. My DW and I are in the planning stages on going next May. We've been following your trip journal and we will most likely visit many of the areas you guys have visited. Thank you for a excellent blog.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 12:15:51 PM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #177 on: August 17, 2014, 08:11:39 PM »
Most  of the private campgrounds offer WiFi-some were okay connections and some were horrible.  Most of them you were given a certain megabits to use and anything over that you would have to pay, but we were not charged any overage, not sure how they determine.  We also used our own MiFi from Verizon, which there were times where it was spotty, it is not a great signal but we like to use it for the bank accounts and stuff. Sorry to say I can't tell you about cable because we never used it.  That is a very long story you do not want to hear. Hope you enjoy the planning as we did and still do.  We are finalizing the last weeks of the trip now.

August 14, 2014 – Day 86
Wow what a rough driving day.  We woke up to rain and had to pack up in the rain, washed a layer of grime off the vehicles and drove a whopping 24 miles to Takhini Hot Springs.  They have a very nice campground with the added feature of a short walk to the hot springs.  It is a quint place and the water is nice and warm.  2 pools attached to each other with a swing door in between. The smaller side is about 104 degrees and the larger side is about 100 degrees.  Got checked in and set up and wandered over to the pool, enjoyed a nice soak and came back to WeBe and took a power nap.  While the suits and towels were drying we took a walk around but not straying too far because there have been black bears in the campground lately.  Jim has his bear spray with him.  There is also a fox that likes to eat leather things. Watched campers come and go trying to figure which site would be best, kinda fun to watch and listen to the different languages. Did a little research on Skagway and Sitka and made dinner.  Played a couple of games of SkipBo, each winning a game so we decided it was time for another dip in the pool.  We timed our soak just right, a large extended family came in and the woman went and sat on the bench seat in the cooler pool and the teenage boys, father and maybe a son (not sure who was who) put on some of the best synchronized swimming routines we have ever seen.  They were talking about making up their own country and entering themselves in the Olympics.  Those of us not laughing too hard were scoring their moves.  The father had to be our age was in the middle of all of this adding to the routines.  Feet up in the air, scissor kicks, swimming like dolphins and even putting their hands above their heads and dive into the water to the side (Esther Williams move if I ever saw one).  The teenage girls sort of got into it with adding a little music.  I was a really fun time, I hope they are back tomorrow.  Back to WeBe for one last game if SkipBo, you have to have a winner and it wasn’t my night, Jim skunked me.  It is about 11PM and I think the Germans have finally got their tent up and maybe they will put the kids to bed so it quiets down. When they pulled up in a 24 Ft motorhome and 9 people got out I wondered where everyone was going to sleep.  The 4 kids are not small, now I know.  We are all nice and relaxed so it is off to bed.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #178 on: August 17, 2014, 08:14:12 PM »
August 15, 2014 – Day 87
Guess what, it was dark last night when we went to bed, we can’t remember the last time it happened, it helped it was still cloudy. What a lazy day, didn’t even get up till after 8 AM, really there was nothing to hurry about.  Fixed an awesome breakfast of French Toast with French bread, very good.  Jim went fishing at Fox Creek, caught a grayling and some small salmon.  I did some housekeeping chores and plopped myself down and read. Went to sit in the hot springs here at Takhini, very few people there, so wonderful.  Came back for a power nap.  Made dinner and worked some on our trip once we are off the ferry at Prince Rupert. Too, many decisions to make and not knowing the area isn’t helping.  But we went back for our last soak in the hot springs and started talking with a couple from Vancouver, BC.  We asked them their top choices they would recommend to a visitor, it helped some. You can definitely feel Fall in the air here, trees and shrubs are making the change.  Nice view of the hilltops with the sun shining on them and yes I said sun, at least for a few minutes.  Locals are saying this has been one of the wettest, cloudiest summers, if you want to call it a summer.  Back to WeBe to get organized for the drive to Skagway tomorrow.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alaskan Adventure
« Reply #179 on: August 18, 2014, 02:03:58 AM »
August 16, 2014 – Day 88
Set the alarm to get up early this AM so we could get on the road to Skagway, AK.  The sun was shining and just a few puffy white clouds in the sky for about an hour, then the clouds came in but it didn’t rain on us until we were in Skagway, 126 miles later.  But the wind did blow the whole way here. Easy drive mileage wise, gorgeous scenery.  Took Yukon Highway 98 to BC Highway 98 to Alaska Highway 2, You actually start off on the Alcan and shortly after Whitehorse turn south onto the South Klondike Highway.  I love how there are so few roads, they name and refer to them instead of a number. Passed the Kookatsoon Lake (I just loved the name so had to include it), until we came to the Carcross Desert.  Per the Milepost “This unusual desert area of sand dunes, considered the smallest desert and an International Biophysical Programme site for ecological studies.  The desert is composed of sandy lake-bottom material left behind by a large glacial lake. Strong winds off Lake Bennett make it difficult for vegetation to take hold here and yet it has an enormous variety of plants, including kinnikinnick, a low trailing evergreen with small leathery leaves that are used for brewing tea.”  Pretty cool, it made me think of Colorado’s own Sand Dunes.  We also past Emerald Lake, which was different shades of beautiful blues and greens.  It helped that the sun was trying to shine.  Then onto Carcross which was a stopping place for those making their way to Dawson and the gold rush.  Past the remains of the Venus Mine built in 1908.  As we are driving the terrain changes significantly, we go from shrubs and pine trees to this area they call “Tormented Valley”. Lots of rocky terrain, stunted trees and small lakes.  Mostly granite rock shaped by glaciers and the ice getting into cracks of the rocks, freezes and splits the rocks.  A little creepy going through there.  Then the hill we had been waiting for, the White Pass, 10-11 miles of 11% grade and having to stop part way down for US Customs.  They took our orange, not sure what it is with citrus.  Made it to Skagway just find and it’s a small town easy to find your way around.  We are at Garden City RV Park, some residents and the office is never open, but the laundry was pretty good. 
Wandered around town, checked out the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, and watched a movie since it has begun to rain.  Found the ferry terminal and the cruise ship pier, one of Holland America’s ships was docked.  Drove out to the old Dyea town site, very narrow, winding, potholed road.  Dyea is where those who climbed the Chillkoot Pass began.  The historic town no longer exists like Skagway.  Dyea housed as many as 8,000 people bound for the Klondike Gold Rush over the Chilkoot Trail and over 150 businesses. By the summer of 1898 fewer than 500 people remained, by 1903 maybe half a dozen people remained.  Now the flowers grow wild and the Taiya River has made some new paths through the old town, but the spirit still lives.
TTFN
Emerald Lake and Tormented Valley

 

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