About Me

Lee Creek, North Shuswap near Chase, B.C, Canada
We went full-time Rving in October of 2005! We retired from full time to part-time as of the end of 2015. Our present "small but comfortable" Wagon is a 2008 Camper trailer(TravelAir Rustler), pulled by a 2008 Dodge Dakota, 4X4.l. Our home base is a resort Park, in Oliver, British-Columbia, Canada. I retired in 2005 and my Life Companion, Valerie, retired October 1, 2006 from nursing. We invite you to follow and share our new adventures and mishaps. Life is but an adventure full of dreams yet to be fulfilled!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Alaska JULY 2019


JULY 1, 2019, in INUVIK, NWT…HAPPY CANADA DAY!
We got up this morning to a cloudy, rainy day and windy.  The sky in the south and west of here are very,very black.  This is exploration day which we began with a drive through town then onward to the Info Centre where we found out a lot about the local people, their way of living and interacting with each other.  There are the Inuvickualiut and the G’wich’in Natives (they used to be mortal enemies at one time).  There are also Muslin and a few white people.  They are set in their ways amongst the older generations but the young are more prone to get along and open to various intereactions.  Marriage have just begun being inter-tribal.  We got a certificate about crossing the Artic Circle and a free poster of that picture of the road in the McKenzie Mtns in the Fall.
We went to the Community Hall to celebrate Canada Day with the community and
met some travelers we knew and new ones.  One couple lived in Vancouver and comes up here to work on the water systems so they were familiar with the surroundings.  A kid was selling bags of salty strips of smoky fish and he bought one and offered us a piece which was different but good.  We took part in the BBQ (hot dog and hamburger), listen to music and watch the young ones enjoy themselves.  We left soon after and went to explore some more.  We saw a Dome from the DEW Line which was brought down from Tuk and is now being used for communication services such as TV, cellular and the likes.  Rain, rain, rain…it never stopped all day so we decided to come home after I stopped to take on gas then we came home.  We had a nice dinner and relaxed.  The sky is grey with no chance of sunshine so we won’t be seeing the midnight sun tonight.  We are planning to head to Tuk tomorrow for the day without the trailer.  The forecast is for sun!??  It’s only 144 km from here and we have been told the road is in great shape.
So far our little trailer is serving us well.  It is comfortable albeit small in space but we are managing.


JULY 2, Tuesday, to Tuktoyaktuc
Got up to more clouds and wind at 7:30 am local time.  Coffee is on.
We were on the road by 8:30 am.  What a drive this was, full of beautiful vista, Artic tundra, lakes and the McKenzie Delta.  The road was like a mini roller-coaster winding and weaving its way across the tundra and the lakes. Up and down with quite a few spots with washboards.  We started in with cloudy sky but the sun did come out eventually with temperature of 9* C only and WINDY!!!!  An Artic wind to boot. 
We arrived at the “HAMLET” (that’s what the village is called) and our first sight was the garbage dump.  I’ll never understand why they build the road by this!??  Anyway, we drove in and explore the street.  Typical Native village.  Noone was on the streets (too early) and we found the place call “Granma’s Kitchen” which was recommended to us but it was closed.  One thing here, there are nearly no signage to let you know what the business is.  We had to find out from the Info Centre.  

We drove to the Spit where I finally dunk my foot in the Ocean, it was too bloody cold to undress and the water was freezing!!!!!  I had to chip the ice off my foot after dunking it!

We went and found a “restaurant” (see pictures) that consisted of a kitchen, a dining room holding about 5 tables sitting 4-5 people each and it took forever to get our meal.  The place was packed with tourist and about 8 young local teenagers who were using two tables.  We had to make our own coffee pot as the “server” didn’t know how to do it and made a mess so I took over.  It was so funny!!!  All part of the adventure!  Quite a few locals on the streets now.  We also explored the DEW LINE ( Defense Early Warning).  Here we saw a hawk screeching like crazy and we assumed it was a female protecting her young.  The nest was on top of the tower so it was getting excited over nothing.  We explored some more then it was time to come home.  The drive back was the same but with a view at a different angle.  Traffic was light and the dust kept down. 
At home, we had a glass of wine then dinner.  We sat out afterwards to watch the “Midnight Sun” but Val gave up around 11 pm.  I watched it come down to the horizon then went to bed.  The sun slowly moves to the East where it begins rising again around 4 am.  I woke up a few times throughout the night; it felt weird sleeping with the sun shining!
I forgot to take note of the Latitude and Longitude of Tuk, damn! But found it later on the net 
N 69* 26.432
W 133* 02.304
Alt: 10 feet

As for big game animals, we saw none but we did see rabbits, marmots and Artic tern (beautiful birds) and a couple of hawks, one with what looked like a snake in its beak.   


JULY 3, Wednesday; laundry day and sightseeing
I was up by 6 am local time.  Didn’t sleep much, don’t know why!?  Anyway, I went out to wash the truck while Val slept then came home and sat outside but the mosquitoes took care of that.  Val got up around 9 am and she did the laundry while I went to the library for WIFI.  Downloaded our mail and paid a few bills.  I came home and we went to town to buy more souvenirs.  We stopped at the Hotel for lunch then completed our purchases.  The forecast is for rain tomorrow and having experienced that mess once, I really don’t want to do it again so we decided to leave today.  It was almost 2 o’clock when we left.  The ride back was uneventful until we got to Ft McLeod where some strange and loud metallic noise manifested itself.  I checked everywhere but couldn’t find the source.  After gassing up we left again and the noise subsided.  I hope it’s not the wheel bearings???  Anyway, we got no more problems.  We crossed the first ferry at 15:40 pm and the second one at 17:15 pm.  The scenery was fantastic as we had missed most of it coming up in the rain.  The road was extremely dusty.  The crossing of the RICHARDSON MOUNTAIN RANGE was absolutely breathtaking.  We had missed all of it because of the fog and rain.  We stopped at the border of Yukon/ NWT for a break and to look around then drove through the Artic Circle.

We arrived at EAGLE PLAINS at 19:50 PM making it a 6 hours drive @ an average 44 MPH.  We went for dinner in the restaurant then parked in the RV Lots with power.  The forecast is for rain tomorrow, YUCK!

N 66* 22.425’
W 136* 43.088’
Alt 2376 ft,


JULY 4, Thursday, to Dawson City
Raining, dam it!  But it didn’t rain for long and soon cleared up down the road.  I gassed up before leaving and also notice that one of my rear jacks was damaged when I got off the Peel River ferry.  I had heard a scrunching but didn’t pay attention due to the low banks.  I had also lost the handle on my sewer tank and the guy fixed me a small handle to pull the trap open at NO COST!
Back up the Olivigie Ridge and we drove south along some of the most impressive and beautiful sceneries.  I hadn’t realized this region was so mountainous.  We eventually reached the Seven Miles Hill and went down and down, from 3000 to 1200 feet.  We followed the Peel River for a while then the Olivigie River and eventually the Red River (Sulphur and mineral full).
Soon we were in the Tombstone Park and its majestic mountain range and Artic Tundra.  We crossed the last Pass at 4000’ and the Continal Divide for the last time on this highway.  We stopped at the Lodge to return the pamphlet they had loaned us on the way up, and had lunch here.  I emptied the Jerry can of gas into the truck so that I wouldn’t run out again. It is 15*C here
What a relief to reached pavement on Hwy 2 at 2:35 pm!!!!  The drive back to our campground was such a pleasure; no more washboards, potholes and dust.  We arrived at our campground, BONANZA RV PARK, just outside DAWSON around 3 pm, took time to power wash the trailer and truck then park in Number 21 and set up.
The canopy on the back of the truck has moved back about one inch and created enough space to allow all the dust to reach inside…what a mess!  Will have to clean this up.  Made some calls to find a place to get an oil change; no luck.  To gas up at $1.61 for $115 total
Time to relax, dinner and I was in bed by 9 pm.  Val stayed up a bit later and watched TV.  We are here for two days.  It is 27* C

This was an incroyable part of our voyage.  I would definitely NOT do it again but I DON”T regret any part of it.  It was a wonderful experience and a Life Time DREAM come true for me and Val too I’m sure.

N 64* 02.452’
W 139* 24.202’
Alt: 1098 feet
We travelled 254 miles in 6 hrs @ an average 46 MPH


JULY 5, Friday; Dawson City
This was a busy day; first I emptied the back of the truck, then loosen the canopy to reposition it to its proper place.  Then I took everything out, wiped the equipment down and went inside and swept the box out which was filled with dirt.  I then reorganized everything back in.  I cleaned the windows both on the truck and the trailer.  Once this was done, it was shower time.  Val felt I really needed it.
We went to town, had lunch at a funky place then went shopping but thank god, Val didn’t buy anything.  We got some groceries then went for a beer at our favorite bar, the Downtown Hotel.  We met a couple there that we chatted with then gave them a ride home as they were from the same campground we were from.  Val watched her favorite program on TV and I sat outside.
Tomorrow, we head for Alaska on the “Over the Top Highway”!  It’s been a warm day, 26*C, sunny and the A/C is on.  The sun is still shining at 10 pm.



JULY 6, Saturday, to Alaska via the “over the top highway”
We were on the road by 6:50 am.  We drove through town to the Ferry.  No line-ups, we only had to wait 10 minutes and were the first of two on board.  The crossing went smoothly and we got on Hwy 9, a gravel road, climbed and climbed from 10 feet to 3500 feet in 20 km.  Once on top we followed the ridge and meandered through the mountains.  The road was gravel and in good shape except for washboard at some places.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE VIEW!!!  We stopped quite a few times trying to take it all in.  Yukon is definitely the best!  We arrived at the Alaska Border around 9:30 am, crossed with no problems/hassles then went down the road and around a corner and came upon a herd of CARIBOO!!  WOW!  WOW!  We had to come to Alaska to finally see big games.  Took a few pictures then went on.  We arrived in “CHICKEN”, a neat and awesome town.  We had to come down from 3500 feet to 1950 feet.  The road was tortuous and rough in this section We had to slow down to 40 km/hrs, a few switch backs
We stopped in CHICKEN (11:10 am) and had breakfast and of course, got a couple souvenirs.  This was really a funky place and all the food was made from scratch.  They even had their own chicken and ducks.  They had homemade pies that demanded to be devoured but I resisted and homemade bread which we had for toast.  I tasted Reindeer sausage…very good.  We spent a good half hour here.  Population about 50 going down to 15 in the winter.
A few miles later, another sighting, a huge moose crossing the road.  Incredible!  We were soooo excited.  Wouldn’t you know it, the camera battery was dead so had to use my phone.  On we went and finally arrived on the Alaska Hwy # 2.  We turned right and 10 minutes later we were in TOK.  The scenery also became much more grandiose with the Rockies in the distance
We moved our clock one hour back once we crossed into Alaska but we decided that our bodies were telling us ENOUGH!  So we got a campground, gassed up, filled one propane tank, washed the truck and trailer then set up in site 95.  We are here for one night only.  This is a cross-road with # 2 and # 1 from Anchorage and we will be back this way once we come from the south part.  It is a balmy 27 *C
Tomorrow, we will be sleeping in Fairbanks!

We travelled 190 miles in 5 hours @ an average 37 mph.
N 63*20.124
W 142* 57.795

Alt: 1680 feet



JULY 6, Saturday, Dawson to Alaska via the “over the top highway”
We were on the road by 6:50 am.  We drove through town to the Ferry.  We only had to wait 10 minutes and were the first of two on board.  The crossing went smoothly and we got on Hwy 9, climbed and climbed from 10 feet to 3500 feet in 20 km.  Once on top we followed the ridge and meandered through the mountains.  The road was gravel and in good shape except for washboard at some places.  WHAT AN INCREDIBLE VIEW!!!  We stopped quite a few times trying to take it all in.  Yukon is definitely the best!  We arrived at the Alaska Border around 9:30 am, crossed with no problems/hassles then went down the road and around a corner and came upon a herd of CARIBOO!!  WOW!  WOW!  We had to come to Alaska to finally see big games.  Took a few pictures then went on.  The HWY becomes # 5 here.  We arrived in “CHICKEN”, a neat and awesome town.  We had to come down from 3500 feet to 1950 feet.  The road was tortuous and rough in this section We had to slow down to 40 km/hrs, a few switch backs
We stopped in CHICKEN (11:10 am) and had breakfast and of course, got a couple souvenirs.  This was really a funky place and all the food was made from scratch.  They even had their own chicken and ducks.  They had homemade pies that demanded to be devoured but I resisted and homemade bread which we had for toast.  I tasted Reindeer sausage…very good.  We spent a good half hour here.  Population about 50 going down to 15 in the winter.
A few miles later, another sighting, a huge moose crossing the road.  Incredible!  We were soooo excited.  Wouldn’t you know it, the camera battery was dead so had to use my phone.  On we went and finally arrived on the Alaska Hwy # 2.  We turned right and 20 minutes later we were in TOK.  The scenery also became much more grandiose with the Rockies in the distance
We moved our clock one hour back once we crossed into Alaska but we decided that our bodies were telling us ENOUGH!  So we got a campground, gassed up, filled one propane tank, washed the truck and trailer then set up in site 95.  We are here for one night only.  This is a cross-road with # 2 and # 1 from Anchorage and we will be back this way once we come from the south part.  It is a balmy 27 *C
Tomorrow, we will be sleeping in Fairbanks!

We travelled 190 miles in 5 hours @ an average 37 mph.
N 63*20.124
W 142* 57.795
Alt: 1680 feet


JULY 7, Sunday, Tok to Fairbanks, Alaska
This was the most disappointing driving day due to the thickness of the smoke, we couldn’t see any of the mountains.  Not only that, we missed a moose eating in a small lake next to the road and I couldn’t stop fast enough due to traffic behind me.
Anyway, the Highway was straight with a few lumps along the way.  We stopped in DELTA JUNCTION, the end of the “ALCAN HIGHWAY”, took some pics and had brunch.  I expected a bigger town, it was kind of a depress place from what we saw.
A few miles later, we stopped at road side meat producer, tasted their sample of different sausages and ended up buying a few of them.  I doubt we will have them by the time we get home!??
The ride went on with thick smoke and we finally arrived in NORTH POLE, where we proceeded to spend a lot of money.  What a neat place!  The grand and great grand kids would love this place, so would the kids(mom and dad).
Fairbanks by 3:30 pm and we set up at a campground Tanana RV Park that was not impressive.  Since I had reserved and paid for it, we stayed for one night only.  They had a very neat office, an old cabin and the door was only 4 feet high, so I had to bend over but once inside, I could stand.  That was so cool!!
We set up and left to check another place which was much nicer, got two days there then went to Safeway for gas, $3.13/gallon and some wine ($20).  Sat outside once back at our site and relaxed and planned our stay at DENALI PARK.

We drove 216 miles in 4.5 hrs@ 49 MPH average.  We stopped for 2 hrs.
N 64* 51.914’
W 147* 45.658
ALT: 453 feet


JULY 8, FAIRBANKS sightseeing
I was up at 5am (6 BC time).  Still can’t sleep in!??  This morning, we moved to a new and nicer campground, the RIVER’s EDGE about three miles from here (more expensive too).  Anyway, we went to Costco but didn’t get anything, off to Walmart to get groceries and buy a new camera, a PowerShot.  Afterwards, Val did the laundry while I went to get an oil change on the truck; it was overdue.
It is still quite smoky, but we can see a bit further than yesterday.  People we spoke with, tell us that it was smoky through the Park and they couldn’t see anything.  The forecast is for slight rain tomorrow morning so hopefully it will cleared up. 

I forgot to mention previously that when we crossed the Border into Alaska, the guy stamped our Passports with a Cariboo and the name of the crossing; what a neat thing to do and what a souvenir!

After dinner, we went for a drive through the downtown.  Seems to be some neat things to explore and it is quite small, I was surprised!  The highest building is about 12 story up and there are only a couple of them.  We came back and stopped at McDonald for ice cream, Val had a craving!???  At home, we sat out for a while then Val went in to watch the tube and I remained out breathing the smoke.  We were both in bed by 11 local time.



JULY 9, Tuesday, explore FAIRBANKS
This is our last day here.  We went to the University near here to their Museum of the North.  It was very interesting and well done.  We spent two hours in there.  From here, we went to downtown and had lunch at SOAPY SMITH, and funky place with the owner bragging all the time about his grand-father and what her accomplished.  It was fun and entertaining.  Afterward, we went to the Info Centre and they also had a museum which we checked out.  The day went by fast and it was time to head back…we had enough!  We found a neat pub near our campground called “PIKE’s LANDING” where we had a couple beers and appy’s and also met these two local guys and wife, Dave and Emily and Peter.  We had fun conversation and Peter ended buying everyone a cocktail.  They left as they were going out for dinner and we went back to our camp then to RIVER’s EDGE CHINA RIVER.  We had a good meal but it was bloody warm in there…no A/C.
The day was muggy and smoky of course.  Still can’t see past our nose (kidding but not by much)  We came home and were in bedasking  by 10 pm.


JULY 10, Wednesday, to DENALI PARK AND CANTWELL
We were on the road by 8.15 am.  It took us just about an hour to get out of Fairbanks as there was construction on the # 3 HWY exit near our campground  and it took me a while to find the right directions, after asking three times for directions .  It was confusing!!! (confusion due to old age!???).  Anyway, smoke was the order of the day although it did clear up some as enough to see somethings as we got into the mountains and further south.  The highway was not in the best of shape, lots of frost heave and a couple times, I had to slam on the brakes because it was so bad.  We followed and crossed the TANANA and the NANANA Rivers a couple times; Nanana empties in the Tanana river.
We went by the turn off to the DENALI NP and drove on to Cantwell to our campground, a little place off the main Hwy and 22 miles south of the Park.  We stopped numerous times to take pictures.  Once set up, we went back to the Park where we visited the Info Centre and all the exhibits, then took a shuttle bus to the Husky dog pen and walked among them and petted them.  All were very friendly.  They put on a demonstration show where they tied four dogs to a sled on wheels and had them race around a specific track.  They were all very well behaved and appeared happy to be exercising.  Back at the info center, we took in a movie about the dogs and the Park’s history then we came back home.  Still couldn’t see the mountains properly.  It’s really too bad.
Tomorrow, we will be in anchorage where I’ve made reservations.  The sky is covering up and we even had a sprinkle.  Windy too for the first time in a while.

Oh yeah, I fueled up @ $3.17/gal

We travelled 216 miles in 4.5 hrs (excludes time stop) at an average 49 MPH
N 64* 51.914’
W 147* 48.658’
Alt: 453 feet


JULY 11, Thursday, To Anchorage, Alaska
We left under low cloudy skies and headed south on Hwy 3.  There was no point going back to the Park as we were not going to see anything.  We went through the lowest Pass in North America ( Bare Mountains) at 2400 feet.  It's suppossed to be a beautiful area with surrounding mountains but we couldn't see anything.  It is also an area with low tundra and few trees; also known as the Divide in the flow of water…on the right, it went to the Bearing sea; to the left, it went to the Yukon River and the Arctic.
We stopped for brunch at a road side café about halfway through the State Park (95 miles long) then eventually reached the MAT-SU VALLEY, a very busy area with a few crazy drivers (speed and cutting you off).  We reached the Glenn Hwy (# 1, divided) and headed for Anchorage.  We began seeing mountains but the clouds were still low.  We saw the KNIK ARM connecting with Cook's Inlet and eventually the Pacific but again, fog was present so we only saw partial areas. 
We finally reached Anchorage, turned onto SEWARD HWY and reached our campground just off the Hwy hence noisy!  We decided to call it quit, had dinner then had a drink with our neighbours from Florida who called on us for a HH.  Who are we to refuse!??

We travelled 216 miles in 4.5 hrs with 2.5 hrs of stops @ an average 48 MPH
N 61* 12.072’
W 149* 52.144’
Alt: 75 feet



JULY 12, Thursday, Anchorage sightseeings
The day began overcast and cool, we had to wear a jacket.  We first went to the Info Centre, a neat log cabin with a sod roof.  The people were informative and friendly.  Val wasn’t feeling all that well so we hung around for a while.  Downtown is like Fairbanks except they have a few highrises.  We took a driving tour in a trolley (well worth the $20 we paid) and the lady driver immediately proceeded to make us laugh.  She is/was an actress/singer and it showed.  The tour was really interesting and she showed us places that we went back to later.  One of them was the airport for small airplanes, float and wheels.  She said that statistically one in ten possess a flying license however one in twenty actually fly an airplane!?!?!  She also said that this airport has over 11000 small personal and business planes!!!
After returning in town, we walked around to settle Val’s stomach again then went to have a bite to eat and that made her feel better.  We met people there from New York State and a couple from St-Hilaire, Quebec. 
We went over the route we took on the tour and stopped at a couple local Parks.  Took pictures of Cook Inlet where the tide is over 40 feet high then, because the animals won’t come out of the forest, we decided to go to the Zoo to see them even if in enclosures (seriously).  We stopped at a Bar & Grill on the way home (very nice place and friendly people), had a beer and shared nachos then came home
We sat with our new friends Steve and Toni from Florida and basked in a beautiful sunny evening sky.  I sure hope it’s there again in the morning!


JULY 13, Saturday, Anchorage to Seward, Alaska
FANTASTIC; INCREDIBLE; BREATH-TAKING is the way I can only describe our drive to Seward!  WOW, what a scenic drive!  Now this is the way we imagined Alaska!  But let's get back to the start.
We left at 8:40 am and headed south on Hwy #1.  It eventually turned into a freeway and back to two lanes at the Turnagain Arm.  The sky began clearing and we could see the surrounding mountains more and more as we headed towards TURNAGAIN ARM which empties into the COOK INLET.  It was a breathtaking drive with the water on one side with a railway track and sheer mountain sides on the other side of the road.  We actually met two passenger trains headed for Anchorage.
At the end of the Arm, we encountered the turn off to WHITTIER which we will take a look at on our way back but we did stop at the Info Centre and got ourselves a pass on a touring boat in Seward (6 hours + meal for $300).  We went on and began turning towards the North-West around the end of the Arm.  We eventually turn south again and climbed for 6 miles over the Turnagain Pass.  We stopped at the top at a lodge and had soup.  I have to say here that it was hard driving and keeping my eyes on the road; the scenery was so spectacular!!! 
After lunch, we drove on down from the Pass and arrived at the turn-off for HOMER.  The Highway changed here to Hwy 9.  The road was a bit rough but we were only travelling at 50 mph (75-80 km/h).  We finally arrived in Seward around 1 pm.  We found the Park, Resurrection RV Park which is a city Park @ $40/night with water and electricity.  The place is full with one or two sites empty.
After setting up, (we are parked across from the shower  and right near the water overlooking RESURRECTION BAY, on the East coast of Kenai Peninsula (pronounced ken-na-i).  All along the water’s edge there are campgrounds with no service and they are full.  We are surrounding by water and mountains.  It is a beautiful setting.

We went for a drive through and around town, found a few shops and three bars!  We looked at different restaurant, drove around the Harbor where the cruise ship come in (none here now) then went for dinner at RAY’s restaurant which is supposed to be really good for seafood.  I had a great dinner but Val had a miserable time with hers, sending it back three times because it wasn’t hot!?  They ended up no charging us for it and gave her a free dessert.  We came home and called it quit for the day.

We traveled 130 miles in 4 hrs @ 47 mph average.  We were stopped for one hour total.
N 60* 06.379’
W 149* 26.096’
ALT: 10 feet



JULY 14, Sunday, sightseeing in Seward
Two big cruise ships came into the harbor overnight!  After a nice shower, we went exploring.  It rained pretty well the whole day, at times, heavy but mainly like a drizzle.
We first went to the Info Centre then headed for the “EXIT GLACIER”, about 8 miles from here.  We parked the truck and walked up the trail to the first look-out.  We took lots of pictures, read all the plaques along the way, watched the “Resurrection River” flow down from the Glacier and read the history about it.  The Glacier has rescinded about 4-5 miles since 1899, an amazing distance when you think about it!  It was an awesome sight and I am glad to have seen it.
We drove back to the Harbor and had lunch at a railway car from the earlier days and turned into a restaurant.  Today being Sunday, they only served breakfast and they were wonderful.  I had a Burrito with eggs, sausage, potatoes and a few other items…it was delicious.  Val had a crab egg benedict which she regretted later.  We then went to the Harbour and made arrangement to be picked up tomorrow for our boat cruise.  We then went exploring campgrounds around the area and felt we made a good choice.
We came home and got our dirty laundry and went to the laundromat.  An hour later we were back home, put the clothes away then sat out with a drink and called daughter Rochelle.  It stopped raining but still a heavy overcast.  Having soup and sandwich for dinner.


JULY 15, Monday, Boat Cruise
We were picked up by the cruise bus at 10:45 am and taken to the boat, a huge catamaran.  There had to be at least 100 people and each of us were assigned a seat and table to be shared with two other person.  We had a father and son sit across from us from Mexico.  The kids had just turned 13 and could speak really good English and when he learned I was French, he began talking to me in francais!  Wow and only 13!  Puts us to shame.
We left at 11:30 sharp and headed out into Resurrection Bay, so name because of Russian ship having lost its rudder, drifted in to the Bay and missed all the hazards, back in the 1800’s.  The captain brought to different areas where we saw sea life such as otters, puffins, harbor seals, stellar sea lions, kittywake birds, cormorants, orcas, but the highlight was the glacier. 
We first had to traverse a part of the Alaskan Gulf and that was a rough ride with swells well over 10 feet high.  We finally entered the Bay with the glacier and the water calmed down.  They served us a marvelous meal then we went out on deck to admire this marvel.  We got right into the floating ice and saw a few seals on the ice.
We spent a good 20 minutes or more there then headed back towards the Gulf and rough seas then back into Resurrection Bay and home.  The captain brought right in to some cliffs and I swear we could have reached out and touch them…that’s how close we were.  It really was a great day.
We got home around 5:30 pm.  It was a long but worthwhile day!
Tomorrow we leave this area for Haines via Anchorage, Palmer, the Glenn Hwy and Tok.  I doubt we will make it that far but we’ll take a big chunk out of the trip. 
I figure we will be in Haines in 2-3 days


JULY 16, Tuesday, BIG PROBLEMS
Once again, we were on the road by 7:30am.  We dumped our tanks then headed to the garage where I topped up the tires on the trailer before heading out on Hwy 9 out of town.  It was cloudy but no rain until Mooses Pass where we had some drizzle but not for long.  Our next Pass was Summit Pass then Turnagain Arm Pass where the scenery began to change and we came into view of TURNAGAIN ARM.  First the sky cleared and the sun came out; then it got clearer and clearer as we neared Anchorage.  Going through the City was no problems except for this knocking whenever we hit a bump or crack on the road.  This began as we headed out and kept persisting.  I stopped a couple times to check things out but couldn’t see anything.
On the East side of town, I began suspecting my suspension and when we got to Palmer, it was confirmed by a mechanic.  The rubber shocks that I had installed before departing finally gave out on the right side and the bolts were banging on the springs whenever I hit a bump or crack on the road.  The guy at the garage checked out a couple places to find out if anyone could install new air bags but not before next week.  After a discussion, we agreed on spring chocks, so he ordered them and we went looking for a campsite for the night.  It is only one pm so a whole afternoon of travelling time wasted.  I find myself lucky that he was willing to fit me in his busy schedule first thing tomorrow morning.
We got a site about 6 miles down the road and here we are, in a pretty setting relaxing.  This is going to be an expensive breakdown, but I guess, after all this banging and mileage, it was bound to happen.
They have a little restaurant here on site and the chef cooked spareribs all afternoon (we could smell them) so we went and splurged.
It is sunny and very warm here; what a change from this morning and yesterday.

N 61* 33.111’
W 149* 13.747’
Alt 250 feet
We travelled 173 miles in 3.5 hours driving time @ an average 49 MPH.  We were stopped for 3 hours due to break down
Today is my son’s Birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFF!




Monday, June 17, 2019

Alaska Trip, June 2019


Alaska June, 2019

June 15,Saturday

This is it, our departure day!  I was up at 7 am but kind of loaf around the house for a while.  We packed the balance of our stuff in the trailer.  We were on the road by 10 am and as you have it when you think things are organized, Murphy gets in there somehow.  We were just about at OK Falls when Val asked if I had loaded my insulin!????  Screeching brakes, fast U-Turn and back to the house.  Finally we were off!
We stopped for coffee at Tim Horton then went on.  Once at Peachland, we turned West on the CONNECTOR.  It was sunny and hot and my transmission heated up almost at the top so we stopped and let it cooled down.  I guess I am a bit overloaded!!!?  Anyway, we went on with out further problems and arrived in Merritt where I topped up on gas as it was only $1.18.  We arrive at Rick and Pat’s place around 4 pm.  We parked at the back of the house, hooked up power then went in for Happy Hour!  Joanne and Don came over and we had a really nice reunion
Pat cooked a marvellous dinner for all then we were served desert.  What a feast!!! We chatted the whole evening catching up on news.  We finally went to bed by 11 pm after saying our goodbyes to Don and Joanne.
Travelled 172 miles in 4.5 hrs at average 46 MPH
N-50*29.643
W-120*48’.801
Elevation: 3600 ft


JUNE 16, SUNDAY; TO P.G.

I was awake at 5 am and again at 6 when I got up.  At 7, we went inside where Rick had coffee made up for us.  We chatted for a while and finally hit the road by 8 am.  We drove on 97C to Ashcroft.  That is one nice drive; very scenic and the Mine was very active.  We made it to the bottom, across the Fraser then up and over to Cache Creek.  We had our mugs filled and both got a breakfast wrap.  We continued on North on Hwy 97 and stopped again at 100 miles House where we topped up @ $1.39.  Onward we went.  We’ve driven this part a few times so it was a bit of a repeat but we did noticed a lot of changes in the towns and villages.  We drove through Williams Lake where we got our sight of the mighty Fraser river than Quesnel and stopped here at a Rest Area for lunch.  Rochelle called us to wish me a Happy Father’s day which was really nice!
I gased up again in Prince George for $1.35.  We saw a few places on the way at a $1.18 and 1.28, of course we didn’t need any then.  We by-passed the town centre and arrived at our campground; HARTWAY RV PARK, located north of town @ $40 for the night for full hook-up.  This is where I realized we don’t have a spare cable to hook up connection to the TV.
The truck is performing well but is goggling gas like it was candy!    I keep it at no more than 95 Km/hr.  Tomorrow, we enter new territory!

N-54*00.059
W-122*48.145
Alt: 2510 ft
We travelled 327 miles @ 51 mph average in 8 hrs



===================================================================

JUNE 17, ’19; Monday to Dawson Creek

Up at 6:30 am under a warm sunny sky.  Coffee is on.  We left at 8:45 AM.  The first hour or so was somewhat boring.  Lots of trees and not much else to see.  But then, we arrived at McLeod Lake where we stopped for a Point of Interest:  There was a cairn in front of the General Store.  This place was first occupied by Simon Fraser in 1805 and it became the first longest occupied place in BC by Europeans and named “McLeod” by Fraser.

From here on, it became more interesting in terms of scenery.  We got closer to the Rockies.  We drove down and up the “Rocky Mountain Trench” then over the Pine Pass, the highest point on Hwy 97 @ 3000 ft.  Came down and reached the turn off to McKenzie.  We followed the Pine River for a long time.  At the junction of Hwy 29 and 97, we decided to turn off and go visit McKenzie town, 20 miles north on Hwy 29.  We were not impressed with this town.  It is very small and the downtown consisted of a couple small Malls where we had brunch in one of restaurant..  I took a few pictures of the town then we drove back to Hwy 97. 

Heading North on 97 again, we eventually reached the “Bijoux Falls”.  This was a really nice place and the Falls were impressive.  We carried on and reached the “Azouzetta Lake Resort”, a beautiful lake with the Rockies surrounding it.  We stopped here to take on $50 of gas as I didn’t think we could make it to Chetwynd with what we had left (it was a good choice).  Finally we made it to Chetwynd.  What an interesting town this was.  It had carving figures along the Highway and of course we took lots of pictures.  Actually so much so that the battery in the camera went dead.

From here, we left the mountains behind as we turned East and the landscape became flat and plenty of farming fields.  We reached Dawson Creek around 4 pm.  On our drive the last 20 KM, we saw TWO MOOSE (female or youngster) which was quite an excitement for us considering how many times we were warned about wild lives  near or on the highway and wouldn’t you know it…. both camera and the phone had dead batteries!!!!. 

The highway so far has been excellent.  We encountered highway construction in only 3 places.

We are camped at MILE ZERO Park, paid $82 for two nights (full hook-up) and set-up.  Then we went to town and had dinner out at Mr Mikes.  It is now 9 PM and the sun is still shining!  Got to Love it!!!  We are here for two days

N  55* 46.166’
W 120* 15.638’
Elev: 2201 Feet

We travelled 281 miles (472 KM) in 7.5 hrs at an average 52 MPH

JUNE 18, Dawson Creek

Woke up at 6AM under sunny sky and warm outside but it really got windy in the latter part of the morning and the afternoon.

Today was a day of relaxation and sightseeing.  We went to the Info Centre which turned out to be really interesting as it had a museum inside.  We also watched a movie on the construction of the Alaska Highway, very interesting.  We took pictures of MILE ZERO Monument then went to Walmart and Canadian Tires to pick up a few items.  We stopped at McDonald for lunch then went walking into the town center and looked at all the murals that were available.  Found a bar where we had a beer then we drove to Pouce Coupe, a suburb of Dawson Creek.  Not much there except an old Pub/hotel from the war days.  Drove back to our lot and had a glass of wine before I installed a couple hooks Val wanted for towels.

After dinner, we relaxed.  It is 9:05 pm and the sun is still up on the Horizon.

Gas here is at $1.26.  Just goes to show how much we are getting gouged down south!!!!



June 19, Wednesday, off to Ft Nelson

We left Dawson Creek under sunny skies and windy (from the North) at 8:15 AM.   
The highway was busy with trucks of all kinds and RV’s.  It is a beautiful drive…rolling hills and highway, big open fields.  28 KM  down the road we turned off and drove on the “old Alaska Hwy” to cross the historic Kiskatinaw River on the original curved wooden bridge on the Alaska highway still in use to this day.  Further along, we crossed the Mighty Peace River on the longest water span bridge on the Alaska Highway.  What a feast!! 

We stopped in Ft St-John at a Humpty restaurant for brunch; good food and cheap.  We carried on and now the scenery became more forestry, road becoming curvy and hilly.  We drove through some wonderful areas and stopped for gas at Pink Mountain @ 1.61/ltr.  I also finally filled the gas can that I have been carrying empty all this time.  This was an interesting stopped with an old log cabin and room for overnighter.
The truck is sure having a hard time on hills and slows right down.  Maybe the trailer is too heavy!???  Or maybe I am just too critical!?

The rain finally caught up to us and we had it, on and off, all the way to Fort Nelson but it stopped by the time we arrived here.  Just before arriving in the town itself, we crossed the Muskwa River which is the lowest point on the Alaska Hwy at 1000 feet.  According to "MILEPOST", the river can reach heights of 20 feet above its banks in the spring.  WOW!!!!

We SAW THREE BEARS along the highway and got a couple pictures.  We also saw a nice big beaver dam.  
We stopped for lunch at a road side rest area and finally arrived in Fort Nelson around 3:30 pm. , 

We are camped at Tripe G Hideaway for 47.25 including taxes.

N 58* 48.239’
W 122* 43.166”
Alt 14 15 FT
We drove 282 miles in 7hrs and 15 minutes at an average 52 MPH



JUNE 20, Thursday to Liard Hot Springs

I forgot to mention that after setting up, we walked next door to a museum of sort, next door to us.  It was really cool.  Lots of cars from the 20’s,30’s and up.  It was laid out like a small village with each building having a theme of its own.  One was full of pelts of all kinds, wood clubs, old rifles and things.  One was a church from the early years which was transported here.  They even had a guide who was full of stories. 
We then went to the reception building at our campsite which had a bar and restaurant, sat on saddles at the bar and had a drink.  Met a woman from Quebec, Joliette, who was going to the Yukon.  Her husband doesn’t want to go into Alaska; too expensive she says.  We came home after one drink and had dinner then relaxed on the computer, reading and knitting (Val).
From here, the road curved and we drove West towards and into the Rockies.  We left around 9 am after going into town for milk, wine and gas (necessities of life)

The drive was fairly straight forward with lots of forest and not much else to see.  Past Hwy 77 junction, we began climbing slowly until we reached 4200 feet at the Summit Lake Pass (highest point on the Alaska Hwy).  The road became curvy, narrow and lots of areas where it was only gravel.  We saw a total of eight (8) bears feeding on this stretch and Val claims having seen a coyote or fox (not sure).  We even encountered construction by Tetsa Lake.  We stopped at the Lodge there by the same name and had their home made soup and a bun.  It was delicious.  They are known for their cinnamon bun but we didn’t have any.

The Rockies here are quite different then ours in the south but all the same, they were quite impressive.  Took lots of pics.
We drove on to Toad River (very wide and fast moving) and the lodge here has all the services needed.  We stopped and looked around.  Scenery is absolutely gorgeous!!   After this, it was Muncho Lake, huge and very green and deep.  The road is between the lake and a sheer mountain side.  The story says that a lot of equipment was loss during the construction in ’43 and sunk to the bottom of the lake which is very deep just feet from the shore.  I stopped at the lodge to take  on gas.  Big mistake, $1.89/litre so only took on what I needed to reach Watson Lake.  The lodge was quite impressive and I took some pics.

We carried on and eventually came upon a juvenile caribou on the road.  He was quite confused and we stopped near him/her, took pictures and let it decide where it wanted to go.  WHAT A NEAT SIGHT!!!  We went on and just before arriving at Liard Hot Spring, we saw a herd of bison feeding on the grass beside the highway with their young.

We finally arrived at Liard Hot Spring and took our spot at LIARD SPRING LODGE.  We paid $38 for the night with full hook-up.  After setting up, we drove across the highway to the hot spring in the Provincial Park, walked the boardwalk (approx. 7 minutes), got changed and soaked in the hot water.  That was wonderful!!!
Afterwards, we drove back to our site, had a glass of wine and dinner.  The sun has finally come out and we have blue sky everywhere.  We also have two visitors in our campsite…two big male bison feeding on the grass.  Got a couple pictures of them.  The place was almost empty when we got here but is now filling up fast. (8 pm).  I went to bed at 11PM and the sun just set down!

N 59* 25.495’
W 126* 06.474’
EL: 1620 feet

We travelled 193.7 miles in 6 hrs at an average 46 MPH



JUNE 21, Solstice day, to WATSON LAKE, Yukon
I woke up at 6 to fog!!! Val was up at 7.  We hooked up and were on the road by 8:30 am.  The fog has lifted which is a good thing.  We stopped at Coal River for breakfast.  In the MILEPOST, it states they make the best bison burger but we didn’t try it.  Got back on the road and soon hit rain for a while.  Scenery was very nice and we saw a bison, a brown bear (not sure if it was a grizzly) and a couple of black bears on the side of the road.
I stopped at Contact Lake where we took on gasoline @ $1.36/ltr.  We went on to drive through a rain pocket then soon arrived at the first crossing into the Yukon.  I say the first because we crisscrossed the border six times and were soon definitely into the Yukon.  Another 40 Km and we arrived in Watson Lake.  We are camped at Downtown RV Park for $46/night.  After setting up and unhooking, we drove to the Sign Post area…WOW!!!  That is one impressive area.  It is much, much bigger than I imagine and it covers a whole block. 
Today is Indigenous Day which is a holiday here so we couldn’t see the Northern Light show as it was closed.  We went for dinner at a Chinese Restaurant.  There are only three restaurant in town, no pub.  We came park to the Park which is now almost full.  I had booked two nights here but we cancelled that and are going to White Horse tomorrow.  This place is depressed…remind us of Geraldton in a way.

We drove 193.7 miles in 6 hours@ an average 46 MPH.
N 60* 03.811’
W 128* 42.433’

Elev: 2258 feet


JUNE 22, Friday, to White Horse 

We left under a cloudy sky around 8:30 am. I had a shower this morning which felt really great. We weren’t 10 minutes on the road that it began to rain, at times heavy. This is getting a bit much and very disappointing. We passed Hwy 37 (Cassiar Hwy) and continued west. Scenery consisted mainly of forest and the road was pretty straight. We encountered constructions at different locations but no one working. We stopped at the Continental Divide where there was a restaurant and gas. A few bikers were already here drying themselves. I had one egg, sausage and one toast and Val had two pancakes only for $30. That included two coffees…how can people afford living here!?? Service was not the greatest nor was it expected looking at the place but the food was good. 

The continental Divide separates the flow of water and where it goes. To the East, the rivers go North and the Artic. To the west, they go to the Pacific and Beauford sea. 
We began following the Swift river and headed slowly southwest where we eventually crossed into BC for the seventh and last time. We left the Swift River and headed North-West back into the Yukon. Our next town was Teslin. This is Indian country and the lake by the same name actually begins in BC. Stopped here for gas; $1.419.  We followed the Teslin Lake north to Johnson Crossing where we made a sharp left and crossed over. 

We left Teslin behind and headed South West to Jake’s Corner where it meets the Junction to Tagish. We will be going through there on our way back when we go to Atlin. I should mention that it finally stopped raining and the sky appears to be clearing 
The scenery became more interesting too. The Rockies came into view once again. We came into view of Marsh Lake and followed it North to the Yukon river which we crossed at a narrow point. We followed the Yukon River to Whitehorse where we arrived at our campground…High Country RV Park. We were assigned lot 15 but when we got there, someone was already there. Back to the office only 
to discover they made a mistake an double booked. The owner assigned us an overflow spot with water and electricity with the promise to find us a permanent spot in the morning. We are here for three nights. We have made arrangement with our friends Louise and Renald to meet in town Monday. They live here. 

We have been on the road 8 days!!! 

N 60* 40.976’ 
W 135* 03.646’ 
ELEV: 2427 ft 

We travelled 303 miles in 7.5 hrs @ an average 52 mph


JUNE 23, Sunday, sightseeing Whitehorse, Yukon

First thing we did this morning was drive to the Info Center to find out about the town and Inuvik. The lady at the desk was not very helpful, complaining of this and that and we felt rushed but we did get good info from a German visitor who
had just come down from Inuvik. He said hotels at EAGLE are fully booked well in advance and he suggested we take the trailer with us as the road are really good. Prices for hotel in Inuvik are around $200 to 300/night so I think this has
definitely influence our choices. We will take the trailer up!
We drove around to orient ourselves. We saw and visited the McBride Museum, all about Whitehorse, communication, gold history and the Alaska highway. It was really interesting. 
 We drove around some more and found CANADIAN TIRE
where I bought some items to repair the leaky lockers then it was off to the KLONDIKE RIB & SALMON where we had delicious halibut chowder and a halibut burger, all for the reasonable price of $80. (kidding about reasonable). As I said before, how can people afford living here!?? After lunch, we went to see the SS KLONDIKE but were disappointed as we could not see the upper decks. We were told it wasn’t safe!? Good thing it was free! 
 We then went to the “Canyon drive” which turned out to be very interesting. This was where the paddle steamers would come through to reach Whitehorse. It is narrow gorge with rapids which would have been really dangerous and challenging in the early days, to come through. From here we came back to our site for Happy Hour. It was sunny and warm all day then when we got home, it began raining in earnest as our luck would have it. We even got lighting and thunder.



JUNE 24, Monday, St-Jean Baptiste (Quebec).


There is quite a French community here and all the signs on the hieghways and info, are both in French and English. Our friend Louise confirmed that when we had lunch with them. Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. First thing this morning, I drove to the local RV Repair shop and picked up proper locker sealant/caulking, came home and installed it.

When Val was ready, we drove to the airport to look at the Museum of Transportation which was all about the North and air transport and also about transport by dog sled, skidoos and vehicle. It was well done. We also saw the famous airplane that serves as a wind vane too. We drove to town
from here and went to look at the “old church” but it was time to meet Louise and Renald at a local restaurant which was closed so we went to “Burnt Toast Café”, a very quaint place and very popular. We were asked to leave soon after we finished our meal so that they could sit others who were in a line-up. We walked in downtown and kept catching up to each other’s stories. We soon had to say our goodbyes and went our separate ways after making plans to meet again on our way back. We learned that they live in TAGISH which will be on our way from Skagway.
We went back to the “old church” and finished our tour there.
From here we went to the grocery store to pick a couple things, gas up at $1.379/ltr then it was time to come home. It was a wonderful sunny, warm day. After putting the groceries away, we sat outside for a drink. Val cooked the last of our salmon steaks…DELICIOUS!!!!! We sat outside for a while but soon had to go in as it began raining again…still is as I am writing this but not as hard as yesterday.

Tomorrow, we leave for DAWSON CITY.



JUNE 25, Tuesday, to Dawson City
We were on the road by 8:30 AM after dumping the tanks.  We drove 10 minutes outside of town and turn North on Hwy 2 to Dawson.  We were soon along side LAKE LABERGE, a huge lake, part of the Yukon River.  We saw lots of signs about watch out for moose, elk and bears but the only thing we saw was a squirrel running across the highway, a bald eagle and its two young ones flying around and a rabbit running across the road (he almost got run over).
Anyway, the scenery made up for the lack of animals.  The road was superb except for the section past PELLY-CROSSING (First Nation town) for about 10 to 15 km.  We stopped at different view point to look at the scenery or read about the history.  We stopped in CARMACKS, 150 km from Whitehorse, for brunch.  A neat place and the food was good.   I topped up my tank here @ $1.51 which turned out to be a good thing.  Scenery from here became monotonous with straight narrow road and forest everywhere.  We saw places where there were fires in the past and birch and poplar trees just overran the conifers afterwards conifers were getting shorter and shorter.  Maybe I was getting tired but I remember reading about how the conifers get shorter up here!???  We stopped to view the “TINTINA TRENCH” which extend hundreds of miles across Yukon and Alaska and is a route followed by migratory birds in the spring and fall.  It was caused by the Glacier Age.
We finally arrived at the Dempster Hwy junction and 40 km later, entered Dawson Creek.  Stopped for gas as I swear we were running on fumes (took in 80.309 liters), then to our campsite at Golden RV Campground, paid for 4 nights, parked and set up.  We sat out under warm sunny skies and had a glass of wine then chili for dinner.
Tomorrow we will do some explorations.  Right now, it’s 11 PM and the sun is still shining albeit low on the horizon.  There are no more nights, just twilights.  It feels funny to go to bed in daylight!!!

We travelled 334 miles in 8.5 hrs @ an average 51 mph
N-64* 03.815’
W-139* 25.587’
ALT: 1065 ft




JUNE 26, WEDNESDAY; Sightseeing

What an interesting, awesome town this is.  Everything I heard about it is true.  No streets are paved and all sidewalk throughout the town are boardwalks; so neat and clean too.  The only street that is paved is the main highway going through and to the ferry.  We walked just about every streets, tried on a couple pub in the afternoon, explored every nook and cranny and took lots of pictures.  We saw Pierre Berton’s house when he was a youth (didn’t know he lived here) and log cabin replicas of authors like Robert Service and Jack London.  Did you know that London’s cabin was taken apart and moved to Oakland California?
WE also visited the Visitor’s offices for both Dawson and the North-West Territory.  The latter was really interesting because this is where one gets info on the conditions of the Dempster Highway.  The lady we talked to, who is a native from there, was very funny and informative.  She couldn’t tell us enough about the place and the places to stay, camp and what to take up as basic necessary things.  There is even a log of people writing their impressions and experience of the road condition and weather. (It snowed up there yesterday and there was so much fog that the highway was closed).  Hard to phantom considering it was warm and sunny here.  Can’t wait to get there!!!
We drove to the “Dome”, an area above the town where the town gathers on Solstice Day to watch the sun set and get right back up an hour later.  The view was absolutely incredible and my pictures don’t do it justice.  On the way down, we took a side road and came upon an area that I had observed on the way up that consisted of a clear cut track going up, I decided to go down it as the trail was getting rough.  WHAT A RUSH, 4WHEELING!!!!  Got back on the road OK and came home to have dinner.
After dinner, we went to the CANCAN Theatre, and watched the show consisting of a singer and 4 girls dancing like back in the 1800’s.  They have three shows a night, serve food and alcohol of course and the place was packed.  They also have gambling tables with blackjack and roulettes.  We caught the 7:30 o’clock one which last just over an hour.  It was fun and they involved the crowd.  Apparently the midnight one is more “daring”.  Val wants to go!  Afterwards, we went to the “BOMBAY PEGGY, a local pub and had a drink then went to the Hotel’s bar to get initiated in the “SOURTOE” club.  This consist of kissing a petrified human toe, (true!), kiss it then dunk in a one ounce of Yukon Whiskey Jack and down it in one shot without swallowing the toe ($2500 fine if you do); they then provide you with a certificate.  We each have one.  The place was full and the girl doing the Sourtoe was very busy, this went on to past 11 pm.  We stayed till midnight then left.  I was hungry so we went to a pizza joint that was still open which turned out to be very good, one of the best I dare say!  Even Val agreed.  We then went home under daylight as if the sunset had just happened which it did actually.
The only downer was that at the hotel, I set a glass of beer down on our table and while we were doing the sourtoe thing, someone took my glass of beer!!!  I know who it was but couldn’t confront him as I wasn’t 100% sure (didn’t see him do it and he was drunk).  He left as soon as it was finished.  Oh well, part of the adventure.


JUNE 27, Thursday, more exploration.
We went visiting the local Native Cultural Centre in the morning.  It was well done and very informative.  We also watched a film about the local native tribes; again one of the best I’ve seen.  The attitude of the native and white here are quite cooperative but its not to say that discrimination is not happening.  We decided to go see the “Tombstone National Park” up the Dempster highway.  We drove was awe-inspiring with beautiful sceneries and the foliage which slowly change to meadow style landscape.  The Park’s lodge was also incredible with friendly and informed staff and lots of artifacts laying about.  They even had a playroom for kids, little and big! We were served a herb tea made of local pine needle and other things.  We won’t have to stop here Saturday on our way up to Inuvik!!
Back home we had a drink and wings at the local hotel then came home and relaxed


JUNE 28, Friday, last day
A day too many but that’s OK.  We did some grocery shopping and the laundry.  We also checked out the NWT Info Center for the forecast and it’s a go!  It is cloudy today and very warm.  I went to the Dawson Info Center to use their WIFI but its not much better than the RV Park.  I did manage to upload a couple pictures on Facebook but cannot download Instagram program…too slooowww!  We stopped at a side street food server and had a sandwich that was delicious.  Of course we took a picture!  We came home and Val did the wash.  I filled the water tank, folded and loaded the outside carpet and packed our chairs.
We went out for dinner at the AURORA INN and had a wonderful dinner.  The staff were really friendly too.  While driving home, we saw a crowd by the peer so we stop and found out that the canoe race from Whitehorse was arriving in Dawson.  This is the “YUKON QUEST”, a big race held yearly by canoe, 730 KM and it takes them two to four days depending on how fast or slow they are.  We met a few of them including the winners.  It was exciting!!!
Tomorrow, we head North to EAGLE PLAINS, Yukon near the Artic Circle.


JUNE 29, Saturday; to Eagle Plains, Yukon
We were on the road by 8:15 am, stopped at the garage to put air in the trailer tire then headed out.  The drive to the lodge at the Park was a repeat of yesterday but once past and over the hill. WOW! WOW!!!  What an amazing change in scenery.  It was like a meadow up here.  Low shrubs and very few conifers and not very tall.  It was like landing on a new planet.  And the mountains…out of this world!  The road twisted and turned up and down.  Am I impressed or what!???  Anyway, the road was good for a while but then got pretty rough.  We were driving 40 to 60 Km/hr depending on the conditions.  Eventually the road got better and we speeded up to 60 to 70 km/hr.
We eventually got to the OGILIVIE River and followed it for quite a while.  We stopped for lunch at a rest stop beside the river and the mosquitoes were really bad.  We had to stay inside and as soon as you opened the door they would rush in.  Here the scenery had changed to thick forest of conifer,  willows and birch.  We got to a sign that said “14 miles hill” and it was just that.  Not a steep grade but steady.  At the top we crossed the Continental Divide and had an amazing view, we stopped at a look-out view point.  We were on top of a ridge and could see both sides for miles and miles.  It was absolutely incredible!  The road twisted in every direction of the compass.  One minute we were headed north then south then east then west then back to North.  Kid you not!!!
We drove along this ridge for well over 25 KM then began a slow descent to EAGLE PLAINS.  The surrounding hills were covered with a thick but not too tall conifers.  Just before Eagle Plain (about 20 km) I literally ran out of gas!   I got our extra jerry can which I had filled earlier and poured it in the tank and it allowed us to reach Eagle Plain where I was able to fill up @ $1.61; not bad considering the isolation this place is in.  Thank God it exist!!  We got a campsite with power but no sewer or water. This stop is self reliant.    I also found out that our water tank is nearly empty.  When I filled it yesterday, I forgot to close the empty valve….DUH!!!!  They import their water, produce their own power and are totally self sufficient yet they have a restaurant and bar and a hotel with WIFI, showers and comfy rooms.  It reminds me of some places we stayed at in Mexico.  By 6 pm the place was full.  We went out for dinner.  Now we are home relaxing.
We heard that the road forward is quite rough until but the North-West Territories.  Providing it doesn’t rain, it should be a dry road.  We are very close to the Artic Circle yet it’s a balmy 22* C

N 66* 22.421’
W 136* 43.082
ALT 2401 ft
We travelled 749 miles in 7 hrs @ an average 44 mph


JUNE 30, Sunday, to INUVIK, YUKON!
Well we woke up this morning to a wet surrounding.  It rained all night on and off.  Right now, I am sitting in the restaurant where I paid $5 for a connection to the net to update my blog and check e-mail and the weather.  The sky is clearing on the North and west side so we still have hopes as the road is closed right now; it has a gate across it and there doesn’t seem to be any way to find out if and when it will open.  The front desk doesn’t seem to want to cooperate much when people ask!???
We finally hit the road by 10:30 am after I saw a truck leaving for the North.  The gate was opened!  The road was very muddy and it was slow going…40-50 KM/HR.  It did improve some and we got speeds of 60 KM but not much faster.  We made it to the “Artic Circle”, stopped and took some pictures then left under a rainy sky.  The road improved some but not by much.  The scenery was really fantastic and would have been even greater had it been sunny.  We were looking at true northern tundra with very low shrubs, no trees and one could see for miles…visibility had improved.
We arrived at the NWT border under a light rain and fog so thick, we could see no more than 50 feet ahead of us.  We had been following a ridge and finally started going down and out of the fog.  Here the vista opened up and we got a view out of this world.  The rain finally stopped and the road was a 100% improvement.  Mountains, the McKenzie range was in front of us, the tundra was brilliant and rich in green.  We still could see some conifers but they were small and meager due to the ground’s permanent frost.  We entered a canyon surrounded by the mountains which was incredibly beautiful.  As a matter of fact, this road is an advertising poster taken in the fall with colorful tundra everywhere.  Of course, we are in the summer
Eventually we arrived at the PEEL RIVER where we took the first of two ferries.  Across the river, we soon arrived in Ft McMurray, a native village where we took gas at $1.65.  This is a very poor village compare to our standards but rich in family togetherness as we witnessed while driving through.  We continued on and the scenery became monotonous with low forest of conifers, lakes and lots of shrubs.  We then reached our second ferry and got on almost right away with one semi and two other vans.  The ferries here run 24 hours/day with one hour maintenance in the morning.  It was tight and rough to get on and off but we made it and stopped on the other side for lunch.  There is a village across a river joining with the mighty McKenzie and the ferry went there after leaving our shore, picked up a pick-up truck then went across to the far side where we unloaded.  The pick-up stayed on and was taken across from where we came from.  From here, the road was straight as an arrow, dusty and almost as good as some of our paved road.  The scenery was pretty well the same so it soon became boring. 
We finally reached INUVIK, found our campground, $22/night, checked in then drove to the carwash where I washed down the trailer.  Man was it ever filthy and crusted with a stubborn mud.  It cost us almost $20 to wash it @ $2. for 3 minutes.
So here we are, in the “Midnight Sun Country”.  We had a glass of wine to celebrate then cook dinner at 10 pm (local time, we are on Mountain time now) with the sun still high in the sky; it doesn’t set here!