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!

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



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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 CafĂ©”, 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!




Friday, June 14, 2019

June 14, 2019; Last day of preparations

JUNE 14, 2019; Last day of preparations

Our last evening at home!  The day went by fast.  washed the truck, picked up the last of our meds; loaded the trailer with our clothes, food, and a bunch of stuff, trying not to forget anything.  Kevin, our son-in law, called this morning to wish us safe travel.  We just have a couple things to load in the morning.
We went to Happy Hour at our neighbors' place then out to Gallagher Lake Pub for dinner.  We came home to load a few more things then relaxed.  It was to bed early, 10:30 pm.