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!




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