Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alaska et al photo favorites - Trip's End

The group - The Keno sign post
Sunset at the Dome
Explanation of the Midnight Sun
Happy Travels to all - our next excursion is to the Smith Reunion in Tisdale Saskatchewan mid July! http://www.smithreunion2009.blogspot.com/
See you here and there!

Last Account of Alaska 2009...

Well my posts and been random and not always accurate I fear so I will leave 2 last posts, one of our actual itinerary and one of some favorite photos. I have had issues with posting photos. Any suggestions from fellow bloggers?

Here's where we bedded down each night:
Thursday June 4 - Dawson Creek
Friday June 5 - Fort Nelson
Saturda June 6 - Watson Lake
Sunday June 7 - Whitehorse
Monday June 8 - Whitehorse
Tuesday June 9 - Whitehorse
Wednesday June 10 - Haines Junction
Thursday June 11 - Haines Junction
Friday June 12 - Tok
Saturday June 13 - Anchorage
Sunday June 14 - Anchorage
Monday June 15 - Fairbanks
Tuesday June 16 - Fairbanks
Wednesday June 17 - Delta Junction
Thursday June 18 - Chicken
Friday June 19 - Dawson City
Saturday June 20 - Dawson City
Sunday June 21 - Dawson City
Monday June 22 - Stewart Crossing
Tuesday June 23 - Whitehorse
Wednesday June 24 - Whitehorse
Thursday June 25 - Liard Hot Springs
Friday June 26 - Dawson Creek
Saturday June 27 - HOME!

Endurance Test Road Trip!

Daylight hours
Liard Hot Springs

Low Points:
Highways way worse than we thought. But how you define bad road? Next time may drive and hotel or small truck camper...
3 weeks not enough - maybe 6?

Back To:
Yukon; Homer, Alaska (didn't get there); Inuviuk or part of the Dempster Highway (didn't get there)

Hello & Goodbye to many Friends!

Well I now had you caught up to Tuesday June 23 and leaving Stewart Crossing. We had planned to meet Carl and Carol Anne again in Whitehorse, where we say goodbye to them and Paul and Mary. Their plans are to go home on Highway 37 through BC, and because Don and I were on a tighter schedule we were headed home on better roads, to make better time (hopefully).

We were aware that our friends from Glendon, Alberta, Janice & Jim Connelly and Melody & Charlie Kwiatkowski, would be doing the Alaska trip but not sure if we would meet them. As luck had it, they pulled into the same campground as us on Tuesday evening. It was great to see them and visit around the campfire that night, as well as have extensive coffee time on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning everyone except us left. We decided to spend another night in Whitehorse, allowing us to visit the small town of Atlin, BC. It was only a 2 hour drive and very worth it. The scenery and wild animals we encountered were awesome! A nice evening at our trailer, and the next morning we were on our way. At that point thoughts of home were on my mind, BUT we had to stop one more time at Liard Hot Springs. The provincial park was one of the nicest campgrounds we have been to. Only made better by the presence of the hot springs. These springs are a very natural site, not a pool, and so very hot!

Don and I really enjoyed our last days together. We stayed in Dawson Creek on Friday night, and had supper at our favorite Friday place - Boston Pizza.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Don! We had a potluck BBQ today. Ribs, beans, salads, rice, pickles, breads, corn on the cob, and of course appetizers...

Anyhow now to finish the post and get up to date.

We travelled from Anchorage to Delta Junction. Our specific task was to take a photo at the last mile of the Alaska Highway. The next morning we are on our way to the Top of the World Highway, which will take us through Chicken, Alaska! Several experiences along this route, most especially the stories we heard about the highway.

Chicken was the oddest little town. 3 businesses and about 15 people (who seem to live in the businesses) and that's it. Luckily for us there was a saloon! And tons of souvenirs. Paul and Mary were lucky enough to purchase commemorative I Got Laid in Chicken t-shirts. Our trip goes on through the highway to Boundary Alaska. What town there was is shut down, but still unique, which is the northern theme. The highway was not as bad as Don let himself think but none the less, still quite stressful.

Once we reached the outskirts of Dawson it was a short ferry ride and there we were at least – in Dawson City! That makes today Friday, June 19 since I am loosing track of days and dates.

We met Carl and Carol Anne again here and after a fine dinner and visiting, we headed out to the bars. That was a blast and a unique social experience! We even went to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s for a midnight dance show. Saturday no one felt like doing much, so we hung around town, took in some shops and visited lots more.

Sunday – big day! Fathers Day BBQ and the midnight sun visit to the Dome. We visited some gold mining dredges as well. We stayed on the mountain until 1:00 am and never did see the sun go down. Not that we really expected to as we have not had what Albertans consider darkness for many nights now.

Monday we headed out and stayed the night in Stewart Crossing. It wasn’t the most appealing campsite, but it gave us an opportunity to see Keno and Mayo. If you drive through Keno you eventually climb a mountain that allows you a glance at a signpost that shows directions to all sorts of worldly destinations. Very beautiful scenery and very HIGH mountain roads. The small communities of Keno and Mayo were full of gold mining history and a most unique coffee shop.
Talk again soon!


...that I haven't posted for over a week. Sorry!
A couple of posts ago I talked of going to Skagway, but couldn't get any photos to load, so here a few. The first one is a scene looking down a street, the rest are self explanatory. It was nice to see a bit of the sea and the smell was refreshing. Love the ocean!

I haven't mentioned much about any of the places we have visited.
Haines Junction is west of Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway. We stayed 2 nights at the Kluane RV Kampground. I won't rave about any of the campgrounds thus far on our trip, and they can't be
called campgrounds. Most people call the RV Parks. More accurate because you park, not camp. Most offer full services and are smooth gravelled or paved "parking lots". Firepits are seldom available. That is definitely a disappointment compared to holidays on the west coast where state parks are beautiful and abundant!
Anyhow we arrived here late, just in time for happy hour. Yea haw! On Thursday we did a road trip to Haines, and what a great decision. Whereas Skagway was very commercial and seemingly set up for the cruise ship crowd, Haines was a quaint town, with lots of history and nice shops.

Friday morning prior to pulling out Mary and I had a nice morning walk to the local bakery!

First mechanical issue: trailer flat tire. Can you believe it only cost us $12 to fix at a great station in Beaver Creek.

Next stop Tok (pronounced to rhyme with smoke).
This was another RV park, but Mary and I went to listen to the local entertainment, a fellow named Dave Stancliff performed,
playing guitar and singing many of his original songs about Alaska. It was kind of fun in a weird Mary and Donna way!

So now it is Saturday June 13. Where has the time gone? We are in Anchorage and what a nice city! I know I am a city girl at heart because I have to say that although Don and Paul have enjoyed museums, Mary and I have sourced out all Walmarts, as well as finding a great mall, and a huge downtown market. BUT we did do another day trip as well, driving a ways down the Kenai Peninsula, to see the Portage Glacier. It's hard not to keep saying what a beautiful drive! Here are some photos of the icebergs in the water at Portage Glacier.

Well that has made one loooong post, so I think for today enough.
Next post watch for updates on Fairbanks, Dela Junction, Chicken and Dawson City. So much to still tell you about, but enough of being in the trailer on the computer!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time to Catch Up!

Well we have learned again that the consistent factor of wireless in the North is the inconsistency! Sorry we haven't posted much, but tonight we are in a nice comfy site with great connection.

Here are 10 top things you need to know about travelling north:
1. BUGS - Total bites on Donna's left foot in one evening, with bug spray: 13
total bites on Donna's right foot, same evening, more spray: 11
2. BUMPY ROADS - Have you travelled to northern Saskatchewan or Alberta? Good - you will still be surprised. Have you ever driven a Bronco with broken springs up a hill in Jasper? Good - you will still be surprised!
3. FRIENDLY PEOPLE - Everyone will stop for a visit or a chat. You will make some great friends - like our Carl and Carol Anne. I have to say though that those who choose to live here are sometimes a bit out of the ordinary:)
4. MOUNTAINS - No one can describe the majestic beauty of these mountains. Most of our pictures don't do them justice. The days have been hot and hence muggy, or rainy and blurry, or smoked in form forest fires. BUT they are incredible. I said like Jasper, but more than that. We have been driving in these mountains for 1500 km and you see them always, everywhere.
5. YUKON - This place gets overlooked. Everyone says go to Alaska, but just like life it's the journey, not just the destination. The Yukon is very beautiful.
6. SUNSHINE - Or daylight hours. Think about it. People say 19 hours of daylight and you think oh ya, BUT really. It is 10:30 pm here as I write this and I can see the sun, just going down at about 11:00 on a clock. Beautiful!
7. DISTANCE - This really is the trip of a lifetime. It is so far. We have been driving for 6 days and are now in Anchorage. Long ways!
8. WATER - I am a Pisces and there are ocean spots - so I love that!
9. SCENERY - I talked about the mountains but the pristine lakes and glaciers, amongst other things are beautiful.
10. WILDLIFE - So far we have seen moose, buffalo, bison, swans, bald eagles, sheep, salmon, brown bears, black bears, elk, deer...

The trip is fantastic and we are having loads of fun with Paul and Mary. Since my last post we have been in Haines Junction, Skagway and Haines, Tok an dnow Anchorage.

I have so many pictures to post but tonight the internet is not cooperating and they will not load. I will try to post them on my facebook for now, so check that out if you have my page.

Talk to you in a couple of days!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hot Weather and LONG Days

Well coming north has not involved warmer clothes. The daytime temp hovers around +25, and last night it went down to +17! We are using our air conditioner as we watch the hockey game.
Today we visited Skagway, Alaska. It is about 2 hours from Whitehorse and worth the drive. We didn't end up taking the ferry to Haines for no real reason, just didn't.
We are really enjoying our holiday with Paul and Mary, and of course Carl and Carolanne. We won't see them until we get to Anchorage, and then we are again meeting in Dawson City. Although the days aren't flying by right now I know they will as the time to go home approaches. Already we know it would be great to get to Ontario to see Carl and Carolanne. Maybe that can be another road trip some year.
We did a bit of window shopping in Skagway today but didn't buy anything. Still trying to decide what to buy Blake and Emerson. Maybe moccasins? If I can find some not made in China! LOL
Yesterday we had a quiet day in Whitehorse. I think we were all glad to spend a day not driving. Paul and Mary are having some minor trailer issues so we may stay in Whitehorse one more night. Tomorrow will tell the story as they have a repair appointment.
I will have to post pictures tomorrow since I forgot to download all the photos before I came to the internet store.
Take care!
Oh by the way sun rises at about 4 am and sets about 11:30 pm. If you need dark to sleep this is not the place for you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

North to Alaska - The Rush Is On

Hi everyone! We have arrived in Whitehorse and the official travels begin. Not much between here and Fort Nelson, and I really mean that! The scenery vaguely resembles Jasper area, only larger. The main difference is when you see nothing on a map, they mean nothing. No civilization, just miles and miles of highway. The mountains are spectacular, and still in the distance. The Yukon river alongside Whitehorse is expansive.

You may have heard of the forest fires in the north. We actually drove alongside one near Liard Hot Springs area.

The hot springs are magnificent!

We continue to meet our Ontario friends at the campgrounds as we go. What a hoot travelling and camping. Last night we shared our campfire with another couple. They are from BC and he is currently working here.

We are going to do some travelling around this area and stay camped here. I am really looking forward to travelling to Haines and then Skagway by ferry.

We will post again when we have visited the new places!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Moving Along the Ribbon of Highway

Friday was a great day! We met Paul and Mary in Fort St John, had a coffee and started for Fort Nelson. It was a gentle 3 hour drive to the campground. We chose the Westend RV Campground, as it was treed and a bit more like camping than a parking lot.
Along the way, at Milepost 135, we saw our first true glance at the farthest north Rockies we have encountered. Very impressive.

I have also attached a photo of the sunset the night before.

Days are already long here. Hard to know when to go to bed and when to get up.
We met some nice folks in the campground. Carl and Carolanne from Ontario, and Anna and Holger from Germany.
No campfire but lots of good food and drink took place. Kind of strange, we are all following the same routes and destinations, and have booked the same campground in Dawson City for the summer solstice party!
Have a great day, we shall touch base tomorrow morning, internet allowing!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mile Zero - We are on our Way!

The adventure began on Thursday June 4, 2009. We left Stony Plain at 4:30 RIGHT after work, and planned to travel to Grande Prairie. BUT Don doesn't stop when told and we ended up in a picturesque Dawson Creek Walmart RV Executive site.
Friday morning we were off to meet Paul and Mary in Ft St John, but needed one stop for a photo opportunity:
Our next stop is Fort Nelson, so hopefully we will have wireless and talk to you tonight!