Friday, August 27, 2010


We were feeling well traveled. 4140 miles to Alaska and 1470 miles through Alaska. Then we met Peter and Crystal Mohr from Munich. This trip they have traveled 19 countries and 45,000 miles. They have traveled to 38 countries in their motor home including China, Europe across to South America and North to Alaska. They shared wonderful stories of their travels.

Sunset at 11 pm. Finally a clear enough day to enjoy sunset. We were hoping for Northern lights but no such luck.

We got to spend a week in Whitehorse waiting for our tow repair. Kayaking Long lake was one of my favorite activities. Might as well enjoy the area while we wait.

Moe liked it, also. A great spot to enjoy the water and a hike.

We caught up with our friends Sharon, Gary and Molly from Tennessee again. The Yukon river made for a relaxing spot for happy hour.

The Yukon river is 2000 miles long and was used by the stampeders during the goldrush to transport their goods upstream. We enjoyed a hike along the river.

This suspension bridge across miles canyon was built in 1922. Its still in use for hikers.

This was called the Grand Canyon by early gold seekers.

More gorgeous views.

The big machine in the parking lot. The trailer was nearly as long as the motor home. Dick was impressed.

Our plan was to go back into Alaska to see Steward and Hyder.
No such luck. We waited for 2 days but a fire and smoke closed the road. View of our sunshine.

Smoke hangs heavy in the air as about 80 of us waited for the Cassiar highway to open.

Buffalo are not phased by the smoke. A heard of nearly 100 were by the road.

Our campsite. Quiet spot along the Upper Liard River.

Must have one more cinnamon roll.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ferry to Skagway

We loaded our RV, jeep, Moe and ourselves onto this giant ferry to head across the water from Haines to Skagway.

Very interesting view driving onboard. Realize that both sides of the ferry are open and if I drive too far, I could go right into the ocean. Don't want to miss that first turn to park.

Loading the RV. WOW it looks big from up here.

THe view of leaving Haines. What a great quaint little town this has been. Each town in Alaska has its own personality and this one was really hometown without tourist trinkets.

Dick hanging out by the flag on the ferry.

Great views coming into port. There were 4 cruise ships in this day. You can imagine the number of visitors. Skagway was once the major Kondike gateway and still has many historic Gold Rush buildings. One of our favorite activities was the town tour offered by the National Parks rangers. Learning the history of this town, makes me appreciate all the stampeders went through to get to the Gold Rush.

The town catered to tourists. No trip could be complete with out a horse and buggy ride.

The tour cars were modeled after the original trolley cars used during the goldrush days. The town is called Alaska's Garden City. Many of the Victorian homes had beautiful gardens of wild flowers and poppies.

Dick and one of his favorite totem poles.
The town remains mostly old buildings with board walks. Walking through town was entertainment in itself . The six block historic district is well preserved.

We toured the country on the White Pass and Yukon Scenic Railway, one of the last remaining narrow-gauge trains. It was completed in 1900 and provided a route to the Klondike. It was also the main supply line for the construction of the Alaska Highway, built to defend Alaska from invasion during World War II. We traveled to White Pass Summit at 2800 ft., through 2 tunnels , by cascading waterfalls, by Buchanan Rock, and passed the gold rush cemetery. Great views for the day.

The ticket office is a replica of the original one built in 1900.
Construction of the railroad began in 1898 and the first train broght back $500,000 of Klondike gold in 1899.

Interesting to see the front of the train as it rounds the corner to go through one of the tunnels.

Our views of waterfalls and glaciers made the trip go by in a hurry.

The caboose. This is where as a child I always wanted to ride.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Haines Alaska / Bear Country

Haines at sunrise:
Our travels take us into Canada and then back to Alaska to Haines, North America's longest and deepest fjord. Historic Fort William Seward is in town and was used during World War I and II as a training base for Alaska recruits. It is complete with historic homes, guard houses, barracks and fire hall and is in the process of being restored and turned into private homes and businesses.

The view from our home: Portage cove on the right and a waterfall on the left. Love hearing the ocean waves and water falling down the mountainside. Haines is home to about 200 to 400 eagles. We have seen them swooping into the water to catch their dinner. Yes, its still cool and rainey.

My poor jeep covered in sticky mud. Notice the tow plates are off. 100 miles out of Tok and again one of the plates snapped; the other was cracked. Frost heaves and damaged roads are the culprit. Dick and I are driving separate until Whitehorse where we are hopeful to get repair work complete.

We've been on bear watch and what a treat. Momma bear and her 2 cubs came out for dinner. Salmon is their specialty. Later we saw a mom and 3 cubs. Such a show. I'll try to get the video on my next blog.

Mom is intense on finding dinner.

Mom feeding her cubs.

We attended a Farmers Market held at the State fairgrounds. They have a community garden full of ripe veggies and flowers.

Its time to pick the cherries. Many trees throughout town are full of cherries ready for jam and pie.

Two girls pitting cherries in a garden in the middle of town. They dry the cherries to enjoy all year round. YUMMMM

These flower pots line the pier in downtown Haines. A beautiful site on the small boat harbor.

Our dinner. Bought crabs for $5 a piece from local fisherman. He even cleaned them for us. Just throw them in a pot for a real crab feast.

Dick enjoying crab dinner. Notice the meal is complete with newspaper table cloth.

These were delicious sweet juicy crab legs.
We enjoyed every bite.

Tomorrow we load the motorhome, jeep and ourselves onto the ferry and head to Skagway. A new adventure awaits.

Valdez, Alaska

Dick fixing one of our favorite meals. Salmon on the grill. Look no winter coat. We had a day of sunshine in Valdez...This area is surrounded by the Chugach Mountains, the tallest coastal mountains in North America, rising from seal level to an elevation of 7,000 feet.

We cruise in the 55 foot LuLuBelle for a 7 hour trip through Prince William Sound, one of the most spectacular and unspoiled wildernesses in the world. Through the many fjords of the Chugach National Forest, we observed fishermen at work, the terminal of the TransAlaska Oil Pipe Line, glaciers, ice fields and many sea animals.

Valdez has 5 accessible glaciers: the Columbia, Meares, Worthington, Shoup and Valdez. This is the Columbia glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America and largest in Prince William Sound. It is close to a mile wide and rises 300 ft from the waterline.

You get the picture. We're having a great time.

Average summer temp in Valdez is 53 degrees. Today, its much colder with the wind off the glacier.

Our fascination with sea otters is rewarded with this group of 23
little guys swimming together.

Can't resist one more pic.

Our boat in the middle of the icefields as as we go around Glacier Island. Glad that Captain Fred Rudolf has over 30 years of exploring these waters. He got us home safe.

These huge chunks of very blue ice surround us.

The ice fields were so thick with floating masses. Amazing trip through these waters.

Our hike to Worthington Glacier was well rewarded with beautiful views.

A researcher fires up a water drill to bore a hole into the Worthington glacier . A camera is placed in the bedrock to discover the effect of temperatures on ice slides.

Mount Drum is part of the Wrangell Mountain Range and is located between Valdez and Copper Center.

We're in Tok, Alaska. We're fortunate they have a RV repair with a welder. The plate holding our RV tow bar to our jeep broke through. Thank goodness Dick is so observant and recognized the jeep swaying and got us to a stop. Otherwise, the jeep could have beat us down the hill. All repaired and on the road again headed to Haines. Life is good.