August 30, 2007 – On the Road Again

Rain, rain, and more rain!

Today’s temperature did not get above 54. We also saw some early snowfall on the mountains. :-(

We were going to stop at Mukluk Annie’s but they were closed for the season so on we went to Watson Lake.

We are staying at Campground Services – the same place we stayed on the way up the ALCAN. In July, this campground was packed, now there are only ~ 10 campers and the store is closed for the season. (We noticed many places are closed for the season.)

(But there is free Wi-Fi – although very slow!)

So tomorrow we head to Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia for a nice dip in the springs.

Miles Traveled: 267.5
Routes Traveled:
Yukon: YK-1 (ALCAN)

August 29, 2007 – White Pass Railroad and Skagway

What an exciting day!

The bus picked us up at 7:30 AM at the Campground and off we went. Our first stop was Emerald Lake:

Isn’t this beautiful! The house is private property – can you imagine viewing this lake every day!!

Our second stop was Carcross. We were to board the train here but they had so much water that some of the tracks and also houses were flooded.

The train station: One of the flooded homes:

Notice how high the water is at the railroad bridge:

Carcross is a really neat town. Many of the original (100 years old or more) homes still stand and are occupied. If we come back to Alaska, I would love to spend more time here.

Our next stop was Frasier, BC to hop on the train – The White Pass and Yukon Route narrow gauge – to Skagway. This train route was originally built in the early 1900’s because of the gold rush and a way to ship the gold to the lower 48.

The views were amazing!

The top of the White Pass:

The original route of the gold seekers (very narrow):

The view of the port of Skagway:

Coming down the mountain into Skagway:

Skagway – notice the cruise ships (there were 6 of them here today):

Old town Skagway:

We spent a couple hours here walking around and viewing the sites. It is a very touristy town. We had originally planned on taking the road to Haines, then the ferry to Skagway and then the road to Whitehorse which is what we will do next time. We did have a great lunch at the Skagway Fish Company with our tour guide. I just love hearing people’s stories...

Our ride back was on the tour bus with a stop at the Carcross Desert – the smallest desert in the world!

And tomorrow we head on down the road.


August 28, 2007 – Alaskan Highway

We continued on down the ALCAN. Fall is beautiful here. The grasses are a wheat color; the fireweed leaves are a burgundy color and their seeds are a pinkish white puff ball; the yellow wildflower has turned to a white puffball; the trees and bushes are yellow; and in the background of all of this are the green spruce trees, the mountains, and the snow on top. WOW!

The worst of the highway is now behind us. The first 100 miles into Canada was filled with lots of broken road and frost heaves. Both the US and Canada continue to try to find the best way to do a road on the permafrost.

Some pictures of the Kluane Mountains:

As we neared Whitehorse, we noticed that everything is greener. Except for the fireweed, fall has not arrived here yet.

We are staying at the Pioneer RV Park – same one we stayed on the way up. There is a lot more spaces now. And there is free WiFi.

We have booked a train/bus trip to Skagway for tomorrow – can’t wait!!

Miles Traveled: 214
Routes Traveled:
Yukon: YK-1 (ALCAN)


August 27, 2007 – Our Last Day in Alaska

Today was our flight seeing/mail run day and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day!

Chisana is a little town in the Wrangell Mountains that gets mail delivery twice a week by plane. There are no roads into the town so everything is brought in by plane. If there is room on the run, you can book passage and that is what we did.

Our plane:

The scenery was… well, I will show you.

Notice the blue lake on the ice (lower left):

Notice the yellow trees – fall colors.

When we arrived, everyone came out to get their mail. Notice the ATV’s.

I had an interesting conversation with the woman who is the postmaster. They do not have an actual post office because everyone comes out on mail day. She also runs a B&B but this year did not have running water – she brings water in from the river. She is also in the process of doing the town’s history. This was a large gold mining town in the 1930’s.

Here is Chisana:
When I hear stories of these types of communities, I truly admire the people. They know how to survive and prepare for the hard times. I just love to hear their stories...

What a nice way to say goodbye to Alaska.

So now we are on the ALCAN heading to Mile Post 0. We traveled into the Yukon and are camped at Lake Creek Government Campground. Another beautiful state/provincial park. Our site:

Miles Traveled: 160
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-2 (ALCAN)
Yukon: YK-1 (ALCAN)


August 26, 2007 – Tok

Another beautiful day in Tok!

We woke to the blue skies and sun and 31 F – Brrr. And a dead battery in the Tracker (we had been having some problems the past few days).

So we went shopping for a new battery (we are good to go now), grocery shopping, final cleaning of the motor home and tracker, final laundry, and all internet updates…

We are going to go to one of the local restaurants tonight and our plane ride tomorrow morning. Then we head down the Alaska Highway.

Andy and I don’t want to leave!!

So stay tuned for our adventures down the highway.

PS. I have added the Tsunami link under "Our Links". Check it out - there is some great maps and real time items.

August 25, 2007 – Sourdough Jamboree

We moved this morning to Sourdough Campground. Andy cleaned the outside of the motor home while I did the laundry and some of the blog and emails.

The Jamboree started late afternoon – what a good time.

There was music:

A search and rescue dog demonstration:

A Pancake Flyover:

A silent auction (I won a gift certificate to one of the local restaurants), a karaoke contest, craft fair, food, and lots of good entertainment. This was the campground’s last night for the entertainment.

What a great time!!!

August 24, 2007 – Tok

We woke to more rain today so decided to take it easy and do shopping, rest, and relaxation!!

And then the sky cleared and we had a sunny late afternoon – just right for a campfire.

Here are some pictures behind the motorhome – the river has gone down much since we were here in early July.

And look at this – we watched a couple go thru the park. They were on their way hunting (moose hunting started yesterday).

We are seeing many RV’s heading south… Fall is definitely here!


August 23, 2007 – Tok Cutoff and the Wrangell Mountains

The mountains were out!!!

And the clouds are rolling in...

These are the Wrangell Mountains that are in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. This is the largest US national park and includes nine of the sixteen highest peaks in the US. They are covered year round with snow and like the other mountain ranges in Alaska, they create their own weather.

We were so excited to see them before the clouds covered them.

We made a stop at the Visitor Center for the National Park – lots of information about the park itself and its history.

Our travels continued on the Tok Cutoff and we crossed the foothills of the Alaskan Range:

In November 2002, one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in North America was in this area. It created 12’ deep holes in this road. Can you imagine driving along and the road just opening up???

We did see another bear today plus a fox with a kill... Sorry, no pictures...

We made it into Tok and have now completed our circle of Alaska. We don’t want to leave!!!

We are staying at the Tok River State Recreation Site and will be in this area for a few days. I have made reservations for a flight trip on Monday. We will go on the mail run to Chisana in the Wrangell Mountains - isn’t that great!!

We are also planning to do the final preps before we head down thru Canada.

I did a quick trip to the visitor center and met Jeanie who remembered me. She was one of the entertainers at Sourdough Campground when we were here before. She told me they are having a final party on Saturday with entertainment, native dance, contests, food, crafts, etc. So we will be moving to Sourdough on Saturday.

Miles Traveled: 180
Routes Traveled:
Alaska: AK-10 (Edgerton Highway); AK-4 (Richardson Highway); AK-1 (Glenn Highway); AK-1 (Tok Cutoff)