April 29, 2009 – Make Beautiful Day – :-))

Make Beautiful Day!

And that is what we did.  Andy finished cleaning and polishing the outside of the motor home.  I cleaned part of the inside and was able to wash some of the rugs.  The Tracker was washed (inside still needs to be done).

I gave Andy a haircut, I got a haircut in town, and Andy helped me color my hair.  I was going to let it go and see how gray I am but alas, couldn’t do it – maybe next time – LOL!

I did the laundry and met two of the locals and had a great chat (as well as a great chat with the hairdresser).  As most of you know I hate doing laundry but when I can get to met the locals and learn about the area and their stories, it makes it ok!

So that was our day.  Tomorrow we decided we would dry into Fairbanks and check out some campgrounds, the RV dumps, and do some shopping…

Until then, have a great evening and tomorrow.

April 28, 2009 – Delta Junction

The first thing on our agenda tonight was washing the motorhome.  What a difference!!

Andy spent the rest of the morning and afternoon waxing part of it.  I spent the time on the computer – :-) trying to get the blog caught up.  My connection here is very slow..  Email is next. And I also spent time trying to find us a place in Fairbanks for next week.  I found two places open but still looking for water and dump station (everyone has told me that theirs is still frozen – Yikees!)  I am also hoping that this great weather will defrost some of them so they are open next week.

We went to dinner tonight at the Buffalo Center Cafe and had buffalo burgers – MMMMMM!  From there we took a ride to the Tanana River – yes, ice breakup happened here.  Won’t be long now for the official Nenana Ice Classic to end.

The Tanana (notice the iceberg):

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This is also where the pipeline crosses the Tanana.

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And I am finally caught up with the blogs..  Have a great evening everyone!


April 27, 2009 – The Alaskan Highway – Part 6

Today we reached the official end of the Alaskan Highway!!!  How about that!

We are staying at Smith’s Green Acres Campground in Delta Junction and will be here for a week.

The weather is wonderful – 70’s in the day and 40’s at night (The rivers and the ice will be melting soon):

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We spent some time talking with the campground manager, Joe, and also our neighbor, Morris after getting set up. 

We will be doing our usual with the motorhome – cleaning, washing, etc. and getting some sightseeing in so stay tuned..

One last picture.  This is the center of Tok and the mountains are the Alaskan Range:

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Miles Traveled:  115 Miles

Routes Traveled:

AK: SR-2

April 26, 2009 – TOK

Today we checked out what is open in Tok and up the line.  We found a campground in Delta Junction for a good weekly rate so that is where we will head tomorrow.  Our issue now is that we can find spaces but the dump stations and water supply is scarce – still frozen!!!

We also found out that the official ICE Breakup on the Tanana River has not happened - yet – hmmmmm, maybe we will see it – :-)))

We stopped by Sourdough Campground and spoke to Anne and gave our condolences.  We stayed there a few times in 2007 and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We were sorry to hear of Ken’s passing.  She is still keeping up all the traditions and entertainment (starts Memorial Day), so we told her we would see her on the way back down.

Coming back to the motorhome, two huge moose passed in front of us and I did not have my camera – :-((((

But we did have a wonderful campfire today!!!  We sure missed them!!


April 25, 2009 – The Alaskan Highway – Part 5

Today’s travel was lots of “bumps and dips” – Slow going but the scenery is still incredible:

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Information on the frost heaves from the Milepost (a little history lesson – :-)):

However, engineers met their match on the stretch of bumpy road between the Donjek River and the Alaska border. From the 18th Co. Engineers’ pioneer road building in 1943, to the modern engineering techniques of Yukon’s Dept. of Highways, this section of the Alaska Highway has presented some unique challenges.

According to Public Works Yukon, much of the soil along the north Alaska Highway is of glacial origin and unsuitable for road embankments. “Anything that causes the permafrost to melt will cause the ice-rich soil to liquefy, and liquid soil has little strength and will settle or subside. Then if this soil refreezes during lower air temperatures, it will expand or heave.” This process wreaks havoc on the driveability of the road surface by creating undulations and cracking.

Despite the best efforts of American and Canadian scientists and engineers, permafrost continues to be a major challenge for road maintenance north of Destruction Bay. Research continues on techniques to slow down melting beneath the roadbed and achieve a more stable highway embankment (see the permafrost research project underway on the Alaska Highway at Milepost DC 1164.6, south of Beaver Creek).

In the meantime, watch for roadside flags indicating road damage, and slow down for bumps and dips in the highway!

And watch, we did!

We did see this fellow crossing the road:

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We also saw lots of caribou and moose but too far away for some good pictures..

And we crossed back in to the good old USA and Alaska:

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Here is the international boundary markers:


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From the Milepost:

The international boundary marker here make a good photo-op, as does the narrow clearing which marks the border. This is part of the 20-foot-/6-m-wide swath cut by surveyors from 1904 to 1920 along the 141st meridian (from Demarcation Point on the Arctic Ocean south 600 miles/966 km to Mount St. Elias in the Wrangell Mountains) to mark the Alaska–Canada border. This swath continues south to mark the boundary between southeastern Alaska and Canada. Portions of the swath are cleared periodically by the International Boundary Commission. The boundary line between Alaska and Yukon was originally described in an 1825 treaty between Russia and England. The U.S. accepted this version of the boundary with its purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. But after gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1896, a dispute arose between the U.S. and Canada, with both claiming the seaports at the head of Lynn Canal. An international tribunal decided in favor of the U.S. in 1903.

Here is that 20’ swath:

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Interesting!  From there we were going to stay in Border City but their campgrounds are also closed so we headed to Tok and found their state park open – YEA!!!!!!

We stayed at the same site where we camped in July 2007 and then again in August 2007..

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Here is the Tok River behind our site:

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In July 2007, it was raging, in late August 2007, it was down and running mildly and now, it is frozen…. Cool :-)))

We are going to be here for a few days, figuring out our next moves!

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Miles Traveled:  211 Miles

Routes Traveled:

YK: PH-1

AK: SR-2


April 24, 2009 – The Alaskan Highway – Part 4

We woke this morning to another snow/flurry storm so we did some shopping in Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and the Dollar Store.  We also made some phone calls and found a campground in Burwash Landing that was open so that will be our next stop.

The storm ended by 11 AM, the sun came out so we decided to head up the highway.  We did not want to stay another night at Wal-Mart (our policy – one night only) and we did find one campground (actually parking lot) open in Whitehorse but very expensive (not sure why???).  We figured if the storm continued we would move there but to our relief it ended (although we did go thru some snow squalls as you can see in the pictures).

So today’s travels took us past the St. Elias Mountains, The Kluane Mountains, and Kluane Lake (which is also still frozen).  And of course, the scenery is incredible:

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We did see wild horses:

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and a wolf (sorry, no picture, he was too fast).

So tonight we are at Burwash Landing with electric hookups.  (And we have finally been able to get water and dump – we have not been able to do that since last Saturday – yikees!). There are a number of places run by towns or gas stations that have dumps and water, however, many are still snowed in.   Although this is like a parking lot, we are at the upper end of the lake and here is our view:

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How about that!!!

We are not sure where we are going next…but that is part of the adventure – :-)))

Miles Traveled: 169 Miles

Routes Traveled:

YK: PH-1