August 30, 2009 – Wooly Mammoths, Cars, and Follies

Our morning and afternoon were spent at two museums.  The first was the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center. 

“The lost sub-continent of Beringia dates back to the last great ice age.  While the rest of Canada lay frozen under massive sheets of ice, a region encompassing eastern Siberia, Alaska and Yukon remained untouched by glaciers.  Sea levels dropped and a grassy tundra appeared, supporting a variety of animal and plant life.”

“The new world’s earliest human inhabitants moved into what is now North America from western Beringia at least 24,000 years ago.  Following the herds of mammoth and giant bison, the First People of the ‘New World’ were resourceful and well-adapted to hunting the large mammals of the steppe tundra.  Ultimately, they survived them.”

What a neat place.  We found out that as miners were digging in the permafrost for gold and other minerals, they unearthed some of these bones.   Some are also found after flooding in the river beds.  Amazing.

The Scimitar Cat

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The Wooly Mammoth in the center and the Giant Sloth on the left:

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From there we went to the Yukon Transportation Museum right next door.  This plane is actually the world’s largest weathervane (and we did see it move – WOW!):

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The museum contained all modes of transportation in the Yukon from dog sledding to modern vehicles.  They had a nice section on trains and the part they played from the gold rush thru the wars up to modern tourism.  There was a section on building the Alaskan Railroad and the suppliers.  Here are two of those vehicles:

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And one of Andy’s favorites – a 1928 Chevy.

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We also saw some interesting movies in each of the museums.  We would definitely recommend visiting the both.

Back at the MH, we relaxed and then this evening went to town to see “The Frantic Follies” – a vaudeville review.  What a wonderful show!!

Tomorrow we head out.  We are still not sure if we are going to Carcross or just head to Watson Lake area so stay tuned – :-))


August 29, 2009 – Friends and the Yukon

The first part of the day was spent doing laundry and picking up some groceries.

We spent the evening with Jan and Ken, fellow Escapees, getting caught up with each other and having a great time chatting.

Here we are:

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It was great to see them and hopefully we will meet further on down the road.   Jan and Ken, safe travels.

Andy and I took a little ride before heading back to the MH.  The mighty Yukon River:

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The mountains around Whitehorse:

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Another view of the Yukon, going thru Miles Canyon.  This is the way many of the gold rushers came on their way to Dawson City.  There used to be nasty rapids here where many lost their lives and cargo until they put in tram lines to help guide the ships.   There is now a dam that helps the water flow so many of the rapids are now gone.

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Another great day!!!

And I am feeling better – it must have been the boat trip – oh my!

August 28, 2009 – Travel to Whitehorse

We left Haines this morning in the sunshine, made it thru Canadian customs with no issues and headed up the pass.  And the clouds that were disappearing in Haines were hanging out in the mountains – LOL!

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The mountains behind the clouds:

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Coming into Haines Junction:

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We were going to stay at the Million Dollar Falls Campground – but it was raining.  So we moved on.  As we were coming up the road, a huge grizzly ran right out in front of us.   Andy hit the brakes and I really thought we were going to hit him – oh my!!!  Sorry no pictures – LOL!!! 

We then went to Kathleen Lake Campground – still raining so we decided to just keep on going. 

We pulled in to a rest area and realized it was one of the stops we made on our way up.  So here are more then and now pictures:


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The red that you see on the mountain is the plants changing color for the fall.

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We arrived in Whitehorse and are staying at the Pioneer RV Park for a few days.  As we were getting set up, Jan and Ken stopped by.  We met them at the Wasilla/Palmer Elks back in July and have been emailing ever since but just never crossing paths.  So it was good to see them and we made plans for dinner tomorrow.

And it was a real early night for me – just not feeling well.  I think it was a little left over from the boat trip yesterday.  (I may just quit going on boats!!)

Until tomorrow.


Miles Traveled:  250 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Alaska: AK-7 (Haines Highway)

British Columbia:  PH-4 (Haines Highway)

Yukon: PH-3 (Haines Highway); PH-1 (Alaskan Highway)

August 27, 2009 – Juneau

We left this morning on Fjord Express – here is our boat:

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The scenery was INCREDIBLE!!  Lots of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and the water is this color:

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The lighthouse – now defunct (and for sale – :-)):

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And the wildlife – oh my!  Here are Stellar Sea Lions:

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“Aren’t we just the cutest!”:

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“I am the top dog, er seal, here.”

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And I am going:

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We also saw lots of Bald Eagles: 08-27-09 Trip to Juneau 087a 

And this fellow who decided to check us out as we were checking him out – LOL:

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We arrived in Juneau and took in the downtown area.  This town reminded us so much of Pottsville and Minersville – our hometowns.  The buildings were close to each other, many built on the side of the hills, and narrow street.

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We did spent time in one of the Museums on the history of Juneau and the role it played during the gold rush days.  We had lunch at the harbor and watched the float planes take off and land – neat! 

From there we headed out to Mendenhall Glacier

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Since we only had a short time there, we took a short walk around and then stopped in the Visitor Center.

And before we knew it, we were back at the boat and on our way back to Haines.  All in all it was a great trip.

Tomorrow we head out so stay tuned.


August 26, 2009 – Just a Regular Day

We moved this morning from the state park to the Elks in Haines – full hookups plus cable TV – Wow!  We spent the rest of the day doing some things around the motor home, getting some groceries, etc.  We did stop in to the Lodge – very nice people and lodge.

Tomorrow we are scheduled for a day cruise to Juneau so stay tuned.

August 25, 2009 - Skagway

Today we took the Fast Ferry to Skagway to spend the day.  Here is our boat with Haines in the background:

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Coming into the port of Skagway – this is what thousands of gold rush stampeders saw over 100 years ago.

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Another view of coming into port.  Those ships you see are the HUGH cruise ships – about 12 stories above water.

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The National Park Service has a very big presence here in Skagway.  They have restored 17 buildings and are working on restoring more of them.  Many of the buildings are either museums or shops.  So we spent some time in the museums, walking the streets, seeing some of the shops, and seeing some of the Park Service movies.  Skagway became a town during the gold rush time of the late 1800’s.  It was only of the drop off points for the stampeders.  From here, they had to go over the White Pass to Dawson.   Since Dawson is in Canada, the Canadian government became concerned that many people would not be prepared for the journey.  So they required each person to carry a year’s worth of supplies.  Here is the list:

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Can you imagine!!  It took several trips to carry these loads thru the passes.  Oh my!

Some of the buildings – check out the wooden sidewalks:

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This is the Mascot Saloon that was just restored.  When they dug up the floor, they found over 19,000 artifacts buried.

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More buildings:

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How about these ladies (?):

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It was an interesting day!!