Friday, June 29, 2007


June 28 ~ Thursday ~ hazy with sun.
I've met the 44 magnum pistol I won at the Ninilchik fair last year...a Taurus Raging Bull with about a 52 inch barrel and HEAVY...thinking, if I'd have to defend against a bear, the bear would win. It'll be interesting shooting as I use my left eye and am right-handed...wonder if my nose will be the same after that first shot...
Cindy got up early to make cinnamon rolls...and, yes, they were almost as big as Braeburn's and just as yummy!... I slept in, but did drop her off later at the fair grounds so I could go down to the beach. Waves were rolling in due to wind, but no bore tide***SOMEDAY I'LL SEE ONE***. Watched three bald eagles, one immature, fishing...took numerous pictures of them, old wooden boats, the Russian Orthodox church on the hill, and Mt. Redoubt across the inlet. Either the immature eagle couldn't yet fly well OR he was too full to fly...kinda hopped and jumped over to an old dead tree and was still sitting there when I left 45 minutes later. Just lounged around the rest of the day...evening was very calm with the sunlight making everything glow.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


June 27 ~ Wednesday ~ bright and sunny!!!
On our way down to the Kenai and Ninilchik to stay at David/Cindy's house...too late to go to the Heritage Center, but will catch that and other places in July. A beautiful drive and can even see Mt. Redoubt from the Sterling Highway 15 miles east of Soldotna...but can't take pictures due to the bouncing of the pickup and probably wouldn't have turned out anyway because of the blending of colors with the sky. Stopped at Freddy's (Fred Meyer) for fuel, etc., then on to Ninilchik, and 'our' parking spot at the Schnabl acres. The Caribou Hill's fire (73,000 acres)is partially contained NE of here, but fire camp is still at the school and business at Lindsay's coffee shop has been sorta brisk, along with the pizza sales made by Cindy and friends for the BB team at school. Tomorrow morning I should help Cindy...but will probably sleep in as she's at school by 6am...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


June 26 ~ Tuesday ~ same...
David is whistling 'Dixie' and feeling better today...will see him next week at Ninilchik for a couple days. Didn't see the moose we've seen everytime we've driving past Sutton...probably taking the day off. Guess what today is! Laundry day, BUT there is a nice place in Wasilla that has a pre-dryer, a water extractor that really helps cut down on the drying time. Had 4 loads at $3 each...extractor (3 loads) at $1 each...and the dryer...a $20 bill, but the rugs and towels were included and had only done bits and pieces for a couple weeks.
Backed right into our space at Jeff and Janell's, hooking up the trailer to leave tomorrow for the Kenai. Hoping to stop at the Alaska Native Cultural Center tomorrow in Anchorage on the way hurry, just meandering.


June 25 ~ Monday ~ cloudy with patches of sun.
David is renting a really neat log cabin...just like we would like...16X24...talked to the landlord/cabin construction guy last night after arriving. The cost for a shell is $30,000...a bit steep, I'm thinking. Last year we talked to a guy in Talkeetna and he quoted us about $16,000 for a 'stick-frame', just don't know if he's still around as his business site is for sale. ANYWAY, had a good visit with David who isn't really feeling very well today ( wondering if it's our influence as to why people don't feel well the day after we arrrive...), but did fix him breakfast after he'd been up and at work several hours. He also said***now get this!***that he'd arrange for me to pull the trigger for a blast on the mountain for the road construction...WOW! I am soooo excited! But will have to wait until the next visit as we will be...not going to Talkeetna...but going down on the Kenai to Ninilchik for the rodeo this weekend and to stay with Dave's family until next week sometime. His two younger girls will represent Alaska in the high school rodeo finals in Illinois the end of July...pretty cool for them...and us!
Caught up on the journeling, enhancing and transferring pictures. It takes a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g time to go thru 700 pictures. Burned some to CD's for Stan and Blooie, mailing tomorrow to be waiting for them when they arrive home early next week...and printing some pictures for a friend in Whitefish who doesn't have access to a computer. And...Dave told us to watch for grizzlies...just in case...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


June 24 ~ Sunday ~ cloudy/rain.
The coffee lights are out for Stan for the last time...what WILL he do tomorrow!!! Now he has to remember to make his own coffee... Sad seeing our time with them come to an end...I HATE good-bys! They will be traveling over the Glenn and Tok Cutoff today, staying in Tok, then down the Alaska highway, possible going to Haines/Skagway and down the Cassiar to the Yellowhead highway and home. Will miss their company and faces so very much!
Visited with Jeff/Janell about relatives/mutual friends...blogged...and will be leaving for David's work place on Hick's Creek to stay a couple days, then on to Talkeetna until next weekend.


June 23 ~ Saturday ~ sprinkles.
Left the beach a little after 8am, going to the military campground, where Steve and family have stayed, to pick up rockfish fillets, then on to Anchorage where we try to find parking spots for our vehicles (remember... S/B are pulling their 12 foot tin tent everywhere to live in...) so we can shop the Saturday Market (over 100 booths set up in a parking lot in downtown Anchorage). Didn't find a parking spot, but found a one-way street***going the other way***. Just another BEHIND thing on this trip, Jack's first blunder. (Stan's first one was leaving the accessories to their new Roadtrip BBQ home. Mine was burning our dinner one night. Blooie doesn't have any...YET!). Anyway...we did NOT stop at the market, but went on to find the Native Heritage Center where Blooie bought the moccasins she'd been looking for...then left for J/J's. We WILL be back to go thru the center...and shop the market...and experience an earthquake in a theater...using the 2for1's/freebies in our coupon book. Blogged during the evening while visiting with relaxing here and friends fun to be with...sad it's our last night with S/B and Emmy Mae!


June 22~Friday~cloudy/sprinkles.
Lights on the ladder out early for Stan's coffee so he can leave by 5:30am for fishing. Blooie and I wait until 7:15 for the boat to go by, then almost miss Stan waving his arms off at 7:30. We break camp and go to city beach campground (dry camping on the beach-front for $12 OR $25 for water/electric with restroom and showers 50 feet away...nice ones, too!), set up and Blooie and I walk down to the docks to register for our evening dinner buffet cruise around the bay with Major Marine Tours. Also, bought another $25 jacket for Tasha and checked out the Kenai National Park Visitor Center. Met Steve's wife and family, eating with them downtown, then picking up Jack and going to the Sealife Center (started after the Valdez spill to manage the endangered marine wildlife~very interesting), trying to take pictures of the marine birds/mammals that are swimming/floating in the water. By the time we left Stan/Steve and the boat were back at the fish house with 25 black bass and 5 red snapper...all very good eating.
The four hour ~around the bay ~cruise on the Star of the Northwest was so very relaxing, even tho we couldn't see much due to fog and low clouds, but the meal was excellent (prime rib, grilled Copper River salmon, salad, rice pilaf, sourdough bread and dessert~$15~all you can eat buffet)and the company wonderful...'our last hurrah' before Stan and Blooie leave on Sunday. We did see GU-11's, puffins, sea lions, the tail fo a whale (breeching, when the tail flips up, usually means they are about to go deep into the water), sea otters and learned a bit about the geology of the fjords.


June 21 ~ Thursday, Summer Solstice ~ the longest daylight of the year & it's sunny!
Left Jeff and Janell's at Palmer by 6:10am to beat the traffic thru Anchorage, stopping to fuel ($2.85/gal) and continuing along Turnagain Arm and Cook Inlet. Really really would like to see a bore tide (an abrupt rise of tidal water just after low tide, moving rapidly landward, formed by a flood tide surging into a constricted inlet~Milepost~that may reach as high as 6 feet...maybe what happened last Saturday in Prince William Sound)...and watching for beluga whales (someday!), but none today. The Seward highway is beautiful...good road...shockingly green foliage (a lot of rain here), glaciers, lakes, rivers, mountains. Arrived in Seward at 10:25am, checking in at Miller's Landing...a nice sounding name, but an expensive campground ($35, electric hookups only) with not so nice restrooms/showers/laundry...having made reservations since we aren't the only ones on the road this year. Unhooked S/B's p/u to see the town and get our bearings...and came back with $25 jackets... water resistant, reversable to fleece and warm...just what is needed in a moist windy environment. Stan is making plans to go fishing with Steve and his in-law's family an open, 19 foot boat, 35 miles out, so will pray that goes well...and will again have the coffee lights on early in the morning. Was planning on staying up until midnight to take pictures, BUT we are too far sun and cloudy...Z-Z-Z-Z...


June 20~Wednesday~sunny.
Thinking 'the mountain' will be 'out' today***AND IT IS! All the way along the Parks Highway we viewed Denali...just so glad Stan and Bobbi had the opportunity to see it. Before leaving the park area we went to the Visitor Center with animal displays, short films, topographic maps, a book store and a small cafe with espresso.
With us on the bus yesterday were the Riley Creek Campground hosts telling us there are four 'resident' cow moose, two with calves. Two of the four are a bit ornary, especially one, after she was 'shot' with pepper spray by a woman when she mistakenly got between her and her calf...just a mom protecting her little one, but scary all the same. (A little interesting tidbit...Anchorage has 2000 resident moose in the city).
We stopped at Sunshine gas station at the Talkeetna Spur Road Junction for fuel (paying the same as last year...and 2971 miles from Mike's Conoco in Whitefish) before heading into Talkeetna for a look around, showing Stan and Bobbi 'the sights'***Nagley's Grocery (the place for ice cream or a latte), West Rib Bar and Grill(home of Stubby, the cat... mayor of Talkeetna), The Roadhouse (so very yummy food), numerous gift shops and renewing aquaintances from last year. The picture I took of Denali from the river at Talkeetna now adorns scrapbooking paper. Laura, 'the jelly lady' (made/sold 12,000 jars last year at $6/ do the math!!!) told me I should print my pictures myself and market them, saying she would sell them for me...thinking seriously about that!
After arriving in Palmer we ate at the Noisy Goose...good food/funny-sarcastic sayings on the waitresses t-shirts (Be careful, my thoughts could become words at any time...Sarcasm is just another service we provide...I can visualize the duct tape on your mouth right now...I have left, but if I come back would you please keep me here until I return...) before staying the night at Jeff and Janell's.
This staying light is just so wonderful!


Tundra~vegitation growing above tree line...well drained soil.
Tiaga~means 'little sticks', soil that is not well drained.
Black flies OR flying jaws OR no-see-ums~ mean, tiny, little critters that are
invisable until they open their mouths and bite causing welts that pretty much
itch like you wouldn't believe!
There are several species of mosquitoes...Wonder Lake is home to many of them.
Caribou numbering 2000 in the park are bothered by worable and box flies numbering
about a gazillion.
Denali (Mt. McKinley) was not included in the original park.
The park was increased to 6 million acres in 1917.
Savage River Wildlife Sancuary was developed for the preservation of Dall Sheep...the
main reason the park was established.
1950 saw the completion of the Denali Highway between Paxton and Cantwell.
1972 was the completion of the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage.
Anyone can hike/backpack/camp anywhere in the park...except for posted areas where
it's dangerous to animals or humans. Usually there are no trails, but if
tenting...must be 1/2 mile from road and out of sight.
The Alaska Range...Denali is a part of this 600 miles long with an
average elevation of 7000 feet.
The Muldrow Glacier, about 70 miles from the entrance is inactive and covered with
vegetation and debris.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


June 19~blue skies here...Mt. McKinley...cloudy.
Left the campground about 8:30am, leaving Jack behind with Emmy Mae to watch over him. We were on the 10:15am bus with Mona as our experienced driver of 29 years, very informative and interesting. The Wonder Lake 'tour' takes 11 hours, but well worth the price ($39.95/person) and time. There are several 15 minute stops for rest areas and pictures and time allotted for animal spying and stopping. Those Kodak moment butt shots are just waiting to happen! We have a Kodak EasyShare Z740...a wonderful camera that can zoom in quite closely... comes with it's own printer, too and does a fantastic job.
Privately owned vehicles can drive a few miles into the park, but in order to see more animals, mountains and rivers one has to take the bus...reservations need to be made at least a month in advance if you want to be sure you'll be going on a particular one. I made reservations a month early, hoping to get on an earlier bus, but all were filled.
We saw several caribou, a couple moose, quite a few snowshoe hare, TWO BIG BLOND GRIZZLIES (one zigzaging, looking for a caribou calf and the other asleep on the mountainside with legs stretched to the back), Dall sheep***AND MT. MCKINLEY***an awe-inspiring site, so big and bold, from all directions...just a wonder of God's creation! The mountain was in the clouds all the way to Wonder Lake...and then, just like a curtain parting, there she was, looking like a wall right there in front of us! Pictures and words just don't do it'll just have to experience it yourself!
Got back to Jack and Emmy Mae about 9:30pm...and, yes he did, have the garlic bread and lasagna ready for us to eat after our hard day of playing.


June 18~sunny to rainy.
Started out the day in a slower mode, not leaving Jeff and Janell's until about 11am for points north. Followed the Parks Highway to Talkeetna, anxious to see our property, wondering if the road had weathered the winter***YEA, IT HAD***and very well, I might add. Kim, neighbor and road builder, had no doubts as to the stability of it. Stan and Bobbi have approved and have already constructed a cabin in their minds. Our neighbors to the south have also built a road into their property, altho theirs has not held up as well as ours...because, Kim said, he didn't build it. They also have poured posts for the construction of a cabin...don't know if they had it surveyed, but if they have and it's correct we would have our south boundry established. After a look-see, we traveled farther north to Denali National Park...a very pretty drive with some awesome views of Denali and the Alaska range.
We picked up our bus tickets in a pouring rain, then headed back down the highway 6 miles to Denali Grizzly RV Campground to get ready for a long day tomorrow...11 hours on a bus to Wonder Lake in the park. Hoping to get some front shots of animals...

Sunday, June 17, 2007


June 17~Father's Day~sunny/cloudy.
Sleeping in due to late night. Stan didn't even get up for his coffee until just before 9am and shortly thereafter Bobbie's and Stan's son, Steve, his wife and 8 mo. old son arrived to take them to Father's Day breakfast and to drive to Hatcher Pass for a hike and to try their hand at gold panning. We decided to stay home doing laundry, the blog...and calling friends(Donna! Glad you are doing well...thinking of/praying for you!).
We will be leaving for Talkeetna tomorrow morning, taking a look at our property to see how the road weathered the winter, then heading to Denali to pick up shuttle tickets for our ride into the park on Tuesday. Camping at Denali Grizzly Bear Resort, 6 miles west of the park entrance. Updates to follow later this week.


June 15~Friday~sunny/cloudy~Maggie's day.
Woke up, surrounded by Pioneer Peak, mountains, glaciers, moose (the resident moose with her twins have NOT shown up) and Stan's coffee cup. Janell doesn't seem to be feeling very well today, even took the day off and left her to mend and drove back down the Glenn highway to Hick's Creek where our nephew is the head of an AIC road construction crew to visit with him. While there we road with him, checking on the work being done and saw the 6pm blast to clear dirt and rock from the proposed site, raising the roadbed 40 feet from the riverbed...a seven mile, 2 year project, 6 years in the planning stage. We also have found the cabin we want to build on our property at Talkeetna. David's landlord has a sawmill and has erected several small cabins, one of which he is renting to David and will talk to us later as to prices, etc. Arrived back at Jeff and Janell's for BBQ steaks with them. Stan and Blooie and getting ready for a boating day tomorrow.

June 16~sunny~a day of beauty and of God's almighty arms protecting us.
Up at 4:20am, to leave at 4:50 to 'catch' the 6:30 drive-thru the tunnel to Whittier for the 'beat-the-rush' launching of the Spitfire, Jeff's and Janell's Hewes OceanPro into Prince William Sound for a day of shrimping and sight-seeing. Jeff, Janell, Tanner (their son) and Jack pulling the boat and Stan, Blooie and I following in the other p/u, knowing we wouldn't get lost since I knew the way. We lost them before Anchorage, but found p/u/boat again on the outskirts where they turned off into a fast food's drive-thru. We followed, thinking Tanner was hungry...followed all thru Anchorage to the Diamond turn-off, thinking Janell's work is close, maybe she needed to go to the office quick...and into a store's parking lot, parking right beside & almost waving...but not...because it was the wrong boat/vehicle. The woman apparently thought she was being stalked by the look on her face! Made a quick get-away and proceeded down the Seward highway, almost out of gas (none open at that time of day), just missing a wreck by seconds (those protecting arms), arriving at the Whittier turn off at 6:55am to four people waiting with their arms crossed wondering what had happened to us. Stan was in fine form by then..."There I was, minding my own business..."! and Blooie and I hurt from laughing. Got thru the tunnel at 7:30 (found fuel...$3.39/gal) and by a little after 9am, with fishing licenses bought, had launched in a -3 tide...very very low...grounding a huge Princes' cruise ship until evening.
Beautiful seas..."2 feet" by the harbor master's statement...cruised into Piget Bay (renamed Piglet by Blooie) and dropped three shrimp pots. Motored over to Blackstone Bay to see the glacier, fish and have a picnic on the boat. Awesome scenery!!! Blackstone glacier comes right down into the bay*** heard calving*** picked up some glacier ice for drinks later*** fished, catching 6 rockfish of three different species***saw a big black bear watching us and just had a wonderful time. Mid-afternoon we went back to "Piglet" Bay to retrieve the shrimp baskets...thru water that had 'whipped up a tad'...probably 4-5 foot swells with whitecaps before turning into the bay. Was a bit tricky getting the baskets in, having to pull up 300 feet of line (they do have a puller), trying to keep the boat turned just right. After the second basket was in three 7 foot waves hit us with water coming in the front, coolers banging against the forward windows ~with the glacier ice cooler going over the side, water ankle deep in the cab...all scrambling to get life vests on (I had had mine on, taken it off, but was still in my arms and INSIDE-OUT when put back on...really should be colorful on both sides for those circumstances!) Decided to forget the cooler and last shrimp basket ,as***according to Tanner, "We still have us"*** (smart guy)! After returning to the dock three other boats came in with similar's arms were around all of us, not letting us drown. Returned by 10pm...still sunlight...and stopped to eat at a restaurant in Palmer with Steve (Stan/Blooie's son) stopping by...and filleted the fish before going to bed (TOUGH skin, but heard good eating) at 12:30am. A most awesome and thought-filled day!

Friday, June 15, 2007


June 13~Wednesday~sunny.
So glad we waited for today to leave as it rained yesterday and we wouldn't have been able to see the awesome sights along Top of the World highway. The ferry crossing takes 15 minutes round trip so had to wait for a little over 2 hours to board as there were 11 RV's ahead of us...AND 17 behind us when we started up the road across the Yukon River from Dawson City. This highway climbs forEVer it seems, looking out over an expanse of trees, mountains, rivers and lakes. The Fortymile caribou herd, which had been very low in numbers, is now increasing and their river crossing area can be seen in the first few miles. The Alaska/Canadian border is also on this road...about 60 miles west of the Yukon...the crossing uneventful except to look in our cargo trailers. The road from here... not as good and slippery if wet...goes by~ a dredge, used for many years for digging up gold in the creeks, ~Jack Wade Junction (right to Eagle, left to the Alaska Highway, 15 miles east of Tok), and ~***BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN CHICKEN, AK*** (those words not accurately describing the little town). After Chicken a few miles the road is paved, with sightings of the Alaska range.
Tok...the last town in AK going 'out' or first coming 'in'...offers Fast Eddie's for your dining pleasure...a very good place to eat, a salmon bake, motels, camping and groceries, gift shops, and fuel. All a very small town...4 hours from Fairbanks or 3 hours from Glenallen.
We've stayed at the Golden Bear RV campground before and decided to try a different one, Sourdough RV Campground about 1 1/2 miles on the Tok Cutoff Road...a nice quiet place, altho supplies of TT were limited. They also have a singing and comedy act we have heard is very good, but were too tired to attend. Cost: $17 for dry camping and $28 for hook-ups.

June 14~Thursday~sunny. After Stan had his coffee and washed a few chunks off their tin tent we head out on the Tok Cutoff toward Glenallen...beautiful country (haven't seen any unbeautiful yet!). Saw a cow moose browsing in the water on bottom of a pond, right after both Blooie and I asked where they of Mount Sanford and Drum amoung others. We had fueled in Tok so didn't stop in Glenallen except for ice and at one gift shop. On to Palmer with awesome mountains and glaciers (Nelchina and Matanuska) to be seen! There were a couple of construction places, one with our nephew David, on Hicks Creek where they are widening the road thru a mountain, but, on the whole, we found the road much better than when we left in late August last year...some frost heaves, but nothing like the road between the AK border and Haines Jct. around Kluane Lake in Canada. Stopped at the Musk Ox Farm outside of Palmer...quiviet from the underhairs of the musk ox, very expensive, but 8 times warmer than wool and Native women make yarn and hats, head bands and scarves for their income.
Arrived at Jeff and Janell's about 6pm...had a wonderful visit, drinking part of the wine we had brought up for them (will have to bring more) and finally went to bed about midnight, still very light, watching for the mama moose with the twins.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Land of the Klondike~Dawson City

June 12~Tuesday~Cloudy...rainy...sunny. Coffee done...lights outside...time for Stan. Downtown bound for information about the area and checking out the sights. Told myself I'd not buy books this trip so...I bought books***about the Klondike gold rush and stern-wheelers***and taking pictures of the SS Keno, falling down buildings, Robert Service's cabin and the Yukon from on top of Dome Mountain...quite a sight! Blooie and I wanted to go on a Yukon boat tour, but it was already the next best thing to do was EAT ICE CREAM. Now we prepare for Top of the World Highway in the morning. Still trying for those pictures...

Liard to Dawson City

June 10~Sunday~cloudy and windy. Stan has his coffee and can go to the pool with Jack and me for one last soak. Mama moose and twins are browsing again, but farther away so didn't take any pictures of then this morning. Again, met a traveling couple who we will probably see 'down the road'. So many times we've met people who we see over and over***now best friends, keeping in contact thru the net, mail and phone. On to Watson Lake where we fill our tanks...3 cents per litre less than last year! Not many animals, just a few wood bison along the road. At Rancheria (ran-che-REE-ah) Falls Recreation Site we stop for lunch and take a short walk to the falls on the river. Meanwhile, Jack finds a little battery operated string of lights that will be used to notify Stan when his coffee is ready in the mornings...handy little thing! Teslin (an Indian name for the lake-Teslin-too, meaning long, narrow water) Lake and River are almost 300 miles from Liard. A very pretty lake and home to the largest Native population in Yukon Territory whose livelihood revolves around traditional hunting, trapping and fishing. In addition (according to the 2007 Milepost), some Tlingit (Klink-it) residents are involved in the development of traditonal crafts...a good place to buy REAL handcrafted Native items and to read/see their history. Mukluk Annie's (I love that name!) is open again this camping down by Teslin Lake with wonderful food in their resturant. Johnson's Crossing...Marsh Lake, flowing into the mighty Yukon River...Whitehorse...and onto Takhini Hot Springs off the Klondike Hwy, our next overnight stop. Pros and cons of Liard and Takhini: Liard is hotter, not as deep, cleaner, not as developed, do not have to pay if camping in the PP. Takhini has more consistant temps, is deeper, $5.50 to go into pool, and only open from noon until midnight. Cost of camping here...$25 for electrical (they have no water or sewer hook-ups); Liard...$17 for no hook-ups, but a more beautiful setting. 1680 miles from Whitefish

June 11~Monday~cloudy to sunny to rain. No breakfast this morning at camp...oh, Stan did have his coffee...because we are stopping at Braeburn for the largest and best cinnamon rolls in the world!! Not sure how much they are because Stan and Blooie paid for them, but they are "soooo yummy"... 6 or more inches across AND we arrived just before two tour buses so were already enjoying ourselves.
The Klondike Highway is a good road for the most part... sometimes no shoulder and winding in places, with some construction...but we were driving for only about 9 hours with frequent stops (the rolls, fuel at Carmack, photo opts...pit stops). Five Finger Rapids is neat...and with the history of the Klondike gold rush from Skagway to Dawson City, it's amazing how anyone made it to the gold fields along the Klondike River and Bonanza Creek. Stan Cohan has written some very interesting books about this era, as have others...Pierre Berton...Laura Beatrice Berton...James Albert Johnson...AND, OF COURSE, Robert Service with "The Cremation of Sam McGee". Checked in at Bonanza Esso Service...$28.57 for full hookup...laundry (two loonies for washer...6 quarters for dryer) wash (for the construction mud...two loonies for 5 minutes). Meandered downtown about 7pm...everything was closed except eating establishments (had wonderful BBQ hamburgers at Klondike Kates) and Diamond Tooth Gerties where we stayed for the 8:30pm can-can show ($6 each admission)...singing was very good as were the dancers. Discovered I could get on the net, it is...and don't know when the next time will be...OR if I can get the pictures that are now, finally, on the computer to here, but will give it a good try... next time.

Monday, June 11, 2007


June 6~Wednesday~cloudy and rainy, but not our spirits. Started out at 8am with Stan, Blooie and Emmie Mae following with their pickup pulling their tin tent, a modified cargo trailer that looks really really cozy inside. By 9:40am we were across the border at Roosevelt without any problem. Traveled by way of Cranbrook...a short Radium Hot Springs (diesel only 3 cents/gal higher than last year!) on Hwy 93 thru Kootenay National Park ($17.80 Canadian for 24 hour fee) to Castle Jct. in Alberta...about 1 1/2 hours from Radium...and on up the Icefields Parkway. Even with clouds and sprinkles it's has awesome sights! One of my favorite places is the weeping wall where many waterfalls plunge over the edge in spring. In winter it's an ice climbing experience...for someone other than me! We stayed the night at Whistlers Campground, just south of Jasper, dry camping ($25.75) since all hook-ups were taken~so will reserve next time...IF more organized. Didn't see any elk calves~moms we saw probably had them hidden, lounging right between campsites. 435 miles from Whitefish

June 7~Thursday~sunny. Before leaving I called for reservations (1-250-776-7000) at Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park (PP for short) for the 8th and 9th. All camping sites are beautiful, but did ask for specific ones, known from previous years. This PP fills up very fast, so, if no reservations, we would have had to make an appearance by 11am to secure a spot. Took Yellowhead Hwy 16 from Jasper east***yup, still going north to AK***to Hinton, AB to fill with fuel, seeing a wolf trying to find an elk calf and the cow doing decoy duty with positive results for the calf, a loon with babies on her back, and a herd of elk bedded down. From Hinton, we backtrack a few miles to Hwy 40~the Bighorn Route~to Grande Cashe and Grande Prairie, the shortest route to the AK Hwy from Montana. Saw a grizzly sow and her yearling cub~but no picture since it would have been a BEHIND shot, but Blooie did get one, just hoping it turns out as they were close to the dark trees. Called The Shepherd's Inn (closed Sundays) for reservations for tonight, another 158 miles (3 hrs) up the road. Time change at BC border. Dawson Creek~'Mile 0' of the Alaska taken, then filled with fuel and we are off to our resting place tonight...$21.50 with hook-ups. For dry camping the washroom and shower in room 21 are available...but told Stan and Blooie they could come in our camper whenEVer...and Blooie did 2:30am altho we heard no noise. The weather had been rainy/cloudy/sunny and the sunset at 10:30pm was golden~the 3:30am sunrise red and beautiful! 850 miles from Whitefish.

June 8~Friday~sunny. Left for Liard (LEE-ard) Hot Springs PP about 7:30. Trees...trees...and more trees~expansive spaces. We are so small compared to our awesome earth and universe, but, just think, how significant we are to our Father in heaven, who even knows the number of hairs on our head! Fort Nelson...1062 miles from the next fuel stop before again following the road northbound. Coming up, after some 10% grades, is Steamboat Mountain... our next picture-taking stop...after seeing a black bear beside the road, picture of his fast moving black...BUTT. This mountain's summit is 3500 feet with views of the Muskwa River Valley and Rocky Mountains...such spectacular country, just going for miles and miles with all the ranges a bluish tint and getting fainter and fainter. The eastern turnout is much better than the one at the top which is overgrown in places. Indian Head Monument comes up in about 4 miles after leaving the top of Steamboat. The road from Testa River RV Campground***really good cinnamon rolls I've heard***is narrow and somewhat windy for most of the way to Liard Hot Springs. It's rocky country with Stone Mountain PP and Muncho Lake PP (provincial parks are made up of many acres with numerous campgrounds in Yellowstone and Glacier), home to stone sheep (took picture...guess which end) and caribou (oops...thinking they're headed away, too!) Muncho Lake is very beautiful with blue-green water, mountains surrounding...awesome! FINALLY...Liard Hot Spring PP...with reservations and so glad because the campground is FULL...$17/night, $5/bundle of clean! They even rake the sites when you leave! And the pool! There is a short board walk to the pools with over 250 different boreal plants...and sometimes bear and moose. The alpha pool is very clean
with temps from 108-126F. Mornings we stay for over an hour...afternoons, if the sun is out, not so long, or we go to the farthest end where the water is a bit cooler. This pool is about 2-4 feet deep, but the Beta pool, a 5 minute more walk is much deeper and cooler so provides a swimming hole...altho mostly murky and muddy~both have changing rooms and close to
the first pool is a washroom.

June 9~Saturday~sunny. Found Stan's coffee mug in our camper with a loonie on top...hinting for coffee in bed, I'm sure...and it was delivered to him with a smile. Jack and I bought a Coleman coffee pot, designed to sit on an open just like a regular one...around $38, give or take, depending on where it's bought. We bought ours...on E-BAY...who da thunk they would have both land AND a coffee pot for sale!
Just lounging today...e-mailing by pocketmail, a handy-dandy little device. Go to if interested. It's hand-held...$100 with service for a year at about $180, unlimited e-mails, sending and with a phone. A very good way to keep in contact with relatives and friends while traveling.
Saw a mama moose with twins on the edge of the trees and marsh along the boardwalk this morning...took many photos...and didn't even once get her backside!
We meet a lot of people from different places while soaking...Conneticut, Minnesota, Idaho, BC...mostly all going to AK and just so excited about what they've seen...the vastness...the hot springs...the animals~and wondering how the road ahead is...and what will the fuel prices be?
We are suprised about the amount of people traveling this year~because of fuel prices and the tourist season just beginning.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


W~O~W...the day has finally arrived. Our friends are here and we are headed NORTH in just a few minutes. Pictures will be taken and, hopefully, the next time on here some will be posted! Certainly, we have forgotten something...A-N-D...taken along too much, but that'll be rectified in the coming days, either buying what we need or putting extras in our cargo trailer. Wondering what our reception will be like at the border, so***with passports in hand*** here we go, with God along as our pilot.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

One~Two~Three...FOURTH DAY & we are gone!

Yup...that would be on Wednesday. We have no specific time-frame as far as how far we travel in a day...just depends on weather, campgrounds, how we all feel...BUT, it will be fun!
I mentioned before that we were having trouble with the back jacks and fridge. Well, the fridge is ok...must have been a vapor lock in the line because when we filled the propane bottles and reattached, it worked:-) The jacks tho were major...motors bound up and could not loosen them at all so they had to be replaced; HOWEVER, we have an extended warrenty and all we had to pay was the deductable...would have been $300 plus labor otherwise.
I very much recommend when you travel to have Good Sam on your side. No, not the U.S. Good Sam, but the Good Sam company offering everything from vehicle repair to money off at campgrounds to emergency help if in an accident or injured. Thank goodness we have not had to use them except for the campground part, but from all I've read in their Highway magazine and others, they are right 'johnny-on-the-spot' when needed.
So...most of the food-stuff has been loaded with one more trip to Costo and a couple to the grocery store for forgotten things. I'm not much of a menu maker so this is a brain workout to plan ahead a little. As my niece has frequently said when with me..."skipping...skipping...skipping" reference to my grey matter:-) I admit, it's true.
Our cargo trailer still needs to be loaded and am hoping a plan is in the works and not just in the...skipping...skipping...skipping...stage. That would be my husband's grey matter this time. We will be taking our four wheeler again...just so much fun to ride, and a lot easier than taking the truck down the road .8 of a mile to use my cell and pocketmail~something that is nice to have to keep in touch via e-mail by phone. If interested, go to and check it out. We did have to get 'an Alaskan phone' which is CellOne since our Verison isn't (YET?) in our area.
Will try for photos before we leave, but had had trouble with the wireless card and have had to deal with that. Just downloaded the Kodak program, so in my s-p-a-r-e time I'll work on the picture part.