North to Alaska
North to Alaska! Since leaving Family and Friends in Oregon we headed up to Blaine, Washington to do some last minute repairs to the RV and wait for Billy and Kay to meet up with us so we could begin our trek North. My hot water heater had stopped working on electric but after some troubleshooting, I found we had a bad circuit board which I think went bad when the 120 volt wire tied behind the water heater had a little melt down. After repairing the wire connection and changing out the circuit board, we were as good as new. Saturday the 11th, Billy and Kay got into town and stayed at the Silver Reef Casino parking area.
We met up with them and realized his house batteries were shot. On Sunday we did some running around and found 4 new golf cart batteries at Costco for $83 each. We had to swap all his out for the new ones in the parking lot and return the old ones back for his deposit. It made for a busy day but we figured we would be doing a lot of boondocking on the way to and from Alaska so it was needed. On Monday, we left the casino and crossed into Canada through the town of Sumas, Washington. From all the research we were anticipating a long wait and lots of questions and possibly a search of our vehicle… we got to the border crossing and my stomach was a bit nervous but there was no line, we pulled up showed our passports answered a few simple questions and we’re on our way. It took all of 3 minutes. Hopefully for the rest of the trip the stories we have heard and read about will be just as inaccurate. Because of the short time at the border we made good time to Williams Lake. They had a great Visitors center, so we stopped in to get some info and use their Wi-Fi. They even said it was fine to stay the night in their parking area. They were so friendly and helpful, which was a common theme we found throughout Canada. Our Second day we stopped in Kitwanga and we stayed in Cassiar RV park. It only cost us about 30 US dollars. We had water and 20 amp electric, and used the dump station on the way out. On day 3 we were heading for a park in Dease lake, but a few miles before, we found a beautiful pullout area right beside a rushing river.
It was too beautiful not to stop. We even pulled out the grill and Bill grilled up some awesome Pork chops! On Day 4 we made it just past Whitehorse Yukon. We stayed in an RV park that had a well needed Hot Springs to soak our bones. We had been averaging about 350 miles a day. We are both cursed with the Adams’ travel bug, and just make it really hard to stop driving each day. We will have to work on that going forward. On day 5 we crossed into Alaska (another uneventful boarder crossing) and made it to Tok Alaska.
It was nice to get back to American maintained roads. We had traveled through so many miles of dirt, gravel and frost heaves to leave us so dirty and I had a chip in my RV windshield and Billy had a crack about a foot long on his tow car. I guess these are the Battle scars, so we will wear them proudly. We wanted to wash up our rigs in Tok but when we were leaving there was a long line in the RV wash area.
We decided to head down to Palmer and stay for a few days as Kay had some relatives to look up. We were able to wash up there so we felt like we were ready to explore. It seemed all the way up to Alaska and our whole time here it was a postcard around every corner. Mountains, Moose, Black bears, Brown bears, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers… I’m sure our pictures do not do them justice.
After a few days exploring the Palmer area we headed down to the Kenai peninsula to check out Homer for some fresh deep fried Halibut…well at least Aurora and Billy did.
Kay and I had fresh burgers! After Homer we went over to Seward for 3 days and stayed in their waterfront RV park. So beautiful.
We even did some hiking over to Exit Glacier which is one of the only glacier you can easily walk up to.
To finish out June we headed over to the town of Healy AK. which is just outside the Denali National park. We spent 4 days here hiking around the park and they have a great bus tour that take you 66 miles into the park. Too beautiful for words. We were even lucky enough to get some great shots of Denali!
We also saw a lot of wildlife, Caribou, and we even came across a recent wolf kill of a caribou, though we didn’t see any wolves, there were Eagles picking over the carcass.
We were lucky to come up on a huge Grizzly bear that crossed the road in front of the bus only about 30 feet away! The park also has a great presentation at their Sled dog area which is a free tour and they put on a great presentation running the dogs. They are amazing animals that were a major part in building Alaska and the Northern Canadian areas.
The dogs in the park are still actively used for all kinds of tasks throughout the park. Next Month we will hit Fairbanks then begin our trek back to the lower 48. Everyone said the Mosquitos were bad and it rained a lot, so I guess these road signs are appropriate..
We hope to take this trip a little slower and make time to smell some roses.