Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

2005 Travel Through Western Canada - Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon

You can read it through or select specific locations below.


We had been visiting the children in Marshall. MN.  Departed on the morning of May 5th headed for Alaska.  Stopped and spent the night at County Campground in Detroit, MN then continued on to Canada .

My campground rating system is on a scale of 5/5 with the first number being the levelness of the site and the second being the appearance.  A 3/3 would be an average site.  

05-06-05FriDay 36Out at:   9:35 AM - Trip meter:   225                                          

Driving directions:  Got back on CR 22 and took it north.  At CR 6 took it west.  At junction of US 59 took it north.  Crossed into Manitoba, Canada at the Port of Lancaster at 2:04 PM.  The highway number remained the same but changed to Manitoba 59, hereafter PH for Providential Highway.  Took it all the way to Winnipeg.

After we crossed into Canada it only took 2 minutes to go from the border, pull in at the customs office, and clear customs.  The customers officer only wanted to know: 

  • How many are in the coach
  • Where are you from
  • Have you been in Canada before
  • Do you have any firearms for protection
  • Are you bring in anything for delivery to someone in Canada
  • Are you full-timers
  • Where do we work
  • Looked through our passports for visa stamps
  • Passed us through 

This crossing was certainly different from the one we made at Port Huron last July.  There were no other vehicles there when we arrived – the customs officer had to come out from his office.  There were no vehicles there or visible in the mirror when we left.  It looks like a really remote crossing.   

We had unauthorized beef and dairy products in the frig and freezer and excess liquor.  We got to keep all of it.

  • Campsite:  Arrowhead Campground & RV Park, Ile des Chenes, 10 miles south of Winnipeg on PH 59 - 5 nights - site #46 – all rock - pull thru – water, electric, sewer. Rating 5/1.  Have satellite.  We have DirecTv with an 18" dish.  Got setup at 3 PM.  There are only two other RV’s in the park and one of those belong to the owner.  The owner said they usually were not open this early but because of the warm weather he was trying to get opened up a little earlier than usual. Some of the other water lines were still frozen. 

The drive to Winnipeg was through some of the worst landscape we have ever seen. It made Odessa, TX look pretty.

05-07-05SatDay 37 - It sprinkled off and on all night and there is moderate rain this morningWe departed camp at 12:15 PM.  Headed for Winnipeg – going to The Fork.  About 2 miles out of camp there is a highway sign that reads "“Winnipeg 14 km”.  In less than a mile is another sign that reads “Winnipeg 8 km”.  I know the metric system is supposed to be superior to ours but I do believe there is a bit of a problem with the placement of the signs.  The weather cleared around 2 PM.

Arrived at The Fork at 12:40 PM. It is a historical area that is located downtown at the junction of the Red River and Assiniboine River. At the Forks we:
  • Went to The Forks Market. It was similar to the other markets we have been in but there was less produce in this one. It was much cleaner and better organized than any of the others. However, as a market place it was a disappointment. There were 2 levels. The first level had about 10% produce, 70% food stalls, and 20% merchandise. The second level consisted of shops, offices, and a dance studio. One interesting fact noted was prices. A 5 lb watermelon was $8.69. A whole chicken was $2.69 a lb. Chicken breast was $3.99 a lb. The only thing that looked promising was rib eye steak. It was $10.99 a lb – last year in eastern Canada is varied from $15 to $18 a lb (quoting US conversion).  See photos.
  • Went into the Johnston Terminal. It was an old warehouse that has been converted to retail. The lower level only contained antique stores. The ground level consisted of numerous stores full of tourist merchandise and two restaurants. The upper level had a dress show, a huge toy store, and offices.
  • We went into the Manitoba Centre and picked up tourist information. There were exhibits about the 8 different section of Manitoba but we did not go through them.
  • There were several parks in the area and numerous buildings with activities and exhibits for children. There is a river walk and a river boat ride.

Got back to camp at 5 PM. Stopped at the office to pay for parking. There was someone in the house but they would not open the door. At about 6:30 I noticed the office door was open. I walked to the office and talked to the lady there. She said the boss had just left for the city and he would collect from me later. That is the fourth trip I have made to the office to pay.

Forks Market in downtown Winnipeg.  The photo is a little out of focus but I wanted to show the inside of the market.
05-08-05SunDay 38 - It started raining around midnight and rained until 8 AM.  Another trailer moved in at 12:30 PM and the owner was there to park it so I went to the office and paid for our site.

Departed camp at 1:20 PM.  Going to the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  The temperature is 58 degrees.  Arrived at the park at 2 PM.  Drove around the park before going to the zoo.  Saw quite a few people walking, jogging, skating, and cycling.  Looks like the park gets a lot of use.  Arrived at the zoo entrance at 2:15 PM.   

It was a nice small zoo, well laid out, with most of the animals in open areas instead of cages.  However, because of the weather a lot of them were not very active.   

Finished the tour and arrived back at the car at 4 PM.  Drove around town, stopped for dinner, stopped at the grocery store, and arrived back at camp at 6:30 PM.   See photos.

05-09-05MonDay 39 - Started raining around midnight, rained all day, and was still raining at 9 PM.  Departed camp at noon.  Went to the Royal Canadian Mint.  Took the 2 PM tour.  Took 45 minutes.  Very interesting.

Went to the Provincial Capitol.  It was a grand building that is only 80 years old.  The building is in the shape of a huge “H” with arched passageways through out.  The one thing that jumped out at us was the complete lack of paintings and statutes in the building.  In fact the only type decorations were two huge buffalo that guarded the massive stairway and a small mural on the second floor.  Otherwise the building looked empty.

Parliament was setting so we got to view part of the session.  When we got there the chamber was nearly empty.  One of the members of the opposition was questioning a member of the majority (referred to as minister) about the purchase of some property.  Then another member interrupted and made a motion to charge the minister with contempt and requested a vote. 

White tiger at Assiniboine Park Zoo.  He was a bit on the lazy side.
At this point let me mention that according to the pamphlet we received, it appears the opposition party representatives are called “members” and the majority party is called the government with each representative being called a “minister”. We are not sure that is the case but suspect it is. 

It appeared the opposition was unhappy with the minister’s answers and called for a vote to site him for contempt.  A vote was called for and the chamber started to fill.  However, after about 5 minutes the opposition representatives started to leave.  After about 15 minutes the government side was about 75% occupied and only 3 representatives remained on the opposition side.  Then all of the government representatives but one got up and left.  A vote never took place.  We saw government working in its finest hour.  We waited another 5 minutes then left.  Got back to camp at 5:25 PM. 

We wanted to go to the Manitoba Museum but it was closed on Mondays.  Will go tomorrow.

05-10-05TueDay 40 - Departed camp at 11:50 AM and it was 40 degrees and high winds.  Went to the Manitoba Museum.  Enter at 12:20 PM and I completed the tour at 2 PM.  Sue did not finish until 3 PM.  It was a great museum and the items were well displayed.  

We drove around town and drove through a new housing development.  There were at least 75 new houses under construction.  Some were sold but most of them had for sale signs out.  If the contractors can build that many homes on spec then this town must really be growing.

Got back to camp at 4:15 PM.  Filled the fresh water tank and disconnected the sewer hose.  It is suppose to freeze tonight with possible snow.  The wind is still extremely high so I took in the awning over the bedroom slide.  When I tried to retract the living room slide the wind was so strong it took the awning to the up position.  One of the straps wound around the ratchet and I can’t get it retracted properly.  Will have to do something with it tomorrow before retracting the slide.  Hope it doesn’t tear up the canvas the way it is.  Lowered the satellite dish and TV antenna.  Drove the jeep 234 miles this stop.

05-11-05WedDay 41Out at:  8:40 AM - Trip meter:   139 

Driving directions:  Got Back on PH 59 north.  At the 100 bypass took it west.  It is part of the Trans Canada highway system.  At the 1 took it west.  It is part of the Trans Canada highway system and the start of the “Yellowhead Highway”.  West of Portal la Prairie took the 16 west.  It is part of the Trans Canada highway system and is where the “Yellowhead Highway separates from the 1.

At 8:00 AM it was 28 degrees.  The wind was down this morning and was able to get the slideout awning back in the correct position.  

  • Campsite:  The Lions Riverbend Campground, Neepawa, MB – overnight - site #5 - grassy – back in – water, electric, sewer.  Rating 3/4.  Got setup at 11:45 AM.  Campground is next to a city park separated by the Whitemud River.  We are backed up to the river.  The sites are separated by tall bushes.  Have satellite but it keeps going in and out because of the wind. 
We stopped early because there are no campgrounds open at this time of the year for the next 150 miles.  Took a drive around town, read, and rested.  Started to take a walk but it never warmed up above the high 30’s.  Drove the jeep 10 miles this stop.

05-12-05ThurDay 42Out at:  10:30 AM - Trip meter:   225       

Driving directions:  Got back on the 16 west.  Crossed into Saskatchewan at 1:40 PM.

At 2 AM it was 29 degrees.  By the time we stopped for the day it was in the mid 50’s.  Saskatchewan does not recognize DST so we had to set the clock back one hour.  

  • Campsite:  Foam Lake Campground, Foam Lake, SK – overnight - site #17 - hard gravel – back in – 15 amp only.  Rating 5/4.  The campground does not open until the 16th so we were allowed to park FREE and use the electric.  Nice campground with lots of trees.  When it opens there will be flush toilets and showers and one water faucet at the entrance.   Got setup at 3 PM. 

To get in and out of the campground you have to drive through the golf driving range.  When you pull up to the edge of the driving range honk your horn and the golfers are suppose to stop hitting balls. The range was down for repairs so don’t know if this works or not. I have known some golfers that probably would not stop, believing they would always hit the ball over the vehicle.

Took a ride around town. 
Heard on the radio that in Winnipeg they are expecting snow, rain, and light freeze for tonight.  There are beavers in the camp area.  On the road in there were a lot of trees that had been cut down by beaver.  Several of them were at least 5 inches in diameter.  Drove the jeep 7 miles this stop .

05-13-05FriDay 43Out at:  9:50 AM - Trip meter:  156  

Driving directions:  Got back on the 16 west.

At 7:30 AM it was 42 degrees, the sun was out and it looked like a real pretty day.  At 9 AM it was 40 degrees, raining, and overcast.  We waited for the rain to stop before breaking camp.  Finally got hooked up at 9:45 AM and pulled out of camp at 9:50 AM.  The temperature had dropped to 37 degrees and it was snowing.  The weather really went to pots in a hurry.    

The snowstorm was heavy and coming in out of the northwest.  We drove right into it and the temperature dropped to 33 degrees.  Luckily we drove out of it at 10:10 AM but the wind continued out of the northwest all the way to Saskatoon.  The sky continued overcast the remainder of the day with the temperature at a high of 50 degrees.  

  • Campsite:  Saskatoon 16 West RV Park, Saskatoon, SK - 5 nights - site #44 – gravel with grassy area, picnic table, and grill - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer (50 amp available for $1.50 per night).  Have FREE WiFi.  Have satellite.

Took a drive around the university campus.  Went to the visitor’s center in town.

05-14-05SatDay 44 - It froze last night and the cut off valve that I hook to the water faucet cracked.  Someone turned the water off.  Will have to get a replacement. 

Departed camp at 10:15 AM for Humboldt. It is a German community and Sue wants to eat German food for lunch. It is located about 65 miles from the east side of Saskatoon on the 5 east. Makes that about 80 miles from the campground. The community of Junction, where we stopped for fuel, is just a jog in the road and the service station is the only building there.

Got to Humboldt at 11:45 AM. There is a museum there that we want to go to but it does not open until 1 PM. Drove around town looking for a German restaurant but did not find one. Found out there is not a German restaurant in town. Found a liquor store though.

There were 2 building we wanted to see in Muenster, another 6 miles east, so we drove over there. Since it is also a German community thought we might find food. Got there and the only eating place was closed – a community of 500.

Drove out to the St. Peter’s Abbey. Went in the church and did a walking tour of the campus. It has a college of Arts & Science that was started in 1926 and continues today under an affiliation with the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. A high school operated on the premises from 1921 through 1972 – classes were conducted by the monks.

Drove out to the St. Peter’s Cathedral.  It is located about 2 miles from the Abbey.  Went inside and Sue took pictures – also a picture of the outside.

Returned to Humboldt and had lunch at a local dinner called “Rick’s Place” – bad food.  Then went to the museum.  It is located in the old post office, a 3-story building.  All 3 floors housed exhibits.  A nice little museum that depicted life in a small town from the early 1900’s to the mid 1900’s.  Admission was FREE.

There were a lot of buildings with murals’ on the sides of them.  See photos.

Returned to camp at 4:50 PM.  It was a pleasant trip through rolling hills.  Farmers were planting wheat using the drill system.  The trip today was 185 miles.

05-15-05SunDay 45 - We stayed in today.  Even travelers are entitled to a day off.  

05-16-05MonDay 46 - Windy and dust.  Departed camp at 9 AM going sightseeing.  

Now, the reason for our stop over in Saskatoon.  Our children in Marshall, MN, are going to be moving here.  Our son-in-law has accepted a position at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.  He is currently a professor at the University in Marshall.  They are considering a house to lease in Saskatoon and wanted us to go by and look at it.  We took pictures to send to them.  It is on a tree-lined street with an esplanade.  The house appears to be about 30 feet across the front by 24 feet deep.  There is a small deck on one side.  It has a real steep rough and appears to have rooms in the attic.  There is a 2 car detached garage that opens on the alley.

Only found one restaurant in Humboldt and the food was bad but they have a great liquor store.


Miles and miles of rollings plains.  The wheat had already been harvested and they were planting again.
  • Went to the Western Development Museum.  It is a huge building and inside they have build a main street called “1910 Boomtown”.  It contained 30 stores and offices, fully equipped with merchandise, supplies, and furniture, as they would have been in 1910.  There is a locomotive at the train station.  The street was lined with cars and buggies from that era.  Sue took a picture of the street from the train station dock.  All of the items displayed came from businesses in Saskatchewan, with most of them from Saskatoon businesses.   

There was a wonderful collection of vintage cars and wagons.  (There was a notice that stated the museum had over 250 vintage cars with most of them being in running condition).  There were about 20 cars on display with one being a steam engine car in mint condition and another was a Pierce Arrow with only 100 miles on it.  There was also a collection of large and small steam engines.  It was a great museum.  Cost was $7.25 each but we had a buy 1 get 1 coupon.  Picked the coupon up at the campground.  We each had a buffalo burger for lunch at the museum cafeteria.  Was very good.
 

  • Drove out to the Beaver Creek Conservation Area 8 miles south of town.  From the highway took a dirt road to the parking area.  There were no signs to indicate anything about the area.  There was one trail that went up to a house that was setting at the end of a road.  The entrance of the road had a “do not enter” sign on it.  There was one other trail that led out across the field.  No indication of what it was or where it went.  Did not know if it circled around and came back to the parking area or took off across country and stopped in another field.  The guidebook said to allow 2 hours minimum but we don’t know what the 2 hours would be for.  We left.   
  • Went out to The Berry Barn.  Sue purchased a small jar of Saskatoon Berry Jam. 
  • Drove out to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park but the wind and sand was blowing so decided to do it tomorrow.   

05-17-05TueDay 47 - Departed camp at 10:15 AM.  We had planned to go to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park first but it is overcast with a light sprinkle.  We will give it a try this afternoon.

Went to the Diefenbaker Canada Centre on the University of Saskatchewan campus.  Also toured the campus again while we were there.  The Centre houses the Diefenbaker exhibit.  He was the prime minister from 1957 thru 1963.  Before viewing the exhibit we saw a video about Anne Frank.  The Anne Frank exhibit is on display from May 16 thru the end of June.  The theatre was full of school students and they were extremely quite during the video.  After the video they all went to the Anne Frank exhibit so we did the Diefenbaker exhibit.  

The students completed their tour about the same time we completed ours and they all went back into the theatre.  We were invited to join them because one of the staff members was a holocaust survivor and he was answering their questions.  He was in hiding for 9 months in a root cellar.  He was 6½ at the time and his brother was 9.  They both survived with both their parents.  It was very interesting.  After the Q&A we visited the Anne Frank exhibit.  The tour took 2 hrs 20 mins.  There was no fee for admission.  

There was a light rain when we returned to the parking lot.  Will have to pass on the Wanuskewin Heritage Park this trip and see about doing it when we return in October.  Returned to camp at 3:20 PM.  Drove the jeep 353 miles this stop 

05-18-05WedDay 48Out at:  7:50 AM - Trip meter:   335 

Driving directions:  Got back on the 16 west.  Crossed into Alberta at 11:17 AM.  At Edmonton turned south and zig zagged through town to Whitemud Drive. 

The highway out of Saskatoon was 4-lane for 80 miles.  Then there was 7 miles of 4-lane being constructed that looked nearly complete.  After 55 miles of 2-lane traffic it became 4-lane again all the way to Edmonton.  

As noted above we zig zagged through Edmonton and came to a bridge that we could not get under.  It was 3.2 miter and the coach needs 3.9 meter.  We got there at 3 PM.  Looked the situation over.  Need to back out against the traffic or turn around.  We are on a one way street.  Unhooked the jeep and set down on the bank next to the sidewalk.  A couple stopped to check on us and called the police for assistance – we had tried but could not get a signal on our cell phone.  A young courteous officer arrived at 3:40 – told us how to get to the campground – stopped traffic – we backed out - got back under way at 3:48.  Another adventure out of the way.

  • Campsite:  Rainbow Valley Campground, located in Whitemud Park, Edmonton, AB – City Park - 2 nights - site #56 – back in – 15 amp only.  Rating 3/2.  Lot of trees but packed in like sardines.  Have table and grill.  Could not get satellite.
This is Victoria weekend and the campground was booked solid.  Could only get 2 nights camping.  If the mail is in by Friday morning then we will leave.  If not, then will have to find another place to park.

05-19-05ThurDay 49 - Departed camp at 9:15 AM going sightseeing.

  • Went to the Muttart Conservatory.  The structure consists of 4 glass pyramids, each housing an exhibit.  The first one was the “Tropical Pyramid”.  Exhibit of tropical plants.  Second was the “Show Pyramid”.  It was an exhibit of primarily Martha Washington Geraniums and was absolute beautiful.  Four times a year (each season) the exhibit is changed.  There were pictures of each exhibit since 2002 hanging on the wall.  There have been some fantastic exhibits in this pyramid.  Next was the “Temperate Pyramid”.  Not very interesting.  Last was the “Arid Pyramid”.  There were some fantastic cactuses in this exhibit.  We saw an “elephant foot tree” – have never seen one before.  Sue took a picture.  Sue took a lot of pictures in the “Tropical” and “Show” Pyramids.  See photos. 
  • Went and picked up our mail. 
  • Went to the Provincial Museum of Alberta.  There was an exhibit of Alberta wildlife.  There is quite a selection of wildlife in Alberta.  There was also a fantastic rock collection exhibit.  There were rocks from all over the world.  One of the premier items was a copper boulder that was 97% pure copper and weighted 320 pounds.  It was found in a gold mine in Alberta.  There was an exhibit about the native Indian life in Canada. 
The Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton.
  • Went to the Legislative building.  Edmonton is the capitol of Alberta.  Took a tour.  We had a great tour guide that was very knowledgeable and answered quite a few questions about government on the federal level for us.  The tour was FREE and took 1 hour.  It is a magnificent building that was build from 1907 to 1912.  Sue took a picture of the building and water ponds in the front of it.  People are allowed to play in the ponds.  It was a great tour. 
  • The West Edmonton Mall is supposed to be the largest mall in the world.  We drove out to it to see where it is located and to determine if there was sufficient space to park the motorhome.  There is so we will go from the campground to the mall parking lot in the morning.  Also saw a gas station with gas at 77.9 per liter so will fuel up there also. 

The clerk at the office came over and said there was a space available after all but I told her we had already decided to leave in the morning.  Drove the jeep 80 miles this trip.

05-20-05FriDay 50Out at:  9:45 AM - Trip meter:   169               

Driving directions:  Got on the 2 north.  At the 16 took it west.  At the junction of 43 took it north. 

Before leaving town I drove the coach over to the West Edmonton Mall – Sue followed in the jeep.  As mentioned yesterday this is advertised as the largest mall in the world.  According to the directory there are 565 stores - 61 fast food places, 19 restaurants, 27 specialty eating shops i.e. Baskin Robbins, an Imax, a hotel, and 22 movie theaters.  It is the only mall we have seen with a grocery store in it.  We noted that many of the businesses had more than one store in the mall, i.e. McDonalds had 3.   

In addition to the above there are:

 
  • An ice skating rink.
  • World Waterpark with a wave pool, 5 beginners slides, 3 intermediate slides, 3 advanced slides, 3 extreme slides, and a 106 foot bungi drop. 
  • Galaxyland Amusement Park that includes 8 beginners rides, 9 intermediate rides, and 7 advanced rides.  There were 3 roller coasters.  The beginners roller coaster was made like a dragoon and ran at floor lever with just a couple of bumps.  The intermediate was above floor and had more bumps in it but nothing of any consequence.  The advanced was a monster.  It went up between 130 and 150 feet then took a dive straight down.  It traveled at a terrific speed and had 3 inside loops.  For the beginners there was a train that ran through the area.  These rides were all of outside area size – not abbreviated because they were indoors.  There was a Space Shot that was 120 feet tall.  Twelve people set in seats around it and when it rises to the top it travels the 120 feet in about 2 seconds.  There were also the regular arcade games.  In the lower level there was a huge go cart track.    See photos.
  •   
  • Deep Sea Adventure is a tank of water about 60 feet wide and 400 feet long with about 10 feet of water.  It contains 3 submarines about 25 feet long that run on a rail.  The submarines take a tour down one side of the tank and back up the other.  Located in the tank are round aquariums with fish.  As the submarine goes by it will let the riders look out the portholes and see fish.  At the opposite end of the pool is a pirate ship that is about 80 feet long.  It is a very impressive display of imagination. 

Also located in the tank is another attraction called the Sea Lion Rock.  Apparently there are shows put on using sea lions and other water creatures.  Cost was $3.95 but the next show was not until 2 PM so we did not get to see it. 

Huge roller coaster in Galaxyland Amusement Park located in the West Edmonton Mall
We spent 3 hours in the mall.  A family could spend a weekend here and spend a lot of money.  As we left I measured the length of the mall and it is over half a mile.  There was a separate price for each amusement function. 

Hooked up the jeep and pulled out of the parking lot at 2 PM. 

A note about the 43.  All of it from the 16 to Fox Creek is 4 lane except for about 30 miles and that section is in the process of being upgraded.  All of the roadbed is in and it will probably be completed by the end of next year if not sooner.  There were construction crews on about 7 miles of it today.   
 
  • Campsite:  Fox Creek RV Campground, Fox Creek, AB - 2 nights - site #17 - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer.  Rating 4/3.  This is a city park – adequate space between units – lots of grass – table and fire ring – free firewood.  We got the last site in the regular campground but there are 10 overflow sites with no hookups.  Again no satellite so that looks like it until we get back south.  Got setup at 5:35 PM. 

Went to the woodpile and got firewood.  They were all large pieces so I had to split it.  Built a fire and cooked steaks.   

05-21-05SatDay 51 - At 12:45 PM we left for a drive out to a couple of campgrounds on lakes.  The first was about 7 miles north of town called Iosegun Lake Campground – a city park.  There were 51 sites.  There were no services.  The majority were small back ins with a couple of pull thrus.  The sites were separated by trees which afforded a lot of privacy.  I did not care for them much because no effort had been made to maintain the wooded area – it was all natural with underbrush and dead trees.   Firewood was furnished.

All sites were full and there were 12 to 15 units in the overflow area.  We saw a number of boats on the lake and a lot of people fishing from the shore and boat pier.  Saw 1 motorhome in the overflow area but none in the sites.  In fact, there were only a few sites we could have gotten in and some of the roads we could not have gotten through.  We met a motorhome towing a boat leaving as we were going in.  Met several units going in as we were leaving.

Campsite at Fox Creek RV Campground at Fox Creek, Alberta.  It doesn't get much better than this.
Drove out to the Smoke Lake Campground south of town – also a city park.  There were 47 sites, all full, and no overflow area.  Same type campground.  However, the foliage was different.  It was primarily new growth.  We could see large stumps in the new growth that made it look like this area had been clear-cut or else there had been a fire and then cleared.  Would estimate the growth was 5 to 7 years old, or less.  The campground looked a lot older than that.  Saw 1 boat on the lake and no one fishing.  Saw one class C.  

Met the same motorhome pulling the boat.  It was leaving as we were entering the campground area.  Guess he will have to look elsewhere.   

A note about both campgrounds.  Estimate at least 70% of the sites were occupied by tents with the remainder being travel trailers, pop-up trailers, with a few pickup campers, and even less 5th wheel trailers.  We took a tour around the woods on the way back to camp. 

The town of Fox Creek seems to be primarily oilfield related.  Did not count them but estimate over a dozen companies with work-over rigs or oil servicing units.  Alberta is supposed to be very oil rich.  It is the only providence in Canada that is debt free and does not impose a PST.  I have only seen 1 pump jack during our drive across Alberta.  That was several days ago – it was a small one and was working.  During our drive around this area today we saw numerous pipelines and Christmas trees.  Considering the industry in this town that leads us to believe this is a very oil rich area and the wells are free flowing.   

It was beautiful this morning but there were light sprinkles through out the evening.  Last night you could set outside and read a book at 10 PM.  Don’t know what time it got light this morning but I woke at 5 AM and it was light enough outside to read by.  Drove the jeep 53 miles this stop .

05-22-05SunDay 52Out at:  9:00 AM  - Trip meter:   209     

Driving directions:  Got back on the 43 north.  Crossed into BC at 1:52 PM.  Same highway but the number changes to 2.  Believe we have a time change here.

The campground was still full this morning.  As I was breaking camp another trailer moved in behind us and waited for us to move out.  Started a light sprinkle as we got back on the road and within 2 hours was a hard rain.  Then rained off and all on until dark.  

About 3 miles northwest of Fox Creek we started seeing large pump jacks.  It appears the oil is deep and not free flowing here.

The highway has been the best we have been on in a long time.  We have not been on a bad road in Alberta.  The 43 is better than any road we have been on in the states.

  • Campsite:  Alahart RV Park, Dawson Creek, BC - overnight - site #42 - pull thru – water, 20 amp, sewer, cable.  Located at the edge of town.  Very tight sites, very unappealing, muddy, just a place to stop over for the night.  Rating 1/1.  Got set up at 2:05 PM (after moving the clock back 1 hour).
Drove around town and took a picture of the "Zero" milepost in downtown.  Went to the museum and learned about the construction of the Alaska highway.  The photo to the right is at the museum.   

Another camper, with a Holiday Rambler motorhome, knocked on our door.  He had purchased his coach used and had not received any manuals with it.  He had noticed I had the water hose hooked up and wanted some information on how the water valve worked.  He had come several thousand miles and only knew how to fill the fresh water tank. 

I went back to his coach and explained how it worked.  He said that he needed to get his water hose replaced because it leaked when he filled the tank.  I looked at it and then gave him a washer for the female end.  Also showed him where the switch was for the electric step.  He thought you had to leave it on all the time.  I advised him it would retract when he turned on the ignition and had him try it.  This man has a major problem.  Drove the jeep 32 miles this stop. 

05-23-05MonDay 53Out at:  9:45 AM  - Trip meter:   226 

Driving directions:  North of the 97.

On the road again headed for Alaska.  We paid a lot of money to sightsee while we are traveling and here it is raining again.  All day long it would rain a bit, be overcast a while, then the sun would come out for a few minutes, and then it would all start over again. 

Sue standing in front of the sign at the museum in Dawson Creek pointing the way to the Alaska highway.
The MP numbers (mile marker post numbers} I will be talking about does not exist in BC.  They have all been replaced with km post every 5 km.  The Milepost book gives the location of each entry as a mile or km. 
At MP 17.3 we took a loop off the 97.  The loop is a part of the old Alaska Hwy and goes by the Kiskatinaw River Bridge Provincial Park and over the Kiskatinaw Bridge.  The park is at the south end of the bridge.  Of all the timber bridges originally build on the Alcan, the Kiskatinaw Bridge is the only one still in use today.  We stopped on the north side of the bridge and Sue took pictures.  The park was visible from the turnout we were on.  It was located right on the river and really looked like a nice campground.  The old highway is asphalt but not maintained.  The loop was 7 miles long and we traveled it with a low speed of 15 mpg and in one short stretch 30 mph but the majority of it was at 20 mph.  It came back into the 97 at MP 20.9.  

Stopped at the Peace River Bridge at MP 34.4 and Sue took a picture.  The bridge structure was painted red.  Went into the Peace Island Park at the south end of the bridge and had lunch.  It is a free day use park for campers.  There are no services but there was a hand operated water pump at the entrance.  The pump sets over a cistern that is supplied by a water truck.  It was a nice campground with tall trees.    See photos.

We met a lot of RV’s heading south.  It must be local people heading home from the long holiday weekend.  I suspose Canadians are entitled to enjoy their country also.

At MP 17.3 we took a loop off hwy 97 that was a 7 mile long stretch of the old Alaska hwy.  Very bad condition, but hey, this is history.
laskaAt MP 124.3 there is a part of the road called “The Cut”.  It is a cut through rock, one of the few cuts made on the entire original highway.  There was a road leading off the highway to the top of the cut and we thought it was an overlook, so we took it.  It was extremely muddy and when we got to the top the road turned east out across the mountain.  There was not enough room to turn around hooked up so we got out in the mud and unhooked the jeep.  Sue turned the jeep around and drove it back down the road, about 300 yards.  I backed the coach up about 100 feet to a driveway and got turned around.  We hooked up again and continued north.  Another great adventure out of the way.    

Around MP 147 we saw our first moose.  There were 2 of them, a mama and small one, and they went across the highway in front of us.  

Around MP 155 we started to see the Rocky Mountains to the west.  The tops are covered with snow and in many places the clouds are setting on them like hats.  The view is spectacular. 
 

At MP 189 saw 2 full grown moose grazing on the side of the roads.  I pulled over so Sue could take a picture but they ran off.   

At MP 217.2 pulled off at the Prophet River Wayside Provincial Park. 

  • Campsite:   Prophet River Wayside Provincial Park, MP 217.2, Alaska Hwy, BC - overnight - site #32 - pull thru – no services.   FREE firewood.  Rating 5/4.
There are 10 tent sites and 15 RV sites, no services.  We are in a long pull thru that is the longest pull thru we have ever seen.  We left the jeep connected and there is still enough room in this site for another rig our size with room left over.  The back in sites are long enough for a 40 foot trailer to back in and stay connected.  The back ins have a lot of space between sites and the pull thrus are separated by tall trees.  Each site has a table and a fire ring.  FREE firewood.  

Warning on the campground bulletin board – “Properly secure all food because this park has frequent visits by black bear and grizzly bear”. 

I talked to the campground hosts.  They live 2 miles from here.  The couple that contracted to care for the park for the past 10 years has purchased a restaurant so this couple is helping with the campground.  It did not open until yesterday.  There was still snow on the ground last week.  As noted there are 25 spaces and we are the only ones in the campground tonight. 

Built a fire and cooked salmon steaks.  Did not unhook the jeep .

05-24-05TueDay 54Out at:  9:15 AM  - Trip meter:   221  

Driving directions:  Back on the 97 north.

Animal sightings today:
  • Saw deer at several locations.  Don’t remember if I have mentioned it before but we have seen deer several times a day for the last 10 days. 
  • At MP 339 saw 2 black bear cubs playing on the highway.  They ran off to the side of the road as we approached.  One ran into the woods and the other stopped at the tree line and watched us.  I pulled over to get a picture but the cub blended into the trees so did not get a shot.  Never did see mama bear. 
  • At MP 355 saw our first elk.
  • At MP 375 saw our first stone sheep.  They were on the side of the road at a turnout so we stopped and took pictures.  See photos.

Shortly after leaving Fort Nelson we entered the Rocky Mountains.  We have been in the mountains for the last 300 miles but not the Rocky Mountains.  The drive has provided magnificent views.  The mountains on either side of us were usually covered in trees and the ones that we could see behind them were all covered in snow.  A lot of the drive today followed different rivers and they all had patches of snow on the riverbanks.  This has been one of the best drives we have ever been on and we only expect it to get better.

Campsite at Prophet River Wayside Provincial Park on the Alaska Highway.  Can you guess what I am doing?


Stone sheep feeding on the road.  They are licking the salt off the roadway.
At MP 399 we ran into our first construction area.  They were replacing 1.2 miles of surface.  Talked to the flag person and discovered the highway we have been running on is not asphalt, as we know it.  They prepare the roadbed, then spray it with emulsion, put down a layer of gravel, roll it, sweep it, and if it doesn’t rain before it cures it is a highway.  The surface is only about one inch thick.  They are creating a really good highway doing the same thing we do in the states when a highway is “seal coated”.  She said that it is really fast and inexpensive.   
 
  • Campsite:  Strawberry Flats Campground, Muncho Lake Provincial Park, at MP 437.7, Alaska Highway, BC - 2 nights - site #13 – back in but we pulled in for a view of the lake – no services.  Rating 3/5.  Got setup at 6:25 PM.
The campground has the prettiest setting of any campground we have ever stayed in.  We are parked on a beautiful lake with water so clear you can see the bottom for as long as the light shows through.  Looking out over the lake the water appears to be an emerald green.  The lake is about a half mile across and the foot of a snow-topped mountain creates a wall for the opposite shore.  We are setting in a valley so in front of the coach is also a mountain.  The campground itself is not particularly pretty, but the setting would be outstanding even if we were parked on the side of the road.  **** Note – after the trip we both decided this was the prettiest place we have every camped. ****

We had only intended to overnight here but decided to stay an extra day to really enjoy the lake and view.   

We went to the local café and had dinner.  Their menu only had sandwiches but they used fresh baked bread.  The sandwiches were great.  On the way back to camp I stopped and collected some firewood on the side of the road.  Built a fire and we sit by it until it started to sprinkle. 

Something about the lake.  It is situated between two mountains.  The south shore is the foot of the mountain.  The north side was excavated for the highway.  The side of the mountain was blasted away and allowed to fall into the lake to make the roadbed.  The lake is one mile at its widest part, seven miles long, and over 400 feet deep.  See photos.

Strawberry Flats Campground, Muncho Lake Provincial Park, Alaska Highway, BC.  See Photos 2005 for more of the lake.  We are pulled in the campsite looking at the lake out of the windshield.
05-25-05WedDay 55 - Sit by the lake to read this morning but before I got settled good it started to sprinkle.  Did some maintenance on the motorhome.

At 1:50 PM we left camp and took a drive around looking for a 4-wheel road.  Found one and headed up it but it only went about 200 yards.  It was the only one we found.   

We stopped so Sue could climb up on some rocks and take pictures of the lake – she fell.  That is the second bad fall she has had this trip.  Got a skinned leg, skinned hand, and possibly a pulled hip muscle.   

The sun came out so after we returned to camp I sit by the lake to read.  Kept going to sleep and only got one page read.  It was extremely peaceful.  Drove the jeep 21 miles this stop .

05-26-05ThurDay 56Out at:  7:02 AM - Trip meter:   171     

Driving directions:  Got back on the 97 north.  Crossed into Yukon at 11:24 AM.  Will zig zag across the border several times today.  Just south of Watson Lake, YK at MP 605, when we crossed back into Yukon, the highway number changed from 97 to 1. 

Decided to get an early start today in the hopes of seeing more wildlife.  That’s right campers – up and out of camp at 7:02 AM.  Really hated to leave this morning - the lake was beautiful.

At MP 477.7 stopped at the Laird Hot Spring Provincial Park.  There is a boardwalk over the wet lands leading out to the hot spring, at least ¼ mile from the parking lot.  The first spring is about 3 feet deep and is large enough for at least 200 people.  There were nine people in it.  The water coming out of the ground is 128 degrees.  There is a second spring about 300 yards up the mountain – a lot of stairs.  We walked up to it.  It is a pool about 10 feet deep and did not look very attractive.  No one was in it.  We spent about one hour at the park.  

At MP 479 the road turned to gravel for 5 miles.  The MP book said they were working on this section last year and would be this year also.  There was one motor grader and one water truck working the 5 mile section.  They may be working on it next year also.  I traveled through the section at 15 mpg.  

Animal sightings:

  • Saw one scrounge deer.
  • At MP 490 saw 5 wild buffalo – 3 grown ones and 2 small ones that looked to be only a few weeks old.  (I said wild because we saw a buffalo fenced in at a buffalo ranch several days ago).  Saw 2 more really large ones later on.

The wildlife viewing was really bad today.

  • Campsite:  Downtown RV Park, Watson Lake, YT – overnight - site #21 - gravel - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer, cable TV.  This is just a stopover place and there is about 5 feet between units when the slides are out.  A self-service RV wash is available as part of the site cost.  Rating 4/1.  Got setup at 12:55 PM.  This is just a gravel parking lot with hook ups.

Washed the jeep.  Then we drove around town.  Went to the Northern Lights Centre - it is like a small IMax.  Saw a 15 minute film on northern lights and a film on Mars.  Cost was $8.56 each.  I consider it a big rip off – not worth a dollar.  Drove the jeep 15 miles this stop 

05-27-05FriDay 57Out at:  9:20 AM - Trip meter:   270    

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 west.  At MP 710 went back in BC and returned to YK at MP 751.  That will be the last time we are in BC until we return home.  We crossed the border 5 times including the originally entry into YK.

Washed the coach before we left the campground – took 45 minutes.  

A note about KM markers.  In BC there were very few.  After we got into Yukon there have been markers in 2 KM increments. 

Animal sightings:  All day saw one bird on the road.  

  • Campsite:  Pioneer RV Park, Whitehorse, YT - 3 nights - site #46 - gravel - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer, cable, FREE WiFi.  Rating 5/1.  Got setup at 4:25 PM.

A note about the campground.  We are in the lower level that is just a gravel parking lot with utilities.  Sue took a picture.  There is an upper level that is situated in the trees but does not have sewer.  There is also an area for self contained units that is free – believe this is very unusually for a commercial campground. 

There is a RV wash that cost $1.00 for 4 minutes – hot soapy water.  Our unit still looks good from the last stop.  There is a facility at this park for changing oil or getting it changed at a very reasonable fee.  

05-28-05SatDay 58 - Stopped at the campground office and bought tickets for the 8:30 PM performance of the Frantic Follies.  Left camp at 10:50 AM, going sightseeing.

  • Stopped at the visitors center. 
  • Went to the Yukon Brewing Company and took a tour.  Interested in some of their beer but will need to go back and buy it after we complete our touring today. 
  • Drove out to the fish hatchery but there was no one around and the fish tanks were covered.  Drove out across the mountain to a small lake.
  • Went back to the visitors center and saw a film about Yukon. 
  • Went to the Beringia Centre – a museum.  Bought a combination ticket for the Transportation Museum.  Saw a film.  Sue liked it but I believe it is fairy tale stuff.
  • Went to the Transportation Museum.  Very interesting.
  • Went back to the brewery and bought some beer.  I got a 6 pack of beer brewed with cranberries and Sue got a 6 pack of ale.
  • Returned to camp for dinner.
  • Went to the Follies.  It was a great show.  Highly recommend it.

05-29-05SunDay 59 - Stayed in this morning and watched the Indianapolis 500.

Left camp at 2:30 PM.  Went and toured the SS Klondike II.  It is a steam-powered sternwheeler that has been restored.  The original SS Klondike ran aground and sunk and they used salvaged equipment from it to build the #2.  It is the largest boat used on the Yukon.  Its primary use was to haul freight but there were about 20 cabins for first class passengers plus second class in the cargo area, when available.  The second class was just a cot set up among the cargo.  The original was built in 1929 and sunk in 1936.  The second one was built in 1937 and carried cargo until 1952.  Then it was converted to a cruise ship and operated until 1955.  Saw a movie about the boat and the Yukon River then took the tour.  It was great and we had a really good tour guide.  Took 1½ hour.   See photos.  Drove the jeep 108 miles this stop. 

05-30-05MonDay 60Out at:  11:00 AM - Trip meter:   38   

Driving directions:  Got back on the 1 west.  At MP 894 took the 2 north aka Klondike Loop.  At MP 20.3 stopped at the campground.

We had planned on staying another day and take a raft trip (wooden raft) down the Yukon but it was not open yesterday.  I called this morning and got an answering machine that just said leave a number.  The WiFi went down yesterday afternoon and is still down so we couldn’t get to their web site.  So we packed up and left.  Did not stay for a fourth night.

SS Klondike II.  We took a tour of the boat.
I have been having a lot of pain in my upper left leg.  Believe it may be the new medicine I have been taking – Metformin.  I discontinued it this morning and will see what happens.  We stopped early because I want to fish and also let the leg rest. 
 
  • Campsite:  Lake Laberge Yukon Government Campground, MP 20.3 – 2 nights - site #16 – gravel pad surrounded by trees looking out on the lake – back in – no utilities.  Rating 4/4.  FREE firewood.  Got setup at 1:15 PM. 

We are parked right next to the boat ramp.  A man drove up on a 4-wheeler while I was looking at the lake and we had a talk.  He is an Indian and has lived on the lake for 26 years.  We passed his house on the way in.  He has just retired from the government – was a heavy equipment operator.  He father was an American and his mother an Indian.  His mother gave up his Indian status when he was young and he has just recently gotten it back – he is 60 years old.  He told me where there might be fish.   

I went fishing but didn’t catch anything.  Built a fire and grilled steaks. 

05-31-05TueDay 61Decided to stay another day and rest my leg.  This is a beautiful peaceful spot.  Read and napped.  Took a walk on the lake – really large mosquito population.  

The inverter is working great and the solar panels charge in any light, not just sunlight.  We were getting a .5 amp charge at 11 PM.  At 11:30 PM it was still light enough to read outside.  Did not drive the jeep .

6-01-05WedDay 62Out at:  6:50 AM - Trip meter:   282

Driving directions:  Got back on the 2 north.

Stopped at Braeburn Lodge at MP 55.2 and bought one of their “famous” cinnamon buns.  It cost $6.00.  It was so large we cut it into 4 pieces and each piece was larger than a regular cinnamon roll.  The airstrip across from the lodge is called “Cinnamon Bun Strip”.

Seventy miles from the campground we met our second vehicle.  We had stopped about 45 miles from the campground and had our breakfast and 2 vehicles pass going in our direction while we were there.  One passed us after we got back on the road.  This is not a very busy highway.  

Today we have driven through bear country, moose country, elk country, and deer country and after driving 235 miles all we had seen in the way of animals was one little chipmunk running across the road.  But then we saw a black bear on the side of the road.  We stopped – it looked at us – then it ambled into the woods.  

  • Campsite:  Klondike River RV Park, Dempster Corner, YT - overnight - site #3A – back in – parking lot style park – water and 15 amp.  Rating 5/1.  Setup at 3:15 PM.

Three Class C RV’s came off the Dempster Highway as we pulled in.  (We are right at the entrance of the highway).  They were extremely muddy and headed right for the wash rack.  It is coin operated.  I talked to several of them and the road does not appear to be in good condition.  One of the men recommended we not try it towing the jeep.  It rained on them yesterday and this morning.  

Change of plans.  We were going to stay here overnight then head up the highway in the coach but decided to stay over another night and just drive the jeep.  Will go as far as the first ferry and then turn around.  It is daylight at least 21 hours a day so driving will not be a problem 

06-02-05ThurDay 63Out at:   1:56 PM - Trip meter:   27                                         

Driving directions:  Got back on the 2 north.  

Changed plans again.  Did not stay a second night.  Following will explain why.

Started a light rain about 5 AM.  We wanted an early start to view wildlife, also have a lot of driving to do today, so left camp at 6:15 AM.  It is sprinkling but believe it will stop.  The first 3½ miles of the highway is paved then it goes to gravel.  It was 46 degrees when we departed camp and at 7:45 AM it had dropped to 39 degrees.  The drive has been great and we are above the snow at this time.  There were a number of times during the drive where we were above the snow and the lowest it got was 36 degrees.  At the highest point on the highway we drove through a fog with about 100 feet visibility.  See photos.

If the first 50 miles we met one pickup with a cab-over camper and one empty 18-wheeler.  

In many spots on the river there are still huge sections of ice.  In one place there was a lake on one side of the road and the river on the other side.  The lake was completely clear of ice and the river was frozen over except for a small area through it where you could see running water.  Sue took pictures of several of the frozen rivers.  We believe the ice is in locations where the mountain blocks the sun because the majority of the rivers were ice-free.  

Seventy-six miles into the trip we have seen half a dozen rabbits, one squirrel I nearly ran over, and we just saw a fox.  This was all the wildlife we saw today.

Had a flat at 117 miles and it ruined the tire.  I put the spare on and we turned around and headed back to camp.  It was still 120 miles to Eagle Plains and we didn’t want to continue without a spare.  It had sprinkled on us most of the way and there was a light rain while I changed the tire.  On the return trip it rained for over 100 miles of it and I ran the wipers most of the way back.  **** Determined the flat was caused by a drywall screw that had been in the tire for some time.  Apparently a rock pressed it in further and it started to leak.  There was probable some indication the tire was going flat but on the rocky road I did not realize it.  ****

We got back at 1:30 PM.  The trip today was 233 miles.  I had tried to pay for a second night of camping when we left this morning but the man said to do it when we returned.  I stopped at the office and asked what checkout time was and was informed there was no checkout time in the RV park – so we decided to hookup and leave for Dawson City.  Broke camp in the rain.  

  • Campsite:  Dawson City RV Campground, Dawson City, YT - 3 nights - site #68 – gravel parking lot - pull thru – water, 30 amp, sewer, cable TV.  Rating 5/1.  Setup at 3:50 PM.  It’s located at the Esso station and we get a 5 cent per liter discount on gasoline. 

It was still raining when we got to the campground so I setup in the rain.  Took the jeep to the car wash and washed off the Dempster mud.   Did all of the outside stuff before going into the coach and taking off my wet clothes.  

06-03-05FriDay 64 - Left camp at noon to go sightseeing.

  • Drove out to Dredge #4.  Beautiful drive out.  Did a tour of the dredge then saw a 10 minute film.  Out of 27 dredges that worked the Yukon rivers Dredge #4 was the largest.  The dredge was originally assembled on the Klondike River around 1919 and worked there until around 1939.  Then it was dismantled and reassembled on the Bonanza River and worked there until it sank in 1959.  While it was in dry-dock for the winter of 1959 there was a flood that buried the bottom 25 feet of the dredge in mud.  The owners gave the dredge to Parks Canada in the mid 1980s.  In 1990 it was decided to extract it from the ground and restore it.  It was refloated in 1992.  It was a great tour. 
  • Drove out to the Discovery Claim and walked the shore of the original claim that started the gold rush in the Yukon.
  • Drove into town for lunch.  Went to the visitor’s center. 
  • Then we took the ferry across the Yukon River.  Decided it would be better to take the coach and jeep across separately when we continue the trip.  It is a small ferry with enough room for 8 cars and the crossing only took 5 minutes. 

  • Before going back across the ferry we drove to the “Top of the World Golf Course”.  It was actually located over a mountain and down in the valley along side the Yukon River.  Had a great viewpoint of Dawson from the top of the mountain.  Sue took pictures.  They advertise 9 holes of golf for $27.00 with RV parking included.  The RV parking is dry camping in a muddy parking lot.  They also advertise “real grass on the greens”.  Don’t know as opposed to what, but the greens we could see did not have much grass on them.  Maybe later in the season.  It’s not a course I would care to play and certainly not a place I would want to park.
  • Returned to Dawson and drove over most of the streets in town.  Stopped at a hardware store and bought a 16 inch plastic gold panning pan.  Drove up to “Dome Hill” for another great view of the city – from the opposite side this time.  Sue took pictures.
  • Returned to camp at 6:30 PM.
  • At 7:45 returned to town and went to “Diamond Tooth Gertie’s”.  It offers gambling and live entertainment – open from 7 PM to 2 AM – 3 different shows a night at 8:30, 10:30, and midnight.  It is a small casino with 7 blackjack tables, 1 roulette table, 2 poker tables, and approximately 75 slot machines.  You could see a show, leave and come back later and catch another show.  The stage was in the same room as all of the gaming equipment.  We watched the 8:30 show then returned to camp.  It was not anything to write home about, but everyone visiting Dawson should visit “Diamond Tooth Gertie’s” – it’s a Klondike tradition.  Sue played a little blackjack.
Dawson City is on the east bank of the Yukon River.  We crossed the river and took this photo from a hilltop on the west bank.
06-04-05SatDay 65 - At 11 AM I drove out to Claim 33, a tourist attraction, and panned for gold.  Sue stayed in and did laundry.  Cost $6.42.  For that I got a pan of gravel with gold in it.  The owner, Jerry, did one pan to show me how, then I did a pan.  For the panning there were 2 long water troughs out front.  Got a little bit of gold because they put it in – probably worth about $1.  However, I would have paid $10.00 for a panning lesson.  

Jerry bought Claim 33 at the end of last season.  It is a souvenir shop and tourist gold panning operation.  He has been mining gold for 25 years.  Said that for now he was running the shop in the day time and doing the mining at night.  The gold that is put in the gravel comes from his claim.   

After working the metal pan I realized the large plastic pan would not work for me so I took it back to the hardware store.  Traded it for a 12 inch metal pan.  Drove the jeep 77 miles this stop. 

06-05-05SunDay 66Out at:  10:00 AM  - Trip meter:   129           

Driving directions:  Got back on the 2 north.  After crossing the ferry it became the 9, aka “Top of the World Highway”.  Crossed into Alaska at Poker Creek at 1:37 PM (time change so 12:37 PM Alaska time).  The road became AK 5, aka “Taylor Highway”. 

Took the coach to the RV wash.  Just knocked off the dirt with the high-pressure washer.  Pulled out of the station at 10:27 AM.  Headed for the ferry.  Will hook up the jeep after we get across the ferry.  It is a free ferry.  I was the first vehicle at the ferry crossing but the next ferry took 2 cars – one being Sue – and a commercial truck.  There are 3 lines at the ferry – one for cars, one for permit holders, and one for RVs.  I expected the permit holder to be loaded before me so was not surprised when he was.  

I timed the ferry and it took 20 minutes for a round trip.  On the next trip I loaded first, a pickup with a cab-over loaded next to me, a car loaded behind me, then a Class A towing a car loaded behind the pickup.  That made a full load.  There were two Class C’s waiting in line.

Hooked up the jeep and took off.  There is a light drizzle and it is foggy, foggy, foggy.  The fog finally lifted after about 25 miles.  The 9 is not a bad road.  However, it is just 2-lane, narrow in spots, no guard rails, no reflectors, and severe drop-offs along the road.  It is suppose to be paved to the border but at least a third of it is gravel.  It appears to have been paved last year and just needs to be repaired.  

Stopped at the highest point on the road at 4,515 feet – just ½ mile from the border.  Sue took a picture.  Even though it is still a little overcast you can still see for miles and miles.  The views along the highway was well worth the minor hazards of the drive.  It was not nearly as bad as other travelers have led me to believe.  Would not hesitate to do it again.  

The border crossing took less that 30 seconds.  We were the only one in sight.  I handed the officer our passports.  He never looked at them - just asked a few questions and handed them back.  

  • How many in the vehicle? – Two
  • Have any pets? – No
  • Have any firearms? – No
  • How long were you in Canada? – One month
  • Did you buy anything that you are bringing in? – No
  • Did you buy any food items? – Yes.  Groceries
  • What will you be seeing Alaska? – Touring.  Intend to drive all of the roads
  • Have a good trip.

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