Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

Touring Alaska in 2005 - June & July

You can read it through or select specific locations below.
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.  

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”. 

Did not hook up the jeep.  Will do it 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. 

Good thing we picked up that extra hour of time because we are going to need it due to the condition of this road.  The road from here got really rough.  It is a mixture of rock, gravel, dirt, and clay.  The total length was 44 miles and I had to drive at least a third of it at 20 mph or less and the remainder at between 35 and 40.  There were a lot of washboard turns and sizeable holes in the road.  It was a very stressful drive.  The road appears to be poorly maintained.  Maybe it has not been serviced yet since it just recently opened. 

Stopped at Chicken.  Stored our Canadian money and got out our US money.  Two miles past Chicken we hit pavement. 

  • Campsite:  West Fork Campground, BLM, MP 49, Taylor Highway, AK – 2 nights - site #22 – back in – no services.  Rating 3/4.  Free firewood.  Got setup at 4 PM.  

There was a forest fire in this area last year and burned 1.3 million acres.  At the turnoff into the campground the trees are burned off on the left side of the road and green on the right side.  The area with the campsites is all green.  It is simply amazing how the fire went around it.  (The campground host said they had watered the area heavily during the fire to save it).  

We are in a real pretty site that overlooks a small lake.  The site sets about 20 feet above the lake and there is a bench right at the point looking out over the lake.  I set up the smog pots and we sit on the bench and read while watching for moose.  The campground host said there had been one moose cow grazing across the lake for the past few days.  He also said it looked like she was about ready to drop a calf so might not be back for a while.  The smog pots work great for keeping away the mosquitoes but I had them setting to close to us and we got covered by soot.  This was the first burning of the pots so should not have that much of a problem during later use.

06-06-05MonDay 67We had only intended to overnight here but my leg is still giving me problems so since this is a nice campground we decided to stay another day and rest.  Drove the jeep 5 miles this stop .

06-07-05TueDay 68Out at:  10:05 AM - Trip meter:   204

Driving directions:  Got back on AK 5 going south. Reached the Alaska Highway at 11:20 AM – took it west.  In Tok turned south on AK 1, aka Glenn Highway (Tok Cutoff).

Days activities:   I had intended to work on the roof this morning before we left but it rained again.  Started yesterday afternoon and rained into the night.  Will try again later. 

One of the very, very, very few store at Chicken, Alaska.


At Tok we fueled up.  Back in the land of reasonable priced fuel.  Gas had been high in Canada. 

  • At MP GJ 109.2 we stopped at Eagle Trail State Recreation Site and ate lunch.
  • Stopped at GJ 74 and Sue took pictures of the Slana River. 
  • Stopped at GJ 65.5 and Sue took pictures of Mount Sanford. 
  • Stopped at GJ 56.5 and Sue took pictures of Tanada Peak, Mount Sanford, Mount Blackburn, and Mount Drum.
  • Stopped at GJ 1 and Sue took pictures of the valley of Gakona and Copper River.  See photos.
  • Campsite:  Northern Lights RV Campground, Glennallen, AK - overnight - site #16 – all rock with a couple of small trees at each site - pull thru – water and 30 amp.  Cost $20.00 per night.  Each site has a table and fire ring.   Rating 4/2.  

The campground has WiFi but they were having a problem with it and it never came up.  It is supplied by a local business and the phone line was out.  Drove the jeep 4 miles. 

06-08-05WedDay 69Out at:  10:10 AM - Trip meter:   184

Got back on AK 1 west.  From this point on it is aka “Glenn Highway”.  In Palmer took the Old Glenn Highway around town.  Re-entered AK 1 at A 21.6. 

  • At A 129.5 Sue took a picture of the Nelchina Glacier.
  • At A 102.8 stopped for lunch.  Had a great view of the Matanuska Glacier.
  • At A 42.1 turned south on the Old Glenn Highway.  It was a very scenic 18.6 mile drive with the foot of the Pioneer Peak on the left and the Matanuska River on the right. 
  • Campsite:  Anchorage RV Park, Anchorage, AK - 8 nights - site #155  - gravel pad – water, 50 amp, sewer, cable.  Rating 5/3.  Got setup at 3:30 PM.

I am still having problems with my left leg so intend to get at least 3 days of rest with the heating pad.  I will make a note here that my leg gave me a lot of trouble the entire trip - but not enough to go home yet.  I went to the doctor, had several appointments, and had 2 cortisone injections.  We made several trip back to Anchorage for the treatments.  For that reason I am going to delete all further references to my leg.  Hence, there will be days missing from the log when we are in Anchorage.

There are a lot of trees scattered through the campground.  Each site has a table but the grass/weeds has not been cut for a long time – they are a foot tall.  

The campground advertises WiFi but it has not been setup yet.  The clerk said maybe tomorrow.

A note about this campground.  It was sold about 2007 and when we returned to Anchorage in 2009 there was a large shopping mall where the campground had been.

********Missing days*********

06-12-05SunDay 73We drove out to Earthquake Park.  Unloaded the bicycles and took a 4 mile ride. 

Remember I had a flat on the Dempster highway.  Well, it ruined the tire.  I went to several tire shops and tried to get 2 new tires put on the front.  That would leave me with the spare and one spare unmounted tire.  However, since the jeep is  4-wheel drive, none of them would replace just 2 tires.  They insisted all 4 had to be replaced on a 4-wheel drive.  I located a tire shop that would mount and balance 2 tires for me and he didn't care what they went on.  I went 

to Sam’s and purchased  2 new tires.  Now I good to go and have 2 spares. 

**********Missing days********* 

06-16-05ThurDay 77Out at:  10:00 AM - Trip meter:   193

Driving directions:  Took Muldoon Blvd around town to the junction of AK 1.  Took AK 1 south, aka Seward Highway.  At the junction of AK 2 the Seward Highway diverts to the AK 2.  The AK 1 becomes the Sterling Highway.  We continued on AK 1 toward Homer.

Stopped several times during the drive today for Sue to take pictures.

  • Campsite:  Alaskan Angler RV Resort, Ninilchik, AK - 3 nights - site #EW10 - grassy – back in – water, 50 amp, cable, WiFi.  Got setup at 5:30 PM.

06-17-05FriDay 78

At 4 PM we went out for a 1½ hour.  Drove north on AK 1 and stopped at all of the state recreation areas.   

06-18-05SatDay 79Left camp at 4 PM and drove south on AK 1 to Homer.  Stopped at all of the state recreation areas.  The areas all have campgrounds with no hookups.  Each one had a water faucet for drinking water.  Several of them only had one or two sites that would accommodate our motorhome.  Many of the sites were for tent camping only.  Several of the campgrounds had motorhome parking like a parking lot in a shopping area.  They were so narrow that a motorhome with slideouts would require 2 spaces.  There are 10 to 12 campgrounds in the last 50 miles of the highway.  They look like asphalt parking lots that RV's are allowed to park in.

Beluga Point on Seward highway, in route to Homer.
In one of the real campgrounds, with roads and trees, a moose and her calf trotted across the road in front of us.  In Homer we took a drive out on the beach.  Drove the jeep 144 miles this stop .

06-19-05SunDay 80Out at:  9:30 AM - Trip meter:   190

Driving directions:  Got back on AK 1 and took it north to Anchorage. 

  • Campsite:  John’s Motel and RV Park, Anchorage, AK - 19 nights - site #5 – gravel parking lot – back in – water, 30 amp, sewer, FREE WiFi.  Rating 5/1.  Got setup at 4:15 PM.  There is satellite but must have a Dish box and we don’t have.  Get 5 local stations on the antenna.  This is a real dump but it is in town and close to the doctors.


**********Missing days**********

06-27-05MonDay 88 - We purchased tickets for a rafting tour of Spencer Lake, Spencer Glacier, and Placer River.  We get there by train.  Departed for the railroad at 8:45 AM.  Check in was 9 AM and required a picture ID.  Sue had to go back to camp and get here driver’s license.  

The train pulled out 10 AM and followed the highway towards Seward.  On the way saw 10 dall sheep on the side of the mountain – they were so far up they looked like little white fleas on the rock.  They were usually two in a group but several were singles. 


At Portage the trained stopped and we picked up the tour driver (Bobbie) and switched tracks to Whittier.  Dropped passengers at Whittier and backtracked to Portage.  In Portage we stopped and picked up the raft guide (Joe) and switched tracks to Spencer Lake.  Before getting to the lake the train stopped and they loaded the raft.  The train stopped about 12 miles out of Portage and dropped us off at Spencer Glacier and Lake.  We were issued rubber boots before getting off the train.   

A little about our guide.  Joe is a 6th grade teacher and has lived in Alaska for 8 years.  He has been a rafting guide for 6 years – the past 2 with the company we are using, called Discovery.   

Bobbie had us fill out forms while on the train.  After we got off the train she drove the bus from our train departure point to the lake.  She prepared lunch and we ate while Joe got the raft ready.   

There were 7 of us plus Joe.  He did all of the rowing.  Spencer Lake is at the foot of Spencer Glacier.  There were well over 100 icebergs in the lake.  The large one next to the foot of the glacier were floating out into the lake.  Towards shore they usually got hung up on the bottom.  Then they stayed there until they melted enough to move again.   

Joe rowed us out around the icebergs then took us 8 miles down the Placer River to the train pickup point.  Sue took pictures.  The view of the lake and river was magnificent.  We boarded the train and road it to Portage.  

The only way to this lake is by train or airplane so there are not many visitors.  Today there was only the one boat in our tour but Joe said there have been as many as seven. 

At Portage the train had to go back to Whittier to pick up passengers so we got on a bus and was returned to the train station in Anchorage.      

A note about the section of track from Portage to Whittier.  It goes through 2 tunnels.  The first is one mile long and the second is about 3 miles long.  The second is shared with auto traffic.  It is the only way to drive to Whittier and is a toll tunnel.  We plan on driving it when I get able to tour again.    

Got back to Anchorage at 6 PM.  Highly recommend this tour.  See photos.

**********Missing days**********

07-04-05MonDay 95Went downtown at 9:30 AM and attended the pancake breakfast in the park.  Set up our chairs on the side of the street and read until the parade started at 11:30 AM.  After the parade, at 1 PM, we attended a program at the flagpole.  The flagpole was a huge tree pole about 60 feet tall and about 18’ at the base.  The program consisted of singing, a presentation of the history of the different American flags, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.  Afterwards we walked around the park and looked at the different exhibits and food stands.  

Returned to camp at 2:30 PM.  There were 4 couples having a cookout next to our motorhome.  They were all in our campground and had rented the vacant space next to us to have an area to cook and eat.  They invited us to join.  Had some chili, cornbread, and desert.  Visited until after 5 PM.  Had a really nice day today.  See photos.

Picture taken from the train.  Cars waiting to go through the train tunnel to get to Whittier.

We were floating around in Spencer Lake looking at the icebergs before heading down Placer River.

07-05-05TueDay 96Drove out to the salmon run by Elmendorf Air Force Base.  There was a small school of salmon at the base of the falls but they were real slow in going up.  The falls was running really fast and was about 8 feet high.  In about 20 minutes we saw about a dozen go up.   

Went to the Alaska Wild Berry Products building.  It is a tourist store with a nature walk and 4 reindeer.  We walked out to the reindeer pen before going into the store.  There was a fee to go into the pen and pet the reindeer so we just watched.  We had no desire to pet the scrounge looking things.  The store is fairly large and was full of tourist items.  The centerpiece of the store is a 20 foot tall falls that contains 3,400 lbs of melted chocolate.  There was a large production area where you could watch them make chocolate candies.   

Went out to Cook Lake by the airport.  That is where the floatplanes take off and land.  There was a small lake at the east end, a small lake at the west end, and the two lakes were connected with a canal about a half-mile long.  Planes were parked around both lakes.  Today they were taking off from east to west and landing in the same direction.  When a plane in the west end lake wanted to take off it had to taxi down the canal and take off from the east lake.  We watched about a dozen planes taking off and landing.  See photos.

07-06-05WedDay 97 Left camp at 11 AM and drove out to Palmer.  Stopped at the visitors center and Sue took some pictures of their vegetable garden.  See photos.  

Stopped at the Musk Ox Farm located 2 miles north of Palmer.  It is a non-profit operation that is raising musk ox with tours available to the public.  Tour took 30 minutes.  There are 47 musk ox on the farm with 5 of them being born within the past 3 months.  Four of them are still with their mothers but one had been rejected and is being bottle-fed. 

The hair of the ox, called qiviut, is harvested once a year by combing the ox.  It takes about 3 hours to harvest.  The reason it is combed is because it is the new growth under the long outer hair.  If the outer hair was cut it would take at least 7 years to grow back and the ox would not survive the next winter.  The hair is used to weave garments.  It is one-eighth the weight of wool, just as warm, and does not itch – is also so fine it has to be hand woven.  The hair is donated to local natives and they do the weaving and sell it – each tribe weaving in a distinctive design.  The products made from the hair are extremely expensive. 

The first few ox were secured from the wild but now they keep what they raise, have secured several from zoos, and buy in a bull when they need a new blood line.  For feed they eat grass in the summer, hay in the winter, and alfalfa pellets year around.  An ox can survive quite well and be comfortable in temperatures to 100 below zero.  It was 71 degrees when we were there and they were all staying in the shade because it was so hot.  Once an ox reaches the farm it remains there until it dies.  The farm is supported by donations, tour fees, and volunteer service.  There are several paid staff.  Very interesting tour.  See photos.

Headed north on the Fishhook-Willow Road.  Stopped at the bridge where it crossed the Little Susitna River and Sue took a picture.

Drove up to the Independence Mine State Historical Site.  There were a lot of the old mining structures but it required a lot of up hill climbing so we didn’t tour.  Very interesting though.

Headed west over Hatcher Pass.  Took a side trip up a really rough road.  Went 1 mile in 15 minutes – most times at an idle, going up hill, with my foot on the brake.  The roughest road we have ever been on.  The Milepost said it was a rough road that was not maintained.  Stopped at Summit Lake, just west of the Summit of Hatcher Pass.  The lake is fed by the surrounding mountains, was extremely clear, and not very deep.  I did not see any fish in it and assume that due to the shallowness of it, it probably freezes solid every winter.  Sue took pictures of it and the valley.  There was a trail all the way around the lake.  It looked to be about ¼ mile wide by ½ mile long.  See photos.

At the bottom of the pass we took another side trip – rough but not as rough as the other one.  Stopped next to a really pretty stream and I panned for gold.  Came up empty.  Saw a lot of moose and bear tracks next to the stream.  Hatcher Pass is a magnificent drive.  Highly recommend it.  

Drove out to the Willow Creek State Recreational Area.  Looks new – about 100 sites – parking lot site about 10 feet wide – no place for slideouts – no services.

Float plane landing on Cook Lake at the Anchorage Airport.
Musk Oxen from the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer.

Some Alaskans appear to take great pride in their ability to shoot holes in the road signs to the point where they are unreadable.   

Drove out to the South Rolly State Recreational Area.  Dirt road for 6 miles, rough but driveable.  Nice wooded sites with some on the lake – trout in the lake with a fishing pier.  Turnoff on the Nancy Lake Parkway off the Park Highway 25 miles north of Wasilla.  Possibility. 

Stopped at Nancy Lake State Recreational Area.  About a mile south of South Rolly – next to the highway – several sites suitable for the coach.  Possibility. 

Stopped at the Houston City Campground.  Has about 80 sites and only had a few campers.  Looks like most of the sites have not been used this year.  Is located next to the Little Susitna River.  There is potable water available.  Have fish in the river.  We will plan on staying there when we return this way next week.   

We stopped in Wasilla for dinner.  It sprinkles on us off and on all day and rained hard enough to run the wipers on parts of the Park Highway.  By the time we got to Wasilla there was a downpour and we had to drive through several flooded streets.  

Got back to camp at 9:20 PM.  The trip today was 210 miles.  See photos.

07-07-05ThurDay 98Stayed in most of the day.  We went to Carr's and bought a Great Alaskan TourSaver coupon book.  TourSaver is a 2 for 1 coupon book that cost $99.95. 

[Entered after the trip - we saved $784.79 on tours after deducting the cost of the coupon book].

Went to the IMax and saw "Alaska – The Great Land".  Used a coupon out of the TourSaver.  Drove the jeep 506 miles this stop .

07-08-05FriDay 99Out at:  9:30 AM - Trip meter:   108 

Driving directions:  Took AK 1 to downtown.  Then it turned into the Seward Highway.  Took it about 90 miles south of Anchorage and at the junction AK 1 continued to Homer and became the Sterling Highway.  At the junction the Seward Highway became AK 9.  Continued on AK 9.  Five miles south of Moose Pass turned into the campground.  

  • Campsite:  Trail River National Forest Campground, Moose Pass, AK - 5 nights - site #20 – gravel pad - pull thru – no services – had to raise the front about 7 inches to level.  Rating 2/5.  Took a sunny site instead of one covered by trees so the solar panels would charge.  No TV signal.  Got setup at 12:30 PM.

The campground is surrounded by mountains with snow scattered around the tops.  There are 4 camping areas in this campground.  We are in one of the oldest and in our opinion the prettiest.  There is one that looks to be one to two years old that is all gravel, but it is next to the lake.  The lake and river are both within walking distance.  

We tried to call a travel agency and book a tour for tomorrow but the cell phone kept cutting out.  Not getting a good signal here.  Had to go back to a café at the turn off the highway and use a pay phone.  We are about one mile off the highway.  

Booked the following tours using our TourSaver coupons.

  • Glacier Adventure Cruise out of Whittier.  Four hours long, departing at 1:30 PM on 7-9-05, with halibut for lunch.  
  • Northwestern Fjord Cruise out of Seward.  All day tour, departing at 9 AM and returning at 6:30 PM, serving breakfast and lunch. 
  • Resurrection Bay Dinner Cruise out of Seward.  Departing at 5:30 PM, serving baked salmon. 

07-09-05SatDay 100Departed camp at 10:05 AM for Whittier.  About a mile west of Moose Pass, between mile marker 30 and 31, at the west end of the bridge, there was a large gravel parking area.  There were several motorhomes and trailers parked there.  It is free with no services.  There was another one about 10 miles on further west.

Got to the toll booth for the tunnel at 11:35 AM.  The traffic was going through when we got there so after paying toll we did not stop again until we arrived at the cruise office.  The tunnel is 2.6 miles long, 25 mph speed limit, and takes 6 minutes to drive through.  The tunnel has not been reinforced or dressed up – it is just bare rock.  Motorhomes cost over twice as much as a car.

The boat, called the Glacier Queen II, departed on time at 1:30 PM.  On the way out of the harbor we passed by some cliffs that were covered by thousands and thousands of birds called “black-legged kittiwake”.  They are members of the sea gull family and had white heads and bodies with grey wings.  They were a little smaller than sea gulls.  There were about a dozen waterfalls on the cliff.   

The area is surrounded by mountains with the tallest being about 3,000 feet.  The captain said they get over 100 feet of snow a year in the mountains and about 25 feet at sea level.   

Had baked halibut for lunch.  It was prepared on the boat and served hot.  The meal included a small halibut steak, a pasta salad, dinner roll, and butter.  Had lemonade to drink.  The meal was really good. 

Saw five groups (a group being called a raft) of sea otter.  There were a total of at least 20.  They were swimming on their backs and paddling around with their feet.   

Stopped at Beloit Glacier, a tide water glacier.  Only tide water glaciers calf.  It calved four times while we were there.  Three times there were just small sections but the fourth was about 40 feet tall and real thick.  The captain got us to within 200 yards of the glacier.  There was a lot of ice in the water, some of them extremely large.  This glacier appears to calf quite frequently.  We encountered the ice at least 2 miles out.  We were there about 30 minutes. 

Stopped at the Blackstone Glacier.  It is larger than the Beloit Glacier but is not calving very often.  There were only a few pieces of ice in the water.  The glacier covered the valley and the mountaintops on both sides.  There were several hundred waterfalls around the glacier.  We only stayed there for about 10 minutes.  See photos.

On the tour boat Glacier Queen II.  Straight ahead is the Beloit Glacier.

On the way back in the cook baked some chocolate cookies and they were delicious.  The only problem was we each only got one cookie.  Got back to the dock at 5:25 PM.  It was a wonderful trip.   

Got back to the tunnel at 5:40 but did not get to start through until 6 PM.  You enter on the half hour and return on the hour.  Got back to camp at 7:20 PM.  The trip today was 140 miles 

07-10-05SunDay 101Departed camp at 7:10 AM for Seward.  Have the all day Northwestern Fjord Cruise booked that departs at 9 AM.  Checked in at 7:50 AM and got boarding passes.  Boarded at 8:30 AM.  The boat is named the “Greatland”, is 90 feet long and can carry 149 passengers.  We left port with about 100 on board.

Saw the following wildlife: 

  • Black-legged Kittiwake.
  • Sea Otter.  They live their life in the water and weigh in at between 50 and 100 lb .  Their fur is thought to be the softest in the world with 900,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch.  Their only enemy is the orca whale.  They have to eat 25% of their weight each day to survive, consisting of primarily shrimp and shellfish.  They cannot eat regular type fish because they cannot digest the bones.  When they are not under water feeding they float on their back.  They were nearly hunted to distinction for their fur but are now making a comeback. 
  • Bald Eagle.  Saw them on 4 different islands.
  • Saw humpback whales at several locations. 
  • Puffins.  These are diving birds that come into shore in the summer.  They can dive up to 300 feet to feed.  Sometime during September they will paddle about 500 miles out to sea and stay there for 6 months before returning to shore.  They have black wings, white breast, orange bills, and long sweeping hairs over the eyes.
  • Sea Lions.
  • Harbour Seals.
  • Dall Porpoises.
  • Salmon.
  • Common Murre. 

Saw the sea otter on the way out of the harbour and black-legged kittiwake everywhere.  The kittiwake are part of the sea gull family.  

Steward Harbor.  This is the dock that is used for tour boats.  The one we took, "Greatland", is the 4th in line.  Notice the cruise ship in the background.

We were served a light breakfast consisting of a cinnamon roll, a cup of mixed fruit, and juice.   

Went by Bear Glacier.  It is made up of three different glaciers that have converged at the same point next to the bay.  It is 2½ miles wide and 11 miles long.  All of the glaciers we saw today ware part of the Harding Icefield.  The Harding Icefield is about 750 miles deep.  Bear Glacier is the largest glacier in the Harding Icefield.  We did not get very close to the glacier because there is a large fresh water lake between the bay and the glacier.   

The first 1½ hours of the trip was quite smooth but then we hit the Gulf of Alaska and started getting 3 foot swells.  The tour today will cover 150 miles.  It was overcast all day with clouds hanging over all of the mountains. 

Saw the backs of 2 humpback whales.  They just broke the surface then went back under.  

In one area there were about 20 boats with people fishing.  There was one 16 foot outboard with 6 men standing up in it fishing.  These fools were at least 35 miles from any kind of shoreline if that little boat turned over.  They must be stupid, stupid, stupid.    

At Chiswell Island the captain stopped and we viewed a lot of sea lions swimming and sunning.  Also saw 2 more bald eagles that were fishing.  

When we turned out of the Gulf of Alaska and went through Granite Pass the ride got a lot smoother.  Lunch was served while we went through the pass.  We had a cup of hot chicken noodle soup with big chunks of chicken, turkey sandwiches from Subway, potato chips, and soft drinks.  During lunch we had another humpback whale.   

As we passed Striation Island there was a lot of ice in the water.  The island is about 3 miles from the Northwestern Glacier.  The ice was bunched up around the island, some of them really large chunks.  We went in on the east side of the island and stayed close to the Harris Peninsula.  It was relative ice-free.  

We stopped in front of the glacier and stayed there for about 30 minutes.  There was quite a bit of ice in the water and the boat drifted into it several times.  Never did see any large chunks caving off but did see about a dozen small ones.  When the small ones caved they blew up into huge powder balls.  Never did see any hit the water in chunks.  However, did hear a lot of cracking and popping.  There was a large waterfall to the east of the glacier.  There were only a few in the glacier area.  

When we left the Northwestern Glacier we went to the west of Striation Island.  The waterway was full of ice and the captain worked the boat through it slowly.  There was about one mile of the ice and there were harbour seals lying out on the larger icebergs.  I estimate there were about 400 of the seals and there were 1 to 6 seals per iceberg.  They would slide off the iceberg into the water when the boat would get close to them.  Sue took a movie of the harbour seals.

Within the next hour we found two more dall porpoises.  They were feeding but decided to play.  They chased the boat for the next few miles jumping out of the water and raced under the boat side to side. They are grey on the topside with bright white bellies and white tipped tails.  It was great.  

Saw quite a few salmon jumping out of the water.  Saw common murre.  They are a diving bird that can go down 600 feet and stay for up to 4 minutes.  They have a white stomach with black wings and back and a long beak.  They look a little bit like a penguin.   

Got back to the dock at 6:20 PM.  Got back to camp at 8:25 PM.  See photos.

A note about the whales.  We saw a lot of them but usually only their backs.  That doesn't make for good pictures.

Northwestern Glacier.

07-11-05MonDay 102Left for Seward at 3:45 PM.  Stopped at the tour office, got our boarding passes, boarded the boat at 5:10 PM.  We are on the same boat, with the same crew, that we had yesterday.  It is a 4 hour cruise. 

It took one hour to get to Fox Island.  It was named Fox Island because there were fox farms located there in the early 1900’s.  We had an hour for dinner.  It was buffet style.  Had baked salmon with corn on the cob, salad, rice, desert, and drinks.  It was all you could eat so I went back for seconds.  It was really good salmon.  Skipped rocks on the water.  The stones were real thin and flat. 

After dinner we cruised for another 2 hours.  Covered some of the same waters we covered yesterday.  Saw the same wildlife with the following exceptions.  Did not see harbour seals but did see a black bear.   

It was a great dinner and a very pleasant boat ride.  Got back to dock at 9:30 PM.  Got back to camp at 10:25. 

07-12-05TueDay 103 - Went to Seward to go to the Alaska Sealife Center.  Used a coupon out of the TourSaver book.  In the center we got to see puffin swim under water and feed.  There was a huge sea lion in a small tank.  The tour was not much but it was something to do.  The tour took 1½ hours.

We took a drive out along the shoreline to the end of the road.  There is a RV Park there that I would only stay in as a last resort.  It looked really trashy.  

Stopped at the Ptarmingan Creek National Forest Campground.  There were only 3 sites we could get our coach in.  The campground is .9 miles south of the turnoff to our campground.  Not a very nice campground.  Drove the jeep 323 miles this stop. 

07-13-05WedDay 104Out at:  12:15 PM - Trip meter:   106

Driving directions:  Got back on AK 9 north.  It turned into AK 1 to Anchorage. 

  • Campsite:  John’s Motel and RV Park, Anchorage, AK - 3 nights - site #5 – gravel parking lot – back in – water, 30 amp, sewer, WiFi.  Got setup at 4:35 PM.  There is satellite but must have a Dish box and we don’t have.  Get 5 local stations on the antenna.  Got the same site we had last week.

Drove the jeep 58 miles this stop.

**********Missing Days**********

07-16-05SatDay 107Out at:  10:30 AM - Trip meter:   71

Driving directions:  Got back on AK 1 going north.  At the junction of AK 1 and AK 3 took AK 3 north, aka the Parks Highway. 

Before we left Anchorage we went to the Farmers Market.  Sue bought some fresh vegetables and I bought 9¼ lbs of halibut.   

  • Campsite:  Little Susitna River Campground, Houston, AK – this is a city campground - 2 nights – no site # - grassy – pulled in – no services.  Rating 3/5.  Has a table and fire ring.  Have the same channels on TV that we had in Anchorage.  The only difference is the pictures are better on all of them except for channel 4.   

07-17-05SunDay 108We drove into Wasilla for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  Had planned to drive around the area but it started raining.  Since we left windows open on the coach, and the awnings were not out, we headed back to camp.  It had rained a little at camp but not enough to get anything wet.  Sat around, read, and watched TV.  Drove the jeep 55 miles this stop .

07-18-05MonDay 109Out at:   11:55 AM - Trip meter:   56

Driving directions:  Got back on AK 3 north.  At MP 98.7 turned off onto Talkeetna Spur Road.  It is 14 miles from the junction of AK 3 and it is the best highway we have been on in Alaska.

Stopped at the visitor’s center at the Talkeetna Spur Road junction.  Rumor has it that Talkeetna is the town that the TV series "Northern Exposure" was modeled after.

  • Campsite:  Talkeetna Camper Park, Talkeetna AK - 4 nights - site #19 – all gravel - pull thru – water and 30 amp.  No grass but large trees scattered throughout the campground.  There is a railroad track about 100 feet in front of the coach.  Rating 5/3.  Got setup at 2 PM.  No TV reception. 

Drove into town.  Booked the following sightseeing trips, all using the TourSaver coupons:

Zucchini at the Farmers Market in Anchorage.
  • Airplane trip around and over the top of McKinley for 9 AM tomorrow morning.  Check in time is 8:30 AM.  Booked with Talkeetna Aero Services. 
  • Mahay’s Riverboat Tour #1 for tomorrow evening – a 2 hour river tour on a jet boat.  Check in at 7:30 PM with departure at 8 PM. 
  • Mahay’s Riverboat Tour #2 for Thursday – a 3½ hour river tour on a jet boat.  Check in is at 2:15 PM with a 2:45 PM departure. 

Saved a total of $350.00 on the 3 tours.  

Stopped at the Museum of Northern Adventure.  Took about 20 minutes.

07-19-05TueDay 110Departed for Talkeetna Aero Services at 8:25 AM for our flight.  It was sprinkling.  It was overcast but we were informed the sky was clear over the mountain.  Got checked in and saw a short film on aircraft procedures.  Boarded the plane at 9 AM.  It was a 2 engine plane with seating for a pilot, co-pilot, and 8 passengers.  Today there were 6 passengers and the pilot.  The plane number was N27663.  Had another briefing after we got on the plane - took off at 9:15 AM.  

Flew through clouds all the way there and all the way back.  Never did see the mountain.  Landed at 10:15 AM.  Was informed satellite gave a clear picture of the mountain before we took off and was completely socked in within 15 minutes after takeoff.  Rescheduled for same time tomorrow morning.

At 7:20 PM there was a steady rain and we had to leave in 5 minutes to go on our boat ride.  It is Mahay’s Riverboat Tour #1.  Suppose to be a 2 hour river boar tour – there were 28 passengers plus the captain and the tour guide.  We took a bus to the boat, took a 30 minute boat ride with three stops for the tour guide to talk, and then stopped for a nature walk.  The nature walk was ¼ mile.  The guide talked about local plants, discussed a replica of a native lean-to, discussed a replica of a trapper’s cabin, and showed us some furs.  The trappers cabin is a replica, just a little smaller than the original, of the cabin her boss lived in for 5 years with his wife.  They homesteaded in the early 70’s and he trapped for a living.  The walk and talks took about 1 hour.  Then it was a 20 minute boat ride back to the docks.  The captain did two 180 degree turns – a donut for boats.  Saw 1 bald eagle during the trip.  Glad we got a 2 for 1 because the trip was not worth the price.  Got back to the dock at 9:50 PM.

Saw a double rainbow.  On the inside one the entire arc was visible from end to end and had 4 colors – orange, yellow, green, and purple.

07-20-05WedDay 111 - Foggy in the campground.  Called the flight service and they said the top of the mountain was clear.  Went to the air terminal at 8:30 AM.  The airport was fogged in and no planes were taking off.  At 9:30 AM they finally got the 7 AM flight off the ground so we rescheduled ours for 3 PM.  

Went to the air terminal at 2:40 PM.  It is a beautiful afternoon.  Took off at 3 PM and the flight was magnificent.  Sue took a lot of pictures.  There were clouds but the top was clear.  The plane made three trips about half way around the mountain each time.  The first was at the level of the mountain (20,320 feet), the second was above the mountain but not across the top, and the third was below the summit.  On the return we went down into the mountain range and followed a 35 mile glacier back to the tundra.  There were bright blue pools of water on the glacier.  The pilot said it was glacier water that had pooled instead of running off.  The plane was the same size plane as the one we were in yesterday but it only had 8 seats instead of 10.  The seats were a little further apart – the flight was full.  See photos.

After we returned I went to the ranger station and made a reservation for Teklanika Campground in Denali National Park.  There is a 3 day minimum stay and you cannot drive around in the park.  Will have to leave the jeep in the overflow area at the visitor’s center.  The only means of transportation, in the park, is bus, walking, or bicycles.  There are no services.  Will get a bus pass when we get there.  Check in after 11 AM. 

07-21-05ThurDay 112Got to the tour office at 2:20 PM and they took us to the boat in a bus.  Mahay’s Riverboat Tour #2.  Boarded and departed at 2:45 PM – had 40 passengers.  Had the same boat, a different captain, but the same tour guide.  Could just see the tip of the mountain from the dock.  

The first stop was about 5 minutes after departure.  We stopped to get a look at McKinley.  There were no clouds – I mean NO CLOUDS.  The mountain was 80 miles from us.  We were south of the mountain and the closest clouds were south of us.  See photos.

Stopped at a bald eagle nest but neither one was home.  Went up river to an abandoned beaver lodge.  The lodge was abandoned 2 years ago when the beaver dam broke and left it high and dry. 

Top of Denali, aka Mt. McKinley.  Highest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet.

Then we went back to the same nature walk we were on during the first boat ride.  We stayed on the boat while most of the other passengers took the walk.   

Then we went up another river for 25 minutes.  The tour guide served bottled water and a really large chocolate chip cookie.  Stopped and watched a bald eagle.  Dropped about half of the passengers at the Princess Lodge and returned to the dock.  The captain did two 180 degree turns.   

Got back at 6:55 PM.  It was a 4 hour and 10 minute ride and well worth the money.  The view of Mt McKinley was magnificent.  The guide said they only average 2 days a year with it out with no clouds.  If we had not have the view of the mountain then this trip would not have been worth the fee.  

Went to the grocery store – there are two.  They both looked about like what you see on TV about stores in older small towns.  Bought 5 bananas for $3.09 and ½ gallon of milk for $3.95 cents.  The selection was very limited and the prices very expensive.  Drove the jeep 22 miles this stop .

07-22-05FriDay 113Out at:  10:45 AM - Trip meter:   155

Driving directions:  Took the spur back to AK 3 and took it north.

At MP 127 got our first unobstructed view of Mt McKinley from the highway.    

At MP 134 stopped at the “Denali South Viewpoint”.  Had a real good view of several mountains.  However the upper portion of the 17,000 foot one was completely obscured by clouds – only the base was visible.  

In the first 50 miles of the drive both sides of the road was covered by “fire weed”.  There appeared to be enough to give every man, woman, and child in the lower 48 their own individual weed.  

  • Campsite:  Denali Rainbow Village RV Park, 238.6 Parks Highway, AK - overnight - site #60 – gravel parking lot with no trees – back in – water, 30 amp, sewer, 6 cable stations, and WiFi.  Rating 5/1.  This is the ugliest campground we have ever been in.  Got setup at 4 PM.

The campground is one mile north of the Park entrance.  After we got setup I drove out to the Park office and checked in.  Reserved seats on the park bus and got a pass to ride other busses while in the park.  Reason being we have to leave the jeep in the overflow area at the entrance.  We cannot take it to the campground.  

We have to take our lunch with us on the bus because there are no places to buy anything in the park.  We bought some canned meat and bread to take.  Drove the jeep 12 miles this stop.

Denali from the Talkeetna Spur.

07-23-05SatDay 114Out at:  10:05 AM - Trip meter:   32

Driving directions:  Followed the road out to the campground.

We had to leave the jeep at the campground at the park entrance.  Taking the bicycles so had to remove the ladder and tow bar.  Installed the bicycle carrier and bicycles on the coach.  Dropped the jeep and headed out to our campground.  At MP 15 (Salvage River) there is a checkpoint and no vehicles are permitted past it unless they have special permission.  Since we had reservations at the Teklanika Campground we were permitted to drive as far at MP 29, the location of the campground.  The road is paved to MP 15 but from that point on it is gravel 2-lane.

At MP 17 we stopped and watched a brown bear grazing next to the road.  It was less than 50 feet from the coach.  Sue took pictures but the bear was so engrossed in eating that it would not raise its head for a good picture.  It finally wondered off, still grazing, so we left.  

We saw 2 coveys of Willow Ptarmigan, the state bird of Alaska.  They look a lot like quail.   

  • Campsite: Teklanika Campground, Denali National Park, AK  - 3 nights - site #35 – gravel pad – back in – no services. Rating 5/4.  The site is surrounded on three sided by bushes and trees.  The river is about 100 Yards away – can hear it flowing over the rocks.  Got setup at 12:05 PM. 


The site has a table and fire ring.  I started a fire and cooked beer batter halibut in the iron skillet we purchased at Wal-Mart last week.  Some of it was good and some was lacking.  Will probably grill and bake the rest of our supply.

07-24-05SunDay 115Caught the bus to Wonder Lake at 8:25 AM.  Packed water and lunch.  Sue took a turkey sandwich and I took a small can of Spam and crackers.  We each took a soft drink. 

We had the following animal sightings:

  • Dall sheep several times.  No pictures because they were too far away.
  • Had 6 sightings of caribou.  Only had one close enough for a good picture.
  • Had one bear sighting.  The bears were over a mile away.  There was a large blonde female with two cubs that was coming down the mountain grazing.  There was a large brown bear laying next to the river that appeared to be asleep and was probably about 400 yards from the mama bear.  Possibly grizzly bears.  They were too far away for pictures.
  • Saw a lot of beaver lodges but only one beaver and it was too far away for pictures.  

Our campground was at MP 29 and Wonder Lake was at 85.  We made 4 rest stops getting there and 3 returning.  Arrived at Wonder Lake at 12:45 PM and departed at 1:30 PM.  Got back to the campground at 5:15 PM.  The trip was 112 miles roundtrip and took 8 hours and 50 minutes.  See photos.

On the way to Teklankia Campground.  The grizzly was grazing about 50 feet from the road.  We took the picture through the window of the motorhome.  No way was I getting out, up close, and personal.

Now about the trip.  The bus we were on was an old school bus with very uncomfortable seats.  The road was one lane and every time vehicles met one had to pull over.  The road went over two mountains with numerous S curves.  Several of them were extremely short and curved more than 180 degrees.  Many times we were looking out over the side of the road – there were no guardrails or any type protection unless you consider speed limit signs protection.  There were probably 7 to 8 miles of this type road each way.  Had to take the same road in and out. 

At Wonder Lake we had a 45 minute layover so eat lunch and the picked wild blueberries for desert.  The lake is 4 miles long and ½ mile wide.  The water was really clear – in one spot, out in the middle, there was bright blue, green, and red coloring to the water.   

One trip was enough.  Will not use the passes tomorrow.  It was fun and well worth the trip.  We highly recommend it, but ONCE IS ENOUGH.

07-25-05MonDay 116 - We stayed around the campsite and enjoyed the peace and quite . 

07-26-05TueDay 117Out at:  10:00 AM - Trip meter:   154

Driving directions:  Drove back out of the park.  Got back on AK 3 and headed north.  

On the way out had to stop while a covey of Willow Ptarmigan crossed the road.  They were taking their time getting across.  We waited about 3 minutes and a park employee that was coming from the other direction got out and shooed them off the road.  Cleared the 15 mile check point at 10:40 AM – back on the pavement again.   

Just passed a hitchhiker doing pushups on the side of the road.  

  • Campsite:  Rivers Edge RV Park, Fairbanks, AK - 6 nights - site #F8 – gravel pad with grass and trees all around – back in – water, 30 amp, WiFi, cable.  Rating 4/4.  Got setup at 5 PM. 

07-27-05WedDay 118Departing camp at 12:50 PM.  Went to the University of Alaska Museum.  Rented audit tapes.  It was a very interesting museum and we both really enjoyed it.  The tour took us 2½ hours.  

There was a lot of smoke in the air today from the fires that are north of Fairbanks.  The news speculates it will blow out tomorrow.

07-28-05ThurDay 119Made reservations for the 3 PM El Dorado Gold Mine tour.  Have a TourSaver coupon.  The mine is located about 10 miles north of Fairbanks so we departed camp at 1:55 PM.  The smoke in the air yesterday had blown out today.  

At the mine we took a train with open-air cars pulled by and electric engine.  Before it left the station we were entertained by fiddle music by the “conductor”.  The train took us through a tunnel that was a simulated permafrost mining tunnel for a working mine.  On the other side of the tunnel we stopped at a miner’s cabin and watched a demonstration of mining with a “rocker sluice box”. 

Stopped at a small steam engine set up to lift dirt out of a shaft and haul it to a pile and dump it.  The mining was done during the summer, stock piled, then worked during the winter. 

Got out at the sluicing area and watched them do the final mining for gold.  The dirt is hauled in from the mine and stockpiled.  There is a sluice box about 70 to 75 feet long and 3 feet wide.  The bottom of the first half consist of cross pieces of angle iron about 2 inches apart.  The second half is made of expanded metal.  Under the metal sections is Astro turf.  At the top of the hill is a 30,000-gallon reservoir.  At the bottom of the hill is a water basin, then a dump truck body, then the sluice box, then a tail water pit.  As water is released from the reservoir a backhoe is used to dump dirt from the mine into the dump truck body.  The water washed the dirt down the sluice box, creates ripples and washes the rock and dirt down, and the gold is trapped in-between the sections of angle iron and settles in the Astro turf.  The water from the tail water pit is pumped back to the reservoir and reused.  Then the bottom sections are removed, the dirt is shoveled off the Astro turf into a tub, and then the Astro turf is rolled up and put into the same tub.  The turf is washed into the tub and that dirt is used to fill the poke bags that are used by the customers to pan for gold.  Each person is guaranteed to find gold.  Sue and I each found gold valued at about $7.00 each.   

There is a huge gift shop.  There were about 200 customers on the train.  It looks like the real gold mine is not mining gold from the land but mining dollars from the tourist.  However, it was a very interesting tour and we both enjoyed it.  The tour took 2 hours.  See photos.

About 8 miles north of Fairbanks on AK 2 we got our first look at the pipeline.  There was a pullout with a visitor’s office.  We were able to walk around, touch, and play with it.  See photos

Called and made reservations on the Riverboat Discovery for 3 PM tomorrow,  Have a TourSaver coupon.  

Went to the Salmon Bake at Pioneer Park for dinner.  It was a buffet with prime rib, halibut, salmon, and cod.  Included salad bar, dessert, and drinks.   

After dinner, while still in the park, went to the Palace Saloon and watched a stage presentation about Fairbanks.  Very entertaining.  

07-29-05FriDay 120Had reservations on the Riverboat Discovery but Sue is not feeling well so called and rescheduled for tomorrow.  Stayed in camp the rest of the day.

I did research on the forest fires and the ones north of us seem to be out or at least under control.  Believe we will take a trip to Prudhoe Bay.

07-30-05SatDay 121It started raining at 5 AM, rained about one hour and cleared out all of the smoke that was left in the air.  We departed camp at 1:30 PM for our boat tour.  It has cleared and we have blue sky.  Boarded and departed at 2 PM.

A bit about the boat, the Discovery III.  It is a genuine paddle wheeler, built and put in service in 1987, 156 feet long, 34 feet wide, weights 280 ton, had 4 decks, and carries 900 passengers.  The family that owns this tour also owns the El Dorado Gold Mine tour.  The grandfather started running freight on Alaskan rivers over 100 years ago.

The boat is located on the Chena River, the same one that runs by our campground and wanders all over Fairbanks.  A couple hundred yards from the dock the boat stopped and we watched a seaplane demonstration with two takeoffs and one landing. 

We stopped at the home of Dave Monson and Susan Butcher (husband and wife).  They own the Trailbreaker Kennel, about ½ mile from the dock.  Susan won the Iditarod in 1986, 1987. 1988, and 1990.  They raise sled dogs and race.  Both Dave and Susan talked to us about raising and training the dogs, then hooked up a team and drove it around a practice track pulling a 4-wheeler.  It was very interesting. 

Sluice box at the El Dorado Gold Mine in Fairbanks.

The visitor's center outside Fairbanks is the only place you are allowed to walk around and inspect the pipeline.

Stopped and saw some reindeer that were penned up along side the river.  Reindeer are just caribou that have been domesticated.  We will see them again later when we get off the boat and tour a native village that has been built to show times gone by. 

At the junction of the Tanana River we turned south.  The Chena is a clear water river and the Tanana is a glacier fed river – glacier water is grey in color.  Where the two met an agitation took place and the water went from clear to a different assortment of colors before settling to the glacier grey.   

Went down the Tanana a ways, turned around, and on the way back up river stopped on the east shore at a reconstructed fish camp.  There was a fish wheel, tent, and drying rack.  A lady gave a demonstration on how to filet and clean a fish.   

Went across the river to the west shore and the boat docked – we all got off.  There is a reconstructed Athabascan village here with a fish camp with fish wheel, a trading post, one area with reconstructed out building to represent the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, an area with early type housing from a 1,000 years ago (the reindeer were penned up here), and the current summer home of Dixie Alexander, a local artist.   

We toured all of the areas and received a bit of history at each one.  There was also a dog pen there with 8 dogs.  Dave Monson was there and did an additional talk about raising the racing the dogs and answered questions.  He said that he would probably enter this year Iditarod. 

Dixie Alexander is an Athabascan native and she makes native clothing from animal hides.  Some of her creations were modeled for us.  In 1997 the Smithsonian commissioned her to make a Chief’s jacket for display. 

A note about the Athabascans.  There are native to this area and were still living under primitive conditions until the late 1800’s when westerners started moving in.   

We stayed at the village about one hour then got back on the boat and continued up river then turned west up the Chena.   

We were served a salmon and cream cheese dip on the way back.  It was quite good so Sue purchased some of the smoked canned salmon.  Got back to dock at 5:20 PM.  

Now something about our future travels.  I am feeling much better and have only taken 1 pain pill in the last 5 days.  We discussed continuing on to Prudhoe Bay.  I checked the internet and found that a 3 day bus trip was about $750 each – had one nights lodging at Coldfoot and one night at Prudhoe Bay (lodging was included).  Found one for $290 each that left Fairbanks at 6 AM and got to Prudhoe Bay at 10 PM, then we had to pay our own lodging.  Then we would have to take an early tour of the oilfield because the buss departed at 8 AM and arrived in Fairbanks at midnight.  The oilfield tour is 1½ hours long.  That trip is much to fast – we don’t want to spend 32 hours on a bus during a 42 hour trip.   

However, to get reservations on the oilfield tour requires advanced reservations.  So we have decided to drive the coach to Coldfoot, about 275 miles, park in the BLM campground, and drive the remaining 234 miles in the jeep.  Will stay over one night in Deadhorse.

07-31-05SunDay 122Stayed in all day and watched the golf tournament.  Researched the internet about Prudhoe Bay and Deadhorse.  Have decided to just call the Caribou Inn in Deadhorse and talk to them tomorrow.  Plan on driving about half way to Coldfoot tomorrow and the rest of the way Tuesday.  Drove the jeep 86 miles this stop. 

08-01-05MonDay 123Out at:  10:35 AM - Trip meter:   160

Driving directions:  Took AK 2 north aka Steese Highway to Fox then it became Elliot Highway.  At the junction of AK 2 and AK 11 aka Dalton Highway – we took AK 11 north.


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