Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

2013 Canada Return - via Whitehorse, Smithers, Prince George, & Edmonton to Saskatoon

 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.

 I have left the prices in for comparison and to give a general idea of what to expect.  Depending on when you read this, factor in inflation.

Note - Explanation of fuel prices in Canada.   $1.219 = $4.57  indicates the price per liter = the US price per gallon as adjusted for the current exchange rate.

You can read it through or select specific locations below.

 Travel Log - August 16 to August 02, 2013        [Tab 2013 Canada Rtn]

I am including our trip to Hyder, Alaska, in this portion of the trip log.

08-16-2013     Fri      Trip Meter:   128.1         

Fueled Coach:   At a Shell in Tok, AK.  $4.499 

Fueled Pickup:   At a Shell in Tok, AK.  $4.159. 

Driving Directions:  Took AK 2 “Alaska Hwy” east.  At the Canadian border it became YT1. 

Days Activities:   I called Gordon Howell Campground and made reservations for a month starting 2 September.  We are only planning on 3 weeks but 3 weeks is the same rate as a monthly and you get free sewer pump out with the monthly.  Also gives us the opportunity for a few extra days if we want them.  Phone 1-866-855-6655 – conformation #35935. 

We had originally planned to return over the Top of the World Hwy, in mid-September to see the colors, but changed our minds.  We have been to Hyder twice, first time on Sep 12 and the second time on Sep 7th.  Both time we were too late for good bear viewing because the salmon had already stopped running.  We decided to try and get to Hyder by the end of the 3rd week of August to have a better chance at the bears.   

Departed campground at 10:25 am.  Stopped in town and fueled the vehicles.  After getting fuel we made a quick stop at the grocery store to get some cookies for Claire and back on the road at 11:05 am.  Headed out for Canada. 

It was very smoky this morning.  It is hanging over us like a heavy overcast with a very smoky smell.  The sun it out. 

AK 2 was a good road all the way to the border.  Immediately after crossing into Canada the road became very rough for the first mile.  Had to slow to 40-45 mph.  Then there was construction for the next 6 miles.  Looks like it is just about ready for seal coating but was very rough in places.  My speed ranged from 10-20 mph.  The speed limit in the construction area is 20 mph [30 km/p].  Sometime there is a pilot car but today it was go through on your own.

Immediately after the construction there was about 5 miles of beat up seal coating that had returned to gravel and it was very rough.  Over a mile of it was so rub boardy that I had to creep along at about 10 mph.  The rest of it I travelled at 20-25 mph.  The speed limit was 30 mph [45 km/p]. 

Now we are about 13 miles into Canada.  The road to the Customs office smoothed out a little and was able to travel at 40-45 mph.  After Customs it got better and was able to travel at 45-50 mph.  There were a lot of short breaks in the pavement but only had to slow to about 40 mph over them.  This condition lasted to the campground exit. 

Stopped at 3 different restaurants in Beaver Creek for lunch and they were all closed. 

It started to sprinkle as we were leaving Beaver Creek but had cleared by the time we got to the campground and the sun came back out.  It is only about 13 miles to the campground from Beaver Creek. 

  • Campsite:   Snag Junction Yukon Government Campground, MP 1153.4 [1849.6 km], YT - overnight - site 4 - gravel pad - back-in - No services.  Has a table and fire ring.  Rating 4/5 - Got setup at 3:25 pm.  Setup was just put down the jacks and put out the slides.   

Additional info:  This is a great campground.  There are 15 sites here, most are long enough for a 40 motorhome, most are fairly level, and 3 of them are pull through sites.  We are in a site that is backed up to and overlooking Small Lake.  Free firewood. 

Drove pickup 0.2 miles.

Our campsite at Snag Junction Yukon Government Campground, MP 1153.4 [1849.6 km], YT.

08-17-2013      Sat      Trip Meter:   269.5         

Driving Directions:   Got back on YT 1, “Alaska Hwy”, and continued east. 

The road condition from the campground was fair.  The pavement was good with very few breaks in it but there were many frost heaves.  Had to travel between 35 to 45 mph in order to slow down at the big frost heaves.    

At MP 1095 [1856 km] the road smoothed out and able to drive 55 mph.   

At MP 1079 [1730 km] ran into frost heaves and rough road and had to slow down. 

At MP 1074 [1722 km] it smoothed out again.  Nice all the way to Whitehorse. 

Days Activities:   It started raining around midnight and there was still a light sprinkle this morning.   

Departed campground at 10:05 am.  It was starting to clear as we left the campground.  Had only planned to go 115 miles today and stop at a government campground but because of the bad weather we decided to just go all the way to Whitehorse.  

Shortly after leaving the campground it stated to sprinkle again and did so off and on all morning.  About noon we ran into some heavy rain for about 20 minutes.  

Stopped for lunch at Destruction bay at 12:35 pm. It was starting to clear.  It took us 2 hrs 30 mins to travel 103 miles.  Back on the road at 1:15. 

  • Campsite:   Pioneer RV Park, Whitehorse, YT - 3 nights - site 74 - gravel pad - pull thru - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table, WiFi (FREE), cable (FREE) - Good Sam Park - Cost $30.24 per night - Saved $9.60 - Rating 5/2 - Got setup at 4:45 PM.

08-18-2013     Sun 

Days Activities:  Didn’t do much today.  I went to Canadian Tire and got a new hose for the propane grill.  That fixed the problem.  We just read and worked/played computers.  We also watched a lot of TV today; it was cold outside.

08-19-2013     Mon               

Days Activities:   Sue did laundry, we went to the grocery store, and read and worked/played computers.  This is our sixth time here and we have seen and done everything we wanted to do in Whitehorse so just resting up for the next stage of our trip. 

Drove pickup 32.8 miles.

08-20-2013      Tue      Trip Meter:   253.5         

 Fueled Coach:   At Pioneer RV in Whitehorse.  $1.36.9 = $5.098.  Got a 3 cent a gal discount for camping.  Regular price was $1.399 per litre. 

Fueled Coach:   At Junction 37 Station at MP 626, Alaska Hwy.  $1.489 = $5.477.  Got a 3 cent a gal discount for camping.  Regular price was $1.519 per litre. 

Driving Directions:  Continued east on YT 1 “Alaska Hwy”. 

When we drove this section of the road on June 10th there were several construction areas and a number of breaks in the pavement.  It appears everything has been repaired because the road was in great shape today. 

Days Activities:   Fueled the motorhome and departed campground at 10:45 am.  When we left there was a big bright sun out but it didn’t last very long.  Was overcast most of the day. 

The only animal we saw today was a small fox, trotting towards us on the left side of the road, with a ground squirrel in its mouth.  Did not get a picture. 

Stopped at Teslin Lake Rest Area, right at the entrance of the Teslin Lake Government Campground for lunch.  After lunch we walked through the campground.  It would be a very nice place to spend a couple of days. 

  • Campsite:   Junction 37 Services Campground, MP 626.2, Alaska Hwy - overnight - site 2 - gravel pad – long pull thru - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table - Commercial Campground - no discounts - Cost $26.25 per night - Rating 5/3 - Got setup at 4:40 pm.  Note – same price we paid in 2009. 

Did not unhook the pickup.

Our campsite at Junction 37 Services Campground, MP 626.2, Alaska Hwy.

08-21-2013      Wed      Trip Meter:   196.1         

Driving Directions:   Took BC 37, “AKA Cassiar Hwy”, south.  

Road all day today was 2 lane with no shoulders and no center stripes.  

From AH 0 to AH 45 - Lot of hills and curves.  The road was a bit rough in spots.  Traveled it at 35-45 mph.  

From AH 45 to AH 122 the road was good for the most part and was able to travel 50 mph – the speed limit is 50 mph [80 km/h]. 

From AH 122 to AH 136 the road got a little rough with between 15 to 20 breaks in the pavement that is in the process of being repaired.  Looked like they were getting ready to seal coat them.  Was still able to travel at 45 to 50 mph.  

From AH 136 to AH 143 the road was good.

From AH 143 to AH 144 the road was gravel.  There was a motor grader working it and looks to be at a finished grade and ready for seal coat. 

From AH 144 to AH 147 the road was good.

At AH 147 got stopped by a flagman and had to wait for the pilot car.  The road is being seal coated to AH 149.  The south lane had been completed and they only lacked less than a half mile on the north bound lane.  Should be completed today.  Suspect they will move to AH 144 when they finish here.  North bound traffic was starting to come through when we got there so only had to wait a couple of minutes. 

From AH 149 to AH 179 the road is good.

At AH 179 there are 2 sharp curve and a climb.  The curves are gravel and very rough.  The speed limit for these curves is 30 km/h [20 mph].  

From AH 179.5 to AH 196 the road is good.  Got off here for the campground.

Days Activities:   Departed campground at 10:55 am.  It was a bit overcast until early afternoon, then the sun came out.  Overall it was a beautiful day. 

No animal sightings today. 

  • Campsite:   Mountain Shadow RV Park & Campground, Iskut, BC, MP AH 196 -overnight - site 7 - gravel pad – long pull thru - 30 amp, water, picnic table, WiFi (FREE-Very slow) - Commercial Campground - $2.00 discount for cash - Cost $34.00 per night - Rating 4/5 - Got setup at 3:55. 

Did not unhook the pickup.

Our campsite at Mountain Shadow RV Park & Campground, Iskut, BC, MP AH 196.

08-22-2013     Thur      Trip Meter:   197.0         

Fueled Coach:   At Bell II Lodge on Cassiar Hwy, BC at AH 295.1 at Bell II Crossing.     $1.400 = $5.150. 

Driving Directions:   Continued south on BC 37.  At the jct of BC 37A took it west to Stewart. 

Still continuing south, 2-lane with no shoulders and no center stripes.  At MP AH 215 there are center stripes for the rest of the days travel.  

The road was good to excellent all day with the following exception.  There were 2 rough sections and 10 to 12 sections that had been repaired.  These sections were a bit rough but none of them were over 200 feet long and they are all clearly marked.   

On BC 37A “Stewart-Hyder Access Road”, the road is in very good condition except for one place.  At MP 11.1 the Windy Point Bridge is being replaced.  There are flagmen out.  The road is extremely rough for a quarter mile on each side of the one-lane temporary bridge. 

Days Activities:   Departed campground at 9:05 am.  Heading for Stewart. 

Saw a black cub on the side of the road but there was no place to stop. 

We met a very wide load.  It was a huge crate about 18 to 20 feet wide.  There was a truck tractor hooked to the back of the trailer to help push.  It appears flagmen would advance to a place where there was a pullout and stop traffic there.  The truck would then advance from pullout to pullout because the only way anything could get past was at a pullout.  We were very fortunate that we got to the truck before they started the next segment of the move or we would have been waiting a long time. 

There is a major power line construction project going on for 45 km.  We suspect this load was something to do with the power line. 

About half way into Stewart, from the Cassiar Hwy, we saw a black bear cub but it got into the trees before we could get stopped for a picture. 

  • Campsite:   Bear River RV Park, Stewart, BC - 3 nights - site 11A - gravel pad - back-in - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table, WiFi (FREE-very slow), cable (FREE with 18 channels) - Good Sam Park - Cost $38.30 per night - Saved $12.15 - Rating 3/4 - Got setup at 2:45 pm. 

Got checked in at 2:15 pm but when we unhooked the pickup found the battery was too low to start it.  I pushed it off the road and then 2 men came over with a pickup and jumped it off.  I put it on the battery charger for the night.  Believe the braking system ran it down because of the many hills we went down.  Was on the brake a lot yesterday and today.

08-23-2013     Fri    

 Days Activities:   Light rain during the night.  We went to Hyder at 8 am to view the bears.  It was cold and overcast.  We stayed an hour but no bears.  The ranger said there have been very few bears this year.  There were only 2 yesterday. 

The street in Hyder has been paved.  It runs all the way out to the bear viewing platform.

Stopped and had lunch at Glacier Inn in Hyder.  There is money stuck all over the walls, from many countries.  Saw a lot of Canadian bills in the $1, $2, and $5 range.  The money story.  I talked to the waitress.  She is the granddaughter of the original owner.  It seems a prospector stopped in or a drink in early 1950.  As he was leaving he wrote his name on a one dollar bill and handed it to the bartender and said "Put this on the wall.  That way I will never be broke and can always have money for a drink when I come back here".  It has become a tradition and there is now over $95,000 stuck to the walls in this place.

Went back to the bear viewing platform at 3 pm.  Stayed about 2 hours.  One small black bear walked out into the creek for about 30 seconds then went back into the trees.  It worked itself upstream, in the trees, stuck its nose out once more, and then disappeared. 

08-24-2013     Sat    

Days Activities:   Light rain all night and into the morning.  We had planned to go look for bears at 10 am but still raining.  Rained off and on all day so stayed in; never left the motorhome. 

Very disappointing.  Left Alaska early to view the bears and the bear viewing was very bad this year, up to this point in time.   

Drove pickup 38.8 miles.

08-25-2013      Sun      Trip Meter:   204.2      

Driving Directions:   Took BC 37A back out to BC 37 and continued south.  At the jct of TC 16 “Yellowhead Hwy”, took it east to Smithers.  Got off for the campground.  

Road Condition:  Very good road today, both BC 37 and TC 16. 

Days Activities:  Had to jump start the pickup this morning.  Departed campground at 10:10 am, on our way to Smithers, BC.    

About 11 miles north of the jct of TC 16 a rather large black bear waddled across the road and into the trees.  Did not have an opportunity for a picture. 

  • Campsite:   Riverside Municipal RV Park, Smithers, BC - overnight - site 28 - grass pad - back-in - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table, fire ring w/grill – City Park - Cost $29.00 per night - Rating 5/5 - Got setup at 3:00 pm.  Free firewood. 

We got here about 2:30 pm but had a bit of trouble finding a site with 30 amp service that was not reserved.  Advertised free WiFi [75 mg per night], but we could never get it to connect. 

I drove out to the Moricetown Canyon & Falls on the Bulkley River, about 20 miles west of Smithers on TC 16.  I took pictures and video of First Nations People catching salmon with long dip nets.  Sue stayed home. 

We went to dinner at the Main Street Steak House.  The food was fair and expensive. 

Drove pickup 53.2 miles.

Our campsite at Riverside Municipal RV Park, Smithers, BC.
Moricetown Canyon & Falls on the Bulkley River
Moricetown Canyon & Falls on the Bulkley River.  He has a fish in his dip net.

08-26-2013      Mon      Trip Meter:   226.3                   

Fueled Coach:   At Smithers Chevron in Smithers, BC.  $1.359 = $4.987. 

Driving Directions:   Continued east on TC 16. 

Days Activities:   Cold this morning but cleared, the sun came out, and it was nice when we left.  Departed campground at 10:15 am.  Stopped in Smithers and got diesel and went to the bank and got money.  Back on the road at 10:45 am, heading for Prince George. 

  • Campsite:   Blue Cedar Campground, Prince George, BC - overnight - site 15 - gravel pad - pull thru - 30 amp, water, picnic table, fire ring, WiFi (FREE).  Commercial - Cost $35.00 per night - Rating 3/3 - Got setup at 3:30 pm. 

Took about 15 minutes to get situated in the site because had to keep moving the motorhome to get the slides centered on trees on the left.  The entire campground was really tight. 

Had to unhook but did not drive the pickup.

08-27-2013      Tue      Trip Meter:   286.0       

Fueled Coach:   At a Chevron in Prince George, BC.  $1.279 = $4.694. 

Road Condition:   Real good from Prince George to the border.  As soon as we crossed into Alberta it got real bumpy and wavy for about 10 miles then is smoothed out. 

Driving Directions:   Continued east on TC 16.  In Hinton, AB got off for the campground. 

Days Activities:   Departed campground at 8:55 am.  Stopped in Prince George for diesel.  First stop was at a Canadian Tire.  The overhead cover was too low to get the motorhome to the pumps and we had to unhook the pickup to get out of the lot.  Drove across the street to a Chevron.  While I was fueling Sue went to MacDonald’s and got us some breakfast.  Back on the road at 9:25 am heading for Hinton, AB. 

As we were leaving Prince George there was a sign that read “Check Your Fuel – Next Services 202 km”. 

Changed to MST when we crossed into Alberta – lost an hour. 

About 2 miles after we entered the park we got stopped for construction.  Had to wait about 10 minutes.  When traffic started arriving from the east I counted 59 vehicles.  We were at the tail end of a very long line of traffic going east; there were a lot of vehicles in front of us.  All of the construction I saw was on the side of the road, not on the roadway.  I never saw the reason for us being stopped.  Suspect they were moving a piece of construction down the road. 

As we were leaving Jasper I saw a large elk, with a big rack, at a creek.  Could not stop on the bridge for a picture. 

  • Campsite:   Gateway RV Park, Hinton, AB - overnight - site 5 - asphalt pad - back-in - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table - Commercial - Cost $40.00 per night - Rating 4/1 - Got setup at 4:20 pm. 

Drove pickup 3.2 miles.

08-28-2013      Wed      Trip Meter:   171.8         

 Driving Directions:   Back on TC 16 and continued east.  At Exit 344 took TC 16A east.  Followed the GPS to the campground. 

Road Condition:  Very good until we got to within 35 miles of Edmonton.  They were tearing up old road and laying down new pavement.  After we got past the paving section, about 3 miles, they were in the process of tearing up road and getting it ready to pave.  After we got past the road construction area the road was very rough.  There was roadside working being done for the next 5 miles so looks like they are trying to get that much done this year.  The road remained rather rough for another 10 miles. 

Days Activities:   Departed campground at 11:10 am, going to Edmonton, AB.  

  • Campsite:   Shakers Acres RV Park, Edmonton, AB - 5 nights - site 126 - gravel pad - pull thru - 30 amp, water, sewer, picnic table, WiFi (FREE) - Commercial - Cost $39.90 per night - Rating 5/3 - Got setup at 2:35 pm.   
Our campsite at Shakers Acres RV Park, Edmonton, AB.

08-29-2013     Thur    

Days Activities:   It rained for several hours last night; at times rather hard.  Had cleared and the sun was out this morning. 

Went to Fort Edmonton Park.  Got there at 10:45 am and left at 4:30 pm.  Toured the fort and park, ate lunch at the Sherick Hotel in the park, and had a great time.  Took a lot of pictures. 

The park has 5 sections: 

1]  Fort Edmonton, a reconstruction of the original 1846 fort, from the original plans.  You ride a train out to the fort then walk back through the streets. 

2]  A version of a 1885 Canadian Street, with some original buildings but mostly reconstructions. 

3]  A version of a 1905 Canadian Street, with some original buildings but mostly reconstructions.  Has a trolley running through it to 1920 Street. 

4]  A version of a 1920 Canadian Street, with some original buildings but mostly reconstructions.  Has a trolley running through it to 1905 Street, 

5]  A 1920 midway with operating rides. 

The train and trolley rides are included in admission. 

Regular cost is $17.25 for adults but only $12.90 for seniors 65+.  In addition to the senior rate we got an additional 15% for AAA.  Total cost was $21.90.

See the Photo Section for the many pictures I took.

Price list at the entrance of the park.

08-30-2013     Fri    

Days Activities:   It started raining about 9 pm and rained for at least 6 hours.  About midnight I noticed the front door was still pen.  The dash and floor got real wet.  I turned the electric heater on that area and it was dried out this morning. 

We went to the Muttart Conservatory and viewed the flowers.  Took a lot of pictures.  See them in the Photo Section.

Muttart Conservatory.
Muttart Conservatory.
Muttart Conservatory.
Muttart Conservatory.

08-31-2013     Sat    

Days Activities:   We had planned on more sightseeing today but we are both still sore from all the walking and standing from the past 2 days.  Stayed home and worked on genealogy.

The ice maker stopped working.  Will replace it in Saskatoon. 

09-01-2013     Sun   

Days Activities:   We had planned on more sightseeing today but we are both still sore from all the walking and standing from the first 2 days.  Stayed home and worked on genealogy. 

A spring broke in my recliner.  Have needed a new one because the fabric is tearing on the one I have now.  Had wanted to wait until we return to Lubbock to replace it but now will have to look for one in Saskatoon. 

Drove pickup 72.4 miles. 

09-02-2013      Mon      Trip Meter:   340.1 

Fueled Coach:   At an Esso in Edmonton, AB.  $1.169  $4.217.

Fueled Coach:   At Flying J in Saskatoon, SK.  $1.229 = $4.433.

Driving Directions:  Went north about 1.5 miles back to TC 16 and took it east.  Got off at exit 381 for fuel.  Continued east on TC 16 to Saskatoon, SK. 

Days Activities:   Departed campground at 9:45 am, headed for Saskatoon.   

Diesel went up 6 cents a liter since last night but gasoline did not go up.  Gasoline is currently 2 to 3 cents a liter less that diesel but look for gasoline to on up some time today or tomorrow. 

  • Campsite:   Gordon Howe Campsite, Saskatoon, SK  - 30 days - site 44 - gravel pad - back-in - 50 amp, water, picnic table, grill, WiFi (FREE) – City - Cost $21.16 per night, monthly rate - Rating 5/5 - Got setup at 4:30 PM - NO satellite. 


Will end the log here because we are not doing any more sightseeing in Canada.  Will be spending the next month here in Saskatoon with the family. 

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