As I said in an earlier blog, Lennard jokes that I am a slave driver, making him drive hundreds of miles across country. But in reality, he is participating in the decisions…it’s just that he forgets he said, “Oh sure, lets drive four hundred miles tomorrow.”

So we are now only driving, not sightseeing, so we can get to Buffalo, New York and meet up with my cousins, Darlene, Rick and Doreen, as well as our dear friends from Las Vegas, Jim and Joanne. We will be seeing Niagara Falls and staying at the Grand Island KOA. We would like to have a day or so “down time” before we start sightseeing again.

During all our travels, I have booked some Passport America RV Parks, some KOA RV Parks and some Good Sam RV Parks. All of them have turned out to be great and have adhered to their advertising as far as cost. I have been pleasantly surprised that even when I book the day before or the day of, I have been able to get space every time except for once. That time I just booked a different RV park.

For gas we have looked for Flying J or Pilot stations to get the Good Sam discount. They are also easy to navigate in and out of, which is important. Even a three cent per gallon helps when you are buying 100 gallons or more. Lennard likes to make sure he has about ½ tank at all times.

We run the generator when we stop at rest stops to make coffee and cool down the rig a bit. It helps a lot to take a little break even for 20 minutes or so. The microwave runs on the generator too. My stove and oven run on propane. We filled the propane tank up when we first left and I still have plenty left. No, it’s not that I haven’t cooked, it’s because they don’t use much propane. Hopefully it will be cooler when we arrive. It has been blistering hot and humid across South Dakota and Minnesota so far.

Since we aren’t seeing much but the freeway now, I’m posting some photos we took along our trip that I did not post and should have. Please enjoy!!


Gypsy loved Tom


Moon over Homer


Our view in Homer

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P1020106Dawson City was at one time a bustling gold mining town of about 30,000. Now it has a population of about 1,800, but there are still some mines being worked. The town’s buildings are painted pastel colors, giving it a personality of its own. We took the walking history tour in the morning and then looked around the rest of the city in the afternoon including the local cemeteries on the top of the hill.

P1020054 P1020032 P1020036 We had met Jamie, a friendly Aussie, in Chicken who told us about the “Drunken Goat” Greek Restaurant in Dawson City. We had dinner there and saw Jamie again. Later we went to the “Follies” show at Diamond Tooth Gerties. We shared a table with some people from Montreal including a local miner, who told us about current mining in the Dawson City area. The dancers were very professional and the show entertaining.



Later, Lennard continued his tradition of participating in whatever crazy scheme the bars have dreamed up to sell liquor, at the Sourdough Saloon. This one took the cake though. You buy a shot of at least 40 percent alcohol and then you actually pay to have them put a real, petrified toe in the shot and then you drink the shot, but not the toe of course. It was disgusting! And…he survived the Sourtoe drink. The toe is black and I guess has been in formaldehyde. Anyway, I hope it has. We may have to take Lennard to the vet too. P1020126 P1020129

The Signpost Forest in Watson Lake has approximately 80,000 signs put there by visitors. It started in 1942 and has grown since then. We met Jay and Sherrie at the RV Park and together Lennard and Jay made signs so we could contribute to the forest. Ours is near the iron picnic table in the grove of 7 pine trees if you ever go there. We will be giving Jay and Sherrie a call the next time we are in San Diego, as we had a great time with them.

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Now we are on our way down through British Columbia towards Dawson Creek and Jasper National Park. We will be traveling some long days, so I will be writing again in a few days, as we approach Jasper National Park, Banff and Lake Louise.


Preparation for the Top of the World Highway


Bison along the highway are “normal”


Update. There is a raging fire in Jasper National Park, so we will have to see what our options are. We had to travel though one fire on our way to Dawson Creek. The smoke was thick and stifling. To see the devastation of hundreds of acres of forest hurts your soul.P1020204

Before we got to Fort Nelson and Dawson Creek, we were able to stop at Liard Hot Springs for an hours dip in the river hot springs used by the men and women who constructed the Alaskan Highway. It was a marvelous stop and sooo refreshing, even though the temperatures were from a 100 to 116. You pay just $5.00 and follow a boardwalk through a marsh, where we saw a moose by the way, to the springs.

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Dawson Creek is mile zero on the Alaska Highway. Most people start here, but we went the opposite way and ended here. Either way, we can say we traveled the entire Alaskan Highway. Hopefully, the fire will be contained and we can proceed from here tomorrow.P1020219 P1020221


After a lovely dinner with our friends, Tom and Linda, we went back to our RV to drink a little Tuaca. That stuff tastes great, but is dangerous! Count on a headache the next day for sure. The next night we had dinner at our RV and the halibut Lennard caught was simply delicious. Mostly it was the company. We will miss the stunning landscape of Homer.

With sad hearts we left Homer and stopped at Kenai on our way to Alaska. It is a historical town with lots of preserved old cabins and a lovely restaurant where we had an outside lunch. There is also an Old Russian Orthodox church in operation since 1841.

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Then we had a brief stop back in Anchorage with Dennis and Sandy, and then off across the Glenn Highway to Glennallen for the night, before heading to Chicken, Alaska for the Fourth of July. Lennard taped heavy plastic to the front of the RV to protect it from the gravel we knew we would incur. Along the Glen Highway we stopped to see the Mantanuska Glacier which is 27 miles long and at its widest 4 miles wide. It is beautifulP1010964 P1010954 P1010985

Chicken is the stop prior to the Top of the World Highway, and it is the highway I had steadfastly declined to go on and had relented the night of the Tuaca debacle, due to Tom’s urging. Chicken is also where the miners did a lot of gold mining.

We arrived in time to hear the music and went to bed early, only to be awakened at 11PM by the cannon outside the bar. They shoot it off when they get a pair of underwear to use as powder. Silly tradition, but effective in waking up the whole RV Park in the middle of the night.

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The Top of the World Highway is about a 125 mile stretch of mostly gravel, narrow road with pot holes, bumps, wash board, no shoulders or guard rails, and thousand foot drops. Fun…no. I was terrified most of the way, but Lennard stayed calm in spite of my muttering about “the end is coming”! We crossed the border into Canada at Poker Creek, the highest border crossing in North America to add to the ambiance of the trip. We survived it and I was happy.


When you get to Dawson City, you have to take a ferry across the wide, Yukon River. It is fairly small and we just fit in our lane with the tow car. That was fun too. By the time we got to the other side, I had completely disintegrated into a small, sniveling ball.


Our Gypsy had eaten some Foxtail and was coughing like she could not get her breath, so we found the RMCP office and asked for a vet. They told us about John, the local vet, and he was kind enough to see her at his house and gave us some antibiotics. The next day she was better, but we still have to keep an eye on her. I’ll get back to this tomorrow and tell you about Dawson City.


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As we crested the viewpoint hill just before Homer, our breath was taken away with the beauty of the mountains across from Homer and the Kachemak Bay. It was just spectacular. And that was after the beautiful drive to get there along the Kenai Mountains and past Cooper Landing, Soldotna, and Ninilchik, where we saw tons of people fishing for Salmon in Deep Creek. It was a beautiful clear day and we had the whole day to get to our camping site on the spit.P1010554 P1010557

The spit is a long, narrow protrusion 4.5 five miles into the bay with lots of tourists’ attractions. (Halibut and Salmon fishing, eating, drinking, camping and boat trips across the bay.)

IMG_0511 Heritage RV park offered us parking right on the bay. From our front window we could see the water and the mountains on the other side of Kachemak Bay. The beach was just below us.

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The next day was taken by mundane stuff as we had now been gone six weeks and traveled over 4,500 miles. The dogs got washed, the clothes got washed, we got haircuts at “Legends” and the RV got cleaned up. Eventually you do have to clean up a bit.

Seldovia called to us, so we took the Rainbow Cruise across the bay to the historical town settled by Russians prior to America buying it from them along with the rest of Alaska.

P1010709 IMG_0507This waterfront town can only be reached by boat or plane. That’s right- no roads to there. We passed Gull Rock on the way to see various types of birds including the lovely little Puffin with its black and white feathers and orange beak. We also saw red footed pigeon Guillmots, new to us, but common in Alaska.

P1010672  P1010643Seldovia was quaint with lots of flowers and eagles. They were so many eagles, making so much noise, we were surprised and loving taking photos of them diving to pick up salmon. Sometimes they choose unwisely and can’t get up into the air with their catch, so they fly/paddle to shore with their prize.

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That night we had the best dinner we have had in Alaska at Cups Café in town. This small, eclectic, art, restaurant serves local fresh fish and they did an outstanding job. It was delicious.


Lennard was off to Halibut and salmon fishing on Mike Manns’ Artic Addiction the next day at 5AM. Of course I did not go. I stayed home to document our travels here! It turned out to be a very COLD, WET morning, but cleared up during the day.  Lennard caught his two allowed halibut, some rock fish and some pink salmon.  We had it flash frozen but shipping was prohibitive, so sorry everyone.

Homer is know for eagles and these two roosted on the light pole right next to us every day.

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Going down on the boardwalk on the spit to the famous Salty Dawg and to get Lennard his fish and chips dinner.


Inside the Salty Dawg


Lennard getting his local Cod fish and chips


All in all we have had a wonderful week in Homer, and are looking forward to meeting up with Tom and Linda again tonight for dinner.

I appreciate all of you who are following and in particular your comments.  Please remember to like this on Facebook.   Till the next adventure I’ll see you soon.

Anchorage and the Beautiful Portage Area


Portage glacier area

I thought Anchorage might be the capital of Alaska, but that is Juneau. However it is the most populist city in Alaska. We parked next to Dennis and Sandy’s home downtown Anchorage. It was so convenient for us and we so appreciated their hospitality. The first day we “did” downtown and the museum which was extremely well done and informative with four floors of exhibits. We went to dinner at a local tourist place and stopped at the gift shop across the parking lot to see the world’s largest chocolate fountain and a Polar bear of course.  Mandatory tourist stuff! P1010417P1010411

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Anchorage’s population is over 300,000. Can you imagine? Sitting on the Cook Inlet, it is within 9 and ½ hours flight time from 90% of the industrialized world. That makes it a very strategic city for business. The inlet is named for Captain Cook.


Captain Cook statue

The next day we ventured out to Portage and Whittier. Portage boasts several glaciers and the views from the road were to die for. The tunnel to Whittier (The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel) is the second longest in the US at 2 and ½ miles. We did not expect it to be so crude. There were lights, but the sides were pure rock. As it is one lane only, you go through one direction at a time on a schedule. Scary! Whittier is a small town on the gateway to the Prince William Sound. Several cruise ships stop there.


Entering the tunnel to Whittier


Lennard at Whittier docks.


Bella and Gypsy at the glaciers

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Fortune smiled on us the next day as we were able to get our water pump fixed so we could dry camp. Later Dennis and Sandy took us out to their lake house on Big Lake where we met their talented and polite grandson, Kyle. If you love photography check out his website The lake was like glass and the day was warm as we rode around on their pontoon boat looking at the scenery and houses around the lake. The view from their cabin was to die for. We were so fortunate to have shared the day with them. We will see them on the flip side when we start our long journey back to the lower states.IMG_0477 IMG_0467


On NO the usual roadwork on the way to Anchorage.



Mt McKinley

As we travel north and get closer to the summer solstice on June 21, we have more and more daylight. We haven’t seen night for over a week now. It is so strange to be out at 11PM and it’s still daylight.

Well, so much for the Alaskan Highway being a great road, which it was up to Tok. The road from there to Fairbanks was fraught with road work, pot holes, frost heave and gravel! But, taking advice from our friend, Frank, we drove slow and survived it. We did see a grizzly and some beautiful scenery along the road though. Can you imagine Lennard’s face when he saw how dirty the RV and tow care were? Yikes!!

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Our RV park in Fairbanks was terrific. We had a site right along the Chena River with lots of space and trees. I was able to do laundry there in a clean laundry room.

We took the Discovery Paddle Boat up the Chena River with views of Fairbank homes along the river bank, an example of the local Athabascan Indians camp, salmon preparation demonstration,and a show by mushers and their sled dogs. Susan Butcher was the second woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1986. She won four out of the next five sequential years. Her daughter, Tekla, carries on her tradition taking care of the descendants of her sled dogs. Her lead dog, Granite, was a hero among sled dogs. Unfortunately, Susan succumbed to cancer in 2006, but her tradition lives on

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Thirsty after the sled run!


Discovery Paddle Boat


Soon to be sled dogs.


Tekla and her sled dogs.

Lennard and I both joined the “Turtle Club” and got “turtled” at a local restaurant.  You have to answer four questions to join.  For every question you can’t answer, you have to drink a shot. ! Luckily, we figured out all but one question.  We have our friend, Sam, to thank for this experience! We are now certified turtles with club cards.


Sam the best bartender!


The last day in Fairbanks we boarded Bella and Gypsy out to “Holy Dogs” and took a tour to the Arctic Circle via the Dalton Highway. We left at 6AM and returned at 11PM. It was a long day, but only one percent of all the tourists who visit Alaska cross the Arctic Circle. Along the way we stopped at a trapper store, saw some wildlife and the Alaskan Pipeline, and several lookout points. We got to walk on the tundra which is soft and dangerous for walking because it is very uneven. Underneath the tundra is frozen ground. And No, there wasn’t any ice or snow there in the summer. I was surprised about that. We had a little celebration at the demarcation line. I was expecting champagne, but got tundra chocolate cake with snowcap whipped cream on top. Nice.

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Alaskan Pipeline There are over 800 miles of it.

Our next stop was the exquisite wilderness of Denali Park. It is home to the highest spot in America, Mt. McKinley at 20,320 feet above sea level. The locals call it Mt. Denali. In Denali we stayed in a virtual parking lot. I shouldn’t complain, as at least it was only a mile from the park entrance. We should have stayed in the park and dry camped. Our mistake, but never mind.

We took an all day tour to see Mt. McKinley and it was a spectacular day. (Only 10% of visitors actually get to see it because of usual cloud cover.) We had the best day you can have for viewing the majestic mountain. Along the way we saw moose, caribou, grizzly bear, and Dall sheep. Dall sheep are the only pure white sheep in America. We stopped at several view points, but the last one was spectacular. We are grateful for that perfect day.


The road to Mt. McKinley



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That night we had dinner at the famous Denali Salmon Bake Restaurant. I looked in the kitchen and it looked like Hell’s Kitchen, with everyone yelling out the next items due up. The food was great, but as usual…too much of it.

The next day we took the dogs on a little hike, keeping in mind Pomeranians don’t necessarily realize they are appetizers for grizzlies. Later we visited the only national park sled dog kennel in America. The dogs here were different from the ones in Fairbanks. These were all huskies, bred to pull loads while the ones in Fairbanks that we visited were mixed breeds, bred to race. It was HOT in Denali that day and most of them were sleeping until time to hook up and they all went wild. They also had a liter of six puppies born just a month ago. Their mom was just about to the point of deciding she had had just about enough of them and weaning them off her milk. They had other ideas about that program.


There is a heat wave here this week and everyone is loving the weather, as it usually is a lot cooler. I’m hoping it will cool down again. After all, that was one of the benefits of leaving Las Vegas for the summer!



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Sorry to have been so long, but we do not have the availability of internet everywhere. And when there is you can’t count on it. Beginning our journey from Vancouver we decided to take the Cassiar Highway towards Fairbanks and Anchorage rather than the usual trail beginning in Dawson Creek.  We were told this is a spectacular highway and so far it has proven to be true.  It has been one beautiful scene after another.Williams Lake Stampede Grounds was our first stop after Vancouver. They have an annual stampede there in June. Lennard was thinking he could get a job there in the cow chute. From there we went to Prince George and stayed at Mama Yeh Campgrounds outside town in the woods. That’s where we learned if you even dare to step outside without mosquito protection, you will be attacked in seconds. We have the ankle bites to After a day of reorganizing and going to Walmart, and some Tim Horton coffee, we headed for Ksan RV Park in Hazelton, with spectacular views of the Kitwanga Mountains.P1000310 - Copy

The next day we began our journey on the beautiful, spectacular Cassiar Highway 37 through the Cassiar Mountains to Alaska. We took the 37A cutoff towards Hyder, Alaska as an extra stop. P1000314The drive was one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. Every turn was a new and breathtaking vista. We made a pit stop at Bear Glacier to take photos. P1000343 P1000346And… We saw a black bear on the highway. He just watched us drive by. As we neared the border, I got the passports out to cross the border and there was no border stop going into Hyder. What??? There was coming back into British Columbia.

Hyder is a town of 87 people with one general store, run by Wes who was super friendly, a post office, two bars, no police, no taxes and NO gas station. There also is no cell service for 280 miles. We parked at Camp Run-A-Muck for two days we liked it so much. The local 500 pound Grizzly Bear is called Food Stamp. Fortunately we did not meet him.P1000399

On the first night we had dinner at the “bus”, (an old school bus made into a restaurant) where Diana cooked fresh halibut her husband caught. It was delicious and we sat outside on school bus seats. It rained while we were having dinner which just added to the atmosphere under the awning. Diana and her husband married about 36 years ago after a whirlwind 17 day courtship. Then he brought her to Hyder!IMG_0397 IMG_2090

After dinner we drove to the bear viewing station outside town on the Salmon River, but it was too early in the season for the running of the salmon.

The next day we took the beautiful, but terrifying (for me anyway) drive up the mountain to Salmon Glacier. I finally refused to go any further and the road was even worse after I got out of the car. Lennard got caught in fog at the top, and I was standing on the road waiting with Bella and Gypsy all alone thinking “Isn’t this bear country?” We got the boxing gloves out after that. So far that is probably the stupidest thing we have done. By the way, Salmon Glacier is the fifth largest glacier in British Columbia.P1000381 P1000392

That evening Lennard got Hyderized at the local Glacier Bar. That means you drink a shot of 150 proof moonshine. If you can’t drink it, you buy everyone a drink. He made it of course. Dave, one of the locals, was sitting next to me and it was his birthday, so Lennard bought him a drink anyway!IMG_0394 IMG_0401 IMG_0410

Later we met Sam and Ben and their friend George at out camp site. They are moving from Fairbanks to Arizona. Some local gentlemen and ladies showed up with guitars and a drum and we had a campfire jam-fest till almost midnight. Hyder is one of the most unusual places I have ever seen. Gorgeous scenery, local characters and NO traffic. Counting the people we met while there, bar tender, Diana and husband, Wes, Sullie (our RV host), David, and the young people at the campfire, we now know about 1/5th of the town. If you ever get the chance to go, don’t miss it.P1000377 P1000376

Our RV is out of Jail!

Our RV has been let out of jail.  Jail being the heavy duty Ford repair shop to get the wheel bearings replaced.  What? you say if you have been following this blog…you haven’t been anywhere yet.  Yes, that is true.  So I hope when we do head out there won’t be any mechanical problems.  We are still waiting for the parts to arrive from Tiffin for the cosmetic repairs covered under warranty.

I’d like to say we are heading out soon, but we are not heading out until April, when we head all the way out to Primm Nevada (about 20 miles away from us) for a How to Drive RV Boot Camp.  The RV club in our association is sponsoring it.  I have to learn how to drive the rig before we head out on our across the country trip in the spring.  This is preparation, just in case something happens to our primary driver…my husband – like he gets too tired to drive, or decides I have done enough back seat driving and deserve to have a turn at it.

Plans are still ongoing regarding the trip and the routes we will be taking.  The fist caravan to Alaska we signed up for with Adventure Treks is not going now, so we are looking for another one to join that fits into our schedule.  I have contacted Gilbert (Spike is what he says to call him) at  Alaskan Discovery RV Tours Ltd. and we are on the waiting list to join their caravan.  Oh the woes of waiting to hear.  


Oh no.  Our RV is in for repairs.  Well, that’s not the worst of it.  It has been in there for almost two weeks, and we just found out that the entire door has to be replaced and the wiring under the dash has to be replaced too. The only good thing is that the warranty will be paying for it all. Now we have to wait for the parts to come and then the additional repairs can be completed.

We expect to leave on May 1st or a little earlier, for our journey to Alaska, across the US and into Canada.  I am now hoping everything will be done before we leave.  Jeremy at Johnny Walker RV has promised us it will be.  After all it is two months away!

A lot of old time RVer’s told us there would be repairs, but I did not expect this!!! I guess they were right.  But, it is all part and parcel of owning an RV.  It could be worse…we could not have one at all.   (I may grow to think this would be a good thing one day.)  Lets hope not.

So, I am diligently researching routes and parks and places we want to see along the way.  I am also waiting to hear if the caravan to Alaska we have made arrangements with to join will be going. (They need a minimum number of coaches to go) I hope so, as we feel we would be far better off on our first long journey to join a caravan.  It will give us the support and safety factor we would like to have. I chose Adventure Treks, because the dates they offered coincided with our plans.  ( There are several others to choose from, and most of them look like they offer a great experience. When looking you have to compare prices, routes and dates.

So far, I have outlined the route with MapQuest, but I want to use the route planner offered by Good Sam and see how that works out.  I’ll keep you informed on my planning efforts and which works out best.  I also have to call the ferries and inquire about taking our dogs.  I’m concerned that if you can’t get down to the auto deck, we might have a problem! If anyone out there has some information, let me know.

Thanks. paint-goldcoral