Friday, July 29, 2011

Matanuska Glacier Videos

Videos from our trip to the Matanuska Glacier can be found here.

A week on the Kenai Pennisula

The weeks go by pretty fast when your traveling around.  We left Palmer last Friday and drove down to Homer. (Map)   We spent 3 nights camped ont the Homer Spit.  We visited a museum and got to see an Eagles next right beside the road.  These pictures are of our time in Homer. (Photos)  From Homer we drove over to Seward where we spent one night. (Map) (Photos) We visited the Kenai Fjords National park and took a short hike out to see the Exit glacier while there.  Next, we drove up to Hope, Ak. (Map)  From Hope we drove up to a campground next to the Matanuska Glacier. (Map) We spent most of a day hiking back to and on this glacier.  (Photos).  This morning we are in Valdez, Ak.  (Map)  We have been here for 3 nights also.  We spent one day wandering around town and visiting a couple museums and then yesterday we visited the old town site, Valdez Glacier and did some wild life viewing out at the Solmon Gulch hatchery.  (Photos)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quick update

We have been in Homer, Seward and Hope since our last post. Internet service has been flaky at best. Today we are going to hike on a glacier. We camped last night on the Glenallen highway at mile marker 109. The campground is called Grand View. We should be in Valdez at the end of today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Picture Link

Here's a link to some additional Mt. McKinley photo's. (Link)

We are in Homer Alaska today and tomorrow.  We are getting ready to head out for the day so I'll have to update later.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We saw Mt. McKinley!

Today was beautiful and sunny here in Alaska.  As you can see from the picture above Mount McKinley was out in all it's glory.  We stopped about 10 times to take pictures of this mountain.  This picture was taken outside the town of Talkeenta, Ak.  I learned today that Talkeenta is the start point for all climbers who wish to attempt to summit Mt. McKinley.  This year, 1203 hardy souls attempted it and slightly over 600 made it, a success rate of 53% if I remember the numbers posted at the ranger station correctly.  We are spending the night in a small campground outside of Palmer, AK.  Here's today's map.  We have also posted 31 seconds of video on you tube that you can find here.

The day actually got off to an incredible start as we found these two moose along the roadside right by the visitor center in Denal NP.   Lots more pictures but it's late and I'll probably go to bed before I get them posted.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Leaving Denali tomorrow.

We spent yesterday and today here in Denali National Park.  It's about 120 miles or so south of Anchorage. (Map)   Yesterday we took a 5 hour bus trip about 17 miles into the park.  Unfortunately it was rainy and cloudy and we haven't been able to see Mt. McKinley.  The bus drive said it is only visible about 20 days a year!  We have one more chance tomorrow but most likely we won't be seeing it.

We spent most of today at the Visitor center seeing the activities there.  The highlight was a trip over to the kennels for information on the dog sled teams they keep here in the park.  We have lots of pictures but limited internet access so I'm not going to be posting any photos tonight.

We are camped at the Riley Creek Campground .4 miles inside the park entrance.  No hook ups of any type so we have walked over to the mercantile to get some electricity and use the internet.  We head south towards Anchorage tomorrow, hoping to make it to Hope Alaska before we call it a day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tok to Fairbanks Alaska

Update 7-19-11 I found this about the above airplane. (Web Page)  Go about half way down or just search for the tail numbers to see the write up. Here's a link to the photo's of the plane being moved through Fairbanks back in 2003. (Pictures)

Which brings us to Friday's portion of the journey, we came into Fairbanks from Tok. (Map)  We decided to spend 3 nights here which was a much needed break from the continuous travel we have experienced since leaving California.  Saturday we went out and visited the Alaska pipeline.  They have a great viewpoint that is right beside the highway leading north of town.  We have lots of pictures which I will try to get posted later today.  We also stopped by the Northstar golf course. (website)  My hip is still messed up so I didn't get a chance to play but the course sure looks interesting.  The scorecard has a checklist so you can keep track of what animals you see during your round.  The most unusual thing we saw was the above pictured airplane.  It was just sitting beside the road while we were driving around looking for the golf course.  The numbers on the tail are N12347 so if anybody knows anything about the history of this plane please post it in the comments.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cottonwood RV Park to Tok, Ak

We spent one night in the Cottownwood RV park then drove to Tok, Ak. (Map)  It was a quick visit highlighted by a trip to Fast Eddy's cafe. (Not much of a web site although they claim it will be updated someday).

Haines, Alaska to Cottonwood RV Park

Tuesday we drove from Haines to the Cottonwood RV park (Map)   The park is 16 miles south of destruction bay on the Kluane Lake.  On the way up we had a couple of interesting stops.  First was the Haines golf course that I talked about in the previous post.  The next one was the Million Dollar falls and the third one was a hike to a glacier.  I'll get some photo's posted when possible.

Whitehorse, Yukon to Haines, Ak

Catching up on the trip so far.  We left Whitehorse on Monday the 11th and drove down to Haines, Ak. (Map)  On the way down we captured the video of the bears dancing that I posted a couple of days ago.  We stayed at the Oceanside RV park.  The RV park is just a gravel lot right on the ocean, the site is nothing to look at but the views into the harbor were pretty amazing. (Video).  That's dinner from Monda night that you see on the grill above, Steak, Asparagus, Potato packages and beans.  Yummy!!  On Tuesday night the camp owners put on a crab feed.  Large, fresh Alaskan crabs for $6!  Each camper was asked to bring a side dish.  It was pretty amazing.  Tuesday we headed out but made a stop at the Haines Golf Course (Website).    The owners are a retired Dr. and his wife who were really great people.  The Dr, Stan, took us on a tour of the golf course (Video) and then took me through a series of stretches to help me get the pain out of my hip and back.  He actually had me laying on the ground for a couple of them.  A couple of Bald Eagles were circling over head, Stan casually mentioned that they were probably checking to see if I was dead.  Pretty funny!  We plan to route back through here on our way back for some more carb and a round of golf.

Made it to Fairbanks

We are a bit behind in our blog posts but hope to get caught up today.  We are in Fairbanks, Alaska and have been here since Friday.  Yesterday, we drove out to an observation point for the Alaska pipeline.  That's a team photo of us standing underneath it you see above this.  We will be headed to Denali National Park tomorrow morning.  Internet is kind of slow so I'll get posts up as the day goes on.

Congratulations to my driver of choice, Ryan Newman, on his win today out in New Hampshire.  Tried to listen to the race on my Xm radio but apparently we are to far north as I couldn't get a signal.

Friday, July 15, 2011

We are back in Alaska

Tonight we are in Tok, AK.  It's late and I am tired so I will just share this video that we took a couple of days ago.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Real golf today

I played 18 holes at the Mountain View golf course here in Whitehorse.  I didn't take my camera so I borrowed the above photo from their web page.  This is the view of the Yukon river from behind the 7th tee box.  I was standing right there about 5 hours ago.

Video Links

I have added some new videos and created some categories so that it is easier to view.  To see all the videos that we have posted click here.  To see just the wildlife videos you can click here.  To see some videos of scenery we are passing through on our trip click here.

Takhini Hot Springs to Skagway, Alaska

Thursday we headed down to Skagway, Alaska (Map). It only took 10 days but we finally got to Alaska! We stopped at the Robinson homestead, an old abandoned stop on the Yukon railroad. We also visited the little town of Carcross on our trip south. Our next stop was at a place called Log cabin, which doesn't have a cabin, but was the southern end of the Chilcoot trail. The mounties moved their customs check point from the top of the pass to this location once the railroad was completed in 1900. We took a short hike up the tracks and found a cool little train. Here's some photos from our trip down. While in Skagway we stumbled upon the coolest old train. It is on a side track over on the east side of Skagway, behind the museum. Photos of the train and us at the train are here. One other stop we made in Skagway was out at the gold rush cemetery. There is a short hike from the cemetery leading up to a large waterfall, Reids falls. Photos of that are here.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Princes Leaya is my co-pilot

Watch this video. It's Princess Leaya helping me drive the RV.

Did that just happen?

We have seen a lot of bears on the trip so far, 21 to be exact. We had our first "did that just happen" encounter sometime last sunday, July 3rd. We we're rounding a bend on a descent from a small mountain peak when I got a black flash in the corner of my eye. Yes, it was a bear and it was charging across the road, must have missed the back end of our trailer by just a couple of feet. That happened so quickly I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of it.

What we got lots of pictures of was this entertaining bear. It crossed the road behind our RV and then did a tightrope act down the concrete dividers. Must be seen to be believed. Not sure why I turned off the video camera but I have two pieces of video for this event. Heres one and here's the other.

Liard River to Takhini Hot Springs

Getting back to the journey. We left the Liard hot springs and headed for the Tahkini Hot Springs near Whitehorse in the Yukon territory last Saturday. (Map) We had a great wildlife day, we say something like 13 bears, multiple herds of wild buffalo and various other wildlife along the road. Here's a link to the wildlife section of our Picasa albums, it has over 400 hundred pictures maybe I'll edit it later.

Back in Whitehorse

We drove up from Skagway to Whitehorse today. On the way we stopped and I played eight holes on the most amazing little golf course I have ever seen. It's called Annie's Lake golf course and it sits about 10 miles south of Whitehorse on the road to Skagway. When we got the RV repaired the guy at the shop told me about it - Put your money in the can, it's Dog Friendly, has Sand Greens, and Bears and Moose have the right of way. Sounded like a site to see so we turned on to the access road on our way here. Unfortunately, I didn't do a great job of reading the directions so we went about 4 miles down this dirt road before we realized it was supposed to be 1 mile off the highway. We were driving back and couldn't find it and I was starting to wonder if this was some sort of Canadian practical joke, sort of like a snipe hunt in the Yukon Territory. Nope, it really exists. Kim took some pictures but I haven't taken them of the camera yet.

We have really quick internet and we are staying at this site for two nights so I am going to try to get the blog caught up. Should be several posts in the next couple of hours - maybe more after all the sun doesn't set until midnight here, that's 5 hours from right now.

Updated 9:38pm - Got the photo's on the computer and posted to Picasa - you can see the rest of them here.

Computer problems today

Well the internet and my computer just didn't get along today. I'll try again in a day or two.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fort Saint John to Liard Hot Springs

We left Fort Saint John on July 3rd, driving to the Liard Hot Springs. (Map) We stopped at the museum in Fort Netson that day. Photo's of the museum can be found here. From Fort Nelson we drove on to the Liard Hot Springs where we spent 2 nights in a provincial campground. I'm not completely sure on this but I think provincial is the Canadian word for no hookups. It was a cool campground and the hot springs were really refreshing.

Internet is really slow here so I am going to make short posts.

Ineternet Finally!

We are in Skagway, Alaska. It took 10 days but we are back in the states for the time being. We got in yesterday, and of course the internet was (and is) down in the campground. I am sitting outside the Skagway public library as I type this.

We've covered a lot of ground since my last post. I will be publishing separate posts for each stop on our trip.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 6 - Welcome to the Alaska Highway

For the next couple of hours we are in Fort Saint John British Columbia. It was another long day behind the wheel. We started our morning in McBride, according to google maps that was 784 Kilometers south of here. (map)

As you can see from the picture above we are now on the Alaska Highway, and will be for the next 1500 or so miles. We passed 2000 miles since we left Santa Rosa yesterday. The wildlife highlight of the day was a herd of mountain goats that was hanging out beside the highway when we left Jasper National park. Pictures of them are in our wildlife section from yesterday's link. I also dropped 100 or so pictures into our pictures from the road.

Tonight we should be at the Liard hot springs. We are planning to spend 2 nights there. I am soooooo ready to take a day off and soak in a hot spring.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Photo Links

Good morning anyone following this. We have some photo links that we have set up. The first one is for pictures of wildlife that we come across during our journey (link). Another one is called pictures from the road (link). We'll be posting photo's with GPS tags in there so you can see exactly where we were when that picture was taken. The third photo link is from yesterdays Canada Day celebration at the 108 Mile house rest area (link).

Day 5 - O Canada

July 1st is Canada day here in the great white north. We pulled into a rest area at the 108 mile house just in time to for the opening ceremonies. Here's a link for the singing of O Canada. The road that Kim and her Mom have taken in the past has a bridge washed out somewhere along the way so we have detoured towards Alberta. The detour was awesome, we saw 1 coyote, 1 moose, a herd of deer and 4 bears! 3 of the bears were black bears and the 4th one was a brown bear. We have some pictures and more details of the day that we will post tomorrow.

We are camped in McBride, British Columbia. It's late and it's been a long day so off to bed.

Today's map. We saw all the wild life on the Prince George to McBride stretch of highway.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 4 - Hope to Clinton

Today's portion of the journey started in the "chainsaw carving" capital of the world, Hope British Columbia. Here's Kim and I sitting in front of one of those carvings. You can see photos we took here. We then went to Hell's Gate on the Frasier river (Web Site Here). After visiting the gate we drove up to Clinton and have settled for the night here. (Today's Map).

The biggest shock of the day was a rock blast to the windshield. The rock that hit us had to be an inch or larger in diameter. It put a fairly large crack in the windshield, I'll try to get a picture of it posted tomorrow. I actually felt glass shards the rock smashed into the windshield so hard. Another interesting thing was we ate dinner here at the campsite. The owner puts on a country buffet which was really good. There were two couples already seated when we got there. One of the couples was from . . . . . Flagstaff, Arizona. Hard to believe, we passed 1,000 miles on our journey today and then there's the 800 or so we drove getting to California, and we run into people from Flagstaff. As they say - Small World.

I am trying to get a video of our tram ride into Hell's Gate posted to you tube. It's about 4 minutes and taking a long time to load so I am off to bed. If it works while I am sleeping I'll post the link in the morning.

11:54 update - The video finished uploading. You can view it here.