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June 9, 2014-We Are In the Yukon

Arrived in Dawson Creek on 6/6,layed low that day but went to “town” the next day. This is the place that is famous for starting the Alaskan Highway-from Dawson Creek (Mile 0) to Fairbanks, AK (1500 miles)-in 1942. Amazing story of our troops conquering a major feat in building a road through dense forest, rushing rivers, gigantic lakes, with wild animals galore!! So, the Mile 0 thing was a big deal (see pics below). Wild animals along the highway (2 lane with lots of trailers/motor homes traveling).

Sign that starts the Alaskan Highway in Dawson Creek

Sign that starts the Alaskan Highway in Dawson Creek

Us sitting at the mile post for the highway-middle of intersection

Us sitting at the mile post for the highway-middle of intersection

Big del in Dawson Creek-another sign for a picture

Big deal in Dawson Creek-another sign for a picture

Sign to show the way to an original bridge from 1942-very cool-we had to deter from today's highway to original bridge

Sign to show the way to an original bridge from 1942-very cool-we had to detour from today’s highway to original bridge

Pic of bridge

Pic of bridge

Construction picture-impressive-remember 1942!

Construction picture-impressive-remember 1942!

Scenery on the way to Watson Lake

Scenery on the way to Liard Hot Springs

Momma and 1 baby, the other one took off for the forest-black bears

Momma and 1 baby, the other one took off for the forest-black bears-along highway

Another critter along the road

Another critter along the road

The first long horn sheep we have seen-there were 2 along the highway

The first long horn sheep we have seen-there were 2 along the highway

We then meandered to Liard Hot Springs-OMG-what a wonderful surprise. We stayed in campground across the Highway from Hot Springs, a mere 15-20 minute walk among all natural forest. We had a long drive that day, knowing we would end up at Hot Springs-so went after a quick dinner and IT WAS AWESOME!!! There was a 1/4 mile “boardwalk” all natural wood slats taking us to the hot springs, then different pools with different heat levels (no plastic pool-all in natural surroundings). When walking from campground we came across the “local boys”-4 bull buffalo (bison) at the entrance to springs eating away. We started down walkway and came across a huge moose in the wetlands-far away but close enough to see it’s beauty. Since I forgot my camera I just HAD to go back in the AM and take pictures and enjoy the springs again-I totally recommend starting your morning this way-WOW again!!!

We were greeted by 2 bison, one on each side of highway in front of campground

We were greeted by 2 bison, one on each side of highway in front of campground

Our total animal count for the day was: 2 moose, 6 bears, 1 goat, 1 elk, 2 big horn sheep, and 4-6 bison around campground!! Very exciting day.

Sign to the Hot Springs

Sign to the Hot Springs

Entrance to boardwalk to springs

Entrance to boardwalk to springs

Almost to the springs

Almost to the springs

Ahhhhh!

Ahhhhh!

All very natural looking, even the man made stuff

All very natural looking, even the man made stuff

Grizzly on the way from hot springs

Grizzly on the way from hot springs

Had not seen a bison in awhile, they are BIG

Had not seen a bison in awhile, they are BIG

So, we had to leave, and drove to Watson Lake where they have the “Signpost Forest”-a place started by one of the workers on the Alaskan Highway with putting up a sign stating his home town. This place has grown to over 74,000 name plates-really fun place to see.  Oddly enough we separated from our friends only to see them again at Watson Lake-we left them again but will meet up with them again at our next stop in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. We are on a more “flexible” schedule than they are, so we tend to “wing it” more, hence the separation.

Watson Lake, Signpost Forest-everyone leaves their name/town/message

Watson Lake, Signpost Forest-everyone leaves their name/town/message

Another pic of signposts-too great when you actually see all the signs

Another pic of signposts-too great when you actually see all the signs

Found a town called Teslin, by another beautiful lake and are now writing this after eating a beef stew dinner that was really good (I wanted another bowl). Sitting in the “lounge” writing all this-no wifi at trailer only a “hotspot” in restaurant-oh well!

Teslin Lake view from the back of our trailer

Teslin Lake view from the back of our trailer

The "man" after a long drive on the Alaskan Highway-going to Fairbanks!!!!!

The “man” after a long drive on the Alaskan Highway-going to Fairbanks!!!!!

Animal count for today: 1 grizzly bear, 4 bison, 4 black bear-another successful day!!

The stops start to run together, as we start talking about where we saw this or that, we realize we are seeing so much we are never sure as to where it took place! Lot’s oil fields and support companies in BC and Alberta, less so here in the Yukon. You can feel difference in the towns and villages, as it feeling more like a frontier than urban and suburban environments.  Most every house barn, or garage has a set of antlers attached to it somewhere, more pick-ups than cars.  Whitehorse for as big as it is only has 4 radio stations. As we drive down the much improved highway, you have to admire what the 7 original battalions of soldiers did in carving the road out of some of the densest forest, rocky crags, roaring rivers and streams. The surveying team were supposed to be 3-4 miles ahead of the axe crews and dozers, but were often passed up by the industriousness and drive the crews had to complete the task, which they did in less than a year. R

 

June 5, 2014-Arrived in Grande Cache, Alberta Canada

Driving from Banff

Driving from Banff

 

More mountains and trees

More mountains and trees

Shortly into our drive we saw lots of people at pull out looking at this cute guy-black bear-as you can see he is very close to the road

Shortly into our drive we saw lots of people at pull out looking at this cute guy-black bear-as you can see he is very close to the road

Closer up

Closer up

After leaving Banff, we didn’t think the scenery could get better, but it did!!!. The signage in Canada is sometimes difficult but they have done a very impressive job with having pull outs on their highway for all of us tourists to stop and take pictures.

One of many waterfalls we saw on the drive

One of many waterfalls we saw on the drive

Water running at bottom of canyon

Water running at bottom of canyon

Another mountain

Another mountain

The snow was very thick but looked like it might fall at any time

The snow was very thick but looked like it might fall at any time

Small glacier across from stop where we had lunch

Small glacier across from stop where we had lunch

This herd of white mountain goats eating lunch-right along side of road

This herd of white mountain goats eating lunch-right along side of road

Pic of the baby

Pic of the baby

Pic of the old guy

Pic of the old guy

This beautiful lady elk was resting at our campground-the campground protected the elk from bears-so they would have their babies there

This beautiful lady elk was resting at our campground-the campground protected the elk from bears-so they would have their babies there

Roger and Don at campsite-our first camp fire!!!!

Roger and Don at campsite-our first camp fire!!!!

Lake right outside of town

Lake right outside of town

Center of lake-unfortunately we went on a rainy gray day-very popular for boat cruises

Center of lake-unfortunately we went on a rainy gray day-very popular for boat cruises on sunny days

We left Grande Cache and drove to Dawson Creek on Friday 6/6-over 5,000 miles on the truck so far. We are now in British Columbia on the Alaskan Highway. Not quite as pretty up here, smaller towns, looks like lots of oil work going on.

Until next time!!

 

 

May 29, 2014-Great Falls Headed for Alberta, Canada

We left Great Falls on Thursday and only went as far as St Mary, MT (Glacier Park). Most of Glacier Park was still closed due to the snow, but we got some good looks at the mountains. The drive was horrendous-60mph winds, I think Roger even felt a little nervous.

We had met a couple in Great Falls and hooked up with them in St Mary. We went to see Many Glacier, got some pictures but it was mostly closed as well, and since not one of us is an avid hiker, we decided to just look from the truck. Interesting campground.

Lake on way to campground-St Mary MT

Lake on way to campground-St Mary MT

Leaving campground to site see-you need to be aware of range cattle/horses, eating along side of road

Leaving campground to site see-you need to be aware of range cattle/horses, eating along side of road

Looking down from campground

Looking down from campground

Scenery on way to Many Glacier

Scenery on way to Many Glacier

Park was closed-pictures from road of glacier area

Park was closed-pictures from road of glacier area

Another scenic pic from road at Many Glacier area

Another scenic pic from road at Many Glacier area

On Friday 5/30 we drove to Canadian border. You hear lots of stories about people getting pulled over and their entire trailer is gone through, etc, etc., but we were honest and completed the correct forms so it was not a big deal. Weather cleared, no winds, which Roger loved.

We ended up just outside Calgary in campsite with our friends. We had Happy Hour and I threw some dinner together-great evening-light until 10pm.

Campsite with new friends Susan and Don

Campsite with new friends Susan and Don

Saturday 5/31 we left early for Banff/Lake Louise-WOW-the scenery was out of this world-we are still impressed after being here for a few days. We are staying in the Banff National Forest, really nice campsites and facilities.

Driving to Banff

Driving to Banff

Spectacular mountains

Spectacular mountains

I Love the Town of Banff-it is “cute”-we drove in through town-(GPS, you have to have but not always the best route!!). Staying in the Banff National Forest campground, very nice. We un-hooked and then headed to town after a stop a visitor center.

Picture of downtown from brew pub

Picture of downtown from brew pub

At brew pub with friends, Don, Susan, Roger and I sitting outside looking down on street

At brew pub with friends, Don, Susan, Roger and I sitting outside looking down on street

Other side of downtown street

Other side of downtown street

After a “little” beer, Susan and I went shopping/looking while the boys kept the bar stools warm. Camp is only 5 minutes away, so went back and relaxed.

Picture from trailer site

Picture from trailer site

After dinner, bbq on table for a little warmth (we know this is not proper, but it worked)

After dinner, bbq on table for a little warmth (we know this is not proper, but it worked)

A few visitors, just end of our road

A few visitors, just end of our road-mule deer I think

From campsite. Stays light until 10pm

From campsite. Stays light until 10pm

Another shot a sunset

Another shot a sunset

Sunday 6/1 we drove to Lake Louise (aboout 15 miles north). Had always heard it was beautiful and was not disappointed:

Lake Louise from in front of Fairmont Hotel-lake still a bit icy, but gorgeous.

Lake Louise from in front of Fairmont Hotel-lake still a bit icy, but gorgeous.

Me-standing in beauty all around

Me-standing in beauty all around-you can see people walking on path around lake

More beauty

More beauty

Showing the snow/ice around the lake

Showing the snow/ice around the lake

Roger holding "down" tree on path around lake

Roger holding “down” tree on path around lake

Looking back at hotel from path, ski runs on mountain above??

Looking back at hotel from path, ski runs on mountain above??

We ate lunch looking at this-wondering if it would become an avalanche

We ate lunch looking at this-wondering if it would become an avalanche

Spiral Tunnels, see next picture

Spiral Tunnels, see next picture

Look closely and you will see the rain in 3 different places-looong train

Look closely and you will see the rain in 3 different places-looong train

The main East-West route is Canada 1. The main railroad parallels the highway through the Rockies. Met a guy in a local tavern that worked on the tracks and told us about this really neat stop along side the highway. It’s called Spiral Tunnel for obvious reasons. The grade down the western slope is soooo steep they tunneled in a tight spiral in the side of the mountain.  As long as there are 100 cars or more you can see the tail, middle, and front on the train in three different elevations.R

Just a little bear siting on the way home

Just a little bear siting on the way home

We got back to camp after a great day. We knew there were hot springs so wanted to try (all but Roger). They are located just south of town-20 minutes from camp-they were WONDERFUL (but in a pool):

Looks like a pool, but full of hot springs water

Looks like a pool, but full of hot springs water

One last shot on way to hot springs!!!

One last shot on way to hot springs!!!

OK-we are on our last day in Banff and will go toward Jasper tomorrow, along the Ice Fields Parkway-we’ll see what that is all about. I’m sitting in the town library now, wifi is hard to come by. Not sure when our next blog will be, but never fear, it will happen!

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2014-Pocatello, ID to Great Falls, MT

We arrived in Great Falls, MT on 5/24-drove straight from Pocatello, ID-approx. an 8 hour drive. The country side was beautiful. Scene from drive

Countryside to Great Falls

Countryside to Great Falls

Another countryside picture from truck

Another countryside picture from truck

Found a nice campground in Great Falls, right in the middle of town. I spent the am defrosting the refrig and freezer-not bad (but tried to think of the last time I defrosted a freezer-thought 1970s), anyway I got that all cleaned up. We then went for just a drive around, visited 2 brew pubs and the visitor’s center:

Roger sitting on cool bench in front of Bowser Brewery, new place, good beer!

Roger sitting on cool bench in front of Bowser Brewery, new place, good beer!

This is the brewery mascot-cool

This is the brewery mascot-cool

After a couple of brews we went to find the Great Falls:

On the way

On the way

Still on the way

Still on the way

We found it!

This is the swinging bridge across the river to the park

This is the swinging bridge across the river (from parking) to the park at Great Falls

 

This is the power station erected at the falls-to supply electricity to the countryside

This is the power station erected at the falls-to supply electricity to the countryside

Great Falls

Great Falls

Another view of the Falls

Another view of the Falls

Picture of the park at the Falls, very cool, lots of families enjoying the sunny day and beautiful surroundings

Picture of the park at the Falls, very cool, lots of families enjoying the sunny day and beautiful surroundings

Roger on the bridge leaving the park

Roger on the bridge leaving the park

Tuesday we loaded the truck with the bikes and went to the River’s Edge Trail, a bike/walking path along the river, very nice. We rode to the Lewis & Clark Center which was great, very informative.

The exhibits and video at the L&C Center were really impressive.  When I went to school, it was given basically a nod, then moved on the “Westward Expansion” phase of American History. A lot of what and how they did what  they did was exhibited and was amazing! R

Black Eagle Falls/Dam

Black Eagle Falls/Dam

View from the falls down river

View from the falls down river

This was fun-the statue of the Bison Fish at entrance to River Dr

This was fun-the statue of the Bison Fish at entrance to River Dr

It was a fun day, got some exercise, weather still fantastic. We are staying another night so we have tomorrow to make sure all is good with trailer, re-supply food and goods. We will head to Canada on Thursday.

We will not have access to our phones while in Canada (do not want to pay roaming charges) and will only have wifi if offered at campsite or find a restaurant with free wifi.

So, it may be awhile until you hear from us again, but we will be back when we hit Alaska, our Verizon will be on again.

Hope you are enjoying the blog, our travels have been unbelievable and we enjoy sharing with you!!

May 23,2014-Landed in Pocatello Idaho

It was a short drive from Victor to Pocatello, ID. Found a nice little campground with great wifi (not always the case), good laundry, and beautiful weather-hi 70s with nice breeze.

Roger did some repair work on the top of the trailer, the weather cooperated with nice and dry for a few days. Had a relaxing evening.

May 24-explored the town a bit, found the Walmart and a trailer store. Had a bagged lunch and took to a park close to campground and enjoyed lunch while watching lots of guys playing Frisbee golf. Are back at camp relaxing again this afternoon. Taking off tomorrow towards Butte, MT then up to Great Falls, MT and then into Canada.

Sorry no pictures, but more to come!!!!

May 22, 2014 Grand Teton Look See

We arrived in Victor, ID on 5/21 and drove into Grand Teton National Park the next day. Seeing the still snow covered mountains was breathtaking-they are just so big and present.

View from the road into Victor

View from the road into Victor

Another view from road-I liked the little barn

Another view from road-I liked the little barn

Land of potatoes-fields went on forever

Land of potatoes-fields went on forever

Once we got into the park we went to see Jenny Lake-WOW-

Sign entering park

Sign entering park

Interesting old building/fort inside park

Interesting old building/fort inside park

My favorite picture of Jenny Lake

My favorite picture of Jenny Lake

My second favorite picture of Jenny Lake

My second favorite picture of Jenny Lake

We then went further into park to Jackson Lake and the Jackson Lake Lodge:

View of Jackson Lake

View of Jackson Lake

Another view of Jackson lake with shoreline

Another view of Jackson lake with shoreline

You see this view when entering the lodge

You see this view when entering the lodge

Roger pointing out the landscape around the lake/lodge

Roger pointing out the landscape around the lake/lodge

(not great picture with reflection-sorry) but these were hanging in bar area-gorgeous head dresses with beads and feathers

(not great picture with reflection-sorry) but these were hanging in bar area-gorgeous head dresses with beads and feathers

the wanderers standing on deck outside the lodge looking at lake and mountains

the wanderers standing on deck outside the lodge looking at lake and mountains

This lodge was awesome, a place to go and relax and just watch the beauty.

I personally felt the park would be more enjoyed by riding bikes, hiking, camping in park-they had wonderful bike paths and hiking trails. the snow did prevent us from going to see the falls behind Jenny Lake.

We then ventured down to Jackson, town for Jackson Hole. Great town with really nice little park in center with shops, restaurants, bars on all the streets surrounding. Of course we HAD to visit a couple of the bars:

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Me & Rog sitting on the saddle bar stools having a beer

Me & Rog sitting on the saddle bar stools having a beer

This is for my "old" friend Sandy, she and I had an experience together on saddle bar stools in a bar-no more needs to be said

This is for my “old” friend Sandy, she and I had an experience together on saddle bar stools in a bar-no more needs to be said

Display inside bar-guns, buffalo skull, many spurs, etc.-everything cowboy-impressive

Display inside bar-guns, buffalo skull, many spurs, etc.-everything cowboy-impressive

Picture taken from another tavern looking down on town square and cowboy bar in background

Picture taken from another tavern looking down on town square and cowboy bar in background

Picture of town square-each corner had the "elk antler arches"

Picture of town square-each corner had the “elk antler arches”

Description of the antler arches

Description of the antler arches

Of course we couldn't resist!

Of course we couldn’t resist!

Our home on wheels in campsite at Victor, ID

Our home on wheels in campsite at Victor, ID