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In June/July 2014, David & Terry and their faithfull companion Sheeba, traveled the continental United States while pulling heir camper for their first Westward I outing. Unfortunately, we weren't able to drive to Alaska at that time. However, we plan to leave Florida May 9, 2016 and head out again, this time our goal is Alaska through British Columbia and Yukon on our Westward Trip II.
We departed May 9th, taking I-10 from Jacksonville all the way west to California, stopping at Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, from there we headed up I-5 into Canada. We made our destination at Denali National Park in Alaska after driving 8,858 miles and are now headed back to Montana's Glacier National Park. After more than 15,000 miles we arrived home August 17, 2016.
Our 3rd Westward trip through Canada to where we'll spend a month in Alaska is on the burner for 2018!! Can't wait, we long to be on the road back up there again!
Click on the points on the map to see what we did at each location.
its home base for us, here we are the day before heading west!
1st stop on the way west! We were really impressed with this KOA and we've been to a lot of them!
2nd night on the road, KOA #2 at Baton Ruge KOA, here we played Putt putt golf! And we passed the USS Alabama BB-60!
We've stopped for a few days. As you can see, its Terry driving:)
We spent the day at Johnson's Space Center, had a great time, learned some new things with NASA.
We just stayed at the camper today, did maintence tasks, watched the sunrise and sunset and went fishing! Caught a nice fish, it was so large, it reduced the water level of the pond by 12 feet!!!! It was so HUGE!
Driving on the back roads to avoid Houston traffic, we came upon a real wagon train, just don't know what you'll come across these days! Sure was nice seeing that though. A few hours later we pulled in to the San Antonio Texas KOA for a few days.
We tried to go to the Alamo before and after lunch but the bottom fell out of the sky practically all day with heavy rains. So after two attempts, we headed back to camp, ordered a pizza for dinner and bought these two hats we're wearing...real Texan's now!!! But we will brave all weather tomorrow, as we'll be prepared, so Alamo...here we come!!
Finally, the rain seceded and we were able to visit the Alamo and the Texas Ranger Museum (the Ranger Museum is located within the Bighorn Saloon on E Houston St), though they won't let you take photo's inside the main chapel where the artifacts and stuff is at but yet they ask for donations, I snuck a few shots anyway!
After traveling little over 300 miles, we stopped at our first GoodSam camping park on this trip at Fort Stockton. We also couldn't believe the speed limit was 80! But we saw no one passin us doin that speed. We're driving 60 pullin the camper. most vehicles were going 70-75 we think, cause no one blasted by us.
After leaving Fort Stockton, we headed west to El Paso, along the way we saw the sign for Fort Hancock, remember the movie Shawshank Redemption? When he got the post card that show him were his friend crossed the border-"Fort Hancock, Texas", we could see the town from I-10 and the border separating Mexico and the good old USA! We stopped for the night at a KOA at Anthony, Texas, only 1 mile from New Mexico.
We left El Paso and headed west again, seeing a lot of country that was absolutely beautiful, along the way, we saw numerous dust devils or small tornado type dust spouts racing across the desert. Lots of mountains, boulders and rattlesnake warnings. Finally reaching Benson Arizona's KOA for a two night stop. Finally saw a tall cactus, never saw them in 2014, this is the first one we've seen and it was at the Benson KOA.
We had a fun day in Tombstone, Arizona, visiting the actual site of the famous gun battle between the Earps, Holiday and the Clantons at Ok Corral, we walked the Fremont Street and visited several shops, ate lunch at the Longhorn Family Restaurant. We watched a reenactment of the gun battle in a sectioned off area of the corral, which was just like in the movies after wards we got photographed with the main four, Virgil, Morgan, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.
Here we stopped at a Good Sam Member RV camping park for the night, pretty tightly squeezed in spots though the grounds are beautifully kept and the park offers horse boarding and area to ride.
We are glad we made this side trip to see this national park, it was worth the detour, lots of cactus species and wildlife.
What a drive on Arizona 93 through the mountains of northern Arizona and southern Nevada, absolutely breathtaking!
We spent the day at Hoover Dam, it was truly amazing that man could build something so colossal as that and rerouting an entire river to do that!
We had fun today, went up to the top of the Stratosphere, then the CSI Experience, tried the slot machines in the MGM Grand (though I was disappointed that the slot machines were all electronic, not the old coin types, but we had a fun time anyway). We walked the 'Strip', saw a lot of interesting places.
Awesome views, it reminded us a lot of the Painted Desert in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Lot of breathtaking views, for a geologist-rock heaven!!
This koa has NO cell or internet, still a great view!
We drove to the California Poppy State Park but the poppies were out of season still we saw a lot of Great Southern California scenery, later that day we met up with some friends we met on a cruise ship three years ago in Alaska and went to dinner with Faye and Jeff at Red Lobster!
After nearly three weeks of westerly travel, we turned north this morning on California 14 to Lone Pine where we Good Sam camped for the next week at Boulder Creek Rv Park. Along the route as we headed for Boulder Creek, we stopped at Red Rock Canyon State Park, the layers of sedimentary rock were astounding!
A sad place, what was done to the Japanese Americans during WWII.
Arrived late in day, made a Walmart run and plan to go to Sequoia National Park tomorrow.
Just totally awesome! After reading and watching television for years about this park, we finally saw it in person!
We traveled two hours from Visalia KOA to here, a short but pleasant drive, tomorrow we'll visit Yosemite NP and look for Yogi Bear! The campground is situated in the rolling hills near Yosemite, nice country but hot! At least they don't have the humidity here like we do in Florida which makes it tolerable.
It was totally awesome! We spent the day there at Yosemite, saw a few more Sequoia trees as well as the California Redwoods! Got a glimpse of a brown bear on the way to Glacier Point. There was even snow on the ground still in spots!
We started our day with a half hour long stop during road construction where some blasting was going on-didn't hear or see any. After 5 hours on the road we stopped in Orland California for the night at a Good Sam park after driving through a brush fire and we saw plenty of rice fields, olive and walnut trees and of course...the California grapevines!
We left California behind after 12 days in the state!
Just awesome, no cell phone or Internet but I will fill this blank in later
The view was awe inspiring, no cloud coverage. Just an awesome view! And still, there was lots of snow to be seen and play in, in June!
We've stopped at the Portland/Fairview RV Park for a few day to visit some friends we met on a cruise last year.
Had to take a day off to do laundry and clean the camper!
We met up with a couple friends we met last year on a cruise ship in Canada, Craig and Irene from Beaverton Oregon. They took us to Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Lock & Dam and fish hatchery near Portland. Afterwards, we were so hungry we stopped at Elmer's for a late lunch. The falls were really awesome, along with the fish ladder at the dam. At the hatchery, I would have loved to throw my line in the trout tank and caught a big one! Though the sturgeon tank had several that weighed over 300 pounds! Thanks Craig and Irene, it was a blast!
Have arrived at a nice campground on the side of the mountain! No...not Mount St. Helens!
Just breath taking! Although rain was scheduled, it snowed! !
We've stopped for a couple nights, tomorrow we'll visit Mt Rainier.
What a awesome view, snow capped peak (when it was visible) amongst the clouds. Again, we were snowed upon while Terry made a Snow Angel! Mount Rainier is till an active volcano, which I didn't know. We left from Packwood, traveled #3 Loop (Mount Rainier Loop) which was absolutely gorgeous. Looking closely at the photo, you'll see a part of Mt Rainier's top edge, this is one tall mountain!
We saw this tree barely holding itself up in Mt Rainier National Park, if you look, you'll see its only by the roots on one side that is keeping it in place on the side of a cliff! We saw this other sign that reports that the border at this checkpoint is closed in the wee hours of the morning and as we drove to Lynden, we could see the mountains directly ahead in Canada. We've stopped at the Lynden KOA for the night, plan to crossover tomorrow.
We've stopped at Brookside RV Campground in Cache Creek, BC, CA for a couple nights. There are 3 routes to take to get to Alaska, we are taking the Gold Rush Route to get to Denali National Forest near Fairbanks. When we leave Alaska, we'll take the Rocky Mountain Route back into Montana where we'll stop at Glacier National Park. What some great sights we saw on the way and some very tall mountains!!
Cleaned and did laundry, then went into Cache Creek to get shocked at the gas pump! We went into Cache Creek to have a look around and top off our tank. Just FYI-we paid $4.53 per gallon of gas!
We've stopped at Canyon Creek RV Campground in Hixon, BC, Canada
Stopped for the night, today we saw a coyote or fox, lots of cows and horses but no moose, elk or bears yet! We've stopped at this campground, right next to a river, its pretty nice. Ft Telkwa RV Campground in Telkwa British Columbia has so far the best internet service of all the campgrounds we've stayed at so far in both the US and Canada!!
What an awesome view of the mountain.
It was a long day of driving from Bell 2, BC, more to come! Oh and we finally saw two black bears on the side of the road today!
When we got to the campground, it was a stackem, packem and rackem place, it was completely full! The next morning, we were alone!! What an great light show we saw at the planetarium, the northern lights would be something we'd like to see but this time of year it doesn't get dark at all! The sign post forest was also a entertaining experience, finding out the first person started it in 1942! We left without putting out our shingle but on the return trip through Watson Lake we will be ready to leave our shingle at the forest!
We left Watson Lake, headed to Whitehorse Yukon, the capitol of Yukon. Along the way on the Alaska Highway, we saw beautiful mountain passes, mountains and trees and 2 bears today!
Before we headed out, we had to stop at Walmart in Whitehorse where I got this shot of Terry. After leaving Walmart, we stopped at the SS Klondike also in Whitehorse Yukon which is now a permanent museum. Soon we were hooked up and on our way. We've stopped for the night, nice weather, nice mountains all around!
Within a few minutes of hitting the road, we saw a black bear crossing the Klondike Highway, we slowed to let him have the road while he slowed for a photo. Ground hogs are common in the Yukon, along the roadside we saw hundreds even while we stopped for lunch. Along the way, we saw great scenes of Yukon's vast forests and mountain ranges before heading into Dawson City where we'll spend a couple days.
Yesterday we spent the day cleaning and doing laundry and other maintenance tasks leaving today for us to spend in Dawson City. In the photo, we are standing on top of the Midnight Dome, a mountain top overlooking Dawson City and the surrounding area. What a breathtaking view. We also visited the Dawson City Museum, the SS Keno, and several other places. Though it was hot, it was not nearly as hot as Florida and the bottom half of the U.S. Tomorrow, we head for Chicken, Alaska! Yes, its really the name of a town!
After driving on The Top of The World Highway from Dawson City and crossing into the United States from British Columbia, we stopped in Chicken, Alaska, where we stayed at the Chicken Gold Campground where they did not have running water, only Electric but we did pan for gold briefly and ate a pizza made on a wood burning stove!
We've stopped for the night, at Tok RV Village campground after leaving Chicken. Much to our surprise, most of the highway was semi paved. Nothing like yesterday's travel on mud roads from the border to Chicken. The camper and truck now have different color!! Can't wait to wash them!
After we left Tok, we hit some heavy rains. Along the way, we came across a gentleman who had just broken down, his public works truck had busted a radiator hose, and evidently he didn't have a cell or cb radio and the area we were in had no cell reception so we stopped to ask if he needed help. His work crew was 30-40 miles away working he told us. Leaving him stranded, we continued and notified his work crew as soon as we came across them. We hope he wasn't there all day.
After notifying the work crew, we continued on. It seemed on this stretch of highway there was quite a bit of road construction on our way to North Pole and Santa. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any wildlife since we've been in Alaska. Not even a bear on the side of the road like in Canada.
What a wonderful day at Santa's Village at the North Pole, Alaska! We visited Santa's House, and watched the July 4 Santa's parade in downtown North Pole. We even met someone who was from our neck of the woods-Daytona Beach Florida! Even the rain couldn't spoil the day.
After 59 days and 8,858 miles we reached our target for this trip! We are now at the Denali RV Park & Motel, camping near Denali National Park. Over the next two or more days, we'll canvas the park for all its glory!! In one of the photo's of the collage, I took a photo of this foreign vehicle with I think a German or something tag on its rear end. Didn't know that foreign vehicles from Europe could travel US roads but also, I saw this same vehicle somewhere before today, like in California and just as soon as I find the earlier photo I took I'll know for sure when I first saw this same vehicle.
We spent most of the day at the park and the gift shops not far from it. Though we didn't see any wildlife today, we saw some rather breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. The bear attack has limited the park road access to just the first 12 miles or so until the bear is found and caught.
Terry and I went rafting for the first time in our lives on the Nenana River that flows in and through and around Denali National Park. The 2 hour float was basically gentle for the most part on Class 1 rapids, but there were a few Class 3 that we had to endure which was a lot of fun although I'm paying for it now and the rest of the night with my back! Would I do it again? You bet!! The raft guide(seated in the middle manning the two oars), named Toad, was kind enough to stow my 2 canes underneath his seat. The only disappointing thing about it was that we saw no wildlife at all! The gear we wore was a dry suit from neck to foot against the 35 degree water and life preservers, since the rafting trip was so gentle, I was able to take my camera and get some great shots and video's!
We left Denali, started the long trek home, but before we headed out, we took one more chance to see Mt. Denali (formally known as Mt. Denali, then Mt. Mckinley and back to Mt. Denali by Presidential decree Sept 2015) and were able to see it! The past several days, the mountain was obscured by weather and clouds. This mountain is 20,320 feet high and is the highest mountain on the North American continent! Check out the photo.
On our way back home, we stopped again at Tok Rv Village for the night. Tomorrow, we'll cross back into Canada. We're taking the Rocky Mountain Route home, which will take us through Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta where we'll cross into Montana. We are traveling the entire Alaska Highway on our way back, the 1422 mile highway starts in Dawson Creek, BC and ends at Delta Junction, Alaska as you can see in the photo. We spotted a moose this morning, we were going so fast couldn't stop in time, we think it had a full rack of antlers. Tomorrow, we head for Beaver Creek, BC. Hopefully, we'll see more wildlife on our way back than we did on the way to. Was kinda disappointing that we've only seen two Moose's on the road side and about a dozen Caraboo in a stockade enclosure. No bear sightings in Alaska. So far. Maybe tomorrow.
We left Alaska behind, crossing the Canadian border into Yukon Territory, seeing some new sights, breathtaking landscapes but no wildlife along the Alaska Highway. Along the way, we saw numerous beaver homes as we crossed creeks, lakes and rivers.
Leaving Beaver Creek, we headed southeast on the Alaska Highway. We ran into lots of road construction which changed the color of our truck and camper. Along the way, we saw a camper that had originated in Italy! We wondered how they got it over here, either by ship or plane. Terry drove, leaving me to rest while Sheeba napped behind us for the most part!
Stopped for the night at the edge of the Teslin Lake.
We stopped at Watson Lake to drop off our sign at the signpost forest before heading further southeast on the Alaska Highway on what they call the Rocky Mountain Route. Our trek north took us on the Gold Rush Route. This route will take us through the grand Rocky Mountains. At Watson Lake, we're staying in the same campground near where we stayed the first time too!
We've stopped for the night in a small valley surrounded by the Northern Rocky Mountains in a very small community called Toad River on the Alaska Highway. Today, we saw 4 Buffalo sightings and 1 unidentified horse sized animal (we think it was a Cariboo) that was gone before we could capture it on film. We've seen some beautiful mountains today in British Columbia!
This morning at Toad River Lodge RV, I walked out to the pond a short distance away where there's a Beaver home almost in the middle with the mountains in the background. What a sight! After driving most of the day, we've stopped for the night in Fort Nelson but along the way we passed a small herd of mountain sheep on the side of the road then on to Stone Mountain (no not our Stone Mountain!!) Still a lot of road repair construction on the Alaska Highway, where just as we were coming up to some, we spotted a large black bear eating flowers, posed long enough for a few photos and hightailed it into the woods. Somewhere, as we were driving, we spotted something on the left side of the road, when we got out, I hobbled to the other side and walked into the high grass and came face to face with a moma moose!! My last shot only got a glimpse of the foal. Then we came into Fort Nelson. In all, we spotted 3 animal species in 1 day! Awesome!
We've stopped at the end or rather the beginning of the Alaska Highway for the next several nights.
We stopped by the Alaska Highway '0' marker between rain storms, learned a little bit about the history of Dawson Creek.
We've stopped for a couple nights in the midst of the Northern Rocky Mountains, in a community called Grande Cache. The campground is awesome! This is the best campground so far, each site is totally wooded, secluded from each other, full hookup and the scenery is awesome!
While we were walking back from Twin Falls Provincial Recreational Area near Grande Cache, we were surprised when a Black Bear was spotted just 25 feet away in the bushes, and her two cubs! Naturally, we started back up the path we'd come from a few paces as we heard the cubs start climbing trees and the moma bear stood up! Remembering what we read about bear encounters, Terry and I started yelling and waving our arms and walking sticks while at the same time trying to get photo's and video of the encounter. The yelling worked and the cubs climbed down and ran with their mother, with our adrenaline flowing amid our being on the scared side, we continued down the path towards our vehicle when we came across them again. There were two groups of people who'd passed us heading down from the falls, guess they never saw the bears cause we never heard them have an encounter. The literature says to fight off a black bear (by yelling, waving arms), but to play dead with a grizzly.
We've stopped at the only KOA in Alberta for a couple nights, tomorrow we visit Jasper Provincial Park. The KOA is nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the views are spectacular.
Went through the park during the afternoon, once I was well enough to proceed, wasn't feeling too good this morning. The mountain views were spectacular and we saw Mountain Sheep and an antlered Elk and several does.
We've stopped for the night after a long drive through the Rocky Mountains and stopped at a campground nestled within those mountains. Pretty awesome scenery here at Canmore.
Stopped for the night, we'll be crossing the border to USA tomorrow as we follow the Rocky Mountain range south.
We crossed back into the US, driving down Alberta Highway 2 which turned into US 89 after crossing the border at Carway back into the states. Driving along the outer perimeter of Glacier National Par was most awesome and a little scary as the winding road was very narrow in places as it wrapped around the mountains.
We spent the morning, exploring this short section of the park, the road ended at the Ranger Station and is the southern most entrance to the park. Since it was so short, we decided to do cleaning and laundry in the afternoon, saving the next day for the main exploration of the park at another entrance.
What an awesome place, we could only go half way through the park, next time, we'll stay for a week to do it proper. But the photo's! Terry took over 600 and I got maybe 400!
We've stopped for the night while getting the truck serviced before continuing on home.
Stopped on my birthday! Its been a long trip, can't wait to get home, we've been headed home since July 8th, its taken so long to get through Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta to where we are now. We can only go 300 miles a day which is all my body can handle even with Terry doing a big chunk of the driving, though we sure see some great sights in this world that God created. I"m 55 today, and this is a once in a lifetime trip for the both of us, can't believe its taken so long, but once we're back home, I can rest!
We've stopped for a couple nights to rest. Its real windy cause there's hardly any trees, mostly grasslands. Tomorrow we'll see Little Bighorn National Memorial Park and where Col Custer met his demise.
more to come
We've stopped for the night at the KOA here, tomorrow we do laundry and then see the mountain
Terry and I spent a couple hours before lunch to visit the Tower, which was spectacular although we share the plight to rename the mountain. The word devil's, well, shouldn't be used to describe something created by God. After our visit, then came laundry and cleaning for the remainder of the day, oh and Sheeba's bath! She needed it.
Stopped for the night at the KOA here, then on the road again tomorrow!
Stopped for the night at the KOA in the corn belt, the campsite was next to a nice lake though we couldn't go fishing.
Stopped for the night, now were back in the HEAT for sure!
Stopped for the night, gonna look in on Terry's aunt who lives in Sesser.
Stopped for the night after a long day on the road, glad Terry is with me to help with the driving, otherwise it'd take longer to get home!
We've stopped for a couple nights to rest and make a grocery run but we've noted the mountains are not as big as the rockies!
stopped for the night amid the smokey mountains
Stopped for the night, visited relatives who live in the area before going home. The dinner at Shealey's was delicious.
The last KOA and the last night out from home.
We are home after more than a 15,000 mile safe journey with no breakdowns.