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Ron, Sue Stevens and our dog Abby. For the past few years we have dreamed of driving to Alaska. We have just retired and are fulfilling that dream.
Click on the points on the map to see what we did at each location.
We spent the night in Page, Arizona. The views around lake Powell amazing. In the days to follow we will be posting pictures of our locations.
We left Page this morning and headed to our next stop in Nephi Utah. We are spending the night at the Good Sam's, High Country RV Park. The mountains around are snow covered and the wind is blowing good.
Today we drove 435 miles. When we left Nephi it was raining. It was Sunny and 50 in Salt Lake, and while driving through the clouds up in Clark Canyon we had snow. Tonight we are at Countryside RV park out side of Dillon Montana. Once again we are surrounded by beautiful snow covered peaks and the out side temperature is 41, dipping into the low 30s.
This morning when we opened the door to the fifth wheel it was snowing. We packed up and left Dillon around 7:30 and had falling snow all the way to Great Falls before the skies cleared. Wolf Creek Pass was beautiful in the snow. We did see 3 minor fender benders where people where driving to fast and found the guard rails. Glad to say the only injuries where to the drivers pride. Sue was trying her best to get some good pictures but most of the wildlife came up to fast or where to far away. To night we are staying in Shelby. Then in the morning we will cross onto Canada.
This morning started off on the chilly side as it was 25deg when we pulled out of Shelby. It was a 43 mile drive to the border, where it took us about 1.5 hours to cross. After getting through customs we continued on to Fort Macleod. We are staying at Daisy May's camp ground. It's a nice camp ground and close to town. As I write this it's 65deg and sunny. It has turned out to be a beautiful day.
The drive from Fort MacLeod to Spruce Grove was like driving through Kansas as it's all very large farms. Kansas is flatter though. We are spending the night at the Glowing Embers RV. Park and travel center. It's a large busy park and we had a hard time finding our way because of the road construction. And there is very poor signage leading the way in.
It doesn't seem as we've been traveling for a week already, but we have. We left Edmonton early this morning on our way to Dawson Creek. One thing we have learned on our trip through Canada is it's better to use the road side pull outs and not the rest stops. Some of the rest stops will make you back track a few miles in order to get back on the Hi Way going in the right direction. Finding your way to 43 west in Grande Prairie is tricky too. We made it to Dawson Creek and once again finding the RV park was a challenge, but we found it and are now set up for our 2 day stay. That's if the wind doesn't blow us away. Tomorrow is a day of restocking, sight seeing and rest.
It has been a very windy day 2 here. We are glad we are not on the road today. We did get out and visited Walt-Mart of all places. Ron went and got his hair cut. We had lunch at the Old Fashion Bakery, the Thi Chicken Curry soup yummy. After returning to the trailer, Sue went and did our laundry while I checked out tomorrows drive in the Mile Post book. Which in turn made me tired so Abby and I took a nap.
Today we started out on the Alaska Hi Way from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson. It's a beautiful 300 mile drive up and through the mountain passes. The road is in good shape with little road repair work going on and for the most part, we have the whole road to ourselves. There is a lot of signs that the oil fields have been busy with work camps set up along much of the Hi Way. We did not see much activity though. The picture of the day is really meant for our followers from Move City Church, as Sue found this rock a long side the road with these words painted on it. Reminded us of the Klokope Children's board in our lobby. As the words on the rock are also on the board.
Today we left Fort Nelson at 6:30 and arrived in Watson Lake at 2:00. The weather over the mountains and the road in stretches made the trip seem longer than it was. We drove through snow cover peaks, herds of Bison. We saw black bear, brown bear, caribou, and even had sheep blocking the road. Sue was busy with the camera. After arriving and setting up the fifth wheel, it was off to the sign post forest to walk around and then nail up our sign. There was not a lot of traffic on the road but this evening several rigs are pulling in for the night.
This morning started out rough. Over night rain turned to ice and collected on the dining room slide out topper causing it not to roll up. After it warmed up it still did not work so we had to remove an end cap. At which time we found that when they install it they broke off the heads of two screws. We where able to finally roll it in by hand and support it with straps. We pulled out of Watson Lake at 11:30. It was a 6 hour drive to Whitehorse when we pulled into the campground. Tomorrow was scheduled for sight seeing but looks like we have to try to find a service center to try and repair our topper. Still, it's been a nice sunny afternoon with the temperature rising to 52 degs.
Well we could not get any help with the slide topper so we spent much of the morning working on it. We finally figured it out and it's working again. The couple next to us had the break controller go bad on his GMC. The dealer told him it would take a week to get the parts. Traveling through Canada is an adventure and you will not get much help from the locals. We did manage to go check out the river front down town for a few minutes. We will want to stop here on our way back and spend more time. It's back on the road tomorrow morning heading to Beaver Creek for the night.
We can now say we have driven the Alaska Hi Way and survived. A lesson on driving through the Yukon. Don't depend on your bank cards, or credit cards. Carry cash.
Today was a long day as the road at Destruction bay is rough. Not as bad as we feared, but it was slow going. We did drive by our scheduled layover and drove into TOK Alaska for the night. After checking into the camp ground and setting up, it was off to fast Eddies for dinner. We now have 4 months to relax, enjoy Alaska before we have that drive home. So don't go anywhere and stay tuned into Ron and Sue's " Alaska Adventure ". There's more to come.
We could not help the call of the water. So this morning we decided it was off to Valdez. The road from TOK to Glennallen is in the worst shape of any we had driven so far. Very little of the damage is marked and problems come up before you see them. The drive from Glennallen to Valdez is all down hill, which means the only way to go from here is UP. It's a breath taking ride through steep snow cover mountain passes. It will be a long slow drive up the mountain when we leave, but well worth the trip.
We really have the whole town to ourselves. We did go and walk the streets but there really is very little open yet. Tourist season does not start until the 15th of May. Today is a rainy day and the mountains are hidden by the low clouds cover. Even that makes for beautiful views. We did manage to go walk through the local Safe Way and pick up a few supplies.
We arrived in Seward yesterday afternoon after a 3.5 drive down from Anchorage. The Alaska past time has begun. That's road repair work. There is a stretch of about 20 miles around the Hope turn off towards Seward that work is being done in different locations. We are staying at Millers Landing. The RV park is small, about 17 back in spaces. Electric only, no water or sewer. But the views are well worth the walk to the showers. There are only 5 rigs here at this time so we have plenty of room to spread out. Today we walked around town and had lunch. Sue had her first Halibut nuggets for lunch. Not every business is open yet but you can tell they are working hard to be open for the Memorial Day rush. This afternoon we drove up to Exit Glacier. Then it was back to camp for dinner, soup and a sandwich. It's 11pm and it's just now turning to dusk.
Day two in Seward started with a pod of Dolphins swimming just outside our back windows. Again we spent the day uptown. We had lunch at Zudy's Café and then walked through the Seward Sea-life Center. After which we drove around looking at cottages up for sale. No, we are not moving to Seward. It's just something we do for fun. Today the clouds cleared and the sun shine was nice to see. The temperature around 56 degrees but again the wind off the snow covered peaks making it a bit chilly. We have had a wonderful time here and are sure to return again.
We drove down to Homer for Memorial Day Weekend. Along the way we stopped at one of my favorite places to eat, Gwin's Lodge for some Salmon Chowder. The roads are in good shape with some road construction between Ninilchik and Anchor Point. After arriving at Heritage RV Park and setting up we took a short trip to the boat harbor where we found a ship with a familiar name. This todays picture. We have been having trouble with our internet connection while staying here as we keep getting knocked off. Tomorrow it's back towards Anchorage where we will be dry camping for a few days around Portage somewhere.
Today we are back in Anchorage to do some laundry and pick up some food supplies. We are staying in the Willi Waw federal campground just outside of Portage and Whittier. It's a nice campground, paved parking, fire pits, no hook ups of any kind. We will be there through Sunday. We are getting lots of exercise walking the trails. It is cool inside the trailer in the mornings, 55 degs today when we woke up. Day time temps are in the 60s. Seems as with each day we see more and more tourist activity. We are not alone anymore.
We have decided to spend another week here in WilliWaw camp ground. So we had to take the trailer into Girdwood to drain the tanks and refill the fresh water holding tank. After setting up again we took a ride down to check out the Kenai Princess Lodge and RV Park. The lodge sits high above the Kenai River with great views. The RV park is nice but sits down in a hole with no view of the river. It is a good Sam park though. When we where in Alaska last year the game and fish closed the Kenai river early to King salmon fishing. This year it is closed for the year do to expected poor salmon run. It's off to Anchorage again tomorrow to take the grandsons to the movies and spend the day with them.
Yesterday the sun came out for the first time in a week here in Portage. We took advantage of such a beautiful day, called our son and had him bring the family down to hike back to Byron Glacier. Today we moved to Black Spruce camp ground on JBER, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. If you have military privileges this is a great place to stay while in Anchorage. The one down fall is there is no Wi-Fi. Moose and bear do roam the grounds though.
Today marks our third day of work camping at Beluga Lookout RV Park here in Kenai. Yesterday we met a couple staying in the park who moved to Alaska a couple of years ago from our home town of Sierra Vista Arizona. The views of Cook Inlet and the Kenai River from the bluff are amazing. After work today we walked to a small restaurant called Veronica's Coffee House for dinner. The food and the service where very good. It's going to be one of our favorite places to go. Yesterday when we got off we drove over to Captain Cooks State Park to check it out. It would be a nice place for tent and pickup camping but a little rough on a large truck and trailer. Tonight the combination of the smoke in the air and the bright red sun is making another beautiful sunset over the water. Each day brings a different setting.
How could you not want to sit here with you drink and soak up this amazing view.
This is our home now, through August 8th. It is the nicest park we have stayed at along our trip. While there are only a hand full of spaces over looking the water. There are plenty of seats on the bluff to set and watch the tides, the sunsets and just relax. The park has full hook ups, 30 and 50 electric, showers, restrooms, laundry, free WI-FI, cable and a gift shop. It is family owned and operated and they are ready to help. From booking fishing charters, bear watching trips to where to go for dinner. One block from the park is a path leading down to a beautiful sandy beach where you can take a stroll, fish from shore. This is by far a must stop.
Tonight's view from the bluff
Today we drove down to Ninilchik to watch the charter boats leave and return at the boat launch. It's also a place to get some great eagle pictures. There is also an old Russian community along the river that is fun to walk through. High above the town on the bluff is an old Russian Orthodox church and cemetery. The church was closed as they are painting they outside. On our way back we stopped at the Fred Meyer store to restock our groceries. That is one busy store this time of year. After returning to the trailer and having dinner we spent the evening setting on the bluff watching the sunset.
The last few days have been a mixture of taking rides and working. We drove over to the Kasilof River to check out the dip netting of Red Salmon just to get an idea of what we have to look forward to here in the coming weeks. Does the word "ZOO" give you a picture. The work camping is going well and we are working at an awesome place for great people. We have talked with some wonderful people from all over the world. Many from our home state and even one from our home town. Sue even visited with one lady who has been following our blog. We work tomorrow then are off for 3 days. The park is getting busier everyday.
If there are any Arizona Wildcat fans following our page, this is for you. We found this gill net fishing boat at the Ninilchik small boat harbor.
Today was our first of three days off. We drove down to Anchor Point. It is on the Hi Way between Soldotna and Homer. It's a small community and most folks drive right through. Today we decided to see what it has to offer. We found 6 state parks in and around the area. Stariski is located down on the inlet beach. While we did see a few large trailers down there, it's another place i'll leave for some one else. The views are great there though. Then in Anchor point on the Anchor river there are 5 parks and a boat launch. 2 of the camp grounds are restricted to 21 ft, the other 3 have no restricted length. You will be dry camping. At the boat launch you can watch the charter boats being launched by tractors, or take a charter for salmon and halibut. We stopped by the Family restaurant in town and had a very good launch. To be the crowds of Homer this would be a good stop over and still be close enough to take in sights of it. We did see several eagles and was lucky enough get this picture today. And then there is the road repair going on between Happy Valley and Anchor Point at this time. So be prepared for some delays.
It's been a quite last few days for us. We had our turn to work at the park and spent our time enjoying talking with the quests. A caravan of 23 units came to stay for a few nights so the park was close to being full. The stories they shared of the places they had seen were fun to hear. We have said that being part of a caravan was not for us, but after listening to them, we just could be wrong. We have managed to hit the Moose is Loose bakery a few times and one night we went to Louie's restaurant for dinner. Great places to visit while in the area. Yesterday we drove up to Anchorage to be with the grandchildren. It was also our daughter in law's birthday and she wanted fish for dinner so we fixed beer battered Halibut for everybody. Dip net season starts tomorrow so this place will be hopping from what everybody says. We have met a nice young couple who are camped next to us. They are commercial fishers and are here for the Red Salmon gill net season. We have felt bad for them as boat problems have haunted him from the start. Just the other night they had to be towed back in after another breakdown. But he's back on the water again today. While we have yet to see whales, people are starting to report sightings just off the bluff. We are seeing more sighting of eagles and otters though. We spotted two eagles enjoying the view of the camp ground and it's guests as people flocked to the bluff to take their pictures.
Today we took a ride back to Homer to check out old town and on to the Spit for dinner. We had heard about the Two Sisters Bakery and wanted to see it for ourselves. It's a great little place for coffee and a treat or even lunch. While driving around we also found the The Old Inlet book store and Thai restaurant. While we did not eat there, the menu was enticing. We traveled on down to the Spit where we had hoped to grab a sandwich and a drink at the Salty Dawg Saloon but they do not serve food. So it was on to the Harbor Grill. The food is very good and the staff is friendly. Then it was back to Kenai to watch the sunset.
Old Inlet Bookstore and Restaurant.
We woke up with an un expected guest on the beach. This ship is beached just below the bluff of the RV Resort. It has become the main attraction this morning.
The beach at the mouth of the Kenai River days before dip netting starts. This picture was taken on July 8th, 2 days before the netting season opened. As you can see by the prior post, the beach gets a little crowded for the three weeks the season is open. And the numbers of Sockeye Salmon that are harvested has to be in the thousands.
Well the excitement of watching the dip net fishing is winding down. The season closes Friday. There are still some who are trying to catch the limits but most have left and put their nets up for another season. Now they will move on to their rods and reels to chase the Silver Salmon runs or prepare of the start of hunting season. Mean time back at home all is not quite. Yesterday as we where getting ready to go down to the cabana for a work camp cook out. At 6:30 the ground started rumbling and we experienced a 6.3 earthquake. It's center was just across the inlet around Mount Redoubt. We where in the fifth wheel and it shook pretty good. Up in the RV parks gift shop some items where knocked to the floor, the building, a 2 story log structure creaked and groaned. After it was over and talking with some who have lived here over 40 years, they say it was the biggest quake they have felt. But everybody is fine and we just add the experience to our adventure. Life is good.
Our work camping partners Kathy and Randy are from Texas. Randy is an avid fisherman and I have been spending time sockeye fishing on the Kenai river with him. While most days Randy catches his 3 fish limit every once in awhile a fish finds its way to my line and into the net. Nothing like fresh fish for dinner.
On Thursday Sue and I took a Chinook ( King Salmon ) fishing trip on the Kenai river with a local guide used by Beluga Lookout. Book and Hook charters. We spent the morning, 6am till noon along with two women from Anchorage chasing one of those prize trophy King's you read about. Fishing was slow and not many guides where having luck finding fish. But our guide Dave was not going home empty handed on this beautiful sunny day. He worked to holes on the river hard. We would float down a section of water and then head back up stream and float it again with him saying all a long the fish are in here. Debbie, one of the ladies from Anchorage was the first to hook a fish, a nice 55lb male king. Once it was landed and in the boat, Dave turned around and raced back to float over that hole again. I will say at this time with all excitement on the boat with her fighting the fish, I was surprised just how far we had traveled down stream before the fish was in the boat. Once we got to a place above the hole Dave turned the boat around and we started drifting down stream again. This time I hooked into a fish, a 42lb King female. Our Guide tried one more trip down the river with no luck and our day on the river came to and end. Thanks BOOK and HOOK, thanks Dave for such a memorable day of fishing. FISH ON