Monday, August 27, 2012

The Cassiar Highway

After having two parts flown in the Jeep was finally fixed. Between having colds, rainy days, and having no car as the dealer wouldn't let Joe drive it until it was fixed, we didn't do much in our week in Whitehorse. At least we had cable and internet though couldn't download pictures and so I am just now catching up on the blog. Friday, the 24th, we headed east on the Alaska Highway to the Stewart-Cassiar Highway and into British Columbia. This is a different way than we came into Alaska and we are glad we decided on this route on our way back to the lower 48. There are more beautiful views and a number of provincial parks that sit right on good sized lakes. Our first stop was Boya Lake. We managed to get a spot right on the water. The sites are well separated.

Sunrise on Boya Lake
We were there 2 nights. Although it was cloudy and still a little cool, we decided to take a little paddle. When we bought our sea eagle catamaran boat, we got a small 330 boat as well. We decided to try it out. You can sit two people and a small dog in it, which we did for our paddle, but will probably just use it as a single if we are so inclined to want to paddle separate boats. It was nice to finally get out on the water, though we hope for some sunshine and warmer weather for some future boating.

We drove on down to the next park, Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park, another beautiful lakeside campground. On the way, we saw that fall is on the way.



Above is our site which also has well separated sites. Below is our view from our sitting area.


We had some nice neighbors from Canada. The gentleman made his own wooden canoe. We would love to do that someday as the wood boats are so beautiful.

We only stayed there one night and then it was onto Stewart. The skies were blue as we left but as we made the turn onto the 40 mile road to Stewart, it became very cloudy. The drive is very scenic as we head down to the coast and the small 700 population of Stewart and the even smaller town of Hyder, Alaska with around 100 people. Yes, Alaska. This small little town that sits on the Portland Canal has its own access to the rest of Alaska by floatplanes. At one time, there was a ferry but no longer. It has a unpaved road out to Fish Creek, where bears are often seen and farther onto Salmon Glacier, where you can get right up to the glacier itself. We could only get one night at BearRiver RV Park, as some caravans were coming through and so we drove the day we got there to Fish Creek.


People are serious about getting pictures of the bears. We didn't stay long enough to see any this time. I think early morning or early evening are better times and we will try again another day.



Not sure what this was but looked interesting.

We didn't see any bears there but as we drove down the road, there was a mother and a few cubs on the side of the road. They were heading back into the bushes by the time we got the camera out but Joe got a few pictures.



The town of Stewart is cute and we stopped at one of the state liquor stores for kokonee, our favorite Canadian beer and got a few things at the small grocery store there.



Tuesday we are going to Meziadin Lake PP, which is just a mile after we get back on the Cassiar Highway. We may stay through the Labor Day weekend and so may make another trip back to Hyder. We didn't get to see the glacier yet and might try to see some more bears. We had more rain, by the way. We still haven't gone more than two days without rain or threat of rain with totally gray skies.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bye bye Alaska

We planned to get to Whitehorse by the weekend and so left our lovely campsite at Blueberry Lake on Wednesday. We headed up to Glennallen and then turned east on the Tok Cutoff, which we have not traveled on yet. We have had short drives in the Kenai Pennisula and Valdez but this will be a long day on the road and so we listened to a audio book I had downloaded onto the ipod awhile back. We got a view of the pipeline while still on the Richardson Hwy. You don't really see it that much as it is often hidden within the many trees in the area.

Below is pump station 12. The pipeline winds through 3 major mountain range.


We had an easy crossing at the Canadian border. They didn't even ask about fruit and vegetables, I had made sure we had eaten all the fruit and we even had a salad for lunch before crossing to use up some tomatoes and green pepper that I thought they would have taken. You never know what they will ask about.

We stopped for the night at Grizzly Lake Campground, a nice little commercial place. They had sites on the lake but we decided to just take one of the pull thru's as it was already late afternoon and we would be leaving early.



Savannah made a friend with a 13 week puppy already much bigger than her. It is a Great Pyrenees. The owners also had a 13 year old that was hugh. They all were off leash and Savannah and the puppy had a great time romping around.


As we continued on the Tok Cutoff, we passed a military convoy. The convoy of vintage WW11 vehicles are making a month long drive in Alaska to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway that the military played a significant part in. We were fortunate to see some of the 200 vehicles making the trip,



Our next stop was Discovery Yukon Lodging(formerly White River Crossing Trading Post and RV Park.

It was an interesting park, set among the trees with a collection of vintage heavy equipment, much of it used in constructing the Alcan. The grassy area behind the campground is an emergency landing runway and helicopters use the area as well.








A little Yukon humor below.



Friday we drove onto Whitehorse. We didn't really care for the park we stayed at last time and so this time stayed at Hi-Country RV Park just off the Alaska Highway. It is much nicer with trees separating the sites and we have a spot that parks against a forest glade. We only planned on staying one night so we could stock up on groceries. However, the jello plans come into play again. We had recently had our jeep in for the 60,000 mile service and had work done. Now there is a brake problem. Some of the time you have to push the brake down almost all the way and the brake warning light goes on. This just started happening when we went to the store. Of course it is late Friday afternoon and too late to get it into the Jeep dealer that they do have in town. They are suppose to be open on Saturday, but oh no. Joe goes over there early Saturday morning to not only find that they are closed but that they will not be open to Tuesday as it is a holiday weekend that is just in the Yukon. This is the third time in a year that we have had either MH or car problems that involved a holiday weekend. So we are here to at least Tuesday or later if a part needs to be ordered. Well at least the campground is nice as is the weather. Though, to top it off first I got a cold and then Joe did as well. So we aren't doing much while we are here. At least there is cable and so we have tv as well as internet and books to keep us entertained. Life on the road. We can't complain. We had a wonderful time in Alaska and would definitely like to go back again. We have places we would like to spend more time at and other places and things to do that we missed this time. It is an amazing place, full of beauty and grandeur.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Blueberry Hill

Actually we are on a hill at Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site, a small 15 site campground 24 miles from Valdez. This is definitely one of our favorite campgrounds, with spectacular views. It s below the summit of Thompson Pass, surrounded by mountains and meadows.



We have a nice large sitting area with the most amazing views and the weather is good as well. We will spend a few days just relaxing in our backyard, reading and enjoying the sunshine and views. I don't have anything else to say. The pictures below, all taken from our site and rest of the small campground, will tell the story.