|Internet OK right now - here's another!
Time to hit the road. It was mid to upper 20s overnight again. Heavy frost these past several mornings. We hooked up, spent some time with Dave before leaving, then fueled up and dumped at Chevron (free with fill-up) and headed east on the Alaska Highway. It was a beautiful day to travel. Repairs (shoddy but mostly adequate) have been made on the Alaska side and, the Yukon side, which was actually better in May, is now the worst section of road. I think that not all of the frost was out when we drove over it the first time. We drove about 150 miles to the Discovery Yukon RV Park between Beaver Creek and Burwash Landing. This is a NICE little campground. They have some great animal mounts in the office and a collection of old WWII military vehicles and equipment (among other things) that were used during the War to build the Highway. Prices are fair, full hook ups, the power is good and sites are nice. Thanks to Randy and Kathy for the recommendation!
We are very grateful to our wonderful hosts, Sue and Dave. They always make us feel right at home, serve up some great Alaskan food and are just fun to be with. They are special people. We are hoping they make the trek outside this winter and visit us in Arizona where we can return the hospitality. Our stay was made even better by being able to spend time with our very good Vermont friends, Janice, John and Brad. Enjoy the rest of your time in AK and with your daughter Ole Pard.
Another great travel day starting with cool temps and a breeze. It was another beautiful drive with fall colors (various hues of tans, browns, oranges, reds and grays) mixed with the greens and fresh snow on the mountains. The fireweed has shed its flowers but has varying shades of red leaves and pink tops offsetting the remaining clinging cotton. We stopped at the visitor center at the south end of Kluane Lake (one of, if not the largest, in the Yukon). One of the main attractions here are the Dall sheep on (what else?) sheep mtn. A quick count through field glasses found 68 of the critters lounging up there. I’m sure there were more. Kluane is losing water. The glacial streams that fed it are now flowing in a different direction. Oxygen levels are down along with the water. Hopefully they will find a way to revive it. It is a huge and beautiful lake. We did about 200 miles today, turning south at Haines Jct (premium unleaded gas $6.20 Cdn/Imperial gallon) stopping at Million Dollar Falls Yukon CG on the Haines Highway. The Falls are quite impressive especially since this is late August. The CG is about a mile off the highway and very quiet. As with other Yukon CGs it is $12 Cdn with picnic tables, fire pits and free firewood. We kept getting up last night to hopefully see the Aurora but no luck, so relatively early to bed tonight.
An easy run of around 90 miles into Haines under blue skies. It was cool – mid 30s. The road had been blocked by landslides but we had been told that it was now open (no Internet to confirm). This is one beautiful drive with the Chugach Mountains on the west, wide mountain valleys, lakes, glaciers and scenic vistas galore. We have travelled in both directions and agree that it is better going south. We passed through the US Customs with no problem and along the Chilkat River, famous for its National Eagle Preserve. We hit 16 mpg (from Tok) after the long downhill grade into Haines, our best towing mileage yet. We are staying at the Chilkoot State Rec Site for the next two nights, adjacent to Chilkoot Lake and river by that name. We are in the spruces so we will be running the generator while here. Salmon run up the river from Lynn Canal (deepest in N America), so this is bear heaven for area brown bears. Ginger saw her first one in the wild at the river counting weir today. We visited the Haines Brewery. The Spruce Tip Ale was good and quite interesting. John – it has a very slight raspberry finish – with NO fruit added, LOL! The stouts (especially the Lookout) were good as well. You can only get their beer in Haines. The owner was telling us all about the new $5 million Skagway brewery which uses waste heat from the brewing process for heating domestic hot water and a hydroponics growing system – very interesting. Reg unleaded gas in Haines is $3.89.