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Old 07-10-2012, 07:40 PM   #41
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Wow, what a terrific trip! Thanks for taking your time to update us. Enjoy your travels and stay safe.

Deb
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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike._ John Muir
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:53 PM   #42
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Day 13 extra--
The people you meet on the road can be as interesting as the scenery. We learned that from a quarter-century of motorcycle touring, where nearly every time we stopped someone would wander over and talk about the years they rode. Now we find ourselves in the same position. I just returned from greeting a couple from California who took the last open space this evening. I of course had to establish my biker credentials by talking about touring. Trouble is, it makes me a bit nostalgic. That feeling goes away quickly when it's raining, or windy, or there are 10 miles of chipseal dust to fight.
On our way here yesterday we played leapfrog along the road with two other fellow travelers who were interesting to talk to. The first was a Fairbanks man who was towing a full-keel sailboat, a Flicka, from Washington state back to Alaska. He had driven to somewhere on Puget Sound, bought the boat, sailed it from the San Juan Islands in the Sound to a place where it could be lifted out and put on its trailer. As a long-time sailor myself, we chatted over lunch at a small cafe about our boats and places we'd sailed. My last sailboat of five that I've had--a 1980 Hunter 25--we sold in 1999, so any nostalgia for the sailing years has faded.
The other couple were driving what looked like a surplus European military vehicle with a squarish metal box on the back that was apparently their camper. It was about as aerodynamic as a brick wall, but they plugged along at about 45 mph. We would pass them, then stop to gawk at the scenery, then find they'd passed us again. We caught up to them at a pullout and I went up to talk. They were having temperature gauge problems but were pretty sure they could take care of them. Meanwhile I saw that on the side of the big box was a world map and the legend, "Ton and Anneke on Tour." It was clear they weren't from around these parts. They said they're from the Netherlands and that their vehicle is some kind of Volkswagen truck. I asked if they had a blog or a website, and if so would they mind if I mentioned them in my trip log. Ton gave me a card with the address www.tonenanneke.waarbenjij.nu printed on it, saying it's in Dutch. I suppose there are pictures of their travels there, although because they were busy making a repair we didn't talk long enough for me to ask. I also forgot to grab the camera and take a photo.
The mix of languages we hear daily is an enjoyable part of the trip too. Besides French and English, of course, we've heard lots of German, some Eastern Indian, smatterings of what I took to be Arabic, an Eskimo dialect or two, and in one case Spanish. It's a big wide wonderful world with a glorious mix of people in it.
Finally, for any of the History Channel's "Ice Road Truckers" fans out there, we've noticed that some of the semis we've met carried the Carlile Trucking logo on the side. We couldn't tell whether the drivers were any of those on the series. We'd like to meet Alex. It's probably that show that caused Courty to want to drive up the Dempster as a side trip. Gosh. 500 miles of gravel each way. I'm so excited.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #43
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Great write up and pictures! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #44
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Steer clear of Glacier Bay National Park. 5.5 mile landslide.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:33 PM   #45
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[QUOTE="D-mo"]thanks for this ... hoping to do a big trip like this ourselves in the spring .. going south instead of north. drive safe and enjoy our country .. and yours.

d-mo


D-mo- are you heading to Florida or Mexico?
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #46
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Days 14 - 15 - 16
F=(2C - .2C)+32. That's my formula for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit in my head. All that 9/5 C+32 stuff is hard to do in your head, so I've been using this variation I, and probably millions of others, worked out. Try it; let me know if it doesn't work for you.
Things've been far too interesting the last three days and I've been too tired to log anything. Today, after a 3km hike to an abandoned Gold Rush-age stopping point outside modern-day Whitehorse, I'm ready to catch up.
First, if you're planning on using The Milepost as your road guide for your own Yukon or Alaska trip, there are a few corrections you'll need. At least three places that might have been critical fueling sites have closed since our 2012 issue of The Milepost was printed. If interested, PM me when we return and I'll tell you about them.
Our stay at Strawberry Flats was enjoyable and we went to bed the second night having decided we'd stay a third night, but we woke up Wednesday morning ready to press on. The roads continued to be mostly excellent and immensely scenic, though the chipseal patches were plentiful. We stopped at Liard River Hot Springs so Courty could soak a bit (hot springs aren't my thing). We recommend that you plan to stop there if you travel this way, but don't plan to camp there. The mosquitoes are thick and hungry and evidently radio-dispatched, for they descend on you in squadrons as soon as you step on the boardwalk from the parking lot to the pool. It was breezy, which helped dispel the sulfurous smell a bit.
The road from there to Watson Creek gets better as the chipsealing places thin out. Along the way we saw brown bears, black bears, wild horses, and several herds of Woodland Bison in the right of way. None were actually on the road as we traveled through, but many were close enough we thought it prudent to slow down when passing. One black bear was close enough that the slipstream from the semi ahead of us bowled him over and he rolled down the ditch. It's been wetter and cooler than usual this year and the berries the bears depend on are scarce, so they're fortifying their diet by moving into settled areas. The radio today told of a Whitehorse break-in perpetrated by a bear, who then menaced an RCMP officer and was killed. Don't mess with bears OR the RCMP.
The Cassiar mountain range we were passing through is beautiful; every curve and hilltop provides a new gasp of awe at the rugged beauty of the countryside.
Gas at Contact Creek was the cheapest we'd bought in days; ask the locals for current recommendations.
We were planning to stop for the night at Watson Creek but got there early enough that we decided to go a bit farther, and drove on to Rancheria, which isn't a town at all, but a motel, gas station, restaurant and RV park. Wi-Fi and showers were advertised, but what we got were the Dogpatch versions of them. Wi-fi is only available in the restaurant, and for showers they let us use a bathroom in one of the many empty motel rooms. Even though the laughingly labeled "RV park" was less than cheery, it was paradise next to the motel room. Does the name "Bates Motel" conjure any images? Then you get the idea.
After a forgettable night whose only bright feature was a chance to upload a portion of the log to the Forum, we went on toward Whitehorse. We've been seeing lots of bikers along the way, so be prepared to share the road with lots of bikes, both motorized and non-motorized varieties. Give bicyclists a full lane when passing, and don't crowd up behind motorcycles. Both kinds of bikers need a little room to make a mistake without getting killed for it.
Teslin, on Lake Teslin, is a picturesque sight as you wind down from the heights into the town. They provide a convenient pullout with signage just before you cross what I think is the longest bridge on the highway. It's a great photo op. At Teslin, another relatively cheap gas stop is at the Yukon Motel, where they give people with campers a 4-cent/litre discount on gas. Staff is friendly there, too, they asked me to say. Next to the motel is a museum, which we passed up only to find out later we should have visited, but we were hot to go on about 3 miles up the road to the Tlingit Cultural Heritage Centre. This is a good place to stop, plenty of room for parking, a nice new timber building, and quite sophisticated displays and video presentations. If you stop, ask to have Arent (rhymes with Erin) show you around. This social-worker-to-be is a member of the Tlingit First Nation and a knowledgeable and personable young woman. Visit the gift shop to buy some Bug Dope Soap, a homemade local concoction of ingredients that you can use to wash yourself or your dishes. Its big feature is that it repels mosquitos. We bought some--it works, and it smells nice too.
This stretch of road from Teslin to Whitehorse is mostly east-west, and straddles the BC-YT border, crossing it 7 times before deciding that it really belongs in Yukon Territory. When you cross the border the last time you're almost to Whitehorse.
Of the some 34,000 people in the Territory, around 22,000 of them live in Whitehorse. It was something to travel for days through wilderness and then find ourselves in a place with traffic jams, at least at Rush Minute. We stopped at Pioneer RV Park for our 3-day stay here. A quick setup and we went off to the weekly Farmer's Market.
The rest of our sojourn here will consist of museum and cultural centre visits and lots of discussion about whether our next stop--Dawson City, which is off the usual route to Alaska--will itself include a nearly 1000 mile side trip up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik and back. All the locals say to do it, but we've heard you want to avoid it when it's rainy and rain is in the forecast. If we go we'll try to find a place to leave the camper while we take the truck to Inuvik, which might take us 5 days round trip. If any of you've done that before, let me know how it went.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #47
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this is a fantastic trip log .. if i wasnt a member of this forum i would have this bookmarked .. thanks so much for all this info .. a great guilde to what is expected up north ... an adventure for sure.

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Old 07-14-2012, 09:25 PM   #48
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Many thanks for keeping this trip log. It's been a treat to hear about your journey.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:33 PM   #49
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[QUOTE=KristenDavid208;222309]
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-mo
D-mo- are you heading to Florida or Mexico?
Headed to Florida we'thinks .. landing in pensacola or thereabouts in march. we are in the prelimary planning stages now ... finding a nice route and good spots to stay and see.

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Old 07-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #50
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Lovin' the updates. Terrific photos, Courtenay! Such beautiful scenery.
Safe travels
Deb

ps:
@ D-mo,
I'll hijack this thread, one quick post, for a few Pensacola suggestions:

We visited this memorial park in 2003. We've never been to The Wall in DC:
Pensacola Wall South

We climbed this light house in 2011. We toured the naval aviation museum in 2003:
Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

We camped in this state park in 2011. We enjoyed the boardwalk area as well as the facilities:
Welcome to Florida State Parks
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