Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 24, 2014 - Lu Lu Belle Cruise, Valdez, Alaska

The Lu Lu Belle

Lots of sea otters, but this one posed well!

Anderson Falls

A seiner fishing for salmon.  They use two boats to draw the net into a circle to catch the fish.

The catch!

The Lu Lu Belle makes a brownie delivery via a fish net!  Later I enjoyed kneeling there at the point of the bow to watch the whales.

This humpback put on quite a show.

We are going to sneak in here.....

A puffin!

Getting to the Columbia Glacier.  Lots of ice including big 'chunks'.  When we left the area, the tide was coming in so all the ice was quite a sight.

We even saw some minor calving!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 24-25–Let’s find some pavement to Fairbanks!

One more day of dirt and narrow road!

This tree beside the road in the middle of nowhere has a few Christmas decorations on it!

Quite a gold digging operation right next to the road.  There was more equipment, a motorhome, a portable toilet, etc.  All the white is water pressure washing the rocks.

We stopped in Chicken for lunch and had some interesting discussions with other travelers.

We found the place we had spent the night in 2012.  That time there were swans there, but this time it was ducks.  I saw a couple ducklings so grabbed the camera and opened the door.  All six were swimming away from mama and she was giving them what for!  They found their places.

We drove in rain today – lots of rain at times.  We are now parked in Fairbanks at WalMart along with many others!  It really is quite convenient for all that needs to be done.  Also nice to have Internet again – Verizon didn’t work up here two years ago.  The blog is now caught up so it is time to move on to all the other chores!

After over 1200 miles of gravel in 16 days, I have had enough gravel for awhile.  LeRoy is going to drive the Dalton Highway (the Haul Road).  We did the tour two years ago, and I just can’t bring myself to do that one again.  I will head toward Anchorage.  Missed Talkeetna last trip and I see a boat ride there that looks fun.  Maybe a zip line.

Thanks for coming along on the ride so far!

June 23–We made it to Eagle, Alaska

A little more rain overnight, but another nice day.  We arrived in Eagle and pulled up to the Visitor Information which turned out to be the library which wouldn’t open until 5 p.m.!  However, they had Wi-Fi available outside.

Eagle sits on the banks of the Yukon River.  I didn’t know until I read a few days ago that this town had been flooded in May,  2009.  When I mentioned it to LeRoy, he remembered seeing a television show about it.  Then it came back to me because I had seen it as well.  I was hoping they would have displays and maybe the video of the show, but there was nothing like that.  When the ice broke up on the Yukon, the town was flooded.  As I was looking for more information, I found they also flooded in May, 2013!  Yet they are still building near the river.
We walked to the river before going to the museum which is in the old courthouse and where the town tour begins.

The post office and do you notice how the satellite nearly points at the ground? 

This Bed and Breakfast sits well below the high water mark of the 2009 flood.  It sits behind the signs.


A little park dedicated to Roald Amundsen, a polar explorer who visited here in 1905.

A couple told us they had taken the morning tour, it was very informative and lasted 2 1/2 hours.  Unfortunately, a tour group of Canadians had signed up for an abbreviated tour so that’s what we got.  They were kind enough to give us a ride on their bus to the fort which was a few blocks away though. 

Judge Wickersham’s courthouse and courtroom which was upstairs.  He was a Federal judge and we have run across his name in other towns.  They had quite a nice museum, but we didn’t have much time plus they didn’t want to turn the lights on.

A beaded mitten on a squirrel coat with beaver cuffs.

Next we are off to Fort Egbert.

No mine claim markers like this in Arizona!

This is the well house.  In Alaska people often have white tanks in the bed of their truck for hauling water.  In Eagle, you come here to get your water.

I later realized we never did see whatever they call their downtown!

Rain is once again in the forecast and I’d like to be off this dirt road!  We are pulled over in a gravel pit where there are several moose tracks.  Again, one can only hope.

June 21 and 22–Top of the World Highway

Saturday - We woke to rain and poor visibility so we will stay put.  It is so nice not to be on a schedule.  First, I want to see the scenery from this road and second, I have no desire to drive in the rain and mud.  A light sprinkle is nice as it keeps the dust down.  I am surprised at the number of vehicles going by – so far many motorcycles and RVs.  At 11 a.m. the temperature is 44 degrees.

Sunday –On the road again!  We traveled the Top of the World west to east 2 years ago.  Sure seems to me that east to west is more scenic on the north side of the road.  The road was quite good until we reached Alaska.  After that were 12 miles of rocky construction.

Poor cabin!

Alaska!!  On to cheaper prices, no more metric and phone service!!
Why I like my truck camper!

At a junction the road goes to Chicken and Tok one way or to Eagle the other. 

Another dirt/gravel road but this one is winding and narrow.  It started out very nice, but it got rougher and narrower!  Large RVs are not recommended but a Class A with toad went by.  There is one section that I just wanted to get through because there was no place to pull over for oncoming traffic! 

The bridge over the 40 Mile River.  We have seen many bridges with these wooden decks.

Just pretty.

I bought some liquor and a 6-pack of beer yesterday and then realized that was probably more than I was allowed coming into the U.S.  I handed the beer off to LeRoy.  After U.S. Customs, he told me the lady liked his choice of beer – it is from the Yukon Brewery in Whitehorse!  She didn’t ask me if I had liquor!  They didn’t ask me going into Canada either.  Totally out of place but a story from our trip to the Grand Canyon in May.  We were in a cafeteria, took our tray with both meals and a beer on it to pay.  The male cashier looked at me and asked if I was sure I didn’t want something to drink.  Had to tell him that beer was mine!