Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dickuidiot-Alaska-2 of 4

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationary

(06/26/20-10) We are leaving Campground Services , Watson Lake , Yukon  for   Trails of  '98 campground, White Horse,Yukon. We got off to an early start because we have 279 miles to cover and it is not all smooth driving. June drove the first part of the trip, and I'll tell you this, she did not use the exhaust brake one time. She was not taking any chances of  blowing the exhaust valve off the manifold again. It was a perfect day for driving. There were quite a few miles of bumpy gravel road, but these were the new rebuilt roads . They just need grading and paving. The only animals that we saw was a lone dog with a collar. Got to camp without any problems. People are checking with us to see what kind of problems we had crossing Steam Boat Mountain. Grant and Barbara have caught up with us now. After supper we were picked up by bus and taken to town to a 1940's Canteen Show which was very good.  We need to get up early tomorrow morning for an all day city tour of White Horse. The problem is that the sun sets so late in the day, that you have to go to bed in the daylight. It is 15 minutes to mid-night right now as I write this and the sky is pink where the sun has just gone down. ( The month of June averages 18 hours of sunshine a day).

>(6/27/97) We are scheduled to board a bus for a tour of the White Horse area. This park where we are staying has a Restaurant that serves sour dough pancakes for breakfast, so we had to have breakfast there. They were very good. We boarded our bus and toured the city of White Horse. White Horse got its name back in the gold rush days when the miners thought  that the water over the rapids on the Yukon River looked like
the "manes" of white horses. We stopped at the S.S.KLONDIKE II  for a tour of the old stern paddle wheel River Boat. The original  S.S.KLONDIKE I  sank after it rammed a rock in the river. All of the equipment and superstructure was salvaged. They built a new hull , added the equipment and superstructure to it. The S.S.KLONDIKE II was
born. It was moved through town and set up on land beside the Yukon River.We visited a hot springs close by, Then we had a nice box lunch picnic at a nice quiet park. After that we looked at two mile canyon and drove through an Animal Reserve, plenty of  video taken. This evening we were all bused down to The "Fantastic Follies" show, and that was pretty good.

(6/29/97) We got up early to leave for a ride on the M.V.Schwatka on the Yukon River. The trip from the dam up river through the canyon narrows and back was scenic and interesting. The trip was narrated by the pilot (owner) and by cassette tape that was turned on at the proper time for the area that we were going through. We were back at the RV Park at noon  and we went over to the transportation
musuem at the air port. The museum was pretty nice, Canadian history of planes , cars and dog sleds. There were several rooms with a VCR playing historical information. We spent the entire afternoon there. The airport has the largest weather vane we have ever seen. An old DC-3 plane was mounted on a pedstal and it rotates with the wind direction via a transmitter from a gyrosystem.

( 6/30/97) We are leaving Trails of '98' Campground, White Horse,Yukon -  For  -  Kluane Wilderness Village, Kluane,Yukon .   This was a very un-eventful road trip to the campground in Kluane,Yukon. We talked to a couple traveling with the Good  Sams Club Tours. They are going to the same campground as we are tomorrow in Tok. Nice people . The Lancasters' arrived around 8:00 pm in a rented Class C motorhome. Their motorhome needed a part to be flown in from the manufacturer. They have their 13 year old grandson Jeff with them and this trip is for him.(All this happened in White Horse).

>(7/1/97) We are leaving Kluane Wilderness Village, Kluane, Yukon  -  for  -  Tok,Alaska. We will be crossing a time zone so we set our time back one hour. One version, the name Tok is derived from the Athabascan word for "peaceful crossing." The U.S. Geological Survey notes that the name "Tok River" was in use for the nearby river around 1901, and the Athabascan name of "Tokai" had been reported for the same river by Lt. Allen in 1887
June allowed me to start the driving today. She wouldn't say why, but I suspect it might be because we will be crossing the border into Alaska & through  customs. She was driving when we crossed over into Canada  coming up. She decided that she would help Customs by explaining everything we had. I don't think that they cared for her help too much because they pulled us aside for a full search. We had to unlock every thing and stand back.The rest of the drive was on paved roads as soon as we hit the US. Quite a change from dirt roads. We  checked in and parked.  We are traveling again tomorrow morning so we didn't un-hook . They shuttled us up to a salmon bake for dinner, choice of salmon, haliburt or BBQ ribs (the haliburt was great!).We got ourselves down to Burnt Paw for a dog sled show, which was free and it was pretty darn good. They put on a demonstration with a sled on wheels and three dogs.  We went to bed tired. We travel again tomorrow.

>(7/2/97) We are leaving Tok RV Village, Tok, Alaska   -  For  -  Rivers Edge RV Park, Fairbanks, Alaska     We were not in too much of a hurry to get started as we only had
214 miles to travel ( about 5 hours) and we can not check in until after 2:00 pm. Grant wanted to get his RV springs greased and he had an 8:00 am appointment. He called on his CB and said that he was going to be late and would catch up with us, so we left camp at a slow pace with June driving . So far we have had a nice , quiet drive. We stopped at Rika's Roadhouse & Historical Buildings for lunch. Dick took over driving.They put us in a very narrow site with two trees. We had to put the slide-out, almost against a tree in order to get the rear end out of the road. The bushes around the steps were thorny and we had to trim them back to keep from getting scratched.The wagon master apologized for the bad choice of sites for our 36ft RV and said that he would be more
selective in the future. We never had any more problems.  After dinner we asked the owner  for directions to the airport. They are simple, turn right and drive until you arrive at the airport. We drove all the way in to where the plane unloads to make sure we will be able to pick up our daughter. Jaye, tonight. We returned to our RV to wait until 12:15 pm. At 12:15 we left for the airport. The plane finally arrived and we picked up Jaye and her luggage. Then  back to the RV and to bed

(7/3/97) We had to get up in the morning at 6:00 am to get ready for our bus tour of the city of Fairbanks, which is pretty well spread out. Only one-four story building, mostly
two stories or less. After the city tour, which was interesting , we stopped at the El Dorado Gold Mine for lessons on the methods of mining gold

After being fully instructed in the way to pan gold. We were all given a small "poke" of gold bearing earth and taken to an area set up with a big container of water with benches around it so we could pan t5he gold out of our poke.You can keep all of the gold that you pan. We all found some very,very flakes of gold. They check your for you, weigh it and give you the dollar value of the gold which isn't much. Jaye,  June and I put all of ours together. It weighed 15 grams, with a dollar value of $30.00. They will sell you a bracelet with a center compartment that shows the gold flecks.( The store is the real gold mine here). Next we went to the museum at the University of Alaska. The museum was very interesting and we could have spent much more time there then was allowed. From there we returned to our campground.We planned on going to bed early. We have to get up at 4:30 am for our trip to the Arctic Circle tomorrow morning at 6:00 am  (extra side trip).

(7/4/97) Today our goal is to ride 8 1/2 hours in a bus to the arctic Circle, stand in front of an arctic circle sign, have our picture taken, get back into the bus and ride 8 1/2 back to the campground....My advice is to take  an airplane or helicopter trip.You will enjoy it much more (unless you are afraid of flying).....P.S. You couldn't drag me on that bus again!

>(7/5/97) Today is mostly a free day,  until 5:50 pm when we meet for our special evening cruise aboard the Stern-Wheeler "Discovery". Jaye is all excited about being in Alaska and wants to see it 11 days, so we will do what we can to make her happy. We boarded a bus to take us down to "Discovery" for our evening cruise. The cruise was very nice and entertaining. They stopped at : Susan Butcher's " home. Her assistant gave a talk on dog sleds and on sled dogs. Susan Butcher has won the grueling 1,100 mile "Iditarod" dog sled race from Anchorage to Nome four times. The assistant's talk was very interesting. Next, we stopped at the "Chena Indian  Village". The Village was set up for the visitors and it was divided into several  sections. They showed how Indians lived, constructed their homes, made cloth, took care of their animals and much more. I had forgotten to bring the video camera and was I sorry. This cruise has been fantastic so far. Now back to the campground for a good nights sleep.

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