We left the Hinton-Jasper KOA at 8:45 (Mountain Time) on Sunday, June 26th with Acey’s mileage at 86,762.4 and Thor’s 104,555. We did not have time to Zoom with our Sunday School class, or worship with Stephens Valley Church via You Tube. We have several one-nighters coming, and more scenic driving as well!
We passed CST Coal – CST Canada Coal Limited – it appeared they are mining and processing coal here.
At 2:20 we were welcomed back to British Columbia and a time zone change to Pacific Time.
We arrived at the Mile “0” Campground in Dawson City, BC at 1:45. Our group went out for dinner at a China Buffet and then visited the Alaska Highway Sign in Dawson Creek. It was 6:45 and still plenty of daylight – the sun sets around 10pm!
We left Dawson Creek at 8:35 am on June 27 — Acey’s mileage 87,046.0, Thor’s 104,560. The road was in good shape – making for an easy drive.
As we crossed this bridge, it appears that some type of liquid might be being conveyed across the river in a pipeline.
We caught up with two other RVs traveling in our caravan
We had seen a few bicyclists in Alberta but were quite surprised to see these two on the Alaska Highway – with signs indicating they rode from Florida and are going to Alaska! We had seen a bear a while back, and wondered where these two stay overnight…
Much of this highway is a straight line for miles and miles!
We saw another single bicyclist going the other direction!
We arrived at Triple G Campground in Fort Nelson, BC at 3:15. This campground offers a free dinner to caravanners, so it was nice not to have to fix dinner tonight – and their buffet was delicious! After dinner, Chriss took Ladybug out for a walk.
On June 28, we headed out, leaving Fort Nelson at 8:25 with Acey’s mileage 87,326.8 and Thor’s 104,562. A beautiful clear day to drive the Alaska Highway, but we ran into several areas where we had to slow down for construction.
Road construction is done a bit differently than we ae used to seeing in the US! We followed a pilot truck for one way traffic.
We followed this truckload of culverts for miles and miles – no place to pass!
Caution – sheep
Oh deer! (Please ignore the smudge from the windshield)
…and more sheep!
This caribou posed nicely for us!
We pulled off the road to make lunch just before we drove beside Muncho Lake
We finally saw some bison –quite a variety of wildlife today!
We arrived at Laird Hotsprings Lodge RV Park just after 2pm for our overnight stay.
We got hooked up to water and electric and headed across the highway to soak in the Liard River Hotsprings! As we walked on the boardwalk to go soak, we saw a moose!!
Bob & Joyce came to see the hotsprings but didn’t go in
One side of the “pool” was much hotter than the other side – we liked the hot side!
After our soak, we walked up the boardwalk by the “pool” to see what was there…
We like squirrels!
We ended the day with a delicious fajita dinner!
June 29 we left Liard River, BC at 8:20 in the morning with Acey’s mileage at 87,515.2 and Thor’s 104,562. It’s a shorter drive today – just 129 miles – and nice scenery again! And we saw a bear!
and a few minutes later – a single bicyclist perhaps heading to Alaska
Then, an hour into our drive, we came upon a large herd of bison!
About a half hour later, we were in the Yukon Territory
The road was curvier today, and we actually passed back into British Columbia and then back into Yukon!
We stopped to look at the 60th Parallel display. Alaska is our only state that goes north of the 60th Parallel.
We arrived at Tags Watson Lake RV Park, Watson Lake, YT at 11:40. We can now add Yukon to our Canada map!
We got set up and unhooked Thor to go find a place that sells Canadian SIM cards and a grocery store to get milk. After we made lunch, we found Wi-Fi at the Visitor Center to activate the SIM card for Linda’s phone to be able to call, text and use data while we are in Canada. Apparently with Consumer Cellular we do not have service in Canada, even tho we use AT&T. Linda was able to post the second part of the Jasper Blog and hopes to get the next blog out when we have access to Wi-Fi again! (Our StarLink does not work this far north) We walked over to check out the “Sign Post Forest” just across from the RV Park.
Back at the park, it was dog walking time!
We were kind of packed into this RV Park(ing lot) like sardines – with 3 RVs NOT in our group!
June 30, we left Watson Lake, Yukon Territory at 8:15 with Acey’s mileage at 87,644.4 and Thor’s at 104,565. We WERE to head to Teslin today (161 miles), but we got word that the campground that we were to stay at overnight has been flooded, so we are heading to Whitehorse (259 miles) but we will have a 3 night stay!
The road was curvy, winding thru the hills and mountains.
Was this guy WALKING to Alaska?!
We saw more bicyclists today – most were heading south.
We arrived at Hi-Country RV Park in Whitehorse at 1:45. The spaces are very tight among the trees, and we have 20amp service and water – no sewer. It about took a shoehorn to get Acey parked!
We had dinner at the Sternwheeler – here we are checking the menu! The food was delicious!
Friday we had a “day off” and did some maintenance chores, grocery shopping and we found an indoor bug zapper, more bug repellant and also some mosquito netting for our heads! The mosquitoes are eating Linda alive… we did some laundry and tried to go for a bike ride. We found the bikes need some tuning and cleaning, so we didn’t get far – only 5 miles today. Then went out to Polarity Brewing for dinner and beer with our new friends, Kimberly, Lee, Bob and Joyce.
Saturday July 2 was a busy day! Our itinerary started out with a breakfast in Whitehorse at Ricky’s All Day Grill, then a drive to Caribou Trading Post to see the Wildlife Museum, Husky Village and Alaskan Petting Zoo, followed by a BBQ lunch and then to see the S.S. Klondike Sternwheeler Historic Site! A full day!
While we were having breakfast, our wagonmaster got word of some good news/bad news – a 20-foot section of the Alaska Highway washed out about 6pm on Friday – about 50-60 km south of Watson Lake – the good news is that we drove to Watson Lake on Wednesday; the bad news is second caravan (with the same company we hooked up with) is five days behind us and are stuck, along with others heading North to Alaska. They are remaining in Dawson Creek for now – until they figure out what to do – where to go. We have been thinking about the bicyclists we have seen – and what they will do?! Here are some photos of the area that washed out.
Caribou Crossing Trading Post was our next stop.
Jerry tries to spray that pesky skeeter!
Inside, there was a display about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This quilt celebrating 150 years of service, having been formed on May 23,1873. It displays the Canadian flag, the badge of the RCMP and a Mountie in the traditional uniform.
This is the Mounties’ current attire.
There was a display of the provisions that each person was required to take with them to the Yukon to prospect for gold. “A ton of goods”
“Each man entering Canada is required to bring enough provisions to last one year”
We watched a short film about the gold rush and what a monumental feat it would be to carry all those provisions up over the pass! The “stampeders” were highly motivated, hoping to strike it rich! The Mounties were there to enforce the “ton of goods” policy.
There were lots of animals displayed in the Wildlife Museum
Animal skulls – compare the sizes of these heads! L-R wolf, black bear, Polar bear, Grizzly bear
Mule Deer – antlers shown below – Mule Deer – Whitetail Deer – Blacktail Deer
After seeing so many mounted animals, we went outside to see live animals! Huskies!
A little information about huskies!
ARE WE SMALLER THAN YOU EXPECTED?
Husky puppies napping in the shade!
Here’s an Iditarod sled
Shetland ponies? This guy got up so we could see him!
On our way to have our BBQ lunch and found more interesting things !
A HUGE piece of jade!
We left Caribou Crossing Trading Post and drove on to Carcross. Pretty wildflowers along the road.
and a pretty lake with a nice view!
At the Carcross Visitor Center we ran into some of our crew having ice cream!
There were a few shops at the Visitor Center – this piece of artwork was on display
We saw more Totem poles as we drove down the highway
And another beautiful lake!
We met back up with our caravanners to learn about the SS Klondike sternwheeler.
Our tour guide, Carolyn, told us about life on the Klondike and showed us photos since we couldn’t tour the ship inside. The SS Klondike was the largest Canadian sternwheeler – built to haul ore and freight on the Yukon River.
The pilot house is way up top, as expected…
It took a lot of lumber to keep the fires going to make steam to power the ship.
Thru the window we could see into the cargo hold and the boiler was just inside, with some logs ready to stoke the fire!
These are bags of galena on a dock – more $$ was actually made on galena than gold!
The Klondike carried the Royal Mail – but could only run a few months of the year.
Carolyn explained that the crew and passengers all ate the same meals, but were served in different areas of the ship.
This is actually the Klondike 2 – our tour guide told us about how the first SS Klondike hit a sandbar and ran aground in June 1936.
The company salvaged the ship’s boiler, engines and many parts to build SS Klondike 2 which sailed in May 1937. The Klondike 2 was converted to cruise service for 2 seasons in the 1950’s. She opened as a national historic site in 1981. It was moved down the street using lots of heavy equipment!
They are doing restoration work on the ship, so its hard to see the paddlewheel.
The lowest deck was the cargo hold – we saw a lifeboat by looking in the window, and a part of the engine room!
A winch installed on the bow was used to pull the Klondike upriver,
This ship is 210 feet long, plus the paddlewheel and only has a 40inch draft, and no keel!
There is also a barge being restored – the Klondike pushed many barges on the river in her time!
The Yukon River flows NORTH!
We carpooled with Lee and Kimberly today and decided it was time for some beer! We stopped in at Yukon Brewing
They had only a few tables, and all were taken – or “saved” for friends – and the brewery only will serve if you are at a table… so we bought a few cans to enjoy later. We went on to Winterlong and had a pint or 2 there.
We headed back to the RV Park and got ready for our move in the morning. Jim put our bikes inside Acey since we anticipate a dusty drive tomorrow.
An early start on July 3, we pulled out of our site at 7:45, went to the dump station, then hooked up Thor and headed out of Hi Country RV Park at 8:15. Acey’s mileage was 87,913.4, Thor’s 104,583 and we now have 2065.3 miles on our bicycles. We stopped for fuel and by 8:30 we were on our way to Dawson City – our last stop before Alaska. We were unable to Zoom with our Sunday School class again today since that would occur at 7:30 Pacific time, and we have a six hour drive, not including stopping for lunch and construction delays. We were grateful for another clear day for driving!
We saw more bicyclists today!
and one more bicycle!
On Highway 2, we had four construction zones to drive thru. Here we are waiting behind 2 fellow caravanners – and the pilot is just arriving to take us thru one zone.
Finally, we were welcomed to Dawson City!
We arrived at Dawson City RV Park at 3:45 – for a 2 night stay. Thor and Acey were covered in mud and dirt. We did not have any window damage – but some of our fellow travelers did. It appears no one lost any hubcaps! Jim washed the windows and headlights before we got photos!
Acey needs a bath too!
We got settled in and went out for dinner to Sourdough Joe’s with Bob and Joyce. The menu had a couple of stories about Joe and Dawson City.
There was a statue across the street, so we went to take a look at it – Tribute to the Miner
Some of the storefront facade of Dawson City – very colorful.
The dirt “scar” on the hillside has a story on a beat-up sign – and a name – Moosehide Slide
Monday was July 4 – not a holiday in Canada! Jim helped a few folks in our caravan with some needed repairs while Linda worked on this blog. After lunch, we went to look around Dawson City. It was quite warm today – sunny and in the 80’s! After we parked Thor, this building caught our attention – closed today – rats!
Some fun t-shirts we saw at a shop…
if it wasn’t available only in BLACK, we would have bought this one!
Another sternwheeler was in Dawson City – the SS Keno – perched on the bank of the Yukon River
We went to the Dawson City Visitor Center and saw a map of Beringia – it was mentioned at the Caribou Crossing Museum, but we hadn’t ever heard of it.
Here’s more info…
We watched a few films about the history of Dawson City. The Gold Rush brought folks here – and some folks stayed around! We walked around the town – the storefronts and hotels were colorful and looked sort of from the “Old West” – well except for the vehicles out front!
Pretty flowers around town
On our way back to the RV Park, a Wooly Mammoth as on the side of the road!
In the evening, our group headed out for dinner and a show at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall!
The stage was set – we were ready to be entertained!
The drummer and piano player got things started
Several of our folks waited in line to order dinner
Soon the curtain went up for the show – well it ALMOST went up – sort of
Gertie came out on stage and sang to us!
The dancers had several costume changes
It was a fun evening!
After the show, the guys went up for a pic with the gals.
Then it was the ladies’ turn!
Some GOOD NEWS!!! An UPDATE JULY 4 : The Alaska Highway has reopened. The highway is now open to single-lane traffic near Contact Creek as a detour has been created.— For updates follow:drivebc.ca/mobile/pub/events/id/DBC-42803.html
July 5, we headed out of the Dawson City RV Park at 8:15 with Acey’s mileage at 88,244.2 and Thor’s at 104,593. We are leaving the park as 2 units to go to the George Black Ferry. We got to the ferry at 8:30 and got in line. The ferry will take us 1500 feet across the Yukon River – Acey is going for a boat ride! A round trip for the ferry takes about 20-25 minutes. We saw other RVs in line that were not with our group – but it appeared we were all there! We saw Bob & Joyce’s RV was just getting off the ferry on the other side of the Yukon when we got in line. And they left the campground just after 6am! Kimberly got a photo of their voyage.
The rest of us waited in line to cross.
Linda went over with Thor on the front of the ferry! Very few cars were in line at 8:45. She stayed on the other side and took photos and watched others as they crossed.
The line was long – it will be a while until Acey will cross – see yellow arrow!
Lee & Kimberly were the next of our group to cross, boarding the ferry at 9:50
They drove off the ferry at 10:00
Next came Andrew, Jerry & Carol
Andrew is across, getting off at 10:18
Jerry and Carol were on the same ferry and got off at 10:20
Paul and his son Austin, and Chriss were the next of our group to cross at 11:12
With their 2 motorhomes, they had the ferry to themselves
Linda had to cross back over to visit Acey (no restrooms on the other side!) and saw Sherri and Barry board the ferry at 11:53
There were 2 paddleboarders heading down the river with their gear!
At 12:15, Linda rode the ferry back over when Morris & Keron, so Jim took some photos of their voyage!
Finally, at 1:00 Acey boarded the ferry for her river cruise. She shared the ferry with the motorhome Jim had been waiting behind since 8:30. Who knew it would be such a long wait!
Fred & Betty crossed and then Ryan taking up the caboose position – no photos. At 1:20, we hooked up Thor and bid adieu to Dawson City.
The pavement ended and we stopped a few miles down the road at a rest area to make a quick lunch. We were back on the Top Of The World Highway again by 2:00.
Up and down we go – around curves and raising lots of dust as we drove along.
We saw a moose by the highway, but when it saw the big contraption headed its way – off it ran! No photo! Soon afterward we saw 2 caribou and got a quick pic of one before it ran off!
We arrived at the US border and had no problem going through Customs – We are now on Alaska Time – we lost an hour!
The Poker Creek entry is the “Most northerly land border port in the USA” – elevation 4127 feet.
And we made it to Alaska!
We really ARE on “Top of the World”!
At 3:00. we had a very short period of driving into snow in July!
We arrived at Chicken Gold RV Park at 4:15 and added Alaska to our map. We also added Hawaii – we have been there 3 times and added a “disclaimer” – Acey will not be going there! She had a “river cruise” today, but won’t be crossing the ocean to Hawaii!
Here in Chicken, we have 20 amp electric – no water and no sewer. The power comes from a generator, the water is trucked in – and the gas station around the corner claims to have the ONLY flush toilet in Chicken! They are OFF THE GRID for sure! We have a 2 night stay here.
Water is quite precious here! Never see this before in a shower house!
A big chicken perched on the hill with signs posted for places with a chicken-themed name! (“Distance – As the chicken flies”)
Thor was a MESS! It’s a good thing Jim took the bikes off the back – even if it is inconvenient to have them inside Acey,
Austin was out walking his dog Ruby
After a long harrowing day of driving the Top Of The World Highway, our group gathered for dinner – Pizza!
Wednesday July 6, we did some cleaning – it was a dusty road yesterday and Acey needed some attention inside! After lunch, we did some gold panning.
After that, we toured the dredge that was on site – The Pedro Creek Dredge was used near Fairbanks from 1938-1958 and then disassembled and moved to Chicken – reassembled and dredged here 1959-1967, producing about 58,000 ounces of gold! The dredge was moved to its current location in 1998 and is listed as a National Historic Site in 2006. Read all about it here!
We went up to see the thriving metropolis of downtown Chicken! There is a gas station, a Mercantile Emporium, a liquor store, a saloon, a Café, and free camping (if there is room!)
The primitive restrooms were called the “Chicken Poop”
The neighboring campground also had some chickens.
Ryan fixed a spaghetti dinner – delicious!
Thursday we head to Tok and perhaps some internet service! It was interesting being “off the grid” for 2+ days!