Thursday, June 30, 2011

Matanuska Valley, Alaska

Moose Along Tok To Glenallen Hwy Moose Along Tok To Glenallen Hwy
Thursday: (06/30) Cottage Cheese and fresh pineapple for breakfast. Almost immediately after we pulled onto the highway we had to slow to watch a moose cross the road. Later before the Glenallen Junction we had to stop to watch a mother moose and baby moose cross the highway in front of us. Lunch was a chimichunga from the market in Glenallen.

Nelchina River Campground
We stopped for me to take a nap in an abandoned campground by the Nelchina River. Nice place but too early in the day to stop for the night.

Mantanaska Glacier Mantanaska Glacier
We stopped to view the Matanuska Glacier. There's a nice trail that gives some nice views of the glacier. Leftover spaghetti and toast for dinner.

Campsite By Mantanask River Campsite By Mantanask River
We stopped for the night a mm95 on the Glen Highway with a nice view of the Mantanuska River.
(GPS:61.7961588, -147.975365)

Friday: (07/01) Leftover French toast and Mom's cinnamon roll with sausage for breakfast.

Coal Washer Ruins At Alpine Historic Park In Sutton Alaska Alpine Historic Park In Sutton Alaska
We stopped in Sutton and looked at Alpine Historic Park and learned all about the coal mining in the area. Above are pictures of some concrete ruins of a coal washing facility and some coal mining equipment at the Alpine historic Park in Sutton.

Palmer Alaska
We continued on down to Palmer and had clam chowder for lunch at Fred Meyer's. Visited a Farmers market and bought some local cheese. Took a look at a University of Alaska arboretum, currently a lot with some trees and bushes that was used 80+ years ago to test what would grow here. Palmer is in the heart of Alaska's agricultural area where cabbages get to be over 100 pounds. The fair is held here in late August and we may try to return to see it. We're heading into Anchorage Sunday but will try to stay outside for Saturday. Not sure how the holiday weekend aggravates the probable difficulty in finding a place to stay around Anchorage. Lou fixed stir fry vegetables for dinner.

Campsite At mm1.6 On Old Genn Hwy Near palmer Alaska
We stopped for the night along Old Glen Highway at mm1.6 about 16 miles South of Palmer, Alaska in a nice pullout by a lake full of water lilies.

Pond At mm1.6 On Old Genn Hwy Near Palmer Alaska Flowwr At mm1.6 On Old Genn Hwy Near Palmer Alaska
A pond with lilies and some flowers next to our campsite.
(GPS:61.47229259, -149.22356952)
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicken Alaska

Wednesday: (06/29) Cereal for breakfast. Left Walker Fork CG at 0740. It was less than 20 miles to Chicken where we stopped to look around and enjoyed an excellent cinnamon roll at the cafe. The dredge that the moved into town is in the best condition we've seen. of course it's much newer and is on a steel hull. Looks the same as the originals. We stopped at the Fairplay mountain outlook and had to repair a flappy compartment door. Not actually a door but a cover over our holding tank. We stopped at the Tok Visitor Center and loaded up on Alaska travel info. Also got gas. Much nicer prices here as opposed to in Canada. About 20 miles out the Tok Cutoff we had to stop to watch a couple of moose. We spent the night at mm65.5
(GPS:62.734655, -143.83269645)

Chicken Alaska Chicken Alaska
The big chicken of Chicken. The dredge at Chicken.

Cinnamon Roll From Chicken Alaska Cafe Chicken Alaska
Excellent cinnamon rolls at Chicken. Main Street Chicken
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Walker Creek BLM Campground And Eagle, Alaska

Monday: (06/27) Made our way across the ferry with no problems and a short wait. Highway 9, the Top Of The World Highway in Canada, was supposedly a paved road to the border but over 40 miles was gravel in process of repaving. All in all a very good road though. When we crossed the border the road got much narrower and lots more potholes. Not too much going on along the way. The border crossing was painless and quick. We had chili sizes at the Top Of The Top Of The World Highway, a pullout at the highest point on the road giving a great view of the whole area. We stopped at the Walker Fork campground,a BLM campground just past Boundary Spur junction with the Taylor Highway. Lou fixed steak, cauliflower and spaghetti squash for dinner.
(GPS:64.07884249, -141.63699684)

View Near Border On Top Of The World Highway West Of Dawson City View Near Border On Top Of The World Highway West Of Dawson City
Looking down at the RV from the highest point on the Top Of The World Highway. Lou and I standing at that highest point on the highway with the US border crossing just behind us.

Flower By Top Of The World Highway Near Border Flower By Top Of The World Highway Near Border
Flowers by the Top Of the World Highway.

Flower By Top Of The World Highway Near Border Welcome To Alaska Sin On Top Of  The Highway
More flowers. Lou and I by the Welcome to Alaska Sign.

Walker Fork BLM Campground
Our campsite at Walker Fork CG.

Tuesday: (06/28) Granola, yogurt and honey for breakfast. We were off by 9am toward Eagle, AK. It's North to the end of the Taylor Highway by the Yukon River. It started to rain as we left and then turned to heavy rain. The road turned to slick mud almost immediately. That got worse after we turned off toward Eagle at the Boundary Spur junction. At some places the mud was 6 inches deep. Good time to have four wheel drive. There were three locations on the road where crews were working on the road, usually quite narrow and muddy locations. Most of the way out was less that 25mph. As we got closer to Eagle, the road improved and rain reduced. It was about 85 miles from our campsite up to Eagle. It mostly nice as we explored the town and Fort Egbert. Lunch was bologna and cheese sandwiches. The flowers at the fort and along the road out were very nice. We left town about 5pm. The road was much nicer on our return. We were able to go 40 mph or more most of the way back. About 2 miles before we were back to the Boundry Spur junction it started to rain extremely heavily. More like a deluge. The rain was so heavy that the mud on the road was bouncing up a foot off the road. That continued most of the way back to our campsite and had occasional hail as well. One nice thing about the heavy rain was that most of the thick mud that had coated the jeep was washed off. I fixed spaghetti for dinner.
(GPS:64.07884249, -141.63699684)

Flower Along Taylor Highway To Eagle Flower Along Taylor Highway To Eagle
Flowers on the road to Eagle.

Taylor Highway To Eagle Gravestone At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska
The road to Eagle. A grave stone at the Ft Egbert cemetery.

Wild Strawberry At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska Flowers At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska
Wild strawberries were all over the field at Fort Egbert. They were only 1/4 inch in size when ripe. There were also lot of flowers in the field.

Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska Canon At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska
The barn at the fort and a canon to remind us it was a fort. The barn was a little different in that it also had a dog barn lean-to along the left hidden side.

Flowers At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska Flowers At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska
The trail out to the hospital ruins and some flowers along the path.

Hospital Ruins At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska Eagle Alaska
The hospital ruins and Eagle city hall on the right.

Eagle Alaska Butterfly At Ft Egbert In Eagle Alaska
Some kayakers departing to continue down river toward the sea, another 1000 or so miles. They started at Whitehorse. Above right is a black and white butterfly.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Dawson City

Friday: (06/24) Lou made open faced eggs and bologna on English muffins for breakfast.

Dawson City Hardware Store Dawson City Motorcycle Convention
We drove downtown and took a walk around. Not too much of a town. Of course we visited the local hardware store. We always have to take a look. There were a lot of motorcycles in town today. Looks like a convention.

Dawson City Free Ferry Dawson City Not Cheap Ferry
A couple of ferries on the Yukon River. The one on the left above is the free ferry that we'll take out of town when we leave toward Alaska. The one on the right above is a charter taking a miner up to his camp. A truck and trailer house were loaded on the charter ferry. We understand that it cost the gold miner $17,000 for his ride up river to the gold fields. The ferry was also carrying 50000 gallons of diesel fuel for him as well. Not a hobby for the meek.

Dawson City butterflies Dawson City Ferry Ride
Butterflies near the arctic? We took a walk-on ride on the ferry  we'll be crossing the Yukon River on when we leave. It is a big river. We returned to camp to relax from our days efforts. Lou did the laundry while I looked at a couple of things on the RV.

Diamond Tooth Gertie And her Girls Dawson City Motorcycle Rodeo
We returned downtown to watch a couple of the Diamond Tooth Gertie' shows at her casino. Excellent show. Above left are Diamond Tooth Gertie and her girls. At the same time outside, the motorcycle group was having a cycle rodeo.

Dawson City Midnight Sun Dawson City From Dome Mountain At midnight
We topped the evening with a drive up to Dome Mountain for a look at Dawson City from way up high. Above left the midnight sun above Dawson City. Above right is a view of Dawson City at the same time.  It was only 11:30 pm but the sun was still high in the sky.
(GPS: 64.04087092, -139.40557558)

(06/25) Another sunny morning. Most of the mud is gone now. Oatmeal for breakfast.

Claim 33 Old Equipment Claim 33 Old Truck
We drove out to the gold fields. Above is some old mining equipment seen at Claim 33 on the gold fields road.

Dredge No 4 View Of El Dorado Creek Gold Fields
We visited Dredge #4 and the Original Claim Site. On the right above is an aerial view of the El Dorado Creek gold field. Hard to believe that a couple of feet below this green surface the ground is continuously frozen. We took the entire 60 mile loop through the fields. Lunch was cheese sandwiches. The clouds were gone most of the day and it was nice and warm all day. Dinner was leftover spaghetti and a green salad. Lou BBQ'd some ribs for latter use. I worked on recent photos. About 7pm we had a deluge and it rained well all evening.
(GPS: 64.04087092, -139.40557558)

Dawson City RV Park Flower On Gold Fields Road
Sunday: (06/26) Another sunny morning our storm is gone. Lou's beef stew for breakfast. Apples and peanut butter for lunch. Above left our campsite in Dawson City RV Park. I do like the nice flowers along the roads.

Dawson City Museum Dawson City Museum
We visited the Dawson City Museum today. It's located in the old provincial legislature building built back when Dawson was the main town in the Yukon. The circuit court is still using part of the building. Above left the docent demonstrate gold panning and sluicing.  The Dawson City Museum mannequins faces and hands were molded from real local people (above right).

Dawson City Museum
They have four locomotives that used to be working on a railroad that ran from Dawson City to Grande Forks. Much of that railroad ran through the area we drove yesterday. Above is the smallest one of the locomotives.

We stopped in and visited the Robert Service cabin and the recreation of Jack London's cabin. It started pouring ran while visiting the cabins. Before we returned home we did a little grocery shopping but that was delayed during a power outage likely cause by a lightening strike. Power was restored to the store after about 15 minutes. As we drove past the power company yard going home I heard the diesel generator running. It didn't look big enough to handle the entire town. That proved to be the case and we found we were without power at the RV park, which didn't matter too much to us but did cause us to not be able to fill up with gas as we had planned. We relaxed at home and watched the rain and some TV. We plan on pulling out tomorrow so need to get gas in both vehicles before we leave. About 7pm we took the ferry over to West Dawson and checked out the Provincial campground there, quite nice. We also drove out to Top Of The World Golf Course. Considering the weather here its a great looking golf course. You should even be able to play a midnight round?

Dawson City View From West Of The River
We stopped for a view of Dawson City from the West bank on the way home.

We returned to town and caught the 8:30 show at Gertie's then returned home. The power had returned sometime after we entered Gertie's and got home because we heard the generator when we went in. We returned for the midnight show at Gertie's. It is different. Rock and Roll was the theme and it was a little naughtier, but nice. This casino is probably the best and friendliest casino we've visited. It's run and owned by the community

Monday: (06/27). A not raining morning. We packed to leave and headed on down to the ferry.
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