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July 7th, 2014 | in Friends, Scenic | Leave a comment

You might have seen the other post with the animals and such, well this one is totally dedicated to the fire that we almost literally ran into. As we were stopped at one of the overviews, Mark N. noticed that there was some smoke “over yonder”.

 

Sure enough, it was smoke and not just a funny cloud. We continued on our plan but kept a wary eye on that smoke that was getting darker the closer we got to it.

 

Since it was a long drive up to the Arctic Circle, we decided to pass by the fire and hope that it didn’t cause any issues on our way home. We find out later that 5 minutes after we passed the fire (it was close to the road), they closed the road!  We were happy in our ignorance up toasting our arrival with a small glass of beer Winking smile

 

We head back to the only stopping point where you can get food, gas, etc which is just south of the circle. We have a little dinner (not very good Sad smile ) and then start to listen to the others talking about the fire.

 

We ask the questions about is the road open, can we get thru, etc. We are told, no, the road is closed and will probably be closed until morning. Luckily (for them), there also happens to be a hotel that we could stay at. We decide since it never gets dark, we will take our chances and head down the road to the fire line to see what we can learn first hand. It’s only 1 hour away from the hotel, so if we can’t get thru, we aren’t out too much.

 

We get to where they actually have the road closed (even though they have a sign at the hotel) and chat with the gentleman watching & turning people around. We don’t see anything but white smoke at this time so we start asking questions. He told us he would check to see if someone could take us thru the fire using a pilot car. The answer is yes, but it would be a little over 1 hour before that happens.

 

You have to remember, they do not fight the fire, it has to go out on it’s own. Luckily for us, while we were enjoying our beer at the circle, a storm had come over where the fire was burning with lots of cold rain & hail really dampening the fire. So when we went down the road, there were only a few hot spots to contend with. We could have done it on our own, even walked it, it was that clear but it was nice that they let us thru and we could continue on our way.

 

So that is the story and I am sticking to it! and now for the pictures that you all have been waiting for Winking smile

 

 

That’s all she wrote for the day, it was a long one but a great drive! ~ Kim

I wanted to get a picture at the arctic circle and this seemed like a great time to do it. Mark N mentioned that there should be lots of animal sightings along the way too, so bonus!  Mark decided he would go up with us so off we go.

 

We leave the campground at 8:00am (early for Mark) with a smile and Jim driving. I brought along a bottle of beer that I have been saving from South Dakota that I wanted Mark to try, so this seemed like a great event to toast once we get to the circle.

 

The scenery is spectacular, we get to see quite a bit of critters: moose, fox, black bear and waterfowl. We did get an additional bonus, a tundra fire! That will come in a different blog post.

 

It ended up being a really long day, but I would definitely do it again. Leave at 8am and return to the RV at 12:30am… but the company in the car made it that more special.

 

Here are the pics I want to share!

 

 

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our toast!

 

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The beginning of the hwy

 

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our first moose sighting and he was a LONG way away!

 

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another shot right before he went into the brush

 

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two cow moose were found at Two Moose Lake, who would’a thunk?

 

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running to catch up with her friend

 

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couple of guys that were riding the gravel road all the way to Inuvik! They were on an adventure.

 

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black bear that was on the road

 

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glacial ice on one of the lakes

 

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just love the various blue colors in the ice, it gets so thick

 

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the two buddies by the lake

 

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heading into the brush

 

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One of the foxes that we saw

 

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here is the other, they were so cute!

 

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lots of iron in the dirt, made everything red

 

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The back window just wouldn’t stay clean

 

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where there is smoke, there is usually fire (more to come)

 

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the dirt/mud is so fine, it looks like a new paint job

 

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it’s official! we made it to the circle

 

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all three of us

 

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the beer that we toasted with

 

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you can see why the back window wouldn’t stay clean Winking smile

 

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every where you looked, it was just beautiful

 

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and we had an almost full moon, so get a neat landscape picture with it

 

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the almost setting sun on two moose lake

 

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the color in the sky once we finally make it home

 

like I said, it was a long but glorious day. It will always have a special place in my Alaska trip memories ~ Kim

June 25th, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

The next stop was a one-nighter, they sure make a lot of stops here! Actually, it’s very refreshing to move slow and take your time. In our “normal” traveling, depending on where we are going and why, we would travel up to 350 a day or 6 hours…

 

So far, I think our longest day has just been over 200 miles or 4 miles (while in the RV). There isn’t a lot of road, but we are still in the Yukon. There is more road here (Yukon) than in Alaska, but not by much Winking smile

 

It was just Mark N. and us, so we worked hard. We did a little hike along Moose Creek (with the mosquitoes) looking for what else, moose, but no sightings. Only their scat.

 

After the hike, Mark needed to make room in his freezer for his Salmon or Halibut, so he shared some homemade turkey stew with us, I had some excellent sourdough bread, so we added that.  For dessert, what else! S’mores! it did rain on us, but we were done for the day so that was good. It also helped to put out the fire. Smokey the bear would have been proud.

 

So, here are some photos to remember the drive & stop by:

 

Moose Creek 06-08-2014 (1)

the boys chowing down

 

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Mark’s wonderful stew & the sourdough bread

 

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Moi roasting my marshmallows for my s’mores

 

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perfect finished product!

 

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view along the drive to Moose Creek

 

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wild roses

 

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stairs to the river and no, we didn’t go down, it would have taken us ALL DAY to get back up Winking smile

 

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This guy was just walking against the traffic, pulling a wheelchair with all of his “stuff”, whatever that might be

 

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Moose Creek Lodge – they serve breakfast, lunch & dinner and there are rooms too!

 

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mosquitoes outside the lodge

 

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another scene in front of the lodge

 

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on our hike

 

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the only critter we came across… and he was mad!

 

another great, easy travel day ~ Kim

June 18th, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

We left Skagway a little after 4:00pm to drive to Carcross. We get to go across customs once more into Canada. We are going to stay at a local RV park that was free since they had not gotten it ready for the season yet. No hook-ups, but nice place, nice sites. We get up early in the morning to check out the cute town before we continue our journey to Whitehorse and then slowly work our way to Dawson City.

 

The bakery in Carcross had really yummy stuff, we got a couple of cinnamon buns (mine with raisins, Jim’s with almonds & peaches). We also go a huge loaf of sourdough bread and I enjoyed that a LOT.

 

I didn’t get away without buying myself a little souvenir, a laser worked metal wall hanging of a wolf’s head. I am going to be doing a lot of decorating in the beer room with Alaska stuff Smile

 

Here are a few of the pictures taken that morning before we continued the days journey to our next stop…

 

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They decorated all of these buildings in totem style abstracts and are just gorgeous

 

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They are café’s, souvenirs, visitor centers and other types of merchandise

 

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back side

 

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This was a church that was established in 1904. I wanted to get the only view of the snow capped mountains in the picture

 

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Totem figures

 

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this way to the bakery!

 

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the shop where I bought my metal art. He has some really great stuff

 

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the general store, I bought a t-shirt here too Smile with tongue out

 

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who knew there was a small desert in Carcross? a really good sized sand dune

 

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Emerald Lake. The color was awesome and the green rings were really pretty.

 

We are now on the road to Whitehorse for a night or two…

 

stay on the right side of the road ~ Kim

June 18th, 2014 | in Photography, Scenic | Leave a comment

The day proved just perfect! Some clouds, warmer, not much breeze, great day to be out on the water. I had already decided I wanted to do this trip and there was only 1 day during our stay to do it and today was the day! Mark N and Jon/Sue decided to take the trip also.

 

Fjord Express to Juneau

 

The dad/owner/Glen and daughter Libby were our crew and you could not ask for a better one! We got a continental breakfast (huge healthy blueberry muffin, juice, coffee), had lunch in Juneau and then dinner on the boat was some really great Salmon chowder & multi-grain roll. Just enough to keep you very happy.

 

Glen knew the route, he does it all the time. From Skagway, you head over to Haines to either drop off or pick up (it is a ferry service after all) and then it’s on down to Juneau. Depending on how much wildlife you see on the way down, you get about 1 hour or a little more in Juneau to look around old town/eat then they pick you back up for a trip to Mendenhall Glacier.

 

We saw eagles, humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, black bear, and deer. We were hoping for orcas but that didn’t happen. All the humpies were worth the trip! There were parts of the trip where the water (Lynn Canal) was just like glass, perfect for reflection picture taking Winking smile

 

I would recommend this trip to any and all, it is definitely in our top 5 things so far this trip!

 

Here is a little picture journey of our day.

 

 

 

until the next time ~ Kim

June 17th, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

We love Skagway!!! Even though we got to (almost) sleep thru a 5.8 earthquake (see earlier post). That was exciting Smile

 

Our drive into Skagway was interesting, many of the other Loosey Goosey group didn’t want to do it, they were scared of the roads, long ascents & descents and on top of it, there was a 12kim of gravel… We took it slow and easy and it was a piece of cake. Worth the drive, we had great weather and the scenery was amazing. It was so different than anything we had seen before.

 

It was also about going thru customs (again) since we were leaving British Columbia, Canada into Alaska (for 4 days). It was smooth sailing heading in.

 

We got our bearings, checked out a couple of sights, went down to the marina where the cruise ships come in and decided on what we wanted to do for the other days. Mark N & Sue/Jon Glick were joining us for the next day, so we had a full day to play and then it was a boat ride (next blog post) and a train ride (the next post after that). 

 

So here are the pictures to go along with the drive day and our first full day in Skagway…

 

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Happy Toes as we leave Teslin, BC

 

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reflections along the hwy

 

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more reflections

 

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our critter for the drive, a porcupine

 

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the mountains were just beautiful as we drove

 

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More mountains

 

As we were driving, we saw that there was a suspension bridge that crossed a river (can’t remember the name). I decided it was a kodak moment so we stopped. You couldn’t even LOOK at the bridge unless you paid $18 can for each adult. Oh well, we are on an adventure…

 

 

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Jim applying to be a Canadian Mountie

 

 

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It was cold and windy, Jim wasn’t so excited. This is as far as he would go.

 

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I on the other hand, wanted to cross but Jim wouldn’t let me. He wanted back in the nice warm RV.

 

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around the top of the pass to Skagway, it was a frozen world up there still

 

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Lots of ice on small lakes, snow & clouds but we were lucky, we could see it all. It was all clouded in the next day for the other 2 rigs to come in.

 

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small waterfalls everywhere

 

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it’s official, we are in Alaska, turn on the cell phone, quick!

 

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it’s always interesting to see what over achievers want to do. This bike rider was going up the long incline

 

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another waterfall

 

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our RV pulled over (it was a Kodak moment) so I took a picture of it too

 

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more intrepid riders, they were on the “older” side. More power to ‘em!

 

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Skagway harbor

 

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only one cruise ship in on Sunday

 

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some store shop fronts

 

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Jim & Mark N. in front of Skagway Brewing Co. to do a little beer tasting!

 

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totem poles on the side of a shop

 

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the beer list, the Spruce Tip Blonde is what they are known for and the most sold. I liked the IPA the best Winking smile

 

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Our tasting samples, in the order as the board above

 

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More store fronts

 

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we had dinner at the brewery the following day, the food was excellent!!!

 

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more store fronts, but what is important here is the quilt shop! it was awesome

 

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the lilacs were in bloom

 

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I asked them if they could do Salmon fish & chips (they only had halibut on the menu). They did just for me!!! and they were AWESOME!

 

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this is Mark’s burger, he could barely get his mouth around it, but he managed

 

 

We also drove up the old Dyea road to see if we could find the beginning of the Chilkoot Trail. This is the trail that the gold miners had to trudge up to get to Dawson City from Skagway. The whole story is amazing, so many didn’t make it and once they got there, most of them found that all the gold claims were already gone.

 

 

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Dave/Lois checking out some reading panels along the way

 

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The view from the panels; the miners would ferry up the river when the tide was high

 

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Part of the Klondike Gold Rush Nat’l Historic Park

 

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whimsical stop along the drive

 

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looking at the RV park from up on the cliffs

 

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looking down towards the harbor, lots more cruise ships today

 

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I think the cutest of the tourist transportation in Skagway

 

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The Gold Miners cemetery… locals and miners that didn’t make it were buried here.

 

So far, so great Smile 

 

on to the next adventure!  Kim

June 14th, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

We headed onto Teslin, 1 day behind the bigger group and we won’t see them again until either Fairbanks or Denali. That’s why it is called Loosey Goosey Smile We do want we want, when we want to! Our plan is to stay one night here.

 

We stay at a campground on the lake, they have a decent restaurant and a great souvenir store along with a small museum with really well done stuffed animals. Jim and wandered thru there for awhile.

 

Again, we did get to see a few animals along the way, but the scenery is getting better again (not that is was every bad…).

 

Jim and I have never traveled like this before, we usually put in a full day of driving (up to 6 hours) and then stay awhile. These stops are usually less than 200 miles apart so we get there much earlier and have time to do stuff during the day.

 

Here are the photo memories from this drive & stop:

 

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we have NO idea what this guy was doing, he was just walking down the hwy with a card full of his stuff

 

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watch for Caribou! (but we never saw any)

 

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another brown black bear

 

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here he is a little closer

 

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there was this rock graffiti all along the drive, any blank dirt shoulder had some type of writing in it using rocks

 

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another brown black bear, seem to be prevalent along this route (brown ones that is)

 

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we just keep trucking down the road

 

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the mountains are full of snow

 

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You go where the road takes you

 

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one of many of the types of stops along this part of the Alcan…

 

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Jim, can I keep him?

 

Nice break, but it’s time to continue on down the road ~ Kim

June 14th, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

We left Liard for our next stop, Watson Lake. This was a great drive, pretty but also LOTS OF CRITTERS Smile That is one of my favorite things (if you haven’t figured that out already). Jim and I are always on the look-out for animals along the way, we were not disappointed.

 

I would take pictures thru the windows, open the windows and take more pictures, rush from the front seat to the side seat (depending on which side of the road they were on) and Jim would so gracefully (most of the time) stop so that they were not blurry. Well, some are just because I am not the best photographer in the world Winking smile 

 

The other big claim to fame is that Watson Lake has the Sign Forest! LOTS of people put up signs of who they are, where they are from, or whatever crosses their fancy. The Loosey Goosey group put up a joint sign that included our names, so we are all good.

 

Jim and I also did a drive up the Campbell Hwy to see if we could find some critters along there. We did, so it was worth the drive, especially since we got to see our first Red Fox.

 

This was also a great opportunity to catch up on laundry, I posted a few things on Facebook, we went across the street to the Northern Lights Theatre and watch a short film on someone taking pictures of Northern Lights (which we will not see on this trip unless we stay into Sept. and then it will still be iffy).

 

Here are the pictures along the way…

 

 

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“brown” black bear

 

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lovely views as we drive, pictures don’t do it justice

 

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we look for black blobs, and hope it is a bear, in this case it is

 

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young eagle I believe

 

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black bear

 

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saw LOTS of Woods Bison

 

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Doe a Deer

 

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single guy

 

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saw LOTS of different black bears

 

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and they loved the dandelions!

 

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They knew we were coming…

 

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sign forest

 

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official entry

 

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Mark showing off the sign he had made for the group

 

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our turn to get our picture under the sign (it’s the red-ish sign 2nd from top)

 

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those that were there, got into the group picture

 

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heading down a new hwy (in the car this time)

 

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there was a float plane service on the lake

 

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a Loon…

 

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oh look, another black bear in the dandelions

 

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purple flowers (lupine)

 

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Red Fox

 

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just checking on what we are doing (he has a mouse in his mouth!)

 

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Sun going down at the RV park, but not truly down for a few more hours close around midnight.

 

 

We spent 2 nights here, just enough to get done what we wanted to get done Smile

 

Stay Loose and see you down the road ~ Kim

June 3rd, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

Our next stop is for 2 nights in a provincial park. No hook-ups with generator hours from 9:00 – 11:00am and then 6:00 – 8:00pm. It was enough, but made for instant coffee in the morning since our espresso machine needs the generator Smile

 

It is a pretty park, well run and the best part are the hot springs! This was where many of the men would bath every night (or how often they really did…) while building the Alcan Hwy during the 40’s.

 

Now, it has a wonderful boardwalk, changing rooms, steps into the pool and even seats under the water!  Near the source, the water is about 103-104 degrees and cools down the further you get away and then down into the lower pool.

 

We enjoyed our stay here, took advantage of the pools, went looking for more critters (only saw them on the drive to the stop) and drove up to Smith River Falls. They were pretty but sad looking too since the surrounding area had been hit by fire a few years back and the trees have not grown back yet.

 

So here are a few memories from the drive and the stay at Liard.

 

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caribou

 

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Wood Bison

 

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our rig and my personal moose’s Smile

 

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Smith River Falls

 

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wildflowers along the boardwalk to springs

 

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main pool of the hot springs

 

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Jim relaxing on a bench in the pool

 

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Jim heading towards the source

 

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woodpecker

 

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squirrel

 

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another black bear Smile

 

It was hard to leave, but we must continue on. I got 4 skeeter bites while in the pool, didn’t know it until a few days later when one of them started to itch! oh well, they are fine now…

 

I would definitely suggest a stay here if you ever take the trek to Alaska!

 

Kim

June 3rd, 2014 | in RV'ing Lifestyle, Scenic | Leave a comment

Our next stop was Muncho Lake. Wow, what a pretty lake but mostly still frozen over. If the wind came across it and hit you, it was like 10 degrees colder than the surrounding air. BRRRRR.

 

Jim and I decided to stay at an RV park; the Northern Lights RV Park, just down the road from where the rest were at Strawberry Flats Provincial Park. I wanted a long shower, eat breakfast at the restaurant, and do other chores. We did drive back to the other park for happy hour, couldn’t bypass that!

 

This was just a one night stay, very pretty, but the best part was ALL THE CRITTERS! along the drive Smile

 

So here are a few pictures of critters, the lake and other meaningless but necessary memories Winking smile

 

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bear jumping small creek

 

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frozen lake

 

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mama bear and 2 cubs

 

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another black bear (saw lots of bears)

 

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Stone sheep

 

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porcupine crossing the road

 

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up, up and away goes the sheep

 

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Jim and the RV (way back there)… I made him walk back up to the bridge where I got pics of 2 moose

 

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This is another moose we saw!

 

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Muncho Lake reflections

 

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more Muncho Lake reflections

 

(did I tell you that I like to take reflection pictures?)

 

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Mark pointing out moose scat by his campsite on the lake at Strawberry Flats

 

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Late sun (around 9:30/10:00pm) reflections

 

I forgot to mention, the further north we go, the later the sunset! I think so far the worst has been around 10:30/11:00 but still some light and the sunrise is around 2:30am/3:00… You may not see many pics from that since I probably won’t be up!

 

It was a great layover, the drive was awesome, due to the critter count. Next stop, Liard Hot Springs. ~ Kim