Welcome to my photo journal.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Wasilla

Yesterday we moved down the road 60 plus miles to Wasilla. It has been grey and misty the last couple of days, we did try to go out today to do some looking around. I did catch this eagle being harassed by a mew gull on our drive, we also saw a new bird for us a golden crown sparrow so it wasn't a bad day, just not a good day for photos.We are staying at Big Bear RV, they had a BBQ for the campers last night. They furnished salmon and moose and we all brought a side dish. We had a good time hearing about what the other campers had seen and experienced on their trip so far. It's rather strange, we keep on seeing some of the same travelers at every other park or so.
We also had a special guest show up at the BBQ, Mr. Jim Palen, he knew someone here and came by to say hello and we did get our pic taken with him.
I'm hoping to get some photos of the mountains around Wasilla, but so far they have been covered with clouds. Tomorrow, we plan on driving into Anchorage and find the RV service dealer and show them the part that needs to be ordered. We know it will take at least 10 days for it to come in. So we were planning to head to Seward next but haven't made reservations any where yet.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mt McKinley up close

The day started out grey, was still grey at lunch with a blue hole in the sky so we took a ride to see if we could see Mt. McKinley from Denali State Park south view point, well we could see the peak and the sky was mostly blue now. We hurried back to Talkeetna to see if there were any seats left on a flightseeing excursion, there was in 10 minutes so we signed on.
So we flew up 10,000 ft up close to the mountains, what a wonderful sight.
I have posted a few more pics of the mountain on flickr.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A grey day

It rained most of the night and most of the day, so we couldn't see any mountains today.We went and had a really nice breakfast at the Roadhouse, I tried the sourdough hotcakes and Ken had the eggs, bacon and hashbrowns came to around $18 the hot drinks and juice were included with the breakfast.
Later, we went to a lake and took a walk in the mist we spotted our first Boreal Chickadee.
It was a nice restful day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Moved down the road

We have moved down the road about 120 miles to a little place called Talkeetna.
We had a good rain last night and you can see how pretty the clouds were on the mountains this morning as we drove. Yes, there are alot of tourists on the road! It was a good thing we made reservations for this park, as it is full, we did not realize that Talkeetna is a tourist destination. They come by the bus loads, by the train cars, which the train is right next to the RV park. We thought it sounded interesting and it is, there are a lot of lakes and rivers along the road here to check out. (Actually there are lakes and rivers everywhere in Alaska at least the part we've seen.) It is the spot to get a flight to see Mt. McKinley and land on it's glaciers and it is the place to start your trip to the top of the mountain.
We had lunch at the local brew pub, it was good. I tried a strawberry beer. There are several restaurants here that sound interesting to try, but no fast food. We visited several of the gift shops and I picked up a pair of jade earrings for myself. On Saturdays, they have a craft fair so we walked though that and visited with a local photographer and she told us about a nice lake to visit.
We are here for 3 nights and are still about 120 miles from Anchorage.

Align Center

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Exploring Denali area

We had another beautiful day to explore the area, we stopped on the Nenana River overlook which is near the town of Denali and watched the river rafters. We visited with one of the rafter workers as he was waiting for his rafts to come around to pull them out. The river is always near 32 degrees and it is down this year as the snow fall was less then usual this winter.We then had lunch at a cafe in Cantwell, a little hole in the wall place but Ken's omelet was the best he's ever had for $9 and my taco salad was OK a bit spicy for me it was $13. We're finding as expected things are a bit pricey here. Gas for the car is around $3.80 and diesel runs close to it or a little less.
Ken looked at the weather forecast for the next couple of days and I think our sunny days have ended for a while. I really hope not!!
I'm adding more photos to flickr tonight.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mt McKinley

What a long day, we took the 5:30 am bus shuttle into Denali up to Wonder Lake. The ride to the lake is 5 plus hours depending upon what wildlife is viewed on the way, the bus stops for wildlife. We got off at Wonder Lake and walked around hoping to catch the next bus but the next two were full, did get on the next one good thing too I was tired of the mosquitoes there, it has been the only place so far with them being that bad.
We then stopped at Eielson Visitor to see if we could get a less packed bus and look around the center. We did and it was a pleasant trip back, we got to our car around 6 pm.
It was a beautiful day for our trip and we can count ourselves as the lucky 20% that get to see Mt. McKinley not covered in clouds.
We saw bear, caribou, moose, dahl sheep, golden eagles and a nesting loon.
I have more photos on my flickr site of Denali Nat'l Park.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exploring Denali Nat'l Park

We are now just up the road from Denali Nat'l Park in McKinley RV, got here around 3, there was some road construction on the road here so our car got all muddy again.
Time to bring out the mosquito spray and nets, we went for a bird walk this morning in Fairbanks and couldn't look for birds for the mosquitoes.
We checked out the visitor center here at Denali, drove the 15 miles in that is allowed for private vehicles, did a little hike at the end of that 15 and on the way back saw this two along side the road near the visitor center. Momma moose and her two week old baby, she lost the twin probably to a predator the follow in the bookstore told us.
We bought our tickets for the shuttle bus to the inner park for early Wed. morning. Hope the weather is good, just like it was today.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day and Summer Solstice

Our Solstice started out with rain and the sun didn't come out till 7:30 pm.
We went down to Fairbanks Festival walked around in the light rain, enjoyed a polish and kraut, looked at the craft booths, picked up a couple of gifts and enjoyed the performances of the local dance school. They had a bit of struggle trying to dance on a wet dance floor.We had some free entertainment here at our park this evening, Charlie NcNeill a 12 yr old gave us a wonderful little concert, he is the 2010 concerto competition winner and has performed with the Fairbanks Symphony.
Tomorrow we move on done the road to Healy next to Denali Nat'l Park.
Hope all the Fathers out there enjoyed their day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Exploring Fairbanks

It was a beautiful day to explore Fairbanks. We started with Creamers Field a dairy that has become a bird refuge, we saw Sandhill Cranes, Chickadees, Savanna Sparrows, Yellow rump Warbler with a babe and a Yellow warbler. We also saw a new butterfly for us a White Admiral, I posted the photo on flickr. Then the families arrived for the Dragonfly Festival so we thought it best to move on.We went downtown and had lunch at Soapy Smiths pub and tried the local brewed beer and I had a crab burger, Ken had his usual BLT.
We visited the botanical garden, we saw a White crowned sparrow there and another Yellow rump with babe.
We went to the visitor center where they have a wonderful display about life in Alaska.
We drove out to see the pipeline and it's little visitor center and then we did a little shopping at Walmart and a couple of tourist shops.
A busy day and more tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We made it!!

We made it to Alaska!
We passed through customs at 9:30 am after spending the night in the quaint town of Beaver Creek where we joyed visiting with the other travelers, one from Marathon, Florida Keys and he gave us hints on travel in Florida.
We are now in Fairbanks, AK at River View RV, the parks are full here I called 2 others before we got a nice space here for 3 nights. The Midnight Sun Festival is this weekend and that is the reason the parks are full, that is what we were told anyway. Yes, it is still light at midnight, the sunset is about 12:45 am and sunrise is about 3 am. It doesn't get completely dark as the sun dips only 6 degrees below the horizon. We have not seen this ourselves as we are so tired we hit the sack around 10:30.
Actually, we've been having longer days for some time on our trip as the cats seem to think it's time for breakfast at 3 am, so I get up give them some and go back to bed. The Alaskan Highway ends in Delta Junction about 102 miles south of Fairbanks but we stopped and took the tourist photo of the end post. (I didn't get a photo of the Alaska border sign as there was highway construction going on there.)
We did have some rough road, from Haines Junction to 25 miles north of the border thats about over 200 miles of it.
There is some construction in several places too.
Ken had put bubble wrap on the cars windsheld and headlights to protect them but he didn't cover the little running lights and one of those got broken. We had heard some real horror stories about the road so we were lucky with only a little light broken.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Whitehorse Yukon

We are now in Whitehorse, arrived around 1 yesterday staying in Pioneer RV park for a couple of nights to rest and see the area. The park had a caravan of RV's that left at 7 this morning, sure are a lot of folks on the road with us. This park is like a parking not nice and roomy like the last one, does have cable TV, 30 amp, water and sewer. We toured this old steamboat yesterday, had a late lunch at the Capital Pub and had a locally brewed beer Yukon Red. It's brewed right here in Whitehorse.
We have heard the Alaskan Hwy to Tok is very rough this year with frost heaves, and some say the gravel Over the Top Road is better to take. We'll see what Ken decides to do tomorrow when we leave, the caravan took the Over the Top road.
Time for breakfast at McDonalds.
The internet for me has been somewhat slow, Ken has no problem, but I am trying to put a few photos on flickr.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In the Yukon

We are at mile 721 on the Alaskan Hwy, in the Continental Divide Lodge RV park, a really nice place with big spaces, 30 amp power and water. They have a little restaurant, free Internet that works in our RV and a free RV wash which we really need after some road construction we went thru today. The car is covered in mud!We stopped at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, we couldn't believe all the signs people have put up, the last count in Sept of last year was over 67,000. We didn't have one to put up, but our little duck Eddie had a good time getting his photo with several of the more fun ones.

We saw some wildlife on the road today, these caribou, several bison, a grizzly and a couple of black bears. Ken got a photo of a new bird for us the grey jay, a really pretty bird.
I have to apologize for my random writings, I'm usually very tired when I do these posts so I hope you can make sense of them.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mmmm that doesn't sound good!!!

Saturday morning we were getting ready to leave Dawson Creek and while putting up our levelers and we heard a grinding noise. One of the levelers broke, so now what, we look around and find a truck parts place that advertise that they work on RVs. They were so nice, they had someone out in less than an hour, the guy took off the broken leveler but they didn't have anything to replace it. That's OK we can do without them, but then when we try to move an alarm came on, so we had to call service center that was on our instruction papers, so Ken had to disconnect all the electrical lines to the three other levelers. So we didn't get started till 1 pm. We will have them fixed when we get to Anchorage.
We drove 150 mile further north stopping at Pink Mtn Campsite, it was Ok but it was more for hunters then RVers.
This morning we got an early start and made it to Muncho Lake, what a beautiful lake.
We are staying right next to the lake at North Rockies Lodge and RV park. I guess the view is worth $48, we have 15 amp electric and water. I plan on walking up to the lodge in the morning to get my $2.73 coffee, I can't use my coffee pot with only 15 amp service.
On to the Yukon tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mile '0'

Well, we've made it to Dawson Creek, BC the start of the Alaskan Highway.
The Mile '0' campground is full too, so we have a site with no services or we are dry camping.
We are going to stay a day and do a little site seeing in the area before moving on, giving the cats a break.We are getting used to the extra daylight, the sun comes up around 4 am and it is still light when we go to bed at 10:30 so we aren't sure when it gets dark.
The temps are 8 and 20 degrees C, the sun is shining so not bad just a little chilly in the morning.
Time to take the trash up and see how the showers are, when we have full hookups I use our shower.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It was a gloomy and rainy day for our trip up the Icefield Highway, but we did see some wildlife today. We saw this mother with her 2 cubs, 2 black bears on the side of the road, 3 Mtn. goats and one Big horn sheep.We stopped and had an expensive hamburger at the Icefield Center.
I'll post some of my photos from the drive on flickr in a couple of days.
We are staying in the Hinton KOA, will we probably go into town for breakfast and check out the Walmart in the morning.
Gas is around $1.00 per litre, and diesel is around 78 cents per litre.
Everyone we have meet has been very nice, seems to be alot of tourists but we have been told it is nothing like the summer season so it is a good time to be visiting.
The weather is to get better after another half day of rain, temps will get warmer too so maybe I'll be able to get out of my sweatshirt and rain jacket.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lake Louise

We had a beautiful day to sightsee around Banff Nat'l park, we visited Vermillion Lake at Banff, the Bow falls in Banff. It was then time to check out of the campground and move on to Lake Louise where we also visited Moraine Lake. We have been able to see a few new birds for us, the Clark's Nutcracker, Barrow's Goldeneye duck and Rocky Mtn Junco.
We're back on the road again tomorrow, going up the icefields highway to Jasper.
Posting more photos on flickr.

Monday, June 7, 2010

In Banff

We are in Banff National Park staying the Tunnel Mountain Campground, it has fabulous views and fun little ground squirrels all over. We have electric but no water, but there has been water coming down from the skies tho with sun poking out once in a while. It makes getting photos rather hard. We have been somewhat disappointed as we have seen no wildlife, guess they don't like the wet weather either. This is a view of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel which overlooks Bow Falls.
We've enjoyed the town with it's fun shops and restaurants, starting out with breakfast at McDonalds and late lunch at Buffalo Bill's Saloon.
Tomorrow we are moving to Lake Louise campground, weather shows a little more sun.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Only 35 miles away

Friday night we stayed in a tiny place called Reed Point, MT, in Sept they have a sheep run which would be fun to see. It was a family run park with 16 spaces, I thought it fine although we had no TV reception. We walked up to the saloon and had a burger and beer and visited with the locals. One rancher handles sheep and goats and takes them around to other ranches to eradicate the bad weeds, then the good grasses grow back for the cows.
(The saloon was just like an old time joint with painting of partly naked lady over the bar.)
We walked back in a gentle rain, then it rained harder later in the evening. Back on the road this morning after a stop at the Walmart in Billings.
We have seen grassy prairie, canyon, river valleys and mountain scenery on our drive thru Montana, just one beautiful state. Tomorrow we will be in Canada!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Devils Tower

The morning was cloudy, and we debated to stay another day in the Blackhills or move on, decided to move on another 60 miles to Belle Fourche, SD.
It puts us 50 miles from Devil's Tower. We drove over after lunch, beautiful scenery on the way.We walked the mile and half trail around it, took several photos which I will post on flickr. The sun came out for about an hour so it was a pleasant afternoon, Ken had never visited the tower before.
We are staying at a little park next to a river outside Belle Fourche, we think the price a little high. It needs some work and to be less junky. They let their dog roam and it seems to like us or our cats. They also have inch worms on most of their trees so when we go out we find little friends here and there, even in the RV. But there are birds here! Should get a few photos of the place tomorrow, so we won't forget it.
It's part of the adventure!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Driving around Blackhills

We had some rain over night and the am was very cloudy but it looked like it was going to break up so we hit the drives around the Blackhills.
The first was the wildlife loop thru Custer State Park. We saw the bison, antelope, deer and prairie dogs, we also did some birding from the car. We saw both eastern and mountain bluebirds, spotted towhee, pinyon jay, and turkeys for a sample of our 23 species we could ID.
We also meet the toll collectors, they let us by even tho we didn't have any toll food for them.

We decided to take in Wind Cave National Monument, we got there in time for the Natural Entrance tour. It was interesting but after seeing Carlsbad Caverns it was a little dull.

Then north to the Needles road and to Hill City for dinner at the Alpine House where they only serve filets Mignon in two sizes 6 or 9 oz, with wedge of lettuce, baked potato and Texas toast. The afternoon turned out beautiful so we have been lucky with the weather and hitting tour times on our visit.
I have been putting some of my photos on my flickr site if you want to see more pics of our visit to the Blackhills.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mt. Rushmore

We visited Mount Rushmore this morning, Ken has never been there, I've been there once several years ago.
We were up early so we missed some of the crowd, the sky was beautiful when we arrived and later it became cloudy. We happened to make it for the first tour which made it more interesting too.We then headed to Hill City to check out the 1880 Train, we made it in time for the next departure so we chased it and took pictures at the railroad crossings. It was starting to rain by the time it arrived in Keystone, but when we got back to the RV the sun was shining.

At Mount Rushmore, I meet this original Rushmore driller, he has a little book on his experiences which I bought and he signed.

Our first wildlife photo op was this goat grazing on the side of the road, we did see a few turkeys, a spotted towhee and dark eye juncos.

We had a full day even though the rain ended it early.