Our Fantastic Alaskan RV Trip – Part 2 of 4

In RVing on January 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

If I remember correctly, there were 22 rigs in the caravan. Everyone got along with each other and I never heard a single argument on the whole trip. (Behind closed doors,it may have been a different story). It was so relaxing to have everything all planned out for you. You are not required to caravan  on the road, in fact they prefer that you didn’t. It causes problems on the highways.  You are given your destination and instructions  on what routes to follow. Also, they point out side trips that are pretty good. You might want to check these out on your way to the campground…… We only did four caravans, and we enjoyed every one of them. There are many more caravans   available to choose from today. Try one-I know that you will enjoy it.


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.

S.S.Klondike 11

>(6/28/97) Today is a free day to do anything that you need or want to do! That usually means laundry for June and for Dick , doing a PM check on the truck and checking air pressure in all twelve tires plus spares, battery water and anything else that needs looking into, like the exhaust brake status. We signed up to take a one day trip to Skagway, Ak. by train, with a bus trip back to White Horse, (To clear things up,we are at White Horse now, on our way to Alaska.When we finish our tour of Alaska,we will return to White Horse and  our caravan will officially end here. It is suppose to be a very interesting trip. When I checked out the exhaust brake, I found that the exhaust was blowing out around the pipe clamp joining the exhaust pipe to the manifold pipe. This clamp is made of soft metal so that pipes of slighty different diameters can be joined together. I went to town and picked  up all that I needed to make the repairs.That is when I found the exhaust brake problem. Before this caravan started, I had found the exhaust brake frozen in the open position and I had it replaced. The people doing the work  re-used the clamp and had put it on backwards so it wouldn’t clamp tight anymore.( We won’t be back there any more, thats for sure).Our bus driver, who keeps us up to date on all local news around here, was telling us that the electricity up here is so expensive  that when they shut down the paper mill, they raise the rates to make up for the loss of income.

(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.

DC_3 Weather Vane-White Horse,Alaska

( 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

Lake Kluane

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.

Jaye has arrived in Alaska

(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


The Store is the real "Goldmine"

Panning for Gold

gold bearing earth and taken to an area set up with a big container of water with benches around it so we could pan the gold out of our poke. You can keep all of the gold that you pan. We all found very,very small pieces (flakes) of gold.They check your gold for you, weight it  and and give you the dollar value, which isn’t much. We 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.(This store is the real Gold Mine here ). Next we went to a museum at the University of Alaska. The museum

University of Alaska

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 all…in 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

River boat Discovery

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!
Here is another joke to carry you through the day!!
Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and
thinking, surely I can’t look that old…..Well …You will love this one.
My name is Alice, and I was sitting in the waiting room for my first
appointment with a new Dentist.
I noticed his DDS Diploma on the wall, which bore his full name.
Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with
the same name had been in my high school class some 30-odd
years ago.
Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on,  back
then? Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such
This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way
too old to have been my classmate.
After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Mogan
Park High Scool.
‘Yes.Yes, I did. I’m a Mustang,” he gleamed with pride.
‘When did you graduate’ I asked.
He answered,’in 1975. Why do you ask?
You were in my class!, I exclaimed.
He looked at me closely, then that ugly, old, bald, wrinkled faced, grey-
haired, decrepit, son-of-a-gun asked,
‘What grade did you teach?’

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