joysofdickandjune

Our Fantastic Alaskan RV Trip – Part 4 of 4

In Humor, Information-Interesting, postaweek2011, RVing on January 19, 2011 at 11:14 pm

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A dog gave birth to Puppies next to the road and was cited for “littering”<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

­This will be the forth and last posting of  “Our Fantastic Alaskan Rv Trip”. Did we enjoy this Caravan?…You had better believe we did, the good and the bad of it.(Shucks,I don’t remember anything that was wrong). Thats what camping is all about… If you find it dull to go RVing,  you must be doing it wrong. I don’t know whats coming next…but I do know that it will be fun. It always is.

 

Actually I do have an idea for my next blog. Around six years previous to this trip, June’s mother’s last big wish was to go to Hawaii one time before she died and she wanted us to go with her because she got confused occasionaly and she knew that she couldn’t do it by herself. By the time she left, there were two  girls friends of theirs who wanted to go with June and her mom. They went and had a fantastic  time together. I was left behind to install  my mother-in-laws central heat/cool system. That worked good for all of us. There was no one around to make suggestions and help.(My mom- in- law is a very talented woman and is actually a good helper, but this time I wanted to do alone!)

Banff - 1997

Sulfur Mountain Cable Car

This is the connection to the Hawaii trip.The tour Guide on the Hawaii tour that the girls took, was from Banff, Alberta, Canada. June said that he talked so much about the wonders and beauty of Banff that she wanted to see it. We were headed to Oregon and  California anyway so we did a quick adjustment in our schedule and off to Banff we went.We are so glad that we did. It was a worth while stop. Banff  and the surrounding areas were simply so beautiful and outstanding. Good call June!!

 

This will be the last of  “Our Fantastic Alaskan RV Trip” blogs, one each for the last four  week-ends. I plan to continue RV related posts and other types of posts on subjects that I consider interesting  and are worth posting or until I’m told to get another hobby from the comments that I receive (which may not take long!!)..

 

I am a great fan of our Army Corps of Engineers (ACE)  Campgrounds.  ACE campgrounds are one of the best kept secrets around, because they are not widely advertised. Word of mouth is the usual means of promotion. I have camped at many, many of the ACE campgrounds and I have enjoyed everyone of them. Most of the campgrounds supply 30 amp Electrical connections and Water. Every campground has a Dump Station usually on the road out. For those of us who are over 62 years “young”, go  get a “Golden Age Passport”for the expensive cost of $10.00, a lifetime Admission permit that qualifies you and the people with you in your vehicle, to free  admissions at National Parks and a 50% discount at their campgrounds.  While you are there, compare your campground to a Public campground. Naturally  you will be on a damed up water reservoir or some type of project maintained by the ACE, with a wonderful, quiet environment. What do you give up for this luxury?  Mostly the noise of cars, horns etc. I mean it is peaceful, quiet  and enjoyable. Of course, there are no stores or gas stations out there . You have to drive to town for them. I consider that fair.

 

 

I have a lot of information on our different National campgrounds and also  on some of our special public campgrounds that I intend make into Blogs. How about Casino’s associated with RV campgrounds. Does that sound like a good match?

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There was the guy who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh.  No pun in ten did.  (If you don’t get this-say the last five words fast. )

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(7/18/97)   We are leaving Homestead RV Park, Palmer, Alaska  –  for  –   Bear Paw RV Park, Valdez, Alaska .  We got away  on time this morning. We aren’t traveling with anyone, which works out ok. We do travel slower than our friends. We ran into about 7 or 8 miles of road construction half way to Valdez. The first time we were stopped by a “flag-man”, June turned the driving over to me. The bull-dozers have run up & down the road, and it was rough.

When we got back on good road, we pulled over and went into the RV to empty our bladders. When we opened the door of the RV, there was the refrigerator door off  of  its hinges , leaning up against the table. (thanks Murphy). We had this problem before and I thought that I had it fixed. I had to take off the freezer door in order to re-hang the refridgerator door , then re-hang the freezer door  (After we finished this tour, I added two washers to the door hinges  and that solved the “popping” off problem). We were the last one in but they had saved us a nice  site backed up to the water in the Port of Valdez. June’s head is starting to stuff up now. We had a nice ice cream social. It was  paid for with all the fine-money collected by(Jack, the tag-man)  for not wearing your name Tag , being late, getting lost etc. (I got lost-not once- not twice but thrice ).

Parking at Valdez Oil Terminal

(7/19/97)   Breakfast was included in the tour so we walked up to the Westmark Hotel for a nice buffet. At 2:00 pm we all boarded a bus for a tour of the pipeline terminal. Arriving at the terminal, we were all required to go through a security check point first (just like in airports), even though you can only get off the bus at one view point way above the terminal.

Valdez Marine Oil Terminal

The bus driver/guide was very good. He had worked at the terminal for 21 years before retiring. This was a very interesting 2 hour tour.

Valdez Marina & Oil Terminal

He also took us around Valdez on our way back to the campground. They  have a 10 million dollar grain treminal that the city had constructed some twenty years ago. They thought that they would get all the grain that was  imported into Alaska if they had a modern terminal. It has never been used. Some one here has listed it in their advertisement as  “A Monument to Stupidity.

We fueled up this morning. Prices vary quite a bit. You have to look around. We had  a coupon at the station for 5 cents a gallon off. Later, outside the city, we found diesel for $1.39 9/10. Thats quite a difference (and we missed it).

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(7/20/97)   Sunday, a day of rest. Decided to wash all the mud & dirt off of the RV & truck. Apparently the park allows this. I did a quick wash without soap or cleaners, just sponge and water. It only took 4 hours, but the results are worth it. I know, it won’t be clean long, but pride dictates that you should keep it as clean as possible as often as possible. It should stay somewhat clean until we hit “steam boat mountain” again going back. We reviewed some of our latest videos that we took. We should give up video taping and buy a video of Alaska. Man we are bad at video taping. Can’t hold the camera steady and the vocal leaves a lot to be desired!
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(7/21/97)   We got up early today, had breakfast and walked over to the small boat dock. We are taking a cruise boat “Nautilus II” to Cordova for an overnight-two day cruise & tour of Cordova. Cordova was started as a copper mining town. The only problem is that the only way to get there is either by boat or plane. At its

Million Bridge in Codova (From free photos selection )

peak, the population of Cordova was over 10,000 people. The price of copper dropped and so did the population. Fishing is the main industry now. There is a little tourist trade, but the locals do not seem too fond of the tourist. Our cruise ship traveled through the “Prince William Sound” Islands out of the shipping channel. The Skipper always stopped when anything of interest showed up. We watched sea otters, eagles &  porpoise on the way out. When we docked, they took our bags to where we were to stay.  We got on a tour bus that took us to see “Childs Glacier” and the “Million Dollar Bridge”. The bridge was constructed during the winter to haul copper from the mine back to load on ships. It cost a milliom dollars back in 1910 to build it for the short, mine to port railroad. One span fell during the 1964 earthquake. The Childs Glacier was interesting. It calved a couple of time while we were there, but never when we were watching! We returned to the hotel for the night.

The 21st of July is our 46 wedding anniversary !!When we opened the door to our room, it became apparent that someone was pulling a joke on us. There were three single beds in the room. Of course, here were quite a few of our friends, who just happen to be in the area when we opened the door to the room. Everyone had a good laugh, that is until someone noticed that June had tears in her big blue eyes. Mr.Lancaster said that they would be glad to swap rooms with us. They needed three beds because they had their grandson with them. June gave him a big hug. She never caught on to the joke, because it wasn’t a joke to her (until I explained it to her that night).

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(7/22/97)   We got up this morning and had breakfast at the hotel and  then carried our luggage down to the ship. We cruised over across the shipping channel and worked our way up to the Columbia Glacier, which was a sight to see. The Glacier was reported to be 3 1/2 miles across at the waters edge, and it extends back about 32 miles into the mountains. We couldn’t get too close because of a sand bars just under the water. On the way back we stopped at a small Island where the cruise company had a

Columbia Glacier (From free photos Selection )

buffet set up. Halibut, chicken and barbecue .This two day excursion was one of the better parts of our tour. By now we are like one big happy  family. Most every one is on a first-name basis.

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(7/23/97)   We are leaving Bear Paw RV Park,Valdez, Alaska   –  for  –   Tok RV Village, Tok, Alaska. We got started @ 9:00 am, lost our traveling companions right away. June allowed me to drive because we have to cross Thompson Pass which is a steady climb from sea level to 2,775 feet. It seemed to take forever to come down to sea level when we arrived. It turned not to be a problem. I down shifted to 2nd gear with the OVER/UNDER in UNDER, and up we went to the top pulling that 15,000 lb  5th Wheel RV at 22 mph. ( I have too many memories of topping hills at 4 mph and watching the temperture gauge all the way up.) The more we drove, the damper & cloudier it got until it started raining. When we got to Tok we set up in the rain. Carl & Doretta (the wagon masters) brought over the two “Alaska” sweat shirts that we had  ordered  and they  sat and visited with us for awhile. We think that they do a great job as caravan hosts. They may host the “up, up and away”caravan next year. we are thinking about taking that caravan It would be nice if they did. It was still raining when we went to bed (with the electric blanket).
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(7/24/97)   We are leaving Tok RV Village,Tok, Alaska   –  for  –   Kluane Wildness Village, Kluane,Yukon. We woke up to the sound of rain coming down. I got out my plastic “poncho” that I have worn once in 4 years and went outside and hooked us  up. It is raining steady now and it is cold. We did meet up with our companions for lunch after we crossed over into Canada, They soon left us again. It stopped raining by the time we got to Kluane, We got a good level site..( we don’t often get level sites). Bob & Betty Keller came over and had drinks with us. Bob suggested that we should find a lot of money to bring over to Honolulu and visit with them.They are teaching us some island expressions.

Kluane Lake-Alaska

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(7/25/97)   We are leaving Kluane Wildness Village, Kluane,Yukon   –  for  –   Trails of “98” Campground, White horse, Yukon. We had a very quiet trip to White Horse. We checked in and got the same site we had  last time. We tried to get prepared for our side trip to Skagwag, Alasks tomorrow. The trip down to Skagway is not part of the regular Alaskan  tour. We had  signed up and paid for it when we first began the main tour because we had heard a lot about the building of the railroad and we wanted to ride on it. We won’t be back this way again,so do it now!
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(7/26/97)    We got up early this morning and boarded our bus at 7:30 am.

Boarding White Pass RR to Skagway (from free photos selection )

We have our video camera and also our point & shoot camera. It is sprinkling out so we are hoping for the best. We changed over to a narrow gage RR car just north of the Alaskan border in Yukon. We had one passenger  car for our group of 27 . American customs boarded the train there and checked everyone . It was a beautiful ride down from 3200 feet to sea level in Skagway. Talk about cutting RR tracks into the face of cliffs, they darn sure did it, three tunnels and all. The girl guide assisned to our car pointed out that the labor to build the RR were men that could not get work in the “Gold fields”,and needed a job.

Train to Skagway

No experience in building RR what-so-ever. It was awesome to look out the windows on one side and see  the cliff face so close that you could almost touch it , then look out the windows on the other side, straight down a long,long way to the stream at the bottom. Skagway was where most of the miners came by ship. They were required to have certain supplies before they could enter the Territory of Alaska. We had lunch in town and then walked down to the visitors center. Later  we boarded the bus that had driven down with anyone who didn’t want to ride the train down. The drive back over the mountains was great . We got a lot of good pictures.

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Alaskan Mountain Range

(7/27/97)   Today has finally arrived. This is our last day of the caravan . Nothing is planned other than the farewell dinner tonight at the Westmark Hotel. We checked out the salmon run where the official salmon count is made from a glass-sided box on the water ladder sample line. There was one lonely salmon that passed through while we were there. They are swimming around in the river below right now. At 5:30 pm we loaded up in a bus and was  taken to the hotel for our farewell dinner. The buffet was pretty good.There was a lot of talking and laughter about the past 38 days. We had several couples over for farewell drinks in our RV. It is to hard realize just how close you can come to complete strangers in just 38 days.And then you go your separate ways.The park warned us that the road to Watson Lake was washed out by a broken Beaver dam . No one really knows how bad the problem is. Some  of us decided to stay over for an extra day to give them a chance to repair the road. We should be able to get some information from in-coming traffic. The 1997 Alaskan Caravan Tour is officially over with this farewell dinner here at White Horse,Yukon.
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(7/28/97)   We slept a little later this morning. When I got up and went outside, over half of our group were still here. The word is that traffic is moving, one lane at a time around the wash out. It shouldn’t be a problem for us tomorrow. I got under the truck and checked out my exhaust brake repairs and  tighten up the clamps again. We are going to dump tonight and be ready to pull out after breakfast tomorrow. This was a very enjoyable and interesting group of people.
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For everyones information, we had no problems driving back to Steam Boat Mountain. Exhaust worked great. Would you believe it, when we got there in the  early afternoon…..IT WAS RAINING!!  AGAIN!!!Going up the last pretty steep hill, I glanced back through the rear-view mirror and saw the whole side of the RV, because the rear of the truck had scooted way over to the right. It did straighten right out but not before my stomach jumped up to my throat. I could see a jack-knife coming up.
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This Alaskan Caravan was one of the best caravans that we have taken.
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Many thanks for reading our blogs on Alaska.
Alaska is a very beautiful State and the Alaskan’s are very proud of their State….and rightly so!
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Garden (grass) snakes can be dangerous!
A couple in Sweetwater, Texas, had a lot of potted
plants. During a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing
a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible
freeze.
It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was
hidden in one of the plants. When it had warmed up, it
slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa.
She let out a loud scream.
The husband (who was taking a shower) ran out into
the living room naked to see what the problem was. She
told him there was a snake under the sofa.
He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look
for it. About that time the family dog came  and cold-
nosed him in the behind. He thought the snake had
bitten him, so he screamed and fell over on the floor.
His wife thought he had had a heart attack, so she
covered him up, and told him to lie still and called an
ambulance.
The attendants rushed in, would not listen to his
protests, loaded him on the streacher, and started
carrying him out.
About that time, the snake came out from under the
sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and
dropped his end of the strecher. That’s when the man
broke his leg and why he is still in the hospital.
The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house,
so she called on a neighbor who volunteered to capture
the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up
newspaper and began poking under the couch. Soon he
decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down
on the sofa in relief.
But while relaxing, her hand dangled in between the
cushions, where she felt the snake wrigging around.
She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under
the sofa.
The neighbor man,seeing her lying there passed out
tried to use CPR to revive her.
The neighbors’s wife, who had just returned from
shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband’s mouth
on this woman’s mouth and slammed her husband in the
back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking
him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed
stitches,
The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she
saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending
over him, so she assumed that the snake had bitten him
She went to the kitchen and got a small bottle of wiskey,
and began pouring it down the man’s throat.
By now the police have arrived….
They saw the unconscious man, smelled the wiskey,
and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred, They
were about to arrest them all, when the woman tried to
explain how it all happened over a little garden snake !
The police called an ambulance, which took away the
neighbor and his sobbing wife.
Now, the little snake again crawled out from under the
sofa and one of the plicemen drew his gun and fired at
it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table.
The table fell over,the lamp on it shattered and, as the
bulb broke, it started a fire in the drapes.
The other policeman tried to beat out the flames, and
fell through the window nto the yard on top of the
family dog who, startled, jumprd out and raced into the
street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and
smashed into the parked police car.
Time passed ! Both men were discharged from the
hospital, the house was repaired, the dog came home,
the police acquired a new car and all was right wth
their world.
A while later they were watching TV and the
weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The
wife asked her husband if he thought they should bring
in their plants for the night.
And thats when the fight started….
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