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12/12/2004 07:02:19 AM -0800
 


                                   

  ITINERARY FOR ALASKA                                                   (Red Entries Indicate Actual)

08/28/2003  Guess it's time to wrap up our  Alaska adventure.  We got home on Saturday, August 23rd to a somewhat scruffy looking Mallard Landing, but everything here was just fine and, in some ways, it was good to be home.  We are a little disappointed for the Alaska part of the trip to be over, but we are thrilled to be home and out of the impossible heat we experienced in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.   I know, that is a roundabout way to get to Pennsylvania from Alaska, but we had some important stops to make along that route.

We were on the road a total of 101 nights and we slept in our own bed in the coach 99 of those nights.  We spent one night at a hotel in Barrow and another in Nome.  50 nights were spent in Alaska and 22 nights in Canada.  We visited four Canadian Provinces and two Territories as well as 22 US States.  We covered 12,010 miles in the coach and drove another 3,813 miles in our tow-along Jeep.

Virtually every aspect of the trip went perfectly with absolutely no mechanical, scheduling or health problems.  It was very much a “Dream Adventure”. 

We learned a lot about Alaska and about ourselves on this trip.  Here's our Top 12 List of the knowledge we gained:

 12.  The cost of goods and services in Alaska is not that much higher than the cost in the lower 48.

 11.  The roads in Alaska aren't as bad as most people believe they are, except for the Glenn Highway.

 10.  You can take a Foretravel Motorhome to Alaska with no problem. 

   9.  Twenty four hours a day of daylight can be nice.

   8.  Never drive through Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas in the summer months.

   7.  Panning for gold can become addictive.

   6.  They have strong cell phone service in the wilds of the Yukon, North West Territories, and British     Columbia, so why can't we have it in North Eastern Pennsylvania?

   5.  A lot of friendly, talented and interesting people live all over Alaska.

   4.  The majority of Alaska residents love it there, even in winter, and would never live 'outside' (anywhere else).

   3.  A lot of people in this region are happy with a much simpler lifestyle than most of us lead.

  2.  Nick Pond in Auburn Center is not as far out in the 'boonies' as some people may think.

   1.  Two people can live together  in a 36' x 8.5' space for over 100 days and still be happy and be friends!

To all of you who followed our trip on the website, thanks for traveling with us.  See you down the road.

08/14/2003  It's hard to believe that it's the middle of August already and that we've been away from home for three months.  The time is just flying by.  We are now in Nacogdoches, TX, waiting for our service appointment and visiting with friends.  We took the route of greatest heat to get here from Alaska.  Since driving through southern British Columbia, we've been in temperatures of over 100 degrees everyday.  Our high temperature was in Phoenix at 117 degrees and you could feel every degree.  Right now, Paul is out washing the coach and, of course,  it just started to rain and it's a little cooler outside.  Maybe the heat is breaking.  Even with all the heat, we had great visits with Rochelle and John in Vacaville, CA, with Dotty Grimes and Mark McKenna in Phoenix, with Lora, River and Mark Williams in Tucson, and with Pat and Mark Powell in Odessa.  We also stopped in Dallas to visit with Mike and Kathryn Connor and their daughter Kay Smith.  Unfortunately Mike and Kathryn are both in the hospital, across the hall from each other, but both looked good and are making progress.  We're looking forward to getting home and hopefully will be back by August 25th or thereabouts.  Paul already has a list of chores and work to do when we get home so it probably will not take long for us to get back to our regular routine.  Even so, our memories of our Alaska trip will be bright and beautiful for a long time.

07/22/2003  It's been quite a while since I've updated this itinerary, but as you can tell if you have been looking at our photo galleries, we have been very active and busy.  We've had many days of touring and exploring in Alaska and we are enjoying each day as it comes.  We had a great time on the Kenai Peninsula and caught our fill of salmon along with the halibut.  Our next stop was back to Anchorage for a few days, and then we visited Glennallan and Valdez on our way to Haines and Skagway.  Tomorrow we are taking a boat out of  Skagway to Juneau for the day to visit our favorite Alaskan store, Galligaskins, and the Red Dog Saloon which we missed on our Alaska cruise a few years ago.   Not that we have been saving all of our shopping for Juneau.  We have done our share of shopping as we've toured and the coach is just about full to the brim with our special purchases.  We can't remember all of our buys, so it will be a fun time rediscovering our goodies when we unpack. As you can tell, we are heading toward the end of our Alaska journey.  After Skagway, we have one more major stop in the state at Hyder and then we'll be heading home.  Our trip won't be a "beeline" home as we will detour to Vacaville, CA  to visit Rochelle and John, then to Phoenix to visit Dotty Grimes and then to Nacogdoches, TX to see our friends at Foretravel   We've had a delicious taste of Alaska  but we are starting to look forward, at least a bit, to getting home.  So far, our biggest disappointment in the trip has been our difficulty with the computer --- sending and receiving E-mail and updating the web site.  Alaska telephone lines are just not equipped to communicate with our small PA ISP, and it has been very frustrating trying to get connected almost everywhere we've been.  So stay with us and hopefully access will be better when we are back to the lower 48.

07/05/2003  We saw a lot of  Anchorage and enjoyed the city very much.  Last Saturday, we visited a large open air market right in the downtown area.  There were wonderful Alaskan artists displaying  their works and it was interesting to see all of the great talent.  We left Anchorage on Tuesday and have been in Ninilchik on the Kenai Peninsula since then.  This is a beautiful part of the state with lots of recreational activities including hiking, fishing, boating and wildlife viewing.  On July 4, we went halibut fishing on a charter out of Homer.  It was fun, but a lot of hard work.  We went about 60 miles off the coast, in somewhat rough waters, and fished for about 5 hours. We were fishing off of the bottom of the sea which was anywhere from 150 to 200 feet deep.  When you had a fish or just the line to reel in, it was a lot of tough winding.  Everyone on the boat caught the daily limit of 2 fish and Paul's largest was a 75 pounder.  We ended up with 180 pounds of fish which yielded about 90 pounds of filets which would not all fit in our RV refrigerator, so we sent some out Federal Express.  Hope the packages get to their destinations in good shape!  We are both enjoying the halibut very much and a lot more than salmon.  We are leaving here tomorrow for Cooper Landing, also on the Kenai, and will tour Seward from there.  Hope everyone is enjoying the summer.  We certainly are!

06/27/2003  After our time in Fairbanks, we spent six days in and around Denali National Park.  What a beautiful part of the state.  We were busy all the time we were there, touring the park by land and by air.  We drove into the park a few times and saw lots of wildlife and lovely scenery.  They say that, when you visit the park, you have only a 30% chance of seeing Mt. McKinley (Denali).  The mountain generates its own weather and it is usually obscured by clouds.  We were fortunate to get some nice views while driving through the park and also during our Summit Flight in a small plane.  We had to wear oxygen masks as we flew because we were flying above 12,000 feet.  On our first flight, we could not tell where the clouds ended and where the mountain began, so we went up on a different day and saw the mountain.  It is magnificent and enormous --- truly an awesome sight.  After Denali, we drove to Anchorage where we will be until the first of July.  We've been enjoying the city and its attractions.  There are colorful flowers everywhere and they really brighten the city.  Yesterday, we flew to Kotzebue, above the Arctic Circle, and toured the town, then flew to Nome and stayed overnight.  Growing up in Pittsburgh (Marlene), I never could have imagined that I would ever spend a birthday in Nome, AK but I did and it was fun.  We had a great tour, panned for gold, and flew back to Anchorage this afternoon.  We still have a lot to see and do and shop for here and we'll have a few more days to try to squeeze everything in.   There are no  pangs of homesickness yet for either of us, so we'll continue our tour, looking forward to new adventures each day.

06/14/2003  We've been in Fairbanks, AK since 06/07/2003 and our time here has been just fabulous.  We have been on the go almost constantly, from visiting all the wonderful local attractions to fishing for Northern Pike in remote waters to flying up to Barrow and spending the night there.  Barrow was extremely interesting.  We had a local guide who provided lots of good information about the town's past and present and we visited the Inupiat Cultural Heritage Center and were entertained by local dancers.  It was like winter there.  The temperature never got out of the twenties and the wind was constantly howling.  The city of Fairbanks is delightful and the pace of life here is relaxed.  The people we've met are pleasant and helpful and take great pride in their city and state.  And it stays light round the clock here.  Paul was up until 2:30 AM last night and it still seemed like the middle of the day.  It will be hard getting back to darkness when we return home.  After talking to locals, especially people involved with dog sledding and mushing, we've decided that we must get back here again in winter.  Tomorrow is our Fly/Drive Tour to the Arctic Circle which should be interesting.  Then we leave Fairbanks on Wednesday for Denali.  As much as we're looking forward to continuing on our way, it will be kind of sad to leave Fairbanks.  We are so fortunate to be able to be making this trip and we are taking full advantage of our time to see and do as much as we can. 

06/01/2003  Greetings from Whitehorse, capital city of the Yukon.  So far we've had a great trip.  We are well  into our route on the Alaska Highway and the road has been much better than we anticipated.  There have been some gravel stretches which slowed our speed a bit, but for the most part, the highway has been paved with very few potholes and nice wide shoulders.  We've seen some beautiful scenery and a few examples of northern wildlife as you can see if you look at our pictures.  The people we've met in the towns we visited have all been very friendly and helpful.  One lesson we have learned as we've traveled miles without seeing civilization is that at Nick Pond, we do not live in the "boonies" for sure.  We'll be heading for Dawson City, Yukon on Tuesday and then into Alaska.  The leg from Dawson City should be interesting.  First, we have to put the coach, Jeep and us on a small "raft" to cross the Yukon River.  Then we go across "Top of the World Highway".  Many people skirt around this part of the trip but we plan to attack it.  Tune in later to see how we do.

05/27/2003  We made it to Dawson Creek, B.C. on Sunday, May 25.  The roads from home were very good for the most part and the coach was flawless.  We visited the Mall of America in Minnesota and the Edmonton Mall both of which were enormous.  Unfortunately, we had been unable to update the web site because of the way the hookups to the internet were set up in Canada.  We finally found the problem at Software Emporium Inc in Dawson Creek and hopefully we'll be able to get around it for the rest of our trip.  Dawson Creek is Milepost Zero on the Alaska Highway.  The highway was constructed to provide a supply road from the Lower 48 to Alaska during World War II.  Construction began on March 8, 1942 and after crossing  8 mountain ranges, building 133  bridges and 8,000 culverts, construction was completed 8 months and 12 days later on November 20, 1942.  The highway stretches 1,462 miles and has been designated as the 16th International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  How long would it take to build today?  Today we traveled our first on the Alaskan Highway to Fort Nelson in northern British Columbia and saw our first real wildlife, four black bears.  One sighting was of a sow with twin cubs and the other one was a solitary adult, probably a male.                               

05/19/2003  We crossed the US / Canadian border just west of Noyes, MN at about nine-thirty this morning.  The crossing was uneventful with just numerous questions being asked and, apparently, correctly answered.  They did ask at least a half dozen times, in different ways, if we had any firearms.  I suspect they were looking for contradictions and / or voice tones that they didn’t like.                                  

Date

From

To

Miles

Comments

Campground

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Mallard Landing

Genoa, Ohio

455

On the road again

Ohio Turnpike Rest Area

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Genoa

Rochester, MN

585

 

I-90 Rest Area

Friday, May 16, 2003

Rochester

Bloomington, MN

118

Cabela's & Mall of America

Walmart

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Bloomington

 

 

Mall of America

Walmart

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Bloomington

Grand Forks, ND

336

 

Walmart

Monday, May 19, 2003

Grand Forks

Winnipeg, Manitoba

148

Snow flurries

Traveller's RV Resort

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Winnipeg

 

 

 

          "

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Winnipeg

Yorkton, Saskatchewan

300

 

York Lake Regional Park

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Yorkton

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

216

 

Saskatoon 16 West

Friday, May 23, 2003

Saskatoon

Edmonton, Alberta

339

 

Glowing Embers RV Park

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Edmonton

 

 

 

          "

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Edmonton

Dawson Creek, BC

361

Mile Post 0 of Alaska Hwy

Northern Lights RV Park

Monday, May 26, 2003

Dawson Creek

 

 

 

          "

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Dawson Creek Fort Nelson, BC        283

 

West End Campground

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Fort Nelson

Fort Liard, BC  R/T

 

Drove to Fort Liard, NWT

          "

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Fort Nelson

Watson Lake, Yukon

320

 

Downtown RV Park

Friday, May 30, 2003

Watson Lake

 

 

 

         "

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Watson Lake

Whitehorse, Yukon

270

 

Hi Country RV Park

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Whitehorse

 

 

"Frantic Follies"

         "

Monday, June 02, 2003

Whitehorse

 

 

 

         "

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Whitehorse

Dawson City, Yukon

332

 

Guggieville Campground and Gold Panning

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Dawson City

 

 

 

         "

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Dawson City

Tok, AK

187

 

Gateway Salmon Bake and RV Park

Friday, June 06, 2003

Tok

Delta Junction, AK

110

 

Smith's Green Acres RV Park

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Delta Junction

Fairbanks, AK

97

 

River's Edge RV Park

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

 

"

Monday, June 09, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

Ester Gold Camp

"

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Fairbanks

   

Fly-In Fishing Trip

"

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

 

"

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

Fly to Barrow

"

Friday, June 13, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

Return from Barrow

"

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

 

"

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

Artic Circle Fly / Drive Adventure

"

Monday, June 16, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

 

"

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Fairbanks

 

 

 

"

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Fairbanks

Denali NP, AK

116

 

Denali Riverside RV Park

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Denali NP

 

 

 

"

Friday, June 20, 2003

Denali NP

 

 

Our first glimpse of Denali

"

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Denali NP

 

 

McKinley Summit Flight #1

"

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Denali NP

 

 

Park Tour to Eielson

"

Monday, June 23, 2003

Denali NP

 

 

McKinley Summit Flight #2

"

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Denali NP

Anchorage, AK

236

 

Anchorage RV Park

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

 

"

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

Fly to Kotzebue then to Nome

"

Friday, June 27, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

Return from Nome

"

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

 

"

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

 

"

Monday, June 30, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

 

"

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Anchorage

Ninilchik, AK

192

Visited Kenai

Deep Creek View CG

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Ninilchik

 

 

Visited Homer

"

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Ninilchik

 

 

 

"

Friday, July 04, 2003

Ninilchik

 

 

Halibut Charter Fishing Trip out of Homer

"

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Ninilchik

 

 

 

"

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Ninilchik

Soldotna, AK

45

 

Talon Air Service

Monday, July 07, 2003

Soldotna

Cooper Landing, AK

49

Bear watching / salmon fishing fly-in

Kenai Princess RV Park

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Cooper Landing

 

 

Kenai Fjords NP Cruise

"

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Cooper Landing

 

 

Horseback Riding

"

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Cooper Landing

 

 

 

"

Friday, July 11, 2003

Cooper Landing

Anchorage, AK

109

Big Game Alaska

Anchorage RV Park

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Anchorage

 

 

 

"

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Anchorage

Glennallen, AK

177

 

Northern Nights RV Park

Monday, July 14, 2003

Glennallen

 

 

Visit Valdez

"

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Glennallen

Beaver Creek, YT

280

 

White River Crossing RV Park

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Beaver Creek

almost Haines, AK

277

 

Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve

Thursday, July 17, 2003

almost Haines

Haines, AK

20

 

Hitch-up RV Park

Friday, July 18, 2003

Haines

 

 

 

"

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Haines

 

 

 

"

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Haines

 

 

 

"

Monday, July 21, 2003

Haines

Skagway, AK

20

Ferry to Skagway

Garden City RV Park

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Skagway

 

 

White Pass & Yukon RR

"

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Skagway

 

 

Fjord Express to Juneau

"

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Skagway

14.3 miles S. of Yukon Border on Cassiar Hwy

324

 

Roadside Rest at Blue Lakes

Friday, July 25, 2003

Blue Lakes

Meziadin Junction, BC

337

 

Meziadin Lake Prov. Park

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Meziadin

Stewart, BC

38

 

Bear River RV Park

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Stewart

 

 

 

"

Monday, July 28, 2003

Stewart

Prince George, BC

429

 

Blue Spruce RV Park

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Prince George

Hope, BC

402

 

Hope Valley Campground

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Hope

Albany, OR

404

 

Blue Ox RV Park

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Albany

Mt Shasta City, CA

294

 

Mt Shasta RV Park

Friday, August 01, 2003

Mt Shasta City

Vacaville, CA

220

Launched John's sailboat

John and Rochelle's

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Vacaville

 

 

 

"

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Vacaville

 

 

 

"

Monday, August 04, 2003

Vacaville

 

 

 

"

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Vacaville

Palm Desert, CA

535

 

Emerald Desert RV Resort

Wednesday, Aug.  06, 2003

Palm Desert

Sun City West, AZ

264

 

Sunflower RV Resort

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Sun City West

 

 

Visited with Dotty Grimes

"

Friday, August 08, 2003

Sun City West

 

 

Visited with Dotty & Mark McKenna

"

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Sun City West

Las Cruces, NM

414

Lunch with Lora, Mark & River

Best View RV Park

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Las Cruces

Van Horn, TX

171

 

Eagle Nest RV Park

Monday, August 11, 2003

Van Horn

Midland, TX

177

 

Midessa Oil Patch RV Park

Tuesday, August  12, 2003

Midland

Terrell, TX

383

 

Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2003

Terrell

Nacogdoches, TX

140

 

Foretravel

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Friday, August 15, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

Our 35th Anniversary

     "

Monday, August 18, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Wednesday, Aug.  20, 2003

Nacogdoches

 

 

 

     "

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Nacogdoches

Mound, LA 

265

 

Roadside Rest Area

Friday, August 22, 2003

Mound

Kodak, TN

566

 

Foretravel of Tennessee

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Kodak

Nick Pond

668

 

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