Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].


Report 20. Day 20. Sat, May 24. Prince George to Dawson Creek. The Bear is Black

It's 725 am, and we are hitting the road. Here is a couple of shots from our night's RV park.

It's about six hours to Dawson Creek, all dotted on the map, meaning scenery. We're hoping for more wildlife.

I like the city's Prince George character as we leave the area.

Earlier, as we were in the trailer getting ready, well, wait. First I have to give some back story:

Sharon and I put Bag Balm on our feet every morning. {I learned this from taking care of two-year old twins Claire and Genevieve. Maureen and Jose used Bag Balm for their diaper rashes and it did such a great job. I remembered I had a can at my house and started using it on my rough feet. It is like magic in softening up the skin so it is like a baby's ...well you know what.}When I don't use it, my feet, especially my heels, crack painfully. Then I super glue the cracks for relief. But there's a better long term treatment. Read on, McDuff.

OK, back to the story. So this morning we were talking, I was barefoot, and Sharon asked if I had put bag balm on yet. I said no. We kept talking, and I without thinking put my socks on, shoes on, tied them, walked over to the dinette, sat down, untied my shoes, took my socks off and bag balmed up. So shut up.

Recalling last evening, Sharon said that to her, the first two notes of the White-throated Sparrow's song is like the first two notes of Canada's National Anthem. Oh, Can -- .{It is the exact two notes that start that song. I wondered if someone thought of that when they wrote the music for their National Anthem.}

We start talking about the northern lights. I say I'm really looking forward to them, but Sharon says they are a winter, September to April event. I say but we saw them last time we were in Alaska. She says no, that was in Glacier. I say, yes but if so, we were there in the summer.

We drive past South Park RV Park. Oh No, They killed Kenny!

We gas up at a shell station about 8:15am. As we finish we pull out passing a small pizza shop, a coffee shop, and a hair salon with the wonderful name of Twisted Scissors. See, that's funny because of the old rock group Twisted Sister. See?

We drive past another Queen Sway sign. See, now THIS is funny because it's really QUEENSWAY, with no spaces. It's REALLY Queens Way. Get it? Like Hogshed.

A little before nine, we get a nice bald eagle flyover.

I like it when the name of a road tells you useful information, like the one we're looking at - Northwood Pulpmill Road.

After we've been on the road an hour or so, we come to a Do Not Pass sign on a vehicle, and are caught behind a center yellow dashed line repainting project.

We see lots of Scottish names - MacLeod, MacInnes and so on. Then it dawns on me. Doesn't 'Mac' mean son of? So if you wanted to, you could say MacGun. or Mac-----.

Highway 97 is the only highway needed to get from our starting point to our ending point today. No transfers etc. Nobody told my GPS though, and after about ten minutes earlier, it took us off of 97, presumably to take a short cut ending with us re-entering 97. And that's what happens. But we have a lot of fun with the GPS. {Oh, SOME of us do.}Good thing it doesn't have feelings.

Coming around a corner, Sharon sees a guy putting up hummingbird feeders. A swarm of hummers are zooming around him, waiting impatiently. I like the first picture compared to the second. As if somebody said, "OK everybody, DRINK!" leading to the second one. {These are Rufus Hummingbirds and are actually migrating further North for the summer but stopping here for energy.}

A little later we zoom past a bear, and have to continue on to find a turnaround. There is a Gray Jay at the place we reverse our direction.

We get a nice video of the black bear going across the road.

What great sites we see as we tool down the road, like these.

Ooooh, Moose!? We do our ritual and say, "Do you PROMISE?"

Chetwynd is a major town on our route today, and we hit it about a quarter till two. As we drive through the town, there is a chainsaw carving every 50-100 feet or so, till we come to the town center, or at least the portion on the road that has major services.

We park and have lunch in the trailer, then we walk over to the A&W Root Beer place and I have a chocolate shake. As Leon Russell sang, "If it wasn't for bad, you'd be good." Singing to the shake. You see, I didn't like it. Could you tell? Or was the song reference too far off? We truck on. {Chetwynd announces that they are the "Chainsaw Carving Capitol of the World". But how do you explain that other town in Canada we went through 2 years ago that said IT was the "Chainsaw Carving Capitol"? What's up with that?}

We shoot a number of carvings, by no means all of them.

Off we take (I realize I start most sentences with 'We' and want to up shake it a little), with me driving. Within a half hour I am ready for a nap so we trade places. I sleep through Sharon driving up into the mountains, over the summit in snow and rain, and back down into the nice weather, and if she hadn't told me, I would never have known. Way to Go Sherilee!

She also said that she approached a RR track, and looking off to her right, saw one of those trucks that is outfitted with railroad wheels tooling slowly towards her. The bells weren't reacting at the crossing, and having plenty of time, she boldly crossed in front of the truck. That Caraway girl is comin' out of it now.

We switch drivers and about 3:15 we're driving past a big clearing to our right, dropping away. There must have been a dozen or fifteen big pickup/flatbed trailer rigs, but nothing was on any of them and I couldn't see any persons. We zoom on, and then on our left, on the other side of the highway a what-I-would-call-a-dune-buggy except it's in the woods and fields rather than the sand dunes zooms around a corner, paralleling our road, but going in the opposite direction. The driver sports a shiny lime green helmet. It's a race of some kind or weekend fun. Although I don't think Canada celebrates Memorial Day, it's a three day weekend, and that's what the Canadians call it - Labor Day Weekend.

We pass another little place with three buckboards in front of the house. Tied to one of the wagonspulling it is a rocking horse. Nice touch.

Tonight will be exciting because to get to our RV Park a right turn onto Dangerous Goods Route is required. But sir, we have no dangerous goods. Oh wait, those dill pickles...

By and by we come to tonight's home, and at 4:12 pm on Saturday May 24th, with 9269 on the odometer, we are in place at Northern Lights RV Park. It's a pretty basic, fairly large park, with 13 TV stations on the cable and good WiFi.

Each night we park in a new RV park, we have a choice of using our own fresh water tank, drawing water using the water pump, or connecting a hose from our "city water" connection to the spigot provided at our parking site. I decide to use the city's water tonight, but not realizing it, I cross-thread the pressure reducing fixture (between the trailer and the end of the hose) into the trailer fixture. I go to the front and open the spigot which pressurizes the hose and lines inside the trailer, up to every trailer faucet, so you only have to open a faucet to draw water (not to be confused with my dad's use of the term "draw water", as in "Bob, after drinking all that Pepsi, do you have to draw water?"). Sharon yells that water is coming into the bathroom from under the shower tub. I run back and find water spraying all over the place because of the crossed threads. The spray of water sends some into the OUTSIDE of the water lines going into the trailer, so some goes on that outside-the-line path right into the trailer.

I shut off the park's spigot, discover the crossed threads, undo then redo correctly that connection. Then, though Sharon is nervous about using that path, I turn it back on, and all is normal. Except for the Sharon-cleaning-up-my-water-leak-in-the-bathroom mess. Thank you Sharon dear, sweetie, honey. And scuse me.

It's fun comparing what we see when pulling into an RV park vs. what the advertisement described or showed in the US/Canada RV park books. This one said "level gravel sites, some with trees, and some with grass". We get a grass one, but of the 100-120 sites, only the back row have any significant trees, though maybe 20 have little six foot treelings. Ah, but when you settle into your trailer, and are comfortable, it doesn't much matter what's outside. Unless of course you're in a gorgeous site, in which case you maybe set up outside to enjoy the sunset or visit with other travelers.

Yall have a nice evening, y'hear?
Bob and Sharon

Next Report 21
Previous Report 19
Denver/Alaska 2014 Report List
Family Trips