Gladlee of Guernsey
America 2013 Page 4 - June
5th/6th June. Clam Gulch SRA, Kenai Peninsular
As the name might infer people come here to go Clamming. The tide can be up to 23 feet here and when it goes out there are lots of people digging holes looking for Razor Clams - apparently a delicacy - NOT!!!! Oh yes - a new bird for Julie - the Boreal Chickadee - no photo though.
7th June. Homer Spit Campground, Homer, The end of the Road, Alaska
So, here we are. The very end of the road. Any further and the tyres get wet. We now turn around and it is all heading home - to Deltaville anyway. Our furthest North was Fairbanks. Our furthest West was Anchor Point - the most westerly paved road in the world. Our furthest point South was Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona and our furthest point east will be Deltaville. And guess what - yes a new bird for Julie - the Black Legged Kittywake.
8th June. Tenderfoot USFS Campground
So, we are almost literally "on the way home". Not before a midnight stroll in Homer just to show the audience what we have to put up with here - it simply doesn't get dark!! Sorry but no photo's of Tenderfoot - a means to an end and just a campground on a lake - actually though it was weekend it was totally full. A reminder to us that the busy season is upon us.
9th June. Williwaw USFS Campground, Portage
Another forestry service campground but this time selected for its location. We are headed to a town called Whittier and the only way is right past this campground but with a major "obstacle" in the way. We'll cover that in tomorrows write up. We do have a nice 3.5 mile walk to the Visitor Centre which is on Portage Lake. The scenery here is just stunning with small Glaciers everywhere.
10th June. Williwaw USFS Campground, Portage
A fantastic day for us. We had taken the decision to take a "Glacier/Wildlife" half day cruise from Whittier hence the reason for wanting to get there. The obstacle previously noted is the fact that we have to drive through a 4.5 mile tunnel. Nothing much except for the fact that it is an actual Rail Tunnel. You can see the rail lines disappearing into the distance. That is exactly the same tunnel we drove through. Unique. Follow that with our five hour cruise which included untold numbers of Glaciers, two Humpback whales, one Minke whale, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Killitz Murrelets, thousands of Black Legged Kittiwakes, lots of Glaciers, small icebergs etc etc. So many fantastic photographs that we not only don't have the space here but don't have the time today to process them. Watch this space later for another page of photographs with yet another "Click Here" to come.
For more photos please click HERE
11th June. Matanuska Glacier SRS.
We seem to be well on the way today. Stopped for fuel, water and dump. Stopped in Anchorage at the Walmart for a few supplies and still make our way well out to this amazing site. The Glacier is a little strange as it just seems so low in the valley and not really coming off a mountain. What you see on the above photo is about 3 - 4 miles wide and maybe 200 or more feet high.
12th June. Eagle Trail SRS, near Tok, Alaska
One of those places that is a means to an end. Just outside Tok and the right distance for us to stop. There is an old mining road made in the 1930's by the Corp of Engineers that provides us with a fairly decent hike but that's about it.
We stop in the town of Tok to top up with fuel as it is much cheaper that Canada and as part of the deal get a free RV wash, dump and water. The first time we have pressure washed the RV from top to bottom. So - guess what? It rained. Then we had to go through loads of road works with gravel/mud roads. We arrived at Congdon Creek looking like part of the muddy roads we had just travelled on. We are NEVER going to wash the RV again!!!! The good news was that we went through the Canadian border and managed to get our much cheaper booze through without paying any duty. Always a silver lining.
14th/15th June. Marsh Lake, Southeast of Whitehorse
We had deliberately stopped here because nearby there is a place called Swan Haven where we stopped on the way up. Julie was in heaven. On our return this time the lake water level had risen so much that there were now no sandbars and not much beach. What this meant was that there were no swans or waders to be seen at all. Apparently April/May are the only months to see anything. Never mind - maybe next time!!!!!!!
16th June. Watson Lake, Yukon.
We had driven 250 miles on roads that are not ideal so this was literally just somewhere to stop. As they say - another day another lake.
A reasonable drive down to here - only 150 miles but the wildlife made it quite special. So - just today - 4 x Bison, 1 x Moose, 1 x brown Black Bear, 1 x Mule Deer, Wild Horses, Canadian Geese. Not bad for about 3 hours driving. Then we arrive at our destination and as the name might imply there are hot springs here. The park have made two large pools for people to use though one is closed because they found an endangered snail?? The water temperature in the one pool left open starts at 52 deg C and that is Hot with a capital 'H'. Our first hot bath for months. And second. And third. And fourth.
19th June. Muncho Lake Provincial Park
A beautiful blue/green lake but as the saying goes; another day another lake. Really nice weather now though and we are back to shorts for the first time in a while.
20th June. Stone Mountain Provincial Park, Summit Lake Campground
Yes - another day another lake!! However, this one is at the highest point on the Alaska Highway at 4,250 feet. We are after all crossing the Northern Rockies here. We do manage to get in a fairly good hike here - not to the summit. The actual summit hike was only 4 Km long but was estimated to take over 5 hours - it was classed as strenuous and 5 hours for 4 Km put us off a bit. Ours was about the same length but much easier.
21st June. Tetsa Regional Park.
22nd June. Triple-G RV Park, Fort Nelson.
It's that time - a commercial RV park. Need to catch up with a few things like laundry, internet/e-mails, washing the RV etc. Not too bad a place though as it does have a bar/restaurant.
23rd June. Buckinghorse River (Wayside) Provincial Park
Buggy!!! That single word seemed to sum this place up. The mosquitoes have arrived - in force! Just simply too uncomfortable to go out walking. Except of course for Julie to get the above "rarely sighted" new bird spot.
24th June. Kisatinaw Provincial Park
This place is just off the modern Alaskan Highway on part of the original Highway and this bridge was a technical marvel of its day. The road surface is wooden yet it is curved. The only bridge still like it in Canada today. And yes - we drove over it in Harvey.
Today was fairly momentous. We drove through a town called Dawson Creek - Mile "0" on the Alaskan Highway. We have done it all. All 1,500 miles of it. Rough roads, smooth roads (mostly rough), mountains, rivers and lakes. Hard work but oh so well worth it!!!!! We also move out of British Columbia and are now in Alberta. It is also cold, wet and grey - just like England really. We have left the Northern Rockies behind and are on more like rolling hills and flat stretches. For the first time in a long time we have no snowy mountains in view. Feels like a totally new phase of our trip.
26th/27th June. Marten's River Campground, Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park.
A couple of days here next to the largest lake, accessible by car, in Alberta. It looks like a sea!. The first day is cold, wet and windy - sort of like the UK really - and waves a couple of feet high. However, the second day is really nice with lots of sunshine and nice temperature. So - look at the really nice little bird above - this has to be just about the noisiest little bird in the world. Middle of the night it is still going strong and the baseball bat is getting to be a distinct possibility. Also nearby is the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation and of course we have to visit. Unfortunately it is out of season and they are very quiet as we are in between Spring and Fall migration - the youngsters are growing up and getting fed. Fall (autumn) migration apparently starts on July 12th up here! - See the little ones - juveniles (juv) below.
28th/29th June. Elks City Campground, Vegreville.
Just arrived here and staying a couple of days. Glad to get in really as it is a holiday weekend here (Canada Day on Monday). Supposedly the site of the largest "Pysanka" (Easter Egg) in the world. This is a very Ukrainian immigrant area of Canada - hence the "Pysanka". Beautiful weather for a couple of days but then very wet in the night.
This is one of those places where you learn not to trust your GPS. Our nice new version finished up putting us right in the middle of a residential area and said "you have reached your destination". Yeah sure!!! After asking a couple of local guys the way we eventually managed to find it - pretty much by accident. Not really worthy after all that of anything to say about it except is served its purpose.