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July 2014 – Greg and Bonnie’s RV Adventures

Archive for July, 2014

Sizzling Santa Fe

July 21, 2014 - 5:27 pm 2 Comments
Navajo artisans

Navajo artisans

Looking at necklace

Looking at necklace

Dancing on the Plaza

Dancing on the Plaza

Musicians on the Plaza

Musicians on the Plaza

Successful purchase!

Successful purchase!

We arrived safely in Santa Fe Monday afternoon.  We are camped in the Trailer Ranch RV Park.  We stay here every time we come to Santa Fe.   It’s an “over 55” park so it’s quiet and peaceful. Lots of trees, very nice.   There  is a city shuttle that stops right in front of our park which takes us to Old Town.

We spent a good part of the day enjoying the Plaza.  A band was playing, people were dancing and the Navajo artisans were selling their jewelry.  It’s a job to look at all the jewelry, but I managed to find a beautiful turquoise pendant purchased from a Navajo woman who was the artist.  Everything is hand made and the carving is very pretty.  Then I found another necklace at a jewelry store.   We spent a good part of the morning getting the best price we could on a necklace.  I do have authentication paperwork on the artisan who made the necklace, so we feel it is a good piece.    I’ll post a photo, along with other scenes from the day.

We will go back to the Plaza tomorrow, just to “look”, and we will leave Santa Fe Wednesday morning.  Should be home by Sunday.  From here on out, it’s just metal to the pedal!

Back in the lower 48

July 16, 2014 - 6:12 pm 1 Comment
Goodbye Canadian Rockies

Goodbye Canadian Rockies

We are glad to be back where dollars are dollars, not loonies or toonies.   Miles are miles and not kilometers, etc.  Since our Visa card doesn’t have a chip in it, we could not pay for fuel at the pump.  So I would have to go inside and ask that the pump be turned on.  Before they would turn the pump on, they said they had to HOLD my credit card.   I said I would be glad to stand at the checkout until he finished pumping, but that would not do.  Finally on our last day in Canada, we stopped for a last fillup.  The young girl inside would not let me stand there with my card, she would not turn on the pump until SHE held the card.   Finally I gave her the card but continued standing in front of her.    When Greg finished pumping and I was signing the receipt, she said “you’re a bit crabby today”.  Oh brother, Greg thought he was going to have to come in the store to separate us.

We made it through the border crossing without any trouble however.  As a matter of fact, we had the cutest young border agent.  I started to tell him so, but Greg said I might appear suspicious, considering I just had the altercation with that GIRL at the gas station.

We are enjoying interstate driving rather than two lane roads which are not in the best of shape.  We are in Livingston Montana tonight, and after having 100 degree weather a couple of days in BC, we are enjoying 75 degree temps today with low humidity.

Driving south in British Columbia

July 13, 2014 - 3:43 pm No Comments

Well reality has set in.   We haven’t seen any wildlife in two days.  The daytime temperatures are now streaking toward 100 degrees, and today the high was 104.   We are in Cache Creek, BC, for the night.  We did find a spot with some shade, but the air conditioner is also working at full blast.   Thank goodness for the finer things in life.

If all goes as planned, we will cross the border into the lower 48 on Wednesday morning this coming week.  We plan on driving south through Idaho, Utah, and some of Colorado to get to Santa Fe New Mexico, where we will spend 2 or 3 nights.   I think there is a piece or two of turquoise jewelry with my name on it.   We should be home by the end of the month.

Scenes from the Cassiers Highway

July 11, 2014 - 4:00 pm 1 Comment
Fox on the Cassiers

Fox on the Cassiers

Bear Glacier, near Stewart, BC

Bear Glacier, near Stewart, BC

Bad roads on the Cassiers

Bad roads on the Cassiers

Roadside flowers

Roadside flowers

Campground, Iskut, BC

Campground, Iskut, BC

We’ve spent 2 1/2 days driving the Cassiers Highway from Watson Lake to Kitwanga BC.   The first day was rainy, the roads were terrible, but the scenery was outstanding.   We spent the first night at a beautiful little campground in Iskut, BC, named Mountain Shadows.   We were indeed in the shadows of beautiful mountains and it was very cold!   The second night we spent in Stewart, BC.  We saw 7 black bears while on the road the second day but didn’t catch a single one with the camera.

While driving very slowly on some of the worst roads we have encountered, Greg spotted a fox right beside the road.  Luckily the fox did not move while we stopped right beside him and snapped some photos.

Today we are spending the night in a pretty little campgeound in Houston, BC, about 35 miles south of Smithers.  The weather has changed dramatically, with daytime temperatures in the high 80s.

Catching up

July 7, 2014 - 3:37 pm No Comments
A close call!

A close call!

Mataluska Glacier

Mataluska Glacier

Beautiful fireweed

Beautiful fireweed

Abandoned cabin

Abandoned cabin

Abandoned cabin

Abandoned cabin

Terrible roads

Terrible roads

Waiting for the pilot car

Waiting for the pilot car

Campsite at Lake Kluane

Campsite at Lake Kluane

Unforgettable view

Unforgettable view

We had an interesting encounter on July 4 in Wasilla.  We spent the night at the Big Bear RV park and at first glance it wasn’t much to look at, but it turned out to be one of the nicest, and least expensive places we have stayed on this trip.   Level sites, clean restrooms, and huge laundry with lots of working washers and dryers.

No sooner had we set up than a truck and pull trailer pulled in next to us.   I was coming around the back side of the RV and threw up my hand at the man at the trailer and he said “I’m from hamilton County, same as you”.   Well he and his wife were up here visiting their daughter who married an Alaskan.  They are from Soddy Daisy, the community next door to Hixson.  So we had fun talking with them.  They were heading home so we may meet them again on the road.   The man retired from TVA and worked at Sequoyah, but he and Greg did not know each other.   Small world.

I took a couple of photos of some of the many abandoned cabins we see in Alaska.   It seems lots of folks come up here, but not so many can make it due to the harsh winters.   The abandoned cabins are all over the place.

We have made the turn toward home, having done everything in Alaska that we wanted.  To be honest, we are missing the grandchildren more than we imagined!   Catherine is good to send us videos of the kids, but we want to see them!!!

Yesterday we made the most difficult drive of the trip–going from the Alaska border into the Yukon between Tok Alaska, and Destruction Bay, Yukon.   The roads were horrible, even worse than when we came through on the way into Alaska.  We only drove 200 miles, but we were ready to stop when we reached the campground.   Our rig is dirtier than we’ve ever seen it!!!!  We are meeting lots of rigs on their way to Alaska, and they all ask about the roads.  It’s good to be able to give them a heads up.

Last night we returned to the Cottonwood RV park on Lake Kluane.  On both visits there has been a lot of wind coming off the water.  But last night around midnight, the winds got up to a fierce level.   When we looked out, of course, it’s broad daylight, even at midnight, and the trees are bending over.  There were whitecaps all over the lake.  This continued for several hours, and by morning it was 46 degrees!

Mt. McKinley from the Hurricane Turn train

July 3, 2014 - 10:25 pm 3 Comments

Well I think we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.  We actually saw Mt. McKinley, and it wasn’t just a peek, it was full blown, in your face, in all it’s glory.  The Hurricane Turn goes 55 miles from Talkeetna toward Denali.  The train is a whistle stop, which means they stop any time a person flags them down.  This train takes the folks living off the grid into town for supplies.   It was quite interesting to see these folks getting on and off.  There was usually someone waiting for them at the stop,and they would have an ATV pulling a little trailer.   The folks would get off the train with huge coolers, boxes, duffel bags, etc.

the scenery was beautiful, and going toward the park, McKinley was shrouded in clouds.   We had just about given up hope of seeing it, when on the way back to Talkeetna, the clouds moved and we had the most spectacular views of the mountain.  The train stopped at the best vantage point, and everyone ran with their cameras to the outside platform.

We just cannot believe we saw such a great view of the majestic Mt. McKinley.

Mt. McKinley

Mt. McKinley

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Talkeetna Alaska

July 2, 2014 - 4:27 pm No Comments
Dallas sheep

Dall sheep

Downtown Talkeetna

Downtown Talkeetna

John Deere ice cream freezer

John Deere ice cream freezer

Roadhouse

Roadhouse

General store

General store

Tree House, get it?

Tree House, get it?

We love this quirky little village near Denali.   We are tatting in the RV park nearest the village.   We are mainly here to take the Hurricane Train on Thursday.  The Hurricane train is the last whistle stop train in America.   It goes back into the wilderness near Denali and anyone living off the grid can flag down the train for a ride into Talkeetna.   No food service on the train so we will take our own snacks.

today we walked into the village.  Tourists are coming and going.  The weather is just gorgeous with 70 degree temperatures, the first really moderate temperatures of the trip.   We had dinner last night at the Latitude 62 restaurant next door to the campground and it was very good.   We meet the nicest folks on a trip like this.   Last night we sat next to a couple from Maryland who are staying in our campground and we exchanged road stories.  This is their third trip to Alaska, and like us, are skipping some of the more touristy things in favor of just enjoying the scenery.

Unfortunately we could not get another night in our campground, so we will have to dry camp at the bike shop parking lot next door for tomorrow night after the train trip.  But the owner is very nice, and we will be parked directly across from the train depot.

 

 

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