2006... and the price of fuel keeps rising. We planned another trip to Alaska and the fuel prices rose again. We thought about the trip and the price went up... yet again. We followed our plan anyway!
When April 2nd rolled around, we rolled out of the driveway and made our way north. First stop in Ohio to visit family and friends, then on to Indiana to visit more friends. Soon we were heading west, the weather pleasant until we reached Onawa, Iowa. On April 25th we woke up to cold and sleet and the new leaves popping out on the tress looked a little distressed.
Moving on down the road we crossed another time zone. Trees were mostly bare with drifts of snow along all the hills. Stopped at Spearfish, South Dakota to get our mail and let some of the snow melt. May 5th we woke up to frozen water lines, the temperature was 26°.
Shelby, Montana was our final stop before crossing the border. The wind was awesome for about four days; we were rocking and rolling even while parked.
Finally on the Alaska Highway, no more satellite TV for a long time. The lakes and rivers were frozen, the mountains covered with deep snow. Most of the campgrounds were still closed, the days were longer and we saw a lot of wildlife. Life is good! The price of fuel is not! One thing we noticed were all of the Florida license plates. We began to wonder if anyone was left in Florida.
At Fort Nelson the water at the RV park was still frozen but we had to stop. We found out that the pass ahead had 2-foot of snow the day before. Besides the snow there was a landslide and a large boulder in the middle of the road. We spent the afternoon talking to the other RV'ers who were also waiting for the pass to clear.
May 16th we arrived in Whitehorse. Sure gets brisk at night. The morning we left Whitehorse the campground sewers froze up. Do you think mother nature was playing a joke on us? Big patches of snow everywhere, frozen lakes and lots of potholes.
May 20th we crossed the border into Alaska. We made a big circle tour, visiting Tok, Valdez, Anchorage, Soldotna, Homer, Seward, Talkeetna, Cantwell, Fairbanks and Delta Junction, just to name a few so you can get an idea our route. During our visit to each area we used the Jeep to explore everything within reach. Just about every time we went out exploring we saw one or more moose. You really have to watch out for them... they are everywhere. In Seward we took a day cruise of the Kenai Fjords National Park. The seas were quite choppy, which made taking pictures a bit of a problem, but the weather was decent. The scenery is awesome, the wildlife abundant and the glaciers spectacular. I would recommend this cruise to anyone.
After leaving Alaska we visited Dawson City and somehow ended up with two broken fog lights on the Jeep. Moving on down the road again, destination Hyder, Alaska to see the bears. Two more broken lights, this time the turn signals. The car was covered in so much mud that you couldn't see the windows. Ugh! What a job trying to get the windows clean enough to drive to the car wash.
The following morning we rolled out of bed real early to visit Fish Creek and watch the bears. When we arrived a momma grizzly and three cubs were in the creek. We photographed them and watched them play for a long time, then they went away. Finally a young black bear came to eat salmon along the bank. Eagles and gulls also grabbed their share of the booty, although there were not very many salmon this year.
We took a lot of pictues and have a lot of memories for when we look back through them. In spite of the frozen water lines, the snow and ice, the broken lights and the high price of fuel we had a good time and enjoyed our visit. You just never know what the next year will bring.
Follow our adventure in the Alaska 2006 albums.