Made it to Alaska…now for the excuses

It must seem like we were time traveling to our family and friends because our last post was in Southern British Columbia and now we’ve made it all the way through Canada and to Anchorage.  We had no internet or phone in Canada so I’ll use that as one excuse and the other excuse is …. well plain laziness.  We did have a great trip to Anchorage, taking our time to travel a couple of hundred miles each day and then enjoyed a new place each day.  Along the way we saw bears, wood bison, stone sheep, big horn sheep, elk, moose, deer, beaver, mountain goats and more.

Here is a short recap of some of the places we thought were noteworthy along our two week journey.  Then for future posts, we’ll be using Anchorage as our ‘home base’ to see kid #3 and family and then heading out for fishing and hiking opportunities.  You can see several mountains from town, however there are forest fires north of here so the sky is pretty hazy.

Some of the neat places along the way where we spent time enjoying…

Chetwynd, BC

Chetwynd Wood Carving

Chetwynd Wood Carving

Chetwynd has so many interesting wood carvings around the town that you can spend a few hours here.  They were gearing up for a International Chain Saw Carving competition and we saw a couple of contestants there practicing.  Even better than watching them work was seeing a ‘chain saw groupie’.  She was sporting a Chain Saw Wars tee shirt and chatting about all the different episodes.  One of the ‘stars’ who was carving a six foot tall log had to explain to her that the episodes were scripted an not real which she would not believe.  (Reminded us of the episode of Friends where Joey was Dr. Ramore and Brooke Shields was convinced he was a real doctor.)

Interesting detail on wood carving

Interesting detail on wood carving








Whitehorse, Yukon

Bike Trail along the Yukon River

Bike Trail along the Yukon River

Overall we were impressed with the Yukon.  Lots of pull outs along the road with bear proof litter barrels, toilets, and placards explaining area geology and history.

We stopped in Whitehorse to enjoy the bike trail along the river and see a huge Fish Ladder. The town itself if a nice size so you have room for walking and seeing some historical sites without it being too touristy. The Whitehorse Fish Ladder is the longest wooden Fish Ladder in the world. Unfortunately no staff were available and the gates were closed, however if opened, you can see salmon on their way to their spawning grounds. Glass windows in a viewing area allow you to see salmon, grayling and trout all at one time. This is a “come back place for me”.  You always hear about the beatings vehicles take on the way to Alaska and we had our first truck ‘injury’ – a rock chip.  Since so many RV’ers pass through here, there was a mobile rock chip repair business that met us at the visitor’s center to fix ours before we continued.

One of the highest, longest bike bridges I’ve ever been on

 Dawson City, Yukon

Dredge No. 4

We weren’t sure about spending too much time in Dawson City since it seemed like a ‘recreated pioneer town’.  However we spent the greater part of a day walking the boardwalk sidewalks (no real sidewalks or paved roads), looking at the architecture of houses and buildings, and seeing the Yukon river.  There are two Provincial Parks close to town for camping.  In general Canadian Provincial Parks (like US state parks) have pit toilets, a picnic table at campsite, and one shared water source.  For $12 they are a great place to stop for a night or two since they are usually next to a creek or lake or hiking places.

We toured the Dredge No. 4 to have a better idea of the areas gold mining companies work in, the equipment they use, and what they leave behind. Dredge No. 4 is the largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge used in North America.  To get to it, you drive several dirty, bumpy miles but worth the trip and $15 tour price.

Top of the World Highway

The highway is named because along much of its length (80 miles), it skirts the crest of the hills, giving looks down on the valleys.  Still not sure about the term Highway though since we never reached 40 miles an hour.  It is one to put on the “we did it list” since the views are pretty amazing, but the inches of dirt and dust inside and outside the camper and truck because it is gravel take a LONG time to remove.Top of the World Highway





Folded Mountain

Fold mountains form when two tectonic plates move together. Fold mountains form from sedimentary rocks that accumulate along the margins of continents. When plates and the continents riding on them collide, the accumulated layers of rock may crumple and fold like a tablecloth that is pushed across a table. There was a several mile stretch that was a beautiful example.





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4 Responses to Made it to Alaska…now for the excuses

  1. Leo Christl says:

    GC: Did you notice if it was easy to tent bicycles for touring in some of the towns like Whitehorse? We don’t intent to take our bicycles with us on our trip this time. Also, want to ask if you take a canoe with you and if so where to you carry it on the TC. We did not see it on yo9ur rig in the pictures of Alaska?

    • gconthemove says:

      Christi – Whitehorse is such a neat town to bike! I did not see a rental ‘station’ along the bike path, but there might be a store that rents them. We had 14 and 16 foot kayaks before we retired but there wasn’t room for those on top with the solar panels, storage unit, etc. We have a porta bote that folds up and we carry on the side of the camper with a motor on the back. I will send you pictures by email if you want – just let me know.

      • christl says:

        gc: Funny you should say ‘you had kayaks” We were looking at the ORU folding Kayaks produced in California. It only weighs 25lbs a piece but I want to try one out before buying it cause with the exchange they are pricey. Check out their site. They fold up into a size that can be strapped to the back step of the TC. or put into the front rack of the truck.
        Please send me the pictures of the portaboat on the TC if possible.

        • gconthemove says:

          Like you, we’ve only seen the ORU folding kayak in pictures. We thought the Porta Bote was more flexible for our needs and pics are on their way. Keep in touch and let us know the cool spots you find on your trip.

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