Monday, July 30, 2012

More Alaska stuff

To say that I am disappointed that I can't get on more often to update would be an understatement.  I have so much to share, it's frustrating!!  We are in Denali - where it is cloudy, but thankfully not raining.  We spent the day seeing what we could - bus rides and visitor centers.  I haven't downloaded any photos yet, so I will just do some catching up.

Random thoughts and observations:
Alaska has 2 seasons - snow and mosquitos!
Everyone who lives here has a 4 wheeler - and probably a snowmobile, too
So many trees!!  We’ve seen just a few clear cut or logging areas - many of them to clean up the dead trees.  Lots of dead trees.  Beetle kill?  Forests are thick!  
We were finally getting kind of used to the km to miles conversion in Canada, but Janet got confused when in the store one day and saw a small chunk of cheese for $9 and thought ‘oh, it’s just about $5’.  No, our dollar and theirs are close - we just WISH our actual price was a bit over half.  The prices on most things are - well, high!  
LOTS of tourists on the roads everywhere we go.  We were leap-frogging with a car of Japanese for several days.  They seemed to find the good photo ops!  A few days ago, we got behind a rental motorhome with German people - at least we think so.  There was a Germany sign on the back.  In the 100km/65mph area, they were going about 30mph.  There was nothing very interesting where we were following them, so don’t know why they were going so slow.  There are few passing lanes in the area  so we had to wait a while to get around them.  
On the subject of roads, for the most part, they are very good - considering that they are under snow for most of the year. The surface is bumpy and they are doing a lot of repair and chip-sealing.  There was not as much traffic as we got farther north.  The main problem that we encounter is that there are few places to pull over for photos!  
In most places, Canada and Alaska, the roadsides are cleared on either side for up to about 100’.  We’re guessing that it is so drivers can see the animals before they enter the highway?
Animals - so far, we have seen few Moose!  So disappointed.  We HAVE seen Coyote, Wolf, Deer, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear and 2 cubs, Caribou, Stone Sheep, and a Mink.

A few photos to satisfy the Neecer.........

Dean - cleaning off the back of the rig following our trip over the Top of the World 'Highway'.  Muddy and/or rough the whole 108 or whatever miles.  I am not posting the photo, but our traveling companion washed his whole rig.  I'm surprised they allowed us to continue traveling with them.

 Our first - and hopefully only -  problem of the trip.  As we were leaving the campsite at Nome Creek, a boulder became lodged between the dual wheels in back.  We heard a funny clunk clunk and stopped to see what it was.  Dean pounded and pried for quite a while with no luck and finally used the jack to dislodge it.  By boulder, I'm talking big as both my fists together.  The photo is of us parked in the middle of the 'road'.

 Had to get a photo of Dean at the Chicken Post Office.  It is staffed 5 days a week and mail is delivered twice a week via bush plane.                      

We were in Chicken for almost a week and saw a lot of history.  This is the Pedro Dredge and ore buckets which was relocated to Chicken.

The Chicken Saloon is a story all by itself and likely worthy of a whole blog entry of it's own.  The last night we were there, we overnighted in the back parking lot - for free.  We celebrated all the gold that was found!!  LOL.  You have to see the place to believe it.

There are hats and various garments attached to the ceiling and walls as well as business cards.  Here is Dean's.
And here is Dean!  
The 'town' of Chicken
The official end of the Alaska Highway in Delta Junction
Hopefully, this will get you by for a few days and make up for my lack of recent posts.  We should be in civilization for a while now, so maybe you'll see something else soon?  We'll leave here in the morning heading toward Anchorage and then the Kenai.


not-so-quiet mom said...

Awesome! Keep the entries coming as you're able!

Jason and Mindy Ding said...

Amazing stuff, cant wait to see more pics!!