Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10th - Haines Junction, Yukon Territory to Tok, Alaska

Another short night (darkness wise) but we decided that since today was going to be a shorter drive at around 300 miles that we would sleep an extra hour and take off at 10 am today for Tok.   The showers at the campground were coin operated and took over a minute to warm up.   I loaded 10 quarters for 10 minutes  and with 5 minutes left I put two more quarters in for some extra time.  Bad move,  the two new quarters reset the timer, gave me two minutes instead of 7 and my rinse was in freezing cold water.  I wasn't the only one to make that mistake.

We had breakfast at the Cozy Hotel and Cafe.   Good food, the biggest pancakes I ever saw (forgot to take a picture but they were nearly 1" thick and took up the whole dinner plate.   Light, fluffy and tasty.

The road today was much as yesterday, when you see one pine tree you see them all but the mountains and a few glaciers made the trip more interesting.  One thing about BC and Yukon Canada, they are not lacking for water.   There are huge natural lakes everywhere and you can see more rivers and streams in a day here than you might see in a whole year back home.  We had Russ and Carole giving us history about the area from the Mile Post books along the way.     We also ran into the Google Guys a few more times today and some guys from Australia who were on a world wide expedition in a diesel 4x4 rig.

We stopped for lunch about 50 miles from the border at a restaurant with no name but the sign said "bakery, crepes, soups, sandwiches".    What a good decision.  It was owned by a French couple and we tried a little of everything and I have to recommend the "full" crepe (eggs, ham, cheese, tomato) and the bread pudding for desert.

Lots of big trucks and RVs on the highway today.   Dust made visibility in places due to fast moving large vehicles nearly impossible.  Only Russ was saved from windshield damage.   So far from day 1,  I have nearly a dozen hits on my windshield, nearly a constellation of stars.   One of the hits started at the top middle, went down to about the tint line and started going to the left side.   Thought about replacing in Fairbanks tomorrow but no doubt there will be more damage before we get home.

At 1540 Phx time we crossed the border into Alaska.   The border patrol for the US was much more friendly but confused me when I handed him our US Passports and he asked me the reason for our visit and what we would be doing in Alaska.  DUH, we are US citizens,  what do you care.   Anyway he waived us on as he did everyone else.   I dread going thru the Canada border again in about 7 days if it is anywhere near what it was a few days ago.

So far what we have seen of Alaska (the 1st 90 miles) looks like where we just were in Canada, lots of skinny, scraggly pine trees and lakes.    We arrived at our destination and the motel gang checked into the Golden Bear Hotel and the campers went to the Sourdough Campground down the road.   After everyone got settled we had dinner at Fast Eddies, the best restaurant in town according to everyone.  The food was indeed good and so was the service.    The motel group said their rooms were really stinky, like musty.   They were hoping that leaving their windows open might help by the time they got back.   We decided to meet at 8am at the breakfast  buffet at the campground.

Meanwhile back at the campground,  the nightly entertainment was going strong about 25 yards from our site.   It was an elderly gentleman who did Johnny Cash and other country greats.  He was quite good.    He played for nearly 4 hours and after they had a bon fire where everyone could toast complimentary marshmallows.   Well here we are at midnight and it is lighter than it was last night.    The deep woods Off has finally made the mosquitoes leave me along.    Post up some pictures and watch the sunset in about an hour :-)

Tomorrow we head to Fairbanks to prepare for our Dalton Highway (made famous by the Ice Road Truckers) part of the trip.

How about this for sneaky?   I smoked the tires trying to get to the speed limit for this real looking (from a distance) plywood "Mountie" car
Telephone/Electric poles are half the height we see in AZ, crooked and have glass insulators
 Bikers carry SPOTs too
 A memorial to an Indian
 More Army Trucks

Grass Roofs ????
 Little shacks like this dot the road side

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