Monday, July 22, 2013
We're in Alaska!
We left Prince George and made our way west on the Yellowhead Highway passing through the town of Smithers, British Columbia. We turned north on the Cassiar Highway and spent the night at a rustic campground at a beautiful lake where we had our first encounter with the voracious mosquitoes of these parts. This road as a reputation for being narrow with long drop offs and no shoulders. Our rig handled it with no problems. We got a pic of a small bear foraging on the side of the road. We passed through Jade City, which is a family run jade mine and store. We were amazed to learn that 92 percent of the world's jade is produced in this area. We entered the Yukon Territory and camped at the junction of the Cassiar and the Alaskan Highways. We met a young Swiss couple that were riding bicycles from Columbia, South America all the way to Anchorage! We saw dozens of bicyclists loaded with packs on the Cassiar and Alaskan roads. The road from Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon, is good pavement with some short gravel sections until the last 80 miles or so, where there was a lot of frost upheavals, long gravel sections and construction waits. We camped at Destruction Bay on Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon and there were warning signs about grizzly bears. The weather which had been nice for most of the trip turned very bleak with temps in the forties and cold rain. The lonely campsite was rather spooky and with the rain and bears and all we decided to stay in the camper and watch a (creepy) movie. We finally made Alaska yesterday and camped at Moon Lake in a rustic deserted campground and rolled on into Fairbanks today. After all of the rough camping, we are set up in a very nice RV park next to the Chena River practically in downtown Fairbanks. I finally have good WiFi, we are charging the camper batteries and Debbie is doing the laundry. Tomorrow we will hit a grocery store, top off our water and diesel tanks and head for Denali National Park for at least a four day stay. I am hoping to finally do some good hiking and biking.