Journals, Photos and Videos

Leg 5 - Prosser,WA to Lynden

We are now in Lynden, WA, just a few miles from the Canadian border. We are crossing at Sumas in the morning.

04-21 New vineyard - Prosser
The drive from Prosser went well but was relatively challenging. After passing miles of vineyards and orchards, we encountered some serious rolling hills with miles of climbs and descents. We eventually got to some mountain passes that, of course, meant more snow showers. Again they were nothing serious but are getting very tedious.

04-21 Rolling hills
We arrived in Lynden at 4 PM and were surprised to find that the KOA was almost full. It turns out that the park is a popular location for BC families that get 3½ to 4 day weekends.

04-21 Interesting
We got a back-in site that is sufficient, especially for a single night stay. After getting set up, we went into Lynden to get stocked up on diesel fuel. It was the most money that we ever spent on fuel at a single stop. This should give us 700-800 mile range which gives us some serious peace of mind and added flexibility.

Since we can’t bring fresh fruit into Canada, Maureen had to turn a case of oranges into juice this evening. Other than that, we are relaxed and ready for the Canadian trek - about 2,000 miles. We have 1,500 under our belt so far. We will be tackling the first 300 tomorrow.


Leg 6 - Lynden, WA to McLeese Lake, BC

It was a clear, crisp morning as we prepared to leave the beautiful KOA where we spent the night. Since we did not have a dump at our site we had a fun obstacle course to run but with some clever maneuvering by George, we were able to negotiate it, do our job and we headed off north to Canada.

04-22 Border crossing to US
Despite the fact that we had to park the RV and go into the office at the border, it only took us 13 min to have them check our passports, declare us dangerous, go to the office to be absolved and get back on the road. As we left the area, the line of vehicles approaching from the other direction never did end.....I think it went to Alaska!. We did video several miles of the line but we had to bear right to Route 1 so we actually never did see the end of the line. As it turns out, last night when we went to the KOA they only had 2 spots left and all the RV parks were in the same situation. Canada starts celebrating Easter on Thursday and continues thru the following Tuesday so the people from British Columbia come camping and shopping for the long weekend in the US.

The ride today was uneventful even though we traversed several mountain passes and did our fair share of climbing and descending. And uneventful is a good thing as we keep recalling our '09 trip to AK when we encountered treacherous conditions with snow and ice at times so a bit of a chill in the air is delightful, especially since it was a perfect, sunny day also. As usual, we stopped at a rest area where we made lunch and watered Angus and ourselves and continued on a beautiful road to McLeese Lake RV Park.

Since it is so early in the season, we are the only RV here and because we have such a big vehicle they suggested we take 2 parallel spots next to the do you say no to that?


After supper we had a nice walk with Angus. He and George were stared down by a big buck.....who got bored and went back into the woods. The pic with the iPod did not do it justice so we will have to wait for another "spotting". However, today the road signs that said "watch for animals" were accurate! We saw a herd of deer on the side of the road, swans and an Eagle sitting on a frozen lake! We have a "thing" where we chuckle when we see the "watch for animals" signs as we have never seen any until today. The last time we went to AK, my cousin Maureen told us to watch for the buffalo on the road......she was so right....we saw buffalo on the road for 165 miles! Actually, looking forward to seeing them again this year.


Here are a few views from the campground we are at tonight. We are getting very north so it is still bright quite late. That makes it easy to take advantage and go for a walk rather late in the evening. Tomorrow we head for Chetwynd which sports the most beautiful statues made by chain saw throughout the city.


Have a good evening everyone. AND Happy Birthday tomorrow to Sammie who will turn 6 years old.

Leg 7 - McLeese Lake to Chetwynd, BC

The day started early with a short walk outside in the fresh crisp air. It was in the hight 30's F and the sun was shining brightly casting early morning shadows on the lake beside the RV. The beauty and stillness of the lake was only broken by the geese landing with a splash.

This RV park/ motel was purchased by a young couple last Dec and they are preparing for their first season and doing a fine job with this picturesque park.

We had a challenge but managed to get into the slot assigned however, we were not able to put out one of the slides because a tree created an obstruction. The owners saw us struggling with what to do so because we were the only folks in the campground, the suggested we move down to the lake and park parallel, making it much easier to exit in the morning. Just check this could you say no to that offer.

The day was a nice drive to Chetwynd, the air was clear and it was sunny and bright which made for a pleasant drive. We were scheduled to arrive in Chetwynd around 3:30pm.

Around the Chetwynd area were many, many lumber yards with stacks and stacks of logs. They seemed to be as far as you can look.

Chetwynd is know for it’s statutes carved with chain saws. They grace the town all over the main street as well as seemingly any place that folks can see and enjoy the talents of the locals.

George had called the campground and the gentleman to whom he spoke said we would have electricity for sure but probably not water (still frozen) or sewer (same problem). At this time of the year, this is not unusual so we said fine as we could carry water with us and could use a dump station at another location.

Little did we know that the man and George was talking to was in Vancouver and not in Chetwynd. Well, we were greeted at the Campground with mud and snow! He obviously did not know the conditions at the park. There was no way we could camp and right next door there was a hotel with a huge parking area behind it so we made the decision that rather drive around looking for another campground which would most likely be in the same condition to book a room for the night. It was a great idea until we realized that it cost the same as 5 nights in a campground!  

We had a few problems at this time. Our battery in the RV seemed to be dead, the fridge and freezer that depend on that battery were off, the light for the RV break was not working, and that caused us to not be able to put the jacks down for support. We noticed blue rails in the parking area. They actually had electric outlets at each parking spot that are made available to guests of the hotel to plug in their engine block heaters. Aha! We got permission and hooked our electricity into one of the outlets which allowed us to put the jacks down and turned the fridge and freezer back on. This gave us some leeway to get thru the night and try to figure the cause of the problem.

Angus got to have the RV to himself all night....tho we know he would have much rather had us for company. An early night for us....10pm we were in bed and only read for a few minutes before calling it a night.

Leg 8 - Chetwynd to Fort Nelson, BC

Good morning and Happy Easter to all!

Well, who ever said waking at night worrying about something could ever produce an answer? They were wrong! George woke up during the night worrying about the battery and related problems. Saw but ignored him reading (and worrying most likely) so he would hopefully go back to sleep. It seems he did finally get some more sleep and when we both woke up this am he had the answer!!

Once before we had a problem and it was a fuse. The problems we had this time exhibited similar symptoms so he went to the RV to take Angus for a walk and then test his theory which proved absolutely accurate. Once he replaced the offending fuse with a back up fuse we were back in business.

The trip today brought back flashbacks to '09 Alaska trip. The route we drove today was amazing.....we could not believe what a beautiful road we were traveling. When we traveled this road in '09 we drove through a blinding snow storm. There are no rest stops nor shoulders on the side of the road where we could have taken refuge. So you can imagine our surprised when we saw a beautifully paved road we were traveling on!

Our refuge in this storm was Pink Mountain, so naturally, we had to stop at the convenience store there in memory. It was a treacherous and terrifying drive in '09 and thankfully pleasant this year. The scenery was awesome and the snow capped mountains breathtaking.

Today we finally saw animals on the road! We have seen many deer as well as our first moose. Usually we laugh at the signs that tell us to watch out for moose.....but we actually saw one today. He was HUGE and the most beautiful color. Deep brown and almost burgundy in color. Saw him too late to take a picture. Later, down the road we saw another going across the highway into the woods on the other side (doesn’t that remind you of the joke....”Why did the moose cross the road?” We even have a short video of a deer running along the side of the road with the truck.

Big event......we joined the Alaska Highway this afternoon.

We are once again camping in a park that we camped in both on our way to and back from Alaska. It is a bit disappointing even though it is under new water or sewer which is to be expected at this time of the year but there is garbage and trash in the camping areas. We are used to spotlessly clean camping areas, thanks to George's experience in Maine.

Leg 9 - Fort Nelson to Watson Lake, YT

The day started out foggy, overcast and cold (28°). By the time we left, the skies cleared and the temperature was still a brisk 34°.

Today was a challenge. We left Fort Nelson a little late since we had to get water for our storage tank. No one has site water turned on yet since they just started thawing out. So we returned to the Alaska Highway around 10 AM with 2 significant passes and 325 miles ahead of us.

The first pass was a 2,500 foot climb to a 4,400 foot pass that was truly spectacular but equally challenging. After summiting, the descent wasn’t too bad but only led to another ascent.

This one brought us to Summit Lake in the Stone Mountain Reserve at 5,300 feet. This time the descent was a bit more intense and left us a bit worn out and we had barely started.

We descended to Toad River crossing as we had in 2009 and had to stop for lunch. This time we actually went into the restaurant to relax and enjoy the camaraderie and the ambience. The entire restaurant/store ceilings and walls are packed with thousands of hats from all over the world.

We also talked with a fellow RVer who is also headed to Kenai Peninsula. They are also going to be Workamping in Soldotna.

Next we were bound for Muncho Lake and, to our surprise, we climbed again to 5,200 feet. This is starting to wear on us. Fortunately the scenery continued to amaze - even for spoiled Coloradans.

The leg progressed well. We passed (yes passed) Liiard Hot Springs. Our late departure along with the challenging passes had us running late. In retrospect, we would have benefitted a bunch by climbing into the 106° hot springs and relaxed for a half hour.

Soon after Liiard, we encountered the famous Yukon Territory buffalo herd. Although we saw fewer animals his time, there were several small herds and we continued to be impressed.

Just before landing in Watson Lake, we saw 4 caribou scamper back into the woods as we approached. So we’re way up on the wildlife sighting along the Alaska Highway.

We stopped at the Downtown RV Park, which is non-descript, wi-fi-less in an open parking lot. But it’s open year round and works fine as an overnight stop.

Tomorrow we have a 285 mile drive to Whitehorse. We’re anticipating a pleasant day and are looking forward to the Yukon’s vibrant and beautiful capital city.
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