Monday, June 29, 2015

Pinnacle RV Park, Sutton, AK

The View Along AK 4 (The Richardson Highway)
Monday, June 29, 2015, Pinnacle RV Park, Sutton, AK, 223.5 Miles Today, 4386.2 Miles for the Trip

We had a pretty clear morning as we headed back north on the Richardson Highway. Don had no problem pulling the Scamp up to the pass. I should mention the Keystone Canyon. The view while driving through it is well worth a trip to Valdez alone. The two waterfall photos taken last Saturday when we were on our way to Valdez are only some that cascade down the mountains.

We stopped on the way up to the pass for some photos of the mountains without rain. I did a panorama - don't load the large version unless you have plenty of data & a fast connection - it is a 2.88MB file.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We stopped for the day at the Pinnacle RV Park, full hookups for $35.00. Very good AT&T coverage (the cell tower is in the campground) but like most of Alaska, no Verizon. Alaska seems to be one of the few places where AT&T provides better coverage than Verizon. The only Verizon coverage I've had since leaving North Dakota has been at Valdez. The campground host said Verizon is just starting to move into Alaska, so maybe there will be coverage in Anchorage. Hope so since I have 20GB per month of Verizon data & while unlimited AT&T data, it is only on the phone - no tethering.

The Pinnacle RV Park is interesting - they collect old tractors (and lots of old anything), and have geese, llamas, alpacas, and many other animals roaming the campground. I can hear a rooster in the woods behind the place - should wake us up in the morning!

Dinner will be Chicken & Singapore Curry Noodles as a side, with the rest of the cheesecake for dessert.

Until next time -

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Two Glaciers, Valdez, Alaska

Worthington Glacier, Valdez, Alaska
Sunday, June 28, 2015, Bear Creek RV Park, Valdez, AK, 0 Miles Today, 4162.7 Miles for the Trip

Well, it hardly rained overnight, and the morning was clear enough that we could cook pancakes & bacon outdoors, but after that it was another day of light drizzle. We went to see the Valdez Glacier. Not every town can have its own glacier! You can't easily access the base of the glacier unless you do it by boat. When we arrived at the park there was a group of kayakers getting lessons before paddling to the glacier.

There was an interesting rock quarry at the mountain next to the pond at the park. They built a "road" (and I use that term loosely) and drove a large power shovel up to the top. There is a blasting drill there as well, so I assume they blast the rock, then backhoe it over the side of the cliff to make a pile of rock below. If you look carefully, you can see the rain of rock the shovel just dropped.

After that we headed back up Richardson Highway (AK 4) to the Worthington Glacier State Park. We took some photos of Worthington Glacier from the road yesterday, but wanted to get closer. There is a short hike from the parking lot to a viewing platform, and a longer one across the glacier gravel to the base of the glacier. I took a bunch of photos.  See them at today's LakeshoreImages post.

After that it was back to Valdez & Safeway to buy some rolls for tonight's hamburgers. 20 minutes later with a full shopping cart we left...

Dinner will be hamburgers, macaroni & cheese, and cheesecake for dessert.

Until next time -

Bear Creek RV Park, Valdez, AK

Along Alaska 4
Saturday, June 27, 2015, Bear Creek RV Park, Valdez, AK, 238.1 Miles Today, 4162.7 Miles for the Trip

We finished our over 1000 mile drive on the Alaska Highway, took the Tok Cutoff towards Valdez & Anchorage, then AK 4 to Valdez. Light rain towards the end of the drive. We stopped for a 10 minute construction wait, and for some photos along the roadway. The drive to Valdez goes by some very pretty scenery. Lots of mountains, lakes even glaciers & waterfalls.

We are set up in sites 69 & 70 & will probably stay here tomorrow. We are ahead of schedule & it will be nice to relax for a day. Unfortunately, it is raining, and rain is predicted for tomorrow as well, but is is a very light rain so far.

After setting up we drove in Don's van to the hatchery to see if we could see any wildlife eating fish. Unfortunately, no salmon were running & the picking were slim. We did see a couple of eagles, but for the most part they were too far away for usable photos. After that we drove to the end of the road where the Valdez Terminal for the Alaska Pipeline is located.

More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Since it was raining, we decided to go into town for dinner. We ate at the Fat Mermaid.

Until next time -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tok RV Village, Tok, AK

Sites 809 & 810, Tok RV Village, Tok, AK

Friday, June 26, 2015, Tok RV Village, Tok, AK, 236.8 Miles Today, (Mile 1313.4 of the AK Highway) 3924.6 Miles for the Trip

We are in Alaska!

We ate breakfast at the Destruction Bay Lodge; good food & service. After packing up, we hit the road. The plan was to get gas at the station in Burwash Landing, the next town, but when we got there we found the pumps, but no one to run them & no card service. So, ten miles back to Destruction Bay & the Fast Gas next to the campground. I really have to follow my own advice - never pass a gas station or bathroom (although technically, we didn't pass it; it was 1/4 mile before the campground)!

The section of Highway 1 (the Alaska Highway) between Haines Junction & the Alaska border is beautiful, with many lakes & mountains along side the road. The road got very rough north of Koidern. Many sections were loose gravel, complete with potholes & washboarding. Much of that section was 15 MPH or less. After we got through the worst of it, we stopped for a potty break & found minor destruction in the trailers. I had one cabinet open, dumping a bunch of stuff on the floor, but nothing broken. Don & Anne had the furnace cover fall off, curtain rods come down, and some cabinet emptying as well. Again, nothing broken.

The border crossing went well - a few questions, but they let everything through. We pulled into Three Bears Campground, but they were closed between 2:00 & 3:00. Since it looked like a thunderstorm was heading our way, when no one showed up by 3:10, we drove across the street to Tok RV Village. $39.15 with a Good Sam's discount for a water & electric site (also TV, but neither of us has one). Not the levelest of sites - I had to unhook to get the tongue low enough to level the trailer, but trees between sites provide some screening & shade. Don & Anne are in site 810, I'm in 809. The only photo today is the campsite photo.  If the slow TengoNet internet here at the campground will let me, it will be at the top of the page.  While I have a good AT&T connection, I can't post from it.  There is no Verizon available.

We are still thinking about dinner. There is a restaurant near by, so if the rain does set in, that is what we will probably do.

Well, it didn't rain, so it was spaghetti & meatballs, along with the rest of the salad, and a bottle of Canadian wine.

Until next time -

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Destruction Bay Lodge,Burwash, YT

Mountains Outside Haines Junction

Thursday, June 25, 2015, Destruction Bay Lodge,Burwash, YT,176.4 Miles Today, (Mile 1083 of the AK Highway) 3687.8 Miles for the Trip

We woke up to no water in the campground. While Hi Country RV Park seems to be typical of those in Whitehorse, I have to decline to recommend it. Maybe we were just unlucky, but I will try somewhere else on the way back. By the way, Whitehorse is quite "city like". The downtown is arranged in blocks, with many stores, etc. We stopped on the north side of the city at the local Walmart for a few supplies, then headed up the Alaska Highway. We stopped at Destruction Bay for the night. We did stop for some photographs of the mountains near Haines Junction.

The Destruction Bay Lodge campground is a parking lot with water & electric (30 amps). They do have fairly fast WiFi, all for $35.07 with a Good Sam's discount. A fairly informal set up - we were told to pick our sites, set up, and come to the office to pay. There was only one other trailer in the park, so we had lots of choices. We were able to set up facing each other, put both awnings out and sat in the shade since both Don & Anne need to stay out of the sun. I, on the other hand, kept sliding out from under the awning to catch some sun - while it is in the 70's, there is enough wind to make it quite cool in the shade. We stopped around 2:30; now, at 5:30, the park is filling up. We are going to have to pull in the awnings soon; the wind is rocking my trailer!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

While there is a restaurant in the main building at the campground, it is only open from 7:00AM to 3:00PM, so we are going to make a simple dinner - too windy to cook outside. Soup & sandwiches.

An added note - for those that are not good at sleeping in daylight, I added a photo of sunset at around 11:00PM. It doesn't get dark overnight this far north. I can sleep anyway, although it bothers Anne. Just something to get used to!

Until the next internet connection -

High Country RV Park, Whitehorse, and Carcross, YT

Rancher Falls, YT
Wednesday, June 24, 2015, High Country RV Park, Whitehorse, YT, 216.9 Miles Today, (Mile 884.3 of the AK Highway) 3511.4 Miles for the Trip

We made a couple of stops on the way to Whitehorse. The first was for a short hike to the Rancheria Falls, two low but pretty waterfalls at the end of a gravel path & boardwalk. There was a number of short Lupins on the walk. When we got back to the parking lot I got a photo of a Rotel bus. This is a rolling hotel that is popular with Europeans. I've seen them in the southwest; this one was based out of Alaska. We saw it a number of times today at different locations.

After the falls we stopped to photograph a couple of totem poles at the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre. I stopped at the gift shop & found a present for my daughter's birthday.

Our next stop was a bit of a detour off Highway 1 for a side trip to Carcross. This is definitely a tourist trap. I have to hit at least one or two of them on any trip and this works for one. The parking lot was full of buses, and lots of shops selling just about anything. I did meet a real Mounty who offered to pose for a photo with me, but I just took his photo instead. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The last images are the usual site photos. I should have been able to do just one since we called and reserved two sites next to each other, but when Don & Anne drove to their site there was already a trailer in it. Seems the people in the site couldn't tell the difference between 15 & 19. Don & Anne ended in site 57 about 4-5 sites away from mine. A bit of a pain to put dinner together. If I was the campground owner, I would have told the people in the wrong site to move, but instead they offered to let Don & Anne move to site 15 (after they were all set up in 57). All the sites are very tight - your neighbor's sewer connection is right next to your picnic table. Not cheap @ $39.69 with a Good Sam's discount. On the other hand, the showers are nice...

I wanted to mail Karin's birthday present & tried to find the post office. The GPS insisted the nearest was in Skagway (evidently, it doesn't know there are Canadian post offices). The desk clerk gave me a map that showed the location of the post office & I went looking for it. It is in the basement of a drug store, making it a bit difficult to find! I did get the package shipped - they are open until 6:00PM, much handier than the US post offices.

Dinner was a couple of cheese brots, chips & a salad.

Until the next internet connection -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rancheria Motel & Cafe, YT

Our First Bear Sighting
Tuesday, June 32, 2015, Rancheria Motel & Cafe, YT,194.8 Miles Today, (Mile 710 of the AK Highway) 3294.5 Miles for the Trip

Another couple of hundred miles along the Alaska Highway. While most of it was good weather, we did run into thunderstorms towards the end of the day. Right now it is thundering, but little rain here in the campground.

We made a stop to see the Laird River Cranberry Rapids, and a couple of wildlife stops. A couple of photos of some bison & a black bear. We also stopped at Watson Lake for some groceries, and an internet connection at the visitor center to load yesterday's page. The have a "village" of signs at the visitor center - I wish I had brought one from Oswego. It probably would have been a first. More photographs are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Our original plan was to stop at the Continental Divide Campground. Anne tried to call them from Watson Lake (the only place today that had cell service) and got a disconnected number. Checked with the visitor center, and the campground is closed. So, we stopped a bit earlier at the Rancheria Motel & Cafe campground. Electric only for $20.00. Nothing fancy, in fact I had to "plunge" the one working toilet to get it to flush. The do have showers for the men - the women have to go to the motel. Still, it is one of the least expensive campgrounds along the highway, and they do have a restaurant, which, with the threat of rain, might be a good place for dinner. I'm not sure what sites we are in - it is difficult to tell the difference between some of the sites & the road, but they said pick anything & we did. By the way, the province abbreviation for the Yukon is YT (for Yukon Territory?)

Until the next internet connection -

Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, BC, Mile 458 of the AK Highway)

Liard River Hot Springs
Monday, June 22, 2015, Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, BC, 182.8 Miles Today, (Mile 458 of the AK Highway) 3099.7 Miles for the Trip

We continued on the Alaska Highway (CA 97) - I'll be typing that for quite awhile. Stopped to take a photo of the first snow capped mountains, for fuel at the Rocky Mountain Lodge (1.49/L) and along side Muncho Lake for some photographs.

While I didn't really need it, I suggested we stop at the Muncho Lake Lodge for fuel, but there was quite a line, so we continued on to Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park. We are in a dual site (1 & 2) at $24.00 each). No hookups - there is a pit toilet near by & a water tap at the entrance station. We both filled up on water at the last campground, so we are set. My batteries are full & the solar panels are putting out 6 amps (what I'm using while putting the page together).

You won't get to see any of this until I find WiFi. It is definitely a non electronics location - no cell coverage, no XM radio (too much blocking the antenna) and no FM stations on the radio. There is a hot spring & we will hike out to it after I get the page together. There is a 700 meter boardwalk to the Hot Spring, with very nice changing booths at the spring. No showers, so we will smell a bit sulphurish until at least tomorrow, but the spring was one of the nicest I've been to. Many are swimming pools such as the one at Glenwood Springs in Colorado. Others have mud bottoms, etc. This one has gravel, and a very nice grade of heat from one end to the other. The hottest seems impossible to get into, although I did watch someone work their way from the cool end to the top.

More photos for the day at today's LakeshoreImages post.

There is a hike to a garden beyond the hot spring, but it is closed due to a "Problem Bear".

Dinner will be grilled chicken with one of the sides we are carrying. We forgot to get a salad, although we did pick up a bunch of food at the IGA in Fort Nelson.

Until the next internet connection -

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Triple G Hideaway RV Park, Fort Nelson, BC

Sunday, June 21, 2015, Triple G Hideaway RV Park, Fort Nelson, BC, 224 Miles Today, (Mile 275 of the AK Highway) 2916.9 Miles for the Trip

Two weeks into the trip! A pretty day wit just a touch of rain, the second on the Alaska Highway (97). We did hit the first of what will probably be many construction stops for road repaving. About a 10 minute wait, but unlike my last trip out west, I didn't have to drive on fresh oil. It took lots of elbow grease to get the oil out of the wheel wells after that trip.

The fuel stations are far between, so I stopped early. There are some stations that do not have operators, and just take credit cards. That is a problem since they don't like my unchipped US card. I pulled into Fort Nelson with about 3 gallons in the tank. It is probably time to fill my 2 1/2 gallon extra gas can.

We stopped for the night at the Triple G Hideaway RV Park & are in sites 4 & 5. $42.00 for full hookups, including cable. Very good free WiFi which somewhat makes up for the price. We met a couple in a Scamp 13 returning from Alaska, and they mentioned that the Fort Nelson gas station was the most expensive of the trip. I hope so - it was 1.429/L or $62.35 to fill the tank with 11.5 US Gallons.

Dinner was at the campground's restaurant. Veal Cutlet with vegetables & potato for Don and me and a fish basket for Anne. Huge quantiles - the veal cutlet included two large pieces, a pile of vegetables & a large baked potato. We skipped desert! Anne requested a photo sitting in one of the saddles at the bar. Site & Anne's photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until the next internet connection -

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rotary RV Park, Fort St John, BC & Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway

Mile 0, the Alaskan Highway
Saturday, June 20, 2015, Rotary RV Park, Fort St John, BC, 136.1 Miles Today, 2692.9 Miles for the Trip

It rained most of the night, light & heavy, tapering to a very light mist in the morning. Since I had unhooked the trailer to get the RAV4's oil change, I decided to re hook things while it was only misting at 7:00AM. Of course it only got better, but the sky looked like it might start pouring any time. We left Happy Trails around 10:00 & drove to Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alaskan Highway.

We stopped at the Visitor Centre, picked up a fuel & campground list that covers most of the locations between Dawson Creek & Tok. I also bought a sweatshirt, my first clothing purchase of the trip. For those that followed some of my past trips, "T" shirt purchases are central to my travels, but I held off until now! Of course I had to take some photos of the sign at the start of the highway as well as the trailers.  The photos will be available at the June 20th link on the Alaska Trip index at LakeshoreImages once I am able to post them.

We spent a fair amount of time in Dawson Creek, then headed north on 97 (again, the Alaskan Highway). We stopped for the afternoon at Charlie Lake, BC and the Rotary RV Park. #31.20 (with a Good Sam's discount) for Water & Electric. No picnic table - we are basically in a parking lot with hookups. Charlie Lake is just behind out sites - I took a few photos of a memorial to some of the soldiers that drown building the highway.

We spent the afternoon reading & goofing off. I still can't post my pages via Dreamweaver, and suspect the campground WiFi is blocking FTP. I hope so - I've had uploading problems before with Dreamweaver, but not with the more recent cloud based versions (Dreamweaver CC).

Dinner will be some kind of shrimp dish Anne is putting together.

Until the next internet connection that works!

Happy Trails Campground, Grande Prairie, AB

The View at Valleyview

Friday, June 19, 2015, Happy Trails Campground, Grande Prairie, AB, 165.3 Miles Today, 2556.8 Miles for the Trip

We continued along AB 43, stopping a couple of times for gas & bathrooms (oops, Washrooms!). The first photo below is the view from the rest stop at Valleyview. The plan was to make it a short day so that we could do laundry & get an oil change on the RAV4 & a 5000 mile check up on the Sienna. I suspect I could have gone a bit longer, but I'm not sure what will be available further along the way, and there was a Toyota dealer in Grande Prairie.

Just as we reached the Happy Trails Campground, the heavy, black clouds that followed up all the way from Whitecourt broke loose. It has been raining since, with thunder & lightning, and very heavy rain at times. We are in sites 2 & 3 in the overflow area with 20 amp electric only hookups. Not much for $36.75, particularly since the overflow area is about as far as you can get from the showers and still be in the park. I'm glad we all had showers last night or this morning!

We did get the oil changed at Toyota while Anne did the laundry at the campground. Both together took most of the afternoon. I'm now sitting in the trailer to get out of the rain.

Dinner will be leftovers from last night - pork loin sandwiches, chips & salad. While we could cook inside, we decided to just do a cold dinner. Since my trailer is 1' longer, we will eat in here!

Unless things change, there won't be a post today - while the campground has a usable WiFi signal, my diagnostics program tells me it is very overloaded & won't allow me to sign on.

I'm now at Charlie Lake & have internet, so I'll post this & add today's post a little later.  I can't load my LakeshoreImages pages - I believe they are blocking FTP, but the Blogger pages seem to be working.

Until Later -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sagitawah RV Park, Whitecourt, AB

Sites 2 & 3
Thursday, June 18, 2015, Sagitawah RV Park, Whitecourt, AB, 221.6 Miles Today, 2391.5 Miles for the Trip

We continued northwest on CA 16, then switched to 43 in Edmonton. Both similar to US interstates with 110KMH speed limits. We stopped for the afternoon at Whitecourt, Alberta. After setting up in adjoining sites (and they are close to each other, in fact our doors face each other) we headed to Walmart to buy "stuff", IGA for food & a liquor store for some beer & wine (they don't sell it in grocery stores). Labatts Blue here in Canada is expensive (as is both other beers & non Canadian wine). A 15 pack was $28.32!

We are in sites 2 & 3. After pulling into my site the guy in the sunblocker next to me said I should move my car since when he puts out his slide I wouldn't be able to open my car door. Rather than telling him to keep his slide on his own site, I moved over to the edge of mine. He is only a foot or two into my site. While the WiFi is great, the bathrooms clean & up to date, and the laundry looks good, it is a typical commercial campground with the sites packed in a little space as possible.

We were planning to do laundry, but by the time we got back from shopping it was late enough that we are going to put it off until tomorrow.

Dinner will be a pork loin with a salad & southwest corn.

Until Later -

Vermillion Provincial Park, Vermillion, AB

Sites Next to Each Other?
Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Vermillion Provincial Park, Vermillion, AB, 191.9 Miles Today, 2169.9 Miles for the Trip

We spent most of the day driving northwest on CA 16, a four lane equivalent of a US interstate. Very flat for the first part, becoming a bit hilly as we got towards Alberta. We stopped to do a bit of food shopping in Lloydminster, then continued to the campground. They were a bit surprised by the spelling of my last name at the Vermillion Provincial Park! We asked for 2 sites next to each other, and technically they are, (sites 37 & 38) but as you can see from the photograph, they are about as far apart as you can get and stay in the same loop. Since we each carry part of each night's dinner, and like to set up our chairs together & eat at the same table, "next to each other" works best when we are close. The sites are close to the washrooms, however a hike to the showers.

The showers, but the way, are "interesting". You need to use an old "Toonie" (a Canadian 2 dollar coin) for five minutes. Seems that they redesigned the coin and the new ones don't work in the shower coin boxes. While the showers run for quite awhile, they start out ice cold, get nice & warm, and 2 minutes into showering fade to barely lukewarm. Still, I'm clean.

Dinner was the last of the Bubba Burgers, and asparagus. I hope we can find replacement Bubba Burgers - they are the best frozen hamburgers I've found.

Another late post - no WiFi at Vermillion Provincial Park.

Until Later -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Campland RV Resort, Saskatoon, SK

Site 6, Campland RV Resort, Saskatoon, SK

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Campland RV Resort, Saskatoon, SK, 243.8 Miles Today, 1978 Miles for the Trip

Last night I managed to overwrite Sunday's page. I usually copy the previous day's page & save it as the next day, however once each trip I manage to forget to do a "save as" and kill the page. Of course I did it when I didn't have an internet connection to download the page from the website, so I had to wait until today.

We drove up 39 to 6 to 11 and stopped at Lumdsen, SK to try to fix my phone. Don & I both added AT&T's Passport service to get 30 days or reduced rates for Canada. His worked fine, however with us sitting next to each other, he had service & I didn't. Of course I couldn't call to find out why, and had no internet to find out why on line. Anne called while Don was driving, and they needed me & my phone to fix the problem, so the nearest stop was Lumdsen. Turns out AT&T had turned off international roaming when I was camped next to Mexico 2 years ago & never turned it back on. Evidently, turning it off & on at my phone has no effect on international roaming if AT&T shuts it off. Anyhow, I now have service. We also stopped at a bank ATM to get some Canadian money. My exchange rate was 1.1598, which seems a bit low, however my bank does not charge a transaction fee & refunds the ATM fee, so I'm happy.

Most of the drive was on either flat 2 lane or 4 lane roads, so we didn't hold up traffic driving at 95KPH, even in the 110KPH portions. My mileage is just below 14.7MPG (US).

We stopped for the afternoon at the Campland RV Resort, sites 6 & 7. Full hookups sites for $37.80 with my Good Sam's discount. The campground WiFi is solid & fast enough to post the web page. Well, it was! OK at 3:00, but now at 9:00PM it is just about dead.

After setting up, Don & Anne drove into Saskatoon looking for an Anderson Leveler. For those with a single axle trailer I believe it is the best way possible to level a trailer. Slip it under the low side tire, drive onto it until level & you are done. They are also looking for a CB microphone that fits a Radio Shack CB. We believe theirs died - They can hear me, I can't hear them although I do see their RF transmission on my CB. Good luck finding one! We are now using my hand held radios.

Not sure what dinner will be - if they find something interesting, that will be it, otherwise we will finish off the brots, sausage, and a salad. (That is what we had).

Until Later -

Nickel Lake Regional Park, Weyburn, SK

Sites 17 & 18, Nickel Lake Regional Park
Monday, June 15, 2015, Nickel Lake Regional Park, Weyburn, SK, 225 Miles Today, 1734.2 Miles for the Trip

We stopped in Rugby to replace the propane we've used so far on the trip. Don needed 2 gallons. Since I didn't refill the tank after the trip to Tennessee, I needed 4 gallons. The idea was to get it in the US where it would be less expensive, but at $3.50 per gallon, I'm not sure Canada is any more expensive. I'm used to paying $10.00 to fill an empty tank (about 4.7 gallons).

A bit more on US 2, then ND 58 to the border at Portal. An easy crossing, although it was the first time I had the inspection officer use a checklist (he actually checked boxes as he asked questions). We headed northwest on 39,stopping for the day at the Nickel Lake Regional Park outside of Weyburn. We are in sites 17 & 18, huge sites close to the washrooms.

Now I don't want to pick on Canadian campgrounds, because a number of the US places I've stayed have the same problem, but the Canadian parks seem to do it more often - the utility hookups are in the wrong place. Here they are at curbside, requiring a longer than normal power cord & water hose. Don solved the problem by pulling into the site tow vehicle first. In my case, the RAV4 is short enough that I could just get it off the road & still hook up. At least I could reach it with my 25' cord. I was in a Provincial park in BC that required 40' of power cord. With the two trailers parked in the opposite directions, we have a huge space between us.  The above is the only photo for today.

After setting up Don & Anne walked to the lake. I hung out at the campsites & enjoyed the sun. It is cool in the shade, but the sun has quite a punch.

Dinner was grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and a microwaved spinach & noodle side dish. Ice cream cones for desert. Not to bad a meal, although it was the first time I've had microwave cooking while camping. None in the Escape, but there is one in the Scamp.

This is being posted a little late - The campground office manager suggested that the campground WiFi @ $9.00 per day would be too slow to do my images, so I waited until we reached the next stop.

Until Later -

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Geographic Center of North America, Rugby, ND

Don & Anne at the Geographic Center of North America
Sunday, June 14, 2015, Geographic Center of North America, Rugby, ND, 204 Miles Today, 1509.2 Miles for the Trip

Another day of driving west on US 2. The traffic was light, and the only times we slowed below 60MPH was in the towns & cities. My mileage is creeping up - for awhile I was down to 13.7MPG; at the end of today's travels I'm up to 14.7.

We stopped for the night in Rugby, ND. A bit early in the day, but it is nice to have some time to relax. I remember stopping here with my late wife Carol on a previous trip across the country on US 2 in 1998. I also remember the incredible plate of French fries at the restaurant next to the monument. It was a 12" diameter plate piled 8" high! I'm glad we didn't order 2; we couldn't get through the one we got. Unfortunately, it is now a Mexican restaurant so no French fries.

The 2 car loads of people that got to the monument as we did were willing to let us take out photos first, but since we were in the campground next door, we let them go ahead. A mistake - they spent 15 minutes doing photos. The father must have been a director - he did many retakes, poses, etc...  A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

We are in sites 17 & 16 at the Oakwood Inn & Campground. They have sites on both sides of US 2 - we are in the south campground. Full hookups, but nothing to write home about. The bathrooms are all in one units, but there is only one mens & one womens. Very worn, but fairly clean. The campground is fairly filled with semi permanent trailers - I met a couple of the guys that are working on stringing high voltage power lines.

Not sure what will be for dinner - we haven't decided. We do plan to hit Canada tomorrow, so updates will depend on finding WiFi connections.

Added Later-
The wind was blowing strong enough that I'm not sure the grill would stay lit, and there is no picnic table, so we decided to eat at the Mexican restaurant. They may not have the largest plate of French fries, but they sure do provide a huge meal. We each had something different, and any one of them would have been enough for all three of us. Mine was very good - mixed meat fajitas that came in a large, sizzling bowl, along with the fixings & soft tacos.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sarah Lake Farmers Union Campground, MN

Sites ? Sarah Lake Farmers Union Campground
Saturday, June 32, 2015, Sarah Lake Farmers Union Campground, MN, 213.1 Miles Today, 1305.2 Miles for the Trip

We spent most of the day driving west on US2. Parts two lane at 55MPH, and much four lane at 65MPH, although I still stayed around 59-60MPH. It is interesting that when I was leading & using cruise control at 57MPH on the interstate over the last few days my mileage was going down, finishing at 13.7MPG. Over the last two days following Don without cruise control at a bit faster average speed, my mileage has been climbing; now it is up to 14.5MPG. A bit flatter roads, but still I found I have a tendency to not let the RAV4 down-shift by slowing down on the slight upgrades, while the cruise control just keeps the speed at its settings, no matter what the grade. I usually have better mileage on cruise control when not towing, but with the trailer is is a different game. A few towns that slowed us down, but I bet we didn't take all that much more time than it would going down to the interstate, and it was much more pleasant a drive.

Our plan was to stop for the night at Sarah Lake Farmers Union Campground southwest of McIntosh. Because it was a weekend, we called, but only got an answering machine & no call back. Got to the campground & it looked full, and no owner. One of the campers called Don, the owner, and he has us parking in the campground road in front of his house. Works for us - $15.00 for the night, although no hookups. A pretty location right on the lake. Pretty clean bathrooms with showers.  No photos today...

Dinner will be Tacos.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, June 12, 2015

Northland RV Park, South Range, WI

Sunset over Lake Superior
Friday, June 12, 2015, Northland Camping & RV Park, South Range, WI, 284.7 Miles Today, 1092.1 Miles for the Trip

We watched a pretty sunset over Lake Superior & Grand Island viewed from behind our campsites. A quiet, but cool night; it was 49°F this morning. We got an early start and were on the road before 9:00AM. We stopped for a bathroom break at Agate Falls near Trout Creek, MI. There used to be steps going to the bottom, but now all you can do (without climbing the fence) is shoot it from above. Looks like a pretty falls. A photo and today's site photos at today's LakeshoreImages Page.

A long drive today, made longer because the original campground we found on the internet ( and located down a 4 mile dirt road) had a chained gate at the entrance. We decided to continue to our second choice. We started today on MI 28, and finally hit US 2, our primary road until we head back into Canada in North Dakota.

We finally reached the Northland Camping & RV Park in South Range, WI around 4:00 (with a time zone change). We are in sites 14 & 15, full hookup sites for $33.00 per night. The park is a bit worn, both the sites & the bathrooms, as well as being close to US 2 & its road noise, but OK for an overnight.

Dinner was Grilled Sausage, Kielbasa & Cheese Brots, along with Grandma Brown's Sauce Pan Beans & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI

Wagner Falls, Munising, MI
Thursday, June 11, 2015, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI, 95.4 Miles Today, 807.4 Miles for the Trip

Not to many miles today since we made many stops along the way to see the sights at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We drove MI 77 to Grand Marais, filled the tanks & headed west on H 58. While this used to be a dirt road, it is now paved.

Our first stop was at Sable Falls with a short hike from the parking lot to the falls. Next was a much longer hike from the parking lot to the Au Sable Light Station. Has a good tour by the ranger stationed there, including a trip to the top of the light. It was interesting to see the old Fresnel lens still at the top of the tower, but replaced by an LED. I also took a couple of photos of the remains of one of the wrecks along the shore of Lake Superior. We stopped for lunch at Kingston Lake, then headed for Munising Tourist Park Campground.

We were lucky to get two full hookup sites next to each other (Site 92 & 93), the last pair left. We needed full hookups because Don & Anne's hot water tank stinks! As soon as we were parked, we took Don's van & headed back to hike to Miners Falls, and Miners Beach to see Miners Castle. After that a drive on MI 94 & 28 to see a couple more waterfalls - Alger Falls & Wagner Falls. Then it was back to the campground, stopping for fudge & Pasties for dinner. A Pasties is sorta like a hand held pot pie. I had chicken, Don & Anne bought beef. Not too bad, although I would have preferred less potato & more chicken.

Many more photos at Today's LakeshoreImages Page.

After dinner Don & Anne flushed the hot water tank of its funky water. While Seven O's in Cicero charged them for dewinterized the trailer, they skipped a couple of things, including getting rid of the antifreeze in the hot water tank. The previous owners must have used a lot of it - no water heater bypass & they used antifreeze rather than blowing out the water lines. That probably required 6 gallons of antifreeze just for the water heater. In any case, after a bit of flushing, it should get better.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Luce County Park, MI

An Empty Luce County Park
Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Luce County Park, Curtis?, MI, 240.2 Miles Today, 712.0 Miles for the Trip

More interstate driving, but we did cross the Mackinac Bridge, after which we hit US 2 which we plan to follow all the way to North Dakota. The bridge was interesting. We had pretty strong crosswinds on the drive & they had a sign at the start of the bridge that RVs, Trucks, & vehicles pulling trailers need to cross at 20MPH. The scary thing is people were actually doing 20MPH! I did open the window in the middle of the bridge and it was really blowing.

We are heading for Picture Rock, but rather than pushing to get there tonight, we decided to stop at a small County park for the night. I'm not sure what town to use for the campground, each guide gives a different one, but Curtis is the closest on my map. I asked Anne to call the park (there is an advantage to having both a driver & a navigator) to be sure they had space since last night's county park only had a few empty spaces. No problem, other than our trailers, Luce County Park is empty.

It looks like it would be very pleasant during the warmer part of the summer, however it is still very windy, and down to the 60's. The campground host mentioned that the wind is good - it is keeping the mosquitoes away. Have to admit, they are not a problem outside, but I'll not sure I'll spend too much time in a chair on the lawn. Don & Anne tried setting their chairs in the lee of the trailer, and they were back inside in about 5 minutes. I hope it calms down enough to cook dinner. The plan is for Spaghetti & meatballs (and sausage) but it could be soup cooked inside!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pinconning, MI

Site 47, Pinioning Park, Pinconning, MI
Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Pinconning Park, Pinconning, MI, 232.3 Miles Today, 471.8 Miles for the Trip

A rather wet night with rain off & on throughout, heavy at times. While it was fairly dry at the door to the trailer, the back end was pretty wet. It stopped by morning, so it wasn't too bad packing up. We were off by 9:00 and headed west towards Michigan. Most of the drive was on Canadian 402 & 401, the equivalent of the US interstates. We even stuck to interstates once we hit the US, stopping for the night at Pinconning, MI.

I'm in site 47, Don & Anne in 48, both electric only sites. Lots of bugs. You have to chase both mosquitos and mayflies away every time you open the door - my RAV4 is full of them.

We spent the afternoon slapping bugs & putting together a dinner of Bubba Burgers, a salad & Virgo Black Beans & Rice.  The only additional photo for the day is one of Don & Anne's Scamp at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, June 8, 2015

Willow Lake Park, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

Ready to Go, Oswego, NY
Monday, June 8, 2015, Willow Lake Park, Woodstock, Ontario, CA, 239.5 Miles Today, 239.5 Miles for the Trip

With the last minute packing, breakfast, and "closing down the house", we didn't get going until 9:00. The starting mileage on the RAV4 is 108,983, 57,714 of that towing. As of the start of the trip I've spent 613 days (or should I call that "nights") in the trailer.

The trip across NY on NY 104 wasn't too bad, although the usual slowdown in Rochester. The plan was to cross into Canada at the Lewiston bridge, however we kind of missed a turn, and the next stop was the center of town & the Rainbow Bridge. A 5 - 10 minute wait, but an easy crossing. We did have rain off & on, heavy at times, but light for the most part.

We are set up in two sites next to each other (even facing each other) at the Willow Lake Park in Woodstock, Ontario. A Hydro & Electric site for $45.20 Canadian, with tax. Not a place I would recommend for a long stay, but fine for overnight. There is a fair amount of highway noise, and, since it is on a hill, some jake brakes from trucks. another minor problem - the steep, gravel driveway was fine with the 4 wheel drive RAV4, but they are going to have to do a bit of patching after Don's front wheel drive only Sienna spun on the hill.

Today's photo was taken this morning just as we were ready to leave.  On today's LakeshoreImages post there are two site photos - mine & Don & Anne's.

While the Woodall's Campground Guide states there is WiFi, it must be in the office or broken - nothing on site, and, of course, because we are in Canada, the cost of firing up my Verizon Jetpack is out of the question! I'll post this the next time I find a connection.

Added note - I did find the WiFi - it is at the office.  Fast enough, but very limited coverage.

Until then -

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Getting Ready to Leave for Alaska

Theatre Alumni Reunion, 2015
Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday, June 7, 2015, Oswego, NY, 0 Miles, 0 Miles for the Trip

Off on another trip. Like my previous trips, I spent the last couple of days packing. To add to the confusion, I discovered that the repair of my refrigerator wasn't quite as expected. While the replacement of the thermostat did fix the problem on the 120V electric side, now it won't run at all on propane; won't even light. Since there isn't enough time to take it back to the people that did the thermostat replacement (and I wasn't all that happy with their work), I tried Seven O's in Cicero, but they still have a 2 week backlog due to their fire. They suggested calling their other location in Kirkville, and they managed to fit the trailer into their schedule. Hopefully, it will be repaired in time to leave on Monday (obviously I'm starting today's post a bit early).

Another complication is this weekend is the Theatre Department's 5 year reunion weekend. As both an alumni & retired department member, I plan to attend the events. I even have a couple of alumni staying at the house.

The trailer is mostly packed & I'll finish when I get it back. I am taking the RAV4 (fully packed) to the scale at the dump to see where it is at; I'll take the combination on Monday morning before we leave.

The "we" is another difference for this trip. I will be "Caravaning" with a former student & friend Don Guido & his wife Anne for the Alaska part of the trip. They have often joined me on my trips for a week or two, and in 1996 we spent the summer tent camping across the US. This time they purchased a 2010 Scamp 16 so no more wet tents to pack in the morning!

Well, it is Sunday, we all made it through the reunion, the refrigerator is working fine on propane (it started fine for the crew at Seven O's and has been running since.) The house has emptied & we are finalizing our route & first stop. For anyone interested in the Reunion photos, they are here.

Until tomorrow (assuming I can get an internet connection in Canada)