You might have seen the other post with the animals and such, well this one is totally dedicated to the fire that we almost literally ran into. As we were stopped at one of the overviews, Mark N. noticed that there was some smoke “over yonder”.
Sure enough, it was smoke and not just a funny cloud. We continued on our plan but kept a wary eye on that smoke that was getting darker the closer we got to it.
Since it was a long drive up to the Arctic Circle, we decided to pass by the fire and hope that it didn’t cause any issues on our way home. We find out later that 5 minutes after we passed the fire (it was close to the road), they closed the road! We were happy in our ignorance up toasting our arrival with a small glass of beer
We head back to the only stopping point where you can get food, gas, etc which is just south of the circle. We have a little dinner (not very good ) and then start to listen to the others talking about the fire.
We ask the questions about is the road open, can we get thru, etc. We are told, no, the road is closed and will probably be closed until morning. Luckily (for them), there also happens to be a hotel that we could stay at. We decide since it never gets dark, we will take our chances and head down the road to the fire line to see what we can learn first hand. It’s only 1 hour away from the hotel, so if we can’t get thru, we aren’t out too much.
We get to where they actually have the road closed (even though they have a sign at the hotel) and chat with the gentleman watching & turning people around. We don’t see anything but white smoke at this time so we start asking questions. He told us he would check to see if someone could take us thru the fire using a pilot car. The answer is yes, but it would be a little over 1 hour before that happens.
You have to remember, they do not fight the fire, it has to go out on it’s own. Luckily for us, while we were enjoying our beer at the circle, a storm had come over where the fire was burning with lots of cold rain & hail really dampening the fire. So when we went down the road, there were only a few hot spots to contend with. We could have done it on our own, even walked it, it was that clear but it was nice that they let us thru and we could continue on our way.
So that is the story and I am sticking to it! and now for the pictures that you all have been waiting for
That’s all she wrote for the day, it was a long one but a great drive! ~ Kim
I wanted to get a picture at the arctic circle and this seemed like a great time to do it. Mark N mentioned that there should be lots of animal sightings along the way too, so bonus! Mark decided he would go up with us so off we go.
We leave the campground at 8:00am (early for Mark) with a smile and Jim driving. I brought along a bottle of beer that I have been saving from South Dakota that I wanted Mark to try, so this seemed like a great event to toast once we get to the circle.
The scenery is spectacular, we get to see quite a bit of critters: moose, fox, black bear and waterfowl. We did get an additional bonus, a tundra fire! That will come in a different blog post.
It ended up being a really long day, but I would definitely do it again. Leave at 8am and return to the RV at 12:30am… but the company in the car made it that more special.
Here are the pics I want to share!
The beginning of the hwy
our first moose sighting and he was a LONG way away!
another shot right before he went into the brush
two cow moose were found at Two Moose Lake, who would’a thunk?
running to catch up with her friend
couple of guys that were riding the gravel road all the way to Inuvik! They were on an adventure.
black bear that was on the road
glacial ice on one of the lakes
just love the various blue colors in the ice, it gets so thick
the two buddies by the lake
heading into the brush
One of the foxes that we saw
here is the other, they were so cute!
lots of iron in the dirt, made everything red
The back window just wouldn’t stay clean
where there is smoke, there is usually fire (more to come)
the dirt/mud is so fine, it looks like a new paint job
it’s official! we made it to the circle
all three of us
the beer that we toasted with
you can see why the back window wouldn’t stay clean
every where you looked, it was just beautiful
and we had an almost full moon, so get a neat landscape picture with it
the almost setting sun on two moose lake
the color in the sky once we finally make it home
like I said, it was a long but glorious day. It will always have a special place in my Alaska trip memories ~ Kim
This is the town where you make the decision, fish or cut bait. Well, it’s really more about do you go over the “top of the world” or not. Our small band of 4 decided that is exactly what we are going to do. It’s an adventure, we will never be back this way again, so “let’s do it!”.
But not only that, there is fun stuff to do IN Dawson City (Yukon) and around the area. The town has maintained it’s historical integrity since it was where the first gold strike was found in the Yukon. Stuff to see, learn and very interesting walks given by the town.
There is also a drive up to the Arctic Circle if you want (and yes we want), suppose to be a pretty drive and potential of seeing lots of critters. I am going to break our Dawson trip down to a few pages just so that you can see it all without going blind
So this page will be about the views in town, the historical buildings, our walk and anything else I can think of to put here.
really interesting RV that we saw on the drive and then again in the park. They are all set with with a motorcycle and bicycle on both ends of the rig and surfboards & kayaks on the roof. And, don’t forget the Newfoundland dog inside with the 2 guys.
This was just a cool cloud on the drive, Jim and I both thought it looked like a puppy dog, the head is on the left.
welcome to Dawson City!
all sorts of houses to be found, old, new and in-between
one of the local churches. The buildings in town either are renovated or at least built to look like the historical building of the late 1800’s, early 1900’s.
What they do in the winter, curl!
really nice front on this newer hotel
this is again, one of the older homes, love the dog looking out the window
this is what happens when the permafrost melts under your buildings, they start to sink. They left these building this way as a way to show tourists what happens.
more store fronts
the Red Feather Saloon. the original burnt down, but they rebuilt it from old pictures and it turned out really nice
The local dance hall where they put on shows
Klondike Kates has some good food. She really existed and even more interesting, she died in Bend, OR.
The SS Keno, which you can tour.
One of the original 2 banks in town, this one will get renovated next year. Robert Service worked as a teller here for about 1 year
the car ferry across the Yukon, it’s the only way to get across here in town (and yes, we take our RV across it, more on that in another post!)
Our young walking guide. Nice kid, knew a LOT and the government pays him to do his job thru the visitor center
Cave Man Bill’s “home”. He actually live in the cave here across the river from town. I guess it is really nice inside!
The original newspaper in town, thrived until the mid 60’s
The backside of the mortuary, it shows 3 different era’s of building, log cabin, wood siding and then tin siding
the walking group (including myself, Jim and Mark N) heading into the other bank to look around
The interior has been restored and it was nice…
inside the Red Feather Saloon, all rebuilt based on photos
selfie thru the mirror
local bar that we had to check out and have a beer, it closes at 8:00pm
This is the bar itself
This bar takes over when the other closes and is open until 2:00am. We had a beer here too
some of the art work in the 2nd part of the bar, done by a local artist
more of the “interesting” art work
view of the town from top of the Dome
nice place to see that view!
more coming soon on Dawson City and area ~ Kim
The next stop was a one-nighter, they sure make a lot of stops here! Actually, it’s very refreshing to move slow and take your time. In our “normal” traveling, depending on where we are going and why, we would travel up to 350 a day or 6 hours…
So far, I think our longest day has just been over 200 miles or 4 miles (while in the RV). There isn’t a lot of road, but we are still in the Yukon. There is more road here (Yukon) than in Alaska, but not by much
It was just Mark N. and us, so we worked hard. We did a little hike along Moose Creek (with the mosquitoes) looking for what else, moose, but no sightings. Only their scat.
After the hike, Mark needed to make room in his freezer for his Salmon or Halibut, so he shared some homemade turkey stew with us, I had some excellent sourdough bread, so we added that. For dessert, what else! S’mores! it did rain on us, but we were done for the day so that was good. It also helped to put out the fire. Smokey the bear would have been proud.
So, here are some photos to remember the drive & stop by:
the boys chowing down
Mark’s wonderful stew & the sourdough bread
Moi roasting my marshmallows for my s’mores
perfect finished product!
view along the drive to Moose Creek
stairs to the river and no, we didn’t go down, it would have taken us ALL DAY to get back up
This guy was just walking against the traffic, pulling a wheelchair with all of his “stuff”, whatever that might be
Moose Creek Lodge – they serve breakfast, lunch & dinner and there are rooms too!
mosquitoes outside the lodge
another scene in front of the lodge
on our hike
the only critter we came across… and he was mad!
another great, easy travel day ~ Kim
Ok, this is another 1 night stop. Mark was down the road at Coal Mine, Jim and I stayed at Hotel Carmacks (there were not any sites big enough for us at Coal Mine, besides, we like wi-fi and hook-ups).
The little burger joint at the Coal Mine were touted as being the best in the world, so we had to give it a try. They were good, but not the best. We then went down to Mark’s site and chatted with him before heading back to ours.
Not much to share, but what I have, here it is…
the only live critters we saw on this leg of the drive cute little foal
we are always being taunted, but no such luck. the caribou are at their calving groups which are not here
this is an old roadhouse that was used during the gold rush and beyond until the road was paved
where the world famous cinnamon buns are made daily, they sell over 100 a day
another famous item, the biggest cinnamon buns you have ever seen, suppose to feed 4, Jim and I did split one
Welcome to Carmacks!
late night color (right around midnight)
more color & cool little cloud
the famous burger…
and we continue down the road ~ Kim
The drive from Carcross to Whitehorse was uneventful. We stayed 1 night and then took off for the next short drive to Carmacks. The important thing was that I got my laundry done while doing a little happy hour with the group.
We did talk Mark into going to the Mile Canyon with us, it is a mile long canyon along the Yukon River just outside of Whitehorse.
Here are a few pictures taken along the way…
This is a truly working weather vane, the plane turns as the wind moves it
a really fast boat on the Yukon River while walking along the Mile Canyon
wildflower along the trail
we even got to walk across a suspension bridge (Free!)
The group went to dinner together at the Klondike Rib & Salmon place
Their specialty… Jim and I shared it, it was very good.
that’s all folks! ~ Kim
We left Skagway a little after 4:00pm to drive to Carcross. We get to go across customs once more into Canada. We are going to stay at a local RV park that was free since they had not gotten it ready for the season yet. No hook-ups, but nice place, nice sites. We get up early in the morning to check out the cute town before we continue our journey to Whitehorse and then slowly work our way to Dawson City.
The bakery in Carcross had really yummy stuff, we got a couple of cinnamon buns (mine with raisins, Jim’s with almonds & peaches). We also go a huge loaf of sourdough bread and I enjoyed that a LOT.
I didn’t get away without buying myself a little souvenir, a laser worked metal wall hanging of a wolf’s head. I am going to be doing a lot of decorating in the beer room with Alaska stuff
Here are a few of the pictures taken that morning before we continued the days journey to our next stop…
They decorated all of these buildings in totem style abstracts and are just gorgeous
They are café’s, souvenirs, visitor centers and other types of merchandise
This was a church that was established in 1904. I wanted to get the only view of the snow capped mountains in the picture
this way to the bakery!
the shop where I bought my metal art. He has some really great stuff
the general store, I bought a t-shirt here too
who knew there was a small desert in Carcross? a really good sized sand dune
Emerald Lake. The color was awesome and the green rings were really pretty.
We are now on the road to Whitehorse for a night or two…
stay on the right side of the road ~ Kim
This is our travel day out, BUT… we wanted to ride the train up to White Pass and the group was doing the steam train and it only ran on Thursday. So, we do the train and then leave for the next adventure.
We get the RV ready, do all the stuff we do, and we take off to ride the train.
It was a fun trip, lots of Kodak moments and nothing more fun than riding an old steam train.
White Pass Summit Excursion
There are several departures during the day but only a few times a week does the steam train travel!
Here is that journey before we leave Skagway for Carcross…
The day proved just perfect! Some clouds, warmer, not much breeze, great day to be out on the water. I had already decided I wanted to do this trip and there was only 1 day during our stay to do it and today was the day! Mark N and Jon/Sue decided to take the trip also.
Fjord Express to Juneau
The dad/owner/Glen and daughter Libby were our crew and you could not ask for a better one! We got a continental breakfast (huge healthy blueberry muffin, juice, coffee), had lunch in Juneau and then dinner on the boat was some really great Salmon chowder & multi-grain roll. Just enough to keep you very happy.
Glen knew the route, he does it all the time. From Skagway, you head over to Haines to either drop off or pick up (it is a ferry service after all) and then it’s on down to Juneau. Depending on how much wildlife you see on the way down, you get about 1 hour or a little more in Juneau to look around old town/eat then they pick you back up for a trip to Mendenhall Glacier.
We saw eagles, humpback whales, sea lions, harbor seals, black bear, and deer. We were hoping for orcas but that didn’t happen. All the humpies were worth the trip! There were parts of the trip where the water (Lynn Canal) was just like glass, perfect for reflection picture taking
I would recommend this trip to any and all, it is definitely in our top 5 things so far this trip!
Here is a little picture journey of our day.
until the next time ~ Kim
The next thing on the list was rain and cold… I did laundry, we hiked up to the falls behind the Gold Rush Cemetery and went to a Salmon Bake for dinner.
The Salmon Bake was in “Liarsville”, where all of the newspaper journalists stayed during the gold rush. They are the ones that did all the advertising, getting people excited, etc. It’s just too bad that most of the people that finally made their way to Skagway and up the Chilkoot Trail, didn’t find gold since all of the claims were already staked. It’s an interesting story…
It was a little cold & dreary at the dinner/show, but we did our best to enjoy ourselves. I would think it would be much more enjoyable if the weather co-operated.
So here are the few pictures from the day…
selfie on the bus
our tour guide and bus driver (Buttermilk)
Jim and Mark
tents similar to what the journalists would have used
Trading post (souvenirs)
the show (plus a recitation of one of Robert Service’s poems)
Jim helping some of our group pan for gold
the important place, where to get a cold beer
the salmon on the grill
one of the dogs, Dolly; this is a malamute (big one!)
Marker for the fallen US Marshalls during the gold rush
It was a slow day due to the weather, but thankfully, it perks up ~ Kim