Part 16 – Leaving Skagway

Hard to believe it is only 52 miles (83 km) from Skagway to the Customs house and a return to the Yukon and Canada and only 65 miles (105 km) from Skagway to the turn at Jakes Corner, to head west for the Alaskan Highway and continue the trek home.

It was a long lovely drive along Highway 2 (The Lower Klondike Highway),

Turning northwest at Carcross, Yukon on Highway 8 takes you to Jakes Corner, then it was a turn west along Highway 1 (The Alaskan Highway),

Reaching Highway 37 (The Stewart / Cassiar Highway) it was a southern turn,

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And finally to the campsite for the night at Boya Lake Provincial Park, 361 miles from Skagway. The campsites were very small so we had to find 2 campsites for the night. Luckily there were 2 that shared a driveway and they were located right across the drive from the lake.

It was a peaceful evening to rest for the next push to Stewart, British Columbia, Canada / Hyder, Alaska in the morning.

 

Day 15 – Skagway

Today was a day to visit the town of Skagway. Even though I have been to this town twice before on cruises I have enjoyed its atmosphere. So sleeping in a little bit and eating a leisurely breakfast I drive into the city that is 20 minutes away. Parking just before going over the Skagway River I walk across the bridge and then follow Alaska Street toward the old Gold Rush Cemetery and Lower Reid Falls. It is surprising the number of individuals in the graveyard and is interesting to walk around and read the gravestones.

 

 

 

Continuing toward the town on State Street I arrive in downtown at the waterfront.

 

 

 

Skagway is a small city in southeast Alaska, with a population of 920 residents as of 2010  that is set along the popular cruise route, the Inside Passage. Due to the cruise industry the small little sleepy town of Skagway has become a major tourist destination. Most of the town is included in the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park due to its importance as a port of entry for the miners during the Alaskan Gold Rush in 1897 and is home to many gold-rush-era buildings. This was the way north to the Dawson City gold fields via the White Pass Rail Road or, if you couldn’t afford the passenger fee, the Chilkoot Trail.

 

 

 

This town of about 1,000 people boomed to about 10,000 in a little over a year and maxed out at about 30,000 people during the gold rush. After the rush was over Skagway lost population to 3,117 by 1900 and becomes the first incorporated city in Alaska in that year. Invaded by the U.S. army in 1942, tiny Skagway again became a major port on the supply line of materials for the construction of the Alaskan Highway. Taking over the White Pass Rail Road that was built in 1898, the Army hauled supplies and personnel over the White Horse Pass. With 3,000 troops stationed in Skagway it became a rather large town during the war years. The first Marine Ferry arrived in the early 1960’s thus providing another route for people to get to and from Skagway. Although a vehicle road did not get completed until 1978.

I was surprised at the lack of people on the streets on this visit. The 2 times I have been here before there were 3-4 cruise ships passengers disembarking from the boats and it was a little crowded. This visit there was only 1 cruise ship in port and the streets seemed empty. It was so pleasant to experience the city in this state.  I enjoyed walking around town seeing things that I hadn’t had seen in this detail before.

 

 

 

Going into the Visitors center I talked to the ranger and visited the exhibits in a comfortable uncrowded environment.

It was finally lunch time and I decided to eat at Skagway Brewing Company. Having an Alaskan Sandwich of an ale-battered Alaskan Halibut on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and tartar sauce and to wash it down I tried the local Chilkoot Trail IPA. Very filling lunch and also very good. Getting a little tired after the hike the day before I took my time enjoying the ambiance of the upstairs dining room.

It was getting to be mid afternoon and the grocery store will close at 4 so I walked into a newsstand, got a local paper and went to the store to pick up a few food items. Carrying them back for almost 2 miles to the car I drove back to the campsite.

Arriving at camp I walked over to the Chilkoot Trail Outpost to use their showers and get cleaned up before the next stage of the adventure. Walking back to camp I make dinner and sit back to relax and read the newspaper. I ended up walking 7 miles (11.25 k) today and decided to go to bed a little early as it was a travel day to get to the next destination.

Day 14 – Day hike on the Chilkoot Trail

Chilkoot Trail

A 33 mile (53 k) hike along the historic Chilkoot Trail is one of North America’s most fabled treks. The trail crosses the international boundary between the United States and Canada and is co-operatively managed by Parks Canada and the US National Park Service.

When news of a gold strike in the Klondike reached the ears of the world, tens of thousands of hopeful gold seekers arrived where they encountered their first obstacle, the Coast Mountain Range. Following old First Nations trails they found a route through the mountains that is now known as the Chilkoot Trail.

Klondike Supply List

150 lb. bacon, 400 lb. flour, 25 lb. rolled oats, 125 lb. beans, 10 lb. tea, 10 lb. coffee, 25 lb. sugar, 25 lb. dried potatoes, 2 lb. dried onions, 15 lb. salt, 1 lb. pepper, 75 lb. dried fruits, 8 lb. baking powder, 2 lb. soda, 1/2 lb. evaporated milk, 12 oz. compressed soup, 1 can mustard, 1 tin of matches, stove, 1 gold pan, 1 set granite buckets, 1 knife, 1 fork, 1 spoon and 1 plate, 1 frying pan, 1 coffee and teapot, 1 scythe stone, 2 picks, 1 shovel, 1 whipsaw, pack strap, 2 axes, 1 spare axe handle, 6 – 8″ files, 2 taper files, 1 draw knife, 1 brace with bits, 1 jack plane, 1 hammer, 8 lb. of pitch, 200 feet 3/8″ rope, 10’x12′ tent, canvas, 2 oil blankets, 5 yards mosquito netting, 3 heavy underwear, 2 pairs heavy mackinaw trousers, 1 heavy rubber-lined coat, 1 doz. heavy wool socks, 2 heavy overskirts, 2 pairs heavy snag proof rubber boots, 2 pairs shoes, 4 heavy blankets, 4 towels, 2 pairs overalls, 1 suit oil clothing, several changes of summer clothing, and small assortment of medicines.

The list above shows the required equipment and supplies needed by prospectors before they were allowed entry into Canada at the summit of the Chilkoot Pass, 1897–1899. Total weight: 1 ton. This was to provide them with the supplies needed for 1 year of survival in the Yukon. Many round trips were needed to haul this over the trail and past Canadian Customs.

Today, hikers can retrace the rugged trail from Dyea, near Skagway, to the shore of Lake Bennett. The beautiful route  along alpine lakes and century-old gold rush artifacts takes three to five days to complete.

What a wonderful day, the weather was perfect and the trail was in great condition. Starting early from camp the start of the trail was only about a 1/4 mile (0.4 k) jaunt from the campground. The trail starts off with a pretty healthy climb up from the river then just as quickly back down to the river.

This first section really got my lungs working hard even though it was at sea level. The rough ground of rocks and tree limbs made a great workout. I thought if the trail was going to be this rough the rest of the way I’m not going to make it very far.

Well as soon as you pass this short section the trail becomes a nice stroll through the forest. I can not imagine the prospectors back in the day carrying all the equipment noted above with many trips back and forth. I had a small backpack that carried my food and water for the day, camera, and rain jacket. Not all that heavy.

Passing along one section of the trail were some old buildings and equipment with an informational sign. This section of the trail was an old logging road built during the 1940’s. This homestead is the sawmill of Edward A. Hosford who began operation of this mill in 1948 and continued operation until 1956.

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Edward A. Hosford Sawmill

Finnegan’s Point Campground was the turn around point for me. I enjoyed a nice rest and lunch while a group of 3 female through hikers stopped for a snack /rest and we chatted.

Returning to the trail head was wonderful until I hit the dreaded hike over the hill for the final push. I again rested and snacked at the trail head catching my breath as I contemplated what I should do. From the campsite to Finnegan’s Point campground and back to the trail head was 11.9 miles (19.1 k) and my walking average speed was 3.1 MPH (5 km/hr).

It was only 4 PM and the sun was still to be up for many hours. I had caught my breath and decided to hike the 2 miles (3.2 k) or so to the original abandoned townsite of Dyea.

Arriving at the townsite I walked along paths in the forest that were once the streets of the town. Long abandoned there are not many structures left, only 3 cemeteries and the remains of the wharf remain. Most structures were taken down and moved to the nearby deep water port of Skagway once the Gold Rush had subsided. Interesting fact is that one of the cemeteries holds almost every person that died in an avalanche on the trail and the grave markers all have the same date of death.

An interesting walk but on the road back I noticed my legs were getting a bit heavy. Upon arriving at camp about 7PM I looked at my satellite tracker and noticed I had walked 15.8 miles (25.4 k) that day. Resting for a bit, I then made dinner, had a hot sponge bath at camp and then just put my legs up resting until an early bed time and a very sound nights sleep.

 

Day 13 – Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada and onward to Skagway, Alaska

Whitehorse was only about an hour away from the campsite so a relaxing morning sleeping in an extra half hour and a leisurely breakfast awaited.

After packing up we talked to a wonderful couple from Whitehorse who come here to camp, boat and fish on their days off. After talking for probably an hour and a half and getting recommendations for Whitehorse and the afternoon trip  it was on to Whitehorse.

Whitehorse, Yukon has been the capitol city of the Yukon since 1953 and is the northern terminus of the White Pass & Yukon RR from Skagway, Alaska which ferried prospectors to the riverboats plying the Yukon River to the northern goldfields surrounding Dawson in 1900.

Whitehorse’s second boom time was during the construction of the AL-Can Highway in 1942 when many workers converged on this small town. Construction worker population grew form 2,500 to 3,800 with 1,800 tons of materials and equipment being shipped by rail from Skagway each week in 1943.

This, the only city of the Yukon Territories, has a population was 33,897 people per the 20111 census. A pleasant place to visit as it provides all the services of any town or city. Many attractions and good food establishments are here for the visitor to enjoy.

Parking at the Visitor Center downtown it was off to a recommended spot for lunch, Klondike Rib and Salmon BBQ. Such a fun atmosphere to enjoy as was the wonderful meal. I will definitely go back there for another meal to try out a different menu item, mine was fantastic and very filling.

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Heading back to the Visitor Center to gather some information on the area it was time to visit a real Sternwheeler, the S.S. Klondike that sailed the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City.

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The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is an old stern-wheeler that once plied the Yukon River carrying passengers, mail and supplies to Dawson City. With only a four and half month shipping season the boats were hauled out of the water on skids in the Whitehorse Ship Yards for the winter months of a frozen Yukon River. This interesting attraction lets you board the ship and on a self guided tour to explore the many areas of its interior at your pace.

Built in 1929 this boat was the largest on the Yukon. Sternwheelers were less vulnerable to paddle damage than the side-wheelers. Built in 1929 an accident sunk her in 1936. Refitted that winter the Klondike went from an ore hauler to carrying passengers and cargo. She carried 300 tons (270 tonnes) of cargo with a draft of only 40 inches (1 meter) and 32 – 1st class passengers.

The lower deck just above water line was for the crews quarters, the cargo, engine room, boilers and with bunks lashed to the sanctions at the aft sleeping accommodations for 2nd class passengers. The next deck held the 1st class cabins, Dining Room for the passengers and a separate one for the crew, Kitchen, Observation Lounge at the front of the ship and the Sun Deck at the stern. Above that was the Boat Deck housing the Officers Cabins. Finally at the very top was the Wheelhouse or “Monkey Island”. Situated well forward and high it gave an unobstructed view for the Master and Pilot to navigate the ship though the dangerous waters.

Next up it was a drive to the outskirts of town to visit Miles Canyon. The canyon is a cross section of volcanic rocks where the Yukon River cuts through a succession of flows south of  Whitehorse. The White Horse Rapids in Miles Canyon provided a significant challenge to the prospectors heading to theDawson City and the gold rush providing the upstream terminus of the Paddle wheelers. The rapids are now tamed by dams along the river.

Finally it was off the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center that explains the Yukon’s history during the Ice Age. Being largely ice-free during this timea local cave provided the oldest evidence of human habitation in North America has been found.

Getting a late start the following attractions were missed but sound fun and interesting making for another visit an enjoyable adventure.

The MacBride Museum houses artifacts and stories of the events and people who settled and built the Yukon.

Waterfront Walkway provides a walking path along the Yukon River connecting several parks along its path.

Yukon transportation Museum is home to the world’s largest weathervane, an old DC-3 and provides exhibits on the transportation used in the far north.

Old Log Church Museum is one of the oldest buildings in the city completed in 1900 and hides stories of the older pioneers of the region.

Yukon’s oldest brewery north of the 60th parallel, the Yukon Brewing Company.

Leaving Whitehorse late in the afternoon the route turned south on the South Klondike Highway to its terminus in Skagway, Alaska. This relatively short 2.5 hour drive of 105 miles (169 k) was a breathtaking day of travel. This 2-lane road of spectacular scenery had many turnouts for viewing vast landscapes and intimate waterfalls. Before the highest point of the road at 3,292 feet (1,003 m) at Whitehorse Pass there is an 11. 5 mile (18.5 k) 11 percent grade of roadway.

Turning west right before entering Skagway along the Dyea Road, Dyea Campsite was the location for the next 3 nights of the journey for 2 full days to explore Skagway, Old Town Dyea and the Chilkoot Trail.

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Canada / Alaska Adventure in July-August

All right my trip is getting closer and I’m in the final stages of preparation. Vehicle is ready just needs final fluid changes before leaving. Camping gear is waiting. GPS route is set and just the final tweaks and additions are being done.

2018 Tillamook

Will be leaving Southern California on July 9th heading to Vancouver, WA along Highway 395 for the birth of my 4th grandchild. Leaving Vancouver I will head to Glacier National Park, Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada then start the northern push to Dawson Creek, B.C. and start the drive there at Mile-marker Zero on the Alaskan Highway (Al-Can to us older folks) to Watson Lake, Yukon.

Turning off the Alaskan Highway at Watson Lake I’ll be on Canadian 4, a gravel road, to make my swing to Dawson, Yukon and the Arctic ocean at Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. At this, my furthest point north, I start my swing back to Dawson and turn west to continue along the Top of the World Highway to Tok, Alaska.

Leaving Tok I will go south on the Alaskan Highway to Haines Junction and continue to Haines, Alaska along the Haines Highway to ferry across to Skagway and head back to the Alaskan Highway along the South Klondike Highway. I will leave the Alaskan Highway just before Watson Lake and turn south onto Canadian 37, The Cassier Highway, to Prince George, BC. From there I will continue south along Canadian 97 making my way back to the border and return to Vancouver, WA to visit my new grandchild before returning home south along Highway 101.

I have found during research a great resource for the area called, “The Milepost”. this details the Alaskan Highway and side-routes in Alaska, British Columbia, the Yukona nd Northwest Territories. I also picked up a camping guide named “Traveler’s Guide to Alaskan Camping” that includes all the Alaskan Highway and the same side-routes in it’s pages. Although this book was written for RV’s in mind it is good source for me, tent camping, to hit some campgrounds with services such as WIFI, showers, and laundry facilities along the way. It ranges from private, to Provincial Parks, to free camping areas along the roads.

milepost-book.jpg

 

PLANNING PART 3 – Leaving Dawson for Skagway, AK and home

Lets go on an Adventure

ADVENTURE – An exciting, daring, bold, risky or very unusual experience or undertaking fraught with physical, financial or psychological risks.

Any ideas of what to visit in the areas I am traveling would be appreciated, not all sites are noted somewhere, secret spots abound. And if you share these secret spots with me to enjoy I will not post where they are but will relish in the beauty around me and be grateful you trust me with this shared this information.

 

Leaving Dawson I will ferry across the Yukon River, A major waterway in this area that is the 3rd longest river in the U.S. Heading west along Canadian Highway 9 to the border crossing into Alaska Crossing at a small border station I shall continue along Highway 5, The Taylor Highway, to pass Chicken, AK and finally end at the junction with Highway 2, The Alaskan Highway, to head southeast.

Dawson 2 Skagway 2017-11-17 at 1.52.06 PM

Crossing back into Canada I will continue then south along Canadian Highway 1 to visit Destruction Bay and Kluane National Park and Reserve.

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Kluane Lake from Google

Not much further I will turn at Haines Junction on Highway 3 toward the city of Haines, AK. I understand Haines Highway is a very scenic drive and is a perfect road to take on my way to the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Skagway, AK.

 

I have always enjoyed my time in Skagway with the cruises but have never stayed longer than 6-8 hours. I cannot wait to relax and explore the town after the cruise ships have departed. For 2 nights I will stay in this town to explore the many sites I have been rushed through or not been able to see.

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From this point of the adventure south I have not been lucky in finding many sites to visit. If anyone has driven these roads please let me know about interesting or scenic places along the route.

Skagway 2 Barkerville 2017-11-17 at 1.53.32 PM

After this short respite I will head north up the Klondike Highway back into Canada and again turn east around Carcroos onto Highway 8 to Highway 1 then south on Highway 97. Visiting Salmon Glacier – Granduc Mine then turning off onto Highway 26, I will visit the living history museum of Barkerville.

Barkerville

Barkerville from Google

“Today, the extraordinary town of Barkerville (named in Billy’s honour) still stands as testament to BC’s golden beginnings. With a unique streetscape of 125+ heritage buildings, authentic displays, satellite museums, restaurants, shops and accommodations there is still so much to explore. Declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924 and a Provincial Heritage Property in 1958, Barkerville is now the largest living-history museum in western North America, where exciting seasonal events and fun-filled daily activities await.” from Barkerville Historic Town website.

Returning back to Highway 97 I will visit some of the Provincial Park’s scattered along this Highway and then turn toward Kamloops, British Columbia to explore Highway 5A, I hear it is one of the areas scenic motorcycle roads.

I will enter back into the United States at Abbotsford and head down Interstate 5 to Vancouver, WA for another stop to visit my son and family before heading back south to Southern California along the Washington, Oregon and California coast, Highway 101.

2 Home 2017-11-17 at 1.53.58 PM

There you have it a 45 day long adventure that I am looking forward to.

2017-10-31 OverallMap

The Canada adventure is in planning

ADVENTURE – An exciting, daring, bold, risky or very unusual experience or undertaking fraught with physical, financial or psychological risks.

Lets go on an Adventure

What does this mean? It can be different for everyone; skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, river rafting, caving (spelunking) traveling, exploring…… anything that is outside the ordinary for that individual is an adventure. Many make their adventures a way of life and never stop. For some it is just a day, weekend or short trip. Does it need to involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion or highly specialized gear, some would say yes. I do not think that at all, it is up to the individual the extent of the adventure to be accomplished.

Next August my ADVENTURE will involve a 45 drive from Southern California to Dawson, Yukon Territories in Canada, up the Dawson highway to the Arctic Ocean and back in my 2017 Subaru Outback. It is something I have never done and it has always been on my bucket list. I have taken 2 cruises to Alaska and have loved the experiences. I now want to experience the lands of Canada and Alaska from the ground driving through the countryside.

2017-10-31 OverallMap

·      Will it be scary? …..Probably as I will be doing it alone.

·      Will it be exhilarating? …..Yes.

·      Will it be fun and exciting? …..Definitely.

·      Am I excited to plan and start this adventure? …..OH YES.

The trip will leave Southern California and head up east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains then I will cut over to Vancouver, WA to visit my son and his family for a few days.

2017-10-31 CA2Van

The Adventure really begins after this visit as I head to Glacier National Park, Montana; Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada. Continuing north to Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta, Canada. Then going north into the Yukon Territory, the smallest and least populated province in Canada to the small town of Dawson. From Dawson I will head up the Dawson Highway to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada and then continue the final 130 km on the new all season road to Tukoyakuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. Returning to Dawson I will then head east to Chicken, Alaska turning south for Haines to cross on the ferry to Skagway, Alaska. It will then be time to head south after a few days rest in Skagway. Stopping again in Vancouver, WA I will hopefully finish with a camping trip in the Sierras with a group of Overland Bound friends to end this adventure. That is the rough itinerary at this time.

·      Adventure? …..I think so.

·      Something out of my ordinary routine? …..DEFINITELY for me.

So what does this involve? A lot of investigation on the Internet, reviewing maps and with the help from individuals who kindly share their knowledge of the areas I am visiting. I will be camping along the way when possible and staying at motels, hotels or lodges as needed. Road conditions, places to stay, services (food and gas), places to visit all need to be investigated.

·      Will schedules change?

·      Will additional sites present themselves?

·      Will destinations be revised?

All a YES to me, it is still being planned so anything is all possible.

My vehicle is still getting prepared for the adventure with items to makes it’s life and mine more enjoyable. Better suspension, all-terrain tires, roof rack, navigation equipment, full size spare tire, tow strap, tools, tire gauge, tire repair (plug) kit, gloves, fire extinguisher, shovel, axe, extra gas can, repair parts, extra power outlets added for charging all the electronic gear that we all carry now, tint for the rear windows, communications, boost jump starter battery charger and jumper cables, and a portable air compressor for a start.

w: Springs 1

My clothing and toiletries will be my normal travel items (see previous post) modified for the weather. I will possibly be adding a Go Pro video camera to my photographic equipment for additional documentation of the adventure.

Then I must go through the camping gear to pare down to the basics on what I really need to take along. It will include tent, tent ground cloth (footprint), sleeping bag and pad, stove, pots, fry pan, plates, cooking and eating utensils, dishpan, dish soap (Dawn), camp chair and table, tarp, mosquito repellant and head netting, camp lights and batteries, propane, lighter and matches, trash bags, cleaning bucket, 5 gallon drinking water container, a cooler and food storage containers.

Additional gear will include a hand held GPS, first aid kit, whistle, cordage (para-cord), knife, bear spray, maps, compass and possibly a small backpacking hammock.

Now what am I visiting along the way.

Part 1

The real start of my trip will be when I leave Vancouver, WA for Glacier National Park in Montana where I will be overnighting at the Apgar, Sprague Creek or Fish Creek Campgrounds depending on availability in the south end of the park.

 

From there I will head over “Going to the Sun Highway” to see the sights and stop as needed for the night.

2017-10-31 Glacier

The next day I will enter Canada and stop for a few days to explore the area of and around Waterton Lakes National Park.

After Waterton, I will head to Banff to stay for about 5-6 days in a condo (timeshare exchange) to explore the surrounding area. Along the way to Banff I will stop at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to look around.

2017-10-31 Glacier2Jasper

The fist day I will wander around the town of Banff getting current information at the Visitor Center and the Banff Park Museum, visit the Whyte Art Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Natural History Museum and the Buffalo Nations Museum. Just outside of town I will visit Cave and Basin National Historic Site and the Upper Hot Springs.

In my remaining days in Banff I will explore up Highways 1 and 1A as far as Lake Louise visiting locations and scenic overlooks such as Backswamp, Muleshoe, Sawback, Hillsdale Meadows, Johnson Canyon, Moose Meadows, Silver City, Rock Lake, Castle Cliffs, Storm Mountain, Castle Lookout, Protection Mountain, Baer Creek, Outlet Creek, Corral Creek, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Returning at the end of the each days adventure to sleep in a nice bed with kitchen area. If the condo idea falls through I will just head north along those highways stopping at campgrounds along the way to Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

2017-10-31 Banff2LL

Now, how have I found this information? From maps; computer mapping programs; books, searching the specific areas I wish to visit on the Internet (Google is my friend); country, territory and city visitor information sites; and information from other travel bloggers. I have gone to my local bookstore to wander and peruse the shelves looking for interesting travel books of these areas. I will go to my local Automobile Association to find out what information they might have available there. A travel book, map and your time searching are well spent in preparing for a trip. Information gained ahead of the trip will help insure you plan the time to see the sites most important to you.

I will continue with the planning of this adventure in additional posts so please stay tuned.

Any ideas of what to visit in the areas I am traveling would be appreciated, not all sites are noted somewhere, secret spots abound. And if you share these secret spots with me to enjoy I will not post where they are but will relish in the beauty around me and be grateful you trust me with this information.

TRIP PLANNING

“Knowledge is learned but wisdom must be lived” – Anne Wilson Schaef

Travel philosophy ~ But of course, to plan an unbelievably memorable adventure that can be cherished in your minds and shared.

Map of Trip

Map of trip

THE GOAL is to travel locally; to see the culture, history, architecture and art; to meet wonderful new people from all walks of life and countries while trying to stay mostly in private homes or home based B&B’s and camping when a convenient room cannot be found, if equipped. If a hotel is the only place available try to stay in small family run hotels. What better way to learn about your host country and their culture than to meet and stay with the people and see how they live? Learn to live and think locally, enjoy the new experiences. Respect the cultural and leave your dogma at home, relish in the differences. I live with Americans every day but when traveling I like to be with the people of that particular country. Try to travel with a small group or even individually, as people will be more open toward you rather than if you are in a large tour group.

“We have arrogantly assumed that our way of living is better when we have not experienced, known and/or participated in other ways of living, Sometimes what we learn from other people and cultures doesn’t have to be political or spiritual. It can be something that is just good to do. – Anne Wilson Schaef

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2016 a year in review.

Well 2016 I am not sorry to see you go, it has been a year of ups but with more downs for me. Looking forward to 2017 and what is ahead.The year started off as good as any of the last few years with travel plans and family visits and was looking to be a pretty good year shaping up.

Starting off, a wonderful trip to Walt Disney World for 9 full days with 8 split between the 4 parks and a rest day. It was wonderful but tiring for us. Jodi was a trooper as usual, she walked as much as possible for a couple of hours then she had to use the wheelchair for the rest of the day.

Back from the trip Jodi was tired but pushing along pretty well. A clinic visit went well in mid-March but then she had an incident and died on the 31st of March. This completely shattered me, she had a spark of life that I cold not explain. It just radiated from her.

Then I was able to get to 2 local events a Concourse Car Show and the Taste of Huntington Beach, both in HB Central Park, these two afternoons were just an amazing time out of the house.

Next up on the agenda was to get up north to see my grandson’s 1st birthday at the end of April. It was a wonderful time but sad for all of us adults at the same time.

Then a cruise to Alaska that was planned in 2015 with family and extended family in June. WIth 9 of us it was an exciting time and a very lovely trip.

Then in October it was another trip up north to visit my grandson with an overnight stop in the Redwoods for the night.

My daughter and the 2 grand kids moved back into the house the first  week of November to fill up the 4 bedroom house. Now it is a lively house again with non-stop activity.

Finally the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas have been happy but hollow with something very important missing in our lives.

So looking forward to planning new adventures for 2017, enjoying travel again and seeing new places. My Bucket List is long and constantly growing so we will see if I can visit these places in the time left.

Planning and preparing for the 2018 Alaska adventure will take a lot of 2017 and really be exciting.

Possible Alaska Journey

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2017 and your adventures all come true.

May the calm be widespread, may the sea be as the smooth surface of the greenstone, and may the rays of sunshine forever dance along your path” Maori Prayer.

 

Alaska Adventure

Here is a massive trip I hope to take in 2018. With health issues right now I do not think this will happen in 2017 like was planned, but you never know. I still have a lot of planning to go into this adventure. It will be at least 45 days long. Heading north on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains I will be vIsiting Lassen National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Dawson, possibly Prudhoe Bay?, Haines, Glacier Bay National Park, and Skagway, Then south to Whistler, the Cascades, Mt Rainier, and Mt St Helens. With the final leg of the journey back along the pacific coast to So Cal.

I know very ambitious but it is something I truly want to do. Any comments or recommendations?

Possible Alaska Journey