Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 4

We crossed the border into Alaska on June 17th - exactly two weeks after crossing the border into Canada! I might have spoken a little too soon about the roads! Overall they were great, but the last 100 miles in Canada were a little rough. They have trouble there because of permafrost. They are experimenting with several different techniques to improve the condition. Our first stop in Alaska was Tok. We spent two days there to rest up (not much else to do there) before continuing on with our journey. From Tok we drove to Delta Junction which is the official end of the Alaska Highway! We stopped there for gas and a visit to the visitor's center. Then on to Fairbanks where we will be for a few weeks. Chuck has had some problems with styes, so hasn't felt like doing a whole lot. He had to go to the doctor a few times, but is doing better now. We are staying right by the Chena River at River's Edge RV Park. There are two dog parks close by, so the boyz are able to get off leash and run around a bit. They are getting lots of walks and enjoying all the smells! I was able to find a group of people that are letting me practice (agility) with them. They are VERY nice and made us feel welcome and right at home. Our first trial here in Alaska is Jul 5-7 in Fairbanks.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Week Three

Our last night in Toad River we had the opportunity to watch four beavers working on a dam. It was quite amazing. The next day we headed to Watson Lake - it was my favorite day so far - we saw some Stone Sheep, two herds of Bison, a brown bear, and three black bears! We stayed one night at The Baby Nugget RV Park just outside of Watson Lake and headed on to Whitehorse YK. We arrived at Hi Country RV Park yesterday afternoon and tomorrow will head to Tok, Alaska! I'm still waiting to see moose up close (there were four on the far side of the pond at Toad River). I also want to see Caribou!! We will be up here for a while, so I'm hoping to see many more animals! We had been without phone service and ice for several days, but Whitehorse is larger (population approximately 25,000), so we have both here! The roads have been surprisingly good. Several people mentioned how bad they'd heard they were, but they have been really good. A lot better than some we've been on in the states!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 2.5

We made it to Toad River, BC - a gorgeous place - no pictures are going to do this trip justice. On Sunday we left Dawson Creek and started our journey on the historic Alaska Highway! We drove to Ft Nelson (mile 300) and spent two nights there. Last week the road washed out between Watson Lake and Tesla and that caused much discussion and worry among our fellow travelers. We weren't worried because we have plenty of time and figured it would work out. Well, last night they got trucks moving and cars today. We will leave here on Thursday and drive to Watson Lake - will stay there for two nights so things should be moving really smooth by then. Canada Onservations: It must be the dandelion Capitol of the world - they are everywhere!!! Food is very expensive - almost twice as much as the states! If I lived here I might have to cook - God forbid! I couldn't even afford to drink because that's really expensive too!! A draft beer is $6.00!!!!!! I had my first "no ice" experience in Ft Nelson. I told the lady "lots of ice" and she said "we don't have ice"!! Reminded me of my days in England!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week Two

Well, Chuck got to do a little reminiscing at Minot -- lots of changes since he left in 1967!!! We left there on Sunday (6/3/12) and headed to Canada! I was a little nervous about the border - not knowing if we'd have any trouble with the boyz, but it was all for nothing --- they didn't even ask for rabies certificates! I hope we get back in the states just as easily! LOL We stopped the first night in Regina, SK and then on to Saskatoon the next day. We went to a really nice pub downtown -- Canadian Tap House - we really like Canadian beer!!! We left Saskatoon and drove to Edmonton where we visited the largest mall in North America - that was crazy!!! It has: 800 stores, 100 restaurants, an ice rink, a water park, mini golf course, sea life shows (seals, sharks, penguins), an amusement park, casino, etc! It was pretty awesome - we got our exercise that day. We were also able to find a dog park about 10 miles away to take the boyz and let them expend some energy. They are enjoying the trip as well --- lots of walks and lots of p-mail to read! From Saskatoon we headed to Dawson Creek BC which is where I am writing this from. We went to an exhibit about the Alaskan Highway today and watched a short video which was amazing! You should Google it and check it out. They built a 1500 mile road with no maps or anything in 8 months in horrible conditions -- absolutely amazing. Dawson Creek is mile 0 and tomorrow we begin the real adventure!! Things I've noticed about Canada: In general it's not much different from the U.S. --- lots of the same stores and restaurants that we have --- except no Sonic!! I don't guess a drive-in would go over too well most of the year here! Canada is VERY clean - I've seen practically no litter! They are very good at recycling --- even McDonald's has a place for recycling. I haven't seen a Styrofoam cup since I've been here -- I do miss those. They don't really use much ice --- even if you ask for extra you get very little --- you have to tell them to fill it up with ice --- then you'll get about 3/4 cup! There are small things, like the buggy return slots (like at Wal-Mart, United, etc) are covered and the water places (like Windmill)are inside. You just don't think about things like that!!! We saw a funny road sign the other day -- instead of saying Merge it said "Squeeze Left"! And one that said "loose stones" instead of gravel --- things like that. The McDonald's in Dawson Creek is the nicest one I've ever seen - it rivals a Starbucks!!! It has sliding doors, a fireplace and really cool furniture!!! Well, I guess that's about it for now --- until next week .......

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week One

It's hard to believe, but we left Lubbock one week ago today! We attended the Ropes 2012 graduation ceremony and then hit the road to Amarillo and the AOTC Memorial weekend agility trial. The trial ended early enough on Monday that we decided to go ahead and hit the road. We drove from Amarillo to Pueblo on Monday. We spent the night in Pueblo and hit the road Tuesday morning and headed to Rapid City, SD with one small side trip to see the smallest town in the country -- Buford Wyoming -- Population - 1. Except when we got there it was closed, poplation - 0!!!! It was a little bit of a shock to get there and feel like we had returned to winter - it was about 40 degrees cooler than home (Lubbock). We stayed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City --- a really nice RV Park with lots of green grass for walking the boyz! While there we went to a Cowboy Cookout and visited the Crazy Horse Monument and Mount Rushmore. If you have not been there it is just as amazing as you have imagined. We left Ellsworth this morning (6/1/12) and drove to Minot, ND -- Chuck's first duty station. For those that don't know --- Chuck is from Florida and had never been anywhere else until enlisting in the AF in 1965. He went to Basic Training in San Antonio and then on to Minot for snow removal! Can you imagine the shock?!! He has not been back until now - 45 years later!!! We will visit the base tomorrow and see if he remembers anything! :)