On the road again...

Trip Start May 05, 2009
Trip End Sep 20, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 17 :

We understood that we would be able to complete our check-out process on Wednesday in order to leave bright and early on the 17th. That was not the case. We reported to Human Resources on Wednesday afternoon, and Sara Lynn said that we could not check out if we were working that day. So we carried the box of shirts, vest and jackets, the first aid kit, and the campground host file box back to the truck and drove over to the WAC (Wilderness Access Center) and turned all the stuff in to Jason. Jason says that we have to come back in the morning when we are no longer working and sign some stuff, but that the building will be open at 5:30 a.m. As it turned out we overslept and didn't get into the WAC until 8:30. After the obligatory signing we are finally on the road.

We saw some moose driving out of the park, and some more on the way to Fairbanks. After a quick stop to "grocery up" at the Safeway in North Pole we are headed south on the Richardson Highway. Soon we will be on the Alaska Highway, formerly known as the Alcan. Before we get there we have a close call with a moose in the road, and then looking in the side view mirrors we see three more come out on the road making 8 the count on moose for the day.

The travel plan is to make it as far as a campground called Border City. The man at the counter puts us out in a muddy field, but just like Brer Rabbit we are happy in the briar patch because I got to run my legs off. I can’t tell you how good that felt after riding all day. The campground is quite close to the American customs, but about 20 miles from the Canadian customs. We wonder why the two customs offices are so far apart.

September 18:

The lady at the Canadian customs is in a rare mood when we get there the next morning. She announces that she has not had her coffee yet, and is not happy that the paperwork for Dave’s rifle has to be re-done. Once inside he softens her up with a Michigan State Police patch, coin and key chain. She makes quick work of the gun paperwork, never asks him any other questions, and promises to send him some stuff. Val and I could not believe how quickly Dave was done and we were back on the road.

The plan for day two is to make it to Teslin in the Yukon. There is no traffic, I mean NO traffic, and we scoot right along so when we get to Teslin it is only 3:00. We fuel up, check out the gift shop, and decide that we can make it as far as Watson Lake without any trouble. Well there was trouble – we had a blowout on one of the trailer tires at kilometer 1160 on the Alaska Highway. We were about 40 miles from Teslin, and 100 miles to go to get to Watson Lake. It only took Val about half an hour to change the tire…did I say Val? Excuse me, Dave and I got the tire changed while Val watched for traffic. No worries, we could have blocked the road completely. Only two motor homes and one pickup truck passed us in that amount of time. By the time we get to Watson Lake it is too late to get a new tire. We set up camp at the parking lot campground. I get some cold kibble while Dave and Val walk across to the hotel for dinner.

September 19:

We are packed up and ready to go early in the morning so we will have time to find someplace in Watson Lake that sells tires and resume our travels before too much of the day has gone by. As luck would have it we find the most unique place! It is difficult to find a place that sells tires and breakfast, but we found one! Bee Jay’s has a café on one end, and tires on the other. Everything goes through one cash register so you pay for your scrambled eggs and Goodyear’s all on one bill. There prices are a little high, but I’m always willing to pay a little extra for ambiance – what about you?

Secure in the knowledge that we have a spare tire again, we leave Watson Lake for our destination at Liard Hot Springs, but when we get to Liard it is raining and we decide not to stop. We move on toward our destination for the day of Fort Nelson, B.C., but when we get to Fort Nelson it is only 3:00 p.m. (Do you see a theme developing here?) “Let’s go as far as say Prophet River, or may Sikanni Chief.” Sure. The problem is that Prophet River looks abandoned, and there is road and bridge construction right in front of the Sikanni campground so we pass those by. Pink Mountain will be open. We stop for fuel at Pink Mountain, and Val says she does not like the looks of the campground so we move on to the next one up the road. It’s closed, and the next one, and the next one. So here we are at Charlie Lake which is about 50 miles from Dawson Creek. Yikes!

The Charlie Lake campground is very nice with a nice big grassy area for dogs. The more urgent problems taken care of we start thinking about supper – we’re starved. Problem is that we only have 30 amp power at this camp site, and the microwave will only run on half power.  So it’s Dinty Moore Beef Stew for supper, and you’d be surprised how delicious it is.

We did pass through some unbelievably beautiful country today. We saw 8 woodland bison, and 8 or so caribou, and one dead moose by the side of the road.

September 20:

We have had uneventful day of travel going south through the beautiful province of Alberta. We saw some Elk (on an Elk farm), some buffalo (on a buffalo ranch), some Alpaca’s in a field, and a dead deer by the side of the road. Our plan is to travel as far as Leduc, AB and stay at the Leduc Lions Campground. Well you know about the best plans of mice and men…and beagle plans aren’t much better - the campground is full up tonight so we continue south on 2A and end up at Wetaskiwin Lions RV Campground. It’s an ok place. We aren’t near railroad tracks or an airport, and the campground has a fish pond. Catch and release only, but that’s ok because we are having TV dinners tonight minus the TV.

Hang on to your hat it’s windy, but we keep making southward progress and plan to be in the good ole’ USA tomorrow. That is if they let us back in. The plan is to stay in or near Shelby, Montana, USA.

See you soon,

Remington Beagle
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