Thursday, May 3, 2012

No Sun, No Crowd, No Problem--Haines Junction to Anchorage

            Lazy Tuesday, we were the last of three tenants to uproot and pull out of the Kluane RV park and head up our first stretch of the real Alaska Highway. In this stretch there are just miles and miles of miles and miles. Views were expansive, horizontally, but limited vertically by the clouds that clipped off the top of the surrounding mountains.
Few places are open this time of year so we took advantage of each to meet the locals and hear their tales. They are usually very friendly and enjoy speaking with travelers who express a sincere interest in their lives and local history. Stopped to fill coffee cups (not to be confused with lattes!) at Burwash Landing and in 20 minutes learned the weather and history from the owner and met the local snow plow crew, who stopped for breakfast.
We passed from British Columbia into the Yukon Territory before returning to the USA near Beaver Creek, Yukon Territory.
After what seemed like a long day we arrived in Tok, a major crossroads and one of the biggest communities in this region. Fast Eddies provided a dinner spot and the Sourdough RV park gave us a place to set up the chalet. Somewhat surprised we awoke to a 23 degree temperature (60 in the chalet) and a dusting of snow. Spring in Alaska!

Kathy, waiting to be served.

Wednesday we left the Alaska Highway, it continued on toward Fairbanks, while we turned south on the Tok Cutoff toward Anchorage. That turned into the Glennallen Highway and landed us at the Mendeltna Creek Lodge, near nothing in particular at mile 153. The place wasn’t really open but the owner sent us into the snow covered RV lot where we found a home for the night. No one joined us!
Thursday morning was a repeat of Wednesdays—27 degrees and a dusting of snow. Rather than cook in we folded up the chalet and joined the owner for breakfast in the Lodge by a roaring fire. Good coffee and conversation.

The Chef at Work
Now we are settled in Anchorage, ready for a Friday flight to Kodiak and the next stop on the journey.

Weather Thoughtlets: We expected interesting weather on this trip and so far it hasn’t been a disappointment. Given the weather we understand why there are so few people on the road and most of the tourist stuff on the Alaska Highway is still boarded up. But, looking on the bright side:
* We don’t need reservations in RV parks.
*We don’t need to purchase ice. (Our extra drinking water is in the ice chest to keep it from freezing in the car!)
*We are not in a tent. (Our Chalet heating keeps us comfy.)
Mendeltna Lodge RV Park in the AM

*The weather is improving and should continue to do so as we head west and north.
*Everyone we meet is very friendly. (Perhaps they just want to be nice to the crazy people.)
*Only one mosquito in seven days, a large but lethargic one that fell victim to my swift reaction time.

 iPad Woes: When I purchased my iPad I had a choice for wireless; Verizon or AT&T. I chose Verizon. Good choice? I guess, if you don’t plan on traveling to Alaska. Verizon has yet to recognize the 49th state. At least wifi is available at most RV parks and motels. But in between, your iPad is best used for solitaire or as a cutting board where connectivity is concerned.

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