Monday 11th August 2014
First of all, it seems all Alaskans call the 48 states below Canada “The Lower 48” ( As a heads up for my English family, Hawaii is the 50th)
The weather forecast was predicting a long wet front coming into southern Alaska so we thought a trip into the Wrangell St. Elias National Park would be good, as it is further north. At the visitors center we found out that due to extensive road construction the drive in would take over 4 hours and not fit for the motorhome. Also no where to leave it for a day trip in. Another plan dashed. The views driving past the park were lovely.
So, it was on to Haines. As we got to the turnoff on the Alaska highway in Canada we found out that the long wet front would be hanging about Haines for the next week also. After a brief discussion it was decided. Goodbye rainy Alaska. We started the LONG trip south to the “Lower 48”.
The road construction from the Alaskan border for about 80 miles into the Yukon was wicked bad. We managed to get about 20 chips and stars in the car windshield. More squeaks, rattles and groans have surfaced. Beauty and the beast are going to need lots of tender loving care when we arrive back in the lower 48. To say nothing of some probable financial investment.
This National Forest visitors center was growing a lawn on the roof.
The Cache was also showing a nice green noggin. This type of cache was used to store food and supplies to keep them safe from critters large and small.
After some pretty horrible roads, British Columbia wooed us back to good feelings with plenty of wildlife. We saw lots of black bears, several with cubs but they were too skittish for photos. These buffalo just wandered about the road as they pleased. We certainly did not argue. Lovely sunny days made the drive a lot more pleasant than the rain we had on the way up.
This guy just tagged along beside us for a bit.
We drove through Jasper and Banff National Parks. Very lovely but crikey the roads were packed with lots of tour busses. We could not even stop for picture taking as the big pullouts were always full. That’s when it’s handy to be in a car or small camper as you can just pop off to the side in many of the tiny pullouts. At 60 feet we need SPACE.
As we reached the lower part of British Columbia smoke from wildfires in both Canada and the Pacific Northwest created a haze that covered most of the mountains.
Once we reached Montana and our cell phone service it was time to check on RV parks. No joy there. We ended up in a good old Walmart parking lot in the first town. The next day on the phone again to find out all campgrounds are chockablock in this neck of the woods. Completely forgot about all those pesky summer tourists. Having being in one location all summer working for the last several years we had not taken the summer holidays into account. We also need a park that allows rig washing and most will not.
Well, I never thought we would have ended up back in good old Butte, Montana but here we are in the same campground where we did our Alaska trip staging. We have learned over the years never to say never again as it always trips us up. At least we can wash the vehicles and they are going to take some washing.
Clean up time. The dust and road grime have created their own special places to invade the camper. I always wash the roof as certain unnamed people are not keen on heights.
After emptying the whole basement is was time to vacuum and wipe off the thick coat of dust. Dean was on the slide out checking some loose bolts. One had actually sheared off.
Mmmm… This could possibly our new spare bedroom.
The poor car was beat up from being towed over all the bad roads. We had to get a new windshield due to so many dings and chips.
A little tender loving care and beauty is looking pretty good for a 10 year old.
We washed the beast just to see what really needed washing. A thick layer of mud had attached to the bottom edges and we picked up some nasty tar as well. Dust and grime had managed to coat the inside as well. After 4 days of slog beauty and the beast are ready to roll. Moving down the state a bit…….