This Sight is Continuously Evolving


2003 Alaska Trip Prolog

 Well, after working for Hewlett Packard / Agilent Technologies for 26 years, Patti got laid off.
When we found out that she was going to loose her job in the summer, we decided this was a good excuse to drive Pigpen back to Alaska one more time.

Our Itinerary is as follows;

We will leave Santa Rosa on the morning of July 23 and travel up US 101 as far north as we feel like (at least up into Oregon) and then we will head inland to catch Interstate 5 where we will head north again. We plan to stop and visit my friend Don in Seattle like we did last year.
After leaving Seattle we will drive up to Prince George BC where we will turn West on the Yellow Head Highway toward Prince Rupert BC.
About a hundred miles from Prince Rupert we will turn north on the Cassiar Highway. About fifty miles up the Cassiar Highway there is a dirt road going west which goes to Hyder Alaska which is the most eastern town that you can drive to in Alaska. Hyder is known as the smallest and friendliest ghost town in Alaska.
After visiting Hyder we will follow the Cassiar Highway to its intersection with the Alaska Highway at Watson Lake East of White Horse in the Yukon Territory.
We will then head west on the Alaska Highway to the junction of Yukon Highway 2 which goes to Dawson City on the Yukon River. From Dawson we will visit Eagle Alaska and Chicken Alaska. From chicken we will go south through Tok to the Glenn Highway where we will head west then south through Anchorage and down the Kenai Peninsula to Whittier where we will take a 4 hour glassier cruise. From Whittier we will drive to Seward where we will board a ferry to Kodiak Island. We will spend 3 days on Kodiak hopefully getting some good pictures of Bears.
From Kodiak we will take a ferry to Homer where we will head north through Anchorage to Fairbanks.
We will spend a few weeks visiting Patti’s kids and having adventures. Patti and Becki are planning a shopping trip to Anchorage and Randy and I are planning some sort of back country fishing trip.
After leaving Fairbanks we will ether drive to Haines Alaska and take the ferry to Bellingham Washington or we will drive all the way home.

Well that’s the “Plan”.  Of course all plans are subject to change. 





Left Santa Rosa at 11:25am.
Weather was very HOT!! 94 degrees in Willits, Laytonville and Legget
Took Avenue of the Giants for a rest break and lunch at 2:20pm at our favorite stopping place just north of Phillipsville. Got back on the road at 3:10pm.
Drove threw Scotia at 3:45. Thank goodness it was a lot cooler with a hint of fog.Got gas in Crescent City at 5:45pm. COLD!
Reached Brookings, OR by 6:15pm. Had dinner at the FLYING GULL Restaurant.
Spent a couple of hours looking along the Chetco River for a free camp spot with no luck. Ended up at WHALES HEAD RV PARK around 8:30pm. Campsite cost us $18.00 for the night with NO hookups.

Awoke to clear skies with a strong clod North wind blowing along the coast. The sea foamed around the huge rocks that jutted from the surface. We drove 25 miles to Gold beach where we had a great breakfast at Grants Restaurant. The Boysenberry Pancakes were as wonderful as I remember them to be.
Then we headed up the highway with the wind buffeting us all the way.
We stopped at Ell lake picnic area South of Reedsport where we took an hour nap and got back on the road going constantly north.
Stopped for Gas at Newport OR. 308.8 miles.
8 mi. north of Lincoln City we turned east on highway 18 and drove to Grand Ronde where we stopped at the Spirit Mountain Indian casino. We had dinner at their Buffet and gambled a while. I lost my $20 and Patti made $1.50. It is now 8:00pm. (We spent the night in their RV parking area) Free.

Total miles traveled so far-- 620.7 mi.

We left Spirit Mountain Casino after breakfast and headed for Portland and I-5.
We crossed the Columbia River into Washington around 10:00. (As we were traveling along on I-5 I noticed a pickup truck with a small boat in the back coming onto the highway on my right. He came up behind me and passed on my left then he crossed in front of me. A he did so he kicked up a rock that hit my wind shield like a bullet causing a star about the size of a fifty cent piece. Then the pickup takes the very next exit as if he had accomplished his mission.) The weather was overcast but cleared by the time we arrived at Seattle.
We got to Don and Jeans around 2:45 they were still at work but Don had left us a key so we went inside and took showers and I took a short nap. When Don and Jean got home we went out to the Carnegie Bistro, which is in the old Carnegie Library. The food was, as Patty put it "WONDERFUL"

Don and I took a ride to Goldmeyer Hot Springs, which is owned by a non-profit corporation of which Don is the president. It is a beautiful place at the end of one of the worst roads I’ve been on in a while. We got back home at 8:45.
Patti Spent the day with Jean puttering around the yard. They went and picked up Jean’s Mom Louise who is 90 years old, pretty spry and has a good sense of humor. They had bets on what time Don and I were going to be home. Patti won the bet as she guessed the time exactly. We had a very nice visit with Don and Jean.
don.jpg (122223 bytes)

We left Don and Jean’s around 9:30 and headed for the Canadian border.
Even though I didn't’t try to film our border crossing and I thought I answered their stupid questions correctly they still had us pull to the side, report to Immigrations and Pigpen was searched by customs. After about 40 minutes they let us continue our trip. Have a nice day; enjoy your stay in Canada.
Yeah right, thanks a lot…
Back on the road again.
About 11 km west of Hope BC we stopped at a rest stop for lunch and then continued our journey.
Driving along the Frasier River Canyon was very hot and dry, if not for the river I would have thought we were in Nevada.frasiercanionBC.jpg (57887 bytes)
By around 7:00 we saw a sign pointing to a road that read camping. We were hot and tired so we turned right and followed the road for about a half hour and came to Canim Lake. The map indicated that there was a Provincial park on the lake. We drove almost completely around the lake but did not find the park so in desperation we pulled into The Ponderosa Resort. The word "resort" like the word "bistro" I think are, French words meaning "expensive" A camp spot cost $25.68 Canadian. It cost us less in American money but expensive just the same. The resort has a motel and cabins as well as 28 camp spots. Our camp spot was on the lake and was quite scenic.
canimlake.jpg (59136 bytes)

We left Canim Lake at 9:15 heading for Prince George where we intend to take the Yellow Head Highway west toward Prince Rupert. We stopped for Gas just west of Prince George and continued west. 59mi miles out of P.G. we saw a sign for Fort Saint James National Historic Sight.
Fort St. James is a Northwest co. fur trade era trading post established in 1760 and in the 19th century served as headquarters for the Hudson’s Bay Co.’s New Caledonia Fur Trade district.

It was 4:30 in the afternoon so we decided to get a camp spot and visit the fort tomorrow.
We camped at Paarens Provincial Park. The campground is on Stewart Lake and our camp was right on the lakeshore. The price was $10.00C = $7.00A considerably better than what we had to pay last night. The camp spots are large and some are fairly private.
Ours however was not as private as some of the others but we wanted to be on the lake. There was a lot of traffic, with people coming and going to swim in the warm waters. There are more flying insects here than we have encountered so far but not as many as last year.

We left the campground at 8:50. A short way down the road Patti saw a young Bear. We turned around so she could take pictures but by the time we got back to the place it was gone.
We went to visit the Fort St James Historical Sight. The tour was excellent and the docents were very friendly. I would recommend this tour to any one who is interested in the fur trade. Like a dummy, I didn't’t take my camera because I had forgotten to charge the batteries and they were dead. Fortunately Patti had hers and took a couple of picturesft'st James.JPG (87392 bytes)
We left Fort St James at noon and headed west again. Stopping for lunch at Beaumont Lake Provincial Park. There are many beautiful lakes in this area.
Stopping at a rest stop for a break I took some pictures of Fireweed that was taller than Patti.   patti&fireweed.JPG (122302 bytes)                                             
We had hoped to make it all the way to Hyder AK but around 5:00 we decided to look for a place to spend the night.
At around 6:00 we pulled into Tyhee Lake Provincial Park campground.

Those of you that know me know that I don’t like public campgrounds and will normally go to great length’s to avoid them but Canada’s Provincial Parks are the exception. Their campgrounds are extremely well cared fore and the camps are mostly very private        .bccamps.jpg (106847 bytes)
Most Camps are $10.00C or $7.00A. The camps at Tyhee are $20.00C or $17.00A.
I suppose the extra money is for the flush toilets and the free showers.
This money thing is often confusing I’m not sure that we didn’t get ripped off here. I think it should have been $14.00A
Oh well :o(

Left Tyhee Lake at 8:50 and drove westward again.
We stopped to watch some Natives netting Salmon on the Bulkley River      nativefishing.jpg (66817 bytes)
Then went on to the junction of Highway 37 (The Cassiear Highway) casierhwy37.jpg (65797 bytes) where we turned north.
We went about 96 miles to the junction of 37 and 37a

At highway 37a  we turned west toward Hyder AK.37a.jpg (56269 bytes)
The drive to Hyder is beautiful with lots of views of waterfalls, snow capped mountains and small glaciers. bearglacier.jpg (73814 bytes)
                                                                                                                                                                     Bear Glacier
We arrived in Hyder around 1:30 and had lunch at The Sealaska Inn. We had halibut and chips "yum". After lunch we took the dirt road north out of town to The Salmon Glacier. It is the 4th largest glacier in the world and is pretty spectacular. The road goes above the glacier so you get a birds eye view.salmonglacier.jpg (77944 bytes)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Salmon Glacier
On the way back to town we stopped at the Fish Creek bear viewing station and saw a Grizzly bear catching salmon. We got some good pictures of spawning Salmon and the bear. bear01.jpg (92646 bytes)
It was getting late (6:30) so we decided to spend the night in Hyder. We checked into the Camp Run-a-muck RV Park. Nothing Fancy but we got a flat spot for $18:00C with power and water.(Even though Hyder is in Alaska USA,they use Canadian money.) 
Of course we didn’t really need the power and water but I did go ahead and plug the cooler in just to save the battery.

We had breakfast at the Wildflower Café in Hyder. It was very good and reasonably priced. Do to some kind of local health regulations we could only get our eggs scrambled….?
Left Hyder around 8:15
We stopped to take pictures of the Bear Glacier. Waited around for a while hoping to see some "calving" but got tired of waiting and started off again heading for the Cassiear Highway. Got gas at the junction and went north again.
Around 1:30 we stopped at the Mountain Shadows Resort  which is owned by Anne and Steve Putnam.putnams.jpg (62024 bytes) Anne used to work with my nephew Dave so we stopped by just to say hi for him. We visited with them for a short while. When we got in Pigpen to take off he had a vapor lock problem so we took a walk along the lake there. They have a very pretty place with a beautiful log cabin that Steve had built.mountainshadows.jpg (86938 bytes)
After Pigpen cooled down we started off again. We drove to Dease Lake where we got gas and then headed steadily north. Around 5:30 we stopped at a BC Forest Recreation Sight called Sawmill Point with free camps down by the shore of Dease Lake. There are lots of flying, blighting Insects here but we have bug spray and mosquito coils so we should survive the night.

The mosquitoes were so bad last night that we took refuge in the van and played Rummy.
We left the camp spot around 7:30 heading north. The weather was cloudy with intermittent showers as we got closer to the Yukon Territory.
The drive was beautiful with Fire Weed and lots of other wildflowers lining the highway.
We saw two foxes. One was carrying a Ptarmigan and the other had a mouse. Both were curious and did not run off when we stopped to take their pictures. The one with the mouse put it down and approached the van as if sizing it up as a possible meal.fox1.jpg (76366 bytes)
We reached the junction of the Alaska Highway at 10:45 and turned west.
We stopped to take pictures of Rancheria Falls.fals1.jpg (112318 bytes) And then stopped for lunch at the Morley River.
We arrived at Whitehorse around 4:30. and decided to get a room for the night and a good meal. We stayed at the Edge Water Hotel and had Dinner in their restaurant "the Cellar". The meal was excellent.

After dinner we walked around and visited a couple of gift shops where Patti bought some post cards.

Had breakfast at the Café in the Edgewater Hotel. Washed clothes, went shopping for groceries, bought gas and left Whitehorse around noon. The weather was cold and cloudy with intermittent rain. We saw one very wet coyote trying to cross the road. Drove the Klondike loop toward Dawson City. Stopped for the night at Gravel Lake gravillake.jpg (52825 bytes) about 50 miles south of Dawson. Talked to a man that was taking his two young sons across the lake to see if they could bag a Moose.

The guy and his kids returned around 5:30 this morning Moose less.
Last night was the coldest night yet I had to use two blankets.
While we were having breakfast we saw a cow and calf feeding across the lake.
We left Gravel Lake around 8:45 still heading north on the Klondike loop.
Saw a young bull moos crossing the highway but he was gone before we could stop to take a picture. Stopped at the Tintina Bakery just south of Dawson City. It is just off the road in a small log cabin. The baked goods were excellent. We bought a chocolate chip cream cheese brownie and a 2 high bush cranberry cream cheese Danishes. Yummmm

On to Dawson City. dawson.jpg (97062 bytes)
Arrived at Dawson at around 10:00. The town is very well preserved with many very quaint Victorian buildings dirt streets and board walks. We walked around town for a while; bought some T-shirts, took some pictures and then got on the free ferry across the Yukon River. dawsonferry.JPG (53387 bytes)

We drove the Top of the World Highway toward Alaska. Stopped at a pull out at Castle rocks for lunch. We crossed the Border at 1:30pt / 12:30 Alaska time. Our next stop was the settlement of Chicken Alaska. chicken.jpg (26063 bytes)
The story of How Chicken Got its name is a classic. The miners wanted to name there camp for the local bird the Ptarmigan. They couldn’t agree on how to spell it so since the bird looked like a small chicken they decided to call it Chicken. We mailed some post cards from Chicken. We had intended to mail them from Whitehorse but postage from Canada was $.65 each. We continued on to Tok where we got gas and dinner and now are camped around 15 miles south of Tok Alaska at the Eagle Trail State Recreation Sight. Camp sights are $10:00 and the camp is almost empty.

Awoke to a cold cloudy morning after a good nights sleep. It rained off and on during the night. We had breakfast of oatmeal for me and Slim-fast for Patti. Got on the road around 10:00
As we traveled south on the Tok cutoff we could see new snow on the tops of the nearest mountains. Stopped for lunch and short nap at a gravel quarry around 1:15. 103 miles from Palmer.  Got back on the road by 3:00. The road was apparently hit hard by the recent 7.9 earthquake. There were lots of gravel patches where it had been repaired. One long section looked as if it had all slipped off into a big canyon. We had to follow a pilot car for about 10 miles where they were carving a new highway out of the cliff face near the Matanuska glacier. We stopped for the night at Moos creek there is an abandoned camp ground there with about 5 or 6 camp spots but no facilities. We shared a can of Dinty Moore stew for super and the rest of the Danish that we bought at  the Tintina Bakery for dessert. Every night we have been listening to audio books on CD before going to bed. We have listened to the Hobbit and now are into the second disc of the Fellowship of the Ring. When we were at Gravel Lake we watched a DVD movie on the laptop "Sweet Home Alabama". It was all right if you like that sort of thing (Chick Flick). Patti liked it.

Distance traveled to date = 3480.9 miles


We Left Moos Creek around 7:00 and drove to Palmer AK about 10 miles. We stopped at the Colony Kitchen for breakfast. I had my first Reindeer sausage of this trip (good stuff).
We drove through Anchorage and around the east end of Cook inlet.cookinlet.jpg (45466 bytes)
We took the turn off to portage glacier and got some pictures of icebergs and the glacier.portageburg.jpg (69957 bytes)    portageglacer.jpg (57961 bytes)

We were going to go to the end of the road at Whittier AK but they wanted $12.00 to go through a tunnel to get there We decided that we didn’t really want go there after all so we headed for Seward.
We arrived in Seward around 1:30. We walked around the downtown for a while and stopped for lunch at the Marine Café. We had Halibut and chips (excellent). After lunch we went to the Kenai Fjords Tours and booked a glacier tour for 7:30 the next morning. $210.00
We decided to stay at the Breeze Inn which was right across the street from the harbor so we would be able to just walk across the street in the morning and get on the boat.
We got a room with a view of the harbor sewardaka.jpg (43668 bytes) $143.00. Yikes!! Any money we may have saved by camping for the last two weeks, we spent here.
Next we decided to Book Passage on the Alaska Ferry to Kodiak Island. It took us a couple of tries to find the ferry office it was in one corner of a large warehouse and no one was there. We asked around and found out that the guy that runs the office wouldn’t be there until the day the ferry was due in (Thursday). Ok, so we would wait until Thursday to book Passage.
We went back to the Motel for a short rest and then went for a walk around the harbor and looked at all the boats. A charter fishing boat came in and one of the fishermen had caught an 188lb Halibut. Unfortunately we didn’t have a camera with us (dumb!) so we didn’t get a picture of it but it was huge. For dinner we decided to go to a creamery just across from the motel and had hot fudge sundaes.

We got up at 5:30am, showered, dressed and checked out of the motel. We had breakfast and walked across the street and boarded the Coastal Explorer for our Glacier/ wildlife tour. The water in Resurrection Bay was glassy calm. We saw Bald Eagles sewardeagle.jpg (37816 bytes) and Sea Otters otter.jpg (36352 bytes) in the bay.
As we cleared the bay the conditions rapidly degenerated we were heading into large swells on the Northern Pacific Ocean at about 24 knots. After about a half hour I was getting pretty sick. After another half hour I was feeding the fish. For the next 4 hours I napped and threw-up allot. When we got to the glaciers the water was calmer but I was so sick that I didn’t take any pictures. Patti on the other hand was having a great time and got allot of pictures of the glacier calving.
On the way back to Seward she got pictures of Orca’s, orka.jpg (39611 bytes) Stellar sea lions, Harbor seals, Puffins, mountain goats and a Humpback Whale taking a nap. humpback.jpg (79062 bytes)
By the time we got back to land I had decided that I had had enough sailing the bounding main and decided not to book passage to Kodiak. We had also thought to take the ferry from Haines to Bellingham on the way home (NOT). I aint going on any more ocean cruises. One good thing to come out of this experience is even though I paid $100.00+ to get sea sick it will save us about $2100.00 in ferry tickets.
We left Seward around 2:30 and stopped at a camp ground about 10 miles out of town. I didn’t feel much like driving.

We left our camp around 8:45 and headed for Homer AK. We took the turn off to the town of Kenai where we had lunch and went to the Fireweed store.
Patti bought some Fireweed seeds.
We left Kenai around noon and continued our trip to Homer. kenifireweed.jpg (92104 bytes)
Homer is at the end of the highway and the farthest you can drive on the Kenai Peninsula.homerspit.jpg (65858 bytes) Patti bought some post cards and a T-shirt of course.
I bought a fishing license.
Ok, now the sight seeing is over and its time to start fishing. Tonight we are camped at the Centennial municipal campground in Soldotna on the Kenai River. Tomorrow I will try my luck. The Silvers are supposed to be starting there run.

Woke up around 7:30, had breakfast and checked out the river. It is high, fast and milky blue. I watched some people fishing but they weren’t catching anything. There were a couple of drift boats on the river but they weren’t catching anything either. I guess the run isn’t in yet.
We left Soldotna and headed north. I stopped at a few creeks to try my luck and watched some bright red Salmon spawning at one creek but of course it was closed to fishing. I saw some Humpy’s (Hump backed salmon) in another creek but couldn’t get them to strike at a lour.

We drove through the madness that is Anchorage AK. It struck me that Anchorage is the LA of Alaska and I couldn’t wait to get clear of it and back in the country. We were heading up the Highway just south of Talkeetna when I noticed an on coming State Police Cruiser. He checked me out as he went by and I saw him turn around in my rear view mirror. About that time we were crossing Sheep Creek so I took the turn off on the north side of the bridge. The Cop went past with his lights flashing I guess he was after some one else after all. The Humpy’s were running in Sheep creek so I fished for a while and caught one small Humpy about 18" long. It was fun catching a fish that large on my lightweight fly rod. After fishing for a while I decided to get back on the road. When we tried to pull onto the highway Pigpens engine quit and wouldn’t start again so we rolled back into the parking spot and I went to work.

Throughout this trip Pigpen has been having problems with vapor lock whenever we stop for a short time. The problem is caused by a modification I did to the fuel line to fix a gas smell problem. I disconnected the fuel lines and reconnected every thing the way it was originally. Pigpen started up fine and we headed north again.
About a mile from Sheep Creek we passed the State Trooper who was parked on the side of the road. As soon as we passed him he pulled in behind us and began following us. The speed limit was 65 so I had my cruse control set to 55 he followed us for about 10 miles at 55 and then turned on his lights to pull me over. I couldn’t figure out why he pulled us over but found out shortly. Pigpens rear license plate was dirty? I didn’t know that it was a crime to have a dirty license plate. He checked out my Drivers license and registration and proof of insurance. All was ok so now he took my license and Patti’s license and went back to his car to call in and see what kind of notorious criminals he had here. To his disappointment he found that we were just what we said we were, just a couple of old folks going to Fairbanks to visit their Grandchildren. Too bad bucko I guess you’ll just have to find some real bad guys to hassle.

We had considered stopping at Talkeetna to check out the Blue Grass Festival but after our experience with the Police I decided that I was ready to get to Fairbanks as soon as possible so we filled the gas tank at a station out of town and headed north.

We made it as far as Byers lake campground and camped for the night

We arrived in Fairbanks at around 4:30. Becki and Samantha were home but Randy was camping at Olnes Pond with Johnathen. I left Patti to her reunion with Becki and drove to Olnes Pond, which is off the Dalton highway north of Fairbanks. I found Randy and friends camped in there favorite spot. We Hung out around the camp catching up on what had passed in the year since we had last been together and the retelling of our last adventures together. It was a happy reunion.                     

            kidsandgrandkids.jpg (90710 bytes)
Becki, Randy, Samantha and Johnathen

Got up around 7:00. Randy and Russell were already up, standing around a small fire so I joined them and we stood around drinking hot cocoa and discussing the days fishing plans. We tried fishing the Chatanika River but it was too high and very muddy from recent torrential rains. Around 11:00 we left Olnes Pond and drove back to Fairbanks.
Patti and Becki were not at home.
We had a light lunch and drove for about an hour to Chena lakes to try our fishing luck there. When we got to where we were going to fish we found NO PARKING signs at the only spot to park. We turned around and headed for another spot that the guys new about. We stopped at a small turn out and walked to where a slough goes under the road. We caught and released several Grayling. Russell caught the largest one about 18" long. I caught a 14" White fish. After a couple of hours catching and releasing fish we headed home for a Moose Supper. Yum , Yum, Yum,

Today we are at the Chena lakes recreation sight where we camped last night. The sight is part of a flood control project where there are a couple of lakes and the river. There are about 80 camp spots at $10.00/ night but if you are over 55 years old the camping is FREE.
Patti took some pictures of a field of wild sunflowers, very pretty.
Unfortunately Patti has caught a cold and isn’t feeling well.
We have been visiting with the grandkids and hanging out in Fairbanks for the last 9 days. Last weekend we went camping at Olnes Pond. Randy, Glen and I tried fishing on a slough that connects with the near by Chatanika River. We didn’t catch any fish but we saw about 20 Beavers. The rivers are still muddy and high so we have been hitting the sloughs and ponds where the water is a little clearer. The fishing has been slow.
We have been doing some more shooting. We took an old PC monitor out to the rifle rang at 38mile on the Chena hot springs road a couple of days ago and blew it to peace's with Randy’s cannon, 45’s, 22’s and the AK47. LOTS OF FUN!! :o) . computershoot.jpg (35541 bytes) We missed it with the cannon

Fall is coming on fast, the temperatures have been dropping since we arrived and we have had several days of cold drizzle and gray skies. The fireweed is going to seed and some of the Birch tree leaves are starting to turn golden. Today it is bright and cool with lots of fluffy white clouds floating by.
Tonight we are camping at Olnes Pond again. We had Moos Stroganoff for dinner.
That I made made with ground Moos meat and Lipton’s Noodle Stroganoff mixed together. It was damned good too. There has been a bear seen in the area so randy lent me his Benelli 12 gauge semi auto with slugs. Just in case.

It has been a while since I entered anything in the log.
Since my last entry Randy and I rode in a float plain to Dune Lake.
The fall season is here and the weather has been gray and raining. On Friday 08/22 we took off around noon from the Chena Marina under cloudy skies with intermittent showers. We flue just under the clouds and could see the Tanana River and its many sloughs and channels snaking its way north toward the Yukon. We passed over the town of Nenana and the Nenana River then over a few low hills and out across the tundra with its ponds and bogs. After about 30 minutes we landed on the dark surface of Dune Lake. Rick, our pilot and the owner of Marine Air, gave us instructions on how the boat motors worked and showed us our cabin. doonlakecabin.jpg (126914 bytes) When we arranged the trip Rick said that we would be sharing the cabin with two other guys but they wouldn’t be there until Saturday.
We weren’t really happy about this but figured we could share the cabin for one night because we would be fishing most of the time. By the time Rick took off and we got our gear stowed the weather had cleared slightly so we went fishing. I caught the first fish, a respectable 16 inch Silver Salmon which we grilled that evening for super. We caught and released several more fish, some were Silvers and some were Rainbow Trout. Dune Lake also has a population of Grayling. We trolled the lake until late evening and called it a day. As we watched the sun disappear behind the clouds in the north we made plans for tomorrows fishing.
The wind freshened over night and the rain started in earnest lashing against the cabin windows. After breakfast we put on our rain gear and headed out on the lake. The wind was cold and the rain was horizontal we persisted for a couple hours with a few fish caught but eventually we were chilled and decided to retreat to the cabin for some hot chocolate and the warmth of the wood stove. We spent several hours in the cabin watching the rain and the white caps on the lake.

Around noon we saw Rick’s plane land and pull up to the beach below the cabin. We figured that this was our roommates arriving but after around 20 minutes they got in a boat and went across the lake to the other cabin, so we had our cabin to our selves.

By late evening the rain let up and we went fishing. We caught several Grayling and Trout. I was trying a chartreuse colored plastic worm and as soon as it sank about 3 feet down a huge fish attacked it. I only had about 6 feet of line out and the fish pulled the tip of my rod into the water as it swam under the boat and tangled the line in the weeds. The 8lb line broke and the fish was gone. All this happened in about 15 seconds.

The next morning it was raining but it was our last chance so after we cleaned up the cabin we went fishing. Randy had a lour that we don’t know the name of but it worked like magic. Nothing that I tried worked, not even the Daredevil, which was working great on Saturday. He let me borrow the lour and I caught a nice silver and the next fish broke the line and the supper lour was gone.

We decided to head back to the cabin to warm up when we got to shore Rick arrived in his plane to take us home.

Even with the bad weather we had a great time fishing Dune Lake fish.jpg (25558 bytes)  Randy's fish.jpg (21984 bytes)


Since the last entry;

Patti and I visited the University of Alaska museum. totem.jpg (62142 bytes)
We took a ride on the stern-wheeler Discovery 3 down the Chena River to the Tanana River and down the Tanana. The boat stopped so we could see Susan Butcher (4 time Iditarod winner) and her dogs. Then continued to the sight of the town of Chena where we turned around and headed back up river. We stopped at an "authentic" mock up of an Athabasken village and were shown around (tour).
It was a nice boat ride but a little spendy at $45.00 ea.discovery.JPG (93682 bytes) 

Patti and I decided to spend a night at the Chatanika lodge which is 28 miles from Fairbanks on the highway to Circle. The lodge is rustic the room are small and the bathrooms are down the hall but the food is good the bar is huge with all kinds of memorabilia and exhibits and the owner and his wife are very friendly. I would recommend it for anyone who wants an Alaskan roadhouse experience.chatanikalodge.JPG (60620 bytes)

Over Labor Day weekend Randy Johnathen and I drove to Summit Lake where some of Randy’s friends have a cabin and a couple of campers on a piece of land where they go Snow Machining in the winter.summit.jpg (54592 bytes)
We tried doing some fishing on Tangle lakes and a small stream between the lakes but didn’t have any success.
The weather is cold and raining. The rivers are at flood in some places and the fishing is poor.
The fall colors are starting and promise to be spectacular. sumitfall.jpg (67900 bytes)

Patti and Becki are getting excited about their trip to Anchorage this weekend. The weather is supposed to clear a little. Fall up here is a lot like winter in Northern California "cold and rainy" it was 33 last night because the sky was clear. I will be taking the ladies to the airport tomorrow around 10:00 am. and picking them up on Sunday at around 4:00 pm. Randy and I will have the kids for the weekend. I sure hope the weather clears.

I picked the girls up at the airport at 4:20.
They had a good time in Anchorage. The kids survived their stay with Randy and I.
While the ladies were gone we helped Randy’s friend Curtis work on a Quonset hut he is putting up on his property. quanset.jpg (131033 bytes)

This evening Patti got to see the Northern Lights. She was very excited.

One of Randy’s friends gave him a .45 black powder rifle. I had to do a little work on it to get it shooting. We took it out last night and fired it. It’s a good shooter, we hit the mark with each shot. I also got to shoot an original 1913 Colt model 1911 .45 semi auto what a sweet shooter.

Today is our last day in Alaska. The weather is cold and clear they are still forecasting snow by Monday. We are taking Becki and Randy out to dinner this evening for their 5th anniversary. Tomorrow after breakfast we will start our journey back to California. Patti saw the Aurora again tonight I got up to see them too. The lights of the city subdued the view some but Patti was excited.

It was cold last night, in the 20’s. We woke up around 7:00. There was a layer of ice on the puddle next to the van. We woke up the kids and were at The Diner by 9 and had breakfast over around 10:00. We got gas and hit the road heading home.

We crossed the border between Canada and Alaska at Beaver Creek at 5:00, and at around 7:00 stopped for the night at Congdon Creek campground on Kluane Lake in the Yukon. Very cold with snow on the hills near the lake. Cluanelake.jpg (54346 bytes)

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We left Cogdon Creek at 8:45 and headed east on the Alaska Highway There is Ice on the lake and snow on the ground along the roadside. The scenery is, of course, beautiful with the gold’s and oranges of the Birch trees, the dark green of the Spruce and the reds of the spent fire weed set against the snowy mountain peaks as a back ground. fallgoinghome1.jpg (69215 bytes)

We gassed up pigpen in Haines Junction. Crossed from the Yukon into BC at 5:12pm and turned south on the Cassiear Hwy.casierfall.jpg (95339 bytes)
Saw a bull moose feeding in a small lake along the Casiear Highway about 15 mi. north of Dease lake. We stopped for the night at Beady creek just a small turn out of the highway.. The Temperature is a little warmer here than it is up north but it is still cold.

We left Beady Creek at 7:30am with light snow falling. Saw a young Bull Moose feeding along the roadside. Stopped at the town of Dees Lake for breakfast and fuel. Got back on the road by 9 am. As we headed south we encountered lots of snow falling at the summit with about 6 inches on the ground. As we dropped down the south side the snow changed to rain. We saw a wolf walking along the road. wolfe.jpg (134785 bytes)
We reached the Yellow Head Highway turned west and arrived at Smithers BC. At 5:00.
We got a room at the Stork Nest Motel.storknest.jpg (60699 bytes) If you ever Find yourself in Smithers and need a room I recommend the Stork Nest. The rooms are clean and reasonably priced and the Inn Keeper is friendly. A full breakfast is included in the price. Now, I don’t mean a Danish and coffee I mean a full breakfast.

We left Smithers at 9:00 am. We saw snow along the roadside. Arrived in Prince George around 1:30 pm. And turned south on Hwy. 97. We stopped at the Red Rock Bison Ranch and bought a steak for dinner ($16.85 C). Unfortunately the steak was still frozen at dinnertime. For dinner we had chicken and Lipton’s pasta. We got Gas in Quesnel and stopped for the night at Lac La Hache Provincial Park north of the town of the same name.

We arrived in Seattle around 6:30pm and will stay with Jean and Don until the morning of the 19th, then we will drive south on I-5 to Glendale Oregon where we will visit Patti’s Sister and Brother-in-law for a couple of days. From there it is a 9 hour drive home.

We have had a great trip but since we are heading that way, I will be glad to get home.



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