Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dawson Creek, B.C.

008005(Jan) Dawson Creek, B.C. is the start of the Alaska Highway. Built by 11,000 U.S. troops and 16,000 Canadian and American citizens, it took only 8 months and 12 days to complete. The highway runs from Dawson Creek to Fairbanks, Alaska and is 1523 miles long. It opened on November 20, 1942 for military use and in 1948 it was opened to the public. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center/Museum and watched a 1992 film on the construction of the Alaskan Highway. Amazing! We also took photos of both sign posts commemorating Mile 0; one sign was at the original location and the other sign was at a downtown intersection a block off of the highway.


Ron & Bernita Poutney and Dean and Judy Sheeley joined us this week-end and we were able to take a group photo downtown at Mile Marker 1 near the Alaska Highway House Museum. We also walked around downtown and enjoyed many of the building murals. The mural at the end of the alley was so well done that it looked like you were looking straight down another street. (Click to enlarge the photo) The grain elevator pictured below is one of four that remains standing today. It now houses an art gallery. This is a large agricultural area with many grain fields. It looks similar to the midwest U.S. Also pictured is the curved railroad bridge we found south of here near the little town of Pouce Coupe.

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026This evening we were joined by another Boomer couple, Keith & Sandy Forester. We all gathered at Dean & Judy’s MH to share travel stories. We will all head out northwest in the morning.

We have internet today courtesy of Mc Donald’s. As we head north civilization will thin out and we may not have internet again until Alaska.  Our plan is to travel about 200 miles tomorrow and get to Muncho Lake the following day. We’ll spend several days there, a day at Liard Hot Springs and then on to Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada. The beautiful sign pictured at left was created by our friend Ron with the names of 5 Boomer couples who will make the Alaska trip in 2013.  We will add the sign to those at the Sign Forest at Watson Lake.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

North to Alaska

(Chuck) We are off for the summer to experience Alaska. It is a trip that we have been wanting to take for several years and finally we just decided that if you do not make a plan, it will not happen. We left Yuma on the last day of March and drove to Seattle with my mother. She is making her permanent home with my sister in the Seattle area. After a six week visit with Mom, Jackie and Butch and our son Josh and family we crossed the border on May 20, 2013.

010It was a fairly uneventful crossing at Sumas which is about 20 miles East of the I-5 crossing at Blaine, WA. Our chosen route was Highway 1, then 5 to Kamloops, BC. We spent the night 21 May, Barriere, BC 2003 Fire Memorial Garden, FB ( 51.13818 -120.12334) 1240’. It was a quiet and welcome place to stop. The first day was marred by fog, rain, drizzle and snow. 025Through little breaks in the weather we saw beautiful mountains and glorious waterfalls. We continued the next day following 5 to 16 to Prince George, BC where we stayed the night 22 May, Prince George, BC, Treasure Cove Casino, FB, ( 53.89518 -122.76646) 1920’. Today we drove up 95 and stopped at Chetwynd, BC which hosts a major chainsaw carving festival each June. We are parked in a dedicated RV parking lot in town. 23 May, Chetwynd, BC, Twins R. Public Lot, FB, ( 55.69619 -121.63400) 2115’

(Jan) The scenery along the way has been incredible! Even with the rain and then snow on a mountain pass, the views have been amazing. We have already seen two bears and two moose on the side of the highway along with, my favorite things, many small and several large waterfalls such as Bijoux Falls pictured below. Also pictured is a Memorial Cairn commemorating Mc Leod Lake, the oldest and longest continually occupied European settlement west of the Rockies. It was established in 1805 as a trading post. We stopped at Azouzetta Lake with it’s beautiful view of the Rocky mountains. Notice that the lake is still covered in Ice!

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The wood carvings in Chetwynd are wonderful! The first chainsaw carving was the result of a 1992 fundraising effort to help commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Alcan Highway. Since the 2005 International Chain Carving Competition started in 2005 many world renowned artists have blessed this community with their work.  Below are a few of the 120 life sized carvings that are placed along the streets in town.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Family time in Seattle and then we’re OFF……

009(Jan) Our family time in Seattle is coming to an end with fond farewells, hugs and kisses and a few tears. We were able to stay at Jackie and Butch’s place in Renton for most of this month and thank them sincerely for a lovely place to park. We enjoyed many family days together visiting, putting puzzles together and sharing meals. Joanne has settled in nicely in Jackie and Butch’s household and we are very happy for her. We also had several outings to our ‘entertainment center/dinner out place’ otherwise known as Emerald Queen Casino. Fun!008










We celebrated Mother’s Day with a brunch at our Motorhome with Josh & Sarah and family honoring Great Gramma Joanne. It was a special treat getting to be with 4 generations of our family! In the afternoon we headed to Lynnwood and continued our Mother’s Day celebration for Sarah and I. The kids got a Kindle for me. I’m very excited! It’s been great reading & exploring.

Last Tuesday our granddaughter Lexi invited Grandpa and I to dinner at her place. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and had a wonderful time visiting with her and roommates Rachel & Danuta. We had met her fourth roommate, Kayleigh, previously. What wonderful, warm young women they all are!001 

On Thursday we moved our Motor Home to the Tulalip Resort Casino to finish our packing and shopping before heading north. This also puts us just 20 miles from Josh & Sarah’s house for some final visiting. Sarah and the girls brought our mail up on Friday and this Gramma got to go shopping to the Outlet Mall with them. Grampa and I got to babysit last night and tonight we’ll have a final family dinner. We’re sure going to miss them!





Since Thursday we’ve made many shopping trips for supplies and can probably feed a small nation at the point. But we have been conscious of the amount limitations of alcohol, meat, poultry, eggs and other food stuffs that we can take into Canada. We will cross the border at Sumas on our way to Kamloops and the Frazer River Valley. We will meet friends at Dawson Creek and then go on to Alaska. We’ll try to Blog often. Hope everyone has a great summer where ever you are!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A visit to see my Brother & Sister-in-Law

(Jan) My sister Linda and I flew in for a long week-end visit May 4-7 to see our brother Ron and sister-in-law Scarlett. 009They picked us up at Oakland International Airport and immediately whisked us away for a beach day adventure at Half Moon Bay. We ate at a great fish place and then headed up the coast to find a spot to watch the ocean surf and the surfer.  The weather didn’t co-operate really well but we still enjoyed the beautiful view and our time together. Our evening was spent back at their beautiful home visiting.

On Sunday Scarlett, Linda and I started the morning walking a great urban trail through their neighborhood. Scarlett’s son Ryan & his girlfriend joined us for lunch and the rest of the day was spent putting together a puzzle of the Brooklyn Bridge. Ron & Scarlett had ridden across the bridge several years before so it was really fun being included in assembling the puzzle.  We listened to some great music and had a Cinco de Mayo celebration with margaritas & tri-tip tacos to finish the day.013

Linda’s friends Pete and Amy live in a houseboat near the SF Giant’s ball field and we went to visit them on Monday. We had an lunch at the Beach Chalet & Brewery with a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. We all had a fun visit. (Back in the 60’s Pete and I served in Linda’s wedding party!) The rest of the day we spent hanging out at the house visiting with Ron & Scarlett and nephew John.

And all too soon it was time to head home. John drove us down to the airport Tuesday morning; Linda was off to Kansas City and I was off to Seattle. I am very grateful to have had this precious time together! Thanks Ron & Scarlet for a fabulous visit.

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