Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Roswell NM–In Search of Aliens

We recently took a week long trip to Roswell NM to visit all the “alien stuff”.  Along the way we also visited the Very Large Array (radio telescope) and Carlsbad Caverns.  Instead of doing a normal blog we are experimenting with a video blog.

In the future we plan to do additional travel videos which will be found on our YouTube channel at  Dean&Val's YouTube Channel

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Trip Recap


We safely completed our trip on Wednesday (Aug. 10, 2016) and had a wonderful time.  After leaving Chetwynd, BC we basically made a beeline for AZ.  Most of the route was in areas that we had been several times before so there was no strong desire to explore.  The overnight stops we made along the way were in Prince George, BC; Merritt, BC; Pasco, WA; Glenn Ferry, ID; Beaver, UT; and Happy Jack, AZ.  Most of the trip was uneventful except for the last three days with very high winds which was not fun.


Trip Stats:

Miles Driven:  5844

Lowest gas price: $1.81/gal (Chandler, AZ)

Highest gas price:  $4.73/gal (Ft Nelson, BC)

Highest observed gas price:  $6.02/gal (Tetsa River Lodge, BC)

Average miles/gal:  9.55

Trailer tires replaced:  2

Nights in RV parks:  9

Nights in State/Province parks:  11

Nights Boondocking:  3


Just north of the border is the Okanagan area which is famous for their fruit.  Peaches, apricots, plums, and some berries were ready.  The peaches were only $12 for a large box.  We so wanted to get a big box but we were afraid they would take them away at the border.

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We settled for gorging on some peaches along the side of the road before the border. So good!



Just about to make it back into the USA.  Crossing was relatively painless with the usual questions and inspecting the trailer for forbidden fruits

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Day 20 -- Aug. 6, 2016, 386 miles



Day 21 -- Aug. 7, 2016, 369 miles



Day 22 -- Aug. 8, 2016, 476 miles



Day 23 -- Aug. 9, 2016, 370 miles



Day 24 -- Aug. 10, 2016, 143 miles


Friday, August 5, 2016

Chainsaw Carving


After leaving the Alcan at Fort St. John we visited the small northern BC town of Chetwynd which hosts the International Chainsaw Carving Championship each year.  The three day event that is held each June draws chainsaw carvers from all over the world.  Once the carvings are completed they are placed all around town on many street corners.  The carvings are very detailed and it's hard to imagine that they are done with a chainsaw.










Day 18 – Aug. 4, 2016, 299 miles



Day 19 – Aug. 5, 2016, 357 miles


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Awesome Kayaking!


We have spend the past few days driving the Alcan and enjoying some of the picturesque lakes along the way.  The Alcan is one of the most interesting and exciting roads we have ever found.  For almost all of it’s 1500 miles it passes through low mountains and valleys with some of the most awesome views anywhere.  You never know what will be around the next curve… it could be a bear, bison, moose, stone sheep, or a caribou.  The environment is so clean that the sky is a deep blue with white puffy clouds contrasted against the green trees.  It’s also nice that there is relatively little traffic so most of the times you can stop anywhere and enjoy the view. 

We spend several days at Summit Lake and at Muncho Lake, which are about half way between Fort Nelson BC and Watson Lake, Yukon.  In both cases, we were very fortunate to get outstanding campsites right along the bank where we could launch our kayaks.  Muncho Lake was especially nice as it has a very blue-green color, due to copper oxide leaching into the water.  The lake was very smooth and the reflections from the clouds and mountains make it especially beautiful.

Tomorrow we are heading to Chetwynd, BC which is famous for its chainsaw carvings.


Not too bad a view from our campsite






Not sure if we were kayaking on the lake …or in the clouds …or in the mountains… they all kind of blend together









Lots of Stone Sheep around Stone Lake




Mom better teach baby not to play in the road






Yes… this is the life!



Adding a few rocks to the inukshuk that was at our campsite



We loaned our kayaks to a couple from Germany.  They had a great time on the lake!



Yup that is $1.59 per liter which is $6.02 per gallon…. Not too bad considering it was about $2 higher two years ago.  This was at a lodge along the Alcan… smart RV’ers carry extra cans of gas so you can make it to the next town!



Day 14 – July 31, 2016, 98 miles



Day 15 – Aug. 1, 2016, 65 miles



Day 17 – Aug. 3, 2016, 373 miles


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Moving along the Alaska Highway


After leaving Jasper National Park we continued on north and joined the Alaska Highway (Alcan) at Dawson Creek BC.  Dawson is known as mile 0 of the highway which stretches for 1500 miles to Fairbanks Alaska.  


The Alaska Highway was built in 1942 as part of the war effort.  By this time Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and had already invaded and were occupying the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.  There was a real fear that they would invade main land North America via Alaska.  In an effort the provide better defense for North America the US Army was task with building the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek BC to Fairbanks as an overland supply route.  Dawson Creek was the farthest point north that the railroad reached.  They were given one year to build it.  Ultimately 11,000 troops and 16,000 civilian workers were able to carve out a two lane road through 1500 miles of wilderness and mountains in 8 months.  They worked under horrific conditions ranging from 90 degree summers to –70 degrees in the winter.  When completed the road was very basic with 90 degree turns and 25% grades but met the objective of providing a supply route to Alaska.


From Dawson Creek to continued up to Fort Nelson BC where we spent two nights.  On Saturday, July 30, we took a day trip about a 130 miles north to visit Fort Liard in Northwest Territories (NWT).  Fort Liard is a First Nations community on the banks of the Liard River about 30 miles north of the BC/NWT line .  The road up to NWT was excellent and there was NO traffic.  Actually the highway was better than most of the more traveled roads.  At the border the road changed to gravel but was still in good condition.  In the 100 miles or so to the border we only met 8-10 other vehicles.  We were hoping to spot lots of wildlife on this remote road but only spotted a bison and two black bears.

Tomorrow we will continue up the Alcan toward Muncho Lake where we hope to do some kayaking in its blue green waters.



Spotted this Rockey Mountain Big Horn sheep shortly after leaving Jasper National Park



Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway (Alcan)



Some of the tools that build the 1500 mile long Alaska Highway… in 8 short months




This is what happens when a construction zone pilot car takes us into a wet sand trap… fortunately they had some big equipment to pull us out.  Only cost us an hour or so delay.



We finally made it to Northwest Territories…long long way from home



Within a couple kilometers of entering Northwest Territories this big guy was on the side of the road greeting us…



A view from the Alcan.  The beauty is hard to describe and photos can’t capture the vastness of the landscape




Day 10 – July 27, 2016, 132 miles



Day 11 – July 28, 2016, 229 miles



Day 12 – July 29, 2016, 288 miles


Day 13 – July 30, 2016, 265 miles