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Old 07-01-2008, 05:14 AM   #41
Richard Stouffer
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 188

Great report. What kind of weather/temperatures are you experiencing?

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Old 07-07-2008, 05:59 PM   #42
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96
Default Report Three

North To Alaska, report No. 3
Dateline: Outside Denali National Park, AK, 7/7/08

Greetings and welcome to report No. 3

First off, Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower signing the papers
to admit Alaska as the 49th State, something he did with little fanfare as he expected
Alaska to go Democratic. It did for about two elections.

6/30/08 - Fairbanks, AK

Today we took the day off travel to see the sights of Fairbanks. Actually a nice city
if you are into that sort of thing. We saw two attractions: One was the University of
Alaska museum [well worth the visit] for it's fine collection of native arts and history.

The other was 'Gold Dredge No. 8' outside of town in the Fox mining district. This was an
overpriced attraction although if you are into the equipment of placer mining, it's rather
an interesting one. Lots of cornball in the presentations, mostly by video, although you do
get to walk thru the machine, long abandoned since 1959. Rain continues to trouble us,
but what do you expect.

A lone loon floated in the floatplane pond this evening, giving his cry and wondering where
his buddies are.

7/1/08 - Dalton Haul Road at the Yukon River

Today we crossed the Artic Circle. I'm sorry to report that we did NOT go all the way to
Deadhorse, but the mosquitos were so fierce that we decided that the AC was just going to
be far enough - we took photos and then retreated back to the Yukon River where we camped
in the information station parking lot in the shadow of the pipeline. I was amazed at how
many motorcycles we saw...

For those who wonder, at this time of year it never gets dark, although the sun does go down
about 11 pm, it's twilight and plenty of light - we have not needed either flashlights or our
Coleman Lantern since southern Canada and probably won't need it until we get only a few days
from home on the way back.

We did visit Chena Hot Springs which looked pretty nice for a soak, but they are very commercial
and even charge for tours of the 'ice hotel' for which admission you get the right to buy a $20
Martini in an ice glass [we said no thanks and beat feet out of there], although the springs is
pretty interesting in that they power the place with geothermal energy and do offer tours of the
technology if you are interested in learning about it - the refrigeration for the ice hotel is
an ammonia absorption system powered from the hot springs itself, just like a propane refrigerator
in your RV.

The road to Chena has many good campsites but as early in the summer as we are, the bugs are fierce

7/2/08 to 7/5 - Mile 275 on the Parks Highway, about 30 miles South of Nenana, AK

Rest days. We found a lovely camp with power and water, on the Nenana river and as the weather
turned dry, we decided to stay for a few days to avoid the 4th of july crowds in the park.

Nenana was once an important city for shipping by barge up the Yukon River and still serves this purpose
today, although the amount of traffic is less than it used to be. There's a historic bridge, and a nice
railway station museum and about the only store between Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Nenana is also famous for the Nenana Ice Classic: it's a contest where they put a tripod on the river
attached to a clock. People predict the time they think the ice will break up, and the winner gets 1/3rd
of the pot, split amongst the winners if more than one person correctly predicts the exact minute of the
breakup. Last year the pot went to one winner, about $360,000. Not a bad prize.

I did some radio while I was here, rigged up the Buddipole and the wire dipole, but am sorry to say that
radio is turning out to be a real bust. I made one contact in spite of making many many calls.
20 meters was open all over the world, I heard a huge number of stations but was utterly unable to bust
the pileups. It is a bit of a disappointment really, given that I've hauled three bags of gear
all the way up here and I could have saved myself the trouble had I known how few people listen for weak
signals....shame on us amateurs.

The 4th was celebrated between 11 pm and 2 am but a bunch of numb-nuts who kept us awake with the sound
of fireworks...althought for the life of me, what fun it can be doing that during what is virtually
daylight fails to excite me.

We had FOUR SUNNY DAYS IN A ROW HERE, our first dry days in a long time.

7/6/08 - 7/7 Carlo Creek Campground, 10 miles south of the Denali Park road.

Long drive on the 6th, almost 90 minutes, not counting our stop for Breakfast in Healy, at Rose's Cafe

Oddly, this is the same camp that we stayed in our last trip to Alaska - it is unique in that each campsite
has it's own hard-roof under which you pitch a tent if you have one - this is very nice for staying dry
when the weather turns.

We drove up into the park to the end of the road [16 miles is all private cars are permitted] and bought
tickets for the bus today, but Deb has come down with something and did not feel like the long 8 hour
bus ride today so we cancelled [refund was available, thankfully].

Rain has returned, so the weather is back to Alaska normal.

We are headed next to Talkeetna, a town that was the model for the TV show "Northern Exposure", which was
actually filmed in Cicily, Washington. We will likely spend several days there as it's a nice town.

The rig is running fine, we have had virtually no major problems so far, so we like that.

We did have a few cold nights, but re-discovered the hot water bottle, and three 1 liter nalgene bottles
with boiling water do wonders for keeping our feet toasty warm on cool nights. The only real challange
we have is keeping the vents open to avoid excess condensation, a problem when the outside RH is nearly 95%
to be sure, particularly when it is actually raining. A minor issue really.

We have not even consumed a full bottle of propane yet, although it looks like we are about 2/3rd's of the
way thru this fill. I will have it refilled in Anchorage to be sure to have enough for the rest of the trip.

Pictures will be uploaded if possible.


Temps range from highs in the 80's to lows in the high 40's, with days averaging for the most part around 70, nights around 50 degrees.

Rain many days, but not usually ALL day long.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #43
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96
Default Photos not posted

I hate these cheap-***, unreliable, donkey ball sucking......computers and their unreliable wireless internet connections.

Photos aborted due to issues. Later maybe if I don't smash my laptop.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:05 PM   #44
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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Posts: 96
Default 17 new photos up

Got the problems sorted, enjoy.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:56 PM   #45
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96
Default Report Four

North To Alaska, report No. 4
Dateline: 7/27/08 - Cache Creek, BC

Greetings and welcome to report No. 4 Sorry this is long delayed, but that is life on the road!

7/8/08 and 7/9 - Talkeetna Alaska

Some of you may remember a TV show a while back called "Northern Exposure". According to the show's lore,
Talkeetna was the town that inspired Cicily, although the show was actually filmed in Rosyln, WA.

Wow, have things changed since we were last here. For one thing, it's now a main stop on the Tour Bus route
to and from Denali NP, plus the trains now drop people off for a day stop so it's crowded to a level hard to
believe. However, the food at the main roadhouse is still pretty good even if it's packed to the rafters.

The drive down from Denali is reasonably short, and apart from a couple of commercial RV parking lots, just
past the airport is the local campground - it's right on the river and only about an 8 minute walk to town
thru the woods and across the railroad tracks. The campground has no hookups but does offer hot showers and
has fresh water fill.

We did have a bear visit camp the first night, we did not see it, but heard our neighbors shagging it away
late in the night.

There's a local crafts market on the weekends that was pretty nice - we caught the tail-end, plus a few dozen
small shops and three or four places that offer flights to Denali. I wish the weather had cooperated, the
cost of the trips is pretty reasonable and if you want you can actually have a ski-landing on a glacier on
the big one itself. Note that if you weigh over about 250 lbs, they will charge you 1-1/2 times the fare.

Weather continues to be cloudy, although little rain, lows in the 50's, highs about 62 degrees.

7/10-11/08 - Anchorage, AK

Deb's been feeling lousy so we decided to splurge on a motel room for a couple of days so she can be dry
and comfortable, and we can get some things done, like an oil change for the car, a propane refill for the
trailer [our first one - 3.6 gallons used since June 1], and re-stocking the larder for going down south.

The Drive down from Talkeetna is pretty nice, although after a couple of hours you start to get into Wasilla
and then you are 'in town'. Anchorage, for a city, is pretty nice, and if you want to RV it, there are parks
right in town. We ended up in the south end of town.

Deb and I were mistaken for locals on the old downtown tourist drag, which was very nice - we fit right in with
our Carhartt jacket and vest, jeans and ratty shoes.

One recommendation I do have is to make sure that you get lunch or dinner from Avi at "Flafel King" - it's on
Gambrell near 5th ave. Avi is from Israel and makes the entire meal from scratch - house made Pita bread
included. For $7.99 it's one of the best I've ever had anywhere, and he's a nice guy to boot. There are 4 seats
inside and a few outside and it's the equal to a hot-dog stand but the Flafaels are just the best I've ever had.
He also makes Schwarma but Deb and I agreed that Flafael is King here. WORTH A SPECIAL STOP. We ate there 3 times.

Weather continues cloudy but not rainy so much, temps about the same, highs around 65 degrees.

7/12-13 - Homer, Alaska - Hillside Campground [city owned]

Well, Tom Bodette now leaves his light on down in the Lower 48, but Homer is one of the nicest of the coast towns you
can drive to. It's a fairly long drive from Anchorage but doable in one day.

Soldotna [on the way down] has a Safeway and Fred Meyer [better than Safeway!]. Homer has a Safeway, and a good one.

We also stopped to visit Walt Campbell, the knife maker - I bought one of his knives on our last trip down here and was
pleased to see that he's still kicking around. However, he's gotten so popular that he has a 2-year wait for a knife
so I guess I was lucky to get mine way back when he actually had some to sell. He carries some commercial knives
but his custom knives are very nice work.

The campground in Homer is up on the hill above town, athough most people camp on the Homer Spit, which is fine if you
are OK with the gravel-lot form of campground - we were in the trees and had a nice protected location. Rain resumed
while we are here.

Homer has some great scenery - the mountains come right down to the water, there are Eagles around, and the town is
reasonably authentic if you stay off the Spit.

If you come to Alaska to fish, Homer is a good spot to visit, there is plenty of sportfishing here and on the rest of
the Kenai Peninsula.

Deb and I agreed that this would be a town we could live in.

7/14/08 Real Alaksa RV Park, Mile 80 of the Sterling Highway.

After leaving Homer we drove out to the town of Kenai but did not like the camping offerings in Kenai so headed back
to Soldotona, visited Fred Meyer again for food and headed up back towards Anchorage, stopping here.

Again the drive is really pretty down here, the Kenai Peninsula is really some of the pretty stuff - gorges and rivers
abound, the ocean is nearby and yet the mountains still have snow on them. The roads down here are also in good shape.

This campground is one of the nicer commercial parks we have seen with real trees between the spaces, nice firepits and
tables, and full hookups available - while we can easily dry camp, it's nice to be able to watch a movie and not worry
about draining the battery with the AC inverter. This camp has flush toilets and decent showers as well.

Today we had a couple come up to us at the gas station and they had been following us because they wanted to know about
our trailer. It continues to draw a crowd.

7/15/08 Miller's Landing RV park, Seward, AK

The drive down to Seward is another scenic road with glaciers and more rivers, etc. Nothing shabby, but Seward itself is
just not that nice - the town looks and feels sort of exhausted. There is fishing available there if you are into that, and
some hiking as well but the town just feels worn down.

They do have a nice new Safeway store though.

Now, Miller's Landing is something else - it's aboug 2.5 miles out of town at the end of a gravel/mud road. We accidentally
ended up in a dead-end campsite where we almost had to unhitch and manually turn around the trailer, but we made it and it
turned out to be a nice quiet campsite for the night.

The toilet and shower facilities: Well, if the oil-field buildings in the Fairbanks park were unusual, frankly this place
looks like their shower room came from the Gulag Archepelego. The shower heads were hand held dish sprayers from your
first house kitchen and an all-fiberglass building with one lightbulb, no dressing room, etc. We got clean but it was the first
time I wore my flip-flops IN the shower.

Weather continues to be poor - we had some rain again today. Temps in the 60's again, lows around 50.

7/16/08 Eklutna Lake, Mile 26 on the Glenn Highway, north of Anchorage

We left Seward and did not want to stay in Anchorage so went to this campground just outside of town - it was a very nice place
with paved roads and parking, firepits and water supply, but no hookups. The camp is about 10 miles up a fairly steep road but
the remote location means you don't hear the highway, although it is probably popular during the summer weekends - there's some
hiking trails and the lake is suitable for canoes - it's a power and water supply for Anchorage.

Continued rain/clouds and temps as above [what we are coming to conclude is summer in Alaska].

7/17/08 - Village RV park, Tok Alaska

Since we both wanted showers, we stopped at this large and popular RV park in downtown Tok. It's actually not too bad for a place
that mostly caters to the monster RV crowd - we had a site with power and not far from some of the nicest shower house
facilities we have seen, plus we were able to do more laundry [something I've not mentiond all that often]. Laundry prices
were high though.

The Tok cutoff is an OK piece of road, but it's not that scenic when it's cloudy and raining anyway.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:56 PM   #46
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96
Default Report Four continued

7/18/08 Dawson City, Yukon.

Today was a real highlight: Outside Tok is a USCG Loran-C master station - this a a navigation system that pre-dates the
GPS era, and is still in use since it's nearly impossible to jam - unlike GPS. While they have signs stating no trespassing,
I found that they were delighted to have a visitor, and quite as much to Have one who actually understood what the station
did - I received a personal tour by the duty watch officer that lasted almost an hour, including getting to walk inside
one of their 543 KW transmitters [they have two used in rotation]. They have a tank coil as big as an old metal 45 gallon
trash bin and the plate transformer is bigger than the average pad transformer outside an office building. One of the last
of the Tube type transmitters in service, it's a push-pull configuration with water-cooled finals and some Eimacs that may
be 4-1000 as exciters for the main event. Obviously, for reasons of security I did not ask to take any photos but it was
WAY cool and is worth a stop if you are on the way by.

The drive then to Dawson City was...interesting. First off, it's quite a scenic drive, at least up to Chicken, which is
the end of the pavement. From that point on, hope it's been dry or else suffer the worst mud you can imagine - we had rain
and wet and well, it was pretty bad - particularly when two jackeye [plural for that animal] hit us at high speed right in
the middle of the mudpuddle - the photos will show the damage done.

We crossed over the border then [boy, have they upgraded the border crossing since our last trip] and dropped down into DC.

There was a hour's wait for the ferry and by the time we got across, we ended up stopping to hose off the mud and decided to
stay at the RV park cluster just south of downtown. A decent place but of the gravel-lot variety - it was so late we did not
care - made dinner and went to bed early, it continued to rain that night although we had hopes for good weather in the AM.

By this point, Deb and I are both pretty tired of the unceasing rain and cloudy weather - it just does not want to stop.
The trailer is starting to smell musty due to all the moisture we are unable to get rid of without heat and dry air - even
with the fan running some nights it's a real battle.

Dawson City is like a museum with a pulse, although it is interesting enough, and the Yukon river runs right thru town. There
was a music festival on this weekend but we were too tired and sick of the weather to take advantage of it.

7/19/08 - Johnson's Crossing, Yukon

Heading back to the lower 48, this river crossing roadhouse is famous for their Cinammon Rolls - they were OK - again, we
just decided to stop and it was handy. Actually fairly cheap for a site with power and water - $15. Bath house was adequate
for our needs and we had an interesting neighbor - they had a Pinghauser RV - 6 wheel drive [yea, 3 axles] with an air-cooled
diesl motor - it looked and sounded like a Microbus on steroids. Richard and his wife were on a 6 month trip and had shipped
their vehicle over from europe for the trip.

We actually had some sunshine and were able to dry out just a bit as a result. The drive down from Dawson was marred by the
fog in the AM that obscured any possible views we might have had.

7/20 - Boya Lake Campground, BC, on Hwy 37 [Cassier-Stewart Highway]

This is the 'new' road south to Vancouver, which goes past Stewart and Hyder and Price Rupert BC.

A very new road and not all that well traveled, the scenery is magnificant - much better than the older route we came up on.

Boya Lake is a small campground right on the lake, no hookups, well water and pretty popular - not good for very large rigs
yet there were some here.

Rain was bad in the evening with wind as well - we had a minor flood in the kitchen due to a clogged drain channel - once that
was fixed, it was fine the rest of the night.

We stopped for supplies in Watson Lake - again admiring the Signpost Forest, the Super A supermarket is about the only one
on the route except for one about 250 miles down the road.

The surface of this road varies from really new pavement to decent gravel to acceptable pavement, but it often lacks a centerline
and there is just not much to stop and see - few small settlements and some less popular resorts seems to be most of it.

7/21/08 Bell II Lodge and campground on the Cassier Highway

Deb wanted a room tonight so we splurged on a very pricy room $200 [!!] here in this remote lodge north of Stewart BC. It's main
claim to fame seems to be heli-skiing as evidenced by a huge map of the surrounding area with skiing runs marked on it. It's
a nice place but seems overpriced by at least $60...but we have a roof and since it's been raining again most of the day
after a sunny AM, I agreed with her that it would be nice to have a room again.

Last night was COLD - we again resorted to the Nalgene bottles full of boiling water for foot warmers and they performed more
than adequately - with a "Full Punjabi Breakfast" [This is our joke based on the movie 'bend it like Beckham' and means bacon,
potatos and eggs with coffee.] under us in the morning, we packed in the sun and headed back out.

Again, the scenery and views on this road are really good, there's still an amazing amount of snow on the hills given we are
at only 3,000' ASL or less, but temps today were between 42 and 55 degrees, and again, it's raining hard in some places.

This lodge also has some nice RV sites with services and you can use the hotel restaurant and hot tub, but the sites are
fairly plain.

7/22/08 - Stewart BC - City campground

Stewart is a nice town, although it has the sort of feeling of a town barely hanging on - but what a dramatic drive into town,
with avalance debris on the sides of the road.

This was one of the few dry days in camp, we got a chance to actually air out the trailer, and their bath house was a good one,
albiet with coin operated showers - at least the hot water was hot.

We drove to Hyder to the bear viewing area and then up the salmon glacier in the evening. Hyder is a dump.

We did see one grizzly bear at the viewing area, and your park pass saves you the $5 entrance to the viewing area. The
Salmon Glacier is really very cool, although the road would be a bad one with the trailer - we had uncoupled so it was
merely tedious, and somewhat hair-raising due to the lack of guardrails and the very generous exposure.

7/23/08 - Tyhee Lake Camp, outside Telkna, BC

Well, we stopped in Smithers to see about getting the car's front end aligned - there is a great deal of wear on the pax
side front tire. We have to wait a day for an appointment, but decided it would be worth it. This campground is
nice, with generous spacing and good free showers - the water is almost too hot! We will stay two days so that we can
get the car repaired.

The drive down this way sort of changes from the high-country mountains to more farm-oriented land - lots of hay fields.
It is still very scenic, and the roads continue to be decent two-lane highways. We are clearing moving back into the
populated part of BC however.

7/24 - Tyhee Lake

Yep, the car was way out of alignment, but the good news is that only one tire was bad, so I got to use the un-mounted spare
in it's place, and we got the entire job done for just over $100. A pretty good deal compared to back home.

Ate at Tim Horton's for the first time. Will not make that mistake again.

Also had dinner at Boston Pizza - now I'm pretty picky about Pizza, and was pleasantly surprised by the overall good quality
of the food at this chain.

7/25/08 - 10 Mile Lake, BC

Sunny and warm today, in fact we got to air out again, the camp is a new one and not very scenic, but we are only here for
the night. I'm coming down with something. Sore throat and sneezing. Sigh.

Drive was again good, nothing of real note.

7/26/08 - Barkerville, BC end of Hwy 26 east of Quesnel

A restored mining town, this campground is one of the better - the showers are small and not very well laid out, but the
sites are very nicely isolated, and you are well off the beaten path. The road up here is about 82 KM, and it is really
a hilly trip up.

7/27/08 - Cache Creek, BC

Our chosen campground was full at 6 pm, so we decided to have a motel room tonight. That is where I am writing now.

We toured Barkerville this morning before we left - it's worth the 3-4 hours you will spend walking around, if you
have the time/inclination, you could easily spend the full day, doing the theatre show, the horse drawn carriage rides
and the other attractions in this old mining town. Many of the buildings have restoration work that you can walk-thru
and there are employees in period costume as well. Kids would probably love this, particular the carriage ride and the
gold panning options.

As we condinued south, we continue to get closer to the population center, gas stations are much closer together and
there are plenty of small towns.

Tomorrow we will be heading towards Whistler.

Photos are minimal and will have to wait until later
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:29 AM   #47
Richard Stouffer
Senior Member
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Posts: 188

I've been looking forward to your report and my wait was worth it. Hope all goes well for the rest of your journey.

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Old 07-31-2008, 12:49 AM   #48
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96
Default Home

We ran for it - we got caught in the traffic north of Whistler, BC - The Pemberton Music Festival attraced 40,000 hairbags [no offence] who left a mountain of garbage and clogged the two lane roads in and out of town for a full day.

We ended up with our last camp, about 40 KM outside of Vancouver, BC - Alice Lake was the name of the place and we had power but had to share a double campsite - we were lucky to get one frankly. They had a nice swimming lake and it was full of kids.

It's finally getting dark at night, something to get used to - been going to bed at 10 pm or so.

Add to that insult was construction traffic between Whistler and Vancouver, which they have to finish in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, means that they are enlarging 93 or so KM of two lane to four lane. Kiewt and Sons is making a billion bucks or something on this job, but it's a total mess to have to drive.

The last border crossing was a long wait in line but otherwise uneventful - but they sure pulled a lot of Canadians aside. Our agent was businesslike but not very friendly - I suppose if I had to process 60 cars an hour, I might be cranky too.

We went to ground about 20 miles north of Portland, got a Motel room and had a restaurant meal - some of the best Pie at the Big Oak restaurant down the street from the Best Western.

Today we hammered out 600 miles in about 12 hours. Ugh. Lots and lots of traffic on I-5, but did have a nice Q with a trucker and another with a guy cruising up north of Paradise in his truck.

Glad to be home. Unhooked the rig, and just left it except for the cooler, it can wait for tomorrow.

I'm ready to sleep in my big bed - the house seems so ROOMY though!

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Old 07-31-2008, 06:16 AM   #49
Richard Stouffer
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Posts: 188

Welcome back and thanks for going through so much trouble to share the adventure. I can't wait for the book.... ;-)
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Old 07-31-2008, 05:42 PM   #50
Manual Garcia O'Kely
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 96


I'm glad someone read it, I suspect you are the only one, unless lots were lurking.

I learned a lot about long distance travel by vehicle this time. It was a pretty good experience overall - I could use more practice, I'm sure.

Other than having way too much Amateur radio gear [a total of three bags worth of misc stuff], and a few items we just never used - film camera, tent, oven [once, but it folds really small] BBQ [do not buy the "pyromid" BBQ for any reason except cool factor, it's a real PITA to use] that only got used once, a Tarp we never even unrapped.

Things I'm glad we brought:

Two spare tires for the car. Having two usable tires saved us $ when the front end went bad and we wasted a front tire before we could get it fixed. Since a tire shop did the work we did put the unmounted spare on so that we would still have a good mounted full sized spare for the car - but we did not have any punctures or ruptured tires, thankfully. Yesterday, we saw quite a few trailers with blown tires, but the oversized tires on our rig, plus the low load on them was not a problem even at 98 degrees F. outside like it was in the area around Redding.

Ez-up shelter with side walls: Worth it's weight in gold - as shown in some of the pics, with the side walls it was both drier and the mosquito coils worked better. With sandbags, we were able to hold it down even when on pavement, and with staked side walls it was pretty good for almost all nights. some nights we did stow it before going to bed due to possible wind but it worked so well during the usual heavy drizzles we got almost every day.

Chairs: Our folding chairs were so handy that I don't think there was a campsite where they did not get unfolded. We got the GCI chairs from REI - they are like a director's chair, but fold pretty small for a full height chair and are made of sturdy tubing - but the sewing again leaves something to be desired - one of the seats is separating after only a few months use so back to REI it will go. Some day, quality will come back into fashion, I hope.

Mosquito coils: Chemical Warefare, these burn for quite a while and if we used two and the side-walls the infestation was usually tolerable. Much to my suprise, I only put on Deet a couple of times, but I did wear a jacket with a hood that reduced my exposure to hands and face only. It was cool enough weather to get away with this most of the time.

Carhartts jacket: Bought this on impulse in Fairbanks - it's canvas shell insulated with an integral insulated hood - it's short cut but the hood makes you water resistant for a time and helps keep the bugs off, plus the sitting temperature range gave it a workable 50 degree rating and if you were walking, cooler was better - the insulation keeps you toasty. I wore this most every day after I bought it.

Hat: I bought a Filson hat, pricy and you can get others, but I wear glasses - a nice brimmed hat keeps your glasses dry in anything but a downpour, plus it give you a natty look. And on a sunny day, it's shade. I wish I had needed that function more this trip.

E-Book: I received a Kindle book reader as a gift and it was so handy - I downloaded a huge number of books before we left the lower 48 and had books for almost all of the trip - I did read 3 of the paper books we brought as well, but man, how nice to have 40 books on tap in one small package.

DC-AC Inverter: I bought before we left a small [120 watt] inverter, sized to power my wife's laptop, and used it also to charge the e-book, the I-pod, the cell phone, and run the laptop as a DVD player. This one draws little enough power that you don't drain the batteries to charge up low amp items like wall warts. I also had a 12 volt to USB adaptor for the I-pod.

Least used important equipment: Coleman Lantern. You might as well not bother, you won't need it once you get north of Vancouver BC, unless you really like to stay up late - we actually used it every night in the lower 48 I think just a couple of times once we got into Southern BC/Alberta - once we got to Whitehorse, it was more a matter of wishing it would get dark enough to sleep. Real blackout shades would have been nice.

Inside the trailer, the three interior lights will let the blind find a contact lens in a dustbin.

Wants: Heater. I hate to say it, but trying to keep the interior dry during high humidity cold nights....sigh. You stay warm enough, but if you have to close up the windows you will nearly drown. We had puddles on window sills and wet curtains - but only on the cold, wet nights when we could not open the vents. If we could open the vents, and better, run the fan, we were OK.

I have thought about just using the coleman lantern inside with the windows cracked a bit to dry it out when we are not sleeping inside. That thing throws off much heat.

BTW, ordinary Nalgene bottles [the white plastic HDPE ones] make super hot water bottles - they can tolerate boiling water and seal leak-free for keeping the feet warm.

Also came to appreciate the oversized propane bottle - with a 20# bottle, we were good for 40 days of camping with fuel in reserve - less than a gallon a week I guess - although we did not cook hugely, we did have bacon, pototoes and eggs for breakfast at least a couple times a week plus many pots of water for coffee/tea, cleaning and cooking dinner most nights.

Lunch was usually cold.

Overall a good experience, we look forward to our next trip soon - probably just a few weeks in the west US.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:38 PM   #51
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Don't think your report wasn't read, it was. Many, I'm sure, like myself, rode along with you as you repeated the wonderful trip that many have made.

Your reporting was great. We went in 2004. I remembered many of both the campgrounds and places you saw. Had much better luck at the bear viewing than you had, got to see six full sized and one cub. The mother was teaching the cub to fish for salmon. And you're right, Hyder wasn't much!

Keep up the reports and we will ride along with you.

73, Mac AE5FH
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:29 AM   #52
Richard Stouffer
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An unscientific observation that Radio may want to address: it seems to me that the activity on this baord increased each time Manuel made a post. There would be several new postings on open forums after each update- or so it seemed.

I think we need more of that type of reporting. The quality of Manuel's writing skills should be the gold standard for the rest of us.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:57 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Richard Stouffer View Post
An unscientific observation that Radio may want to address: it seems to me that the activity on this baord increased each time Manuel made a post. There would be several new postings on open forums after each update- or so it seemed.

I think we need more of that type of reporting. The quality of Manuel's writing skills should be the gold standard for the rest of us.
The fact that the view count of this thread is just under the 1000 mark is impressive. Manuel's captured the idea of the trip report...this is what we want to see more of. Not everything on this forum was meant to be the exchange of technical ideas...some of it was designed to inspire and motivate us to go out there and just do it.

welcome home Manuel!

KU4OJ "Wade" Ships Captain, CFO, Chief Engineer
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:23 AM   #54
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Thanks for the trip....great photos....
73 de K3MP Mark
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