Over due, Part1

At long last, only slightly over due…

Man these blog things are hard!!! If you miss one or two it makes it even harder, then you keep putting it off because you know it’ll take some time to do, which in turn just makes it worse. I have started and restarted this update several times now but I’m determined to get it done and posted today…

I in effort to simplify this update, as I’m guessing it be a pretty lengthy one I bought and installed the “Dragon” dictation app for my iphone here is an extract of the results: Opps I guess not, stupid app!!! I’ll just explain… I dictated to my phone, I noted that after a few minutes the app stop and it was showing the dictated notes… which were completely illegible even for me and I had only just dictated them, I could not understand a single sentence!!! Then I was going to place that here for you to see and now, lo and behold, its all gone! Great app.

So it’s the ol fashioned way, on a computer. Kids, you may have seen one in a museum.

Sorry felt like been cynical for a second.

OK, so we left Tok in Alaska, there was nothing in Tok. And made our Fairbanks, the campground was nice it was about 10 minutes out of Fairbanks and located on the banks of the Chena River. We spent a week in Fairbanks and the wife and kids went and explored Fairbanks visiting a museum or two included Santa Claus house at the North Pole (not the real North Pole, Aslaka's North Pole). We went on an outing to one of the Gold dredges that used to operate in the area “Dredge No.8” it was very interesting to see how it was done and the kids loved it as they got to go for a trip on a train and do a little panning for gold, I think between the four of us we ended up with about $20 worth, not quite enough to retire on. I/we also got to see a part of the Trans-Alaska pipeline up close which, for me anyway, was pretty cool.

Yeh Fairbanks… now off to Palmer which is about half hour or so north of Anchorage, By this point we started seeing light snow fall every couple of days, and all the RV Parks were starting to close up for the season. While in Palmer we did several outings, One was ATV’ing at Denali National Park another was a glacier cruise we did in ‘Prince William Sound’ which was absolutely fantastic!! Just the drive there through Cook Inlet was spectacular check out some of the pic’s in our gallery.

After that we headed to Valdez Alaska. Which was nice, some beautiful scenery. The campsite was not really flash, both campgrounds in Valdez were little more than oversized parking lots. And they had already closed up the 50Amp sites at the park we were at so we had to settle for 30amps. But since our heating is electric and most nights were dropping below -5c. “Using” a second 30amp source helped our power problem a lot ;-) There were too many bears around Valdez for my liking, I’ll be honest, those things scare the bejesus out of me!!

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We ended up spending approx. 1 week at each location - Fairbanks, Palmer and Valdez and saw plenty of what Alaska had to offer. I know that we will visit again in the future, maybe we’ll do one of the cruises.

After leaving Valdez we closed out the circle around Alaska returning to Tok. We decided to continue on back into Canada rather then staying in Tok again, and ended up sleeping in a turn out about 20km’s east of the US/Canadian border within the Yukon. We continued back down to Watson Lake and stayed at the same RV Park that we stayed at on the way up for one night. The next day we got off the Alaskan Highway and onto the Stewart-Cassiar Highway and headed south through British Columbia. Now anybody planning a trip up the Alaska highway make sure you include in your travel plans the Stewart-Cassiar Highway the scenery and wildlife only the highway are great.

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We motored down the Stewart-Cassiar Highway till we hit Kitwanga BC took a left onto highway 16 and headed to Jasper/Hinton in Alberta. Now that was a long day!!! I was originally going to camp in a turn out somewhere still in British Columbia but I got a call from Switzerland (Work) to see if there was anyway I could be in Toronto the next morning for a meeting with a potential customer.. The only flight we could find that was going to get me there in time was out of Edmonton at around 7am the next morning. I said I’d give it a try, so we drove to Hinton in Alberta arriving around 1am in the morning at the campground. I got everything setup, unloaded our car (actually I unloaded the car on the side of the road before getting to the campground as it can be quite a noisy operation) found a suit that was not to wrinkled and headed to Edmonton, flew to Toronto had the meeting fly back to Edmonton drove back to Hinton arriving around 1am the next morning…. And yes I was tired. We spend about a week in the Jasper area visiting Jasper and some of the surrounding areas before heading down to Canmore which is about 20Km’s from Banff just outside the national park. The fun bit here was that trucks are not permitted on the park highway from Jasper down to Banff and it took a bit of convincing that we were a recreational vehicle not a commercial truck, if we hadn’t be able to take this route which was about 4-6 hours we would have had to go all the way to Edmonton down to Calgary then across to Canmore a trip about 4 times longer….

Canmore AB, Love the town and the area we stayed here for 2 weeks visiting Banff and Lake Louise in the Rockies. We also made a couple of trips to Calgery (needed to renew Lia’s passport) and visited some of its museums etc. We also took a drive out to Drumheller on one of the weekends which is 110 kilometres northeast of Calgary in the Albert’s badlands. Drumheller is famous for having one of the largest repositories of dinosaur bones in North America. We visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller which holds a very impression collection of dinosaurs.

After several snow falls we decided it was time to start heading south. We had planned to go to Vancouver next then start making our way down the west coast, but we were desperate for a little warmth so figured we would make our way down south through some on the middle states and then make our way west after some sun shine warmed us a little. We made it down to Denver before decided to hang out for a week. It was a bit chilly in the evenings but the days were mostly nice. I took the opportunity to catch up with an old college that I worked for and with back in the Perot Systems days in Switzerland. It was great to catch up with Chris after so many years, It was also great to see what Chris had done to his Audi S4 which he has spent many many hours and $$$ on over the years. As I used to own the same car when living in Switzerland it was nice to see what one could do to the S4 without all the overly stringent Swiss MFK (Motorfahrzeugkontrolle) limiting you to what you could do (which was basically nothing, another story all on its own).

And of course the last morning there we had a good 2inchs of snow!!! Show us the sun!!! OK Texas is usually warm, let’s go there!

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