Sunday, August 31, 2014

Alaska Odyssey Winds Down!!

We End Our Great Alaska Odyssey Trip!!!

What a great run from May in Indiana to Alaska and back to the border of the 48 in late August!!!

Tam and Ray have posted their "closing memories" of our fantastic summer-long trip!  Eventually, I will add an epilogue of my favorite memories as I sort out "The Best of the Best" from all the images in my memory bank, and I am sure Betty and Jack will chime in with their own "fondest" list!  But first, let me close out our trip back toward the lower 48.

We drifted down from Dawson City, YK, (after crossing the Top of the World Highway!)...we all loved that little town!!  On south down the Klondike Highway in the Yukon Territory where we stopped again in Whitehorse for a couple of nights so we could take an auto day trip down to Skagway, Alaska.  As you know, Alaska has a long narrow "tail" of territory which runs southeast from the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory and down along the west side of British Columbia.  Skagway was the seaport which was the final maritime stop for the Klondike Gold Rushers and also the end of the Klondike Highway--so we traversed the journey of the Klondikers backwards:  from Dawson City down to Skagway.

With four cruise ships in port, there were lots of "shoppers" strolling along Broadway and stopping in all the tourista oriented stores.
We had lunch in the old brewery on Broadway--this is the façade from yesteryear!

Waiting for our lunch to arrive!

The brew pub façade today!

We drove out to the beginning of the Chilkoot trail, as Betty has posted.  After leaving their steamer ship, the Klondikers had to traverse over the Chilkoot trail, climbing up a 45 degree slope the last quarter mile to the pass and then on down to Whitehorse.  Each "prospector" had to move his pack up over the pass--for some, this took multiple days, and many perished in the process.  Their graves are found in Gold Hill Cemetery.
There are many graves dated to 1901 and 1902--it was a tough journey that didn't end in riches for most of the Klondikers!
From Whitehorse, we started the multiple day journey down through British Columbia towards the lower 48.  We stopped again in Watson Lake at the Baby Nugget RV Park, and then dropped south to Stewart, BC, for one last stop in Alaskan territory:  Hyder, which is just across the border from Stewart at the tail end of the long Alaskan "tail".  Why?  Because we had to stop off at the "Bear Place"!  There is a bear viewing platform a short drive north of Hyder at Fish Creek (a US Forest Service facility) which one could walk out on to see bears feeding in the water on the salmon.
I didn't see the sign which read, "Stay on Boardwalk", so I walked across the highway to get this picture--the Ranger followed me because one of the shaggy visitors at 6:00 a.m. had gone into the woods nearby and may not have gone totally off into the mountain side.
This is Fish Creek which was full of salmon but no bears!  That's the Ranger office up near the highway and parking lot!

The only "feeders" in the creek while we were there were a bunch of gulls!

The dark spots in the photo are spawning salmon--the banks were full of salmon carcasses; the circle of life, salmon style!

Plenty of room for some bears with plenty of fish to feed them!
Even though there were no grizzlies in the creek, we did see black bears--a mom and her two cubs walking along the highway, and another one or two "boys" just strolling up the asphalt!  So yeah, we saw bears, but not brown bears!
Mama and two big cubs strolling across the highway!
Besides the bear viewing, one of the draws of Stewart/Hyder is a drive up to see the Salmon Glacier.  The road was typical of what we have experienced in our northern travels--gravel, dust, potholes, and washboard!  But we were treated to a spectacular view of the glacier from the summit!
Even though it was cloudy, the light on the snow fields was especially bright! 

The glacier flows down from the summit and makes a 90 degree turn to the right.

The Alaska Odyssey gang on one last tourista stop on our summer-long odyssey!

This is the toe of the glacier--the right hand turn is at the top.

We had to stop in Hyder, AK, for one last dinner in our 49th State.  Here we are at "The Bus" for our last meal in Alaska!  And all of us will say, "The meal was terrific!"

The lady chef is a special person:  she creates her own stuff--as in tartar sauce and batter--all in this bus of a "kitchen".  As has been our routine, when we stop in someplace, a bunch follows!!  How that happens we are in wonder!  Just like at The Bus, we arrive and suddenly there were 5 or 6 more couples or groups who showed up to order some really good food!  So, our last Alaska dinner!

From Stewart, it was back to the Cassair Highway and on down through BC.  In Houston, we stopped at a lovely campground full of beautiful flowers and hanging baskets.  The campground owner takes a lot of pride in her green thumb, and rightfully so!  Check out these photos from Shady Rest Campground:

Our last stop for The Alaska Odyssey was in Cache Creek , BC  As Tam and Ray have written, it was one last evening together before the three coaches scattered to the wind!  It was an outstanding journey and while we were soon to be parted...we were, and are, all happy to have shared this journey!!

From The Alaska Odyssey....Bon Voyage!!

No comments:

Post a Comment