Monthly Archives: July 2014

30 July (Fairbanks, AK)

30 July – Before leaving the Fairbanks campground, Connie picked a bunch of free rhubarb at our camp site. This plant grows as a weed here, and it’s a favorite of ours.
Onward to Denali (Cantwell RV Park). Again, we had some road construction delays, but we enjoyed looking at the mountainous region along the way and at the stops. Laura and Connie kept opening the truck windows in order to take pics of the mountains, and poor Irv about froze to death, even with a blanket. (Note this chattering teeth episode.)
After setting up camp, we went back to get a picture of Mt. McKinley since it was such a beautiful day. We’ve scheduled an 8-hr bus tour on August 1st to take us through the Denali National Park; so hopefully the weather will be kind to us like today in order to get some good pics.
And guess what—Connie spotted a moose in the marsh on the way back to camp!! Wahoo! They actually do exist. BTW: She is expected to receive the Master Wildlife Spotter award for this trip as she has been the first to spot the bear, buffalo, and now the moose.


28-29 July (North Pole/Fairbanks, AK)

28 July – Stopped at the North Pole (Santa Claus House) and enjoyed some shopping time. Since we can’t seem to find a moose, Irv decided to impersonate one.
We arrived in Fairbanks, AK (River’s Edge) in the afternoon. After setting up camp, Irv grilled our Yak burgers (delicious).
29 July – First, we ate ham chowder and homemade pie (my favorite, rhubarb) at the Hilltop Truck Stop.
Went to the Gold Dredge #8 where we boarded a train and listened to a narration of the beginning of the Alaska gold rush, panned for gold and viewed another section of the pipeline up close and personal. <IMG_5523
After getting our gold find weighed (mine was worth $9), we handled the $75,000 piece of gold found at that site. We decided against purchasing it, as it was really too large for a pendant.
The flowers still amaze us. This pic of Laura was made with the flower containers of dredge buckets.

26-27 July – (Delta Junction, AK)

Now that we’ve finished the Alaska Highway (all 1,422 miles of it), we can change our clothes and do laundry!
Remember when we started in Dawson Creek?!IMG_5459
26 July – What better way to celebrate our first full day in Alaska, but to attend the Deltana Fair! We like to think they had a parade just for us, but I think they do this every year. After the parade, we went to the IGA grocery store to have coffee and donuts. (Kids: note our AK sweatshirts you gave us for Christmas. They came in handy on this brisk morning.)
IMG_20140726_110318_802 What a fun day it was being among our military families from Ft. Greely and cheering on the Strongman competition and the mud bog racing. What a hoot! To our grandkids: Nana and Grampa are thinking of building a mud bog in Meridianville and buying y’all an ATV to run it in. The under 10 division had a great time running that course. Sorry I didn’t get any pics of them. But, I know that you (and your parents) would just love it. The winner of the event was a snow ski mobile coming in at 4.9 seconds, but that was too scary for me. On the Strongman competition: Jason, you might have cringed to see them backwards throwing beer kegs (ranging from 20 to 45 lbs) over the competition sign. This one guy was successful in throwing them ALL over the sign. He threw the first 3 kegs over with one hand. The same guy won pulling a Humvee with a rope and lifting the car 14 times. Amazing!
Ron enjoyed the fire trucks in the parade and especially the hose truck. We think implementing this at the Campbellsville parade on July 4th would be a good way to cool the crowd off on a hot KY day.
27 July – It’s raining today and the Berrys slept in until 9:30! (Laura: With the use of my new eye mask, I could have stayed in bed all day listening to the rain gently falling on the roof of the camper!) This is a rest day and a day to plan our next stop–the North Pole! We did go to the meat market and bought some Yak meat for grilling. Then, visited a section of the Alaskan pipeline near Delta Junction. (We also went to the Visitor’s Center for the pictures you see above. We had to include time in our day to catch up on laundry. Please note our outfits for our pictures today. The temperature was in the low 50’s. We enjoy talking to the locals and getting the scoop on where to eat, what to see, along with hearing their views on local politics.)

25 July – We Have Arrived in Alaska!!

(Combined input)
Today, it is rainy and low clouds. We have been driving through a lot of road construction and wilderness. The trees are very scraggly, mostly fir, with a lonesome birch every now and then. In 2 hrs time, we drove a total of 50 miles. We had to stop several times for the construction and to be escorted by a pilot car (truck) through the slush. See what that pilot car looks like–well, it’s the same way our white truck and camper look like! On Day 20 of our travel, at 11:00 (AK time), 2:00 (Dunham time), and 3:00 (Berry time), we finally crossed over into Alaska and ended the Alaska Highway travel. Wahoo! It’s really quite a misnomer–The Alaska Highway is NOT in Alaska, but in Canada (most of the 1,400 miles) and it is really something else! After crossing over, the road became much, much better. Go figure! We now have theories about our tax dollars and where they are going, but that’s not for this blog.
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We checked into our campground (Smith’s Green Acres), then went grocery shopping and to eat at “The Cave” restaurant. It was delicious! Apparently, the campground has some resident moose that roam about. Actually, we think moose are just a fantasy and they really don’t exist. We will spend the weekend here in Delta Junction and attend the Deltana Fair. We think they are having an outhouse race on Sunday, and we wouldn’t want to miss that!

24 July (Beaver Creek, Yukon)

24 July – During breakfast this morning, we decided to head to Beaver Creek (Discovery Yukon Campground). Having slept in, we didn’t get on the road until 10:30. I wish we had timed ourselves packing up as it went like a well-rehearsed fire drill! Continuing to follow the Alaska Highway, we passed the Old Man in the Mountain and Canada’s highest peaks with the world’s only non-polar ice fields. Even though we were having a cloudy day, our drive around Kluane Lake was beautiful. We couldn’t imagine what it would like on a clear day. The only wildlife we saw today was one grizzly bear on the side of the road.
Town populations of 55, 173, 99, etc. amaze us. Whitehorse population of 27K+ is two-thirds of Yukon’s total population. Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon.
The roads are “a little” on the rough side. No, they’re a lot on the rough side. At times, our driving speed never got over 30 mph. Ron tried to find the smoothest part of the road by sometimes driving on the wrong side of a two-lane, unmarked, gravel highway. Did I mention the only traffic we meet are 18 wheelers and campers?! He ignored Laura’s warnings/advice to get on the right side of the road. Will leave it to your imagination as to how she liked that! Fuel stations are few and far between. We re-fuel every chance we get, even with a half tank full. Our GPS has been a lifesaver (although it was off base by 30km today), and the Mile Post book is our second bible right now.
We grilled burgers for dinner (see Roxy’s interest) even though there are bears in the campground. We laughed at their sign out front of the office about if you’re being chased by bears to NOT run into the office. However, they explained that they are dead serious about it. It has happened more than once. We just can’t imagine what makes someone decide to run a Good Sam campground in the middle of nowhere, in the wilderness. But , it’s very nice and peaceful here. Our next door camper turned out to be a writer for the Mile Post and we had a very nice visit with her.

22-23 July (Watson Lake, Yukon)

22 July – Drove to Watson Lake, Yukon (Downtown RV Park). The mountains, lakes and streams were beautiful. At the beginning of the trip we were up high enough to look down on the clouds in the valley (a lot like flying in a plane). You’re always on the lookout for wildlife along the road (or on the road). Today, we saw about 13 black bear, a huge herd of buffalo (with their young), and stone sheep; but, alas only Irv said he saw a moose. We were told that when you meet a buffalo or herd on the road, stop and let them be, because they will riddle your vehicle. It’s hard to just sit and watch them walk down the road toward you and hopefully walk on past. They are so intimidating.
As expected, parts of the highway were under construction (re-paving) and we had some delays along the way. Mud caking on vehicles is a major issue along the way, although no one seems to mind (or are just used to it). Campgrounds provide RV and truck wash stations, but we’ll just wait awhile to do that.
The water of Muncho Lake was like glass. We stopped at Liard’s natural Hot Springs and went swimming in boiling water (not really, but it sure felt that hot in spots). It was a weird experience, but refreshing.
After arriving at Watson Lake, went to the Northern Lights Center planetarium where we watched a program on Black Holes and the Northern Lights. The Center had displays of the Canadian astronauts and their space travel supplies they use in the NASA program (like our Hsv Space and Rocket Center). Then, we went to eat at 9:30pm. It doesn’t get dark until midnight here, and we think it gets light again about 4:00am. I actually like that, but wake up at 5:00am every morning, because that’s 7:00 CST. This will eventually catch up with me. 
23 July – Arrived in Whitehorse, Yukon (High Country RV Park). Will spend 2 nights here so Ron can have the oil changed in the truck.

First Day on the Alaska Hwy

We left Dawson Creek this morning around 9:30. Ron & I lost another hour yesterday! We started on the Alaska Highway this morning and are finding The Milepost very helpful in locating diesel fuel, pulloffs for driving breaks, lunch stops, and interesting points along the way.

We can see for very long distances on this stretch of the highway. Ahead of us at one point we were all craning our necks to focus in on an object ahead on the left side of the road. We knew it was some sort of animal. As we drove closer with excitement., we learned it was a motorcycle rider taking a break! We were so disappointed! Still waiting to see our first moose. Connie says we will definitely know when she sees a moose!

We are staying at Ft. Nelson, BC, tonight and tomorrow night to take a break from the road. We are still 1,000 + miles from Alaska! Seeing beautiful forests and mountains. We hope to be in AK by Thursday.


Switzerland? No, Banff National Park!

After traveling through flat fields of ‘rape seed.’ more commonly known as canola, is used for canola oil, mustard seed and biodiesel fuel, we drove into Banff National Park and I thought we were in the midst of Switzerland! The mountains surrounded us 360 degrees. We had a beautiful view of The Three Sisters mountains with other huge mountains around us.


Our first day in Banff, we explored the town of Banff and picked up our 24 hour pass for the park. Banff was beautiful with the river running through the town, the beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers, and the cleanliness of the streets and walkways. How they keep it so clean in Canada amazes us.


The following day, Thursday, we went onto the Icefields Parkway and stopped at Lake Louise. We took a short walk to the lake and marveled at the unusual color, a milky green. We watched as many people took advantage of the opportunity to canoe out on the peaceful lake among these gigantic mountains. e then took a hike to the overlook of Lake Louise. It was straight up hill! Coming down was wonderful! At least the weather cooperated with us as it was a clear and cool day in the 70’s with a nice breeze blowing all day.


We headed to Lake Moraine in the truck and found that place even more crowded than Lake Louise. Once we hiked up the Rockfield Mountain trail (.8km) of rock steps and dusty terrain, we understood the draw of the lake. Its color was very different from Lake Louise as it was a clear emerald green. From one vantage point you could see 10 different peaks in one direction. Having looked at these mountains from their base, it was a ‘wowing’ moment being up amongst the peaks and firs!


Heading back to our campsite we actually saw our first ‘brown’ bear. (There seems to be a difference of opinion among us as to what kind of bear it was, grizzly or black, but it sure looked brown in real life and the pictures! Guess what my vote was?)