Finally, three days late, we were on our way again! and just in time, too! Wednesday morning we looked out the windows of the trailer and saw a dense coating of snow on all the cars in the yard. Too cold to walk the mile into town when you only have sneakers and a velour hoodie. So I sat tight and hoped the part went in fast.
The new part fit fine and we were on our way before noon. All was well all the way to the border crossing. But by 4pm we got another flat tire. No problem! We had a spare. The first hundred miles on the Alaska highway into the Yukon suffer from upheavels and gravel-only zones. It’s the area where we had the two flats before. But Dear Hubby fixed it quickly and we were on the road in half an hour. The only problem was that the road was not finished with us and by 5:30, we had another flat, but this time we had no spare. Luckily, there was a turnout within feet, we rolled in and spent the night in the wilds again.
Next morning, Hubby left at 6:30 and drove thirty miles to find a tire. Found two radials after talking to a territory contractor who pointed out a house down the road. Hubby had to wake the tire dealer up. (Up there everyone wears several hats; this man was also a tow truck driver.) Customer service is quite different in the Yukon. Hubby was served coffee by the wife while the man took his time getting ready. Three hours later, Hubby was back with 2 radial tires. Max and I were entertaining the other travellers who were stopping by the turnout. We met a group who had stayed in Haines Junction for several days watching
the Northern Lights at night.
Late afternoon we arrived at Whitehorse where we bought two more tires so that the four tires on the trailer were all heavy duty radials. This should last us a while, I hope. We picked up supplies at a Walmart. It just amazes me that the hub of the Klondike Gold Rush, the tiny village of Charlie Chaplin’s movie, Gold Rush, is now a town of 21,000 with a downtown and tourist attractions! To keep on our time schedule, we did no tourist stuff this time, but got to an RV park, ate and went to bed.
Early in the morning we drove out. Our goal was Muncho Lake. We had 6800 miles on the trip odometer. And we put another 400+ miles on that day. Mucho Lake is a lovely little lake in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. The Northern Rockies Lodge is in the middle of nothing but mountains and lakes. They operate totally off the grid, like so many other places along the way, thus you hear the hum of the diesel generator all the time. This lodge, with its accompanying RV park, is in a wooded setting. The lodge itself is a beautiful structure with pine timbers going up three stories, making an atrium of the lobby. However, you have to be in the lobby to get wifi, somewhat annoying when it is raining, since it is several hundred feet from the trailer. And, like most places in the north, the wifi band width is tiny. All you can do is email and post comments on facebook, but no pictures, no videos.
About 20 miles outside Muncho Lake we ran into a very windy descent with an 8% grade. We looked down to a white lake. White lake? Never saw one before. Couldn’t be ice. Not cold enough! It was about 40 degrees, F. As we descended further, we realized it was fog. We drove through and then under it. Fascinating experience. Never saw fog that dense except in an airplane!
Gas is very expensive in Canada. Along the Alaska highway, it runs $1.34 to $1.52/ liter, making us go through about $100 or more a day just in gas money! I am shocked at the expense!
We spent the night in Dawson Creek again. Being as it was a Sunday morning we went to Notre Dame for Mass again. The same priest again. Another great sermon. The epistle was about trying to correct a member of the community who has sinned, including all the steps that should be taken, in order. Well, Father presented each step and described the correct method to use. Taking a 2000 year old document and explaining it up to date is a gift!
The church itself is very modern. It is built in the round, with a rectangular addition for the parish center. Entering the building, there is a hallway that follows the contours of the exterior and you have to walk around a bit to find the seating. The pews are arranged in a 250 degree arc facing the altar, which is on a curved dias. The tabernacle is away from the altar by about 25 feet, with a candle, off the dias, closer to the entry into the auditorium. This Sunday was a special day of harvest for the Indian community (from India). So, many of the women came in lovely saris and three were dressed in white silk ones with gold trim and they brought up the gifts. Very international group!
After Mass we went to Stuie’s Diner. Few breakfast choices, but ample amounts. But the coffee was a little weak. The omelet is made one way…with everything. Filling!
We then left for Prince George, where the gas is a little lower, $1.29.9/liter.
The RV park was a little better than the previous one we had stayed at in Prince George. We found one on the south side of town called Bee Lazee. Satellite TV and fair WIFI! Since we had traveled a little faster and further than we expected to, we got to sleep in a little and left after 9am to head on our way south. I got Dear Hubby to stop in William Lake so I could do some gift shopping. Any place that advertises they have the biggest piece of jade around, I want to see! It is 2850 lbs!
Finally the terrain stopped being so high and reminded me more of the Catskills. The flat areas were like going north and south across the Mohawk Valley. The further south we went, the more arid the land became. It became almost desert-like, with cactus, for a while.
Tuesday morning was an adventure as we drove through the Fraser River Canyon. Great heights! We drove along a narrow two-laner, with arid cliffs on one side (accompanied by signs reading “avalanche area”) and sheer drops to the river hundreds of feet below on the other. Hours passed as we drove with our mouths agap at the scene. We were later told that few people take that route into Vancouver anymore. Wish we had realized that before we drove!
At last we got past the Cascade Mountains and into the Vancouver area. All is new and industry is booming there. The city and its suburbs are built on bays and the Fraser River delta. The mountains are in the distance and the water is warm and shallow at the beaches. I can understand why real estate is so high. Everyone would like to live here. Weather is lovely. I haven’t seen so many roses since we left Wisconsin!