Thursday, July 15, 2010

Alaska RV Tour - Dawson City to Tok, Alaska: The Long Way!

We left Dawson City on Wednesday, July 14th. 
Because the Chicken Highway was washed out, we had to backtrack down through Whitehorse, turn southwest toward Bear Creek, Yukon Territory and then finally head northward again to Tok.

Taking this route to Tok added 600 more miles to our journey, compared to going to Chicken and then down to Tok. But the upside to this situation was that we got to drive alongside the beautiful Kluane National Park - something we otherwise would not have done. But, I'm getting ahead of things a bit.

Up to this point in our caravan travels, we had not had any trouble with flat tires. In fact, except for one fairly minor windshield ding on one of the coaches, no-one had thus far experienced problems while we were on the move. Well, these two days going down, around, and back up to Tok changed all that! At least three 5th wheel rigs had trouble with flat tires, and a 5th wheel truck had its back window broken when the driver took a corner too sharply and the trailer edge smashed into the window.  It was just one thing after the next!  Roger was all over the place, coming to the rescue and keeping anxiety down to a low level - I'm not sure what we would have done without him. Spike was also very calm and, true to form, approached each situation sensibly and with safety as his #1 concern. Thankfully, the Trek did not experience any problems but we still felt bad for our friends. And you can bet I was checking our tire pressure every morning!

After stopping at Braeburn Lodge for a quick lunch break, we continued on and turned right (West) onto the Alaska Hiighway at Whitehorse.  After driving another 85 or so miles, we spent the night of July 14th at an RV park in Bear Creek, a small village outside Haines Junction. It had been a long day for everyone and we were glad to stop and rest. 

Leaving Bear Creek that next morning, Joe and Paula Scott's truck had a flat tire and then Ken and Pat Gunn's coach had a flat! We were in the Twilight Zone. Anyway, it worked out OK for both of them: the truck had a spare tire and the coach tire was repaired by a mobile tire repair truck we happened to drive past. That was very fortunate because the Gunn's coach, like ours, does not carry a spare.

Spike had told us the day before that we would be driving through some beautiful areas from Bear Creek to Tok and he was right!  This is when we drove along the eastern edge of Canada's Kluane National Park and up past Destruction Bay. The beautiful scenery and sunshine could not have come at better time - it really revitalized our group!

As beautiful as this area is, the road became increasingly bad with frost heaves (fondly referred to as whoop-de-woos), deep ruts, and random pot holes.  It must be a real challenge to build and maintain good roads on top of permafrost!

A few miles after passing through the Kluane National Park area, we crossed the border once again from the Yukon Territory to Alaska, and now we were back in the USA. Interestingly, the road was much better - I'm not sure what American engineers do that Canadians don't, but there is a definite difference.

By the time we passed through Teslin Junction and then rolled into the Sourdough RV Park in Tok, it was around 6 PM and the weather was cold and rainy again.  We ate dinner at the little restaurant at the RV park - Lynda had the Reindeer chili and it was pretty good (I had a taste of it also). Then we watched the pancake toss. Actually, we both participated in the toss, but Bev Jewson was the only one in our group who got her pancake in the bucket. Oh well, some got talent and some don't.

Click here to see more photos of our drive from Dawson City to Tok, including some photos of the beautiful Kluane area.

Tomorrow, we're off to Fairbanks!

1 comment:

texas ticket dismissal said...

Spike and you guys are enjoying the long drive it seems and have happy journey.

Traffic School California | Defensive Driving
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