Driving from Meziadin Lake to Smithers and Prince George and to the US border.

We left Meziadin around 10:30 for the drive to Smithers, BC.    Around lunchtime we stopped at a roadside historical site.   It was Battle Hill, and we read the signs and checked out the view.  There was a large staircase built onto the side of the hill we were standing on and it went all the way over the Battle Hill, which looked like it was a man-made hill in the middle of a small field below us.  It appeared to be a great place for a battle if you occupied the top of that hill.  Battle Hill Wiki

After lunch we started down the road toward Highway 16 but made a left turn to check out the historic Totem Poles.   We read that they were over 100 years old, so Kathy got out and snapped a few pictures as Sue and Larry got their wires crossed and didn’t follow us.   All around that area were ramshackle houses.  Lots of them looked lived in, and the odd part was just about all of them had a large window in the front broken, a big gaping hole in the windows.  Hopefully they get fixed prior to winter setting in.

We wound our way out of that area and back onto the main road.   Then we drove the few hundred meters to the turn onto the main highway.   As soon as we made the left, we entered a dusty gravel section of highway that was being worked on.   There was a huge line of cars and trucks kicking up an incredible amount of dust for us to drive thru.   We backed off as far as we could so most of the dust had blown off the highway before we had to drive thru it.  This situation lasted for over a half hour, slowly crawling for miles and miles.

Later that afternoon we made it to our campground, registered and then set up for a couple of days a few miles west of Smithers, BC.   Our plan was to go to get pizza at Boston Pizza.   We arrived there later in the evening.  We ordered cocktails and the only person to get them was Kathy as she ordered wine.  Turns out the CO2 system was broken and there was no draft beer available.  Pizza without a beer, ugh.   But after about 15 minutes the waitress came back and said they had gotten one tap to work so she could bring us a particular beer.  I cannot remember what it was, but it must have been good as the glasses were empty when we left.

While we were there, an RCMP officer sat down next to us with folks that were probably her family.   They left prior to us finishing, but as we walked out to Larry’s car, she was sitting in her RCMP SUV and we had to walk right in front of her.   As we got in the car, we were all mumbling about her knowing our driver had just drank a large beer.   But before we drove off, she pulled out of the parking lot and drove up the road till we couldn’t see her anymore.

While we were in Smithers, we had to go to Canadian Tire for RV “stuff”.   It appears Canadian Tire is a department store that also has a small section of tires for sale.  Who would have known..

Our second night in Smithers we ate at the Trackside Mexican Cantina and had many Cadillac Margaritas.   Those were good as was the food.  I especially liked the prawn tacos!   The Trackside is literally track side residing in about 1/2 of the Smithers Train Depot.   While we were there a fairly fast moving freight train went by very close.   It was pretty long and seemed to go by forever.   Then we heard an engine getting closer, so we assumed it was the end of the train, but it wasn’t.  This was the first time any of us had seen a freight train with another engine in the middle!  All other times while on the roads the trains would have engines pushing from the rear also, but never an engine in the middle of the cars.  And this train didn’t have an engine in the rear.   If you are ever in Smithers, BC, I highly recommend Trackside Mexican Cantina for dinner!!

The next morning we started on the 250 mile drive to Prince George, BC.   From there Larry & Sue would head east toward Jasper then down to Banff and we would head south toward the US border, north of Seattle.

Somewhere  along our journey, Sue mentioned she really liked a movie about King Arthur.   So when Kathy was reading thru the Milepost to find a rest stop along our route, she found one in Tintagle, BC.   That rest stop had a monument that had a stone donated to the city from Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, England, the supposed birthplace of King Arthur.

A few hours down the road we arrived at Sintich RV just south of Prince George, BC.   That night we dined at the Canadian Brewery.  It was a fairly nice sports bar where the CO2 system was working!


We wanted to watch the Chargers season opener, but our satellite dome couldn’t lock on to a satellite, being so far north and having a line of trees in the direction the dish needed to be pointed.   At the last minute I signed up for a Hulu live streaming trial account and we were able to watch the last three quarters using Kathy’s Cricket phone as a hotspot for the internet data stream.

On our last evening in Prince George, we headed over to Cimo Mediterranean Grill   and had a wonderful dinner.  I think we all were completely surprised by how good the food was.  I know I was amazed!

The next morning we were sad as we were parting with our traveling companions.  We had met up with them again in Valdez, AK, and traveled together all the way to Prince George, BC, taking close to 6 weeks to get there. We hope to meet up with them again in our future travels!

We headed south, Larry and Sue headed east to Jasper and then on to Banff.

We took highway 97 south to the town of Clinton, BC, where we stayed overnight at a small campground.   The next morning we took 97 further south  till it joined up with the Trans Canada highway, which we then headed west (south) toward the US border.   Along the way we entered the Fraser Valley and gorge.   What a wonderful drive thru Boston Bar and Hell’s Gate.   What a beautiful area.  I would like to come back and explore it sometime as we were in a hurry to keep up with some reservations we made so we would be able to be in San Francisco on a particular weekend.

We got to the border around 2pm and breezed thru it in a couple minutes.   Unfortunately the border crossing we used dropped us into a rural area with very small roads.  I was happy once we found a larger roadway about 45 minutes later.   We proceeded to drive Interstate 5 to the off ramp leading over to Fidalgo Island.








Meziadin Lakefront for 7 days over the US & Canadian Labor Day Weekend.

Turns out that Canada’s Labor day is the same as in the US.  Most of their holidays are different than the US’s so we were not expecting this weekend to be a holiday.   I only found out it was while visiting the hardware store in Stewart, BC.  The shopkeeper mentioned they were closing early on Friday to start celebrating for the long weekend.  I asked what the long weekend was and he replied labor day.  I immediately thought I was back in the US and asked him if we were.  We had been crossing back and forth between the US and Canada a few times each day while staying in Stewart.  I was thinking I was confused for a moment.  But I was not.   They celebrate the holiday at the same time.

So we left Stewart around 10 am for the short trek to Meziadin Lake Provincial Park.   Sue and Larry had reservations; but when I checked a few weeks prior to arrival, all the reservable sites were full.  So we were looking for a first-come, first-served (FCFS) campsite on the waterfront the Thursday morning before a holiday weekend.   I had done a bit of online research while in Stewart and saved a  screenshot of the campground layout to be able to find the lakefront sites when we get there.

Their reservation system was a confusing mess, showing some reserved sites as FCFS for Thursday and Friday and reserved for the next few days.   I wrote the camp operator to understand what the deal-eo was.  He had no idea what I was talking about.  (After meeting him I understood why he had no idea what I was talking about)

We got to the lake and we drove right past the 4 waterfront sites that were actually FCFS.  Unfortunately, I had not transferred the campground screenshot to my phone, so I had to stop, whip out my laptop to view it.  Then I unhooked the car and drove back to the 4 sites and found one open, although there was a truck and trailer parked just across from the site.  I walked over to ask what was happening, and they were actually there for another site around the corner. So I got into the car and pulled it in to claim the last available lakefront site.  2 minutes later another RV came by looking for a site.  Phew, just in the nick of time!!

I walked back to the bus and whipped a U-turn and Kathy moved the car out of the spot and I pulled in so the front of the bus was facing the water.  Glorious!

We fully deployed the house and I set up the solar suitcase and then the awnings, outdoor rugs, and all our chairs, the two lounges, and two regular chairs.

I even hooked up the Bill-Turi so the diesel fumes go up and over our RV and the folks next door.

I then drove out of the park about a mile and checked out the local gas station store and a cafe behind it.  The cafe wasn’t like anything I’d seen before.  I walked into what looked like someones mud room, full of dirty boots.  Thru a doorway I could see maybe 8 big picnic looking tables with really thick, maybe 4″ polished wooden tops.   I walked back into the place a bit further and there was another long room with a similar arrangement and probably 5 guys eating steak and creole prawns.

The dinner looked really good to me.  So I asked one of the guys where you ordered food.  He said it was back in the kitchen and pointed the way.  Sure enough, there was a large kitchen and on the wall were a few white boards with food you could order right from the kitchen counter.  I took a few snapshots in case we wanted to eat out while here in river city.

That evening Kathy and I carried our chairs over to Larry and Sue’s coach to have cocktails and a fire.   A fellow camper who  introduced himself as Chris came over to chat and then went and got another chair to sit by the fire.  But it turned out wherever Chris sat or stood, the smoke followed him.   That went on all evening, a few hours.  Now he is known to us as Chris the smoke whisperer.  Unfortunately for us he had to leave the next morning.  We will miss him keeping the smoke out of our eyes.

Friday, second day there, we met Dave and Brenda at Larry’s coach.  They had met L&S in Muncho Lake but later had gone a different route,  similar to our parting with them in Whitehorse to head up to Dawson City,  and we eventually met them in Valdez a month later.   We all talked Friday afternoon and after dinner met back over at L&S’s coach for a fire and more cocktails that evening.

7 am Saturday morning bear encounter in our campsite.  Holy Cow.  Kathy’s trying to take Dusty for a walk and she starts yelling there’s a bear in our campsite, bring the camera.   I take a few snapshots out the windshield and Dusty gets up on the drivers seat to see what all the commotion is about and inadvertently puts his front paws on the horn when he spots the black bear a couple feet away, which startles the bear and it runs around the bushes a few feet in front of the bus.   We did want to see bear,  just not sure them being that close was our intention!

Right after that the trailer in the space next to us left.  It was another FCFS site and the site was a bit longer than ours and had a bit better view, but most of all it would receive more sun than our very shaded site (after 1 pm each day)   So we packed up and moved one space east to Site 31.   Right now, as I am writing this at 2pm, the sun is still shining on our solar panels and generating 20 amps to the batteries.

This afternoon while I was snoozing on the recliner next to the lake, I awoke hearing a new noise.  It didn’t sound like a jet-ski or boat motor at all.  Then I turned my head and a plane dropped out of the sky and landed on the water just in front of us.   It then taxied over to the beach about a hundred feet to our left and parked there.   It was a different type of float plane than the normal ones I had been seeing all over Alaska and Canada.  This one had the floats hanging off the bottom of the wings and the fuselage sat directly in the water like a boat hull.   The prop was up and behind the cockpit, so it pushed the plane instead of pulling it along like most planes we see.  It was there a couple of hours and then took off.   I was astonished how quickly it got up and out of the water, looked like less than 100 feet and it was flying away.

On Monday morning there was a mass exodus from the campground.   We took that opportunity to move to a site that provided electricity.  We had been struggling to get a full charge into the batteries due to the limited sunshine caused by all the shade trees.    After this experience I am considering  replacing our batteries with lithium ion type.  They are supposed to be able to take the full output of our panels, where the lead acid type can only take the full output up to 80% charge, then it tapers off quickly, and all that time the sun is still shining but not going into the batteries anymore.

Moving to a site with power was a good move.  No more issues getting our second cup of Joe early in the morning prior to generator hours.

Tuesday we headed out to find the fish ladder on the outlet of Meziadin Lake.   We found it way down a potholed gravel road that kept getting narrower as we drove further into the forest.   We did find it finally and it was at a large waterfall, and the ladder was just a small opening off to the side of the falls.  There were some fish trying to get up the falls, but we never saw one get past it.   I was talking to the guy that uses a big net to get fish for his village.   He was telling me that the fish from there provides 80% of their food.

We had a lot of downtime here, watching Larry and Sue fly fish, Kathy even joined them in skipping stones in the lake, and we all played Yahtse one afternoon!

Stewart and Hyder tourista’s

We registered and pulled into our campsites in the Bear River campground around 3pm.   It was still raining a bit and the roadway was pretty muddy.  Luckily the sites were well- drained gravel and there was nice grass on each side.  They did have a funny arrangement for the utilities I had not seen prior.   Each site was paired with another site.   We were in 16A & 16B.  The B site you nosed in to the site and the A site you backed in.  The utilities were shared in the middle between you.  There was a note that you shouldn’t both dump at the same time.  There were two access ports, but it was just a Y pipe to a single sewer pipe below.   I guess it would be bad if two large tanks were dumped at the same time.   Not something I wanted to test!

Later that afternoon we drove over to Hyder, and the most surprising thing happened:  There wasn’t a border checkpoint on the US side.  We passed a Canadian border checkpoint but nothing, nada, no wall or even a fence was to be seen.    We then kept driving thru Hyder and then on to Fish Creek, which is probably 8-10 miles north of the small hamlet.  I got a chuckle reading this sign on a “store” along the road in Hyder.

They are now charging $5 to enter the boardwalk at Fish Creek, and for $10 you got a three-day pass.   There were so many salmon in the creek, I couldn’t believe there wouldn’t be a zillion bears having dinner,  but we didn’t see one.

We left and headed back toward Stewart.   I had read about a great place to eat, so I drove by it on the way back.   We checked out The Bus.  It didn’t look like much and I wasn’t expecting our compatriots were impressed.   We kept driving and arrived at the Canadian Border crossing.   The gal took our passports and ran them thru her handheld machine and appeared to be make notes as she asked the usual questions:  weapons, alcohol and cannibis products.   After she was finished, I asked her where the good food is in the area and she immediately said it was at The Bus.   She also mentioned the Prince Edward Hotel, but qualified that with, it just turned into a Chinese restaurant.

As we drove off, we started discussing our dinner plans for The Bus.

Each day we made at least two trips to Fish Creek to see the bears.  The fish were starting to die and a couple days in it started getting a bit smelly with all the rotting fish on the banks of the creek.   I think it was the second evening when we finally saw a bear, although it was very briefly as he was eating berries and didn’t get into the water.  He was on the other side of the blue lagoon.

I had been noticing logging trucks driving past the campground for a couple days and decided to take a drive down that road to see where they were going.   It wasn’t far, but there was a port area that had lots of trees piled up, ready for shipment to China and Japan.   One of the workers told me a cargo ship came in about once a month to load them and take them on their way.

I wanted to go to see Salmon Glacier, which was about 25 miles past Fish Creek on a gravel road.   No one else wanted to go, assuming there would be a really rough road.  Luckily for me that wasn’t the case and it was one of the most spectacular drives I had ever been on.  The scenery was like what I’d expect to see in the Alps once we get there.   And at the summit the view was indescribable.   The road did get really narrow at one point, and there were a few areas of potholes, but most were easily driven around.  Most of the road appeared to have been recently graded, except for the narrow area that appeared to have recently had a slide of dirt come down the hillside.  I wouldn’t take my motor home up there, but any car can get there easily.  It’s worth the drive.

The last evening we were going to be in town we drove to The Bus for dinner again (3rd time)  for our last halibut fish and chips.  It’s right up there with the best Halibut I have had.   The first night Kathy and Sue had the halibut cheeks,  what we heard are the best part of a halibut.  The taste was out of this world.

After dinner Larry drove us out to Fish Creek for the last time, and as we came around a small bend in the road, a black bear moseyed out in front of us.  We were going slow (the speed limit there is 20 MPH) and we just watched him cross about 10 feet in front of us.

When we got to the creek, there was the smell again and noticeably fewer fish in the creek.   There were no bears and I figured the one we saw, which was heading away from the creek, was the one we had seen the prior evening.

We headed back to the border crossing for what I think will be the last crossing back into Canada for this trip.

In the morning we headed out in the bright sunshine for the drive up the mountain to Meziadin Jct.










Heading out from Boya Lake to Stewart British Columbia & Hyder Alaska

We left Boya Lake a bit early as we didn’t have reservations at Kinascan Lake and Larry’s coach’s propane tank was close to empty, meaning no hot water and very limited heat would be available.   That morning our plan was to drive to Dease Lake, BC, for propane and possibly stay one night at a site with power, water and sewer prior to Kinaskan.   But it was Saturday and the only two propane stops were closed till Monday after our two-hour drive.   We dropped by a local campground and the owner called one of them and his wife answered saying he was out hunting till Monday and she didn’t have a key.   That campground didn’t look very nice and we decided to move on down the road toward the town of Bell II which had propane and it was open.  Kinascan was now not going to happen as we would not want to backtrack a few hours.

We only went as far as Iskut that day and stayed at a really nice campground that was probably a mile down a steep driveway.  The whole place was on a mountainside, so the sites were terraced down the slope.   We stayed there the night with power and water.  There was a dump station, but we chose to wait as our tanks weren’t close to full yet.    I believe they used the heat pumps to warm their coach that night.  I was able to use the WiFi at the campground for a call from my cell phone allowing us to make reservations in Stewart, BC, for the next few nights.

The next morning we drove the two hours and arrived at Bell II Lodge just before noon and we topped off our propane tank, and I squeezed the coach with the car attached around the building in the widest turn the ditches and overhangs allowed me.   That building was in a strategically bad place and had all the bent roofing and siding to prove it.

Larry’s propane is on the other side of his coach, so he had to detach the car and back into it.  His coach’s turning radius prevented him from going in the way I drove out.   While I was getting propane, Larry topped off his fuel and I did the same while he was at the propane pump.  We decided to each lunch at the lodge, so we both parked the coaches in a spot out near the highway and had some great burgers in their small cafe.  They had a large dining room there but it was closed that afternoon.

After lunch we drove down the Cassiar another couple of hours toward Stewart and then took 37A down the mountain to the town.   That road was an incredible scenic route, passing right by Bear Glacier and then down thru a narrow, steep, walled canyon; and both before and after the canyon there were tall snow-capped mountains on both sides of the highway.

We arrived at Bear River Lodge around 3pm and set up camp for the 3 days we were able to arrange.  We needed to get another night before heading to Meziadin, so we were going to need to figure something out.

Off to see the bears in Hyder that afternoon!




Internet Data Experience in Alaska & Canada

I switched us to Cricket Wireless phone service prior to leaving for Alaska last May. They provide unlimited cell/text/data in Canada. We also have Google Fi for phone/data that will work in Canada. I keep the Fi service paused when not in Canada so there is no monthly cost when I don’t need it.  (pretty cool feature)

Cricket has a $90 per month deal, provides service for two phones with unlimited data in US/Canada/Mexico and that includes 15 GB hotspot data for each phone. (30GB total per month) I believe its called the “More” plan.  I already used the 15 GB hotspot data for the month and I was just able to add another 15 GB hotspot data to my phone for the month for $10   Cricket has really exceeded my expectations.  Not something I get to say,  ever!

Cricket is a prepaid service and it’s owned by and runs from AT&T towers, so it’s had service pretty much everywhere in Canada and Alaska. (except where there isn’t any service from any carrier.  There are quite a few miles of road where no one has service both in Canada and Alaska)

Our Mobley and FMCA Vzb hotspots don’t include any service in Canada, so they could only be used in Alaska and the lower 48. The Mobley and Cricket had excellent service for most of Alaska, just not in Tok.  Our Verizon hotspot barely worked at any place we stayed in Alaska, except it worked well in Anchorage.

And something else that unexpectedly worked was the WiFi calling.  We were on the Cassiar at a campground that had WiFi but no cell within hundreds of miles.  I was able to make a call to get reservations for the next night for us and our traveling companions.  We thought we were going to need to go out to a payphone in the campground in the rain to get them.

I was writing this post offline as no one has service 20 miles west of Watson Lake at the Cassiar highway junction. We were putting up our sign in the Sign Post Forest yesterday during a torrential rain  storm.  Today it’s Snowing, so I’m glad we did it during the rain.     i did some updates to this post while in Stewart BC prior to posting it.

Once we are back to the lower 48, I will probably switch our Cricket plan back to the $30 each per month plan as our other hotspot plans will cover what we need while traveling the US.

From my usage while traveling to and from Alaska, Cricketwireless was practically amazing.

Heading South on the Cassiar Highway

It was still snowing when we awoke for our third day outside Watson Lake.  It was the Monday we were to start heading due south off the ALCAN on the Cassiar Highway. We dumped the tanks and filled up with fresh water as we would be dry camping for the next 17 days at British Columbia Provincial Parks along the Cassiar. We also topped off the fuel to make sure we would still be above the 1/4 mark on the tank when we get back to civilization. Below 1/4 tank the generator will not have fuel to run as the designers don’t want someone to run the fuel tank dry running the generator, hence, no fuel left to run the engine to leave.
We made the right turn onto the highway and immediately noticed the pavement was pretty rough chip seal. Quite a bit rougher than the ALCAN’s chip-sealed roadway. And as we climbed into BC mountains, the road narrowed considerably and all the trees became covered in snow similar to the road shoulders.
Then it started snowing a bit harder, and I wondered if there was a steep mountain pass to go thru soon. I realized I hadn’t really researched this road much as I figured I still had a lot of time to do it, but now I was on it and totally in the dark about what was to come…  There isn’t any cell signal for the next three weeks. Yikes.. I will be testing out “The Spot” I purchased for this part of the trip.

Boya Lake was only about 50 miles south of the ALCAN, so even at 35-45 mph,  we were there pretty quickly.
Susan and Larry had made reservations there, but when I attempted, they were all taken. Luckily for us about 1/2 the sites are not reservable, but are first come-first served sites. (FCFS) We had gotten to the park fairly early in the afternoon and it was almost deserted. We had our choice of beautiful site 15  right on the light blue/green lake front.  I was amazed the campground was almost empty. But that soon changed, by 6pm it was full. And by 1pm the next day it was empty again. .

The day after arriving, we were thinking about taking one of the trails up the river, but it was less than 40 degrees and raining; so instead we opted to drive to Jade City about 25 miles south of the park. Turns out Jade City was mostly just a store that sells lots of things made of jade. But the place did have fast WiFi they allowed folks to use. So we got caught up on email and iMessages, but no SMS texts or phone calls.

Kathy and Sue bought rocks so they would have more things to dust when they get home. 🙂

It will be interesting to find places to dump along this highway. From what I can tell, none of the provincial parks have dumps. Hopefully there are other places or this will be a much shorter stay on this part of the journey.

But it turned out propane was the real issue.  That’s a story for another post…

Watson Lake Sign Install

We drove from Teslin Lake to Nugget City, the Baby Nugget RV Park. The folks in the office were struggling to keep up with the folks coming in to register when we arrived. We found our site and deployed the slides and set up for the couple of day stay here.

Most of the drive from Teslin was in the rain.  And when we got to Baby Nugget, it was dry but looked like it might rain soon, so I tied the ladder to the car’s roof rack and finished painting the lag screws and washers black that would be holding the sign that we are putting up in the Sign Post Forest.
Then we headed over to Watson Lake, YT, for the endeavor. And of course it started to rain just a few miles down the road, but a few miles later it was dry. But just prior to the town it started raining again and was still raining as we parked next to the Sign Post Forest.

I got out to look for the best place to hang our sign and got soaking wet as most of the posts that I had imagined placing our sign on were now full. After a bit I found a few posts with space about 8′ off the ground and went back for the ladder, sign, and paraphernalia to attach it.
By then Larry, Sue and Kathy came out in the pouring rain to help. Larry held the ladder while Kathy and Sue took pictures.

Once ours was up, Larry grabbed the ladder and put up their sign while I held the ladder for him.  A bunch more pics were taken and they went off to find their signs from the previous two Alaska trips with Kathy. I went back in the car to warm up as I had been out in the cold rain a lot longer than them.

When I got in the car and tried to start it, I got silence and a few dash lights. I re-positioned the gear shift and the towing switch and tried again, still nothing. I then waited a couple minutes and tried again with the same result.
Then I started to swear a bit, and just then I noticed my car key fob didn’t have the key part extended. I was using the special Tow Key that I had created when we first started to tow the Equinox. It was made without the security chip that allows the car to start. It’s only good for unlocking the steering wheel to allow towing.  LOL.  I put in the correct key and BAM, the car started and I had heat.

We drove over to the liquor store so Kathy could fax a bunch of documents back to San Diego. (yes, the liquor store had a government office inside)  Then we headed over to the grocery store to correct an emergency situation.  Kathy had taken the last roll of TP out of the bathroom cabinet earlier in the week and not mentioned it till we got to Baby Nugget yesterday afternoon!!

A couple hours after getting back to the bus, it started to snow.  And this mornings it’s snowing again.  Winter has arrived in the North!  (Aug 17th)

Whitehorse on the way south.

After leaving Haines, AK, we headed back into the Yukon for Whitehorse.  We stayed at Hi Country again as it was a known quantity, but we were only going to be there for one night.

My first priority was to top off the fuel, then take the car to purchase groceries, wine and beer.  You can’t bring much alcohol across the Canadian border without paying a lot of duty.   It might be cheaper to do it that way as booze in Canada is way costly.

After getting the chores done, we headed out with Sue and Larry to our favorite restaurant in Whitehorse for fish and chips.  They didn’t disappoint us.  They were as good as remembered.

Day trip to Skagway

We took the 10am fast ferry to Skagway the day before leaving Haines to start the way home. It’s just a 45- minute ride on calm waters and we were there before we knew it. Kind of cloudy and cool that day. There were 4 huge cruise ships there when we arrived. We walked to the far end of town to swap a tee shirt for Larry that hadn’t fit right and then Kathy started shopping in earnest. I had Dusty with me while she was doing that and practically everyone in that town came over to pet him. Apparently most folks were from the 4 huge cruise ships in the harbor and were having pet withdrawals due to not being able to bring their pets with them on a cruise ship. I found a nice spot next to a restaurant that had an outdoor patio where I was pretty sure we could get lunch with Dusty.
About 12:30 I texted Kathy that the place was filling up fast and I would be grabbing the last available table for us right then.
We had lunch at Olivia’s Restaurant.  I had a meatloaf sandwich on a hoagie roll which was excellent. I can’t remember the last time I’d had meatloaf. Kathy had the Brussels Sprout bowl, which she said was very good. I tasted them, and they tasted like Brussels Sprouts from my childhood.. Yik.
After lunch we proceeded to shop while slowly making our way back toward the harbor where the ferry would be waiting for us around 3pm.

Over to Juneau and back.

We signed up for the Juneau day trip from Haines.  It’s about 90 miles each way, so it took about 3 hours to get there on the ferry. Along the way we spotted Dall Porpoises jumping out of the water, and in just a few minutes after that we came upon a large group (pod) of Killer Whales, and they really put on a show for us. They were on all sides of the boat as we moved thru the water at 30 knots, blowing, breaching, and an occasional tail slapping the water. There must have been at least 20 of them, and they swam with us for many miles of the trip. There were lots of oohs and ahs from the crowd on the boat.








We arrived at a dock quite a few miles north of the city and a bus was there to take us into downtown, probably a 30-minute bus ride. Once we arrived at Marine Park, the four of us headed out to get lunch at the Red Dog Saloon. Quite the odd place. The floor was awkward to walk on as there was a 4″ layer of what looked like sawdust on the floor.

We got directed to their upstairs balcony for a table to get some beers and lunch. Kathy had a shrimp salad and the rest of us ordered burgers. Poor Dusty was spending the day in the RV with a pet walker coming over every 4 hours for a 15-minute walk. I had set up our WyzeCam to record everything happening in the coach while we were away.

After lunch the shopping began. While Kathy was on a call with the accountant, we started off in the Red Dog Saloon gift shop where I picked up my souvenir pint glass with Red Dog Saloon on one side and Alaskan Amber logo on the other.   I also picked up some tee shirts and a cool grocery bag.

Then we were off to find the Alaskan Brewery store. It wasn’t far and it was a gorgeous store with two levels of all types of gear and logo products from the brewery. These folks know how to market their brand! There were more purchases here and our loads got quite a bit heavier. Even more “stuff” was purchased at other shops till we were ready to find a place for drinks along the waterfront.



I asked a small shop owner where we might find a spot on the waterfront, and he pointed us in the right direction. I cannot remember the name of the place, but it was on a pier over the water just north of Marine Park. By then we only had time for one beer till we needed to board the bus to get back to the harbor where the boat was docked. This dock was closer to town as the captain had sailed it down to a northern suburb harbor.

It was still a bit of a long trip as it was rush hour in Juneau by then. It’s really hard to imagine this as there are no roads to Juneau. You can only get there by boat or plane. So all those cars had to get here on the Alaska Marine Ferry system. And there were a LOT of cars and trucks.

On the way back we again spotted the Dalls and then one or two humpback whales breaching. We stopped for that for what seemed like a very long time. I think everyone was ready to be back home as we had already been on the trip for about 10 hours by then.

We got back to the RV and Dusty started howling with delight that we were finally back 🙂