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Old 09-28-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
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Alaska trip report Phases 1-6 [Merged] - 1. to Prince Rupert

First, this won't be a standard trip report. We've been to Alaska a couple of times before, so we didn't take many scenery pictures. And only the ones we found interesting. There will be some. I will bring a photo album of our first trip to the Sierra Meet and Greet in 3 1/2 weeks. All film pictures, and no good way to scan them in.

I'll keep each phase of the report short, so it won't take tooooo long to open a bunch of pictures at once.

And, I apolgize for this being very late. I've been back for 2 months, spent one month flat on my back, knocked out by a thyroid condition. And that last month (and continuing) I'm providing care for a sick family member (don't tell me a pet isn't a family member). Feeding a cat through a feeding tube inserted through the side of the neck isn't my idea of fun.

We started up the Frasier River and turned towards the Cassiar Highway. On the way we decided to try the Ferry. WiFi and internet made it possible to book passage from Prince Rupert to Juneau and then on to Haines.


On the road to Prince Rupert. Typically overcast with rain.




Huge houseboats in the river near Prince Rupert. The last one appears to have a helicopter landing pad on top and is used for remote fire fighting.

Stay tuned for more excitement.

Mike
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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Alaska trip report Phase 2 - Salmon Cannery

An old salmon cannery near Prince Rupert.










Nets for repair


A canning line

Mike
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Alaska trip report Phase 3 - on the ferry


A typical big bird


We had to wait for this ship to pass through this narrow strait before proceeding





Petersberg from the ferry


Wrangel from the ferry


A fishing resort

On to Juneau.

Mike
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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Alaska trip report Phase 4 - Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier

Juneau is an interesting town. It actually can make San Francisco seem flat by comparison. We entered the government building on the ground floor, took the elevator to the 8th floor and walked out onto the next street!


View across town. Limited parking!


See the houses up the hill?


From one street to the next


Capitol Building


Shopping Street


Why it is so busy sometimes

Mendenhall Glacier, just out of Juneau

[photo]6257[photo]

[photo]6258[photo]




The water is coming from glacier melt on top of the cliff


Icebergs in the lake

Onward toward Haines.

Dang, this takes alot of time.

Mike
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Alaska trip report Phase 5 - Haines to Tok

From Haines to B.C. to Yukon to Alaska 447 miles. Customs twice. Some spectacular scenery.


A braided river. The river bed is mostly gravel and the active channel is usually less the 5-10% of the full river bed. The active channel moves around as the water moves the gravel.




The Kluane Chilkat International Bike Rally


Our RCMP escort through the crowds


Scheduled Pit Stop





Another braided river


Remember Sgt. Preston of the Yukon Mounted Police? I do. The first time I entered the Yukon it was quite a thrill. Now I barely notice.


Haines Junction, YT


See the fat little ground squirrel in the road?




Wrangell Mountains. Largest non-polar icefields in the world are here. The majority of the chain is in the Wrangell St.Elias National Park in Alaska.


Kluane Lake

This is the stretch of road where we first bottomed the front suspension. First of many. The roads were especially bad this year.

In 2004 we were in Tok, Alaska. The all time record high for Tok was 96, the day we were there in 2004.

We were looking forward to visiting the little town of Eagle again. Eagle is on the Yukon River, just into Alaska from the Yukon. In Tok we learned the town had a disasterous ice flood, had no water and smelled like diesel fuel from the broken tanks. Even the museum, which was quite aways from the river was knocked off the foundations. We were told to stay away. So, we did.

On towards Fairbanks and the Dalton Highway.

Mike
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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Re: Alaska trip report Phase 5 - Haines to Tok

We are enjoying your trip reports!
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: Alaska trip report Phase 5 - Haines to Tok

Mike,

Your photos are really GOOD.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: Alaska trip report Phase 5 - Haines to Tok

Those are my wife's photos. You won't see mine until after I leave Anchorage. My wife flew home from there.

Mike
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Alaska trip report Phase 1 - to Prince Rupert

Thanks for the report(s) and pic(s), and glad you're feeling better.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #10
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Alaska trip report Phase 6 - Up the Dalton Highway

From Tok we headed towards Fairbanks and up to Fox and then the Dalton Highway, also known as the Haul Road - it was built just to haul equipment up to the North Slope oil fields. It is still used to haul equipment, but not near as much as even 10 years ago.

The Dalton Highway is one of our favorite places to visit. So remote, so beautiful, all the people are friendly.


Blue skies. A rarity so far for this trip.


A friend of mine hit one of these. Actually, it ran out of the forest and into the side of his car. Totaled it. Do not try this at home.


You can see the driveways along the road. You are either approaching a town, or in one.


The start of the Dalton Highway


Black Spruce. If you travel to the far north, you will see a lot of these trees. They tolerate the short season better than most any other tree. Here the Dalton Highway is paved. In 99 when we made this trip, the entire Dalton was dirt and gravel. We were disappointed to find half the road is now paved. The dirt/gravel roads are much better suited to the extreme weather of this area, and they are smoother, better to travel on. Seems they have to build the road to certain Federal standards to get matching Federal funds. A real waste of our tax money.


Here the road is dirt and smooth. you can see different shrubs along the road. They seem to grow faster than the spruce along any construction.


Fire has wiped out large sections of forest.


Those are nasty potholes in the paved road. Winter does bad things to pavement.


You can see the pipeline. Half of the pipeline is buried and half above ground. And it zigs and zags to allow for expansion and contraction from the 100-150 degree temperature variations.


On a clear day you can see forever. This is not a clear day.


Here we are.


More Black Spruce. Seems like it will never end.


Here comes a haul truck. 12% grades are not uncommon.


Approaching the Yukon River bridge. The only bridge across the Yukon River in Alaska.


The Yukon River bridge from the other side. I wouldn't want to try it in ice/snow. Fairly steep.


Yes, that is a bicyclist. We saw several on this trip. They fly up to Deadhorse and bicycle down to Fairbanks. Not my idea of fun. 250 miles of no services. You have to carry all you food and supplies on a bike.


Just a little stream, right beside the road. Does the road ever washout? Yes.


Typical scenery.


Repairs to the pipeline. Yes, we are that close to it. The little things on top of the supports are radiators. There is a fluid down to the bottom of the support and during the winter the radiator conducts -50 degrees down to solidly freeze the permafrost. Otherwise the metal would melt the permafrost and the pipeline would sink in the summer. The fluid does not conduct heat down in the summer.


Approaching the Brooks Range


Heading up to Atigun Pass through the Brooks Range


Entering Atigun Pass


Dall Sheep at Atigun Pass


What do they eat? It is pretty barren here.


North from Atigun Pass


As above.

We spent a couple of nights up on the Dalton. Next stop Denali National Park. Another favorite spot.
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