Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dawson City Yukon

How did I get so far behind with the blog so fast??

After leaving Whitehorse we drove to Dawson City. Dawson City is ground zero of the Great Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. It is a 330 mile, 7 hour drive with only to small places during the drive from Whitehorse. The bigger of the two has a few houses and a small store that sells gas. The other place is really only a lodge that sells gas. The weather was great, the road was sort of typical, mostly good, two long stretches of gravel and a couple of spots with a lot of bad potholes. The gravel stretches were better than the pothole stretches. The gravel stretches are so dusty that when a vehicle passes going the opposite direction you are completely blind for about 10 to 20 seconds. We thought we would see a lot of wildlife since the area was so remote, but didn’t see any during the drive. We are really up north and it stays light very late. Sundown is 12:52 AM and sunrise is 3:48 AM. We went to bed with the A\C running and woke to gray skies and light rain. First time we have used the A\C in 15 months!

Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek

This is the actual site were George Carmack, Skookum Jim, and Tagish Charlie found the gold that started the Klondike Gold Rush. 100,000 people set out for the Klondike when news of the discovery got out. It is believed of that about 30,000 actually made it all the way to Dawson City. It took most of them a year to get there. Most arrived too late to find much gold, but others including George Carmack, Skookum Jim, and Tagish Charlie made a fortune. Conservative estimates are that more than 500 million dollars worth of gold were found during the gold rush.

Parks Canada Discovery Claim

Gold Dredge #4

After the gold rush around 1910 corporate gold mining took over in the Yukon. This is Gold Dredge #4, it is the largest wooden dredge ever built in North America. It is 5 stories tall and over 200 feet long and over 40 feet wide. It could dig down 57 feet and move tons of gravel per minute. Built at a cost of $500,000 in the early 1900s and at time when gold was only $35 per once and when the mining season only last for 4 months it was making a profit before the end of its first year. At one point there were 26 dredges working the rivers around Dawson City running 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Gold Dredge #4 continued to work at a profit until it sunk in the 1960s.

Parks Canada Gold Dredge #4

Dawson City Walking Tour

Dawson City is a National Historic Site. They have strict rules that any repairs or renovation can only use materials that were in use in Dawson City in the early 1900s. So, no vinyl siding, stucco, steel, etc can be used. Parks Canada also has 22 buildings from the period that they are maintaining, restoring or at least stabilizing. We took a docent lead city tour of many of these old buildings, while she gave us a history of Dawson City from its founding during the gold rush to the present.

Famous Authors of 8th Street

On 8th street in Dawson City is the cabin that writer Jack London lived in when he was here during the gold rush. The homes of poet Robert Service and Canadian writer Pierre Berton are also on 8th street. Jack London is of course most noted for his stories The Call of the Wild, White Fang and To Build a Fire. All of which take place in the Klondike. Pierre Berton authored 50 books during his life time many dealing with the history of the Klondike and the north. Robert Service is most famous for the poems The Cremation of Sam Mcgee and The Shooting of Dan Mcgrew. These are also about characters and events of the Klondike.

Robert Service’s cabin is a Parks Canada site and they have a docent that gives the life history of Robert Service and how he came to Dawson City. The docent also reads several of Services lesser known works.

The Cremation of Sam McGee The Shooting of Dan McGrew

The Jack London Cabin and Interpretive Center is ½ block away from the Service cabin and contains artifacts and history of the time Jack London spent as a prospector in the Klondike.

Jack London's Cabin

Leaving Dawson City and Top of the World Highway

Kathy’s email sums up our day of leaving Dawson City so I am just going to paste it into the blog:

We made it to the Alaskan border late yesterday afternoon, by 5:00 Alaska time. (That's 6:00 Pacific time.) It is the most northern land border crossing in the US, at this tiny little outpost with an authentic log cabin for the US Customs Inspector!
He was really friendly, asked for the usual identification, even for Raider, where are we headed, that sort of thing. Then he asked if we wanted our passports stamped. "Sure". It was a great big "caribou" stamp on the first page, how fun! After that he asked us
if we had any extra transmission fluid. (Huh? Is that one of those things you're not allowed to bring across the border?) It turns out the fifth wheel parked to the side of the log cabin had some serious problems and needed some transmission fluid. So Grant said, "Actually we do have some!" The inspector said, "Great, you might ask those people if they could use it, maybe they can get under way!" Off we went. Not only did this couple from Canada need transmission fluid, they broke a spring in their axle of the trailer, but he had a spare! They were very appreciative and offered to pay us. I said, "No, that's ok, we've enjoyed Canadian hospitality for 26 days now, we would be happy to just give it to you!"

But to tell you about our arduous day, we have to start at the beginning. We had a 6 hour wait at the Yukon River in Dawson City. There's no bridge since this is a summer only road, so they have this small ferry that can only take 2 motor homes and a couple of cars at a time! Unknown to us, there were 26 rvs in a caravan ahead of us! We just sat in this long, slow moving line down the middle of town. It only took about 4 minutes to cross and it is free! Then we had the experience of traveling on the "Top of the World Highway" from Dawson City to the Alaska border crossing, mainly gravel and dirt for 65 miles. We were doing good, better surface than some California roads! :-) There was no rain to turn the dirt into mud, but the water pumper truck loomed around one corner and hosed everything down to keep the dust down! INSTANT MUD! There are some places on the bottom of the trailer and the truck that look more like stucco had been administered!! After the border we traveled the "Taylor Highway" for 43 miles, also gravel and in less repair, lots of rocks showing through. We caught up with some of the very slow moving caravan of motorhomes, our top speed was 11 miles an hour!!! After miles of accumulating their dust, they finally found a spot to pull over and we moved on by. All of a sudden we had to find a place to pull over, because we had a gasoline tanker barreling down behind us! We found a wide spot and let him through!

The first town in Alaska is "Chicken", barely a town, mainly an RV Park and cafe. It looked like the caravan was heading there so Grant decided to push on to Tok, Alaska where we had reservations. So, 2 more hours of driving, with a mostly paved road, in a lot better condition than we had been led to believe. We actually got up to 50 miles per hour!

Thank goodness there's a great restaurant next to the rv park. It was 9:00 Yukon time according to our stomachs and we hadn't had dinner yet, just a few carb snacks! Our favorite brew, Alaskan Amber was on tap, ice cold and they made wonderful California hamburgers!

Despite the sun still being up, all three of us fell asleep instantly and slept like logs!

BirdingRVers slide show of Dawson City

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Carcross Yukon

When Kathy and I first came to Alaska in 1998, our cruise ship stopped at Skagway and we took a bus trip to Carcross Yukon and then retuned via the White Pass Railroad to Skagway. We had the opportunity to dip our toes into the Yukon so to speak. Today we awoke to a glorious day and we went to revisit Carcross, about 45 miles west of Whitehorse.

Carcross is literally named because it is where the Caribou crossed between Bennett Lake and Tagish Lake during their migration. Carcross is more famously known in its role during the Klondike Gold Rush. Once the would-be prospectors carried there 1 ton of gear up the Chilkoot Trail, they arrived on the shores of Lake Bennett, the head waters of the Yukon River. They had to cut trees and start building boats and rafts to get themselves and all of their gear down the Yukon River to the Dawson City goldfields 400 miles away.

BirdingRVers trip to Carcross slide show

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whitehorse Yukon

Originally we were going to re-visit Skagway and then come to Whitehorse. However between the web cam pictures of Skagway showing 5 cruise ships in port and emails from other RVer’s currently in Skagway, we decided to skip Skagway at least for now. We will be coming back this way when we leave Alaska in September so we may stop by then.

Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon, far and away the biggest city. Although it can boast to having 3 Starbucks and a Wal-Mart, it still is pretty small. Here is where you make the decision to go straight up to Tok, Alaska on the Alaska Highway or detour north to Dawson City. Dawson City was the center of the famous Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. We will be heading to Dawson City when we leave here in a few days. Fred and Jo have decided to head straight to Alaska. We will meet up again with them later in Alaska.


Some people collect stamps and other people collect all manner of things. Kathy and I collect Microbrews. We try to sample the local Microbrews wherever we go. The only truly disappointing one we have found was the West Yellowstone Brewing Company in West Yellowstone, Montana. We tried three different kinds of their beer and would not go back for any of them. We enjoyed the Jasper Brewing Company and the Moab Brewing Company so much we went to each twice while visiting those areas. One of our first stops in Whitehorse was the Yukon Brewing Company. “Beer so good it is worth freezing for” is their motto. To our surprise this is just a brewery and not a brew pub, as most microbrews are. However they do free beer tasting. We left with a 12 pack of Yukon Red.

Whitehorse Dam - Miles Canyon

Other things we did today were the Whitehorse Dam and fish ladder, Miles Canyon and toured the SS Klondike (Sternwheeler). The dam isn’t anything special and the salmon won’t be in the fish ladder until August, but it is amazing how they travel up more than 2,000 miles of the Yukon River to get here. Equally amazing is that the fish hatchery releases 150,000 baby salmon a year and they microchip every one of them before they are released. Miles Canyon was the most treacherous stretch of the Yukon River during the gold rush. Several gold rushers were killed here as the boats and rafts they built on Lake Bennett were smashed on the rocks. Today the passage is very narrow, but the rocks and white water are under water due to the Whitehorse Dam.

SS Klondike

Our experience at the SS Klondike was unique. It is the last river boat to shuttle between Whitehorse and Dawson City. It stopped running in 1955 and has been restored by Parks Canada as a National Historic Park. Admission is by tour only; we took the 1:30 tour and were the only people on the tour. So, it was just Kathy, me and the park guide. The next two tours after us were each a tour bus load of people. The SS Klondike has been restored to its 1937 appearance; the guide was very knowledgeable and we found the tour fascinating. During the 1920s and 30s the price for second class passage was $25 dollars per person one way, which was one year’s wages for the typical Canadian at the time. The trips downstream to Dawson City took 36 hours, the trip up stream back to Whitehorse took 4 or 5 days. Each way the SS Klondike burned a cord of wood per hour!

BirdingRVers SS Klondike slide show

Parks Canada SS Klondike Historic Site

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alaska Highway Part 2

Day 4 – June 16th

We took a “rest” day today. We have traveled 5 days in row. In the 18 months we have owned the trailer, we have never traveled more than 2 days in a row and only that about half a dozen times. The caravan that we met up with in Dawson Creek, Liard Hot Springs and here in Watson Lake left early today for Whitehorse. The RV Park emptied out. For our rest day we went birding at a couple of the spots mentioned in the book A Bird-Finding Guide to Canada. The good news it was windy enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay, but a little too windy for good birding. We did get great looks at a Red-neck Grebe and an Alder Flycatcher, but didn’t add any birds to the year list. We did a little grocery shopping. Kathy did some laundry. I tightened some of the screws and bolts on the trailer that are getting loosened by all of the jolts along the highway. We also washed the very dirty back window of the trailer and cleaned some of the bugs off of the front of the trailer. Both of these are futile because they will be filthy again just few miles down the road.

Our neighbors here in the RV Park are fisher people from British Columbia on their way home from a visit to Alaska. They caught several big fish and gave us some of their catch already cleaned and filleted.

Our Internet access has been spotty here at the park. Sometimes we have it and sometimes you don’t. In reading the blogs of other RVers the quality of wifi service or lack of same is a frequent topic. How did people travel before wifi?

Day 5 – June 17th

Today was a beautiful day! The daily rain shower didn’t arrive until after 4 PM. It was intense but short. The road quality was the best we have had on the Alaska Highway, mostly chip seal, but not very many pot holes and only real dusty in a few areas. If a semi passes you heading in the opposite direction in a dusty stretch you are completely blinded until the dust settles. The scenery remains indescribably beautiful.

We had thought of stopping at Teslin Lake and driving to Whitehorse in two days. but we got to Teslin about 1:30 PM. We decided it was too nice a day not to drive on. Apparently we are now out of sync with the caravans because traffic was very light today. There were a few RVs and occasional trucks, also long stretches without any other vehicles on the road.

Wildlife along the road today included a grizzly bear, red fox, mule deer, buffalo and two Bald Eagles. Unfortunately, the road is too narrow to pull over for pictures. The Yukon has more rest areas per mile than anywhere we have been in our travels. They pick the spot by how much room they have next to the road, not by how scenic the spot is so most of today’s pictures were taken through the truck’s dirty windshield.

Slide show: On the Road to Whitehorse

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Alaska Highway

Day 1- June 13th

Yesterday, in Dawson Creek, was our first day without rain in two weeks. This morning it was a beautiful short sleeve morning. About 8 AM it was like someone fired a starting gun as RVs all over the RV Park started up and head to Alaska. We left at a more sedate 9 AM. About an hour down the road the rain showers started and we would have rain or showers the rest of the day. At one point the outside temperature dropped to 31 F and we had snow falling. The 280 mile drive to Fort Nelson was uneventful with a lot of RV traffic heading north and rain or rain showers the whole way. Our first choice for an overnight RV Park was booked full because they had two caravans coming in this evening. Fortunately, we arrived in town about 3 PM and were able to get sites at an RV Park at the other end of town. The most eye opening thing of the day was the price of diesel we paid $6.00 per gallon in Fort Nelson. Fred stopped along the way today and paid $6.23 per gallon for diesel. Even at these prices the road is full of Motorhomes headed north.

Day 2- June 14th

After overnight rain we woke to mostly clear skies and a little wind. Today’s destination was Laird Hot Springs Provincial Park. This is a naturally occurring hot springs pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It is 188 miles from Fort Nelson and 138 miles to the next town which is Watson Lake.

The scenery today was SPECTACULAR; miles and miles of mountains, trees, rivers and lakes. We saw Stone Sheep (a localized sub-species of Big Horn Sheep) on the road in a couple of locations; we had Wood Buffalo along the road and plenty of signs warming us that there were buffalo on the road. We also saw our first Caribou of the trip and both Mule Deer and more Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.

About noon we had a few rain showers but they didn’t last very long. This is the Alaska Highway that I had read about. The road is very rough; the potholes are frequent and huge. Even where the potholes are patched it is rough. We did hit a few gravel patches, but they didn’t seem any worse than the paved road.

After our experiences at Fort Nelson of not getting in to the RV Park due to the caravans and considering that Liard Hot Springs has only one private campground we made reservations. This area is so remote that the Provincial Park has no power and the private campground runs a generator 24 hours a day for their power. The campground is small and tightly packed as there is a caravan of Motorhomes here for the evening. Surprisingly, the price of diesel here is only a penny a liter more than Fort Nelson. You know something is wrong when you are relieved to be pay ONLY $6.00 per gallon! As I said there are very few choices on RV Parks or campgrounds; about 10 PM the water pressure went to zero. In the morning the water was back but at 7 AM all power in the campground went out and didn’t come back by the time we left.

Birding Note: Today’s best bird was a Golden Eagle that dropped out of nowhere to grab its lunch right next to the road. I had read that there was good birding by the hot springs and I went over to see what I could find. The area is very thickly forested and I heard many birds but saw very few. I did add Mew Gull to the year list.

Day 3-June 15th

Today was a short day only 130 miles to Watson Lake. The road today was better than yesterday in that there were fewer potholes but the road surface is still very rough. The roads up here are all “chip seal”. They put down asphalt and then pour oil on it followed by gravel. They then just let cars and trucks run over the gravel to imbed it into the oiled asphalt. Every few years they repeat the oil and gravel treatment. The scenery remains spectacular and today there has not been any rain. During our drive today we saw two black bears, six buffalo and one very large black wolf all along the road.

Watson Lake is home to the Sign Post forest. Army engineers here to build the Alaska Highway put up a pole with arrows pointing toward their hometown and how far it was. The tradition has stayed on with passing motorist putting up homemade signs, leave their license plates and even stealing the signs from their hometown. There are thousands of signs. (they hit number 10,000 back in 1992) Including a San Jose, California sign!

More pictures on the Slide show: BirdingRVers Alaska Highway

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dawson Creek British Columbia

Where does the trip to Alaska really begin? Was it in San Jose when we started fulltiming? Was it in Muleshoe, Texas when we started heading west and north? Was it in Great Falls, Montana when we meet up with Fred & Jo Wishnie ? Was it when we crossed into Canada at the Montana and Alberta border? The trip probably really started many years ago when my ex-boss and friend Tom Dowd told me about his RV trip to Alaska and showed me his pictures. Regardless of when it started the official beginning of the Alaska Highway is Mile Post Zero here in Dawson Creek, British Columbian. This is so important that they have two official Mile Post Zeros. One is the current start of the highway and the other in downtown Dawson Creek is the original Mile Post Zero.

We had driven from Jasper National Park to Grande Prairie, Alberta yesterday in intermittent rain showers but the closer we got to Grande Prairie the dryer and warmer it got (72 degrees). It was a short 80 mile trip to Dawson Creek today so we arrived at the RV Park at noon Alberta time or 11 AM Dawson Creek time. We got two of the last three spots available. I asked the RV Park manager, “you really are full at 11 AM?” He said “yes, it has been this way for weeks. We haven’t seen any fall off due to the price of gas”. Diesel is $5.43 per gallon and gas is $5.20 per gallon.

Everyone stops in Dawson Creek! This is the last “big” town until Whitehorse so everyone gets groceries, does laundry and gets their picture taken at Mile Post Zero.

Birding Notes

While walking Raider this morning I added two more birds to the year list: Black-capped Chickadee and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This brings the year list to 196.


While driving over the many, many hills between Jasper and Grande Prairie we had 5 White-tail Deer run out in front of us. Fortunately, it was in an area with very wide clearings between the road and the forest edge. They were the first White-tail Deer we had seen this year. Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep were up on the rocks overlooking the highway as we drove by. It was too dark and rainy to get that iconic shot, unfortunately!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jasper National Park

The drive from the town of Banff to the town of Jasper is 200 miles of one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We know this from our prior visits to these two great Parks. It is a good thing we already knew it, because our trip from Banff to Jasper this time was rain or snow showers the whole way and the beautiful peaks and spectacular views were covered in clouds and fog. As our stay in Jasper continued it rained part of everyday and the clouds have never lifted to get a good view of the towering peaks that surround us.

Athabasca Falls

The Athabasca River starts at the Columbia Icefield, heads north for about 80 miles through Jasper and then travels thousands of miles to the Arctic Ocean. Here in the park it is about 100 yards wide in most places. At Athabasca Falls the entire 100 yard wide river is squeezed into a 20 foot wide water fall and then into a 10 foot wide gorge before exploding out to a 100 yard wide river again. It is amazing sight. On our trip up to the falls we had intermittent rain.

Bird Trip

On Sunday we joined a local birding group for a bird walk to a local birding hot spot. Seventeen people showed up for the walk which is really too many. There weren’t really a lot of birds, but we did pickup a few birds for the year list (Alder Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglet). About a third of the way through the walk our local host said that we should head back to the cars as it was going to rain again. No sooner had we started back, the rain came down hard adding more water to the already muddy and flooded trails.

Maligne Lake

Our birding information said that we could find Harlequin Ducks and American Dippers at Maligne Lake and along the Maligne River. As we drove out that way we had a mix of rain and sleet, but the sun came out as we arrived at Maligne Lake. As soon as we walked across the bridge, where Maligne River flows out of Meligne Lake, our first bird sighting was an American Dipper and our second bird was a Harlequin Duck. The duck would fly under the bridge up stream and then float in the current back down stream. The American Dipper kept flying back a forth under the bridge probably feeding young in the nest. We stopped at a picnic spot along the river on our way back down the canyon and this little patch of willows had 3 kinds of warblers, a flycatcher and Chipping Sparrow. While there we also saw a juvenile Bald Eagle and our first Cedar Waxwings of the year. The year bird list is up to 194.

Maligne Canyon

At Maligne Canyon the Maligne Rivers enters a series of very narrow fissures some as little as 2 feet across and a series of waterfalls the tallest being over 120 feet. At the end of the parking lot you can take 2 trails along the canyon. The trail we took was down to the middle falls, which was down below the bridge about 70 feet. We only went to the fifth bridge and returned up the steep and muddy trail to take the trail that goes along the upper cascade. 140 million years of the river carving the rock has left some awesome looking geology!


It seems hard to imagine, but Jasper is even more thickly forested than Banff. We haven’t seen as much wildlife as we did in Banff, but we have had both deer and Elk in the campground and we saw our first Black Bear of the year along the road about a mile from camp.

Jasper slide show: BirdingRVers in Jasper

Posted from the Jasper Alberta public library.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Banff National Park

We spent the past five days in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. This is the Canadian Rockies at its finest. The snow and glacier covered mountains rise up on both sides of the Bow Valley while the beautiful Bow River meanders through the valley. The weather here was summed up by the radio weather forecast as “some rain today”. Yes, it did rain at least part of everyday, but has been saving the serious rain for the nights. The mountain peaks and forests have a very mysterious look with the dark clouds all around them. Unfortunately, the clouds don’t make for the best pictures and the heavy cloud cover has been affecting Fred & Jo’s satellite internet. Since we are using their internet connection, have only had sporadic internet access this week.

Johnston Canyon

We hiked Johnston Canyon with our boys when we were here 20 years ago and I never forgot the trail; for the most part it is cantilevered over the river. So, we had to redo this hike during this visit to Banff. We (Kathy, Raider and I) walked the Johnston Canyon trail. The Canadian Parks are MUCH MORE DOG FRIENDLY than the US National Parks. They thought it odd when I asked if dogs were permitted on the trails or were there any special rules about dogs on the trail.

Lake Louise

The Lake Louise has to be the iconic picture of the Canadian Rockies. Again we took Raider on the trail with us and walked to the end of the lake and naturally it rained on the way back. The lake is still partially covered in ice. The two hikes together were 5 ½ miles. We were all tired and sore after that day and slept like logs.


In our campground we had elk and deer grazing every day. We also had 7 coyote sightings in the campground during our stay. Raider stared at the deer a long time before he decided to bark, which sent the deer running. Even though he saw the elk everyday he just looked at them and never barked at them. One afternoon as we were walking Raider we saw a coyote coming up through the campground toward us. He seemed to be in no hurry and was checking out the empty camp sites. Once the coyote got to the same level we were on in the campground, he and Raider saw each other but neither one seemed to care. The coyote just turned a little to the right and continued on without even picking up the pace. In the Park, we had a herd of Big Horn Sheep crossing the road one morning and while out birding we saw a coyote near a road and a moose across the river. We also saw numerous elk and deer throughout the Park.


We spent half of two days birding various areas in the Park. Banff has a wide variety of birding locations including marshes, rivers, lakes, forest and meadows. We saw 42 species in total and added 12 new species to our year list, bringing it up to 194. Some of the birds added to the year list include: Red-necked Grebe, Red Crossbill, Swainson's Thrush, Gray Jay, Western Wood-Pewee, MacGillivray's Warbler, Rufous Hummingbird, Hooded Merganser, Blue-winged Teal and American Redstart.

Banff slide show: BirdingRVers in Banff

Posted from the Jasper Alberta public library.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh Canada!

Wow, another week has gone by! We left West Yellowstone on Tuesday and moved up to Great Falls, Montana. Great Falls was a stop to take care of a few last minute things before crossing into Canada and kicking the trip to Alaska into high gear.

We both had to do our semi-annual blood test for cholesterol screening and get our prescriptions renewed and filled. As with many things it took longer than we had expected but we did get it completed.

Great Falls was also the place we were meeting up with our friends Fred and Jo Wishine, The Wandering Wishnies, whom we will be traveling with during our Alaska Adventure. Although we exchange emails every day, we had not seen Fred and Jo since we went birding together in Patagonia, Arizona back on March 15th.

The RV Park we stayed at in Great Falls was some kind of staging area for people headed to Alaska. Amazing everyone we talked to around us was heading to Alaska.

We did find time to visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center while in Great Falls. I have always been amazed by the Lewis and Clark trip. Over those three years in spite of all of the dangers and hardships, they only lost one person and he died of a ruptured appendix. Once the expedition arrived at Great Falls they found 5 waterfalls that they had to haul all of their gear and boats around. This ended up being almost a month of hard work. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center does a wonderful job of explaining the expedition and the difficulty of the trip into unknown territory in the early 1800s.

Finally, with all of our prescriptions taken care of, we headed north to Canada. The border crossing wasn’t very busy on a Saturday afternoon, but they only had two people on duty so it took about 20 minutes to cross the border. When we last crossed in to Alberta from Montana (1985) there were only about three questions and it only took about 3 minutes. Things are more questions today and we had to show our passports, but still no big deal. After an overnight stop in Lethbridge, Alberta we are moving on to Banff National Park today.

We have read and been told by numerous people that as we move further north, both Internet access and quality becomes more intermittent. Fred and Jo have a DataStorm satellite dish. Through their kindness I currently have Internet access, but at some point even that will not work. I will update the blog as time and Internet access permit as we move north.

PS For those of you that don’t watch hockey, Oh Canada! Is the Canadian national anthem, if you’re an American and know all of the words, then you’ve been watching too much hockey!