It was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done, packing up to leave Haines AK. Bill and I were both feeling it, while at the same time, we knew it was time to move on to new places on down the road. We were getting closer and closer to our final stop, Seward AK!
The ride back up to Haines Junction was uneventful, and even though the mountains were just as magnificent as they were on the way down, the pics didn’t come out quite as good, but I managed a few to share with you.
We arrived in Haines Junction and filled up on fuel. The prices there were much more friendly than in Haines. We then continued on to our stopover for the night, Congdon Creek (thanks for the suggestion Steve and Dianne!) right on Kluane Lake near Destruction Bay.
We hit some bad spots in the road and had to slow way down for awhile. Was probably the worst we had crossed so far, but we had been warned. It was fine if you slow down, some people just flew by us when they had the chance, and we thought “How stupid is that?” Not just cars and/or trucks but rigs (Motorhomes, Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels) too! I wouldn’t want their repair bills b/c I’m pretty sure there will be something broken when they get wherever they were in such a hurry to get to.
When we came up on Kluane Lake, we noticed the strangest thing, and to be honest, still don’t know for sure what it was. What do YOU think?
When we arrived at the CG all the waterfront sites were filled up, so we choose 2 pull-thru’s and quickly got parked. We had talked about maybe staying 2 nights if we had gotten waterfront sites but since we didn’t, we decided one night was plenty.
After Happy Hour and some dinner, the skies had mostly cleared. We took a walk to see the lake.
We woke early (well I’ve been waking early every day) and watched Callie watch out the window while we had our coffee. Sometimes that can be entertaining b/c she will see bugs or birds and it’s funny how her head quickly snaps back and forth, as she doesn’t know where to look first.
We were on our way to Tok by 8am! We had thought the roads from the day before were bad – this section was not good either. I don’t want to scare anyone off, but instead I will say – SLOW DOWN! Be watching for dips and pot holes. The gravel sections weren’t bad, fairly smooth actually, but you don’t want to be kicking up rocks.
We had no signal at the CG, and when we got to the town of Destruction Bay, where there was a signal, I got a message from my friend, Tracy. I had messaged her we would be at Congdon Creek in case they were able to catch up. Her reply said they were on their way – but we had already left! Crap! Longer story short, they were able to catch up in Tok – and we all stayed behind the Chevron for free with a fuel fill-up! The prices were higher there than at the other 2 stations in town, but for the extra $3.00 we had a safe place to stay the night!
After initial introductions (Steven & Linda hadn’t met Tracy & Lee before), Steven & Linda made a gracious exit to allow us to spend some time with Tracy & Lee, which was so sweet! They knew Tracy & Lee had been having one crazy long day after another and, generally speaking, people aren’t able to fully relax when meeting new people for the first time. I felt a little bad, like we were putting them aside, but they insisted, and I was very appreciative of their understanding. Thanks guys!
Catching up with Tracy & Lee for a couple of hours was great but we were all tired so they retreated to their home and Bill and I went to bed!
All of us were up and ready to go by 9, and away we went toward the next stop, Glennallen. We hadn’t realized that the worst of road conditions were yet to come! Our little caravan had to slow down quite a bit in many areas.
After a small “oops” in directions, we pulled into Northern Nights CG in Glennallen. We were greeted by Mark and quickly got set-up. Linda & Steve were only staying the one night before going, on their own, to Valdez. Since Tracy & Lee didn’t have to work the next day, we decided to stay 2 nights.
We noticed that a couple from RVillage, Shirleen & Hank, were staying at the CG, so we invited them to join us for Happy Hour. Dinner was grilled steaks to celebrate Tracy & Lee’s new job and adventure in AK!
The next morning, it was sad “see ya soon” with Linda & Steven. They were excited to be visiting Valdez, I wish we could have joined them. It is truly amazing to me that we had never met before, although we do have friends in common, and we just clicked so well right away. Sharing the experience of RV’ing to Alaska together was one we will never forget! I am grateful for having met them and now being able to call them friends. We talked about this so it is ok for me to say here, but Bill and I had all kinds of ideas on how to separate from them if needed, like if we didn’t like them or whatever – like a family ER, we decided to not go, etc. – so we didn’t just have to say “hey – we don’t like you so we don’t want to do this travel together thing”. How ridiculous that seems now. While we were in Haines, Steven was busting our chops and said he had called our new boss and quit for us! Thanks guys for traveling with us and helping to make our drive a much better one! We miss our Happy Hours and YOU!
After Linda & Steven drove away, we waited for Tracy & Lee to be done with their meeting with their new bosses. When they came over, they were both excited b/c the meeting had gone so well! I am so happy for them that they have such a great situation and place in Alaska to spend the summer! My only wish is that it wasn’t so far away from Seward! AK is HUGE , so being in the same state doesn’t necessarily mean “nearby”.
We spent the rest of the day catching up on news and talking about how awesome it was to be where we are. We pooled resources and Bill made us Shrimp Scampi for dinner, which was very yummy! We were so busy eating and talking, I didn’t get a pic! Thankfully – Tracy did and she generously shared!
The next morning it was time to move on. The time with Tracy and Lee was too short, but we have plans for getting together later in the summer.
We aimed the rig at Anchorage and we were on our way!
We had taken a lot of notes back in January when we visited with Bill & Linda, friends from RV Dreams. They have been to Alaska a few times and were generous in sharing their knowledge with us while we were staying at Cedar Key, FL. We had actually gotten a lot of advice from a lot of people about this trip and
put a good amount of it to use, but this next bit was – shall we say – extra yummy! We pulled into Sheep Mountain Lodge, searching for some cinnamon buns! We had saved our appetites for what we were told are BEST cinnamon buns in Alaska! After a chat with the owner, a young man named Mark, and a peak at their breakfast menu, we quickly changed our minds and decided on a full breakfast! I asked Mark was his specialty was -whatare the most Alaskan things on the menu? Without hesitation we placed our order for the Solstice Scramble (complete with locally made reindeer sausage) and sourdough pancakes. And – a famous cinnamon bun to split for dessert!
The food did not disappoint! Anyone going by NEEDS to stop and eat at this place! YUMMY! DELISH! Thank you to Bill & Linda for the strongly stated suggestion! We devoured all the scramble and half the pancakes and bought an extra cinnamon bun for the next day!
After stuffing ourselves silly – we got back in the truck and continued on to Anchorage. Our destination for the night would be Ship Creek RV Park, where friends, Lisa and Paul, whom we met while working at Amazon, are camp hosting for the summer. They have a son in Anchorage and are expecting a new grandchild any day!
We started seeing signs of civilization right before Palmer. We knew b/c our phones started chattering with text messages and FB notifications b/c after hours of “no service” we finally had a Verizon signal.
We arrived around 2pm and there were hello’s and hugs exchanged before we got set up in the site next to Paul & Lisa. They had to work until 5pm so we didn’t hang around them too long. Instead, after setting up and letting Callie out of her crate, we made a list and headed to Sam’s Club to stock up.
Putting this items away didn’t take very long and we walked over to Paul and Lisa’s. We had a very delicious dinner, the main attraction was grilled salmon. We hung out and caught up on what we’ve been up to since we said “see ya later” back in December. To be honest, that seems like forever ago! We also enjoyed yummy berry pie for dessert before saying goodnight. It was a wonderful evening – it was great to see them!
The morning came early (I’m still waking at 6:15am’ish every day) and we decided to get a few items at Fred Meyer before heading down the Seward Highway, things we couldn’t get Sam’s. It was our understanding that prices in Seward would be higher so it seemed like a good idea (a good idea that was later confirmed).
The ride down to Renfros was uneventful, with only a short distance of construction, which Gary warned us about. The views for the drive were amazing!
We pulled into our new home for the next 4 months at 1:08pm, and we were quickly greeted by our new host and boss, Gary. I all but bust into tears (ok, maybe a few fell) and he was so cool about it. I was just overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude and for the awesome time we are going to have this summer! I gave him a huge hug and just rode with the moment. I am tearing up again as I type as the reality of my life is just blowing my mind in this moment.
I will leave you now with this thought: consider your life – is this where you want to be? I don’t mean just physical location. I mean in YOUR LIFE! If not, what, if anything, can you do to change it? I realize this is more philosophical that I usually get, but if you don’t ever look at it – you may never realize what you are missing. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. If your life isn’t what you want it to be – change it!