August 9 to 13, 2006 - On the road to Haines Junction

We had a very scenic 167 mile drive from Fairbanks to Fielding Lake State Recreation Area Campground on August 9th.  Enough scenery so that we have a web page just for the trip.

Here is our free campsite at Fielding Lake SRS (State Recreation Site):

The water in front of us was full of grayling and every other person in the SRS was fishing for them:

Views from our site:

August 10th we explored the local area including part of the Denali Highway.

The weather that a couple days earlier was forecast to be partly to mostly cloudy went to mostly cloudy with showers and then to full on rain during our stay.  Our solar panels were useless, we ended up running the generator a lot and the furnace had a workout since it was cold.  There might not be a fee to camp here, but for us it was not free since diesel and propane cost money.

On August 11th we broke camp in the rain and drove north, eventually it changed to just showers instead of steady hard rain.  We stopped in Delta Junction to fuel up and to top off our propane and it was just drizzling.  The rest of the drive was a mix of showers and dry sections.

Between Delta Junction and Tok we saw a motorhome stopped, they were watching some moose.  It was sprinkling and we were on the highway so we had to take pictures through the windshield.  This is the best photo we took of a moose mom and child through the windshield:

After 176 miles we camped at the Gateway Salmon Bake and RV Park in Tok.  The campground had good wireless internet but we wanted to see if our dish worked and it did:

It was a short walk to eat dinner, which was again quite good. 

We also went to get some groceries since it was our last chance for some items until we were back in the lower 48.  We noticed our neighbors were people we had been tracking on the internet and went and introduced ourselves.  We ended up talking a long while and can now add Ned, Lorna, Frank and Barb to our list of RV friends.  We agreed to meet up again in Haines, AK.

On the 12th we headed for the Canadian border.  We were going back the same route we took in June, but we heard there was less construction now.  Here are some scenes before the border:

At the border crossing we were about five vehicles back.  We waited and no one moved.  Over 20 vehicles ended up behind us and people were getting out and talking to each other.  Finally after about 25 minutes they resolved whatever their problem was with the lead vehicle and opened a second line to move everyone through.  Just a couple questions and we were on our way. 

Now the road got rougher.  We were in frost heave country and even though some of the road had just completed construction it was slow going if we didn't want to go airborne.  After 142 miles we decided to stop at White River Crossing Trading Post and here is our campsite:

The campground is next to a small airport and does have bears coming through.  We didn't see any, but we did walk around and look.  Here is a distant view of our campsite showing much of the campground:

The runway with some of the surrounding hills:

Here the fireweed is already going to seed.  This means winter will be here in six weeks.

The campground owner has a small trail into the permafrost.  About 30 feet off the runway is a hole where you can see and touch the ice only about 1 foot below the ground:

This is how the permafrost forest looks, the ground is very bouncy:

There was a side road close by the campground owner said was a good place to see bears, but we did not feel like unhooking the car.

August 13th we drove to Haines Junction.

After 148 miles we stopped at Kluane RV Kampground in Haines Junction:

We drove the car to downtown Haines Junction and took pictures of the town monument:

We also took pictures of the famous police car mockup:

Tomorrow we drive back into Alaska to visit Haines, AK. 

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