the

A bald eagle we spotted at Crescent Beach the other day.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Bellingham, Washington.

Where are they going next? Somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

I would say this was worth the extra effort...

Once again, we got up at 6:30am Monday morning, fired Sherman up and hit the road right away in the pouring rain. It wasn't a far drive to Muncho Lake and the Northern Rockies Lodge where we stopped to have breakfast. I should clarify... we didn't have breakfast at the lodge. We simply stopped at the lodge to have our breakfast in the motorhome!

And, the lodge has wifi internet... a rare commodity in these parts where there is no cell service.

So I went inside to see if I could buy some time on their internet. But this place wouldn't sell their internet to just anyone. You have to be either a guest at the lodge, or you have to purchase fuel, at which time they will give you the pass code.

"How much fuel do I have to buy?" I asked the girl at the front desk.

"Well, just go buy some... and I'll give you the code" she said with a smile.

So I went back outside and pulled Sherman up to the pumps. We didn't need gas... I had bought enough in Fort Nelson to get us close to Watson Lake where the next cheapest gas is located. Anywhere else along this stretch is super expensive and I knew it. But, I figured I would throw $50 in the tank just to make it look like I made an effort.

Until I saw the price at the pump.

$1.959 CAD per liter ($5.75 USD per gallon)!

I've never seen gas that expensive in Canada. Ever.

So, I threw $20 in the tank and went and paid the bill. She didn't bat an eye, and gave me the pass code. Interestingly, the pass code slip of paper said the fee was $5.00. So essentially, I paid $5 for internet, and $15 for the gas. That actually made me feel a bit better!

Once again, it was satellite internet, but it worked okay. We got the blog posted, and did some other internet work.

Drizzly morning at Muncho Lake.

A family out playing in the rain.

Northern Rockies Lodge has a seaplane base that does fly in fishing to other lakes.

Northern Rockies Lodge.

Hand carved wooden map of the area.
It's hanging on the wall, and it's about 10' x 8'. 

Northern Rockies Lodge is worth a stop. Just don't arrive there with an empty gas tank!

It kept raining, so we just sat there all morning waiting for it to let up. Pretty sure we used up $5.00 worth of internet!

We headed north alongside Muncho Lake and then towards Liard Hot Springs about 50 kms (30 miles) away. We stopped at the Mineral Licks Trail on Trout River and went for a short 1.2 km (3/4 mile) hike.

Lots of rock slides on the mountain sides.

More Stone Sheep.

View of Muncho Lake. 
Too bad about the weather, because the lake is a beautiful green color when the sun is shining.

Rainy day.

We have never seen caribou in the wild!

They lick the salt off the roadways.

 Short hike on Mineral Lick Trail.

Beautiful view from Mineral Lick Trail.

Rainy day.

The last remaining suspension bridge on the Alaska Highway.

More wildflife.

The buffalo (or bison) are funny. They dig themselves a pit to lie in, so you see many of these types of pits along the side of the highway.

Liard Hot Springs is a popular spot with the "going to Alaska" RV crowd. It's a British Columbia Provincial Park and they have a 50 site campground with no services. The camping costs $26 CAD ($20.50 USD) per night, and includes access to the hot springs. But we don't need a camping site, so we just paid $5.00 each for access to the hot springs.

There's a 600 meter long boardwalk to get from the parking area to the hot springs.

It's a beautiful spot.

Just the right temperature.

The closer you get to the source, the hotter the water is. So everyone can pick their own perfect temperature. 

If you sit below the falls, you get a nice back massage from the water pouring down.

And further down from the falls, the water is perfect for swimming. 
We were the only ones in this area!

Beautiful location!

They did a nice job on it.

The hot springs were worth it. I don't like getting in cold water, but I don't mind warm water! But even then, after 20 minutes I'd had enough. Ruth went in again a second time before we left. By the way, the outside temperature was only about 12C (55F).

Lots of free camping spots along this stretch, and we had no problem finding a suitable place along an old airstrip by the river. But it got even better. I noticed a trail leading into the bush towards the water and so I stopped Sherman and walked on down there.

Yep, we're going down there!
Sherman hasn't been on an adventure for a while!

Yep, I would say this was worth the extra effort!

Just after 10:00pm.

Perfect spot overlooking the river. Only problem might be getting turned around, but worse case scenario I'm pretty confident in my backing up skills.

The plan is to get up early once again on Tuesday morning, and make our way to Watson Lake, Yukon. Really excited to be this close to the Yukon for the first time in our lives!

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The Terralite Portable Camping Chair is the cheapest it has ever been... weighs only 2 lbs yet supports 350 lbs!

Terralite Camping Chair

And in Canada...

Four Pack of Solar LED Lights



41 comments:

  1. I love watching this trip. I'm following another blog where they raced up Alberta and BC to get to Alaska and complained about not seeing any interesting scenery!

    To be clear, we're going to do it your way :)
    Safe travels,
    Judi

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    1. It's amazing how many have Alaska as their goal and have the blinders on until they get there. I had read other reports that said British Columbia and the Yukon are actually the best parts of a trip to Alaska, and we're expecting that to be true.

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  2. Already its beautiful beyond belief! Seriously, so gorgeous. And so many wildlife sightings already. This is shaping up already to be the trip of a lifetime. ☺

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    1. Tamara, you would love it up here, you are so right about all the beauty here! It is definitely a trip of a lifetime and we are making the most of it. :-)

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  3. Wow love, love, love the hot springs. I was wondering what the area looked like. Google maps didn't show much. I hope you have a gas can for areas on Yukon road with no services available although you said Sherman has a big tank. My granddaughter did an internship at Dillingham, AK. She said milk was $8.00 for quart size container. She flew back to Anchorage and went back with a suit case of food goodies including frozen milk in a cooler. She studied to be a mechanic on small aircraft but did her intern with Alaska Airlines. According to her, most long time residents know how to fly. When we were there in winter, we saw cars driving on lakes taking a short cut to nearest village across the lake instead of driving around the lake. We stayed in a hotel not far from Sarah Palin's home and her little aircraft was busy constantly taking off and landing on the lake. We stopped every chance we got to hike and look around. We even collected water from a spigot in a mountain slab with glacier water coming out of the spigot...the water was so delicious. We packed a container full in our checked luggage to bring back to Phoenix. Awesome. Rain didn't bother us and I see it didn't bother you. We still hiked in rain.

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    1. Rita, "... most long time residents know how to fly." When my brother was stationed in the military in Alaska for a number of years, he received his pilot's license. There were so many people there who were qualified instructors with flying schools, and because of the competition, he considered the cost cheaper than mainland US. An experience of a lifetime living there and flying into remote places.

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    2. The hot springs were beautiful and they did a great job of trying to keep them as natural as possible.

      No, we don't have an extra gas can, we just have nowhere to store it and even if we did the extra gas wouldn't get us very far. Kevin has the gas all worked out so that we make sure we can get from one location to the next in order to gas up again.

      We bought a 2L (about 1 1/2 gallon) container of lactose-free milk yesterday and it cost us about $7.50CAN ($5.80USD). Food is not cheap but we expected it so it wasn't a big surprise.

      Lots of planes up here so no surprise that many locals would have their pilot's license.

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  4. Your header photo is beautiful! Ottawa also had heavy rain yesterday. Temp high of 14 today.

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    1. Thank you, we were lucky that the weather brightened up a little by that time.

      We are enjoying sunshine and comfortable temperatures about 15C (59F) during the day today and yesterday.

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  5. Replies
    1. It is beautiful up here and we are loving it!

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  6. We paid in 2008 when oil was at record high $6.25 p/gal USD in the Yukon. The pumps ran on generator! We would pay it again. Enjoy the Yukon many great pull outs to camp.

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    1. Yep, we were on the East Coast of Canada that year and it was the most we paid for fuel in Sherman up until this trip. At that time we put in gas at $1.41 per litre or $4.15USD per gallon.

      Yes, lots of places to boondock, and lots that are even better than the pullouts. :-)

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  7. We hope you will consider returning on the Cassiar Hwy thru western BC. Hwy 37 I think.

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    1. Yes, we are planning on doing the Cassiar Highway on our return to British Columbia sometime in August.

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  8. I am just a few days behind you. I'll be at Watson Lake in a day or two. Then on to Whitehorse. What a fantastic drive!

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    1. Yes, it is an amazing drive. Maybe we will cross paths soon as we travel very, slowly. ;-)

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  9. It is always awesome when a two-track like that leads to an idyllic unoccupied campsite. But turning around is def not my forte as Kevin knows lol! Nor is backing up---so I think I would have chosen the old airstrip hehe.

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    1. Yep, it was a beautiful site. It is much easier to back up Sherman than it would be to back up a 5th wheel on that little track, plus the fact that Kevin is so good at backing up. He did the drive back out all in one shot!

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  10. Replies
    1. It was fantastic! We are loving all the boondocking/dry camping possibilities that there are up here.

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  11. Next time you pump gas, would you look at the diesel prices for me; I was scared to ask, but now have the courage to ask; diesel has to be substantially higher than regular gas.

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    1. Up here in the Yukon the diesel and the gas are almost the same price, diesel is a few cents less per litre not sure what the price is like in Alaska for diesel though. So at the moment at least if Kevin shows the price for gas than subtract about 2 or 3 cents for the diesel price.

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  12. The hot springs sounds like fun as well as the amazing scenery you taking us to.

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    1. You would love these hot springs George!

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  13. Oh my! Everything is so beautiful! Wow! The hot springs are beautiful and certainly looked like you were enjoying them! Love the sunset!!

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    1. Yes, everything is so beautiful up here! Can't wait to see so much more of this gorgeous area.

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  14. How does a person know where free boondocking is? Is it all crownland ?

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    1. It is just about anywhere that there isn't a sign saying that it is private property or doesn't have any signs stating you can't camp or overnight park at. Many of the turnouts are good to overnight park at but we generally like to find something that isn't quite as close to the highway. We use www.ioverlander.com a lot to help us find good free boondocking or dry camping spots and we are also just good at finding our own.

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  15. I know you guys are old hands at exploring and camping, but we worry about you and BEARS ! We've had more than our share of bear encounters and, as wild west Wyoming people, we feel that bear spray is just not enough. You need some strong fire power, especially with all the off-the-beaten-trail type exploring you both do!

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    1. We make a lot of noise, talk a lot while hiking in order to let the bears know we are coming their way, most bears do not want encounters with people. We also have an air horn plus the bear spray and have read all the safe practice info on bear safety. We are not hunters so we don't carry guns and in most of the places we hike guns are not allow to start with. Many, many people hike all the time and only a minority would have an encounter with a bear while on the trail.

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  16. Congrats on making it to the Yukon. The hot springs look wonderful. Smart that you only paid 20 dollars and got the 5 dollar Internet for free. You both look like your having the time of your lives. Enjoy and be safe.

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    1. The hot springs were wonder especially on a dreary kind of day.

      Yes, we are having an amazing time, this is our kind of travel, nice an slow with gorgeous scenery and amazing wildlife.

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  17. Oh boy, we are sooooo enjoying your trip. I think I would want to stay at that boondocking spot for at least a week! Your springs dunking was wonderful, who did you get to take pics of the two of you?

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    1. There wasn't much else around that boondocking spot, it was a beautiful place to spend the night but I think the one we stayed at the night before was better keeping us busy for a day or two.

      We did a selfie with our little point and shoot camera that is waterproof.

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  18. Great pics of the hot springs. We were eaten alive by mosquitoes on the boardwalk. Stayed longer at the pools to soothe the itchiness. I tried all the different parts of the pool and loved the calmer section as well. If ever we make that trip again, I’ll be more prepared.

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    1. Luckily the only place we had problems with the mosquitoes was in Alberta, so far they have been very good. It has been a little cooler up here this spring so that may be why there aren't very many mosquitoes around, that could change quickly though.

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  19. Wow - so beautiful! And those hot springs look amazing!, - Kathy McGuire

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    1. Thank you and yes, it is very beautiful up here in the north. The hot springs were fantastic! :-)

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