2022 Alaska and the Inside Passage – Part 8 – The Inside Passage to Vancouver

August 29, 2022 – After our exciting bear watching excursion in Ketchikan we returned to our ship for an early afternoon departure from Ketchikan.

We enjoyed a late lunch ending with Success Cake, our favorite dessert.

While enjoying a delicious Italian dinner at Manfredi’s that night we watched a Canadian Pilot boat pull along beside our ship. Both vessels were moving as the Pilot boarded our ship.

August 30, 2022– Cruising through the Inside Passage from Ketchikan, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia was a perfect last day at sea.

By afternoon the sun was shining and we finally saw blue skies. It was a perfect day to sit on the sun deck and take in the spectacular scenery as we cruised south.

August 31, 2022 – Our ship arrived in Vancouver in the early morning. We disembarked about 9:30 a.m. and said goodbye to the Viking Orion and our amazing Alaska adventure.

Vancouver, British Columbia

September 1, 2022 – A little more than 24 hours after we left the ship we arrived home exhausted but very happy travelers.

Lens-Artists #100: Long and Winding Road

This week Tina has chosen “The Long and Winding Road” as our challenge. During our travels we have driven on so many long and winding roads I wasn’t sure which ones to include.

As I thought about how to approach this challenge, my mind kept going back to our 2013 RV trip to Alaska.  There were many long and winding roads during our journey but I decided to focus on just one.

Exactly seven years ago today we were in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada at the start of the Alaska Highway (also called the AlCan). Before returning home we would travel on every mile of this long and winding road.

The United States military began construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942 to provide an overland route to Alaska. The approximately 1400 mile road from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, Alaska was completed in 8 months and 12 days.

Mile Zero
Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway! in Dawson Creek, BC

As you can see from the photo above, like many other travelers, we posed for a picture at the famous sign marking the beginning of the Alaska Highway. (The actual location of mile marker 0 is in downtown Dawson Creek, BC). There’s more about our stay in Dawson Creek at Mile Zero of the Alaska Highway.

Part of the road was paved, part was gravel, and part was under construction. There were frost heaves and pot holes, some marked with signs and some not. Sometimes we would go for miles without seeing another vehicle. We stopped at pull outs for breaks and never had a problem finding campgrounds or diesel fuel.

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Gravel section of the Alaska Highway in the Yukon

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The Alaska HIghway in the Yukon

We drove slowly and enjoyed the wildlife and magnificent views.

Moose on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway

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Alaska Highway

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Alaska Highway

As I worked on this post I thought of how empty this road must be this summer with the U.S./Canadian border still closed. I remember the campgrounds, restaurants, and stores we stopped at along the way in Canada and Alaska. These businesses have a short season and depend on summer travelers to make it through the rest of the year. I hope that they will be able to make it until next year when hopefully people will be traveling again.

I am so grateful we made this trip when we did. I still dream of returning to Alaska. Next time we will not be towing our fifth wheel along the Alaska Highway. Instead, I see airplanes and ships in our future.

Thank you to Tina for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Long and Winding Road

Favorite Alaska and Canada Wildlife Photos

Five years ago this week we were on the road to Alaska from Georgia. Once we crossed the border into Canada, I spent every day looking for wildlife. There were many “WOW” wildlife sightings in both Canada and Alaska.

I’ve been thinking about posting some of my favorite wildlife photos from the trip and today I finally got the boost I needed to put it all together. When my friend Ingrid at Live, Laugh RV posted that the theme for her very first Wednesday photo inspiration was wildlife, I immediately started going though the thousands of photos from the trip.

If you would like to participate or see other posts inspired by Ingrid, click on over to Ingrid’s post Wandering Wednesday.

Here are just a few of my favorite wildlife photos from our Canada and Alaska adventure.

Elk in loop 63
Elk near our campsite in Jasper National Park, Alberta

Bear in British Columbia
Soon after entering British Columbia we were in Mount Robson Park and saw this grizzly beside the road

Black Bear eating Dandelions
Bear in British Columbia

A small herd with calves
Bison herd with calves near Liard River Hotsprings in British Columbia

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Moose in Denali National Park, Alaska

Black Bear Cub
Black Bear Cub in Valdez, Alaska

Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on wildlife cruise from Haines to Juneau, Alaska

Whale Tail
Humpback Whale on wildlife cruise from Haines to Juneau, Alaska

Two Sea Otters Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier cruise from Valdez, Alaska

Pod of Orcas with calf
Pod of Orcas with calf on Columbia Glacier cruise from Valdez, Alaska

He was looking at me
Eagle at Deep Creek Beach, Alaska

Pair of Eagles
Pair of Eagles on Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez, Alaska

Puffins
Puffins on the Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez, Alaska

 

 

 

Favorite Canadian Memories

I recently posted our Favorite Alaska Memories so now it is time to post our favorite memories of traveling through Alberta, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory. We spent 23 nights in Canada and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and friendly Canadian people.

We started our travels in Canada by spending almost a week in Alberta in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.

We saw lots of wildlife as we drove through British Columbia on the Alaska Highway before arriving in Alaska for the first time.

After a week in Alaska we drove through Canada to Dawson City, Yukon and across the Top of the World Highway before returning to Alaska.

Our journey back to the lower 48 took us along the Cassier Highway through British Columbia.

For a map of our entire journey be sure to check out Our Route. And for a list of all the campgrounds where we stayed check out our Campground List.

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Day 91: Back in the lower 48

Day 91: Wednesday, August 14, 2013. Williams Lake, BC to Oroville, Washington, USA. River Oaks RV Park Site 43. 393 miles traveled. One of our longest driving days since leaving home.

Our last night in British Columbia was in Williams Lake where we stayed at Stampede RV Park next to the rodeo grounds.

Willams Lake Stampede Grounds
Willams Lake Stampede Grounds

As we drove south we left the snow peaked mountains behind as we began to see more and more farmland and ranches. In one area we passed by the Painted Hills which reminded me of the Painted Desert. The road was good and even though there were still steep grades and curvy roads as we descended into and out of valleys we were making really good time. At some point along the way we decided we were going to cross the border in Washington.

Painted Hills in southern British Columbia
Painted Hills in southern British Columbia

We were driving on Highway 97 which runs right beside Okanagan Lake for many, many miles. There are several provincial parks along the lake and we could see boaters in the beautiful blue water. We passed several beaches full of swimmers trying to cool off in the 90 degree weather.

And then we entered Kelowna which is nothing but big box stores and chain restaurants for miles with stoplights at every intersection. It was bumper to bumper traffic and we wondered where all these people were coming from on a Wednesday afternoon. There were many big homes and condos high up on the hills overlooking the lake.

The canal next to the road in Penticton was full of rafters
The canal next to the road in Penticton was full of people rafting to beat the 90 degree heat

Finally we were past Kelowna and started to move along at a good pace again. In the town of Penticton a canal runs through town right beside the highway. The canal was full of people in rafts floating down the canal in colorful rafts of every size and description. As I rolled down the window to take some pictures these people waved as me as we went by.

After that we began to see fruit stands selling the famous Okanagan Valley peaches, cherries, and other produce grown in the valley. Orchards and vineyards grew in fields as far as the eye could see. We must have passed about 50 wineries all offering wine tasting.

Finally, about 5:00 we reached the American border in Oroville, Washington and went through customs. Everyone in an RV had to pull over to be inspected so we waited our turn and soon were on our way. I looked at my phone and had cell service so I called an RV park in Oroville and we got a site for 2 nights.

Our first day back in the states was filled with resting, doing laundry, and going to the grocery store. Once the chores were done we went to the Okanogan Winery shop in Oroville where I bought some delicious Chardonnay and Pino Grigio. We went to dinner at Trino’s, a very popular Mexican restaurant in town.

Now we start heading southeast to Georgia.