Twists in the Road

While on our RV journeys across the U. S. and Canada in our fifth wheel we have come to many twists in the road.

Moose on the Alaska Highway
Moose on the Alaska Highway
Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Bridal Veil Falls Overlook on Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado
Big Thompson Canyon Hwy 34 Colorado. This road flooded in September, 2013, about 2 weeks after this photo was taken
Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway
Twist in the Blue Ridge Parkway

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few of our favorite twists in the road.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Day 79: Waterfalls, glaciers and salmon in Valdez

Day 79: Friday, August 2, 2013

I love Valdez. It is a quaint fishing village with about 4500 year round residents. It is not too commercial or touristy and everything here revolves around the water. The harbor is surrounded by mountains and is the northern most harbor in Alaska that doesn’t freeze in the winter. The Alaska pipeline ends in Valdez.

 

On our drive into Valdez we descended a long steep grade on the highway past several glaciers and waterfalls without stopping so we took a drive back up the highway to do a little exploring in Keystone Canyon and at Worthington Glacier.

 

Solomon Gulch Hatchery Fish Weir
This sign explains the Solomon Gulch Hatchery Fish Weir

On the way back into town we took a drive to the other side of the bay to stop by the fish weir next to the hatchery to see if the salmon were spawning. There were fisherman on the banks catching salmon. At the fish weir by the hatchery the water was filled with thousands of fish.

 

We arrived in Valdez during their Gold Rush Days celebration. The Klondike Gold Rush is an important part of Valdez history and the residents celebrate for several days with events  for adults and kids. Friday night was the Wine Walk and start of a street fair. The ladies were all decked out in the 1890’s outfits having way too much fun!

 

If you haven’t looked at them lately, check out the maps of our journey.

Day 48: Gold Fever in Fairbanks

Day 48: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

To get up close and personal with the Alaska Pipeline we stopped at a park on our way to  tour the Gold Dredge 8.

The tour started with a train ride with demonstrations of gold mining techniques and a stop to learn about the dredge before we got off the train to pan for gold. We got to keep our gold!

As we were leaving the tour we stopped at a section of the pipeline to learn a few facts about it.

Day 47: Driving the Haul Road

Day 47: July 1, 2013

If you are a fan of the show Ice Road Truckers you have heard of the Dalton Highway. If not, the Dalton Highway is the road the truckers take to get to the industrial camp at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean. The road begins 84 miles north of Fairbanks and ends 414 miles later in Deadhorse on Prudoe Bay. The road was originally called the Haul Road because all of the supplies for Prudhoe Bay were hauled by truck to get there. The Arctic Circle is about at about milepost 115 on the Dalton Highway.

The highway is mostly dirt and gravel with some paved sections. The road follows the Alaska pipeline and was built because of the pipeline. The scenery changes as you go along from birch and spruce forest to tundra. Purple wildflowers bloomed in many of the fields.

The Bureau of Land Managment manages a small campground and picnic area at the Arctic Circle. When we arrived two young women from the visitor’s center in Coldfoot were set up under a tent with mosquito netting. After having our pictures made, we received a certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle! We ate lunch there and decided to continue on to the Visitor’s Center at Coldfoot, another 60 miles north.

The visitor’s center had a lot of interesting displays including a display showing the location of the Arctic Circle all around the world. At the Arctic Circle we were farther north than Moscow, Helsinki, and Stockholm. For both of us we were farther north than we had ever been in our lives.

By the time we finished at the visitor’s center we had been gone from our campground for 7 1/2 hours and had to drive all the way back. With so many miles to go, we only stopped a couple of times on the way home.

It started raining on a dirt portion of the road when we were almost at the end of the Dalton Highway. Henry said driving on the wet dirt road was the worst driving he has had to do this whole trip. When we got back to Fairbanks, we had to stop for road construction at 9:00 at night. Fourteen hours after leaving the campground, we arrived home and collapsed into our chairs. A long day but well worth it.

Day 43: Going to North Pole

Day 43: Thursday, June 27, 2013. Tok, Alaska to North Pole, Alaska. Riverview RV Park Site 123. 200 miles traveled.

Despite the smoke from forest fires covering the road for much of the day, it was a good driving day on paved, mostly flat roads all day.

We had our first view of the Alaska Pipeline at the Tanana River.

A nice rest area along the shore of Birch Lake was a perfect place to stop for lunch.

Twenty-six miles south of Fairbanks the highway passes through Eielson Air Force Base. Signs posted announce no stopping and no photography. Seeing the runway beside the highway took me back to my childhood growing up as an Air Force brat.

I apologize for three posts at once. I am almost up to date!