I didn’t crack the computer open to blog yesterday, July 22. The only event to record is that we moved from Dawson City to Whitehorse. On paved/gravel/dirt roads! 350 miles!
Along the way we discovered that the trailer was leaking all of its fresh water onto the road. The shake-up on the dirt roads shook/broke the low-valve right off the water tank. After stopping at an RV repair place we learned the whole belly pan would have to come off for a true fix. Tom got some silicone seal stuff and tried to plug it up with that. Meanwhile we are in water business as long as we have city hook-ups!
Another snag was the one we had been anticipating, and one we had hoped to be able dodge – a stone chip on the windshield! I saw the sucker coming straight for me, knew what it was, flinched, heard the crack . . . you can figure the rest. Whitehorse had a glass company, but it was closed on Saturday and Sunday. Today we are hoping that it doesn’t expand on the way to Skagway.
We didn’t unhook, even though we were in Whitehorse. Camped next to us were two guys on an adventure. One was an aviation mechanic in the Coast Guard heading to far-out Kodiak island for 3 years; his wife and son will be joining him later. The other was his best-bud who figured one person shouldn’t make that journey alone – from Virginia Beach to Homer, Alaska! The saga would end after 10 days with one flying home from Anchorage, and the other loading on the ferry for Kodiak Island. Their jeep was equipped with a platform tent on the top and a tent section that hung down along the side – one slept up and one slept down. It was obvious they weren’t going anywhere for supper, and we invited them over for BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Italian Sausage, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans, and had a fun time around the picnic table sharing stories.
Sunday, July 23
This morning, I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. Poor Tom assumes more and more of the work and I find more and more ways to shirk.
Today is a short drive to Skagway. We are back on the coast of Alaska, and it is our last planned stop of the trip. Skagway is called the "Gateway City" -- and I am wondering if we did our whole tour . . . backwards? After that we will turn for home and decide day by day how we are going to go and how long we are going to stop.
There was no gold in Skagway. Instead, it was one of the ways to get to the Dawson City, Yukon goldfields. For miners arriving by boat, from Seattle or Vancouver through the inside passage, there were two choices to hike to Dawson City -- Dyea via the Chilcoot Trail, or Skagway via the dreaded White Pass.
The Mayo drive took a bit of time, as it was so stunning with pull-offs that called to us to STOP! We passed a desert -- we passed a lake that was emerald green -- we passed a mountain pass that filled in with clouds! And, what we didn't get pictures of this time around we will get later this week when we drive back to Whitehorse.
Carcross was a little stop half-way between Whitehorse and Skagway -- an unusual little way-station (not quite a town) with raised boardwalks and brightly painted store fronts featuring First Nation's clans and some really nice shopping.
At the US border, we were asked these 5 words: "Are you bringing anything in?" Our answer - NOPE! I think they could tell we were experienced border-crossers!
Our campground for the next three nights is Pullen Bay, right down on the Harbor with a short 3-block walk to town. We knew we were back in the cruise-ship domain when we saw two large liners parked in the harbor, and the tell-tale passengers roaming the streets.
We set up and headed off down town and were pleased to see another little mining-town still going strong – well-cared-for stores, nice boardwalk sidewalks, and lots of attractions associated with the Skagway National Historical Park. We popped in The Railroad Store and bought tickets for the train through the White Pass for tomorrow -- a journey through the Yukon route to the gold fields.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown