Tuesday, May 15, 2012

2nd last Day

Executive House Hotel Suite VI
Victoria VI
Our last night at Painter's Lodge at Campbell River was perfect..Split level rooms with a balcony looking across the gardens..
Dining Room
Checked out the bar and ordered a Mojito while Leanne chose a Margarita..Loooovely!!Andrew had a beer and Terry a Bourbon & Coke...
P.Lodge B/Room
Decided we didn't want to move so we ordered dinner there..Burgers for 3 and fish & chips for 1...

Monday, May 14, 2012


On the road to the ski resort
Bald Eagle

Skunk Weed that the bears like to eat when they wake u.p

Days 22 & 23

Prince Rupert...Arrived at the hotel around 4am after 2 nights on board the BC Ferry from Ketchikan..Took a while to get over sea legs but had a good nights sleep in a nice quiet hotel.
We had a few hours to kill before hopping on a bus that took us to a ferry that took us over to the airport,so decided to hire a car for the day and drive up to another town called Terrace..So glad we did as on the drive back we saw 2 black bears and a number of bald eagles..Very thrilling!!Also should comment on a drive up to a ski resort that was still closed.It was a gravel road and wound up the mountain with deep snow and a few hairpins that got the guys excited.
Back to town and waited for the bus..Waited at the airport for about an hour and watched Andrew get the full Customs treatment as they had forgotten a knife packed in their carry on bag...Body search(pat down)etc...Looked a bit stressed as he came out!!
The plane was a funny little thing with a propeller on each wing under which the wheels tucked in...
Shouldn't have worried as it was very smooth  and was only a short flight.
Arrived in Vancouver around 10pm and picked up our car there..Terry & Andrew had the biggest grins when they came to pick us up with the bags..It was the biggest 4x4 and black and looked like the sort the FBI drive.. A GMC Yukon. 6ltre v8..Two very very happy boys!!!
The Sandman was our hotel for the night.It was so quiet and had the comfiest beds so we all had a good night..
Up at 9am for breakfast French Toast(see photo. UGH! so over the top!!)and drive over to the ferry to take us to Vancouver Island..We are staying at "Painters Lodge"at Campbell River tonight.A very very nice resort overlooking the river and set in beautiful gardens..Tulips,Rhodedendrons,azaleas,lilacs are all blooming here and the treea are all sprouting leaves..So happy that we are seeing a bit of Spring before we leave for home.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Day 21

Skagway..What a quaint little town..Looks most like it would have back in the 1800s..Wooden boardwalks along the street and shops that have kept that outpost look about them..
Our B&B is a lovely old fashioned white building which has 5 bedrooms..All very cosy as it's freezing here with a wind that would make your nose drop off!!Freshly baked muffins,oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast...
We found a great pizza place for lunch and spent  some time window shopping while we waited to board our WhitePass Yukon Train ride..This was just amazing as the train climbed up through the mountain pass,through a couple of tunnels,over the highest bridge and then through narrow snow/ice passages where you could hear the train scraping the sides!!I had to sit on the side closest the rock side as I couldn't look down over the other side..So frightening....
Back down to Skagway and waited for the Alaska Marine Ferry that is taking us to the capital city of Juneau..This is just a day trip and tomorrow we will be on the ferry for 2 nights as it wends it's way through the Inside Passage..Only way in or out of here is by sea or plane and 1 out of 4 people who live in these places have a pilots licence .. Found the Red Dog Saloon and had a great time there which helped pass the time in a very pleasant way!!Barmaid (Laura) didn't want us to leave!
For the first timeon our holiday the trip was a little disappointing as it rained from the time we left Juneau till we reached Ketchikan..But Larry the barman on board kept us entertained!!
Ketchikan..With a cruise ship docked there were more people strolling around than we'd seen in other places and it was funny watching the shopkeepers beckoning them into their shops which were mostly jewellers..The main attraction here is Creek Street which is a shopping experience with a difference..Old historic buildings built on wooden pylons on and along the creek/stream.One of the houses was the famous brothel run by Dolly.Lots of fun stories about that lady!!
Back on the ferry and our get off stop is Prince Rupert .It doesn't get in until 4am so we will all be sleeping in  next day..

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 20

Whitehorse to Skagway

The gorge under the Suspension Bridge.
Whitehorse traffic
Terry can sleep anytime..This is 11pm and still bright light(not streetlight)
The famous Klondike paddle steamer which was used to ferry cargo and people down to Whitehorse from Dawson City.
The drive to Skagway was stunning.Mother Nature threw everything at us including a snowstorm that turned into a whiteout..Very exciting..It snowed and rained until we reached the US Customs before dropping down into Skagway..Great little town .More next blog.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 19

Today was spent driving to Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway..I got a bit excited when I imagined there was an aurora showing through the clouds but in reality I think it was just part of a rainbow.Funny colour though....
We stopped for morning tea at "Buckshot Bettys",a typical Yukon cafe run by Betty herself who even has a song written about her..We've almost given up ordering coffee over here as it's just plain awful and tastes like brown tasteless water..Plent of choices for tea and there's always hot chocolate..
Arrived at Whitehorse around 4pm & booked into The Westmark..
None of us felt hungry but went to the bar for drinks while we decided if we should eat or not.
The barman was also a chef and proud of the menu he and another guy had prepared so we ended up with Bruchetta for Terry & I and ribs for Andrew & Leanne..So much for not feeling too hungry .
Today was milestone in my life!!!!I walked across a suspension bridge!!!Leanne was on the other side coaxing me,and with my eyes planted at my feet I took off and didn't stop until I reached the end .
Didn't look down at the view which was over a deep canyon with the Yukon River running through..What a day!!!We were above Schwatka Lake for a long part of the drive and it was frozen solid..As we reached the US border crossing 2 miles out of Skagway,it started to snow..Not just little flurries but proper snow!.At times the view either side of the road was a white out and quite eeirie but beautiful in a strange way.
Skagway is a lovely old town with wooden sidewalks along the street in front of the shops..This was a starting point for the thousands who joined the goldrush to the Klondike in the 1890's and still has the look of a frontier town.There are still quite a few original buildings standing..
Tomorrow we are taking the White Pass Yukon Rail trip up through the mountains in old rail carriages.The weather is freezing so we will be rugged up in all our thermal gear for the trip .
Tonight we are in a lovely B&B which is very cosy and warm..Looking for a good night's sleep...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 18

We left Tok early as we have a big driving day today to get to Whitehorse in the early afternoon...
What a fantastic day it turned out to be...We saw a black bear in the wild!!!!!!yeeha..He was nibbling on the green shoots that are starting to sprout after the snow has melted.We watched him for about 10 minutes as he walked along beside the road and seemed quite oblivious that we were there..Needless to say,no one was getting out of the car !!
Also got a close view of a moose.
Just loving this country...
This is the closest we got to a glacier.An awesome sight.
There's a funny story to be told when we get home as to why we only have a photo of the rear end of the porcupine!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 17

We reached Tok today after a long drive from Wasilla..Saw  a number of moose and a huge hedgehog but only managed to get a rear view of him as he got frightened and waddled off into the forest.
A very light dusting of snow when we stopped for hot chocolate and coffees at a diner..These places are so funny as the walls are covered in notices with messages.Some nice some not so nice but interesting..
They love their guns here!!!!!!
We're in a motel here tonight and it's attached to a restaurant so we had luch after we checked in..Silly me should have known better and asked for the child's size nachos.An absolute mountain was served and quite beyond me being able to get even halfway through it.Am looking forward to some nice home cooked vegies and simple meals...Even Terry is getting a tummy..
The guys have gone to the bar for a nightcap and it's time for a shower and bed as tomorrow is our biggest driving day of the whole trip as we head for Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory..We have to cross the border and go through Canadian customs which is  just near a small town called Beaver Creek.
None of the photos I posted before this of houses was the beautiful one on Lake Lucille in case you were worried!!!!Will send more after I download them...

Day 16

On the road today..Tonight's stop is at Wasilla which took about 3and a half hours from Seward.
Wasilla didn't look too promising but when we drove down the road to our hotel we were really nicely surprised.It was situated beside Lake Lucille and was a beautiful sprawling timber building curved around the lakeside..Inside the walls were covered in fabulous prints of wolves and other wild animals as well as the usual moose/elk/ bear and assorted animal heads mounted on the walls(ugh!)
Our rooms were lovely and had a balcony looking out over the lake..The photos here are not of our hotel!!
All of a sudden we spotted something swimming towards the bank..It was a beaver!!!!!He had a branch in his mouth so was probably building his lodge under the bank..We saw a couple more after that..Didn't expect to see beaver!!!
I've added a couple of photos of Seward as well,Some of the houses were unbelievable and that people lived in them.Remember this is avalanche and earthquake country.The big one in 1964 devasted most of the eastern side of Alaska and there are signs of this everywhere.The lovliest of all the houses are the log cabins.All sizes and shapes.

Day 15

Well,this is the day we've been waiting for and it certainly didn't disappoint..A 5 hour cruise on the North Star Princess into Resurrection Bay.
The day started off a bit misty and freezing cold..We had layers of clothes on so we were ready for anything Mother Nature threw at us...
We had a Park Ranger on board who kept us informed of any wildlife either on land or sea and also had a Junior Rangers club going for the little kids on board..
No sightings for the first hour and then great excitement as a school of Orcas passed by
A huge group of sea lions lounging on the rocks.
Mountain goats high up on the mountain on rocky ledges.
Bald eagles in the trees.A couple on nests.
Humpback whales swimming right by the boat!!
A variety of sea birds like puffins/cormorants and kittiwakes.
On our way back to Seward after having an all you can eat lunch,the ranger excitedly yelled out that their were sea otters just near us.....They are the cutest creatures who float along on their backs with their little heads and flippers sticking up...
Such a wonderful day and especially so to see all that wildlife on the first trip out for the season..

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 14 Seward

This is a great little sea port town..Just what we were hoping for...Lots of history and old buildings. We all had hamburgers for lunch..Huge!!! Also had a cup of seafood chowder which was delicious..The coffee is pretty awful but they do make a good hot chocolate!!(Note the sign.."Cheap beer & lousy food")Decided not to test it....
We wanted to drive then walk up to Exit Glacier but the road was still being worked on so was closed for a few more days..Not to worry as our cruise tomorrow promises to have lots of wildlife including orcas,seals and bird life...We're booke in to the Best Western which is situated on the waterfront..There are many signs around town & in the hotel with instructions for evacuation in case of an earthquake and tsunami!!Makes for a bit of the old nerves getting a workout...Don't like getting in the lift!!Also opposite the harbour are 4 active volcanoes..No sign of life there at the moment thank goodness!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 13 Kenai

Travelled down the Seward again but our destination was Kenai on the Peninsula..This area is supposed to be a real eye opener with scenery and it was on the highway down but the town itself was a bit disappointing..Maybe when the snow covering melts and uncovers all the ugly bits is the reason why it looks old and uninviting..The "beach" has grey sand and no waves.After a quick sight see around we were all starving so found "Paradiso" for lunch..The waitress was a big buxom lady who took a bit of a liking to me and called me Li"l Darlin', much to the others amusement...It was a Greek/Mexican/Alaskan menu and we were all very full at the end!
Checked into the Aspen Suites for the night..Huge room with 2 queen beds/lounge/kitchen/full sized fridge/tv/huge bathroom..Very nice..Leanne has done a load of washing in the hotel laundry but we've been washing and drying our undies each night which suits us ok..Weather got down to 1 degree celcius on the way down but apart from the chill in the wind if you stand out in it for long,the temperature isn't too bad..
Tomorrow we will be in Seward and are booked on a Glacier Tour in Resurrection Bay where we are hoping to see some sea life,hopefully whales.
Just a few more pics from yesterday.
Not much to do here in Kenai ,so it looks like an early night!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012