This is the fourth in a continuing series about our trip through Canada to Alaska
Saturday’s leg of the trip north to “Seward’s Folly” was another eight hours of being swaddled in beauty. The entire route from Oliver to Canyon Hot Springs borders lakes, including Lake Kalamalaka, “The Lake of Many Colors.” Above us for most of the way were 8,000-foot snow-capped mountains, and along the road were a myriad of different colors of green, in an endless variety of textures.
Did we enjoy the ride? You bet-cha! Except for a nightmare of trailer maneuvering driving around the City of Vernon, British Columbia, trying to find a sporting goods store with someone competent enough to sell me the right rod and reel for future attempts at landing salmon. More on that in a later chapter.
Monique and I traveled alone today, playing leapfrog with many other members of the caravan, as we each chose different stops on the route. We could all go where we wanted as long as we arrived at the night’s campground by 4:30 p.m.
Members of the group reported seeing eagles landing in their nest, deer, a bear next to the highway, and not-too-wild life at attractions en route.
I’ll take this opportunity to respond to a few questions. First of all, our own question before signing up: Did we really want to be part of a group for 58 days? Our answer is that there is no one in the caravan with whom we wouldn’t enjoy having dinner. It’s a fun-loving, adventurous group. We consider ourselves lucky to be on this trip.
How do we communicate on the road? Each night Ken Adams, our Wagonmaster, previews the next day’s trip, supplemented by our tailgunner, Spence Schaaf’s input, so we hit the road with a good idea of what to do and how to get there. We each have a CB radio to let Spence’s wife Madi know that we are leaving. Throughout the day, we can, but don’t have to let Spence know of delays on the road, but we try to tell him if we will be in camp late. In these mountains and curvy roads, the CB transmission rarely works, so we do the best we can.
We all have cellphones, but Monique and I have ours turned off. As we understand it, every time it searches for the network, it runs up the bill. We called AT&T, our provider, and paid for a reduced per-minute rate when we use the phone in Canada, but it’s still expensive since we are paying a roaming charge. Several other members of the crew I talked with aren’t sure what their arrangement is.
In addition, Monique and I bought 100 minutes per month of air time through OnStar in our truck. It apparently picks up signals from any cell tower around, not from a satellite as I was expecting. There are no additional fees for calls in Canada. And once we get into Alaska, we’re back on our regular plan, same as in the lower 48.
WiFi is available most places: however, my connection last night faded away, so this is being posted 12 hours later.
Should you make the trip on your own or with a group? We’re enjoying the experience, but I suggest that you keep asking others about their trip to Alaska and continue reading about our experiences.
Can you get fuel and services in Canada and Alaska? From what we hear, a drop in tourism has taken a toll on service stations along the way, but we don’t expect to have any real problems filling up or getting repairs.
Bad roads destroy RVs. Many of the people we talked with had some kind of damage, usually nothing more than a rock in the windshield, but nobody had any real, lasting problems. There are bad roads and hazards, but most of the roads are fine in spring and summer.
And as for specific questions about things we’ve seen, in order to keep these blogs to a minimum, I leave out much of the detail. You are invited to search the web for more information.
And, as I intimated in the previous article, we spend lots of hours on the road, then have a travel briefing followed by a social get-together. That doesn’t leave lots of time for writing and processing photos, but I appreciate the opportunity to share the trip with people of like minds.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.