Alaska 

Days 19 - August 29, 2009

Miles Traveled:

Notable Stops: Left Skagway, Arrived in Teslin, Yukon

Daily High:

Daily Low:

Notable Weather: Soaking rain in Skagway, cleared up in Carcross, Yukon, soaking rain in Teslin but cleared up after we got camp situated

 

A Gusty Night

 

Last night the wind howled and rattled our tarp. The rain pounded our rig all night. Our campsite was between two enormous RV’s (moto-mansions if you will) so instead of feeling like the wind would blow us sideways I felt like we were in a wind tunnel. Each time the wind would gust it would blow between the two moto-mansions that acted as walls on each side of us. The wind would then blow up the outside of the back hatch of the Teardrop, balloon the tarp as the wind worked its way to the exit at the front of the Speedster. Each time this happened the tarp made a horrendous noise and woke me up. Each time I was woken up I would wonder how many more times this could happen until the grommets were torn from the tarp and the tarp was plastered against the side of a $150,000 moto-mansion. At the same time I would wonder how many more hours until the office was open so we could pay for our campsite and get out of town.

 

Starting the Day Off in Skagway

 

Before we got up for the day we heard chatter (from multiple people) outside. They were talking about the car under the tarp and the adventure the young people in the car were on. It seems at least a few of the people we were on the Haines to Skagway ferry with were at the RV park. And they were filling the curious RVers in on our adventure.

 

Finally, it was late enough in the morning that the office should have been open (but it wasn’t). So, we packed up camp and hung around a while longer so we could check the office a few more times. Finally we left a note on the door telling the office guy we’d call him later in the day to pay for our site.

 

With that, we headed down town. We were on a mission to: 1) get the Skagway charms from Diamonds International, 2) get new “waterproof” suits for Matt and me, and 3) get “waterproof” gloves for me.

 

Before we could even make it the few blocks downtown to Diamonds International my rain jacket was soaked through, my “waterproof” hiking boots were leaking and I was in a bad mood because I was already wet and cold and I didn’t feel very good.

 

After getting the charms we discovered new rain suits and waterproof gloves were not going to be found in Skagway as cruise ship tourists typically are not looking for either of these things. Skagway mainly caters to cruise ship tourists. It was too early in the morning for the shops catering to the locals to be open.

 

We did, however, find a “waterproof” jacket and cheap rain ponchos in one of the tourist shops. We bought 5 or 6 rain ponchos and the jacket.

 

After piling on all my layers I was sweating like a stuffed pig and looking forward to cooling off on the road in the Speedster.

 

The drive out of Skagway is supposed to be beautiful. However, through the condensation on my helmet visor, the storm clouds hugging the mountains and the rain the beautiful view looked like polar bears romping in a snowstorm.

 

Crossing the Border Again

 

At the top of the pass out of Skagway we crossed the boarder into Canada again. It was still pouring rain. However, this Canadian customs agent was all smiles. While she did take care of the border crossing business she was friendly and asked questions about the Speedster that were not related to border crossing. Also, I was happy that at least the extra jacket kept my upper body warm.

 

Carcross, Yukon: A Cute Little Town and a Nice Place to Dry Off

 

Finally (after who knows how many hours) we reached the town of Carcross, Yukon. We stopped for gas and lunch. At the café in the gas station we enjoyed excellent hamburgers, fries and Bannock (a local bread).

 

While eating lunch Matt went out to the Speedster for something. There was a group of boys near the car. They asked Matt to crank start the car. Matt told them we weren’t leaving yet and the car has a starter so it doesn’t need crank starting. The boys were not satisfied with this answer. They were so impressed with the crank that they pleaded with Matt to crank start the car. Matt agreed that if they were still there when we left Matt would crank start the car for them.

 

After we ate lunch and were leaving the café one of the boys excitedly rounded up his friends and told them, “They’re leaving! They’re leaving! Hurry, we have to see him crank start the car!” With that all of the boys ran out to the car to watch Matt crank start the Speedster.

 

This time the car was very kind and started for Matt on the second crank. The boys were delighted. Before we left they guessed out loud at what all the peddles on the floor did. After hearing their guesses Matt told them what all the pedals are for.

 

The sun was poking through the clouds in this town and the town is cute so we stuck around after lunch to dry off, take pictures and shop in the oldest general store in operation in the Yukon (the Matthew Watson General Store).

 

After drying off I was in a much better mood.

 

Just out of Carcross we turned off on Highway 8, which bypasses Whitehorse but still goes you to Teslin.

 

At some point along Highway 8 I fell asleep. I have no idea how long I slept for but I do recall Matt stopping to take some pictures along the way.

 

More Rain

 

It started pouring again at some point before Teslin. Earlier in the day we thought about going past Teslin so we wouldn’t have to drive as far tomorrow but when we got to Teslin we were ready to dry off again so we stopped.

 

Teslin

 

We checked into the Yukon Motel and RV Park (the RV park section). We set up camp. As Matt was throwing our wet cloths in the dryer and hanging our sopping wet jackets in the laundry room the clouds broke and the sun began shinning bright.

 

The RV park is right on Teslin Lake (which is a very large lake) and just down the road from the RV park is a bridge crossing the lake. Since the weather was so nice again Matt and I took a walk to the boat ramp next to the bridge to take pictures.

 

The RV park also has a free wild life gallery. So we looked at the gallery after we were done taking pictures.

 

As of now, it is still partly cloudy and the rain has not started back up again. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have nice weather for our drive. Hopefully we’ll also have nice weather when we reach tomorrow’s destination.

 

Campsite in Skagway Speedster and Teardrop at Bove Island Rest Stop
Bove Island Rest Stop Speedster and Teardrop at Gas Station in Carcross
White Pass Yukon Narrow Gauge Train in Carcross
River in Carcross River in Carcross
Train Trestle in Carcross Narrow Gauge Tracks from Skagway to Whitehorse as Seen in Carcross
Carcross Carcross
Speedster and Teardrop in Front of General Store in Carcross Speedster and Teardrop
Bridge in Teslin Bridge in Teslin
Matt Campsite in Teslin
Exhibit at Free Wildlife Gallery at RV Park in Teslin
Alaska 2009

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