Roach Road Trip: Days 1 - 3: Anchorage, AK to Cassiar HWY, British Columbia
May 25 - 27, 2008
May 25 - 27, 2008
We've finally hit the road again. We find love is traveling to visit friends. The Roach Clan is on the road again. (Sorry Willy Nelson....)
**Warning - Long Post Ahead **
We departed Anchorage a few hours later than we'd hoped. Our estimated time of departure was around 2:00pm and we actually pulled out of the driveway around 5:30pm. Thoughts crossed our mind to actually bag leaving so late & just leaving early the next morning. This also would have allowed us to make a last minute visit w/friends for a BBQ. Alas, the boys were adamant that we hit the road then, so we did.
First stop - Gas Station & checking the air in the tires. We purchased new tires last year after our 11,000 mile trip. In order to maximize our fuel efficiency, we wanted to be sure to have the tires inflated to the correct pressure. Of course, determining the correct amount of pressure proved to be more difficult.
Here's Wade trying to see what the VW manufacturer claims to be the correct pressure. The side of the tires said max pressure is 70 psi. WOW!! So - Wade tried inflating it & actually reached 60 psi before I found the paperwork for the new tires stating the pressure should be 40 psi, so Wade released some of the air. Good thing - there are several bumps along the highway could have proved disastrous w/over inflated tires.
Whew - heading the right way.
Here is the view from our first 'campground'. Around 10:30 pm we decided to pull off & call it a night. Just a big quarry - a perfect stop for 2 boys. It took quite a bit of convincing that we did not need to take every 'cool rock' they found. We hadn't even left Alaska yet.
This is Kluane Lake - located in the Yukon Territory. It still had a thin layer of ice on the surface. As you can see, the weather was fantastic. This was a welcome change after the cool spring we encountered in Anchorage. The temps was hot - I'd estimate in the high 70°s easily.
This is Haines Junction. At this point along the journey, you have a choice to continue East along the Alaska Highway, or head south west into Haines, Alaska. For travelers heading to the Lower 48 along the Alaska Marine Highway (ie "Ferry"), you'd head toward Haines. Last year when we passed through Haines Junction, it was pouring rain.
This year we took a slightly different route. Instead of continuing along the Alaska Highway, about 13 miles West of Watson Lake (where "Sign Post Forrest" is located) we turned and headed south along the Cassiar Highway (Highway 37). Last year we wanted to return to AK via the Cassiar, but the highway was closed due to mud slides. The photo above is of the Coast Mountains.
Campsite #3 - Kinaskan Lake Provincial Campground. This is located about halfway along the Cassiar (around 200 miles-ish). Perfect camping area - next to a lake w/a shallow edge so the boys could play. According to the campground hostess, the ice had just melted off a couple of days before. I'll say it again - the Canadian Provincial campgrounds are amazing - clean, cheap ($15 Canadian) w/clean pit toilets, firewood, etc. It's also a great way to meet other travelers.
We had an artichoke we rescued from our refrigerator. Cooked over the campfire & it provided a nice treat.
We did see some wildlife, but not as much as last year during our trip south. I think that may have been to the high temperatures & that we are traveling about 3 weeks earlier than last year. Here is one of the 3 Black Bears we saw. We also saw 5 moose, but since I see those quite frequently they aren't considered 'blog worthy'.
Up Next.... Our Canadian Souvenir & Some Knitting....