We were up at 4.00am. We got a taxi at 5.00 to Savacentre,then got the bus to Gatwick via Heathrow. The bus was early but it wasn’t crowded. It was very busy at Gatwick as it was the start of the Queen’s Jubilee Weekend holiday. Luckily our booking-in desk was away from the rabble! We had a cup of tea/coffee and a pastry, but this was spoilt by several people smoking nearby. While Adrian was in Smiths, and I had gone to the loo, the fire alarm went off. Everyone was told to leave the building. There was much confusion, but people were very calm. We were able to find each other and make our way to our departure lounge. We never did find out what the problem was. We had a text message on the phone from Hil, saying Bon Voyage, and tried to reply.
We had two seats by the window, but soon went into cloud. Our plane was a 777, with 5 centre seats and 2 at each side. We took off just before 11.00 am. The staff weren’t particularly friendly, and the aircraft was grubby and hadn’t been cleaned properly. There was no free booze! Adrian had ordered me a gluten free meal, but there was also no butter or cheese with it! We had individual screens, but both of ours had continual / intermittent interference on the headphones. We watched a film called ‘A Beautiful Mind’, based on the story of Nobel prizewinner John Nash. It was a beautifully acted film, but we saw it in stages - first we saw the end, then much later the start, but it stopped halfway through. Finally we saw the complete film.
Later we had a second snack meal. At one point a bare foot appeared either side of us, from the Asian couple behind us!
We were often in cloud, but we did see some icy wastes, and then flattish, fertile land. Adrian had the window seat. After a flight of over 9 hours, we landed at Dallas. It was very warm and humid (80ºF,27ºC). We chose a good queue to go through Passport Control, then we had to collect all our luggage and then hand it in again (and we had lots!) We asked a nice (Canadian) airport lady, then found the shuttle bus to the other terminal. This was crowded, and it was a long way, and the driver just mumbled each destination. We found our departure lounge, and a young girl did a body search on me! (Rosie) On the way to our aircraft we collected our ‘packed lunch’, but later I had to swap mine for a gluten free one, which had a horrid cinnamon rice cake, and chicken salad.
As we went on to the plane, we chatted to the pilot, Captain Wesley and the First Officer Doug Fergusson (who was British, formerly from RAF Benson!) in the cockpit. They were both very nice, and told us lots about the plane - all that I can remember is that it had Rolls Royce engines! The hostess came up and called us to our seats. We were right at the back, and by now all the lockers were full. There were just 3 seats either side of the gangway, and our aisle seat was occupied by a large overweight man, so it was difficult for us to get settled, and again the hostesses were rather short and sharp.
We had to wait in a queue to take off, but the visibility was good. (I was by the window, and so hoped that I wouldn’t need the loo during the 4½hour flight!) We looked down to circles of fields like pie charts, or our lounge wallpaper in Palmerstone Road! There was also much arid land, and some attractive mountain scenery sometimes dotted with snow. We managed to see Mt. Rainier (still covered in snow, as 2 months ago). We arrived at Seattle at 6.10 pm local time (2.10 am to us!) We were last off the plane - the Captain spoke to us again - then eventually found our way to a taxi. (We had no more formalities here.) We got to Shurgards at Burien at 7.00 pm, and found the ‘Bam’ and unloaded some of our stuff before falling into bed exhausted after 8.00 pm (4.00am!)
Friday 31st May. 100 miles.
We were awake very early (2.30 am!). Later we got a cup of tea and finished unpacking. Adrian filled the water tank. We had another drink and left at about 7.30 am. We headed through Seattle, and then North East and then east. We stopped to shop in 'Fred Meyer', then we had early "elevenses" and got the blue phone going. We got some fuel. Later we stopped for lunch at Sultan, beside the Sultan River (a man had been spraying here). It was warm sunshine, we sat outside and Adrian tried to pump the tyres, afterwards he finished doing them at a garage. We were travelling through lovely green scenery and mountains edged with snow. We went through Start-up and turned off to Wallace Falls State Park. We had a really pleasant walk - it was very green, with some flowers. We followed a short trail with interpretive markers about logging. There was lots of rushing water and waterfalls etc.
We had a cup of tea and chocolate brownie afterwards, sitting outside. We drove on and stopped by Deception Falls. We had a wonderful half-mile loop walk with views of tremendous rushing rivers. At one point we had to climb across one of the rivers.
We continued to Stevens Pass (4061 ft) amongst a lot of snow. There had been streams and waterfalls everywhere. We went to bed early (9.00 pm).
Saturday 1st June. 112 miles.
We were awake very early and then slept lightly until morning. It had been cold in the night. We had breakfast and Adrian fitted the back curtain rail. We left at 9.15 and descended through lovely scenery.
We stopped for photo/ video amongst snow with the new greenery and shoots coming through, and then at Nason Creek for free coffee/ cookie/ apple. We sat outside but unfortunately there were some mossies. We phoned Simon and Laure. We stopped again by rushing Wenatchee River.
We stopped at the lovely Bavarian town of Leavenworth - where there were lots of tourist shops crammed with toys and things to buy. We bought a copper ornament for Si and Laure and several stickers. We had an ice-cream and watched/ listened to a marimba band (like glockenspiels, it sounded like a steel band).
We walked along by the river and then drove on to Pinnacles State Park for lunch. We sat outside by our table but it was very hot (80º F plus). We continued to the Columbia River and then north on the Alt. 97. The scenery was very arid now. We stopped at a viewpoint and then at Earthquake (1872) Point and then at Wells Dam. A chap from Oregon who had just returned from Alaska came and spoke to us. We continued to Pateros and stopped beside the Methow River. A man gave me two trout. Adrian cooked the smaller trout outside.
It rained as we started eating supper so we came in to eat but went back outside for pudding of fruit salad. It was a lovely stop.
Sunday 2nd June. 124 miles.
We were awake early. We had breakfast (fruit) outside, by the river. The rafting vehicles had arrived. We left and continued northwards following the Okanagan River. We stopped by the Caribou Trail marker.
We had coffee at Tomasket at a table by the tourist information then Adrian got some water. It was already hot. We drove on through Oroville, a pretty town and the last in the United States, to Osoyoos Lake State Park. We had a walk by the lake and saw yellow-headed blackbirds on the reeds and yellow irises and waterlilies.
It was windy but warm. We had lunch at a picnic table and then drove on into Canada. There was a stroppy chap in the immigration place causing a rumpus. We drove through Osoyoos and looked at the Canal and then through Oliver to Vaseux Lake Provincial Park. We drove on to Okanagan Falls to get some Canadian money and then visited a vineyard for wine tasting before returning to Vaseux Lake for the night. We had a cup of tea and some walnuts which we had bought at the Winery (these lasted us for the whole of our three-month trip!) in the sunshine by the lake. Beaut! Later we had our first barbecue of some excellent pork.
We sat out by the lake until dusk, which was very late. There were lots of male mallards on the lake. We put the BAM letters on the back of the van.
Monday 3rd June. 186 miles.
We had breakfast outside sitting on our chairs in the sunshine. We left at 8.45, and drove a short distance to the lake boardwalk where we saw a terrapin. We shopped at Okanagan Falls in a nice IGA shop and looked in at the Falls Park, but there were only rapids here, not falls. We had coffee above Skaha Lake, just south of Penticton.
It was warm in the sun. We shopped in 'Canadian Tire' at Penticton and bought a lot of things including a blue tray, two medium-sized plates and a large dish. We drove up the west side of Okanagan Lake and stopped in the Provincial Park and I had a walk by the lake. Afterwards we had lunch beside the lake and then went on through Westbank and then by a floating bridge to Kelowna, both of which were busy. We drove north to Vernon, and then east, it was much greener by now. We stopped by the Shuswap River and then drove over Monashee Pass (1200 metres), where there were lots of trees. We saw three deer. We drove down to the Needles Ferry across the Lower Arrow Lake to Fauquier and then on to Burton where we stopped by the lake. We had seen another deer. We walked out as far as the lake and met a local couple. It was beautiful with mountains all around and some snow.
Tuesday 4th June. 96 miles.
We slept well. We had breakfast and left and drove north to Nakusp on Arrow Lake.
We had visited and loved this place last year and again it was lovely. We parked by the lake and walked along beside it and then back by the road. Adrian did the emptying and then we drove to the other end of town and had coffee above the lake and then viewed this end of the walk. We drove south-east towards New Denver. We stopped to view Summit Lake as last year. We drove past Rosebery, where we stayed one night last year, to New Denver.
We parked by Slocan Lake and had a short lakeside walk and then ate lunch on a log seat by the lake. We drove across the mountains (Zincton Divide) to Kaslo on Kootenay Lake. The scenery was lovely with lots of water flowing everywhere. Kaslo was superb.
I took a photo of the harbour then we visited SS Moyie - an old Sternwheeler - which was excellent. It was a really lovely place with stunning scenery. We drove down beside Kootenay Lake to Ainsworth Hot Springs and had a cup of tea (the water tasted bad so I made a second lot). We chatted to a couple in the other RV who were formerly from Austria. RV parking here was only five Canadian dollars for the night. It was great with lovely views over the lake to the mountains. We spent an hour in the hot pools - there was a cave you could swim through - Brill! Later we walked up towards the pool and spoke to Karl and Stephanie (the Austrian couple) until 11pm.
Wednesday 5th June. 248 miles.
There was some rain in the night and a mixed day followed. There were noisy roadworks at the entrance to the hot springs in the morning. We had breakfast and then left by the steep drive as the other one was closed and drove south to Balfour, then to Nelson (repeat of last year). We stopped to view Kokanee Creek Provincial Park (we had lunch here last year) - it rained now as it had done then. We shopped in Safeway in Nelson for milk and water and also a nice loaf for lunch. We drove south and had coffee by Stewart Creek and shared a lovely donut. There was a rushing white waterfall. We drove on through Salmo - an attractive town with nice houses (and a free RV overnighting place). We continued over the Kootenay Pass Summit (1774 metres) - it was a straight drive up and down for a very long way. We had lunch beside Summit Creek towards the bottom of the descent. We drove on through Creston (crossing last year's route) to Yahk. We pulled into Yahk Provincial Park, but everywhere was flooded. We stopped by Moyie Lake. We drove on through Cranbook - a large and not very pleasant town. We continued down to Elko, and then followed the Elk River, which was very large and brown and flooded. We continued through Fernie (a pleasant ski resort) but the visibility was now bad and we had heavy rain. We managed to pull off just before Sparwood on the way to the Crowsnest Pass.
Thursday 6th June. 162 miles.
We had rain in the night and it was quite cool. We left at 10 o'clock after breakfast, putting our watches on one hour. We stopped at Sparwood and viewed the 'Big Truck' and bought a postcard of it for Felix.
The weather was bright but with a strong cold wind. We ascended the Crowsnest Pass (1396 metres) - the Continental divide -and were now into Alberta. The scenery was attractive with some powdery fresh snow. We had coffee by Crowsnest Lake and then drove on to Frank Slide (1903). We looked at the site of the landslide and the interpretive signs, but we didn't visit the centre.
We turned off to Road 22 north. We stopped in a gateway for lunch by a meandering stream with a lot of ox bows. We drove through Longview where a policeman stopped us for driving too fast past a school (the children were all in school but the limit is still 20 km an hour). We drove on past Okatoks to Calgary and to Simon and Laure's flat.
We met up with them and spent the evening with them, having a short walk around by the Elbow River and then having a meal with them.
We came out to sleep in the Bam at midnight.
Friday 7th June. 93 miles.
We were up late then had breakfast with Simon on his balcony. (Laure was at work). After coffee we drove with Simon in his car and took in my photos to be developed, but they wouldn't be ready until late afternoon, so finally we took them to Walmart. We came back for lunch of omelet with Simon, sitting on the balcony again. We left Simon's place, and collected our photos on the way through Calgary then left for Kananaskis. When we got there we got fuel, propane and emptied the loo, so we arrived at the campsite at the same time as Simon and Laure. We had had some snow on the way. It was very cold but we got settled in and lit a fire and cooked prawns and then pork chops and sat out until 11pm.
Saturday 8th June. In Si's car.
We woke up to snow and it snowed all day!! Si and Laure came in for breakfast of pancakes and we left for a walk through the thick snow to a waterfall!
We came back and had lunch in the Bam then we left in Si's car for Canmore via the Smith Dorien / Spray Trail which was unsurfaced and pretty dodgy through the thick snow. The temperature was 0º C. By Canmore the snow had turned to rain. We had drinks and a cake in a cafe and then Si drove back to Interlakes Campsite via the main road. It was still snowing heavily. Simon and Adrian put up the tarpaulin attached to our "sunshade", then they lit a fire.
We ate outside! - prawn starter, the large trout which the man had given us last week, then chocolate bananas.
We came into the Bam and played Yahtzee and cards.
Sunday 9th June. 84 miles.
It was still snowing when we woke up. Simon and Laure had slept in the car, and in the morning their tent had collapsed under the snow!
We had a late breakfast with them, then we all left at about midday. We stopped to empty the loo, and later to fill the water tank and again to have lunch. The snow now turned to rain - all day! The visibility was very poor. We drove on past Canmore to Banff. We shopped in Safeway (which was being rebuilt), then we got some money and some booze. We had a cup of tea (green tea). We visited the Visitors Centre, which had no leaflets on display, then drove to Two Jacks Lake campsite. We had a short walk by the lake. We ate feta salad then snapper for supper. The evening cleared so we had a pleasant walk by the lake with amazing views to the snowy peaks.
Monday 10th June. 76 miles.
It rained all night! We had breakfast and left late. I took a photo of the lake, but it wasn't still like last night.
We drove to Johnson Lake, but it was still raining, so we didn't have a walk. We saw some ospreys. In Banff we got fuel, a permit, and milk. We visited the "Cave and Basin" and walked around the trails, in the rain! It was the site where the first hot springs were found.
We drove to the Upper Springs and had our lunch in the Bam, and then visited the Hot Pool in the rain! It was lovely! Both phones worked - we had e-mails and later a phone call (to the wrong number)! We drove on the new road towards Lake Louise, and turned off at Castle Mountain to walk to Silverton Falls. This was a pleasant walk, as it had now stopped raining. We eventually got to the foot of the Falls, but a landslide prevented us from getting to the top. We then drove on the old road to Lake Louise campsite. We had to queue to book in, and then we drove 14 kilometres to Moraine Lake.
Icy Moraine Lake
We walked the trail along beside the lake and back - it was very snowy and the lake was mostly frozen. It was very cold, but there was a lovely smell of pine. We drove back to Lake Louise campsite, arriving at 7.30 pm. I cooked steak and mushrooms and then we left for a delightful walk along beside the Bow River at 9.15, getting back at 10.30 pm.
Tuesday 11th June. Icefields Parkway 89 miles.
It was a fair morning. We had breakfast then left to do the dumping (bloody Krauts pushed in, but eventually they took longer). We drove on to Lake Louise, which was frozen. It was too snowy to walk to Fairview Lookout as we had planned, so we walked by the lake. A man was playing an alpine horn, and hearing Amazing Grace in this situation was lovely.
Frozen Lake Louise
There were a lot of tourists here. We had coffee soon afterwards beside the road and then we stopped to view Crowsfoot Glacier.
A bit further on we stopped to walk to Peyto Lake, but this was all through thick snow and ice so it was very difficult! Again the lake was frozen.
We arrived back at the Bam at 1.15 so had lunch beside the road soon afterwards. We stopped to walk to Mistaya Canyon, which had scoured out potholes. We were now not in snow and it was warmer with some sun. We were following the North Saskatchewan River. We saw a bear beside the road.
The scenery was stunning. We drove up "Big Hill" and viewed the Bridal Veil Falls, but there was no track visible to walk.
We now drove back into a lot of snow and into Jasper National Park. We stopped at the Icefields Centre opposite the Glacier. We visited the large Visitors Centre then came back for supper of tortillas. Afterwards we left at 8.00 to walk to the Athabasca Glacier, getting back at 9.30 pm.
Aspects of Athabasca
Wednesday 12th June. 66 miles.
It was a really beautiful day. We walked back to the Icefields Centre and booked on to the first (9 a.m) Icefields tour. It was brilliant! There were very few on our tour - about 12 people. We had a pleasant driver called Marcus to the snowmobile, and then a delightful young lady Alex on to the glacier. She said there were only about 10 days a year as perfect as this. We spent a good half hour on the glacier - viewing and photographing.
We were driven back down by the manager, Ed. He was the man we had spoken to last night about the tour. It was just perfect. Alex said it had probably been the coldest spring ever here! Back at the Icefields Centre we bought postcards and two place mats and then had coffee sitting outside the Bam with the most wonderful view ever! We put out the awning to dry in the sun.
We set off at about 11.15 on the Icefields Parkway towards Jasper. Very soon we saw big horned sheep on the road, just by the very pretty Tangle Falls.
We stopped many times to view the fantastic scenery of the Sunwapta Valley. We stopped to view the Sunwapta Falls (as in 1989).
These went through a very narrow gap. We had lunch afterwards sitting at a picnic table above the falls. We now followed the Athabasca Valleyand saw lots of mountain goats beside the road (goat lick) - and then I took one of the Athabasca Valley with Mounts Christie and Brussels.
We visited the Athabasca Falls (as in 1989) but I was very distressed to find out that a 21 year-old boy called Roger had fallen here and drowned on Sunday. They were searching for his body.
Soon afterwards we saw some wapiti on the road. We also viewed Mount Edith Cavell in the distance before stopping to walk the Valley of the five lakes. This was a delightful three-mile walk with wild flowers (calypso orchids, violets, mini strawberry). The first and last lakes were lovely - we had a paddle at both, and a cup of tea from our flask. It was very warm - we should have worn our shorts.
Our five lakes walk
We were upset on our return to the car-park to see that the first car had just been broken into and a chap was driving off.
We now drove to Jasper, and looked at Wapiti campsite (1989) but it was closed. However the huge Whistlers site was open. We got some wood and lit a fire, but it was still warm.
We had a Barbie of pork and sausage and then sat out by the fire. It was really warm and very quiet, there were no other people.
Thursday 13th June. 70 Miles.
We woke late to a beautiful day, which was chilly at first and then very hot. We left after breakfast and drove through Jasper where we got another permit, then we headed for Maligne Lake road. We saw several deer/wapiti on our way to Medicine Lake.
We stopped here for coffee (visited in 1989, but no further). We continued to Maligne Lake and walked to the Loop Trail. The boat to Spirit Island was not running as the lake was still apparently frozen in parts, and they were training the staff for the start of the season.
We had lunch at a picnic table, but the sun was now behind a cloud. We drove back along Maligne Lake road and stopped at the far end of Medicine Lake, and then at Maligne Canyon (visited 1989).
Here we walked to past the 4th Bridge and back. It was very hot. We stopped at an extravagant lookout afterwards and then drove back to Jasper. We did some shopping for food and later for booze, and took in some photos to be done. We drove back to Whistlers campsite where we collected wood and then lit the fire again. There were some wapiti around. We sat out until 11 o'clock and had a short walk before coming in. There was much more activity around the campsite tonight.
Friday 14th June. 92 miles.
It was another beautiful day. We were up later than we intended. We had breakfast outside, but it was cool under the trees. We drove back intoJasper where we collected my photos, did the washing, then received and sent e-mails before doing a bit of shopping and then having coffee. We got some fuel. We drove to Patricia Lake and then Pyramid Lake where we had lunch on a log beside the lake before walking to a little island.
It looked lovely with Mount Pyramid up behind it. We drove back towards Jasper, stopping to walk briefly by Cottonwood Slough (no wildlife). We had an e-mail on the phone from Nicky to say that her sister Debbie had had a little boy James Alexander 9lb 7oz, today. We left Jasper and followed through the Yellowhead Pass, where the scenery was still lovely. We left Jasper National Park and Alberta for British Columbia and Mount Robson Provincial Park (time one hour back). We stopped by the Fraser River - I had a little walk by the river. We stopped to view Moose Lake and then at Mount Robson - highest mountain in the Rockies.
We briefly visited the Visitors Centre and then drove back up the hill and walked to the Overlander Falls.
We then drove back past Mount Robson and stopped at Mount Terry Fox Rest Area (Adrian spoke to two men with two huge container lorries of cattle) and then on past Tete Jaune. We left our 1989 route now. We stopped for the night at a rest area beside Small Creek. Adrian cooked fish outside and we ate at a picnic table. We had a short walk along the river, which was very full and rushing.
Saturday 15th June. 177 miles
The weather was grey at first, but it turned very warm with some sun. We left early after breakfast and continued on Road 16. We "jogged off" to drive through McBride, which had a steam train on its road signs. We continued on road 16 (following the Fraser River). It was pleasant forested country. We saw a moose (we think) and also five bears! - a mother and baby, another one crossed the road, later we saw another one and then we saw one in the distance.
We had coffee by Slim Creek (Rest Area) - inside because of the mossies. We had lunch by Purden Lake, and then I had a swim in the lake, which was yellow with pollen on the surface. There were a lot of families enjoying themselves here. We stopped again to walk up to a moose lookout, but the platform was broken and there were no moose (read mossies instead!). We continued to Prince George. Adrian bought a bit for the water tank (and later took it back) and also a map of the Canadian provinces to put on our door. We drove to Pine Mall car-park and had a cup of tea and then to the Tourist Information to ask about hiring bikes. We proceeded there at 5.00 pm and were given some wonderful bikes - paying no deposit! We cycled to the river, but the path was very flooded. We cycled in the other direction and got back for 6 o'clock.
We drove on to Canada Tire, which was closed ,and then back to Pine Mall car-park. We walked out to a little park and then around the car-park. We decided to move to the far side of the parking area. There had been a storm imminent, but it passed by.
Sunday 16th June - Fathers Day. 121 miles
We moved on to Cottonwood Park for breakfast, of bacon pancakes. We had a short walk, but the park was flooded. There were lots of wild roses. A chap came to talk to us about the local area and beavers etc. We drove to Canada Tire to buy a jack for the van, but then went on to a second place and bought a wheel nut remover. We drove through University Park and saw a moose. We got some fuel and then left Prince George on route 16 West. We stopped for lunch at Berman Lake. We had a short walk around. People were in canoes and having instruction. We had driven offRoute 16 on a dirt road so now drove back .We saw a bear beside the road. The country was flatter and rolling and forested with hills in the distance. We drove through Vanderhoof and then turned off north to Fort St James.
We had a lovely tour of this historic site (Hudson’s Bay Company) with some really pleasant 'guides' in costume. There was a chilly wind blowing off Stuart Lake. We drove through Fort St James and viewed the Catholic Church, 1873, Russ Baker (bush pilot Pioneer) memorial and a German float plane model.
We used the dump station here. We found a place to stop for the night by the Stuart River. Adrian fixed up the Canada map on the door. We saw a deer outside the van.
Monday 17th June. 130 miles
It rained all day! We woke late and left after breakfast at 10.30 am. We drove back to Route 16, and then we had coffee in a mucky lay-by. We drove on to Fraser Lake and had lunch of bacon sandwiches in the Bam, beside the lake. We drove on to Burns Lake and shopped in Overwaitea (we were not very impressed). We drove south on Route 35 to Francois Lake and decided to stop for the night beside the lake at Mclure Pit Campsite. The rain stopped! We had a fire and a Barbie of steak. Beaut! We had a short walk by the lake.
Tuesday 18th June. 161 miles
It was a nice day, but had been cold in the night. We had breakfast outside then drove back beside the lake, through some mist, and then back to Burns Lake. We bought a loaf and some donuts in the bakers and had coffee in a rest area soon afterwards. We had seen another moose. We stopped at Houston (longest fishing rod in the world) and visited the tourist information and pleasant Steelhead Park, where there were lots of flowers.
We had lunch here, sitting outside, and then Adrian did the filling and emptying. We followed the Bulkley River Valley which was very full, brown and flooded. We stopped at Telkwa to see the confluence of the River Telkwa with the River Bulkley - they were both over full. We got some fuel at Smithers - a largish "Alpine resort" with snow topped Hudson’s Bay Mountain behind it. At Moricetown we viewed the canyon, which again was over-full and brown. We drove on to Hazelton, through New Hazelton and over a dramatic suspension bridge to Old Hazelton. We stopped in Ksan campsite beside the river. Adrian lit the fire. It was a beautiful evening - the sun came out.
A lady came to talk to us, hoping to exchange videos and have a chat. A young "Dolly Parton" lady was walking five laps of the campsite as exercise for her high blood pressure. She chatted to us each time she passed. We came in at 10.30 pm.
Wednesday 19th June 151 miles
It was a cloudy day. We were up late. The lady was walking her laps of the campsite again [she came from Queen Charlotte Islands, and was the reason that we went there in 2009]. We left after breakfast, at gone 10.00 and visited the adjacent Ksan village.
This was rather disappointing, - there were several buildings, none of which were open, a small museum and a gift shop. We drove into Old Hazelton and walked around the interesting old riverstop town. We had coffee by the river (the Skeena and Bulkley rivers join here). We drove back to Route 16, stopping by the bridge, and then continued westwards. We drove through he Indian village of Kitseguecla and saw a few totem poles, and then we turned off to Kitwanga and viewed the site of Kitwanga Fort and then saw more totem poles at Kitwanga Village. We bought some firewood. We had lunch soon after at Seven Sisters viewpoint lay-by, but it was still cloudy. We stopped again by Kleansa Creek with a view of the canyon. A little squirrel was running around. We saw and photographed another black bear beside the road.
We passed the very tiny chapel at Usk. We turned off just before Terrace and drove 60 kilometres of uneventful road to Kitimat. We were surprised to find that it was a large industrial town. We turned off several kilometres to Kitimaat Village and stopped beside the Douglas Channel. The sky cleared and the sun came out and we went for a walk along beside the water.
Thursday 20th June 163 miles
It was a nice sunny day. We were awake early, had breakfast then left before 8 am! We drove back to Terrace, stopping to view Lakelse Lake on the way. In Terrace we got some propane and did the dumping and drove to the Heritage Park, but didn't stop, and then had a quick shop in Safeway. We had coffee beside the Kalum / Skeena Rivers, which had been really flooded. A chap with two dogs came to talk to us about fishing here. We continued towards Prince Rupert through lovely scenery. We had lunch at a picnic table at the mouth of the Skeena River (a young German chap came and jumped onto our picnic table to take a photo).
We drove on to Port Edward and the Pacific Coast Cannery and had a walk around.
We drove on to Prince Rupert. Adrian collected the post. We sent birthday cards to Emma and Felix. We drove to the ferry terminal and Adrian booked in for tomorrow's boat journey. We drove back to Cow Bay and walked around. We drove around but couldn't find anywhere to stop for the night so went back to the ferry terminal and stayed there.
Friday 21st June. On the boat. (0.3 miles in the Bam first)
The alarms went at 6.00 am - we got up and got in line for the ferry. There was lots of hanging around - we were almost the last on. We had to put our clocks back one hour.
We watched the scenery from the boat for a while, and then had coffee (the machine wouldn't work) /tea and a bun. Later we had our own sandwiches for lunch. There were lots of nice pictures and murals etc. on the boat. We watched two videos - one of the rain forest and one of the Inside Passage. We stopped for about one hour at Ketchikan, and went ashore, but it was too far out of town to do anything, we just bought some stamps. Back on board we had a cup of tea in our "roomette". Later we watched a presentation on whales/dolphins etc. We saw two whales and some dolphins. We had supper after a drink in the bar - the barman had lived as a child in East Anglia. We sat and stood, watching the view until very late (midnight) after travelling 22 miles down the Wrangell Channel which was very narrow with lights and "leading lights".
We came to sleep in our "roomette" on the MV Kenicott
Saturday 22nd June. 31 miles
We were awake very early (5.00am). We got up early and had a cup of tea/coffee and a really delicious apple turnover, and then we watched until we approached Juneau.
We arrived early (for 8.15 am) but there was a problem with the vehicle behind us which had no keys! We had to wait three-quarters of an hour! We drove off into Juneau and stopped first by Lake Auke.
The scenery was really beautiful - we could see the Mendenhall Glacier. We had also seen it from the boat. In Juneau we parked and spent a lot of time walking around sorting out trips. There were several huge cruise ships in. The library was not open until mid-day. We went to the library for 12 o'clock, but it was very busy so we only had 15 minutes on the Internet. We booked on to the Tracy Arm Glacier trip for Monday. We had halibut burger for lunch, sitting on the front. It was delicious.
We drove on to Mendenhall Glacier and along with many others we viewed this and then walked to the base of the waterfall, which was really nice.
We also had a mile-and-a-half moraine walk in the warm sunshine. We drove to Mendenhall Lake Campsite which was very nice and then walked along by the lake to pay and then back by a trail. We had a fire and drank some Pinot Gris from British Columbia then had a short walk.
Sunday 23rd June. 48 miles.
We were up late. After breakfast we cleaned the outside of the Bam. Adrian did the emptying and filling. We had a cup of tea/coffee and it was now after midday. We drove to Fred Meyer and did a big shop and got the photos done. We drove back to have lunch by Lake Auke and then we drove west for a few miles, and then back to Juneau. We called in at the harbour office to ask about free camping tonight and then went on to the library to send an e-mail. Hopefully it went OK. We walked around a bit and then bought an ice-cream by the wharf. We drove up to view the octagonal St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and then drove across the bridge to Douglas Island. We got some fuel and then stopped at Savikko Park. I cooked some delicious salmon. We enjoyed watching a little girl walking out across the beach to "swim". Later we had a lovely walk out along on the beach ourselves.
Monday 24th June. 20 miles.
The alarm went at 6.30 am. We got up and drove round to the Coast guards car-park at Juneau and had breakfast and then left at 8.15 am on a boat trip to Tracy Arm. We went down Gastineau Channel between Juneau and Douglas Island and saw Savikko Beach where we had stayed last night and the pilings of Treadmill Mine. We continued down Stephen Passage and saw a humpback whale, and later another, and some dolphins. We had free coffee, and a bun (our own, and then a free one later). It was rough for a short time, but mostly calm. We had a glimpse of sun but the weather turned to rain. We stopped to view and photograph a wonderful, very blue iceberg. We stopped by Jakes Waterfall and then saw many more waterfalls which fell right into the sea. We stopped a long time by South Sawyer Glacier where there were lots of icebergs in the water. Bits kept crashing off the glacier (calving). There were lots of seals on the icebergs and also there were some birds around.
Tuesday 25th June. 7 miles in Bam
The alarms went at 4.30 am! We got up to book in for the 7 o'clock ferry to Haines. We left soon after 7am. It was a variable day with some sun and some rain. We had breakfast on the boat - we shared scrambled egg, bacon, fried potatoes and toast. We saw several whales (one "breaching") and some dolphins. We saw Herbert Glacier.
Wednesday 26th June 52 Miles
It rained in the night. We got up late and left after breakfast at gone 10 o'clock. We drove back to the salmon leap and I turned back to take a photo and then we saw a grizzly bear! We watched him for some time.
Thursday 27th June 117 miles (we had passed 10,000 miles in the Bam)
We had breakfast then left late. We turned off to drive through the Indian village of Klukwan. Back on the Haines Highway we soon came into Canada - British Columbia. We had coffee at "Historic mile 48" at the site of a slide - the mountains looked like zebras, striped with snow. We were at Seltat Creek.
Friday 28th June. 89 miles.
We were awake early (we realised that Yukon time is one hour on, not back, so we were not so early! - we are not changing time just for a few days). After breakfast we drove round to view Kathleen Lake in the morning light, and then continued north. We stopped to view Kathleen Lake again from the road and then continued to Haines Junction. We went into the Visitors Centre (a photo presentation of Kluane), then to the bakers, and then had coffee sitting outside. Afterwards we did a shop, and then got some fuel. We also read the markers about Haines Junction. We continued now on the Alaskan Highway. We stopped to walk the 700 metres Spruce Beetle Trail, but this was spoilt by mosquitoes! We had lunch soon afterwards beside the road. We went through a section of long and dusty and mucky and bumpy road works before Kluane Lake. We went into the Sheep Mountain Visitors Centre (but no Dall sheep). Just afterwards we walked the Soldiers Summit Trail, a 500 metre walk up the original Alaskan Highway to the site where the road was opened on 20th November 1942. .
Saturday 29th June. 165 miles
We saw the sun rise with beautiful colours at about 3.15 am. We set the alarm and got up at 6am and drove up the road to ring Emma. We also spoke to Nuria and to Paul. (they were all meeting today for Emma's and Felix's birthdays). We had breakfast in a lay-by just afterwards. We continued on the Alaska Highway, which had a variable surface! We drove past Burwash Landing and stopped to view Kluane River on the right, in warm sunshine and then the Donjek River and Icefield Ranges, with Mount Logan looking like icing sugar. Again there were mossies. We bought a large "Chelsea bun" at the Pine Valley Motel Bakery from an unamused "John Cleese" type of man. Soon afterwards we saw a grey wolf! We stopped at Pickhandle Lake and had a coffee and a bun by the water and had a long chat to a chap called Josh from Fairbanks (originally from Victoria BC). We stopped at Snag Lake, then drove on to Beaver Creek. There was a strange Catholic Church here.
Sunday 30th June. 67 miles
We woke very late - 9.15 ! We had breakfast then left at 10.30. We continued north on the Alaskan Highway. We had coffee at a ‘lookout’, and ate the rest of the Chelsea bun. We drove on to Tok and went into the Visitors Centre and Land Management Centre. We got lots of leaflets and bought the "Milepost" book of Alaska. We had lunch in the Bam then drove back to Gateway Salmon Bake and booked into the RV park (free with dinner booked for tonight)! We looked through a lot of the leaflets we had just got. We did the dumping and got some water and then went over and had our meal of salmon/reindeer sausage; salmon chowder and salad at the "Salmon Bake". We came back and looked through more of the leaflets.
We talked to a couple from New Mexico. We came to the US Customs and got some fuel and soon visited the Tetlin Refuge Visitors Centre. I bought an Alaskan ABC book for Felix). It was very hot. We looked out over miles of wilderness. At a lookout Josh passed us again. We stopped at Deadman's Lake (free) campground. We had a short walk out through the site, then lit the fire. There was a dramatic sky with a double rainbow with four repeats on one arc.
Rosie at Wallace Falls
Arriving back at the van in Seattle
The Bam in the snow
The rushing Wenatchee River
Leavenworth - are we in the USA?
Cooking our donated trout by the Methow River
The Caribou Trail
Osoyoos Lake, Washington State
Barbecueing, Vaseux Lake, BC
Skaha Lake, BC
Adrian by the Big Truck at Sparwood
Frank (Land) Slide, British Columbia
Simon & Laure outside their flat in Calgary
With Simon, Laure on their balcony
Cheers to Simon & Laure’s recent engagement
Laure in the snow
Is this summer?
Simon with our large trout
Simon & Laure’s collapsed tent
Two Jacks Lake
The original Banff Hot Springs
Bow River, Lake Louise
Frozen Bow Lake and a Crow at Crowsfoot Galcier
Frozen Peyto Lake
Our first bear this time
The road up the ‘big hill’
Where the glacier reached when Adrian was born
The wonderful Athabasca Glacier
Big Horned Sheep
Adrian at his happiest
Lake Patricia and Pyramid Lake
Moose Lake and Mount Robson
Overlander Falls with Mt Terry Fox behind
Mother and baby bears
Rosie on a smart bike
Fort St James
This is the life
The mission church at Fort St James
After the rain
Adrian by ‘the longest fishing line’ in the world - Houston
By the fire, Ksan Campsite
Another black bear
Douglas Channel from Kitimat Village
Mouth of the Skeena River
The lovely sky from the ferry terminal at Prince Rupert
The Inside Passage
The sun goes down on the longest day
Mendenhall Glacier from the boat at Juneau
Yummy freshly cooked Halibut Burger
Little girl carrying her lilo for a ‘swim’
At the Alaska Border
Pilings at Douglas, Juneau
We moved on to North Sawyer Glacier, which was also wonderful, very blue, but with no icebergs in the water. We stopped by another waterfall with flowers (red aquilegia in particular). We had also seen mountain goats high up .We saw a bald eagle on an iceberg, which was beautiful.
South Sawyer Glacier
It was a long journey back. We had a cup of tea and arrived back at Juneau at about 6 o'clock. We set off in the Bam and stopped at Safeway to buy some drinking water and then stopped briefly at a different viewpoint to the Mendenhall Glacier and then we drove on to Auke Bay, overlooking the water to have a drink. We drove back to the ferry terminal for the night. There were lovely views. I cooked "medium easy peel prawns".
North Sawyer Glacier
We had a talk on the gold rush "Stampeders" and later, one on Haines. We arrived there just before midday and drove to Chilkoot Lake campsite. We had lunch (lovely crisped French bread) and then booked in. We found out that there were no walking trails here as it is bear country so we walked back along the road to the weir where salmon were supposed to be leaping. We did see one or two. We also watched a pair of dippers "courting", but no bears. We walked back and I wrote some postcards. We had a fire and cooked halibut. It was a great view, but the camp hosts were running their generator. We complained to them when they walked by but they weren't interested. We came in at 10 o'clock as it began to rain.
We drove on into Haines and bought a loaf from the bakers, and also a card for Ruth and a picture of Haines for Rosemarie (her maiden name). We shopped in IGA and then visited the launderette. We had lunch in the Bam on the front then went to the post office and posted some cards and collected our washing from the launderette. We visited the library, but there were no Internet places free until 3.30 (it was now 2.45). We went on to the Swimming Pool, but it was closed from 3 o'clock until 4.30. We drove along Mud Bay Road to Chilkat Park (some of this was dirt road) and viewed two glaciers, the Davidson and the Rainbow glaciers (one was hanging, the other had a waterfall).
We talked to the camp host here and to some other people and we watched some humming birds. We drove back to the library as it was now gone 4 o'clock and read e-mails. We then had a lovely swim in the swimming pool. We saw a place to do the emptying and filling and we also checked the tyres and got some fuel. We left Haines at 6.15 on the Haines Highway and stopped beside the road and river at nearly 7 o'clock. I cooked veal and rice for supper. At the Bald eagle Preserve by the Chilkat River.
Davidson and Rainbow Glaciers
We stopped at Haines Summit - 1070 metres which was moorland like Scotland. We had lunch before we reached the Yukon, beside a small lake. We drove through the Indian village of Kukshu where we saw some fishing traps. We stopped to view Dezadeash Lake, which was very pretty - we had passed 'Gribble Gulch'! We saw some birds called yellow legs. We walked the Rock Glacier Trail then stopped at Kathleen Lake.
‘Zebra striped mountains’
The sun was warm but it was windy. We drove round to the campsite here and decided to stay. We walked down to the lake and back, then lit a fire and cooked excellent pork with pepper, potatoes and mushrooms. It was a fine evening.
Adrian on the Rock Glacier Trail at Kathleen Lake
We drove on up beside Lake Kluane. We drove around Congdon Creek Campground but decided to move on. We stayed beside Kluane Lake at Destruction Bay. We walked along the lake one way before supper (of salmon) and the other way afterwards. It was a lovely sky, with a Midnight Sun
Adrian on the Soldiers Summit Trail, Kluane Lake
Josh passed us as we were viewing it. We went into the Visitors' Information and talked to a long-haired chap who owned a Chevrolet. Outside there were models and information boards - we had lunch here. We came to the Canadian Customs point (30 kilometres to the US). We saw a moose and young. We crossed the 141st meridian - the border between Alaska and Yukon.