Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oh, We Have Your Credit Card

(The whole Yukon Adventure starts with the June 12th Post - )

When I walked into the restaurant at Rancheria, the gal looked at me, reached back on the shelf behind her and said, “Oh, we have your credit Card”. What a wonderful and welcome phrase.

How many places could you leave your credit card; come back five days later; and, not only did they still have your card, they knew it was yours when you walked in?

I started breathing again!!

Instead of retracing our steps back down the Alaska Highway, we hopped onto Highway 1 west and headed towards the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (Highway 37) and Prince George, BC.

Dare I say that the wilderness and scenery along this winding hilly road is more spectacular than along the Alaska Highway?

We started to relax again at Boya Lake Park – a wonderful little campground with intensive blue water reflecting the hills on the other side.

Our site came complete with its own Whiskey-Jack and wildflowers and no rain!

Back on the road, our spirits were lifted and we planned to stop at a couple of First Nations Heritage sites before we left Highway 37 and headed towards civilization.

And then it happened – Boom! After we found a place to pull-off, we discovered that the inside rear tire had blown!

OMG – now what do we do? We have Road-side Service (won’t leave home without it) BUT – how do you contact the Service if there is no telephone or cell serve?

Then folks we had met at the Jade Shop we stopped at pulled-in.

“Got a Problem”? they asked.

After about an hour and a lot of help, we got the spare tire on and went on our way with no spare. (Oh, it had stopped raining for a couple of hours) – so much for exploring anything.

We checked every tire shop in Smithers but they had no tire to match – we got a mismatch in Houston, BC that would do us until be got home.

Well, that’s our Yukon Adventure and it was an Adventure.

We are both glad that we went but (at this point) doubt if we would consider doing it again.

Things I forgot to remember

• Cell phone connections are sparse in unpopulated areas. Be prepared to be out of contact with the outside world for significant blocks of time.

• Also Road Service does little good if you cannot contact them.

• Make sure the tire jack is strong enough to jack up and hold your RV. Carry wood to block up the jack.

• Likely the next place to repair or replace the tire will not have a tire to match.

• Prices of fuel (as well as other things) are significantly higher in remote locations.

• The weather will never co-operate.

• Even though the road is paved, there are potholes big enough to swallow a semi-trailer. Big potholes mean blown tires.

But it was a great trip anyway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Whitehorse and the 2 half days Without Rain

We really didn’t do Whitehorse justice. I know there is a lot to see and do but neither of us where in the mood to explore and enjoy the attractions.

One good thing about travelling in the rain is that it doesn’t take long to pack up and move because we don’t unpack in the first place.

Again we realize just how affected we are by the weather. When the weather is good we tour; find great places and things; and love to explore but come the wind, rain, or snow – both of us tend to fall into a blue funk. That’s what happened in Whitehorse.

It was before noon when we pulled into the Wolf Creek Campground – a Provincial Park just south of Whitehorse. It was cold and rainy and the gentle creek that ran through the park was raging. We unhitched the car and headed for town.

Oh yes, it was raining but we decided to hit the Visitor Information Centres between the rain drops and go in to do the domestic chores (groceries and laundry) the next day.

Our first stop was at the SS Klondike. We never realized that the Sternwheeler would be a Parks Canada Historic Site but it makes sense.

Even before the Europeans came to the North, the Yukon River was the primary travel route. Native tribes moved from one camp site to another during the seasons following the fish and game. Whitehorse would be the site of seasonal fish camps.

Up to 250 wood-powered steam ships travelled up and down the river transporting people, food and supplies. These ships continued to transport freight and passengers until the Klondike Highway (between Whitehorse and Dawson City) was completed in 1950. The S.S. Klondike took cruises up and down the River until 1955 when it took up its present berth as a Historic Site in Whitehorse.

Ah, the next day we woke up to blue skies! Mind you, it was the longest day of the year so we weren’t sure if it was morning or night. Our plan was to do the domestic chores quickly and get on with exploring. Off to the Laundromat.

If you know me at all – you know that doing laundry is my least favourite thing to do – so you know it really needed to be done.

Clothes in the machine and across the lot to grab a coffee. OMG – my credit card was missing! We finally retraced our steps to the last place I used it. Rancheria – I must have left it there. We made a call to MasterCard and they put a hold on the card. We called and called Rancheria but they were not answering the phone.

If we were in a funk before, this put the mud on the cake. Even if the weather was better, we were not happy campers. By the time we straightened out the credit card and the laundry was done, it was raining again. To heck with it, we went off to the local Farmers’ Market anyway to find a couple of friends of friends.

It interests me how some of the most out-of-the-way place attract some of the most out-of-the-ordinary people. Here you have a small city a million miles from anywhere and find people who have migrated there from all over the world. They tell us that they find the inspiration, freedom and camaraderie to spread their wings and do something they had always wanted to do. And yet, you find very few B & R (born and raised) folks there – they want to get out.

Some things just never change.

It was then we decided that we were not having fun and probably wouldn’t until we got my card back or cancelled and the rain stopped. The first seem plausible but the second seemed unlikely as the forecast was for continuing rain for the foreseeable future.

The next day started with blue skies again so we wandered around downtown Whitehorse, took in the live show in the square and got back to the MH before the rain started again.

We left the next morning – in the rain, of course!