Thursday, September 29, 2016

Seattle ~ Alaska Trip Day 48

One method of exploring areas I've used on this trip is to google "free activities in..." whatever city we will be traveling through. Sometimes I type "family activities" or something related like that. Often, I end up browsing Trip Advisor. So, though I had been treated to a day in Seattle before (over 20 years ago by my dear older cousin) this time our family checked out the Center For Wooden Boats. The littles could don lifejackets and climb aboard sailboats, canoes, and other historic vessels while I enjoyed the salty sea air. One after another, float planes landed in this lake and taxied right through sailboats and other boats sprinkled across the water.

pulley system experiment for hoisting

Cora and friends on the Dora!

Opportunity for lessons on one of these sailboats

In the captain's chair on an old fireboat. The rare steam lighthouse boat was closed for touring .

Next stop, Pike Place Market. On my last visit, I remembered the whole fish lying on their beds of ice, eyeballs staring up at me and wanted the children to see such novelty. This somehow wasn't quite as impressive coming right from Alaska, where there are fresh seafood markets in all the local grocery stores and charter fishermen hauling in tremendous catches, filleting them in front of our Kansas land-locked eyes.

We still all enjoyed the sights and sounds of the market. The human throngs were mostly more interesting than the wares being made for a cultural field trip, for sure!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BC-97, BC-1, and USA ~ Alaska Trip Day 47

We had a lovely drive this day through narrow picturesque Fraser River valley, and later on BC-1, beside San Jose River Canyon. Cattle, horses, irrigation systems, saw mills, logging industries, trains, etc. We drove through 7 tunnels and across tight bridges.

At the 108 Mile House Heritage Center we peered into the old log buildings that were erected on the Caribou Wagon Road for the rush to Caribou gold fields. It was a beautiful day that warmed us up so much, we shed our jackets, then sweaters, that had been our constant friends for several weeks in the northern autumn weather.

We weren't sure how customs would like it, but I was sure tempted to bring half a dozen boxes of #2 apples home for $5 Canadian. Instead we purchased a few peaches and plums that could quickly be eaten, if need be. I adore farm stands such as these!

We made another stop at the old Alexandria suspension bridge. It was a beautiful bridge with a short lovely hike. The coal train crossed our trail and the tracks hissed before & after it passed.

Near the end of our international travel, we used up Fahrah's Canadian cash on gas and Wendy's frosties in Abbotsford. It sure is handy having these grandparents along! They even brought their own food & lodging!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kitwanga to Prince George, British Columbia ~Alaska Trip Day 46

Thursday morning, we wanted to keep moving, so before 8 a.m. we walked down the steps and up Battle Hill in Kitwanga where we had spent the night. How fitting that an eagle soared overhead as we learned of the great Gitwangak chief that had previously dominated this area.

Since fuel in Canada is sold by the liter, to calculate gallons, we multiply by 3.785. However their dollar is about $.80 of the U.S. dollar, so that adds another twist to calculations. We generally paid with our credit card that automatically gave us the daily conversion rate without an additional percentage tacked on. The grand total mileage for this trip was 9,400...averaging the gas price to $2.73 per gallon.

We stopped at the Hazelton cabin visitor center and the Vanderhoof visitor center & heritage museum.

And we found another playground park in Prince George to fix and eat supper nearby.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bear Glacier and the end of Cassiar Highway ~Alaska Trip Day 45

It rained all night and all day. Thankfully it wasn't a torrential rain, however it did limit visibility.
We averaged 40 mph on this sealcoat hard-packed road.

The lakeview from our roadside campsite.

We managed to miss our turn in the road and didn't realize it until 16 miles later when we passed this massive glacier. Woah...nothing was written about this in the milepost book! What is going on? We're heading west on Stewart Highway to Hyder, Alaska! We had already considered taking this smallish side trip, but with overcast skies and no sights beyond the hanging fog, we slowly turned around and headed back out! It was a strange day of eerie gray swirls with glimpses of ice patches, waterfalls, and trees. I'm sure it was a magnificent place, but we just could not see far through the haze.

Bear Glacier

That mistake added a little spark to our otherwise monotonous day of driving in the drizzle.