Larry Farquhar

Our adventures, from Larrry's viewpoint.

Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Before our trip to Alaska, we bought the "Alaska TourSaver" book. This $99 book includes hundreds of coupons, mostly "two-for-one" deals on tourist attractions. We used a few coupons at some gift shops while in Anchorage for free gifts. They were mostly 50 cent souvenir magnets. One of the coupons Connie wanted to use was for an Alaska train trip from Anchorage to Whittier. There was no special reason for wanting to do this trip, other than the experience of a scenic train ride. Getting to Whittier also involves going through a long, one-lane tunnel. Cars are allowed to go in one direction every half hour, alternating which direction to go. In between this, the train also uses the same one-lane tunnel and must be "aired out" with turbine ventilation fans after each trip. Using a two-for-one coupon for this trip was $93. When we went to the train station to purchase our tickets, the counter man explained we would have a 6-hour stop in Whittier. He also said there's "nothing to do there, but drink". Basically, he talked us out of taking this trip. Instead, we used another two-for-one coupon ($74) on a short scenic train trip from Portage to Spencer Whistle Stop. There is no other way to get to Spencer Whistle Stop other than by train. We went early and drove down into the Portage Valley. A very pretty area with campgrounds, Portage Lake, and a few glaciers. But we didn't have time to go through the tunnel to Whittier. Once at the Whistle Stop, we went on a 2.6 mile hike to the Spencer Glacier. This hike was lead by a USFS guide, and the four of us were the only ones on the hike. We had our own private tour guide. A easy hike with beautiful scenery and interesting information. We got pretty close to the glacier, and it was the first glacier we'd seen, other than a quick drive by in the distance. It was a good day.  ("Continue" reading for more information and photos).

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Aerial Video of Williwaw Campground

Aerial Video of Williwaw Campground

Before heading to Seward, AK, we made a 4 day stop in the Portage Valley. Since I had some time, I took some aerial videos of the nearby area, including Byron Glacier, Middle Glacier, Portage Lake, and the Williwaw USFS campground we were staying in. The weather was great and I couldn't pass up the opportunity! Hope you enjoy the show!

I also started to learn more about "aerial mapping" with my UAV. Here's a small mapping test I made of a portion of the campground. This aerial map is created from multiple photos, then stitched together to create a "photomosaic". This is a greatly reduced sized photo, as the complete map is a large file that can be zoomed in for great detail.

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Alaska Trip - Weeks 3 to 4

Alaska Trip - Weeks 3 to 4

After leaving Whitehorse, we had another day of beautiful scenery. On June 1st, we arrived at a one horse town in the Yukon Territory called Pelly River Crossing. This was just a one-night stop at an abandoned government campground (62.8264, -136.5845). At least it was abandoned while we were there. By morning, there were 5 campers using the campground for the night. However, it looks like they may open it again for the summer. The next day, we arrived in historic Dawson City. We crossed the Yukon River on a small ferry to reach our campground of choice. We stayed two nights (June 2nd and 3rd) at the Yukon River Government Campground (64.07176, -139.48562). Government campgrounds in the Yukon are $12 CAN a night for dry camping, which was $9.77 in US dollars.

The main downtown area of Dawson City has been mostly renovated to look like it did in the early 1900's. This gave the town a charming quality to it. While touring the town, we visited "Dredge #4", the largest wooden dredge ever built. It was pretty interesting to learn how these large machines operated. This dredge was pulling out over 50 pounds of gold from the ground every 3 days! But it wasn't an easy job with the ground being frozen by "permafrost". It would take up to 2 years to prepare (thaw) the ground before the dredge could be used. There's still plenty of active gold mines in the area. We also saw the "Keno" stern-wheeler, which was a smaller paddle wheel boat than the "Klondike"which we saw in Whitehorse. We also visited a "reconstructed" cabin used by author, Jack London. One of our "highlights" for the day was having drinks in "Bombay Peggy's", a restored brothel. Diesel was $3.71 US a gallon. (Read the entire article for more details and photos)

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Photo Show of Our First 2 Weeks in Canada

Here's a short video show with a variety of photos taken during our first 2 weeks of our 2015 RV adventure to Alaska. These were taken in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory of Canada.

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Teslin Lake Campground, Yukon, Canada

Here's a short aerial video of Teslin Lake Government Campground in the Yukon Territory, Canada. I filmed this with my 3DR Iris+ quadcopter (drone), using a GoPro Hero 3+ camera. I'm still learning how to best make these videos. This video was made using a GPS assisted "loiter" mode, which created much of the jitters. The Drone kept wanting to adjust itself to remain in the correct location. I'll have to try other modes for the next video.

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