Our Adventures

Welcome to the adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.
Jul
28

Alaska Adventure Weeks 9 and 10

Alaska Adventure Weeks 9 and 10

While we enjoyed our free camp site at Peterson Lake, it was time to move on. We headed back to Anchorage for a couple nights (July 13th - 14th). We stayed in the Sam's Club parking lot, allowing us to restock on groceries and do laundry. On our last night we enjoyed another Boomer get together. 12 of us met at a restaurant close by for more travel story swapping. Refueled and ready to continue on, we headed further north towards Fairbanks. We drove through the devastation left by the recent "Willow" fire. Many remote houses were burnt down. A little down the road, we stopped for lunch in Wasilla and took time to visit the Iditarod Dog Sled Race headquarters. They had a small display and some movies on the dogs. "Mushing" is a huge sport and mode of transportation in Alaska. They had a dog team hitched to an ATV. Connie took a quick ride around, being pulled by these very energetic dogs.

After lunch, we continued on and pulled off near Talkeetna for the night. We found a nice, quiet pull off to spend the night at (July 15th, 62.2982, -150.0837). We walked around this small and remote town. Besides being very much a tourist town, it's other main purpose is to provide services to the many remote homes in the area. Many without electric or water. Since we normally don't like to drive for more than a few hours (besides, we're not in a hurry), we stopped again for the night (July 16th) after only going 90 miles at the East Fork Chulitna Wayside (631504, -149.4129), which had a great and free campground. We were just south of Denali, which we'll return to in a couple weeks.

On July 17th, we finally arrived in Fairbanks. We decided to stay at the Sam's Club parking lot (64.854086, -147.708937). During the 5 nights we stayed here (July 17th - 22nd), we visited the nearby town of North Pole and the Santa Claus store. Connie may have liked looking around, but I wasn't impressed. A couple days later, we stopped at the Pioneer Park Village, but all of the stores were closed in the morning. We then headed to the University of Alaska Faribanks Museum. We had heard it was pretty good, and we had a 2-for-1 coupon from our "Toursaver" book. The museum was small, but full of a variety of displays. The art displays were okay, but I enjoyed the natural and historical section the most. Lots of information on dinosaur remains in Alaska, as well as information on the early settlers and the original tribes. They had displays on a wide variety of subjects. We especially liked the huge Grizzly Bear, and I liked the display on WWII battles in the Aleutian Islands. This is a part of WWII history not many people know about. Japan attacked, and occupied part of Alaska for awhile. Some Alaskan citizens (not military) were taken prisoner.

(Continue reading for more of the log and photos)

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Jul
12

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

We stayed on the "Spit" at Homer from June 24th - July 8th. As expected, the July 4th holiday weekend was a mad-house in the campground. We enjoyed our stay in Homer, but after a couple weeks, we were ready to move on. During our stay in Homer, we hiked in an Alpine Meadow at the Eveline Recreation Area (where I left off in our previous Blog entry). While visiting the Bear Creek Winery, Larry made a deal with the manager to take some aerial photographs of their beautiful facilities in exchange for a case of wine. This was a winning deal for both sides. One of our day trips involved a drive to the nearby town of Anchor Point, with a side trip to Nikolaevsk and the old Russian church. We drove on the beach at Anchor Point and watched them recover boats directly in the ocean with large tractors. There were no boat docks, but there were a dozen Bald Eagles. Part of the significance of this trip was this is the furthest West you can drive in the United States. Another day, Bob and Joyce took the ferry across the bay to the town of Seldovia (Connie and I elected to not go). This whole area has a strong Russian influence, since it was Russian explorers and hunters who settled here (other than the original native tribes).

For one trip, Connie wanted to drive the road out as far we could on the Kenai peninsula. We had done the same while staying in Seward. We went past the end of the pavement of East Road and took a 4WD trail down a steep hill to the beach. We drove a short distance on the beach of Kachemak Bay. I'd say this was the end of the road. From here, we had wonderful views of various large glaciers across the bay. Another day trip took us to the nearby town of Ninilchik with numerous Halibut fishing charters. Of course, another day was spent catching up on laundry - at $5 a load at the Laundromat ($22 in total!)

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(Select the "Continue Reading" option below to read the entire article with more photos.)

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Jun
26

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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Jun
10

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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Jun
10

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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