DAY 45-55 Back to Seattle, USA (in a nutshell)

Good-Bye Canada

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Good-Bye Canada

Back to Banff……

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Possible new Camper…. Just kidding Oso!

The throngs of people in Banff helped with my decision to head back to Seattle.  Of course heading to Seattle means the next phase of the trip will be starting… the southern half and I’m itchy to get this show on the road.
It took us about 5 days to make it back to Seattle from Banff.  It’s really just a straight 9 hour trip but my plan was to travel south through Glacier National Park in Montana, visit Sherry and her family of pooches across Idaho and then back to Seattle.

Just out of Banff National Park we stayed the night down a long rough dirt road where the girls had an opportunity to run with the truck, had a quick worrisome but safe encounter with a black bear and spent our last night under the Canadian sky.

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CLICK picture above to see running poodles… Whoa Hoo

 

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CLICK me to see a short movie clip to get an idea of how the camper reacts to bumpy roads….

Oso and Poos

The next day………Plans for a trip through Glacier were thwarted when Oso had another flat tire.  After traveling out of my way to find a town with a garage large enough to do the work I was told that they didn’t have the correct tire.  I had to decide whether to wait 4 days for them to order one or drive another 100 miles into Montana.  Since the flat was one of the inner duallies, I chose the second option and hoped that we’d make it.  It was another long white knuckled day of driving before we arrived in Kalispell, Montana.

Since all the tires on the truck (6 of them… Ouch) needed to be replaced before heading to the lower America’s I opted to have them all replaced (since we were in tax-free Montana).  On top of that I decided it was a good idea to have two identical spares.  It was explained to me that on a dually, it’s not a good idea to have a bald tire next to a heavy new tread.  Of course one small adjustment lead to 3 days for ordering tires and adding a front mount set-up for the 8th tire.  Nothing is simple.  I took the extra days to rest up, shop for needed travel items and catch up on the blog.

Back to Civilization

Dairy Queen!!

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So, on Day 55 of our trip returned to Seattle:

a happy truck, a rested Me and 3 bored poodles. An anti-climatic end to nearly 2 months in Canada but a tranquil omen for the impending trip south.

Wendy and Joe Wahman’s…

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Honeys We’re Home!!!

Day 38-40 My Pot Of Gold

We arrived in Jasper National Park late in the afternoon.

First stop was down town to get some groceries and fill up with gas.  We found ourselves in a world of RVs… sadly realizing that we were no long queens of our own domain.  It was literally a sea of bright and shiny RVs  packing the street, lining every inch of the curb.  Renting campers must be a popular past time for Canadians as it was clear that most of these vehicles were brand new, very clean and most were label with a large orange maple leaf with the slogan “Adventure Canada!” or “CanaDream.”  I could have sworn that people were looking at my beat up and filthy Oso with distaste.

Can you find Oso in the picture below?

WHERE'S OSO?

WHERE’S OSO?

A little closer…..

WASH ME

WASH ME

From town we headed into the park and down the Icefield Parkway.

It was extremely gusty at the parking lot where I hoped to spend the night.  There were very few people around, and since there was only one other camper in the lot, I felt free to let the poodles off leash to explore the rocky outcrops near by.

There we were surprised by some cloud breaks

and a special rainbow treat.

GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW…. EUREKA!

3peak jasper

WINDY, RAINY, SLEETY AND COLD…. BUT WHAT A VIEW

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BOING BOING BOING…. HOPPING DOWN THE BUNNY TRAIL!

 

 

 Tomorrow we go for a river hike….

Day 25 The bumps along the way

Taking inventory of things damaged

by the

Dempster Highway

 

LESSON:  In northern Canada, when you see signs like this…IMG_2454

 

or flags like this…..

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Pay attention and slow down.  When they say the roads are bumpy they mean tall mountains and small valleys.

By the time I arrived in Dawson City the camper had been through a lot of shakes and jolts.   I decided to take an inventory of the damage to the camper.

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Bathroom door off the hinge

 

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Door hinge is so caked with dry mud it doesn’t want to close

 

 

31h

Kitchen cabinet won’t close because the catch has been so badly bent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

not to mention the screws holding the oven in place are stripped and the bathroom cabinet needs to be completely replaced and the two rear mud flaps had been partially ripped off by the weight of mud.

Then there was a flat tire….

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Had the tire patched and headed out of Dawson City toward White Horse.

 

I noticed that the outer rear wheel was looking low on air so I pulled into a gas station to fill it (and the others).  The inner tire was completely empty and the outer tire looked flat because it was supporting all the weight.  Who knows how long the tire’s been flat.  I found someone to patch the tire and headed south.

The next day, after bushwhacking in a nondescript spot, we arrived in Whitehorse. Our first stop was the hardware store to pick up some items for the repairs.  As I was parking a guy yelled to tell me that there was a wire dragging behind the truck.  IMG_3587

Apparently the mechanic who fixed the tire also loosened the wire that connected the camper to the truck battery.  I probably drove most of the last 200 miles with no back lights.  I guess it could have been worse.

What to do

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I found a public playing field to do the work. A sign of where I am: this is not a ball park. It’s a Mud Racing Track.

 

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Good Ole Duct Tape

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Poodles patiently waiting for me to finish my handy work

Next Stop

Change the oil and differential in truck.  Remember how I replaced my oil cap on my first trip through Whitehorse?  well, the mechanic found the lost oil cap under the hood.  It stayed there for the past 3000+ miles.  At least now I have a spare.

 

End of a long day and time to find a campground for the night

On the outskirts of town

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Day 8 Continued… onto Moose Creek Territorial Park for the night

Believe it or not… we finally arrive at our campground destination!

but NO!  We’re not even close to being done for the day… remember?  the sun sets at around 10:30 now!

 

They don’t call it Moose Creek for Nothing….IMG_2378

 

There’s still some exploring to do and what better way to start than discovering more mushrooms…. yes! more mushrooms.

If anyone knows the names of any of these, I’d love to know.  The one below was called a Hawk Wing in a book at the Tombstone Ranger station.   I saw it called something else since then.  d

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Hawks Wing I discovered later that these are edible… dang

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oops, what’s that doing here?

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Lichen and moss

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another lichen and… yet another moss….

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let’s see… pine cone, lichen, moss, mushroom and… puffball

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Strawberries and Cream. Yes, That’s really what they call it…

Yet another dung picture..  It was interesting because it’s the size of a cat poop but obviously most of it’s diet was full of chlorophyl.  Any ideas?

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So out of the woods we hiked and into the river channel.

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Through out this blog you might notice my predilection for walking through all types of terrain in my sox and sandals.  Although it is rather odd (ok, don’t say it), socks and sandals are the perfect way to travel when one has limited storage space and limited ability to dry articles of clothing.  Wool socks stay warm in the most frigid of water and they dry much more quickly that in insides of a boot.  My favorite socks for doing this are my merlon Icelandics from New Zealand.  Oh so comfy and durable!

 

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I guess you can’t really tell that my socks are on….

 

The poodles had fun getting their feet wet and I had a chance to find some interesting animal prints.  I saw raccoon, beaver

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and wolf

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Well, all good things must come to an end

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But sometimes that end is just the beginning for something even better!!

We finally settle down for a good bone chewing

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