Saturday, August 1, 2009

Frist Part of July: Getting Ready

This year, 2009, has turned out to be a travel year. On June 2, we returned from a five month, 175,000 mile trip around the world. Like the trip just completed, we have talked for years about driving the ALCAN highway. It is one of those trips we were planning for our retirement years which are now upon us. We had talked about doing Alaska late this summer, but, while we were out of the country we decided we would wait until next year. Then, when we got home and had a month of 100 degree days, we thought: "Why wait!" So, we spent the first two and a half weeks in July getting the motor-home (the rig) ready, planning a route, making menus and stocking the rig for our annual summer family trip to our son’s lake house on Lake Texhoma and probably 2 months on the road.

Our plan is very flexible as far as the number of days at each stop. Going north, we will go first to Lake Texhoma on the Texas-Oklahoma border, then to Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas, work our way up through central Colorado, into central Wyoming, across western Montana and enter Canada north of West Glacier, Montana. We have reservations for four nights in Banff and Jasper National Parks, then we will pick up the ALCAN at Dawson Creek and drive it to the Klondike Highway. There we will turn north to Dawson City and on to the Top of the World Highway and Alaska. We should get to Alaska about the third week of August. The plan is to then make a big loop through the state and head back to the States with a side trip down to Haines Junction and a ferry ride to Skagway. Then we will take the Cassier Highway down through British Columbia and cross the border somewhere in Washington State. Working our way down to the Canyonlands of Utah and across northern New Mexico, we should get back home sometime in early October with another 10,000+ miles under our belt!

We have a 28 foot, 2007 Phoenix Cruiser, Class C motor-home and tow a 1999 Ford Explorer as our "toad" with two bicycles on the back making a total length of 47 ½ feet; our own little, mini-road train! We bought the rig two years ago and have made a couple of week long trips and many weekend trips since. When our three children were at home, in the 1970s and early 1980s, we had two different small rigs and really enjoyed this kind of traveling. This rig is the nicest one so far with a full shower bath, small sleeping area with twin beds and a kitchen-living area with a sofa bed. It has a convection, microwave oven and a good sized refrigerator-freezer. Instead of the standard cab-over bed, that area is open and has an entrainment center at the front. Over all it is very comfortable for the two of us.

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