Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kluane National Park

We’ve had one round of excitement after another today.  Some good; some not so good.

My day starts pretty early with the Peanut wanting his breakfast at 5 AM.  This morning I got to sleep almost an extra hour since Peanut hadn’t switched his internal clock from Alaska time to Pacific time.  That part was not just good; it was great.

However, when I put my foot down on the floor as I got out of bed, I discovered the carpet was wet.  It had rained hard most of the night and we apparently have a leak somewhere around our bedroom slide.  The bedroom carpet was soaked and a puddle was forming in the bathroom.  A corner of the bedspread was touching the floor and had wicked water all the way up and gotten the rest of the bed covers wet on that corner.

We’ve spent much of our time today trying to soak up the water with towels and now we have a small electric heater blowing on the carpet.  With only a brief inspection, the most likely spot for a leak seems to be at one of the lower corners of the slide where the rubber gasket feels a little loose.  Our first priority now is to get the carpet dry and we’ll try to find the leak during the next rain.

As we were sitting on the sofa drinking a cup of coffee and trying to unravel the mystery of the leak, a grizzly bear walked right into our campsite, stood up on hind legs to give himself a good back scratching on the tree, then proceeded on to the next site.  I grabbed on camera and Gene grabbed the other.  What a treat.  Almost made me forget about the leak.  The bear was close; only about 10 feet away.  I didn’t dare open a window, so you’ll just have to look around the rain drops and dirt that were on windows.

We hung around longer than we planned before heading out this morning.  We were hoping the bear would come back, but he didn’t.  We finally got going about 9 AM.

Our first stop of the day was at Sheep Mountain Information Center.  This is part of Kluane National Park and serves as a backcountry office and information center for hikers as well as an interpretative center for Sheep Mountain.  The high mountains behind the center are home to the largest concentration of Dall Sheep in the world.  We saw no sheep today because at this time of the year they are all on the other side of the mountain out of view.  Even if they’d been there, we probably wouldn’t have been able to see them due to the low cloud cover.

About 40 miles further down the road is Haines Junction which was our next stop.  The Visitor Center for Kluane National Park is here and we stopped in for a few minutes to look at the displays and see the movie. Kluane National Park along with Wrangell-St Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks in Alaska together are designated a World Heritage Site.  Within Kluane National Park is Mt. Logan--Canada’s highest peak and the second highest peak in North America.

Across the street from the Visitor Center is Village Bakery.  It was so easy to just walk across the street and get a muffin.  Well, Gene got a muffin and I got a cranberry scone.  My scone was better than his muffin, but he disagrees with that assessment.  In any case, they were both excellent.

I think the drive from Haines Junction to Kluane Lake is just about the most scenic along the Alaska Highway.  I’m sorry the clouds were so low and thick that they blocked the view of the high peaks.  Perhaps we’ll be by this way again someday.

We arrived in Whitehorse about mid-afternoon.  The first thing on Gene’s list was to take that spare tire back.  Remember when we were here in June and Gene talked the salesman at the tire store into selling him a full-sized tire on a rim for the Honda to take on the Dempster highway with a promise to take the tire back and give us a refund if it wasn’t used.  Even though we had a flat on the Dempster, we used our donut spare to get us back to the service center and had the flat repaired.  We never used the tire Gene bought in Whitehorse and it was still wrapped in plastic.  We really didn’t figure the salesman would remember that discussion and agreement, but he did and Gene got all the money back except what the shop charged for mounting the tire on the rim.  Yea!!!

We are again staying at High Country RV Park in Whitehorse.  This time we have only an electric (20 amp) and water site.  It’s a little cheaper ($28.50) than a full-hookup site and there is a dump station here which is convenient.  All I really wanted was electricity and WiFi anyway.

GAS REPORT:  We filled up as we came into town and paid $5.05 (US) for gas.  Diesel was $5.13 (US) a gallon.  A little better than when we were here in June, but almost a dollar more than what we were  paying in Alaska.

CRITTER COUNT:  one fine grizzly bear.

That’s it for today.  Sunday morning we’ll hit the road again.  Probably no opportunity for WiFi again until Watson Lake.

Til then--thanks for tagging along.

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