Thursday, June 08, 2017

Drive by Shooting, and wildlife photos!

Skies were clear and visibility was good, unlike my last visit to the Denali area 8 years ago, when the whole area was cloaked in thick smoke from numerous wildfires all over the north country.  So, taking advantage of this I wanted to see what I had missed in the Fairbanks area.  The stunning scenery of the Denali area was replaced by forests of green with some great distant views out over the valleys as we approached the city.  As is the custom, several side roads and pull-offs were explored for scenic or camping potential. 

I figured this one was either the scene of a drive by shooting, or perhaps the last stand of Bonny & Clyde!  One tire looks a bit low too.


Walmart in Fairbanks seemed like a favourite haunt of RV’ers, with a fair number that looked as if they had been there a while.


After a brief tour of Fairbanks, picking up the usual supplies and fuel, etc we continued on through to the North Pole.  A roadside pulloff along the river provided a good spot to take a break, when this moose showed up to enjoy the fresh browse along the bank.



Back through Tok, this time we headed south east towards the Yukon again.  Passing through the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, some of the areas swans were on duty and posing for photos.


There is a very nice, new but rustic looking visitor center at the refuge.


Heading back into the Yukon, there is about a 20 mile drive from the international border before you encounter Canadian customs.  Once again, Hailey got interrogated, but when she said ‘Meow, eh’ they knew she was a Canadian cat and let her continue on with me.  Good thing too, as I had just stocked up on cat food!


Both sides of the border on that highway are plagued with speed bumps and rough spots courtesy of the underlying permafrost that constantly caused the road to buckle and sink.  Good thing to keep the speed down and the eyes wide open.

After barely (ha, ha) driving an hour or so, there was a romance about to be played out along the roadside.


First, there was this cute little blonde, minding her own business busily grazing on the fresh green vegetation along the road.  She was close, but couldn’t have cared less that I was there as she foraged on.IMG_2623image

Check out the nail polish!


I was just driving away, when Hailey spotted this big male.  He didn’t care about eating at all.  He had something else on his mind, and his nose swinging back and forth over the ground as he tracked down the cute blonde!


And check out his nails, too!!


He was certainly more aware of us than the little one, and after Hailey hissed at him, he headed for the safety of the trees.  That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!


Onward we went, past Kluane National Park and into Haines junction where we visited with a variety of friends and solved a few world problems around a bonfire.  Keeping on the move, the next stop was Watson Lake, home of the world famous sign ‘forest’.


After Watson Lake, the Alaska highway dips down into British Columbia several times before finally deciding to head on south for real.  When you start to see dust wallows along the road and see ‘rub trees’ along the road, that can mean only one thing.  Bison!


These guys roam along the roadsides up here and I guess that explains why all the ‘locals’ up here have their pickups outfitted with enough landing lights to put a 747 to shame.  Running into one would certainly ruin your day.  So my advice is – don’t.


  1. Awesome photos! How close were you to those teddy bears really? I don't suppose a DP could travel some of those roads. Hmmmmmm.

  2. Lots of DP's up here. Just watch for frost heaves on the highways and stay off the quad trails. And, like Mexico, don't drive at night. Although at this time of year you'd have to travel a few hundred miles south to find anything resembling darkness! As for the bears ... they had bad breath!