Sunday, July 20, 2014

Epilogue July 1 through July 12, 2014

Well I have not had a moment to sit down and wrap up this trip story until now. We have been getting things settled in and sold before the few items we are moving to here from Colorado arrive.

We left Wasilla and went straight to Tok. Thank goodness it was uneventful. From there we were on a mission. Tok to Whitehorse. Whitehorse to Muncho Lake.

From Muncho Lake to Dawson Creek. Dawson Creek to Edmonton. Edmonton to St. Mary, Montana (Glacier National Park). It was a very exhausting 5 days.

We only spent a couple of days at Glacier National Park. We hiked up to the St. Mary Falls and the Virginia Falls on the first day. The second day we drove the Going to the Sun Road. Wow that is a very very scary and dangerous road.

From there we left St. Mary to Casper, Wyoming. From Casper we drove down to Littleton, Colorado to pick up our last vehicle stored in Colorado. We split up and drove to Oakley, Kansas for the night. From there Oakley to Benton, Illinois. Benton to Macon, Georgia. Macon to home in Cape Coral.

Camping world is repairing just a couple of items including the Washer/Dryer.

In summary, the trip was awesome. We drove over 10,000 miles in total. However, I will say that it was two to three weeks too long for me.

Now on to some boating and planning next years trip up the east coast.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 28th through June 30th 2014

So a buddy of mine said "make lemonade out of lemons". That is exactly what we did while we waited for the new turbo cooler being shipped "overnight" from Reno, Nevada. "Overnight" in Alaska is 4 to 5 days.

We were able to "limp" the Motor Home over to Big Bear RV Park and wait for the part.

June 28th, 2014.

We drove up to the Matanuska (Mat-Su) Glacier. For all of the glaciers we have seen this was the first one we were able to hike on. We hiked for over two hours just exploring various crevasses.

On the way back we stopped and visited the Musk Ox Farm. Not something I would do again.
June 29, 2014
We decided that the best thing to do was to do a little horseback riding. We brought along boots, hats, and a riding helmet for Heather, but never found the opportunity to do any riding. The Reindeer Farm was the closest choice. The ride took us up on the "Bluff" just below Pioneer Peak. It was a really nice ride.

June 30, 2014

This was a pretty stressful day for me as I was not sure if the new turbo cooler was going to arrive or not. With the assumption it would, we got up pretty leisurely as they told me it might arrive around 2PM. We dropped the Motor Home back at the dealership in "limp" mode around noon. With at least 4 or 5 hours to kill, we decided to go to the Iditarod headquarters.

There was a nice museum where we watched a video on the sled dogs. It was mainly around the science of feeding and training. I didn't think much of it until I looked at a placard with all of the finishing times. Wow what a trend. They were finishing it in 14 plus days back in the late seventies and early eighties. Now they are finishing it under 9 days.

There was a musher with his sled dogs there giving a pull around the property. That was actually pretty fun.


Well we got the call around 4:30PM that they were done with the engine repair. Obviously we raced over to the dealership. I ran it up and down the highway a couple of times without any issues. Yea for us!!! We then went back over to Big Bear since it was so late.

July 1, 2014

We got up very early to head back up to Tok. Other than more rain, the trip was uneventful. This time we stayed at the Sourdough RV Park instead of Tok RV Village. Sourdough is a nicer campground with lots of trees.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 20th through June 27th, 2014

Firstly, the last week has been very interesting, fun, and somewhat miserable. We have not had very good internet until today so I will try to catch up.


We left Anchorage for Homer the morning of the 21st. Again very windy and pouring the entire trip down. The road was very narrow and rutted from the trucks leaving two rivers of water. But we made it.

We stayed and Bay Crest RV park on the bluff above Homer and the Homer Spit. After setting up camp, we went down to the Spit to arrange a Halibut fishing trip. The Spit is definitely old school Alaska. It is pretty much a fishing village with a few restaurants and gift shops. Even though that was where the action is, I am glad we camped up on the Bluff.

We decided on a 6 hour trip to fish. I am really glad we did since we limited out within just a couple of hours. Two fish for each of us.

When we got back to the Motor Home, we processed the fish and vacuum sealed them for the freezer. Thank goodness Chris brought along the vacuum sealer. We think the total weight must be around 30 pounds after fillet.

That is great eating fish.

On the 22nd we had hoped to take a float plane from Beluga Lake to tour some glaciers, but we were socked in with fog. So we decided to tour the Spit one more time and take a nature walk.


On the 24th we took our time getting back on the road to Seward as the trip was not going to be that difficult...or so we thought?

When we got around 5 miles from the Stoney Creek Campground, the engine light came on and the engine went immediately into "Limp Mode". I pulled over and shut it down and restarted thinking that might help, however, no go. We made the decision to finish going to the campground as we could not possibly drive up to Anchorage at 15 miles per hour at best.

We immediately began making calls to see if we could get someone to look at it in Seward. That was not going to happen, However, we were able to convince one mechanic to read the error codes. I called a few Chevy dealers in Anchorage & Wasilla. I found the Wasilla "Alaska Sales & Service" would be able to help us out.  The bad news...those codes meant there was no way the Motor Home could be driven to Anchorage or anywhere very far.

We tried to arrange a tow through the Good Sam Roadside Assistance Program. What a waste! They would not provide but a few miles of towing even though we had found the only dealer that would or could work on it. The advertising says unlimited towing. I guess that only applies if you are a few miles from where you need to be. They basically don't care if you have a warranty or not. This means they pay the tow to the nearest shop and you work out the repair bill. I bet ours is going to be thousands if not covered under the warranty.

The Alaska Sales & Service GMC dealership is 163 miles from the campground. We decided to call Geico our insurance company. They came through 100% and agreed to pay the tow all of the way. Thank goodness. Since we were already down at the campground we delayed the tow for two days giving us some time to see Seward, the Exit Glacier and take a Fjord tour.

We arranged a 6 hour Fjord tour for the next morning.

Getting up early, we decided to take the short hike to see the Exit Glacier. Pretty cool.

The Fjord tour was absolutely awesome. I have never seen so many whales, sea lions, otters, etc. in my life. It was worth every penny. To top the trip off, we went up to the Aialik Glacier. That thing was more than a mile wide. While there, several large pieces calved off. As we were leaving, this huge chunk calved off. It must have made a 10 foot wave.

As a highlight on our return to the dock, three humpback whales decided to do a 15 minute series of full water breaches. I have never seen anything like that in my life. That was a highlight.



On the 26th, (our anniversary), we got up early to make sure the tow truck was on its way. They said it left at 8:30am. This stressed me a little as I thought they would be loading us up by then.  Well that just kept building as he did not show up until 2PM. He showed up with a flat bed without any help. So he asked me to drive the Motor Home on while he guided me. There had to be less than one inch on the side of the tires. I thought I was going to melt down.

Well we made it up to the dealership right as they were closing. They (Wallace) was great and very reassuring. He got it up on the large vehicle lift and let us plug in so the fridge would stay cold. Thank goodness as I did not want to lose that Halibut.

We went out to dinner and got a hotel for the night....$200 for one night. Not as nice as a Motel 6. Yikes.

So, the next morning we get a call from Wallace. He said there was a hole in the turbo exchanger or something like that. The name did not matter as he told us it was covered under our warranty. Yahooooo! The bad news was that it would take 3 or 4 days to get the part from Reno, Nevada.

We decided to go out to breakfast then look for a cheaper hotel. After breakfast, Wallace calls us again and he suggests we "limp" across the street to Big Bear RV Park. What a guy. That was genius.

We hope to have the new part in by Monday or Tuesday.

Not such a bad outcome for something so serious.