Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dee's Trip to Alaska - 1961

Trip to Alaska

In 1961 Dale, Hugh and I went on a trip to Alaska.  Dale had bought a pickup camper and started selling campers in the day time.  He had a 4 week vacation at this time and we started on this trip.

Sat July 22 1961.  Left at 1030 a m. drove through to Des Moines and stopped at a closed filling station.  Gail real good.

Sun July 23.  Arrived at Dorothy’s.  Daisy Don and kids came down for dinner and spent the day visiting.  Gail liked everyone.

Mon July 24.  Left Dorothy’s about 11.  Took Dale W with us.  Drove to Northfield across to Canon Falls to Hastings and then up the St Croix  river to Taylors Falls and into Grantsburg Wis.  Got to the folks about 630 p.m.

Tues July 25.  Left the folks at 840 a.m., drove to International falls and went through customs.  Crossed the Rainey river on a railroad bridge.  I drove for about an hour and stopped at Nestor Falls the first resort for gas.  Dale took over and we lots of beaver and deer.  Got to Kenora about 730 p.m. and ate supper.  Drove through the woods for 250 miles.  Got to Winnipeg about 11 p.m.  People still up walking around.  Looked like a real interesting city.  Parked the camper at at truck weighing station and it rained about 4 a.m.   

Wed July 26.  Left Winnipeg at 730 a.m. but I stayed in bed until 930 a.m.  Hit prairie country after leaving Winnipeg and was quite flat all the way to Regina.  Regina sits in the middle of the prairie.  Had some pretty building and a big oil refinery.  Also doing some road building there.  Sun set at 9 p.m.

Thurs  July 27.  Stayed in a roadside park about 20 miles from Saskatoon Sack. .Dale got up and started driving at 5 a.m.  Got up and fixed breakfast about 9 a.m.  Stopped in a Safeway Store in Lloydminister and got our groceries.  Called Dorothy and Gail was fine.  Arrived in Edmonton about 530 p.m.  Drove 100 miles beyond Edmonton and stopped at a roadside park.  Beautiful scenery.  Saw 2 deer cross the highway while I was driving.  Talked to some people from Emporia Ks.

Fri July 28.  Left roadside park about 10 a m.  been in a lot of forest country.  Lots of ducks on the ponds.  Came across the Smokey river about 1 p.m.  real high hill.  Got to Grand Prairie and doing wash here.  Dawson Creek 73 miles.  Got to Dawson Creek around 5 p.m. and decided to go on up the highway.  Beautiful farming country here.  Went to Ft St John crossed the Peace River bridge around M.P. 79, came on to Pink Mountain  camping grounds at M.P. 143.  Sun set around 930 p.m…Dark around 1045 p.m. Lots of wild flowers along the highway.

Sat July 29.  Left M.P. 143 areound10 a.m. drove on up and had a good dinner at a roadside café.  Got into Ft Nelson around 4 p.m. oil country up there and not a bad place.  Hit mountains about M.P.  345 and then the scenery starts.  Drove about 50 miles and really thought we were seeing things but then it keeps getting more interesting.  Got into the hot springs at Laird River about 1030 p. m.  went down washed my hair and took a bath.  Water was real hot.  We ran into a lot of dust yesterday.  Sure gets the camper dirty.  Lots of places to camp up here but they are a little bit messy.  Couldn’t see what time the sun set but it wasn’t dark at 1115 p. m.  don’t get up in the morning early enough to see what time it is daylight.  Saw a man painting the mountains at a pull off place.

Sun July 30.  Just piddled around all day, drove about 200 miles, camped at  M.P. 674 at Big Creek campground.  Eddie went swimming in a lake.  Dale and I chickened out, was to cold.

Mon July 31.  Got some fresh Lake trout at MP. 781 also some Indian moccasins for Dale, myself and Gail.  Drove on into Whitehorse and had a good meal.  We went and looked at the riverboats and the museum.  Also to the High School to see some movies and to a gift shop.  Camped at M.P. 967 at Mendenhall creek.

Tues Aug 1.  Drove down to Haines today.  Beautiful scenery.  We drove through a game preserve and saw lots of chipmunks, grouse and later two moose.  Nothing much at Haines and came on out and parked at customs 43 miles north of Haines.

Wed Aug 2.  Came on out but cloudy and rainy.  Eddie had his picture taken close to a snow bank.  Had lunch at Haines Jct.  We had a blow out at M.P. 1193.  Dale fixed the flat quite easily.  We drove on to Tok Jct where we went through customs and were greeted by a pretty blond who had just had an Alaska snort.  We got a hot shower for 50 cents and we camped at Lelas overnight.

Thur Aug 3.  Started for Anchorage about 715 a.m.  What a road, it was paved but was like a washboard.  Saw our first glazier at Tazalina and ate dinner at the Lodge.  We arrived at Anchorage around 730 p.m. and went to wash clothing.  Clean sheets tonight.  Had 4 loads of wash.  Talked to a girl from Odessa at the laundry.  We went downtown and it looked like the main street of Minneapolis in 1944.  Neon signs-wide open-excitement in the air.  Quite a place.

Fri Aug 4.  Got a new tire and sourdough pancakes.  Not so hot, we left Anchorage around 1 p.m. and drove to the Portage Glacier.  What a sight.  Blue and big.  It rained on us all day.  Tried to drive to Hope but the road was so bad so we came back and started to Soldatna.  Came through Kenai Natl. forest, we saw some moose and started to Homer but we camped 17 miles south of Soldatna.

Sat Aug 5.  Went to Kenai and drove around Soldatna then on up the road and down to Seward.  We looked over the small boat harbor, brought some strawberries and parked out north of town.  Beautiful drive and Seward is a nice small city.

Sun Aug 6. We left Seward around noon and drove on into Anchorage.  We arrived in Anchorage around 6 p.m.  We ate supper at the airport café.  Really a good meal.  We couldn‘t make up our minds whether to stay and see if we had any mail or not, but decided to stay.  We had a tube put in our tire and went out to the International airport and saw 2 big jets take off.  Then we drove over and watched the seaplane land on a lake.  We saw about10 seaplane land.  We parked at a trailer court or alley don‘t  know which it was..

Mon Aug 7.  Fixed speedometer cable and had a letter from Dorothy.  Left Anchorage about 10 a.m. and drove to Palmer and about 13 miles out into the Mantanuska  Valley.  Lovely farms, looked like Minnesota or Wisconsin.  We came on up to Glenn Allen Jct. and at supper at M.P. 80 right at the edge of Worthington glacier.  Will see it better in the morning.

Tues Aug 8.  We drove down to Valdez and did some mountain driving, we went downhill for10 miles  We saw Bridal Vail Falls and went through a tunnel.  We saw the glacier at Valdez.  We had dinner and was more than you could eat for $1.85.  We came out and started up the road to McKinley  Park but we drove 12 miles and chickened out.  What a road, so we came to Donnelly camp ground and spent the night.

Wed Aug 9.  Drove into Fairbanks and looked around.  We went out to the college, through the museum and saw the stuffed animals.  Big Kodiak bear and Doll sheep.  Real interesting, went to the Chamber of Commerce and saw slides of Indo-China-Japan-Hong Kong and Australia.  Then went out and camped overnight.

Thurs Aug 10.  Washed clothes and started for Dawson city.  Arrived at Tetlin Jct. and drove 74 miles into the mountains.  What scenery.  We camped at a lodge and it rained.  Paid 66 cents a gallon for gasoline.

Fri Aug 11.  We drove on top of the mountains into Dawson City.  We managed to get our camper on a small ferry with another truck and we crossed the Yukon river to get into Dawson City.  There was not much to see but it looks like all the pictures of it.  Like a town of the late 1800’s.  There was an old paddle wheeler parked along the river.  The campers were still coming north to Alaska.

Sat Aug 12.  We drove to Whitehorse today.  It was flat country and not to interesting.  We ate supper at Whitehorse and drove in rain to John Jacksons at M.P. 731.

Sun Aug 13.  We went fishing and was the lake ever rough.  I had a bite but was not able to land the fish.  Ed got a pair of moccasins and Dale had some moose meat given to him.  Thought we could make it to the Hot Springs but were to tired.  Camped at Whirlpool Canyon M.P. 544.  Still scared from the boat ride.

Mon Aug 14.  We saw a forest fire at Laird River and came on to Summitt Mt. where had hanger welded on the spring on the truck.  We came to Ft Nelson and  supper.  We drove to M.P. 200 and stayed overnight.  Lots of dust, worse than before and lots of smoke in the air.

Tues Aug 15.  Came to Ft St John and washed and showered and stayed at Little Smokey River overnight.

Wed Aug 16.  Came on to Edmondton and drove 50 miles south of Saskatoon and parked just off the highway.  Had a flat and made 577 miles today.

Thur. Aug 17.  Had 4 more flats today.  We pulled off the highway and a man took Dale and I into Regina and got a new tire.  They came out 335 miles with their truck and fixed the tire.  I went shopping in Regina and bought some real nice bon china.  We drove beyond Minot North Dakota after flats were fixed.

Fri Aug 18.  Drove to the folks and were tired when we got there.  Saw Paul Bunyon at Bemidje.  Beautiful lake country.  Everybody all right.

Sat Aug 19.  Drove to Dorothy’s and were anxious to see Gail.  She sure has changed in a month.  This is the Alaska trip that I took notes on.

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