Where are we?
August 2002

Subj:  98. Where are we?
Date:  Monday, August 5, 2002

We left Delta Junction this morning after receiving our mail, and headed east. Again, we didn't drive very far. We've been in this little community before, in fact, if you drive to Alaska (at least the main part and not the Southeast coastal area) you have to drive through this community twice, once on your way into Alaska, and once on your way out. This is the trade center for at least six of the Athabascan Native villages. The community started in the 1940s as a construction camp on the Alcan Highway as it was originally known (remember, now it's called the Alaska Highway). We have learned that the name came from a Husky pup on August 15, 1942. The pup was the mascot of the US Army Corps, the 97th engineers when they were building the Alcan highway.

We forgot to mention an incident that happened about a week ago when we were in Kenny Lake. After setting up the motorhome in Kenny Lake, we decided to take a drive to Chitina (Chit-na). Along the highway, a female moose came running out of the woods to the left of the highway and started to cross the road. If we had hit the brakes, we probably would have hit the moose. Instead, we hit the gas, speeded up, and ran right in front of and beside the moose. The moose actually ran beside the truck for a few yards before it stopped. We also stopped to look back. The moose looked confused for a few seconds, then continued to the other side of the road. We have heard that when a moose is running, it is probably because a bear or wolf is chasing after it. That was a close call but fortunately the moose, our truck, and both of us, everyone and everything survived with only an adrenaline rush.

Speaking of moose. We have seen so many moose that seeing them no longer offers the excitement that it once did. What we really want to see now, is a bull moose. That's the kind with the huge antlers. Although we haven't seen any bull moose yet, we do expect to see them before we get back to the lower 48.

We ended up spending five days in Delta Junction. We wanted to get our mail and today it came. We didn't do any fishing in Delta Junction, it was too hard to figure out what the regulations were. There is one lake in the area where the limit is one rainbow trout which must be at least 24 inches in length!

We took several drives around the Delta Junction area. Larry did try out the panorama feature of his new digital camera. It worked well and will be on our web page when we post the pictures for August.

We also took a drive to Fairbanks to do some shopping. We saw probably six moose along the way.

In Delta Junction we stopped by Rika's Roadhouse. This is now a state park but originally it was one of the roadhouses on the trail between Valdez and Fairbanks. It was really well preserved and an interesting place to visit.

Delta Junction is primarily a farming community. On one of our trips around the area we stopped at a roadside stand for fresh vegetables. We bought some home grown tomatoes, some green onions, and some zucchini. The tomatoes were especially good. The roadside stand was actually about half a mile off the highway. It was really a pretty farm with many of the vegetables grown in greenhouses. We guess they have to grown the warm season crops in greenhouses just to let them grow.

We also saw a bison ranch and a ranch that was raising reindeer. That was really interesting.

Now, where are we? We are back in Tok Alaska getting ready to continue our adventure. Since we will be heading into some rather remote territory, we may not have cell phone coverage for a few days. The best way to contact us will be via E-mail.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
in Alaska



Subj:  99. Where are we?
Date:  Wednesday, August 7, 2002

We left Tok this morning and after a 2-1/2 hour drive stopped for the rest of the day and the night. We are in a small community with about 30 to 50 residents, at least during the summer. During the winter the population decreases to about 15. They don't have telephones or a flush toilet. They close during the winter but then so does the road. After a gold strike in 1886, this community nestled in the heart of the 40-mile country began to grow by leaps and bounds. By 1903 this once empty corner of Alaska touted a population of close to 400. With this growth came the need for identity. The prospectors, miners, and natives collectively decided to call their budding community Ptarmigan, after the succulent bird that often donned their dinner plates. However, no one knew how to spell Ptarmigan, so they used another name for a bird.

Mail comes by plane every Tuesday and Friday, weather permitting. The border with Canada is about 42 miles away, and it closes at 8:00 P.M. during the summer. During the winter, it never opens.

We spent two days in Tok. The big reason for spending two days there was so Larry could get the oil changed in the truck. We did wander around Tok one day, but after an hour there wasn't much more to see. Television reception was one channel, a composite of PBS and network television. We haven't been able to receive satellite TV in Alaska. Our 18-inch dish is just too small. We have seen businesses with satellite TV, both Dish Network and Direct TV but they use a three to four foot dish. We're just back to entertaining each other.

Now, where are we? We are in the community of Chicken Alaska. The original settlers decided to call it Chicken when no one could spell Ptarmigan. We have seen historic Chicken, kind of a small ghost town, beautiful downtown Chicken (which is a single building with a gift shop, a bar, and a restaurant), and the RV Park we are in. The only amenities in the park are fire rings. However, we can pan for gold in Chicken Creek, right behind the motorhome. This is really the frontier of Alaska. By the way, Ptarmigan is the Alaska State Bird!

The Brauers
Havin' fun
in Alaska.



Subj:  100. Where are we?
Date:  Thursday, August 8, 2002

Well, we had fun in Chicken but one night there was enough. So today we headed on. It took us three hours to travel the first 42 miles. No, nothing is wrong with the motorhome but the highway (and we use that term loosely) was dirt, curvy, hilly, and mostly one lane. The second 60 miles or so was faster, at least it was mostly paved and two lanes, but it was still very hilly and curvy. The difference between the two parts of the highways is simply that the first part was in Alaska and the second part was in Canada. Yes, we are now in Canada again.

The town we're in was the destination for the gold seekers who came north in 1898. They did not travel comfortably. They typically took a boat from Seattle, through the inside passage, to either Dyea or Skagway, Alaska. Then they had to either climb the Chilkoots Pass or the White Pass to Whitehorse, then travel down the river to the gold fields. Of course most of them didn't find any gold. Yes, we are in a historic gold mining town, and it's certainly better known then Chicken, Alaska.

Chicken was fun. There isn't too much there as we told you before. We did two additional things beside what we told you in our last E-mail. First, Larry did some panning for gold. The RV "park" had a pile of tailings from a gold mine and you could pan the tailings. Larry only had a chance to pan one pan of tailings before it rained but he did find a little color.

We also went out to dinner at the Chicken Cafe. Dinner was expensive hamburgers. Yes, the hamburgers were good but they cost $9.00 each and it was no where near as fancy as Hamburger Hamlet or one of those types of places. But we had to do it! We wanted to tell everyone that we ate at the Chicken Cafe in Chicken, Alaska.

Now, a little bit more about our drive today. We headed out of Chicken on the Taylor Highway, that was the single lane dirt highway. Since it had been raining it was still foggy. Imagine meeting a tour bus, yes one of those big ones on a dirt, single lane road and in fog. Well, we did and we managed to survive. Larry pulled the motorhome as far to the right side of the road as possible without going over a cliff. It was white knuckle time. The tour bus inched past and finally stopped because it appeared that the back of the bus was going to tear off our outside mirror. Then Larry pulled forward a little (with Adrienne making all sorts of exclamations) and we survived and so did our mirror. A few miles before the Canadian border we turned on the "Top of the World Highway." The first part was about the same as the Taylor Highway but after we went through Canadian Customs, it was paved and much wider, there were some gravel sections with potholes but it was certainly a major improvement. It was really a beautiful (and somewhat scary) drive. The Top of the World Highway follows a mountain ridge with beautiful views off both sides of the road. In many areas the forest or the mountain meadows fall away from the road. The last few miles is all downhill, then you have to take a ferry across the Yukon River. It's not a big ferry and we had to wait in line for about an hour before we could drive on the ferry to cross the river. By the way, to go along with the "We survived the Alaska Highway" bumper sticker, we also have a "We survived the Top of the World Highway" bumper sticker.

Where are we? We are in a very historic community located where the Klondike and Yukon Rivers meet. The town is Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. We haven't had a chance to explore yet but we are sure it will be fun and we plan on staying for several days.

Since we are really in the boondocks, we don't have cell phone service so the only way of communicating with us is by E-mail. We will probably check our E-mail several times a day.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
in the Far North.


Subj:  101. Where are we?
Date:  Thursday, August 15, 2002

We've been here before, just short of three months ago. This is a place where the gold seekers of 1898 had to pass. For a long time, this was a transportation center. In 1953 the capitol of the Yukon was transferred from Dawson City to here.

The drive today was leisurely. We drove about 330 miles but took time to enjoy the sights. The road roughly follows the route that the 1898 gold seekers took to Dawson City. We crossed many rivers including the Yukon River. We even saw the infamous "Five Finger Rapids" where many of the gold seekers took the wrong finger and perished. We even passed by Lake Labarge made famous by Robert Service's poem about the Cremation of Sam McGee. The poem starts out:

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee."

We also drove through an area that was burned in 1998 and, we think, learned why there is a plant called fireweed. We've seen fireweed before, it is a beautiful pink flower on a stalk something like stock. It blooms from the bottom and when the flowers at the top open, it's supposed to be near the end of summer. In the burned areas, we saw acres and acres of fireweed all in fierce blooms. It looked like the embers of a dying campfire and was simply beautiful. We also made a quick stop at the Braeburn Lodge. The Braeburn Lodge advertises their "World Famous Cinnamon Buns." We can't say how it tastes yet because we haven't tried it. But we can say they are the largest Cinnamon Buns we have ever seen. They are the size of a round loaf of Sheepherders Bread. We'll try to remember to tell you how they taste in the next chapter of our emails.

Dawson City was awesome. Adrienne wasn't sure what to expect, Larry expected something like Calico Ghost Town near Barstow California. It was nothing like Calico. All of Dawson City was authentic including the mud streets, the board sidewalks and the buildings.

Parks Canada, the Canadian equivalent to the US National Parks Service, has purchased and restored a number of properties in Dawson. Most of the historic buildings just have various displays in the windows with notes to describe them. However, there are seven specific places where they have guided tours or interpreters. They also work with the Dawson Historical Society to really show off the town and the various historical places.

We started with a guided walking tour of the town. The Parks Canada guide really brought the town to life, that is life as it was 50 or more years ago. She pointed out a number of places of interest, took us through several of the historic buildings, and explained what was happening in the town and how the towns people reacted to certain cultures within their town. It was quite interesting and covered everything from the Post Office, the Palace Theater, the bars, and the Ruby House, one of the local madams who had lots of nieces and political connections. The tour was great.

Dawson City is at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers. It was here that gold was found in Rabbit Creek in 1896. The founders changed the name of the creek to Bonanza Creek. Since Dawson City was (and still is) far removed from most other places in Alaska and Canada, it took two years before the gold rush began. First, the word of the strike had to get to places like Seattle and San Francisco. Then people had to make the journey to Dawson City. Most of the gold rushers came by ferry to Skagway Alaska, then climbed over the Chilkoot Pass to enter Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (called Mounties) required that each person had 2000 pounds of provisions before they could enter Canada. Once the gold rushers reached Lake Bennett, they had to build a boat to take them about 350 miles down the Yukon River to Dawson City. It certainly was not an easy trip and the whole trip typically took nine months or more. Of course when they reached Dawson, most of the claims had already been filed. So much for getting rich easily.

Another of the Parks Canada tours was Dredge Number 4. The gold fields of the Klondike are all Placer Gold. That means that the gold has washed down into the creeks. Gold, being rather heavy, migrates down to bedrock. The bedrock gets covered by gravel, sand, and soil. Because of the winters here, all of that is frozen and stays frozen year around. The first miners had to make a hole in the frozen muck (soil), sand, and gravel, to the gold bearing gravel. This could be 10 to 100 feet down. The early miners used fires to melt the muck, then removed the muck to sink mine shafts. They couldn't get the gold during the winter because everything was frozen. However, they could sink their shafts to bedrock, and remove the gold bearing gravel. In the summer, when the streams thawed and started flowing, they could use the water to wash the gravel and get the gold. So they worked all winter thawing and removing the muck, sand, and gravel from their claims. Then, after the Spring thaw, they could wash what the stuff that they had dug during the winter to find out if they had any gold.

After several years, corporations formed and bought up many of the claims. These corporations built and used large dredges to reclaim the gold. A dredge is a large floating barge that has everything needed to dig into the stream beds, extract the dirt and gravel, wash the dirt and gravel to get the gold, and return the worthless material back to the stream bed. Dredge Number 4 was the largest of these and is now owned by Parks Canada. It would take too long to describe all the details but suffice to say these are marvelous floating machines built in the early 1900s.

Another of the Parks Canada tours was of Bear Creek Camp, the main camp of the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation, which operated the dredges until 1966. Both the camp and the company were a fascinating bit of history.

Other places of note were Robert Service's Cabin. Robert Service was the man who wrote such poems about the Yukon as "The Cremation of Sam McGee," "The Shooting of Dan McGrew," "The Spell of the Yukon," and several more.

Across the street from Robert Service's Cabin is the Pierre Berton Residence. Pierre Berton is a well-known Canadian author. Some of his books are used as texts for history classes. The preface to Bertons' book "The Klondike Fever" starts:

"It was the river that fashioned the land, and the river that ground down the gold.

"Long before natives or white men saw it, the river was there, flowing for two thousand miles from mountain to seacoast, working its slow sculpture on valley and hillside, nibbling away at the flat tableland heaved up by the earth's inner turmoils before the dawn of history.

"The main stream had a thousand tentacles, and these reached back to the very spine of the continent, honing down the mountainsides into gullies and clefts-boulder grating on boulder, gravel grinding against gravel, sand scouring sand, until the river was glutted with silt and the whole Alaska-Yukon peninsula was pitted and grooved by the action of running water."

Now, how's that for a history book!! We bought two of his books to read.

Jack London also spent a little time in Dawson City. Jack London is best known for his books "The Call of the Wild," and "White Fang."

We went to two shows while we were there. Diamond Tooth Gerties is a gambling hall (yes, they have slot machines, Blackjack Tables, Roulette Tables, and Poker), and entertainment. That was a great show. They have three shows a night and we saw all three. Diamond Tooth Gertie even wished Larry a Happy Birthday.

We also went to see the Gaslight Follies at the Palace Theater. The theater is beautiful in a 1900 sense but the show was not the best we've seen. Given a choice after the fact. Diamond Tooth Gerties was the place to go.

Those are only a few of the highlights of our stop in Dawson City; we could go on for a long time. We had planned on staying four nights in Dawson; we spent a week and could have spent more. We haven't mentioned a number of other things we did: like play golf at the Top of the World Golf Course (where Larry saw a fox, where there is no penalty if a raven steals your ball, and where groundskeepers and moose have priority), attend a presentation by John Gould (the author of "Frozen Gold"), the museum (where Larry was a reluctant participant in a skit), the gold fields, the cohesiveness of the citizens, the commissioner's house, the dirt streets yet the cleanliness of the town, and other things. Suffice to say we really enjoyed Dawson City.

Now, where are we? We are in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. However, our trip to Alaska is not over. We just had to travel back into Canada to see another part of Alaska.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
Where ever we are!!



Subj:  102. Where are we?
Date:  Saturday, August 17, 2002

It may sound strange unless you look at a road map but today we entered Alaska again and are at the end of the road again. We are in an historic town on the Lynn Canal. The Lynn Canal is a natural passage (actually a fjord) from the Pacific Ocean to this town. This is one of the two places where the majority of the gold seekers in 1898 came to start going overland (and river) to the gold fields of Dawson City. In 1898 Jefferson Randolph (Soapy) Smith ran the town. He earned his nickname in Colorado where he sold bars of soap for $5.00 each. They were supposed to have a twenty-dollar bill under the wrapper, but of course they didn't.

The drive covered some of the same ground that the 1898 gold miners traveled to the gold fields. We drove past Lake Bennett and over the White Pass. It was an interesting drive to say the least. We drove through mountains, forests, the "worlds smallest desert," a valley that could have been on the moon, and down a steep canyon to our current location. The higher elevations in White Pass were shrouded in fog so we didn't get all the views of the pass that we wanted. However, we have to return over the same highway when we leave so, hopefully, the weather will be clear.

We really didn't do too much in Whitehorse. Larry had to fix a few things, nothing major. We also wanted to get some fresh vegetables in Whitehorse. Other then those errands, we just relaxed.

By the way, remember the cinnamon bun we talked about in our last email? It is very good. It is so large that we had to cut it in pieces. Larry has had two pieces, Adrienne has had one piece, and we still have a large piece left.

Where are we? We are at the start of the White Pass route to Lake Bennett, the Yukon River, and Dawson. We are in the town of Skagway Alaska. It doesn't appear that we have cell phone service here. So we suspect we won't have phone service until early September when we should be further east.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
Back in Alaska



Subj:  103. Where are we?
Date:  Saturday, August 24, 2002

We've already written about our current location twice, it doesn't make sense for us to describe it again. So this time it's a contest to see if you remember where we've been. The only hint we'll give you is that this is the third time in the same RV Park and we are in the Yukon.

Skagway was interesting. Skagway's claim to fame is the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Most people who went to Dawson City came through either Skagway or Dyea (Dye-ee). Dyea was only a few miles from Skagway and the Chilkoot Pass was out of Dyea. The White Pass was out of Skagway. Although the Chilkoot Pass was higher than the White Pass, it was shorter and the most popular route to the Klondike. Now, Skagway's biggest business (and really its only business) is tourism.

We noticed last Saturday, as we walked the historic streets of Skagway, that several of the businesses were closed. However, everything was open on Sunday. Of course on Saturday there were no cruise ships at the docks. On Sunday there were three! On Tuesday there were four big cruise ships and one small cruise ship.

We took a walking tour of Skagway sponsored by the National Park Service. The National Park Service established the Klondike Gold Rush National Park in the 1960s. The tour was good and the National Park Service has restored some of the buildings they own.

We also took a walking tour of Dyea. Dyea is about 10 miles from Skagway by a mostly dirt road. Dyea no longer exists as a town, but it is part of the National Park. Although the Chilkoot Pass was the favorite route to the gold fields in 1897,1898, and 1899, but with the completion of the White Pass Railroad in 1900, Dyea lost its reason to exist. Skagway also had the advantage of being a good deep-water port, while Dyea only had mud flats.

Near Dyea the trail for the Chilkoot Pass begins. We actually walked the first hundred yards of the trail. The park service recommends taking three days to hike the trail. It was interesting to see the first hundred yards of the trail. While the Chilkoot trail between Dyea and Lake Bennett is only 33 miles but there is an elevation gain of 3739 feet. The last 1000 feet of elevation gain was up a 35-degree ice slope. Because the Canadian Mounties (police force) required all the stampeeders entering Canada to have a years supply of rations with them, it took about 3 months to negotiation that 33 miles with about 2000 pounds of goods.

We also took a trip, by boat, to Haines Alaska and the National Bald Eagle Preserve. Haines is only about 10 miles away by water but over 300 miles away by road. We took the ferry over to Haines. We toured the Bald Eagle Preserve and saw quite a few Bald Eagles. Apparently the best time to visit the preserve is in November and December. We had to look for the bald eagles, in November and December the place is supposed to be full of eagles with numerous eagles sitting in the same tree.

In Skagway we also went to the show at the Eagle's Lodge. For the past 77 years they have been putting on a show called "The days of 98" with Soapy Smith. Soapy Smith was the ruler of Skagway in 1898. He and his band of thieves, con men, fast buck artists, and thugs, ran the town. On July 8 1898 he lost a gunfight with Frank Reid. Well, actually they both lost. Soapy Smith was killed outright; Frank Reid was wounded and died 12 days later. They are both buried in the Skagway Cemetery. Soapy Smith has a rather plain grave; Frank Reid has an ornate granite tombstone and a granite wall around his grave. His tombstone includes the words; "He died for the honor of Skagway."

Enough about Skagway, it is a tourist town but it is also fun, especially if you get out to see the non-tourist areas like Dyea.

Where are we? We are back at the Hi-Country RV Park in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
In the Yukon



Subj:  104. Where are we?
Date:  Tuesday, August 27, 2002

We left Whitehorse this morning and headed east along the Alaska Highway. Where we are now camped is in a small town known for its sign post forest. This is where people tack up various signs. It was a tradition started in the 1940s with the building of the Alaska Highway and has continued today. Yes, we've been here before.

We didn't do much in Whitehorse other than recuperate. Larry developed a bad cold, probably from the wet weather we had in Skagway. So we just spent a few relaxing days in Whitehorse for him to recover. We did take a short side trip to Miles Canyon, just outside of Whitehorse. Miles Canyon is one of the places on the Yukon River that the stampeeders had to navigate. Even with the Whitehorse Dam, the water runs fast and high through the canyon and the stampeeders had to take their boats through this canyon. Then, they had to navigate the Whitehorse rapids which were even worse than Miles Canyon. Neither of those two obstacles are as bad today as they were in 1898. The Whitehorse rapids no longer exist but Miles Canyon still looks impressive.

The drive today was the same drive we made about three months ago, but this time we went east, not west. The scenery is still beautiful but it's obvious that the seasons are ready to change. A saying in this part of the world goes:

When the top of the fireweed
Turns to cotton,
It means that summer
Will soon be forgotten.

Well, not only has the tops of the fireweed turned to cotton (seedpods like dandelions) but most the of seeds have scattered leaving nothing but the red stalk. We understand that there has even been some snow near here at some of the higher elevations on the Alaska Highway. No, we haven't seen any snow but we did see quite a bit of rain today.

It's obvious that the lush, two color of green vegetation is changing. There is still the deep green of the spruce and fir trees, but other trees have a much lighter shade of green than they had three months ago. Some of those trees have started turning yellow. It's still too early for a bright display of fall colors but in the next few weeks we suspect the hills will be covered with reds and yellows.

On the drive today we listened to two audiotapes that we bought in Whitehorse. The first one was about some of the characters that were involved in the goldrush and Dawson City, the second one was about Robert Service. Then we started listening to an audio tape of the book Alaska by Mitchner. Since visiting Dawson City, Whitehorse, Skagway, Dyea, and seeing what the stampeeders had to go through to get to the gold fields of Dawson, the story really came alive. We've been in and seen most of the places he mentioned. We've seen what the miners had to go through. We've seen what the gold fields are like.

It may sound that our adventure is almost over but we plan on continuing it with some more surprises. Sure, we will be retracing our steps from May, at least for a while, but then there are some new places we want to visit. We'll tell you more about those places when we get there.

Where are we? Remember Watson Lake? That's where we are right now. When we were here in May, we nailed up our old California License Plate with the words, "The Brauers, Havin' Fun" printed on it. If it stops raining, we'll check to make sure it's still there.

The Brauers
Havin' fun
In Canada

P.S.
 We still do not have cell phone service.



Subj:  105. Where are we?
Date:  Wednesday, August 28, 2002

We left Watson Lake this morning and continued our drive back along the Alaska Highway. We only drove about 110 miles but we have left the Yukon and are now in British Columbia. We decided to stay at a British Columbia Provincial Park. That's kind of like a state park in the US. This is a well-known park and almost everyone we've talked to that drove the Alaska Highway recommended an overnight stay here. On the way north, three months ago, we were going to stop here but the weather was cold and wet, so we decided to wait.

Our choice out of Watson Lake was either to backtrack our drive in May or take the Cassiar Highway. We decided to backtrack and from what the locals have told us, we made the right choice.

Watson Lake was wet. It rained all yesterday afternoon, evening, and night but this morning the sun was out and it was pretty. The sun stayed out for most of the drive today. Of course the sunshine was very nice but it also meant a lot of bugs on the windshield. Part of the drive today was over a section that was under construction in May. That section, about 10 miles long, is now completed and is a very nice highway.

Where are we? We are at Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia Canada.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
Headin' Back
But slowly.



Subj:  106. Where are we?
Date:  Thursday, August 29, 2002

We left Liard Hot Springs Provincial Park and headed down the Alaska Highway. We are now in the same campground we were in about three months ago. Originally the economy of this town was based on the fur trade. As recently as the 1950s, this was still a pioneer community without power, phones, running water, refrigerators, or doctors. Forestry is now a major industry here.

Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park was great. We had a beautiful campsite in the trees and brush. A short walk from the campground goes to the pools. The boardwalk trail crosses a wetlands environment that supports forest plants, including 14 orchid species and 14 plants that survive at this latitude because of the hot springs. There are two hot spring pools with water temperatures ranging from 108 degrees to 126 degrees.

We had planned to take a dip in the hot springs last night after dinner. BUT, we had a thunderstorm and decided we should wait. This morning we took a dip in the hot springs and it was great. The area is well developed with steps into the water. The water is very warm, hot in some places, and there is the strong odor of sulfur in the air. There is a small, man-made waterfall with a wood bench underneath the waterfall. Sitting on the bench and letting the water wash over your shoulders is like getting a massage. It felt wonderful.

We did have an incident with the RV today. We finally got hit with a major piece of gravel. It didn't penetrate the windshield but it did break both layers of glass. We've already called our insurance company to get the windshield replaced. We were waiting until we got back to the lower 48 in case we got more dings on the windshield but this one is too significant to ignore. We'll tell you more about how our US insurance works in Canada. It should be no problem but remember we are still in the backcountry of British Columbia.

Today we took pictures of Caribou and Stone Sheep. Both were either in the middle of the road on the side of the road. Caribou were young and one of the Stone Sheep had her baby with her. It is so exciting to see Wildlife in their natural habitat.

Forgot to mention the Bison on the side of the road going to Laird Hotsprings. We did not see any bears at Liard Hot Springs. This area is known for sightings. In fact one year, a bear jumped into the hot springs and shook up a few of the customers. Fortunately, nothing happened. Most of the time, the bears are spotted running across the boardwalk. Moose and other animals frequent the marshland at Liard Hot Springs.

Adrienne had fun gathering a few raspberries. The season is almost over, but they were delicious.

Where are we? We are in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.

The Brauers
Havin' Fun
Even with a cracked windshield.