Haines to Palmer

Ooh the things I do… not always smart either.  I had just told John & Linda L. that I had never been able to make Haines to Tok in one day drive.  Add to this, I had warned John & Linda about the frost heaves between Destruction Bay and Tok, as this is well known area of frost heaves – fixed every summer, but they are still there.  One needs to drive S-L-O-W thru the frost heaves.   They had even heard of people with cracked windshields, rigs broken along side the road, etc, etc. So John & Linda are complaining bitterly about the horrific road, they are never coming back, never encountered anything like it…. blah, blah, blah.  So knowing all this… I head out of Haines.

Fresh snow on mountains

Beautiful drive out of Haines on the Haines Highway… it was cloudy, but not rainy.  Saw lots of black bear scat along road, quite a few ground squirrels, chipmunk or two and 2 marmots. Just enjoyed the ride.  Got into Haines Junction – my normal gas station was closed, so went looking for another. I usually top off here vs Destruction Bay. Not fill up, as it was $1.46 per liter.  Good grief, prices are high this year. Haines wasn’t much better at $4.84 per gallon but is cheaper then the Canadian prices.

Made a sandwich, freshen my iced water – even tho it was barely 9:30 in the morning and I had eaten breakfast before I left Haines – a 2 1/2 hour drive from here.
From Haines Junction to Burwash Landing – road was great, surprisingly no frost heaves.  So made good time. I began to wonder where all the frost heaves were, they are always in this stretch of the road, so where are they. The area from Destruction Bay to Burwash Landing is normally the worst of it – it was great! I was really surprised. So where is the mess? Is it still between the customs?  Then lo and behold started seeing where they have patched, then areas of just gravel – all showing that they are indeed working on the road… but still nothing too serious… more gravel patches, longer stretches of gravel with some muddy crud. All in all, its very doable.  Then bam….  ah yes… our beloved frost heaves, NOT!  Nonetheless, I go thru this every year.  When I say slow, I’m not talking about dropping down to 55 mph or even 45 mph, I’m talking about creeping thru the frost heaves at 10 mph or less. Once you learn how to read the road, you can easily get back up to speed in between – but its quite a ride thru this.  John & Linda made a comment they don’t have this problem in Colorado. Well, Colorado does not have permafrost.  Frost heaves are the result of thawing and refreezing of the permafrost – its a big issue in the north country.  This year, to my delight, is the best I’ve seen this stretch of road in eons.  Last year, it was like 80 miles of non-stop frost heaves, this year there are patches of rough road in a few short sections.  Yes, there is gravel sections – a preferred state over frost heaves anytime, trust me.  No pictures, as the experience of making it thru is a missing element.  Each year is different.  
So onward…  I had stopped at one of the rest areas.  Shortly after getting up to speed, this sighting of a large grizzly prompted a full breaking. Dry cat food fell over and I had cat food all across my floor.   But it was worth it to get this shot.

Large grizzly bear eating grasses

I saw one other grizzly bear on this route, but the latter one was too far away to get a photo.  Saw lots of swans too… but no moose, caribou, etc.

I was so distracted, the time just flew by me, and before I knew it I was in Beaver Creek and the Canadian customs.  I knew I wasn’t far from the US customs, time was ok on the clock and with nearly 22 hours of sunshine, I pushed on.  Crazy… I know.  I arrived in Tok, had experienced high winds the last 50 miles into Tok and 11 1/2 hours after leaving Haines. Stupid.  I won’t do that again.  Now I know I can do it, but why???? No sane reason why.  I was a walking exhausted person. Fell into bed 45 minutes after arriving.  I’ve got one dirty RV.  It needs a bath, but I’m not willing to pay $12.00 to use a bucket, a brush and a hose.

Dirty RV

Had an uneventful trip into Palmer from Tok.  It seems all the RV’s headed for Fairbanks instead of coming this way – its a gorgeous trip going to Palmer via the Tok Cut-off to Glennallen and onward.  I will head home via Fairbanks vs retrace this route on the Glenn Hwy. 

On the mountain stretch of road, I saw another Lazy Daze heading the other way and I honked and waved as we passed. Fun to see any other Lazy Daze.
But for now… I’m in Palmer.  I dropped off all my stuff at the cleaners in Palmer (always my first pitstop in town), headed over to Fred Meyers for groceries and wa-la there’s a 24′ grey Lazy Daze parked there.  I decided to check in with my realtor and wait to see if the owners showed up. And they did.  Got to meet John & Patti N. Just the best to meet other Lazy Daze owners.  Then I finished grocery shopping and headed for my long time friends, John & Phyllis, as I’m staying in their driveway.  The view below is taken at 11:33 pm.  Yes, it is that light!!!  Actually, its lighter then that, this is taken from inside my rig out.

Front yard of friend’s home at 11:33 PM

On arrival, closing of the house was July 1st, now its been put off until the 3rd. Apparently, the bank is moving rather slow on this…  so am staying close, visiting and getting some other work done.

4 thoughts on “Haines to Palmer

  1. Sounds like your having a good trip hope all goes well on your closing. What's your plans are you staying up there or coming back to lower states? Saw Billie Jo yesterday she said Hi she said she needed to get on again and read your blog, hope all goes well take care and stay safe…..


  2. Janie, I am not going to make rash plans, more like sitting back and seeing how it all falls together. It sure will give me some flexing room, but I still plan to head south for the winter again. I have no idea where tho. All in good time. Say hi to Billie Jo for me. Next year, I will be coming up for a non-working stint – called play. 😉


  3. Hi Melinda
    Had to tell you. Made the most wonderful peach cobbler Sunday using the last of the vanilla you gave me at the BF. Two people asked what the extra special flavor was in the cobbler. Had to be a big dose of your vanilla. Everything else was my standard receipt.


  4. So have you started a new batch? It needs to be brewing… remember the recipe? If not, email me privately. Delighted to hear you are still enjoying it. Thanks for keeping me posted.


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