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This is Page 4 of 5 - the best of May and June 2016!
posted: June 30th, 2016
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This page begins with June 1st, the 9th day of our trip north from Ashland, Oregon to Fairbanks, Alaska. After that we jump to June 2nd and our arrival in Haines, Alaska, where we stayed with friends for the remainder of the day and for the night. Then we go part way through June 3rd and the 11th day of our trip north.   Click on any thumbnail to begin.

Note Well: The photos shown on this month's pages mark the beginning of Kazuya's and my life in the U.S.A. We flew from Tokyo to Medford, Oregon on May 18th, a friend picked us up at the airport and graciously permitted us to stay at their house as long as we needed to. A different friend took us out "car shopping" the next morning and by the end of the day we were the owner's of a 2015 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab, Automatic Transmission, 4 Wheel-Drive with less than 10,000 miles on it. On the 20th we got a canopy put on it so that we would have a place to sleep as we traveled up the Alaska Highway to our home in Fairbanks, Alaska. We managed to kill a few more days in Oregon with friends as we prepared for the trip north and then we headed north on May 24th. We finally arrived at our home in Fairbanks on June 4th.

Begin June 1st (Day #9 Of Our Trip North)
  Well, we have now made it to June 1st and the 9th day of our trip north. My journal entry for this date follows.
Up at 0430 with Kazuya. Drink coffee, eat breakfast, pack up and leave Liard Hot Springs at about 5:30 AM. Continue on and see moose, buffalo, bear and fox. Stop at Watson Lake for gas and groceries, go to the visitor center and check e-mail and take care of the critical stuff thanks to their Wi-Fi and our iPhones. Continue on and we got a flat tire a bit before Jakes Corner and had to change it - that took nearly an hour (first flat tire on a new rig and had to read the owner's manual to figure out where the jack point was and so on). We had to pass through two rather long construction zones today and besides the flat tire we also ended up with a second chip in the windshield we got the first one yesterday. Stop here at Tagish River Campground at 4:12 PM and after preparing the rig for sleeping we take a nice walk for an hour or so. Return to the rig, cook, eat, talk, drink our hard cider and eat our snack while doing our journals. Now its only 6:37 PM, but well sleep in a little while.
All three shots in this row show a single Bison bison (American Bison or American Buffalo) which we saw rather early this morning.
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  The first shot in this row shows a beautiful mountainous area. A lot of the mountains in this mountain range had the shape of pyramids. The second and third shots show some kind of vetch, or at least something in the pea family.
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SomeMountainsRC
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  The first two shots in this row show an Ursus americanus (Black Bear) walking along the highway and the third shot shows another Bison bison (American Bison or American Buffalo). We saw a lot of wildlife again today, nice!
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  Here is a group of two Bison bison (American Bison or American Buffalo) and then two shots of a beautiful blue-colored flower.
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  The first and third shots in this row show Bluebell and some pea family plants. The center shot shows another Bison bison (American Bison or American Buffalo).
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  Here is a shot showing more vetch type plants/flowers and then in center position you can see a very small portion of the "sign post forest" at Watson Lake. Here is an excerpt of what Wikipedia has to say about it.
"Sign Post Forest is a collection of signs at Watson Lake, Yukon and is one of the most famous of the landmarks along the Alaska Highway. It was started by a homesick G.I. in 1942. He was assigned light duty while recovering from an injury and erected the signpost for his hometown: Danville, Ill. 2835 miles. Visitors may add their own signs to the 100,000 already present."
The third shot shows an example of Polemonium pulcherrimum (Showy Jacob's-ladder).
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  In first position in this row is another shot of Polemonium pulcherrimum (Showy Jacob's-ladder). In the center is a shot of the welcome sign at Teslin, Y.T., Canada and in third position is a string of traffic following a pilot car through a construction zone. It was right after this construction zone where the light came on which indicated that one of our tires was below the recommended pressure. When we got it repaired in Haines, Alaska they found nothing but a hole, must have been made by a very sharp piece of gravel or something like that.
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  All three shots in this row show the Tagish River. As the journal entry at the top of the page states, we stopped at the Tagish River Campground for the night. This was such an amazingly beautiful spot.
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  These three shots were also taken while we were taking our walk from the Tagish River Campground along the Klondike Highway. Now we are en route to Skagway, Alaska, we left the Alaska Highway at Jakes Corner. Now we are now at the end of "Day #9 Of Our Trip North". We traveled 370 miles (595.5 km) today. The weather was wonderful all day long and we saw lots of animals.
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End June 1st, Begin June 2nd (Day #10 Of Our Trip North)
  Now it's June 2nd and the beginning of the 10th day of our trip north. My journal entry for this date follows.
Up at about 0500 with Kazuya. Drink coffee and eat breakfast and get on the road at about 6:00 AM or so. Pass through Canadian Customs without being stopped, of course, and continue on to U.S. Customs no problems. Get to Skagway at about 7:45 AM and just by our great luck, there is a ferry which leaves at 9:15 AM, so buy tickets, get in line and head for Haines without having time to look around Skagway such is life. Arrive at the Haines Ferry Terminal at about 10:30 AM, drive off the ferry and head for our friend's house. They gave us a nice welcome and then we immediately went and got the flat tire fixed. Then we went back to the house, washed the rig, showered and shaved and finally ate lunch. Poor Carol we made her wait 2 hours to serve lunch! Then we took a walk through Haines for a couple of hours, returned to the house, talked, ate supper and went to bed at 8:30 PM.
All three shots in this row were taken at the Bove Island Overlook along the Klondike Highway. This is Tagish Lake. Note that we have some high clouds again.
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  The first shot in this row is the final one which was taken at the Bove Island Viewpoint. The sign in the second photo reads "Welcome to: Moon Lake Outfitters, LTD." and gives a web address, so we assume that lake out ahead of us is most likely Moon Lake. It is appropriate as this stretch of highway and countryside through this high elevation area is so very stark and treeless that it may as well be on the moon! The third shot in this row was taken from just a bit farther along the highway - you an easily recognize that the leftmost mountain is the same as the rightmost mountain in the previous photo.
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  The first shot in this row is another of Moon Lake and if you study this photo closely you can see just how desolate and stark this landscape is. The second photo shows the Canadian Customs village as we approach Skagway, Alaska. The 3rd shot shows US Customs - the Port of Entry at Skagway, Alaska! We've made it this far!
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  We got into Skagway, as my journal entry above says, at about 7:45 AM and just totally by lucky coincidence there was a ferry scheduled to leave at 9:15 AM. We did not plan the trip like this, we assumed that we would have to wait until about 4:00 PM for a departing ferry. So, we bought a ticket to Haines, Alaska and got our pickup truck into line to board the Alaska Marine Highway System M.V. Matanuska. The second shot shows a scene as we were aboard the ferry from Skagway to Haines. The third shot is another shot from the ferry as we traveled to Haines.
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  The first shot in this row is another from the ferry. Skagway is back there behind us. The second shot shows the ferry docking at Haines, Alaska. The third shot was taken from in front of our friend's house in Haines. WOW! We are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends who consider us nice enough people so that they'll offer to let us stay with them as we travel north. First there were our friends in Oregon - Tim and Peg in Phoenix and Steve and Deb in Ashland. Then there were Tony and Nancy in Kittitas, Washington and now we have Dick and Carol here in Haines. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives!
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  Okay, now we are walking around Haines after getting our flat tire fixed, washing our rig, showering/shaving and eating lunch with Dick and Carol. That mountain there is Mt. Ripinski - 3,675 ft (1,120 m), the Haines Mountain. When I lived here I climbed it on August 4, 1979. Note that some websites refer to this mountain as Mt. Ripinsky, which is not correct. The second photo shows the mountains behind Haines, Alaska.
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  As Kazuya and I were walking around and shopping for the continuation of our trip north we made it a point to walk by the Haines Small Boat Harbor. The first photo here shows a very touristy photo of me. The second photo is of the Haines Small Boat Harbor.
And that ends "Day #10 Of Our Trip North". We traveled only 99 miles (159.3 km) today. The weather was cloudy as we crossed the Whitehorse Summit Area, but by the time we got to Skagway it was sunny and stayed like that the remainder of the day.
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End June 2nd, Begin June 3rd (Day #11 Of Our Trip North)
  Now it's June 3rd and the beginning of the 11th day of our trip north. My journal entry for this date follows.
Up at 0530 with Kazuya. Prepare for the day and then go out to the living room and drink coffee with Dick and Carol. Talk together and then after a while we eat breakfast. We decide to leave as quickly as we can gracefully say goodbye, although we told Dick and Carol last night that we'd probably leave at around noon or so, because we are getting anxious to get to Fairbanks, so pack the truck and leave at about 8:05 AM. Get gas in Haines and continue up the Haines Highway. Pass through Canadian Customs at 9:24 AM without any problems and continue up the highway. Go through the pass, stop at Rock Glacier at 11:50 AM and take a hike interesting country. Then continue on. Pass by Dezadeash Lake, Kathleen Lake, Haines Junction, where we got gas, and more places. Then continue on and stop at the Sheep Mountain Visitor Center. Then continue on and pass Destruction Bay and so on along Kluane Lake. Stop at Lake Creek Campground at 4:10 PM, find a spot, pay our money, cook, eat, walk around and now its 6:17 PM Fairbanks time and well most likely be sleeping quite soon.
The first shot in this row shows a Stellar's Jay near a feeder at our friend's house in Haines. The second shot shows the Chilkat River, just a few miles outside of Haines. The third shot shows Pyrola grandiflora (Arctic Wintergreen, or Large-flowered Wintergreen) as we were hiking up to the Rock Glacier near Dezadeash Lake, Y.T., Canada.
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  The first shot here shows a Lupine Lupinus sp. The second shot is another of Pyrola grandiflora and the third photo is a scenic shot taken as we hiked up the trail to Rock Glacier.
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  The first two shots in this row show Chamerion latifolium (formerly Epilobium latifolium, Dwarf Fireweed) and the third shot is another scenic shot which was taken as we hiked up the trail to Rock Glacier.
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  Well, although the first shot here is labeled "Scenery from Rock Glacier", it obviously is not so! It was probably taken from very close to the parking lot for the Rock Glacier trail though. The second shot shows Saxifraga bronchialis (Spotted saxifrage). There is a very close relative of this which inhabits high elevation mountains we have climbed in Japan and it is one of our favorite flowers. It was quite a pleasant surprise for us to find it here. The third shot shows the sign on the edge of the glacier. You do not have to try and read it as it is cropped out and shown larger in the next row.
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  Here is a better view of the sign shown in the previous photo. In second position is another shot of Saxifraga bronchialis (Spotted saxifrage). The third shot shows Kazuya on the Rock Glacier.
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  In first position is another shot of Saxifraga bronchialis (Spotted saxifrage) and in second position is a portion of a photo to show you only the flower. The third shot shows the amazing colors of lichens growing on the rocks here.
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  Here is a shot of Dezadeash Lake from the Rock Glacier. You can easily see rain falling in the distance. The second shot is a two-shot panorama of photos which were taken while we were standing on the Rock Glacier. The third shot shows our rig in the parking lot. You can easily see the Rock Glacier up there too. We did not hike very far beyond the beginning of the reddish rock up there.
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End Page 4, but June 3rd Continues on Page 5
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