BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND WILDLIFE IN THIS ONE AS WE SHOW YOU ONE OF OUR FAVORITE BOONDOCKING SPOTS EVER
OK… we know we’re spoiled. Alaska has been the best and even though we’re traveling down the Cassiar Highway it’s easy to think the best is behind us. But it was not. It’s like every night something special happens as we travel along this awesome highway. So what did we experience this time:
✅ The most awesome boondocking spot right on a beautiful lake
✅ Beautiful mountains and fall colors around every turn
✅ A Black Bear and her 3 cubs (watch her nod her head at us like she’s saying “How ‘ya doing?”
✅ And…. Bear Glacier
As we end this leg of the journey we find ourselves in Stewart, BC. Thanks for being part of the journey… lots more to come for sure so keep coming back, OK?
There are lots of roads to travel on while visiting Alaska where the driving part of the trip is almost as impressive the destination itself. A few of these roads come to mind. First of all the Alaska Highway. We took this road all the way to Dawson City and it did not disappoint. In fact even though we saw a ton of wildlife while recently traveling down the Cassiar Stewart Highway, we saw many many times more wildlife while on the Alaska Highway. Why? Maybe because it was spring… who knows… but man we saw everything under the sun… all the bucket list wildlife you dream of when making this epic trip to Alaska.
Then there’s the Dalton Highway. We did that one too. Probably wouldn’t do it again but for a one time is enough trip I guess it’s a good one. The thing about the Dalton is it’s huge challenge it presents. Only a few gas stations. Total isolation and remoteness. And the road is just crap!!! Potholes would be one thing… there are millions of those… but couple that with the trucks passing every 10-15 minutes throwing rocks at your windshield (even though they don’t mean to). Then there’s the draw of making it past the Artic Circle all the way to the Artic Ocean. To be honest, it’s not as big a deal as it sounds like. Once you pass Adigun Pass it becomes what is known as the Northern Slope which is geography speak for flat, flat, flat barren land. So you see… one time was enough.
Then there’s the McCarthy Highway out to McCarthy. Awesome! It leads out to one of the most unique towns in Alaska and takes you across one of the highest, oldest, scariest bridges in the world. Even though it is a washboard infested road we’d do this one again for sure.
So the point of this BLOG? We had heard great things about the Stewart Cassiar Highway (better know as simply the Cassiar Highway)… so we knew it was going to be a memorable part of our journey. What we didn’t expect was the sheer beauty of this small one and one-half lane road that many travel to and from Alaska on. The views… WOW! The seclusion… yep! Awesome boondocking spots along the way too. And tons and tons of wildlife. In fact on one day of the trip we counted 10 black bears while driving! And this little road takes you to a few places that you can’t get to without it… the little town of Stewart, which provides a good resting spot for the real reason for the ride down this road… Hyder, Alaska and Salmon Glacier.
Want to see for yourself? You should you know! But until you can go and see this for yourself take a gander at what we saw in our latest video:
SO MUCH WILDLIFE! SO MUCH BEAUTY! SUCH GOOD FRIENDS! LOVING OUR TRAVATO VAN LIFE!
It was bound to happen. We had to point the Winnebago Travato van towards the lower 48 from Alaska. But little did we know that the journey/adventure home would be one of the best parts of this epic trip. Our first stop was Whitehorse, Yukon, a place we literally just spent the night in the Walmart parking lot on the way to Alaska but this time… this time we spent 4 nights there and loved every minute of it. Some of the highlights include:
🔴 4 nights of boondocking at Long Lake…WOW!
🔴 An EPIC hike at Miles Canyon!
🔴 Wildlife galore… including a coyote, many red fox and crazy river-crossing ducks
🔴 Fun days getting to know our now dear friends, Jim and Rhonda
🔴 A Top-10 meal at Klondike Salmon and Rib
🔴 Owen gets a haircut in the woods
🔴 And Maggie got to chase squirrels until she couldn’t do it anymore.
MAGGIE HAS ALWAYS LOVED FISHING BUT THIS IS A FIRST! SHE ACTUALLY CATCHES A HUGE SALMON IN A STREAM ON HER OWN. AND WE ENJOYED SKAGWAY ALASKA TOO!
If you’ve watched any of our videos fishing in Florida you’ve likely seen Maggie diving in the water after a fish that we caught. You see Maggie spent the first year of her life fending for herself on the banks of a river in our home town. It’s not hard to figure out that she found a way to actually catch fish in that river and maybe stole a few from stringers. When she adopted us she was literally starving but no longer. She loves eating fish, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen her catch a fish, any fish, but a huge salmon with her mouth in a stream.
And there’s lots more in this episode too. We spend quite a bit of time with our friends, Jim and Rhonda who also travel around in a Travato. We go for an awesome hike in Skagway and even take the ferry over from Haines to Skagway. After this little town we only have one more Alaska town left during this epic RV trip to Alaska so we make the most of it.
EVERY STORE WAS WIPED OUT! YOU HAVE A VAN OR RV THEN YOU KNOW… YOU HAVE TO USE RV OR MARINE TOILET PAPER. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED TO DO AND EVERY STORE IN TOWN IS OUT OF RV POOPER PAPER?
One of the things we learned being in Alaska is how remote the towns you visit really are. You learn that when you are at a bigger town that has more than just a general store you need to stock up, especially on staples like RV toilet paper. Every store we went to in Haines was wiped out… get it??? Wiped out. This episode shows off how beautiful the little harbor town of Haines is including hikes, eagles a search for grizzly bears and even singing around the campsite with new friends!
✅ Most of our footage is shot with DJI Osmo Pocket, iPhone X, iPhone 8 and Sony DSHX80 cameras
✅ Our Equipment:
Our RV: 2019 Winnebago Travato 59K
Our SUP: BOTE Rackham Aerobote and BOTE HD Aerobote
Our VLOGGING Cameras: DJI Osmo Pocket and SONY DSCHX80
Our Action Cameras: GoPro Hero 5 Black and GoPro Hero 5 Session
Our Editing Software: IOS iMovie and IOS LumaFusion
✅ About Us:
We are Owen and Lynn Poteat and Maggie. We travel the country in our Winnebago Travato 59K camper van and try to document what we see and experience at destinations we’ve always dreamed of going to. We love the water and our trips seem to always be centered around having fun on the water… either fishing or just paddling around enjoying the wildlife from our BOTE inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards.
We hope you will consider subscribing to our channel and more importantly share your adventures with us as we share ours with you. #BOTE #Travato #Travato59K #WinnebagoTravato #RetiredVanLife
IT’S HARD TO PICK A FAVORITE BUT VALDEZ ALASKA MIGHT BE OUR FAVORITE ALASKA TOWN!
That’s why we chose to go back there for a second visit during our 2019 van trip in Alaska. You’d think since we were going to be in the state for no more than 8 weeks we would see all we could see. But, we woke up in Anchorage and had a very deep discussion about whether it’s better to seek out new places or spend time in familiar places you know you like.
We thought we were going back to Valdez with our granddaughter when she visited but that didn’t happen so off we set out to go back down the Richardson Highway to what might be our favorite little seaside town. This time we wanted to fish, take a boat out to see glaciers and hike more. In this video we share with you our most favorite hike in our lifetime, so far, the Goat Trail right across from Bridal Veil Falls. It’s a 9 mile hike up a mountain beside of steep cliffs in a bear infested area. But, the payoff at the end is just breathtaking… waterfalls… glaciers… glacier fed streams… and wildlife. We think you’ll see why it’s our favorite hike so far.
GRANDDAUGHTER’S LAST FEW DAYS IN ALASKA WITH US… HOW MUCH CAN WE DO??!!
With just a few days left to explore Alaska on her two-week trip to visit with us, her grandparents, Carrie decides she wants to try to do it all in Alaska before leaving. She actually decides that she has to at least try to see Denali… so off we go back to Denali.
You see we had already been to and through Denali but since it was such a tourist trap we blew threw pretty quickly. But not with our granddaughter. We even booked the Tundra Wilderness Tour bus ride… an 8-hour ride on curvy, bumpy, remote roads… in the rain… through mud slides and rock slides… on what is essentially a school bus!
So we hated it, right? Wrong! We loved it. Our bus driver was more of a tour guide, pointing out wildlife, scenery and facts about the park that no amount of research could have taught us. We saw all kinds of wildlife multiple times, even getting a glimpse at a rare Lynx.
After all the fun, even though it was raining buckets the entire time, it was time to meander towards Anchorage so Carrie could board her plane to head back to NC. Along the way we took in a great hike at Bird Falls. After spending the night in our Travato van in the Anchorage Cabala’s parking lot we got up at 4am to get her on her plane. Two weeks with her here in Alaska with us flew by and we soon found ourselves in a quiet, somewhat lonely, van again.
Wouldn’t you know it… our granddaughter visits with us in Alaska and it rains on us for the first time! But, we made the most of it!
With just a few days left in Alaska, Carrie decided that she wanted to at least try to get to see Denali so we set out for Denali Nation Park and Preserve. Along the way we stopped for breakfast at The Moose Is Loose bakery in Saldotna. We then checked in for our 3-night reservation in Teklanika Campground inside of Denali, only to find out that, as Carrie put it, we were held hostage… meaning we could not leave the remote area of the park. And, of course, for the first time since we’ve been in Alaska it rained… and rained… and rained. We sure tested the limits of how long 3 people could stay cooped up in a Travato 59K van. We made the most of it and found enough of a break in the rain to take Carrie to the Denali Sled Dog demonstration, which she loved!
In this episode we leave beautiful Seward, Alaska and make a stop to hike out to Exit Glacier with our granddaughter, Carrie. If we had stopped there it would have been a successful, non-forgettable adventure in Alaska with her. But, we pointed the Travato van further south and headed down the Kenai Peninsula on our way to what we thought our destination would be, the Spit in Homer. But we got sidetracked big time. We found the jewel of a state park in Deep Creek State Park about 30 miles north of Homer and that ended up being our home base for 3 nights as we enjoyed the views of the volcanos, the eagles, the tractor-assisted boat launches and we even drove down to Homer for an afternoon.
So when we downsized to our Travato van from a 31’ 5th Wheel we knew it was going to be really hard to have our grandchildren come and stay with us on the road. In fact, we had just had to make ourselves OK with the fact that when they wanted to visit us on the road we’d have to get a hotel.
So when Carrie’s mom changed her mind and decided we could fly Carrie to Alaska to spend 15 days with us here we decided we would try to make the little van work. Both of our beds have gel toppers on them so we had the great idea that we could just put one of these on the floor near the front of the van and she could sleep in the “hallway” area. Wow! How easy! And it worked like a charm. Our granddaughter was comfortable and slept well each night. The driver’s side bed has a seatbelt and our granddaughter actually enjoyed the time driving as she’d just ride immersed in reading her book… she actually read nearly 20 books while with us.
So, it can be done. It’s tight and there’s a lot of excuse me… and hey I’ll just sit at the picnic table while you guys get dressed and ready… but it worked. And what a blessing to get to be part of this special time in our granddaughter’s life as she saw her first glacier, her first midnight sun in Alaska and well, just the splendor of Alaska! She loved it and we’re sure the tight quarters of the van were made better by the smiles she had on her face many, many times each day!