Friday, 5th of August
It's a long, long way to Alaska! We don't have too much to report today as we have been in the truck all day. Again, I say how vast this land is!! We just can't believe it - it's like being on a road that never ends. It is beautiful! The mountains, mile after mile of forest, rivers, and a few lakes. The higher peaks have snow on them, some have trees and grassland, and some are entirely rock. We aren't trying to drive 16 hour days or anything, and do stop for meals. Actually tonight I made a nice macaroni and cheese (and not from a box), and cole slaw, and Myrna made biscuits and cooked carrots. So you see, we are eating well! And since we have just been mostly in the truck for 3 days, we feel rather like blimps!
Wildlife sightings for the day are: mule deer - a doe with a fawn that was still spotted, which seemed late in the season for this far north, a red fox, buffalo, loons, and numerous ducks.
We met a man from Otawa, Canada at a rest stop, who the guys talked to for some time. Interesting - he sold his dental practice on a whim, while still in his early 50's. For the last 5 years he has been on the road somewhere. Each winter he has gone to the Philippines for 3 months with a church group, practicing his dental work there. Now he is on his motorcycle, heading to visit an Army buddy in Anchorage, Alaska..He looks like and has the same humorous mannerisms of Dan Burbank and was amusing to talk to. The people you meet on the road!
Butch is having some trouble with his truck. We will talk to you about it, Barry, when we have cell phone usage. It's a Ford 2003 6.0 liter Ford. It is blowing antifreeze and he must add a gallon each day. It has this problem only when we are going up hill a lot. His son put some kind of chip in it, for extra power, and Dad/Ed is wondering if that is causing or adding to the problem. If Butch tries to maintain any degree of speed and the transmission kicks down more than one gear, the resulting higher engine rpm's cause the engine and exhaust temperatures to spike. It has a pyrometer on it and Butch has noticed that exhaust temps have reached almost 1,000 degrees going uphill!!! This is when it pukes it's antifreeze. He has now changed his driving technique to keep it around 50 MPH going uphill and this has minimized the problem. I had read on a Ford truck owner's chat web site that this was a common problem with the 6.0 engine pulling heavy loads uphill. Our truck is not having any problem in this area and we are heavily loaded.
We are staying at Pine Lake Campground in the Yukon, close to Haines Jct. It is a government park campground and is very nice. No electricity, showers or laundry - just woods, a lake, a campfire, toilets, running water and picnic tables. I just came in from the campfire - Butch and Ed still talking. It is 11PM and not dark as yet. Goodnight all, we will be in Alaska tomorrow!