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Old 09-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #127
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jorn', did you stay at Marion Creek CG, or the Coldfoot truck stop? I think they had electric at Coldfoot, but it was 3 years ago we were there and I can't recall.

Haines had a good Mexican restaurant in 2010. We stayed at the CG behind the old hotel at the former fort. Skagway had a good Thai restaurant. I didn't really expect either there, but over the years food has improved tremendously in the north country.

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:51 PM   #128
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Very interesting thread. We are on the waiting list for a WBCCI Caravan to Alaska after the International next year. We are really looking forward to the adventure. This will be a life time experience for us.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:35 PM   #129
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Gene, we slept at Marion Creek; definitely more scenic than the Coldfoot truck stop.

Gaylejoe, you won't regret it! We're following the Oregon coastline south at the moment but I already miss the quietness and solitude of Canada and Alaska.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #130
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Update: we followed the Oregon and California coastline down to San Francisco. Highway 1 north of SF isn't the best road to drive an AS on.

RV parks in and around SF are few and far between (most are actually mobile home parks), and expensive.
We'll be staying for the next few weeks in an RV park south of San Jose.
The weather's great here. Sunny and hot.

Still thinking about driving south. Maybe spend the winter at Baja California to test the waters before committing to the trip south through central and South America.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #131
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Smithers, BC

I haven't read the entire rest of the string, so this may have been covered, but while staying at Smithers in northern British Columbia, we found that many of the folks pulling trailers through were going or coming from Alaska. Smithers seems to be a great place to stop on the way down to the lower 48.

Smithers is a small town, just 5,000 people in the town and nearby areas, but it's the biggest town for many miles around, so it has more services, retail and restaurants than you'd expect. There is a ski area nearby, several natural resources extraction companies have their management staff there, and it's an epicenter for steelhead fishing, so there is money around and the town reflects that. It's hip in an northern BC kinda way.

There are several RV options. We stayed in the Par 3 Golfcourse and RV Park just south of town. Many of the Alaska caravaning outfits like Alaska RV Adventures and Fantasy RV Tours overnight there. The location is great (the 8th fairway paralells a great steelhead run that you can only get to through the RV park), close to Smithers and not directly on the highway, but it there are only a handful of full hookups, the sites are gravel (though nicely tree'd) and none too level. The facilities are shared with the funky golf course clubhouse. Bathrooms have two showers in men's and women's, shower curtains, and no locking doors. Mgt appears to try to keep it clean, but it's funky, adequate, but funky.

North of town is the Glacier View RV Park. Didn't check it out.

South of town in Telkwa is the Fort Telkwa RV Park. Right on the highway. But also right on the river right above another good steelhead run.

The best option turns out to be the city park. It's right on the Bulkley river. The sites are the equal of the Par 3 facilities--with better exposure to the sun which can matter in northern BC--it's cheaper, and the showers are better.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:11 PM   #132
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Jorn', you're right about Cal. 1 south of Bodega Bay—narrow, winding and a challenge to its end in Marin County. It is doable, as you found out, but not for the nervous driver.

Going south from Carmel By the Sea is better, and equally beautiful, but more traffic. Carmel BtS is a quaint town, but not good for towing a trailer into. Unhitch and explore. Campgrounds south in the Big Sur area are difficult to access for a trailer. The state parks are a better option if they are not full. Big Sur is not really a town, but settlements along the highway. We liked the Henry Miller museum and Café Nepenthe plus the views. Further south you get to the cities and towns north of LA and you may want to go inland to avoid the traffic mess.

Latin America is a trip I dream about, but is not easy. I think you have to ship vehicles by train in Panama to get through the jungle. And there is a certain lawlessness in some countries that make travel questionable.

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Old 10-14-2013, 12:59 PM   #133
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Update: we've been staying in the San Francisco bay area for the past 2 weeks. This Thursday, we'll try to head out. Big question: will the national parks be open by then ... I'd love to spend some time in the national parks in California before heading to Las Vegas and southern Utah. At least the parks in Utah are open so we might spend some time in Bryce Canyon or another nearby park there. We're due to stay in Las Vegas mid November for a while.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:25 PM   #134
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jornvango thought might be interested in this article: Nightmare in Peru | adventureamericas
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #135
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Wow, talk about a bad experience ...
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:57 PM   #136
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Thanks to the government reopening just in time, I was able to take Tioga pass (through Yosemite NP) to cross over the Sierra Nevada.
I stayed in the Lower Lee Vining campground in the national forest outside of Yosemite and spent a few days visiting Bodie, June lake and the Mono lake tufa's.
Today I drove south and now I'm camping at BLM Horton Creek campground, just north of Bishop. Next few days I'll visit Mammoth Lakes, Volcanic tablelands and maybe try to track down some tule elk around Bishop / Big Pine.

Cold at night (freezing) but 70/80s during the day. Very pretty area.

Once I'm done here, I want to visit the racetrack area in Death Valley. I prefer to stay outside the NP as rangers don't like our cats walking around.
Does anyone know good BLM camping nearby Scotty's Castle?

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Old 10-28-2013, 03:01 PM   #137
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Day 6 in Death Valley. I spent 3 nights at the the Mesquite Springs campground (the race track is amazing) and now 3 nights at Furnace Creek. I've been to Death Valley before but never longer than 1 day. Staying here for a while truly makes you enjoy this park more: it's beautiful with all the variety in colors.
The racetrack was amazing as was the 4x4 road through Titus canyon.

It's been hot here: 90 F.
Since yesterday evening there are heavy winds (55 mph gusts) so the temperature is down a little today. Hopefully the winds will die down by tonight. I'm thinking about heading out tomorrow towards southwestern Utah.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #138
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Just spent two nights at the great Virgin River Canyon BLM campground, between Las Vegas, NV and St. George, UT.

Now staying in Hurricane, UT for a few days.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:19 PM   #139
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I didn't know there was a CG there—the canyon is pretty cool, but we are always on the way to somewhere from somewhere. Next time, I'll try to remember to look this up. Thanks for the tip.

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Old 11-21-2013, 11:00 PM   #140
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Update: we spent 1 1/2 weeks in Boulder City, next to Las Vegas, in very nice weather.

The previous 4 nights we stayed in Kanab, Utah and visited Grand Staircase and Vermilion Cliffs national monuments: if you're in the area, definitely visit "white pocket" (as nice or nicer than "the wave") and "buckskin gulch", the worlds longest slot canyon.
Bring your 4x4 as you need it to get to "white pocket", driving through deep sands.

Now we are staying in Page, Arizona. The weather is cooling down and we're thinking of heading further south in a few days.

Our blog is up-to-date with pictures: www.vango.be
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