BootsnAll Travel Network

More things Canadian, Latest Stats, and Where to from here…

Things to remember when traveling in Canada.

– When turning at an intersection and you have a turn signal, the flashing arrow indicates it is your turn to turn!  A solid arrow means you must wait and yield to oncoming traffic.  This was pretty hard to get used to.

– It’s kilometers, not miles per hour.

– In the Yukon, headlights must be turned on every time you drive.

– Things are expensive up here.  Way expensive.

– Gas stations:  Tesoro, Husky, Petro Canada, FasGas, Tempo.  Absent:  Chevron, Texaco, Arco, 76.

– Do not ask for a restroom or a bathroom. Everywhere here they are called washrooms.

Latest numbers, as of Monday, July 23rd, 2007, 10:00am

Total miles: 3,975
Total cost of fuel: $402
Most expensive gas: $5.25 per gallon, Dawson City, Yukon Canada
Least expensive: $2.88 per gallon, North Pole, Alaska
Best gas mileage on a fill-up, ideal highway driving conditions: 37mpg
Worst gas mileage, worst conditions: 21mpg
Time Zones: Mountain, Pacific, now Alaskan
Total mosquito bites on me: 58
Total in one 15 minute spurt: 15 (Coal River, Yukon. 2nd place: 13 on a short hike near Chicken, Alaska)
Number of dead dragonflies, butterflies, mosquitoes and various other flying insects smashed against the front of the car: hundreds upon hundreds

Animal sightings from the road: coyote, caribou, buffalo, stone mountain sheep, moose

Number of books on tape finished:  3  (The Hobbit, Tom Bodett’s “John Tuttle and the Last Frontier” and the first book of the Bartemeous trilogy).

Total days of rain:  2

Number of days wearing shorts and short-sleeve shirts (except today):  all of the days

We have been very lucky with the weather, although today (Monday) is just raining cats and dogs and we are on our way to Denali National Park.  It has actually been a very hot drive up from the States, each place we’ve gone to it seems like they set their new high temperatures.  It was extreme in Montana.  And the further north we got, I thought it would be cooler.  Wrong. 

The sun has been out for up to 20 hours each day.  Only recently has it dipped down below 20 hours of day light.  We are losing 6 minutes of daylight every day.  But it is incredibly weird to try and sleep at 11pm in the evening and it is so full of bright daylight outside.  Very tough when camping in the tent, I’ve had many nights where I have my bandana folded and wrapped around my head.

Alaska’s unofficial state bird is the Alasquito.  They have been relentless ever since Dawson Creek, BC, or since 1700 miles ago.  I HATE mosquitoes.  For the longest time I had the perception that they had no useful benefit on our planet.  Until last night, when I read that they help to pollinate some sorts of plants up here.  Well that’s just great.  That doesn’t change my mind about them.  They are just relentless.  I think we’ve purchased every type of spray available, including those coils and anti itch cream.  The only thing we haven’t tried are those electronic devices. 

The car has held up really well.  I was really freaked out about going over the Top of the World highway.  The day before we took the car up to Top Dome above Dawson City, only 4 miles one way.  It was a steep climb, and on the way down, my brakes were smokin’ and stinkin up the place.  My confidence was shaken.  Before leaving Portland earlier this month, the Pontiac dealership showed that the car’s brakes were all fine.  So I just hoped that Top Dome was just a abberation.  Having 3rd, 2nd and 1st gear helped for sure.  Other than the brakes, the car has been beautiful.  Great gas mileage, plenty of room for our gear.  The little radio transmitter device I bought for $10 at Shuck’s has been a great investment, allowing us to play my MP3 player and the books on tape. 

Now the problem is trying to sell it.  I posted on Craigslist in Anchorage, but for some reason my listings were not showing up.  Therefore, no one knew that I was coming and that it was for sale.  I just found out a few days ago that the reason why my ads were not posting was because I had been using computers in Canada–and somehow, the Craiglist system detected my ‘international’ IP address and thus blocked the ad.  Too many Nigerian scammers out there, I suppose.  So only recently, now that we are back on US soil, have I been able to post the ad.  But I need to sell it by this Friday, and hope that I get a buyer.  I don’t want the same end-of-the-road Honda incident to happen to this Pontiac. 

As I said, we are now off to Denali National Park.  Mount McKinley is the highest peak in North America, at about 4 miles.  Unfortunately, it is said that the mountain creates its own weather system, and people who visit in the summer only have a 20% chance of seeing the peak, since it is always cloudy and stormy.  The forecast for the next 2 days are not in our favor.  But at least our tent has been worthy and proven, especially after our mosquitoes and thunderstorms in Coal River.  I’ll save that one for Thursday.  So check back then for my trip report on the Alaska Highway, and hopefully at that time I’ll find a USB port to load up some pictures.



One response to “More things Canadian, Latest Stats, and Where to from here…”

  1. mike says:

    Sounds like you are having fun as usual. Did you actually count 58 or is it like guessing how many gum balls in the jar?

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