Wesley`s wanders

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Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine

February 16th 2014 12:57 pm
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Continuing our journey southward towards Anchorage,we detoured off onto the Hatcher Pass road. This is a high mountain road that connects the Alaskan towns of Palmer and Willow. It traverses stunning alpine scenery and passes by the Independence gold mine which operated in the years just prior to and after WW 2. There were many interesting old mine structures here to explore as well as a mountain yurt. A few nice homes sat up here high in the mountains as well! What an awesome place to live! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine

 

Central Alaska

February 14th 2014 3:27 pm
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Traveling south from Fairbanks we drove the Parks Hwy thru central Alaska. This area is where Denali (Mt McKinley)highest peak in N America is located. It is an area of impressive mountain scenery. Traveling along the Parks hwy,we saw the turnoff for the Stampede road. This road led to the trail that Chris McCandless used to get back to the bus in the book and movie "Into the Wild". We drove back the stampede road until the snow got too deep,then hiked for a few miles more into the mountain tundra. We had lunch inside an outfitter`s cabin here. Had the outfitter still been operating this late in the season,Dad would have inquired about an ATV ride back to THE BUS. "Into the Wild" is one of Dad`s favourite books and movies! Hiking back to the bus would have been a 20 mile ordeal involving a river fording,not something he felt safe doing with a full pack and me along! Plus it was snowy and cold,not good river crossing weather! Still it was neat to explore this remote area.

Moving along,we drove the Denali Hwy,a mostly gravel road which connects the Parks and Richardson highways traversing a 130 mile stretch of remote interior Alaska. We spent 2 nights on the Denali Highway and did some nice hikes into the mountains here.

Then it was south on the Glenn Highway past the Matanuska Glacier where both of us got to hike a short way out onto a glacier. We almost got stuck in some quicksand like mud as we approached the glacier and once on the glacier itself,I slipped into a water filled crevasse but dad had me on leash and was able to haul me out! We camped nearby overnite and enjoyed a spectacular sunrise over the Chugach range the next morning. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Central Alaska

 

Fairbanks

February 10th 2014 8:02 am
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Hello to all!

Haven`t posted for a while as Dad was too busy saving all our diaries,stars,rosettes and gifts as screen shots. It was a LONG procedure but we now have all our Dogster stuff saved and backed up! In these waning days of Dogster,we are going to post as much of the rest of our recent Alaska trip as we can. After the site goes dark,we will try to post on another blog site if we can find one. I`ll provide a link if I can find such a site. Meanwhile,we are on Facebook,packdog.com and shutterfly.

Upon reaching the Alaska mainland,we headed north to Fairbanks. There is a nice resort here,the Chena Hotsprings. In addition to the hot springs,there are many hiking trails in the State recreation area here. We did some nice hikes,enjoyed the scenery and relaxed---at least dad did!---in the hot springs. We even visited a sled dog outfitter and mushing school. We attempted to reach the Arctic Circle about 200 miles north of Fairbanks,but the road proved to icy in late September for this. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Fairbanks

 

Still here!

January 29th 2014 3:21 pm
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Hello to all my pals who are still with Dogster. Dad has been busy doing screen shots of all my stars,rosettes,special gifts and diaries. Ditto for the pages of my Bridge siblings Lady,Butch,and Smiley. We`re trying to save as much as we can before the site goes dark. We will be hanging in here to the bitter end!
Wes

 

GOODBYE!

January 17th 2014 6:27 am
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Dad turned on his computer today and learned the sad news of Dogster`s demise. We are sad to see Dogster go,but had a feeling for a few years now that it was coming. There is really no point to reading the magazine without the community so we will be leaving Dogster forever. Goodbye to all our friends here. We are still around on Facebook----https://www.facebook.com/wesley.schafer.5


FAREWELL DOGSTER AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FUN TIMES!

 

North to the Alaska mainland

January 11th 2014 1:12 pm
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After our hiking in Skagway,we drove back up into Canada since Skagway isn`t connected by road to the Alaska mainland. Passing once again thru Whitehorse,we did some more hiking along the Yukon river trails there. Then it was north on the Alaska Highway to the Alaska mainland. We passed an interesting little church in Haines Junction that had been made from a converted US Army quanset hut left over from the construction of the Alaska Highway. The St Elias Mts were impressive as we passed Kluane Lake in the Yukon then we arrived at the Alaska/Canada border. After weeks on the road and trails,we got our first motel room and a nice shower in the little town of Tok,Alaska. Some pix with descriptions follow.

North to the Alaska mainland

 

Hiking the Chilkoot Trail

January 10th 2014 9:26 am
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After our hiking in the mountains above Skagway,we explored the Gold Rush cemetery here. Soapy Smith,a Klondike era con man is buried here. Soapy and his gang ruled Skagway during the Gold Rush. The Chilkoot Trail starts at the old Dyea townsite just outside of Skagway. This trail was used by thousands of gold seekers to cross the mountain pass into Canada and reach the Klondike gold fields. My dad has hiked this trail in the past but had not been on it since Sept 2001 and he wanted to see it again. This was my first time on the Chilkoot Trail! We hiked it to the Chilkoot Pass and back,spending 2 nights on the trail. Gold Rush era artifacts could be seen along the trail. Some pix with descriptions follow.

Gold Rush cemetary and the Chilkoot Trail

 

Skagway,Alaska

January 5th 2014 9:01 am
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Finally after crossing much of Canada,we arrived in Skagway via the south Klondike hwy. This marked my 2nd time in Alaska and the 12th time for my dad! We began by hiking the Upper Dewey Lake trail which ascends steeply for 3 miles into the mountains above Skagway. The trail eventually emerges onto alpine tundra by 2 lovely mountain lakes. We stayed in a nice cabin up here on night 1 then explored the area the next day. We then hiked back down to sea level and out to a campsite by Alaska`s Inside Passage where we pitched our tent for night 2. After dark,a cruise ship sailed by departing Skagway. All lights were ablaze. It reminded my dad of the Titanic! Pix with descriptions follow.

Dewey Lakes trail,Skagway Alaska

 

Arrival in the Yukon

January 3rd 2014 8:21 am
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Heading north from the hot springs,we arrived in Canada`s Yukon Territory just outside of the small town of Watson Lake. There is a Signpost Forest here where people from all over the world erect signs. The tradition was started by a homesick GI during WW 2 who put up a sign pointing the way to his hometown. Leaving Watson Lake,we explored a portion of the South Canol road. This is a remote road thru the Yukon Territory. It was constructed during WW 2 to service an oil pipeline. The canol road affords a wilderness driving adventure! Finally we arrived at Whitehorse,capital of the Yukon Territory. There are miles of trails here along the Yukon River and much history from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. The south Klondike highway branches off here from the Alaska Highway and leads to Skagway Alaska. Finally after a long drive,we were about to arrive in Alaska! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Arrival in the Yukon

 

Arrival in the Yukon

January 3rd 2014 8:20 am
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Heading north from the hot springs,we arrived in Canada`s Yukon Territory just outside of the small town of Watson Lake. There is a Signpost Forest here where people from all over the world erect signs. The tradition was started by a homesick GI during WW 2 who put up a sign pointing the way to his hometown. Leaving Watson Lake,we explored a portion of the South Canol road. This is a remote road thru the Yukon Territory. It was constructed during WW 2 to service an oil pipeline. The canol road affords a wilderness driving adventure! Finally we arrived at Whitehorse,capital of the Yukon Territory. There are miles of trails here along the Yukon River and much history from the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. The south Klondike highway branches off here from the Alaska Highway and leads to Skagway Alaska. Finally after a long drive,we were about to arrive in Alaska! Some pix with descriptions follow.

Arrival in the Yukon

 
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