Alaska RV Camping Travelog – Day 28
Up early and away we go again–pretty day with 37 degrees. We started by fueling up Gozer and heading towards Watson Lake. Our plan is to go back on Highway 37-The Cassier. This is another thickly forested section of road and I spot 2 black bears on the side of the road and one in a river!
All of a sudden Gozer’s temperature rises and the yellow temp light goes on, followed by the red engine light! Brian pulls off on the shoulder of the road and we start checking radiators. Antifreeze is pouring out of the back and we‘ve left quite a trail up the hill! Apparently THIS is our 1:30 stop! We set up our orange safety triangle and Brian gets down to do some trouble shooting. Looks like we blew a heater hose, and don’t have any extra to replace it with. Brian makes due with what we have and at least we have an extra gallon of antifreeze and plenty of fresh water. Almost every vehicle that passed us stopped to ask if we were okay or needed any help-it was very refreshing to have so many concerned folks offering us aid. By 3:00 all the fun is over!
We planned to buy diesel at the junction with Highway 37, but there was no diesel available here so we proceeded into Watson Lake to fuel up and stop at the Napa Auto Parts store for some hose and to replenish our antifreeze. Brian queried the counter clerk about the Cassier Highway and he suggested we stay on the Alaska Highway. He told us there’s about 200 miles of gravel road and he’s heard much of it is in poor condition. He also said he never goes that way due to extreme distance between fuel stops and no where for vehicle repairs along the way. Having had our share of problems so far this trip, we decide to take his advice and will retrace our steps back to Bellingham. The wisdom of this decision will soon be made clear!
About 20 miles east of Watson Lake we find an abandoned rock quarry where we’ll spend the night. We saw a black bear about 5 miles back, and hope he doesn’t pay us a visit tonight! We barbecue some hamburgers and have some homemade French fries, and keep our eyes peeled for any extra guests! Heading for Dawson Creek tomorrow, but don’t think we’ll make it the whole way.
We are all pretty tired and head for bed around 8:30. Brian and I both finished our books tonight, still light enough to read until 10:30-11:00
Miles on Gozer – 78682 Miles today 302
542 miles since last fill up when mileage was 78380. Fuel economy 9.6 mpg. Attribute poor gas mileage to mountainous driving over Top of the World highway and speeds of 15-20 mph due to road conditions, and having to adjust for poor road conditions and traffic.
Road Notes: Road is in good shape for the most part. There are numerous gravel sections but none over a mile long, and most only a few hundred feet in length.
Tomorrow – Hey Buddy…Can You Spare A Socket?
Yesterday – Cinnamon Rolls and Whitehorse