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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Road Trip To Ketchikan Alaska

What an amazing start to our summer. Andy's parents moved to Ketchikan Alaska to work at Clover Pass resort for the summer. Andy drove his truck and towed their RV trailer so we made a road trip out of it! What a blast we had - Andy, myself, Brent, Julie, Jordan and Angela with a few days of my parents Steve and Carol.  Sorry for the picture overload! Here's a quick recall of our 10 day adventure. I'm sure I missed some highlights but it's the bulk of it. 

Day 1
We left Friday afternoon around 2 pm. 6 of us in Andy's truck, starting a 10 day adventure... what did we get ourselves into? Well an adventure that's for sure. We made it into Montana and stopped for the night. 

Day 2
Saturday we got up and drove to Glacier National Park. What a sight! It was cold and windy but beautiful. We didn't have a lot of time to spend there which was a shame because there is so much to do! We drove up to Lake Louise Canada that afternoon. The Boarder crossing into Canada was actually really easy - 5- minutes tops. Got my Canada stamp! We drove through Calgary and made it to Banff National Park that night and camped in their RV camping area. Andy and I took a drive up to Lake Louise to get a view and a hot chocolate. We saw 3 bears less than 10 feet from the truck. It took me a minute to find my camera so they are a little bit always and it was dust so its hard to see them but it was crazy. 

Day 3
Lake Louise is an amazing and breathtaking place. The views there are priceless. We hook the 1-2 mile hike up the path next to the lake to get closer to the glacier at the end. There is a huge hotel right at Lake Louise and it's a fairly busy place for tourists because of the camping and lodging right there. There is also a few other surrounding lakes that would have been nice to see but again we were somewhat on a time crunch so we headed off later that afternoon and started making our way to Prince Rupert Port. Someday Andy and I want to go back to both Glacier and Lake Louise and spend more time because we missed out on some of the best sights. We pulled off the highway and parked in a grocery store parking lot to spend the night. Simple and easy camping with the RV. 

Day 4
Long day of driving to say the least. We accidentally took about a 5 hr detour because of the GPS we think. It was definalty a scenic route though. Canada has some ginormous mountains and they are all beautiful. We saw 2 bears and a wolf off the side of the road while driving. We made it to Prince Rupert that night and stayed in a camp ground. 

Day 5
Fresh showers at the camp ground! Wow, refreshing. We got ready and headed into town to drive around before going to the port. We weren't in town long because for 1 it isn't very big and 2 we thought we should get checked in and then could go shopping to kill time. We got checked in at about 10:30 am and then ended up staying with the truck/rv the entire time. No shopping danget! It was a long wait to get on the ferry.  The ferry left Prince Rupert at about 2 ish and after a 6 hour trip we arrived in Ketchikan. What a sight. The city is so unique and is built right over the water or mountain edge in many spots. We got unloaded fairly quickly and headed to Clover Pass lodge where we were staying. We dropped the RV off with Brent, Julie, Angela and Jordan and headed back into town to pick up my parents from the Airport. My dad has always wanted to go fishing in Alaska so this was his opportunity. We got 3 free rooms and free usage of the boats at Clover Pass so it was a pretty cheap trip. 

Day 6
We got up and had missed the opportunity to take a charter fishing trip so we took the small boats out instead. They each only fit 4-6 people and we had 8 total so we split into two groups. Fishing on our own that day in Alaska was super fun. Andy and My dad each caught a small Halibut and Andy caught a Tarbin (it's a trash fish like carp). It was fun adventure. We even saw some whales really close to us that my mom loved. Back in at the dock we even got to see a sea lion play around and many bald eagles. Wild life were one of the highlights of our trip. We headed into town and went to dinner at Anabelle's. We debated on doing a charter the next day and decided we'd try one more day on our own. 

Day 7
Took the boats out fishing on our own after buying a few more lures and bait. Unfortunately, we didn't have any luck. We did stop by the Silver King Lodge out on the island and toured it. We tried fishing some more but with no luck. It started to rain pretty hard. I tell you, pulling 300 feet of anchor line in during a storm is not easy! I was soaked. We saw some beautiful and I'm sure expensive homes on the ocean shores while we drove around and I was quite jealous. Andy, myself and my parents went into town and did some shopping, walked around Creek Street and went to dinner. We played cards in the lodge that night and just relaxed. We took some great photos of the sun set and had fun just hanging out on the dock. Andy and I had decided that we were doing a charter fishing trip the next day no matter who wanted to come with. 

Day 8
Fishing Charter day! We ended up with 5 of us - Andy, Stacey, Steve, Carol and Brent. We met Captain Clayton at the boat at 7 am and off we went. What a day we had. The limit on Halibut when charter fishing is 1 each so we had to make sure that we each HOOKED a halibut. It didn't matter who reeled it in but if we didn't each hook one then whoever hooked two had to release the second one. We ended up with 10 halibut, 1 shark, 2 cod, 2 rock fish, 3 tarbin, 1 rat fish, and a great time! I've never had so much fun fishing. Halibut put up a great fight too. Mom had to have Brent help her reel in her fish because she couldn't hold the pole and reel at the same time. I got my pole stuck on my coat and couldn't get it low enough to brace against my hip for support so the guys were making fun of me. My dad ended up catching the biggest one. In Alaska there's a size limit on what you can keep - Anything smaller than 45" and larger than 68". Dad's was 46 7/8", about 2" too big. He had to release it. What a shame! It was worth the trip to see his face catching that fish. After that one we had all caught our halibut but my dad so we tried to make sure he hooked all the fish from there forward. He was working on one and a pole got a bite so Andy took over and he ended up catching a nice sized one that we could have kept.. except he already had one. Dang. oh well we ended up with great numbers and dropped the fish off at Cedars to filet, freeze and ship home! We headed back to the lodge packed up, took some pictures, and said our good buys and wished Andy's parents a great summer in Alaska. Andy, Jordan, Angela and myself were headed back to Canada on a Ferry late that afternoon. My parents stayed another night and were going to fly home around noon the next day. We got to the Ferry terminal checked in and had about 45 minutes to kill. We drove around Ketchikan and looked at the houses. There are some really neat areas, but lots of stairs! Some houses are built out over the mountain edge along with a road. Businesses on Creek Street are built out over the creek. It's some interesting architecture. We headed back to the ferry and took off from Ketchikan at 6:45 pm. 

Day 9
We arrived at Prince Rupert Canada at 2 am. Went through customs and were on our way by 2:30-3 am. That was the start to our longest day on the trip. From there we drove NON STOP to Utah. Day 9 was 22 hours of drive time. We all took turns driving, sleeping, and trying to stay entertained. It was interesting! We did manage to see 2 more bears and a wolf on the side of the road. We took a different route this time and went through Jasper National Park. It was again beautiful much like all of Canada that I saw. We stopped at the Ice Fields lodge/visitor center for lunch/dinner and then headed back on our way. 

Day 10
We hit the boarder crossing at about 1 am. After less than 5 minutes we were on our way. Lots of driving and minimal stopping. At 10:30 am we were in Logan. That means we were driving 1800 miles and 31 hours straight. WOAH. Not something I want to do again in the near future. We were sure glad to be home. 

Here are the rest of the photos from our trip! I can't even explain the sights we saw. Canada is a beautiful country. Pictures just don't do it justice. 

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