South Bound & Down

The title of this post refers to the direction we are traveling and the fact that the gas pedal is to the floor or all the way “down”….. as we are on a mission.

The Road Ahead
The Road Ahead

We have decided to depart Alaska early this fall as my 94 year mom has been having health issues. She lives in Southern California and we want to help with her recovery.

And so again begins our annual trek south to the lower 48. After spending a fabulous summer at Base Camp (read the last post “A Base Camp Summer” for more details) we look forward to visiting family and friends and feed our hunger to explore new places.

The Zeyer And Cabose In Travel Mode
The Zefyr And Cabose In Travel Mode

Instead of our normal “slowly wandering the backroads” pace we will head due south at a more moderate clip.  This post will cover Alaska and the Canadian part of this journey.

On our way out of Alaska we make a quick stop at Sam (my brother) and his wife Chris’s home in Kenny Lake where we relax, drink wine and reminisce.  

Denise’s brother Gary and old friend Judy stop by for a visit.  It was great to see everyone again.

Beautiful View From Sam And Chris's Home
The Beautiful View From Sam And Chris’s Home

Sam and Chris’s daughter Robben stopped by with exciting news of a new job and becoming head coach of the Kenny Lake volleyball team!  We wish her the best in all her endeavors.

Tuts Visits With Robben
Tuks Visits With Robben
Denise, Gary and Judy
Denise, Gary and Judy

Before we cross the Canadian border we stop in Tok Junction at the home of our good friends and avid Bernese Mt. dogs owners Kay Lynn and David.  They treat us to a fabulous lunch and a quick dog romp. always fun, Thank You!!

Its early Oct and the drive south down the Alcan is easy, winter has yet to take hold in the north country. We have had an exceptionally warm beautiful fall.

As usual the big dogs enjoy romping at every stop along the Alcan hwy.

Tim And Pups Enjoy The Evening Light On Kluane Lake
Tim And The Pups Enjoy The Evening Light Along The Shores of Kluane Lake

The Alaskan Hwy is in great condition and for the first time in living memory we find no sections of gravel  anywhere, it has finally all been chipped sealed, yahoo!


Haines Junksion
Haines Junction Gas Station

As usual we turn south onto the Cassier Hwy and fully enjoy its remote route through the wilderness and its distinct lack of traffic, it is also in excellent condition.

Once in cell range we call home and learn mom is slowing improving so we slow our pace just a little.

Upon reaching Prince George we decide to travel the Yellowhead Hwy 16 down through the Rockies towards the Okanagan Valley, Canada’s summer and winter playground.  

Our route will take us through McBride, Kamloops and Kelowna in the Okanagan valley. 

Mt Robson
Mt Robson
Historic McBride Train Depot And Home Of The Beanery Bistro

We pass through one of our favorite Railroad town’s, McBride BC.  We stop for lunch at the Beanery II Bistro located within the historic McBride train station.

I have always been captivated by the Canadian railroads.  The uncertainty and  precariousness of building a railroad through such magnificent and tough mountain terrain in the 1800’s is an amazing feat. It must have been a real adventure and I wish I could have been there to witness it.

McBride Mural
McBride Mural
Valemount Mural
Campsite At Monte Lake
Campsite Along The Shores Of Monte Lake

The temperature steadly becomes warmer and eventually our long johns come off. We free camp on the shores of Monte lake where the dogs enjoyed wading in the clear, cool water. Fall colors are everywhere.

The Okanogan Valley
The Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley is certainly one of the most scenic agricultural areas in Canada.  We eat lunch on the outdoor deck of the Volcanic Hills Estate Winery enjoying their prime rib burgers while sampling some of their best reds. 


Near Osoyoos The Okanogan Valley BC
Near Osoyoos In The Okanagan Valley

At the southern end of the Okanagan Valley near Osoyoos we marvel at the all the fresh produce stands and buy freshly picked apples.  We stock up on a few excellent Canadian wines and head for the Washington border.

To be honest since visiting here for the first time in the early 70’s Denise and I have always considered the Okanagan area as one the places where we could live later in life.  

Now that we are retired the Okanagan continues to call to us especially as the western states become more crowded and our government become more confusing…..time will tell.

The weather forecast for the direct route through California’s central valley and into SoCal is not pleasant a one.  It will be in the upper 90’s.  

At those temps we must be very careful that the pups don’t overheat, after all the hottest temps they experienced at base camp this summer were only in the high 70’s.

Vineyards Everywhere
Vineyards Everywhere

Once in Washington and Oregon our plan is to stick to the major hwys and head for Powell Butte Oregon and Fort Motsko. 

We hope to spend a couple nights with Mark and Phyllis and let the hot weather settle a little down south.

Enjoy our latest video “Southbound & Down” capturing some of the highlights of our southbound journey so far.

Keep you posted…..

18 thoughts on “South Bound & Down

  1. Finally had time to watch everything – absolutely love your video creations!! Sad you have left already, but your timing is perfect as we got our first snow on Thursday and temps really dropped – was about -5 this morning. Hope Lois is doing well – bless your time with her and your winter travels! Love, Denise 🙂

    On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 1:38 PM, Gone With The Dogs wrote:

    > gonewiththedogs posted: “The title of this post refers to the direction we > are traveling and the fact that the gas pedal is to the floor or all the > way “down”….. as we are on a mission. We have decided to depart Alaska > early this fall as my 94 year mom has been having he” >


  2. All the best to your family…hope your Mom continues to improve. I’m glad you two are back on the road…looking forward to a winter full of your great posts.


  3. So glad you are down here and available to help. You guys are good medicine for her. Photos, video, blog is always fun to read and view. That Okanagan Valley is very spectacular!


  4. As always, I so enjoy reading your posts and seeing the beautiful pictures. Looking forward to being a voyeur to your winter wanderings! Travel safe!


  5. Hi Tim and Denise,
    Good to hear from you and see those wonderful pictures and your great video. Jim K. and I just returned from a two week Utah trip and we talked about you two! We hope that we will see you at Buses by the Bridge in Lake Havasu City. We plan to be there early and camp up on the hill again. If you are in our area the Gehlhaar KOA is always open. Gert and Joyce


    1. Gert thanks for the kudos, were not 100% of any of our travels plans just yet, moms progress will dictate our plans. We hope to se you and Jim at BBB but only time will tell. Thanks for the KOA camping offer.


  6. First in foremost… healing thoughts to your mom, a speedy recovery and a multitude of annual celebrations…that century marker is just over the next horizon. What awesome photos…the scenery is breathtaking. Can you promise us it will look just like that when we head up? Still waiting for the delivery of our coach. We will know this week if it was completed and shipped out. Look forward to connecting with you both at one of your boondocking hideaways.


    1. Thanks for your thoughts, she is slowly improving we are camped out under a large pepper tree in her back yard +90 here today, not our cup of tea but thats part of family. The trip down was gorgeous but driving to/from AK anytime of year, even winter is beautiful.
      When are you coming up? 🙂 I bet your getting anxious about your new rig, very exciting. We have no travels plans just yet but keep you updated when/if they develop.


  7. Welcome back to the Lower 48. Hopefully we will meet this winter, someplace. If you are in Powell Butte long enough maybe we could meet for that lunch we missed last time.


      1. Good morning. Somehow I missed this answer. We are presently camping with Mike and Imkelina with their new rig in Shasta Lake. What a joy for them to finally have their beautiful new home on wheels. We will be leaving Redmond in January and heading south. We will definitely be in Quartzsite 3-4 days for the show since we have not been there for 5 years. It is fun to catch up with new RV toys there. Then we are open to anything. We are trying to talk Mike and Imkelina into boondocking near Ajo for a bit. The desert there is so lovely. We have to be back home mid March so we will not be south as long as I would like. Hope your Mother is better.


      2. We just got back from a quick camp trip up the Big Sur, nice to get out of the SoCal +90 heat.
        Your plans sound good maybe we will run into you guys somewhere in the desert in January but currently our winter plans remain tenitive. Mom is slowly improving.
        Congrats to Mike and Imkelina and their new rig!


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