Lessons Learned

While travelling more than 5000 miles on roads, paved and unpaved, on ferries and sometimes by plane, meeting lots of people and seeing new places we had the opportunity to learn many new things. Here's a few.  

Trees and more trees
1. Canada has a lots of trees.  When we turned and headed south from Inuvik all the way to Dawson Creek we passed through nothing but forest.  Trees, tress and more trees.  

2. Don't bring firewood across international borders.  When we left Haines we had a lot of good, dry firewood so we decided to take it with us.  Why let it go to waste?  Well, let me tell you why.  With the pine beetle marching across many forests in the north governments and forest folks are trying hard to stop the spread.  We had to fill out paperwork at the Canada Customs outside Haines, return to the US, explain the situation to US customs agent, dump the wood on the side of the road and try it again.  

3. Make sure the sewer drainage hose is securely attached to trailer before emptying the holding tanks.  Read this account and just imagine.  Enough said.

4. Slow down when passing big rigs on dirt highways.  About 3000 miles in to the trip while on the Dempster Highway we failed to heed the warning to slow when passing on-coming semi-trucks.  A big rock hit our windshield and left a big crack.   I got to look at it the whole rest of the trip.
Slow down when passing on-coming trucks

 5. Don't take trailers over dirt roads OR dirt roads are dirt OR dust comes from dirt.  Wow!  When we got to Dawson City after crossing from Alaska to the Yukon on the Top of the World Highway Tami was filled with dust and lots of it.  We dealt with the dust the rest of the trip.  Avoid extended drives on dirt roads when pulling a TrailManor.

6. If you don't want to strangers don't get a cute dog or unique trailer.  How many times did we have to tell people what kind of dog Manny was or reassure them he was not a bear?  How many times did we explain how Tami folds up and set up?  How many tours did we give complete strangers of our trailer?  If you read the blog you know the answers.

7. Buying fish in small fishing communities is impossible.  All we wanted to do in Southeast Alaska was to buy some fresh salmon, halibut or dungeness crab to cook back at camp.  The best we could do was some frozen halibut at Safeway in Ketchikan.  Everytime we asked where to buy fish we were met with a blank look followed by, "I don't know.  We just go catch it."

8. There are no moose in the north.  We looked and searched, crawled out of bed a the crack of dawn, slinked around swamps and bogs but never so a moose.  We saw plenty of other wildlife but no moose.

9. Eight year olds and 70 year olds don't have to take shoes off at airport security.  When sending Leo back home we learned at the airpot in Juneau that kids and old people don't have to take off their shoes at the airport security screening station.

10.  We can only handle so much rain.  Whew, even seasoned Seattle-ites that we are the rain did get to be a bit much for us.  Southeast Alaska gets much more rain than Seattle.  In Ketchikan they measure it in feet, not inches.
Lots of rain in Ketchikan

Okay and the biggest lesson of all is that COMING HOME IS GREAT.  We missed our friends and family on the road and we love you all.

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