A final drive into Alaska, and now we wait it out…

These are crazy times, and the situation is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up with even your local situation. On Sunday, Cathy and I took the dogs down to Skagway and then Dyea for a play on the snow-free beach. Yesterday Skagway announced that visitors were no longer welcome, and this morning the Canada/US border was closed to non-essential travel.

I’ll tell you a bit more about what’s going on here in the Yukon, but first, let’s have some fun with Bella and Tucker 🙂

I had taken Bella and Tucker out for a long walk on Friday – our first real walk in months. It felt soooo good!

My dogs Bella and Tucker out for a long walk.
It’s a long way until Spring, but we had our first hamburger barbecue on Saturday. Not the first barbecue – we’d done some moose steaks a couple of weeks ago – but notable anyway.

The weather was spectacular on Sunday, which is what prompted the drive. The forecast for Skagway was for sunshine and 43°F (6°C). When we left home at about 11:00, it was -11°C (+12°F). Our first stop, as usual, was at Tutshi Lake, but the snow was too deep for the kids to play there so it was a short stop.

The Tutshi Lake pullout in the winter
Skagway was very quiet. I checked my mailbox, then we went over to The Station and had a great lunch before driving to Dyea.

Broadway in Skagway on a brilliant March day
There were a fair number of people on the beach at Dyea – a dozen or so. On a square mile of beach, that’s not too crowded 🙂

The beach at Dyea, Alaska, on a brilliant March day
Once the Jeep is parked and the ball comes out, the party is ON! Bella’s not actually much of a ball dog, but plays along a bit.

My dogs Bella and Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
Mr. Tucker on the other hand is a ball maniac. Look, my dog can fly 🙂

My dog Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
There are no problems in the world when I see my pups laughing.

My dog Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
Still for about 3 seconds…

My dog Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
Bella the play monitor.

My dogs Bella and Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
For quite a while, Tucker was dropping the ball in a little creek and watching it go downstream.

My dogs Bella and Tucker playing with a ball on the beach at Dyea, Alaska
This beach is such a spectacular spot – and calm when the pups poop out. The tide was extremely low when were there.

The beach at Dyea, Alaska
As we were about to leave, Bella found something to roll in. The last time that happened here, it was very stinky, but we got lucky this time. She really enjoyed it but we barely noticed it.

My dog Bella rolling in something on the beach at Dyea, Alaska

Other than the dogs, I didn’t take many photos. With more sunny days forecast, I had planned to go down again specifically for photography, but that didn’t work out. Anyway, it was a great day.

I’m now able to work on the long-neglected woodpile, and have the wood room in the basement at a comfortable level now.

Although we have no COVID-19 cases in the Yukon, some people have gone crazy here too. Yesterday afternoon, the toilet paper racks in every store were empty, as they have been for a few days, and lots of other things were out of stock as well.

Empty toilet paper racks in Whitehorse

Today has been the big change here in the Yukon. Although closures of events have been going on for a week or so, today the Canada/US border was closed to non-essential travel, schools were closed for a month, and the Yukon’s chief medical officer declared a public health emergency. Even my vet posted today that they’re taking emergency cases only until May 1st, so I cancelled Bella’s annual checkup I had scheduled for next week.

I go out very little, but that’s normal for me. I’m happy to be at home with Bella and Tucker and Molly and just putter on my million projects.

The final image (you can click on it to greatly enlarge it) and the comment that goes with it were created to post in an RV group in response to some nasty comments this morning, about a woman going out in her motorhome. Social distancing is my preferred lifestyle – that’s why I bought this rig. The spot in the photo is less than 2 hours from home and I regularly spend a week at a time boondocking there, doing day-hikes off into the wilderness with my 2 dogs, photographing, and writing. There is no “norm” for RVing – it can be anything you want it to be. If not for the fact that many nights are still nearing -20C, that’s where I’d be. My wife is in a fairly high-exposure public job and at 69 I’m probably a fairly high risk, so home isn’t a particularly safe place – my RV is totally safe. Please take care of each other, and don’t assume you know what’s best for other people – you really have no idea what might work in their specific case.

Social distancing for RVers

It’s impossible to say what’s going to happen in the coming days and weeks. The economic impact is going to be staggering, though, with cruise ports like Skagway taking the hardest hit. At this point all I can do is hope that you’re all okay.


A final drive into Alaska, and now we wait it out… — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Murray, that’s it, you’ve given me the crave to have my first bbq hamburger this coming weekend even with all the amount of snow we still have around here.
    Thanks for your post of wonderful pics as usual. Hope all this virus stuffs clears by the time I head back in the Yukon in June….keeping my fingers crossed.
    Take care.

  2. Hi Murray, Just found your blog, including the post about the hike to the original Slim’s River Bridge, which I found because I am trying to write a novel about the good old days. You are lucky to live in such a spectacular place. only about weeks ago I was planning to get to Skagway this summer to promote my books. Guess that is off. I will try to keep up with your posts to see what is going on.

  3. Hey Murray, It is so wonderful to hear that you are back to your old self, able to get out and play with the kids, take long walks, chop wood and everything! Good to be reminded that miracles do happen.

    Yes, we are living in some crazy times. The friends we were going to cruise to Alaska with in Sept 2020 have decided they’re gonna cancel. Husband and I are still discussing it but I suspect that we’ll probably follow suit. Better to be safe that sorry but I was so looking forward to seeing your corner of the world. 🙁

    Maybe 2021? Will keep watching your blog and enjoying your pictures.



  4. Murray,
    Keep us posted from the view up North. The scenery is refreshing living in an urban area where even the nearest National Parks are closed off with signs and pilons and mesh at all entrances. Luckily, there aren’t any rangers around to enforce rules and “mi no puedo leer mucho ingles.”

  5. Hello Murry , it’s good to here that you are doing well . Personally, I wish I was in the Yukon .
    New Jersey is and has been in lock down and there are millions of people out of work and coping with an idiot government that enjoys having power over people . You made the right choice to be where you are in retirement . Don’t look back because you still have freedom to do as you please . I hope that the sheeple will learn from this farce of an epidemic and take back their governments by whatever way is possible without much bloodshed . Revolution is on the horizon and Freedom is what we all seek . May God bless you Murry . Stay healthy and free my friend .