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Caravan Finale Valdez, Haines, Hyder and Prince George

Just on the off chance someone reading this blog, cares, we will finish this Caravan narration.


After Palmer we proceeded down the road to the port town of Valdez, which proved to be a pleasant surprise.

We had honestly expected an oil terminal town (Valdez is the end of the Alaska Pipeline), but the oil terminal was across the bay, inaccessible and while visible was not significant in the sights of Valdez.

Instead it was a fishing town surrounded by lots of spectacular glaciers and swarming with wildlife.

In our never ending quest to view bears, we went to a salmon hatchery and observed a run of salmon trying to return to the hatchery to spawn and die. Of course local marine wildlife, in this case a group of sea lions we taking full advantage of the salmon smorgasbord offered by the returning Salmon.

We were a bit nervous about this sign – apparently dam failures in Valdez are a possibility.

Dam Failure Sign
Dam Failure Sign

Valdez was surprisingly nice with lots of natural attractions. We will happily return to Valdez on our next Alaska run.


From Valdez, it was a fairly short drive to Haines Alaska. This often overlooked little town, in addition to being the home of Parker Schnabel of Gold Rush fame is a small coastal village across the sound from both Skagway and Juneau. It has a picturesque waterfront and nearby state park that host some of Alaska’s famous bears.

The Caravan took a boat trip to Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier. We have been to Juneau numerous times on cruise ships – indeed there were 5 cruise ships in Juneau that day, thoroughly saturating the town with tourists – and we didn’t really do much.

The next day the Caravan took a boat trip to Skagway. Due to an issue with the dog sitter we had to skip that trip. But once again, we have been to Skagway a number of times on Cruise ships so we didn’t miss much.

From Haines, we started the long drive to Prince George BC where the Caravan would disperse. We overnighted in once again in Tok – in the exact same spot we overnighted in on the way up, in Destruction bay at a forgettable RV Park and outside of Whitehorse.

The stay outside of Whitehorse was notable for the fact that is where we got Covid.

Covid had been walking around the Caravan for some time and it finally got passed to us. We are both fully inoculated, so it wasn’t real serious. We just felt really bad for about 3 days and had to self quarantine. It is also the reason we stopped updating the blog. We had other things to worry about.

From Whitehorse we turned off the Alcan and onto the Cassiar highway passing Jade City – a tourist trap with it’s own TV reality show. After overnighting in a small RV park (up for sale if anyone is interested) we continued down the Cassiar to Stewart BC/Hyder Alaska.

Stewart BC/Hyder Alaska

Stewart and Hyder are two neighboring towns connected by a single road. The only way in and out of Hyder is through Stewart. The United States doesn’t even bother maintaining a border crossing there. Instead the Canadians have one, where after checking your passport the border guard will happily recommend places to get the best fudge.

The town of Hyder Alaska is pretty much a ghost town – a lot of the buildings are abandoned and fairly dilapidated. This was a mining town and when the mines closed in the 1950, the town faded away. Interestingly though, the town of Steward – literally next door – seems to be fairly prosperous.

Hyder is famous for it’s bears. The Bureau of Land Management maintains a “bear walk” outside of Hyder along a stream where the returning Salmon provide the local bears with lots of food.

Hyder Fish
Fish along the Bear Walk in Hyder

Unfortunately, one of the great disappointments of this Caravan was the fact that the bears were not feeding at time we were there. We spent several hours on the bear walk hoping, but none of the bears obliged us.

Prince George

From Hyder we drove to Prince George where we tearfully bid farewell to our caravan mates. The one bit of excitement there was when the bear walked through the RV park and stopped to stare at the dogs we were walking.


From Prince George we returned home via Pendleton Oregon and the very fine Indian Casino they have just outside of town. We made it home without incident.

We traveled 8601 Miles and consumed 1033 gallons of diesel.

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