August Alaska expenses, Instagram posts and current status

After six weeks working in Skagway, Alaska, we will be hitching up and pulling out tomorrow, September 22!! We were originally scheduled to work until 9/22, but the cruise ships scheduled to arrive in port both today and tomorrow, have cancelled due to storms. And speaking of storms, we did have several people ask if we were in the path of the large storm that just struck Alaska. Just to give you an idea of the size of Alaska, the storm hit over 1,000 miles North of where we are. But it is affecting the ships out at sea.

We spent today packing up and getting ready to depart. Tomorrow we will be crossing back into Canada, and heading down to the lower 48. Our final destination will be Yuma, Arizona, 3000 miles from Skagway. We need to arrive by October 13, for a work campers meeting at Westwind Golf and RV Resort. We will be back working at the Golf Pro Shop two days a week at the resort.

We have enjoyed our time working for Corrington Enterprises at the Skagway Outlet Store, and it was nice having money go in to the bank account, instead of coming out. Our friends Tom and Ellen, along with Rodney and Susan will also be leaving tomorrow, and we will be traveling together for about 5 days. Rodney and Susan are going to work at the Beet Harvest, as they enjoyed doing that last year. Tom and Ellen will also be heading to Yuma, and we will be traveling with them on and off. We have an oil changed scheduled in Conrad, Montana for the motorhome, and they have some other appointments scheduled as well, but will eventually meet back up in Utah at some point.

Originally we planned on taking the Cassier Highway down through British Columbia, but have changed plans and will be taking the Alaska Highway back through Canada. It will be the same way we came up. A few weeks ago, there was an accident involving a tanker truck that caught on fire and heavily damaged a bridge on the Alaska Highway. The bridge is back open, but tractor-trailers are still not allowed to cross over the bridge. That means the Cassier Highway will be the main route for the semi’s coming up north. We decided to avoid that road as a result.

Even though we have been busy working six days a week (gotta love the overtime!), we did manage a few fun nights out with Tom and Ellen at the local Eagles Club, where Tom is a member. Skagway has the oldest Eagles Club in Alaska, and is club number 25 in the United States. I believe this branch was founded in 1898.

Tom, Jonell and Ellen

Many people think Skagway is owned by the cruise ship companies, but only two stores in town are owned by the cruise ships. The majority of the town is owned by the National Park Service, as it is home to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The park service has been working to restore many historical buildings and has a very informative movie on the origins of Skagway and the Klondike Gold Rush.

And with it being a national park, there is also a Junior Ranger program, so I spent some time completing the program, and getting my Junior Ranger Badge!

As I have mentioned before, I am woefully behind in my Alaska blogs. Once we cross back into Canada tomorrow, we will be back on 0.5 GB, courtesy of our Verizon plan, so I won’t be doing any further blogs until we cross back into the United States at the end of the month. But I will try and do some Instagram updates.


We travelled 811 miles in August in the motorhome, spending $698.14 on gasoline. Gas dropped over $1.00/gallon since July, which was helpful on the fuel budget. And we have sat still for six weeks, which also helps out.


For the 30 days in August, we had 10 nights of paid camping, at a cost of $491.56 ($49.16 night) and 20 nights of free camping as part of our work camping compensation. Overall, this works out to a cost of $16.39/per night.


We spent a total of $235.90 on museums in Fairbanks and a bus tour in Denali National Park for the month of August.


For those not on Instagram, these are the posts that I made in August.

Quote for the day: “Work, save, travel, repeat!” – Anonymous

Makena’s update

Hello everyone! It’s me, Makena, your favorite dog blogger.

Keeping my peeps informed!

I’m still in Alaska, and my parents have gone back to work for a few weeks. I’m quite happy about this, because I need to make sure they can keep my belly full of food and treats. They work, so I can have a good life!

I’m also a creature of habit, so staying in one place for a few weeks is better for my routine. I love traveling, checking out all the new smells as we move around, but all that time in my crate was getting a bit much for me. At 15, I’m not a spring chicken anymore! I love chicken, by the way…

Before we left Yuma, Arizona to go on this extended vacation, my mom calculated how much dry and canned dog food I would need. I can get 4 meals out of one can, so my mom had deliver enough food to last me through my trip.

Now that we are staying longer, I was concerned about running out. My mom went to order from Chewy for the remainder of our visit, only to discover they do not ship to Alaska. What?! I went into panic mode, thinking they were going to ration out my canned food. But my parents found a Petco store in Fairbanks that has my brand of food, so they stocked up again (at quite a higher price than Chewy). So I’m all good now!

Apparently dogs and cats in Alaska are Seattle Seahawks fans, as they had a large display of apparel in the Petco store.


There is only one team worthy of my affection!

Go Pack Go!

I spent the summer hanging out with my buddy Cody. We said our goodbyes before he headed back to Florida with his parents.

Goodbye Cody!

But then that darn boy dog decided to give me a big smooch! Geez, I’m not that kind of girl…

I’m now back with my pals Finn and Duffy. I like to keep my eye on them from a safe distance.

And just so they know not to cross over into my turf, I made sure to mark the boundaries.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the road in a few weeks. I love exploring. I also like warm and sunny weather,\. It’s too chilly for this old gal to be hanging outside. My only complaint here in Skagway is the fact that my parents work until 5:30 pm, so my 5:00 canned food time gets delayed. But they are promising me both warm weather, and prompt dinner in the future, so I’m going to be patient.

Quote of the day: “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Aurora Borealis sighting!

By staying longer in Alaska, we were hoping for an opportunity to the the Aurora Borealis, also known as The Northern Lights. One of the better areas in Alaska to see it is in Fairbanks. We were there in early August, but it was still light out until midnight, and then stayed in twilight until sunrise. It was just never dark enough to view it while we were there.

Skagway is 700 miles south of Fairbanks, and the first thing that surprised us when we arrived here in mid-August was how dark it got after 10 pm. It was the first time since early June that we actually had dark skies.

We have had mostly cloudy (and rainy) days and nights here in Skagway, so we were not sure we would see any lights until we left Skagway and headed back into Canada. We have downloaded the app, My Aurora Forecast, and it said Saturday night in Skagway was a 6 on the KP scale (goes from 0 to 9). This is the highest it has been since we arrived, so we were slightly optimistic, if the clouds would stay away. Dan went and looked at the sky after 10 pm, but did not see anything.

Around 10:30 pm, I heard our neighbor Tom yelling “the lights are out!” So we grabbed our cell phones and headed outside the RV for an amazing show! If you want more information on what causes the lights, check out The Northern Lights Center information page here

To put the photos in perspective, this is where we were standing, in the employee campground. I took these two photos around 6:15 this morning.

Here’s our light show last night, even with it being partly cloudy. All the photos are taken with our IPhones.

If you look closely at the photo below, the Big Dipper is also present in the lower right hand corner.


Another highlight of our Saturday was a surprise visit from our friends Dave, Marilyn, Jim and Carol from Yuma! They were on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate Dave and Marilyn’s 60th wedding anniversary! Their boat arrived in Skagway for the day, and they called Tom when they arrived in town to pick them up. It was a complete surprise for all of us! We had a wonderful visit, and then Tom drove them back to the docks.

Jim, Carol, Jonell, Tom, Ellen, Marilyn and Dave

It was a truly special day! We hope to see the lights again, before we enter back in the lower 48. It would be nice to see them on the horizon next time.

Quote for the day: It is good to feel small beneath the sparkling northern lights, small beside the mighty river. Nature is so close to us up here. My troubles and difficulties just shrivel up. I like being insignificant.” – Asa Larsson