Monday, August 1, 2011

Failed Jack and Playing Tourist in Whitehorse

As I mentioned yesterday, one of our Atwood leveling jacks wouldn’t go down. I was concerned about spending a lot of time using a cell phone in Canada and paying $.69 per minute for roaming. Our friends (I think it was Judy) reported that they had switched to a nationwide plus Canada plan with Verizon for about $20 more per month, and it could be canceled upon returning to the lower 48. So, first thing this morning, I called Verizon. I wanted a ‘real person’ to confirm that my data plan on my smartphone wouldn’t be affected by this change; otherwise, I could have changed the plan on their web site. I got that assurance (important, because I have unlimited data and that option is no longer offered).

With the new calling plan now in place, I called Atwood for technical support for the jack. Steve listened to what troubleshooting I had already done, and said the jack would probably need to be replaced. The closest service center for Atwood is in Prince George, B.C., which is on our planned route southward, about 1100 miles from Whitehorse. We could have backtracked to Tok, Alaska, but that wasn’t a good option. We need to have an authorized mechanic confirm what’s needed, then call for authorization from our extended warranty service. Only then can the part/s be ordered. In the meantime, we have to disable all the jacks to avoid having the alarm sound while traveling. And the airbags, which are controlled by the same system, must then be manually inflated. Don has done this before, but he’ll talk with the technician in the morning to verify the procedure.

Since we couldn’t do any more to solve the problem, we headed out to play tourist. We hadn’t visited the S.S. Klondike during our previous visit.


This sternwheeler was one of a fleet of riverboats that ran up and down the Yukon River during the Gold Rush. Crew quarters were simple and meager, with 3 to a room. I couldn’t get a good picture because I had to shoot through the window.


The bathroom was down the hall.


Here’s where the crew ate their meals.


Paying passengers traveled in style, however, with a comfortable lounge in the bow.


We ran into some familiar faces in the elegant dining hall.


Passengers’ sleeping rooms were larger, too. Somehow I failed to get a picture, but here’s a more spacious bathroom. I’d love to enjoy a leisurely soak in that  tub!


The ship’s captain had nice quarters.


Lots of powdered milk and dried eggs were part of the cargo being shipped to communities along the route.


Passengers could order eggs fixed any way they desired, along with canned milk, canned tomatoes, ham and other goodies.


Meals onboard were prepared in a well-equipped galley.


The bridge looked pretty comfortable, with a leather couch to rest on.


When we finished touring the boat, we drove to the Fish Ladder, or Fishway. Salmon haven’t yet started up to spawn, but it was interesting to see the operation. It’s really amazing how salmon find their way almost 2,000 miles back to the place where they were spawned to complete their life cycle. If you want to watch salmon entering the ladder, click on the link above, then click on the web cam from that site. You can also read a description of how the fish get past the dam. This is believed to be the longest fish ladder in the world, at 366 meters (about 400 yards).

Here are a few shots from our visit. First, the dam where water is moving fast this time of year. The tent in the foreground is used for “Ask the Elder” sessions held a couple of times per week.


This is the weir, where fish are channeled into the fish ladder. The wooden fish on the ladder beside the walkway were decorated by various individuals, including children.


A few of the decorated fish.



A closer view of the weir


The fish ladder, that helps salmon get past the dam.


Tomorrow, we’ll be driving over some familiar parts of the Alaska Highway, then turning south on the Cassiar Highway. The difference in distance is only about 70 miles, if we don’t take any side trips. But we’ll probably take the side trips – after all, this is an adventure!


  1. Wow what a flood of memories with these wonderful photos today... GREAT post!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  2. I'm so glad to hear that you are going down the Cassier.. About 1/2 way was one of our favorite campgrounds called Mountain Shadow RV.. Beautiful place.. Not sure if you can copy & past but this is my post on it from 2006.. Whatever you do, don't miss Hyder.

    Helen Moll

  3. Thanks for posting all the photos of the paddlewheeler, they were great to see and very interesting. I would never have thought that type of boat would ever have such a luxurious type dining room.

    Hope your jack troubles don't cause any huge problems.

  4. We are having a jack problem too -- one of ours won't hold, but fortunately it doesn't affect the leveling of the fridge.
    I liked the Klondike more than I thought I would. I especially liked seeing those huge arms that moved the wheel.
    We were at the fish ladder before the salmon ran -- did you get to see any go through?

  5. We really enjoyed seeing the Klondike too. It's extra special because all the furnishings, etc. have been so well preserved. Makes it possible to imagine what it was like back in the day.
    We're sorry to hear about your mechanical issues. Hopefully they aren't going to hold you up too much. We have a list of repairs to be made when we get home, too. Nothing huge, other than the windshield which will only cost us the $100 deductible. Take care. Karen & Fran


Please tell me what you think, either here, on Facebook, or by email. I *love* comments!