Last September we bought our very nice 16 foot Scamp travel trailer. Since that purchase, we have spent over 100 nights in it and have covered over 15,000 miles. The only thing that we did not like about it was that in order to use the dinette/bed, we had to spend time and effort converting. Plus, the bed is actually smaller than a double. At home we sleep in a King and the double was just too small. When we started planning this trip, we tried to sell that Scamp and wanted to buy the 19 foot 5th wheel which has a queen bed in the loft and we would be able to keep the dinette in place. We were not able to sell before we left for this trip so we decided to try to sell it here in Alaska and then go to Backus, MN to pick up the 5th wheel and then head home. We had quite a few people look at the Scamp and on Tuesday we made the sale, getting just a little less than what we had paid for it in September. So, we will be getting the 5th wheel next week.
Then---the real adventure began. We now had $15,000 in cash that we wanted to get into our bank account. There was one bank in Tok where we had made the sell. They would not help is in any way in transferring funds into our credit union account. They said we had to have an account with them. We said we would open an account. They said we could not do that since we were not residents. We really needed to get to Haines, AK so that on Thursday we could catch the ferry to Prince Rupert. We were hoping we could "get rid" of the cash in Haines.
To get to Haines, we had to take a road that left Alaska and entered the Yukon Territory, CA and then reentered Alaska. That meant that we had to go through or past 4 border stations. When we drove past the US station South of Tok, we did not stop because we didn't know we were supposed to declare that we were leaving the US with more than $10,000. We did know that entering Canada, we needed to declare the cash. Not only did we have to declare it, but we had to count it out for the agent and complete some paperwork, as well as giving them a verbal explanation as to why we had that much cash. After we had finished all that, the Canada agent called the US border people who were located 20 miles back from where we had driven. They told him to send us back because we were supposed to declare the money and we would have to complete some documents. So, off we went. At the US Customs, we did not have to count the money or even show it to them. We completed the documents and headed off on the 400 plus mile drive. All this had taken nearly 2 hours and we really wanted to get to Haines so we could try to get rid of the cash.
Since Hollie had driven the entire time when we were pulling the trailer, he let me do most of the driving to Haines. Along the way we saw dozens of trumpeter swans and several bears. About half way between Haines Junction and Haines, we saw a grizzly bear and a black bear within a mile of each other. The grizzly was on the road and as we approached, it moved just the the side and down an embankment. We were able to watch it for several minutes.
When we got to the Canada border, we stopped at customs because that was what the previous customs guy had told us we would need to do. They just looked at our papers and sent us on. We then stopped at the US customs and showed them our papers and answered some questions and were sent on our way.
It was after 11:00 pm when we got to Haines. The first rather nice looking motel that we saw had a no vacancy sign. We then drove into the main part of town and saw a couple more motels. What a shock to have to pay over $130 for an absolute dump, especially considering we haven't been paying *anything* for our lodging. Oh---I know we have been paying in that we had to pay for the travel trailer, but it still was very odd to pay for such a pitiful room.
That was Tuesday night. Yesterday we found a room back at the nicer looking motel that had previously had none. It was fine, but still not worth the $100 we had to pay. I'm missing my Scamp!
Yesterday, as soon as the one bank opened, we were there! They allowed up to open an account and we were able to get the money in a safe place. We then spent the rest of the day checking out the town. There was a cruise ship in port so there were a lot of people in this small town. I got to see it from a good perspective as I did a 5 mile run and 1 mile walk.
This morning I ran 3 miles and now I'll be getting things ready for the ferry trip. When we sold the Scamp, we had quite a bit of "stuff" in it that we now have the bed of our truck. Since it rains quite often, we just put everything in trash bags and we'll deal with it when we get the new Scamp. We do have our clothes and personal items somewhat organized and in the cab of the truck, so we should be OK for the 36 hour ferry ride and the 2000 mile drive to MN.
This is a rather large ferry, but once we get on it with the truck, the only time we can go to the truck is when we are in port or at other designated times. This ferry has sleeping cabins, but we decided to just rough it with a pillow and blanket and sleep in deck chairs, on the floor or any other place we can find. The ferry has showers and food/drink can be purchased. We will be on it for over 36 hours during which we will go through some of the the most beautiful scenery in the world.
I'm not sure how many more blogs I will be able to post. This computer is acting like the hard drive is getting ready to crash. I'm just trying to keep it going long enough to make it home and it it checked out.