Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 37 –Yellowknife to Lady Evelyn Falls

Today’s Mileage 233
Miles to Date 3356
Miles Remaining 6176

We are now on our way to the Yukon and Alaska. But first we must backtrack all the way back down Highway 2 in the NWT and Highway 35 in Alberta to pick up the highway that will take us to Dawson Creek and Milepost 0 of the famed Alcan Highway.

Our initial plan was to spend the night in a pull out just pass the ferry but it was just another few miles to the Lady Evelyn Falls campground that has 30 amp electrical service. With the electrical service we will have a warm light instead of the cold nights that we had to endure at the Fred Henne Campground in Yellowknife.

We had hope to take the NWT Highway 1 and NWT Highway 7 to Forts Simpson, Liard and Nelson but we all we got were different stories from the Tourist Information Facilities in High Level, Hay River, 60th Parallel and Yellowknife and numerous other people. Some said that the road was good, some bad and the one Information Center said that it was almost paved all the way. We pretty much dismissed the paved data and came to the conclusion that it was not worth the risk to save approximately 500 miles and more prudent to back track and pick up main highways to Dawson Creek.

Some comments on visiting Yellowknife by RV:

We arrived just before noon on Friday June 18th. The campground was completely full but we were told that we could go to the overflow area by the shower building and as soon as a site became available we would be assigned to it. ATV’s used the mounds by the shower building to race around each evening and there was quite a bit of noise from vehicles coming and going to use the showers. We did get to pay $22.50 per night for this entertainment. Saturday we were again told that a sight might become available, no site. Sunday we were told that we would most likely get a sight for sure. Again no sight even through campers that came to the overflow area after us were getting sights. For whatever reason, we were completely forgotten about.

We intended to stay in Yellowknife until June 24th but since Monday is just about over and still no site with electric and a picnic table, we have decided to depart Tuesday morning. $22.50 is a little much for staying in a parking lot and not even being able to sit outside and have use of at least a picnic table . The average price that we have been paying for full service campgrounds, (water, sewer and electric) during our first 3000 miles of travel on this trip to date is $15.00. We still have just about 6000 miles to go before this journey is over.

If I have known that we would not have gotten a site, I would have parked in a pull out on the highway. It would have been much quieter, and would not have cost $90. When we arrived on Friday, we were told that the dump station was not working and if we wanted to dump and fill up with fresh water that we had go to the water facility in town which we did. Bottom line is that we did not use the showers or any other facility in the park. While in the park we remained inside our RV as we did not have a table or anything else to use outdoors nor was there any room to set up our table and chairs. We ended up not camping, we were parking. I guess that when you have a monopoly on campgrounds, you can overcharge.

I do understand that it was a big holiday weekend and that the campground was booked by the local inhabitants. However, I would have thought that someone would have the foresight to provide a nice parking area for the tourist traveling by RV. For instance there is a large area overlooking a beach just across the highway from the airport. There is another parking area at the beach just below that area. There are several businesses with parking lots downtown and a parking lot adjacent to the park downtown where the celebrations were held. Any or all of these areas could be set aside for tourists traveling in RVs to use during holidays when the local people fill the campground. That way the City of Yellowknife would have a win – win situation. The local people can camp and do their thing in the campground and the tourist RV people can spend their money at the local business and not their dollars to park in the campground parking lot.

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