Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Low Clouds and Rain Most of Last Day

We've been pretty lucky with the weather.  We've had rain most days, but just part of the day giving us plenty of time to walk around, takes some short hikes, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

This morning started out ok.  The rain that we encountered last night as we entered Alaska and the Deadman Lake campground didn't stop until this morning when we got up and checked out the birds on the lake and talked to some other folks at the campground, but soon it was raining and the clouds blocked out all the spectacular views. 

We'd finished our 24 CD's of The Illuminaries and the other CD's we had just weren't as gripping as the novel about the New Zealand gold rush in 1865 and 66.  It was so good, even after driving several hours, sometimes we stayed in the car to hear the end of the CD. 

Then a yellow light went lit up on my dashboard.  It said 'check.'  We had over 300 miles to go to Anchorage.

The manual said this was the 'malfunction indicator lamp" which goes on when you turn on the ignition and then goes out.  If it doesn't go out 
"or if it should come on while you are driving, this indicates that there is a malfunction in the engine system.  .  . continue driving with reduced power and have the cause corrected promptly by a [sic] authorised Volkswagen dealer or qualified workshop." 
Is 300 miles promptly?  That's probably the nearest qualified workshop unless we divert to Fairbanks which is almost as far.  I called the VW service center in Anchorage.   It could be something like not putting the gas cap on properly.  (I got gas just before it began.)  She asked if the engine was doing anything funny.  No. She said to just keep on driving.   Which we did, but it added a bit of anxiety all the way home.  Especially as I was braking on a long downhill and could smell a burning odor.  Probably the brakes, but that doesn't normally happen. 

After a while we got hungry and we were running out of food.  The US border guard had confiscated two Canadian bought tomatoes.  US ones would have been ok. 

So I got out the loaf of bread we bought yesterday at the Haines Junction bakery, some peanut butter, and cherry preserves.

Indian River Rest Area Alaska July 1, 2013

The rest stop wasn't great, and I have to send the dumpster picture to the governor and let him know that whoever the state has contracted to collect the garbage at this rest stop (at the Indian River) and the next one isn't doing their job. 

This isn't bear damage - the dumpster was just overflowing. 

As we were nearing Anchorage, the clouds lifted and there were even patches of blue and no rain.  It was nice to be out of touch for almost a week and to be spending our evenings and mornings camped in the woods.  We just had to drive, watch the views, stop to stretch our legs along lakes, rivers, and mountain trails, and to meet other travelers along the way.  I've got a lot of pictures that I'll try to add some shortly. 

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