A couple of nice readers of our blog wrote to us to come and see Robe Lake three miles north of Valdez, Alaska. We went there very late last night. It’s a good paved road about a quarter of a mile back to the lake area with a fair size gravel turnaround right at the lake. Saw a couple of small pull offs along this road and saw someone with an SUV camped in one of them using a tent. We went to the end of the road (it ends at the small lake) and we boondocked there. Quiet, beautiful and you can actually see fish jumping in the water though we didn’t see anyone succeed in catching any of them. What a great place to boondock!!! GPS location is N 61.08466 degrees / W 146.17484 degrees. Thank you Linda and Bob!
Don’t know who owns this property, but there’s a very small dock for planes that land on the lake (no planes here today), a dumpster in the parking area that gets emptied regularly, and someone comes out most days to cut the grasses that are encroaching on the lake. Linda and Bob said there was trash everywhere on the gravel turnaround when they arrived so they cleaned it up, throwing the trash in the dumpster located there. They were here for ten days and were just leaving today for more travel. We’ll come back and boondock here tonight.
We called around to check campground prices in Valdez. Hook-ups were $30 to $35/night. To dry camp (no hook-ups) in a campground in Valdez, the least expensive we found was $26.00/night. We try to boondock most everywhere we go and sometimes the places we stay are not lovely so having a boondock site this beautiful was a treat.
Day to day fulltiming–
One of the things about traveling through great places for fairly long periods of time in an RV as a full timer is that the more mundane chores and life habits cannot be put on hold too long. So watching your weight/diet, cleaning the motor home, laundry, getting fresh water/dumping waste tanks, etc. must go on. Finding places to get fresh water/dumping waste tanks while traveling (without using a campground) can be handled by asking locals, getting on the computer (or maybe there is an “app” for that?) and finding some place in your area that provides that service (preferably for free!). Today we decided we must do laundry, so after finding a Valdez Laundromat we got our laundry done today. When we are traveling and having so much fun, we hate to stop to do laundry so I frequently hand wash a few items at a time usually at night. Today we found that our laundry was getting ahead of my willingness to hand wash so much. It was worth the $6.00 to get everything washed and dried at once. Unless we are on a “fancy” trip, we wear easy care clothes which allows us to not separate by color, throw it all in together, separate lights and darks for drying only to avoid lint on dark items, fold everything as it comes our of the dryer and never iron anything!
Chugach National Forest Visitor Center, Crooked Creek–
Entering Valdez today, we stopped at the Chugach National Forest Visitor Center. We were told Robe Lake is city and/or state owned and not private property so we feel comfortable boondocking there. There are no “No Camping” signs and those signs are everywhere you look in Valdez so we should be fine there.
Got some recommendations from the visitor center of places to see in Valdez so we have a plan for the next few days. It is not raining today!!! It turns out the whole Valdez area is in an Arctic Rain Forest which accounts for all their rain. When it is cold, the rain becomes snow. They average about 25 feet of snow per year! OK, pretty as Valdez is, if you put six months of darkness around the clock in winter and add 25 feet of snow you have an explanation for a population of only 5000 year round residents.
Tomorrow we will be going out on a Glacier/Wildlife Viewing Cruise on Prince William Sound and are looking forward to it. We’re told this cruise is mostly about seeing wildlife and it will stay out on the water as long as they can find wildlife to watch. That kind of trip is right up our alley.
Bought senior tickets to see two of the museums in town. The senior tickets are $6.00 each and are good for one year so we’ll be going in and out of the museums many times during our stay in Valdez. The one we spent a lot of time in focused on the Gold Rush and the Oil Spill (Exxon Valdez). The Gold Rush pictures and documents were amazing. The struggle just to get to the area where gold had been found was horrendous and more than most folks would be willing to suffer. Many who tried the Gold Rush life died or quit and went back home. As for the Oil Spill, what is there to say? It was devastating and destructive to the environment, the wildlife and to all of the people dependant on fishing the Prince William Sound for a living. There are far better protections for Prince William Sound now than there ever were.