If you have time to read only one posting, click the following link to read the entry for the last day of our journey.

Day 25, Saturday, September 7, 6147 miles, Yukon territorial park to Moon Lake State Park, on the Alaskan Highway

The ipad has this irritating habit of deleting the captions I put on the photos. I will go back later and add the captions to the postings.

This morning, when I woke up from a deep sleep, I could not find Erde. She was missing from the tent. Fortunately, I forget to disconnect her from the long leash I put on her at night when she lies outside the tent and so he not too far from he tent. Apparently, he has been watching how I open the two tent doors, except that I don open it with my nose as he does.

At 7:00 am today and yesterday I heard the humming of a motor and the soft pounding of feet getting louder and louder near the tent. Then, n a flash, a team of about 15 sled ogs came running by, pulling some motorized cart of a musher. Leben didn't reach at all,but I had to grab Erde and restrain her from trying to join the team. She and Leben actually were on a sled team in 2003. Unfortunately, I think the stress of that experience contributed to the collapse oh her immune system two weeks later. You would think that she learned her lesson.

Packed up my gear and hit the road at 9:30. Had to go back over to Dawson City to fuel up with gas, water and coffee. That community of 2000 (during the gold rush there were 40,000 people) has some of the best bakeries and coffee shops I have seen. Despite its location at the end of the line in Canada, it is quite a cosmopolitan community. The town center consist of about 8 blocks fronting on the Yukon River and runs about four streets deep. There are about 5 shops (including Lowe's Mortuary) on each side of the street of each block, all constructed in the tyle of the gold rush days. There are board sidewalks and dirt streets. An active steamer sits in the harbor. It is only one of two places I visited where I said I could live there for a year-long sabbatical. Unfortunately, some of the stores close this week for the winter, which starts in two weeks. Frankly, although I am not thrilled that the two mishaps on Thursday happened, especially on perhaps the loneliest and most treacherous highway on the continent, I have to say that I am thrilled they happened outside of Dawson City and that I was stranded there. And I was only 5 miles from the US border when I decided to turn back. My experience would have been quite unpleasant if I had made it to Tok in Alaska.

We made it to the border without incident this time and reached Alaska at last. Leben's wheelchair, with its new tire, was well secured to my roof rack later. And there wasn't a drop of oil spilled this time, despite no repair having been done, only a topping off of the oil in the transmission. This does not make sense, especially since I duplicated Thursday's trip and then more. Here's my guess. At Brandon, Manitoba, when I had the Defender serviced, I asked them to top off the transmission oil, but they said they couldn't open the cap. But Brandon, the mechanic in Dawson City, said it was quite easy to open. My guess is that the Brandon Manitoba guy actually open it partially without knowing it and when the oil expanded from the heart generated by the transmission, it spilled out. Nothing else could explain the large stream of oil I saw come out and then today, nothing Regardless, I'm thrilled it happened because of my stay in Dawson City.

Over the border, we hit the settlement of a Chicken. Unfortunately, over the last 12 years, it gas become a tourist trap. So I had intended to get out of town fast after restocking stuff. But when I returned to the Defender, some nearby man told me that Erde had tried to leap out the partially opened widow but got caught and was hanging over the side of the passenger door. How odd, I thought, because she had never done that before. I will spare my readers the details, but when I got into the Defender myself, I discovered why she tried to leap out. It took me an hour to clean the Defender and get underway. I have to give Erde credit, though, for trying to avoid the accident in the Defender.

We made it to this pleasant Alaskan State park, Moon Lake, right off the ALCAN at 7:15, and each of us went about our evening chores: I setting up the camp, Leben watching me, and Erde preventing me from doing my chores by barking fiercely to get me to throw the ball for her or tilting on the pieces of the tent I am about to use. Incidentally, the first thing I do when I get to a new site is to let the dogs sniff around. Leben, of course cannot do that, so instead of putting him in his wheelchair to o it, I walking hime around caring his rear in a sling So I have become an expert at sniffing out a new site.

We made it camp and I finished all the outside chores just in time to beat the light drizzle outside now. This means I will get a good night's sleep,so I am going to cash in on that gift now.

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