August 14, 2015 Boundary Spur Road, Alaska

Birth of a Rainbow
Birth of a Rainbow

An Eventful Morning

I was having my morning coffee, relaxing in my recliner around 5:30 this morning …

Caribou at campsite
Early Morning Visitors

when I saw a small band of caribou pop up out of the brush on the perimeter of my pulloff campsite and head towards my motorhome.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Bull Caribou Just Passing Through
Bull Caribou Just Passing Through

I jumped up and grabbed the camera and shot a couple shots through the windshield as they skirted by and headed to cross the highway.

Caribou From Campsite
Caribou From Campsite
Caribou on the Boundary Spur Road
Caribou on the Boundary Spur Road
Caribou on the Boundary Spur Road
Caribou on the Boundary Spur Road

Unfortunately, I just wasn’t prepared for this intrusion and it took me a few precious seconds to find the camera and fire off some shots. But with not a whole lot of light to work with and my camera set to what I was doing last night, I didn’t get anything terribly good. Still, it was kind of a thrill to see them up close like this.

Disaster Strikes!

When I let the dogs out after my caribou run in, I noticed my pasenger side outside dually appered to be going flat. I have never had a flat on this motorhome and the Michelin tires are only two years old, so this was totally unexpected and could not possibly have happened at a worst place, seventy-five miles from Dawson City and a hundred miles from Tok. This was going to be expensive!

I drove nine miles to the Border Station and the two pleasant and very helpful women manning the station graciously allowed me to use the phone to call Good Sam Roadside Assistance, a service I have carried and paid for, but never had to use, for the past twenty two years.

Good Sam Roadside Assistance ??????

Twelve minutes into my first call, I was hung up on by an obviously flustered young woman who had no idea of what she was doing, trying to explain to me that I was not covered in Alaska, which, of course, is not true. My second call didn’t fare much better as this woman could not determine exactly where I was located despite my explaining very carefully exactly where this Border Station was. She claimed that Google Maps and everything else she was referring to in an attempt to locate me, did not show a Boundary Spur Road, the Border Station, nor any town in the Yukon called Dawson City. I found that a little hard to fathom. After thirty-six minutes with her, it became obvious that I was not getting anywhere. She never did figure out where I was. This was starting to get frustrating.

A third call fared little better although by now the Border Station folks gave me some GPS coordinates for our location and finally Good Sam Roadside Assistance had me located and after thirty minutes on the line with them, I was told they would make calls and try to get me some help.

Not having cell service up here greatly harmed my chances for help from this outfit, because after every call they wanted me to give them a call back number so they could contact me with further information on my rescue situation. But I was using a government satellite ( I assume ) phone and could’nt provide them with a callback number, instead having to tell them I would call back to them at a time they determined would be sufficient for them to make arrangements for my service call. This proved to make things make things very difficult, for when I called back, I just got the next available operator, not the one I was previously dealing with, and they explained to me that their operators do not have designated extentions and therefore can not be contacted by name when I called back. As a result, every time I called I basically had to start all over again, just incredibly frustrating, what a screwed up operation.

My fourth call lasted another fifty-two minutes with holds of fifteen and twenty minutes and ended with me finally all but giving up and telling this operator ( Galen ) that I was now going to just drive my car back to Chicken and see if I could find some help myself, and if not, that tomorrow I would drive to Dawson City and look there. At this time Good Sam Roadside Assistance was telling me that they could find no one who would agree to come up here on a flat tire service call. I told Galen to keep looking and I would check back in with him first thing tomorrow to see if they came up with anything or if I had found something on my trip back to Chicken.

So I hopped in the car and drove the forty-five miles back to Chicken …

Wrecked Motorhome
A Scary Sight

… passing this terrifying sight on the way. It is about five hundred feet straight down to the river where this rig overturned, saved only by some small aspens on the side of the road. I was told later that the lone woman and her dog were safe and not injured. If I can’t get a flat tire fixed up here, how is this poor person going to have this wreck salvaged?

Look Out For Caribou
Look Out For Caribou

Had to dodge this caribou that couldn’t make up it’s mind just which way it wanted to go to get out of my way.

In Chicken, I was told there was no one there that could possibly help and that my only hope was Williard’s in Tok.

View From the Top of the World
View From the Top of the World
View From the Top of the World
View From the Top of the World

On my way home I stopped and got a couple of threatening sky shots …

Interesting Rock
Interesting Rock

…and found this interesting rock in roadside quarry I stopped to check out.

So I am getting a little worried about just when and how I am going to be able to get back on the road again … and my faith in Good Sam’s Roadside Assistance has been completely shattered, I just don’t see them being competent enough to actually come to my rescue. Stay tuned!

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