The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Aux Arc COE Campground

After spending 2 and 1/2 weeks in Red Bay, Alabama, getting various repairs done to the motorhome, we started traveling west again.  One of our stops was a few days at the Aux Arc COE Campground near Ozark, Arkansas.  Aux Arc (pronounced "oh ark") was named by French fur trappers for a section of the Arkansas River.  Over the years, Aux Arc evolved into the name Ozark.

The Aux Arc COE Campground is associated with the Ozark Lake dam, one of the dams along the Arkansas River.

Since Ozark Lake is part of the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, all of the dams have a shipping lock capable of handling barges up to 600 feet in length.  We saw a few barge "tows" being moved by a "pusher tugboat".

Looking across the lake from the campground just before sunset

There happened to be a lot of white pelicans on the lake that were passing through during their fall migration.

Mockingbird at sunset

We sometimes saw a Great White Egret.
This was one of its successful fishing attempts. 

While in the campground, we were told about nearby Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas.  Since it was the end of October and the weather was clear, we decided to visit the mountain and look for fall color.

Views from the top of Mount Magazine

Fall color

At one of our stops we found this great Walking Stick insect.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Jackson Hole 2018

After leaving Banff, we decided to head for Jackson Hole in Wyoming in hopes of catching some fall color.  The views of the Tetons were hazy due to the Roosevelt Fire, but the mountains were still visible and some areas had good fall color.

The best fall foliage we saw was near Oxbow Bend.


The T. A. Moulton Barn is probably the most photographed barn in the U.S.

Near the Jackson Lake Lodge

Haines to Banff

Since the end of the season was looming in the far north, we started our return by taking an Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Haines over to Skagway, then north through British Columbia and into the Yukon to return to the Alaska Highway at Jake's Corner south-east of Whitehorse.

Backing the bus down the ramp into the ferry

En route to Skagway

Mountains near Skagway

Bison just north of the Liard River Hotsprings

South of the Liard River Hotsprings, Stone Sheep use the highway as a salt lick.

Just before reaching Muncho Lake, we came upon this small group of caribou.

Since the provincial parks at Muncho Lake were already closed, we spent a night at the Northern Rockies Lodge RV Park.  The owners here offer float plane trips into the back country.

We think this strange vehicle built from the front half of a four-wheel drive pickup is used to launch and retrieve the lodge's float plane.

An RCMP air patrol landed and parked their plane near us for the night.  This plane has pontoons and retractable wheels so it can land/taxi/take off on both water and land.  The next morning we watched it taxi to the lake and then take off.

Twisted rock layers of Folded Mountain

We spent a couple of nights in Banff National Park in Alberta.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Chilkoot River Bears

Our main reason for returning to Haines was the possibility of seeing bears feeding on salmon along the one mile long section of the Chilkoot River between Chilkoot Lake and where it empties into the Lutak Inlet.  We had very good luck during this visit and saw many grizzly bears, including six sows with from one to three cubs each, for a total of 21 individual bears.

During our first visit to the river, we were advised to keep an eye on this path down to the water.  We were told a specific bear tended to frequently use this path going to and from the river.

Sure enough, we saw this bear use that trail a few times.

This cub managed to discover an interesting object.

We also saw many Bald Eagles during our visits.

Unfortunately, we were not the only spectators.

Chilcoot Lake above the one mile river section where the bears are found

Fancy caterpillar seen on the access road

A cruise ship visiting Haines