Hi fans, Earl Grey here. My brother’s minions continue to travel around the world spreading his message of compassion and hope. Here is the latest batch of photos from intrepid fan Diana Piggott of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
(Click any thumbnail to see the full-sized image)
After packing up the car with camping gear, minions, etc. for the big road trip, we headed towards Banff and drove up the Icefields Parkway. Coincidentally, our first stop was the lovely Peyto Lake viewpoint, which seems to be popular among Stan’s minions.
From Jasper, we headed east, and then north on Hwy 40 to the beginning of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, B.C.
On day two, we drove much of the Alaska Hwy within B.C., finding a delightful camping spot on Muncho Lake, where we took Victoria and Albert on a little hike.
All the fresh air is giving the minions an appetite! (and not just them…..)
After breakfast, we drove to the Liard Hot Springs, where some of us enjoyed a relaxing soak in the water, while others just soaked up the atmosphere.
We passed a herd of bison on the way! They seemed a bit spooked by the Royal Presence.
By the middle of day four, we had crossed into the Yukon, passed Whitehorse, and taken the highway south over the White Pass to Skagway. This is a spectacular route, but only if you can actually see the scenery.
Victoria and Albert like trains, and so do we! So we went on a fantastic excursion on the historic White Pass and Yukon railway, from Skagway up to Fraser, B.C. That was a spectacular ride, and the weather was decent.
Skagway is a pretty cool town, at the top of the Lynn Canal (Alaska panhandle), surrounded by mountains, with thoughtful street signs:
and perhaps the world’s largest gold nugget at the Gold Rush Cemetery??
The Jewell Gardens not only have pretty flowers, but an extensive and very impressive garden scale railway.
From Skagway, a short ferry ride took us to Haines, where Diana’s aunt Margaret lives with her two cats, in a house that is part A-frame, part tree house!
The stairs get narrower and steeper the higher you go
Having travelled on a boat and a train, as well as the car, it was time to take a plane ride! So we flew on a tiny little propeller plane to Gustavus, and that was quite a magnificent experience.
After a delightful week in the Alaska panhandle, we packed up again and headed north to rejoin the Alaska highway. We followed it through the Yukon and back into Alaska to Tok, where we turned southwest to get back into mountains, this time the Wrangell range (volcanoes!) in the SE corner of the main part of the state. The Copper River valley was incredible,
and we went to see historic Kennecott, one of the world’s biggest copper mines, and site of the most pure copper ever found!
Due to strange weather patterns this year, we missed most of wildflower season. Nearly all the flowers we saw in Alaska were fireweed, so it was very exciting to see other flowers for a change, as we did on our way west along the Glenn Highway.
This highway passes the Chugach mountains, almost driving right over the Matanuska Glacier! Somewhere around here, I discovered that my vest pockets made ideal royal minion conveyors
Well, a royal minion tour of Alaska would not be complete without a visit with Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna, so we stopped in this unusual little town and found it quite charming. Apparently cats rule in Alaska! We were quite honoured that His Worship took a few minutes out of his busy day for a conference on feline issues and politics.
Talkeetna is a popular staging point for Denali and Mt McKinley, so we joined the crowds.
A very long bus ride up the Denali Park Road took us, with several scenic stops along the way, to a magical camping spot “under” Mt McKinley at Wonder Lake.
Although “the big one” is rarely seen, the mountain made several “royal command” appearances while we were there. It definitely made camping in a mosquito-infested swamp worthwhile! (Prettiest mosquito-infested swamp ever!!)
Sorry to leave this spectacular place, we hit the road again, and for most of the trip north and east of Denali we were driving through forest fire smoke, so didn’t see a great deal. The most interesting stop was just before leaving Alaska, in a tiny town called “Chicken”, with a lovely heritage post office.
The nice lady postmaster posed with us and the Chicken mascot for a picture. There were funny chicken sculptures all over!
Across the border into the Yukon, Dawson City was the first stop, then we drove 102 km up the Dempster Highway, to Two Moose Lake, our furthest point north on the tour. We are a very long way from home here, but turning around it feels like we are on our way back.
We did see a few sights on our return trip, spending as much time in mountains as possible! Back in the Rockies, we stopped at Mount Robson (highest peak), and did the lovely hike to Kinney Lake.
Victoria found the local wildlife very friendly, even a bit forward. I think she was somewhat amused……
The grand tour finished with our return to Calgary via the Icefields Parkway,
and a joyful reunion with Tony, who had been keeping a watchful eye on the home front.
The Royal Minion Tour of Alaska was a great success. The most epic day was the 6th of August, when we got to see not only Mayor Stubbs, but also Mt. McKinley in all its glory, all on one unbelievable day.
The minions took a short break after this odyssey, but will not be resting on their laurels!
Thank you Diana Piggott and Minions Albert and Victoria for this amazing adventure!
You can see pictures from around the world in the Photo Gallery. Check it out.
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