Tuxedo Stan’s World Tour – Alaska

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Oct 2, 2013 5 Comments ›› Hugh

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)

All bundled up and on our way to Alaska!!

All bundled up and on our way to Alaska!!

 

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.

First stop: Peyto Lake viewpoint

First stop: Peyto Lake viewpoint

 

The mountains look different east of Jasper

The mountains look different east of Jasper

 

From Jasper, we headed east, and then north on Hwy 40 to the beginning of the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, B.C. 

 

Diana and Stan's minions at the gateway to a new adventure.

Diana and Stan’s minions at the gateway to a new adventure.

 

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.

 

High above Muncho Lake, B.C.

High above Muncho Lake, B.C.

 

Full moon over Muncho Lake, B.C.

Full moon over Muncho Lake, B.C.

 

All the fresh air is giving the minions an appetite!  (and not just them…..)

Is breakfast ready yet - we're hingry!

Is breakfast ready yet – we’re hungry!

 

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.

Liard Hot Springs...but cats don't like to get wet!

Liard Hot Springs…but cats don’t like to get wet!

 

We passed a herd of bison on the way!  They seemed a bit spooked by the Royal Presence.

Bison herd charging!

Bison herd charging!

 

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.

First crossing into Alaska on the road to Skagway.

First crossing into Alaska on the road to Skagway.

 

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.

We went for a lovely train ride from Skagway, over the White Pass

We went for a lovely train ride from Skagway, over the White Pass…

 

to Fraser, B.C.

to Fraser B.C.

 

Skagway is a pretty cool town, at the top of the Lynn Canal (Alaska panhandle), surrounded by mountains, with thoughtful street signs:

Street sign in Skagway

Street sign in Skagway

 

and perhaps the world’s largest gold nugget at the Gold Rush Cemetery??

Is that a huge gold nugget??  (Skagway, Gold Rush Cemetery)

Is that a huge gold nugget?? (Skagway, Gold Rush Cemetery)

 

The Jewell Gardens not only have pretty flowers, but an extensive and very impressive garden scale railway.

Just our size!  (sort of)

Just our size! (sort of)

 

Tiny chapel, even for us!

Tiny chapel, even for us!

 

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!

Margaret's kitchen, part of living room, and treehouse stairs!

Margaret’s kitchen, part of living room, and treehouse stairs!

 

The stairs get narrower and steeper the higher you go

Are we staying in a tree house?

Are we staying in a tree house?

 

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.

Then we took a totally awe-inspiring plane ride

Then we took a totally awe-inspiring plane ride

 

Lovely day in Gustavus!

Lovely day in Gustavus!

 

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,

Copper River Valley at sunset

Copper River Valley at sunset

 

and we went to see historic Kennecott, one of the world’s biggest copper mines, and site of the most pure copper ever found!

 

Inspecting the remains of a gigantic copper mine at Kennecott, Alaska

Inspecting the remains of a gigantic copper mine at Kennecott, Alaska

 

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.

 

At last, a few flowers that are not fireweed!

At last, a few flowers that are not fireweed!

 

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 🙂

 

Royal minions have front row seats for the Matanuska Glacier

Royal minions have front row seats for the Matanuska Glacier

 

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.

 

Victoria and Albert have-a-conference with Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna

Victoria and Albert have-a-conference with Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna

 

Talkeetna is a popular staging point for Denali and Mt McKinley, so we joined the crowds.

 

Royal Minion conveyance - Denali Park Road

Royal Minion conveyance – Denali Park Road

 

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.

 

We have arrived at Wonder Lake campground!  (Denali)

We have arrived at Wonder Lake campground! (Denali)

 

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!!)

 

Enjoying the sunshine and great view of Mt. McKinley from our campsite in Denali _-)

Enjoying the sunshine and great view of Mt. McKinley from our campsite in Denali

 

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.

 

Chicken Heritage Post Office

Chicken Heritage Post Office

 

The nice lady postmaster posed with us and the Chicken mascot for a picture.  There were funny chicken sculptures all over!

 

Victoria and Albert meet the Chicken Mascot and Postmaster

Victoria and Albert meet the Chicken Mascot and Postmaster

 

Don't look now, but there's a really big chicken behind us!

Don’t look now, but there’s a really big chicken behind us!

 

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.

 

Two Moose Lake, at km 102.6 on Dempster Hwy

Two Moose Lake, at km 102.6 on Dempster Hwy

 

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.

 

Two Moose Lake, at km 102.6 on Dempster Hwy

Kinney Lake with Mount Robson in the background

 

Victoria found the local wildlife very friendly, even a bit forward.  I think she was somewhat amused……

 

Communing with nature at Kinney Lake  (there's a real social butterfly!)

Communing with nature at Kinney Lake (there’s a real social butterfly!)

 

Classic view of Mt. Robson

Classic view of Mt. Robson

 

The grand tour finished with our return to Calgary via the Icefields Parkway,

 

Approaching the Columbia Icefield!

Approaching the Columbia Icefield!

 

and a joyful reunion with Tony, who had been keeping a watchful eye on the home front.

 

Three minions reunited in Tuxedo shrine

Three minions reunited in Tuxedo shrine

 

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!

Love,

Earl Grey

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Comments

  1. Diana Piggott says:

    Earl Grey, I am both impressed and very honoured that you found time in your very busy schedule to post these pictures.
    Thank you!

  2. Nancy Burnette says:

    I am pleased that the royalty came so close to my home in Anchorage, Alaska!

  3. Estella Clifford says:

    Wow! Awesome trip! Those minions know how to vacation. So glad you all got to meet Mayor Stubbs, too. Thanks for the chance to take an armchair tour!

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