Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 94--July 30, 2013

          We ate breakfast at Gwin's Roadhouse.  It's a great old lodge that's been active since 1952.  Hand-built by Helen and Pat Gwin, this historic log roadhouse is located in the middle of the Chugach National Forest on the Kenai Peninsula.  All their meals of great and HUGE.  Their menu is traditional American and Alaskan.  Brian had a salmon omelette.  Travis had reindeer sausage.  I asked him if it was Rudolph or Donner.  He did not think that was funny.  :-)
          After that, the boys were suited up for "combat fishing" on the Russian River.  During the long-lighted days of July, the scenic riverbanks become a battle zone.  Men, women, and kids wade into the frigid waters, stand arm-to-arm with other anglers, casting, and casting, and casting until their arms ache. 
          The salmon are making their trek upstream to spawn and then die.  As they swim up stream, they have their mouths open and hopefully, they will catch one of the lures in their mouths.  They are big fish and put up quite a battle.  If the fisherman accidently snags the side of one of the fish, they have to release it back into the water.  Snagging is not an acceptable way of catching any of the different species of salmon and trout.  With combat fishing, it is man versus fish and man versus man.  Here's a picture of what it looks like here at the height of the salmon run.
Not my picture, but just wanted you to see what it
looks like when the salmon are running

Chase and Travis in their hip waders and poles
headed out to catch their limit of fish.  We are here at the
end of the 2nd run, so not as many fishermen or fish.

From left to right--Travis, Samantha (also in hip waders), Chase,
and unknown fisherman
who kept telling the boys how to do it even though we never
saw him catch any fish.

Until next time,


Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 93--July 29, 2013

          Although it is still July 29th here, by the time you read this it will be July 30th and that is a special day. 
Happy Birthday, Vickie King!!!
Hope you have a great day!!

          We now return to the regularly scheduled program:

          Today we moved from Seward to Cooper Landing.  Land of the famous combat fishing on the Russian and Kenai Rivers.  We hurried to the Princess Wilderness Lodge for late lunch/early dinner.  While we were waiting for our food (we were in the bar) Brian found something to entertain himself.  LOL  He is never far from the darts.
Brian playing darts at the lodge

          Chase and Travis are geared up to go salmon fishing like the OLD fishermen they are.  We will eat breakfast at one of the oldest roadhouses still working in Cooper Landing, and then it's off to the fishing hole.  (Imagine Andy Taylor whistling in the background). 

          After that Brian and Samantha are going rafting down the river that runs right in front of the bus.  Richard and the boys and I are going to wave at them as they go by.  Should have some good pictures for tomorrow night.

          When we were here in 2008, we were parked right in this very spot.  Looking out my front window, I took the following picture of two eagles perched on a branch sticking out of the beautiful aqua water.  It is one of my favorite pictures.
Two eagles on a branch

Until next time,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 92--July 28, 2013

          Another great day.  While the gang went to the SeaLife Center in Seward, I packed a picnic lunch.  We then went to Exit Glacier.  We took out the food and started to sit down when we were attacked by a swarm of black flies.  We had to fix our plates and walk around to keep from being covered with them.  While they walked up the mountain path to the glacier, I sat in the Interpretation Center where there was air conditioning.  Did I mention it was very warm here today?  Back to breaking records for the hotest summer in a long time.  Anyway, even in the center, I would say I killed at least 50 black flies chewing on me.  {{{Shivers}}}
Travis, Chase and Brian piloting a boat at the SeaLife Center

Watching sea lions play

SeaLife Center


          We then went to the Mitch Seavey Dog Sled tours.  They all seemed to enjoy the ride.

Waiting for the musher to take them for a ride
 on the  dog-pulled cart
          We got home in time for dinner.  I baked scallops and we cooked some of the halibut Ryan had caught on the grill.  We had cheese grits and cracker salad.  Everyone is showered and ready for bed.  Grandma definitely is ready.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 91--July 27, 2013

          Really tired today and I didn't even go on any of the excursions.  We dropped Brian, Samantha, Chase and Travis off to go on the wildlife cruise and to eat at the Salmon Bake on Fox Island.  Then Richard and I went across the street to my favorite fruit-of-the-forest pie place and ate lunch.  After that, we managed to drag ourselves back to the bus.  Richard went down for his nap.  I sat down to watch a little television.  The next thing I knew, it was thirty minutes from the time we needed to go back into town to pick up the gang from their 4 1/2 hour cruise.  Yes, we had managed to sleep almost 3 hours.  I told you I was tired.
          The captain of boat told them they were witnessing something he had never seen before.  Orcas and humpbacks were swimming together and jumping out of the water.  She got some great videos of them, but I don't have a copy of it to post here.  I did get a few still pictures she has taken today.  When Tiffany and her gang come up in about ten days, it will be time for me to go on the wildlife-Fox Island cruise and I hope to have lots of whale pictures to post.
Orcas and humpbacks

  Here are a few pictures Samantha took of the boys around the campground and on the boat.

Travis on Fox Island
Chase at glacier-fed creek at campground

Chase and Trapper Travis going bear hunting
Came back with a zip-lock baggy of moose poop

Grandpa Wilson and Co-pilot Travis

Brian, Travis, and Chase on the boat

          For dinner tonight, I took hamburger and made patties and then wrap two of them in wax paper.  I wrote "Moose Burger for Chase" and "Moose Burger for Travis."  Travis looked at it and said, "It looks suspiciously like hamburger."  Love it!
          They are out around the campfire right now making S'mores.  I'm writing my blog so I can go on to bed.      

Until next time,

Day 90-July 26, 2013

         This morning, as we kissed Anchorage goodbye (again), we drove along the waterway called Turnagain Arm. Its shoreline runs along the right side of the Seward Highway.  I believe it is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in America.  You can stop at one of the viewing areas, like my favorite at Beluga Point.  If the tide is in, sometimes the Beluga whales let you know they are playing in the water.  If the tide is out, the sprawling four-mile-wide flats of Turnagain Arm seem to stretch like a prairie to the opposite shores of Cook Inlet.  Each turn along the highway reveals another scenic wonder.

Low-hanging clouds over Turnagain Arm
south of Anchorage, Alaska
          On the left side of the two-lane road, Chugach State Park's 3000-foot mountains jut up.  Dall sheep can sometimes be seen scaling the sheer rock walls.
          Turnagain Arm has the second highest tides in North America after the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.  At certain times, the tide can reach 40 feet and come in so quickly that they sometimes produce a wave known as a bore tide wave. 
          The bore tides are dangerous.  Because of the quicksand-like mudflats which makes up the beaches along Turnagain Arm, hikers and animals like moose, get stuck in the mud, and then the tide comes in so fast, they drown.
          Richard and I have been lucky enough to have seen the two bore tides in North America.  The one at Turnagain Arm and the Bay of Fundy.
          And the trip to Seward, we saw one moose on the roadside on our way to Seward.  I think Richard and I wore out the gang.  Brian and Samantha crashed in the van about an hour ago, and I just had Chase and Travis turn off their connections to the real world.  :-)
           This is Richard's favorite spot along the road next to Turnagain Arm.  There is a huge rock on the other side of the railroad track.  You can see some of it in the above picture.  He loves to tell the story of something he did a few years ago that could have gotten us killed.  Of course, he had too much fun with it to worry about something as stupid as dying.
          Anyway, a few years ago when we were here, we were headed south on this stretch of road.  As we approoached this spot, there was an older man taking pictures of a gal who held everyone's attention.  She was posing like a high-powered model.  As we got right next to them, Richard blasted our bus horn.  The girl was sure the train had her.  She jumped two feet in the air, then took off running.  The old man shook his fist at Richard.  I was screaming, "What in the name of all that is holy is wrong with you?"  Richard proudly announces that the old man looked like he was having too much fun.  Sour grapes.  Sour grapes. Sour grapes.
          As soon as we pulled into the camping space, Richard dragged out his trusty satellite dish and commenced to looking for a signal.  I took a handful of Tums and tired to stay out of his way.  He finally relented and put it away and plugged in the cable which is available here at the park.  Thank goodness it was time for Two and a Half Men or he would have still been out there declaring,"if we were on the other side of the campground it would work perfectly."

Until next time,


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 89--July 25, 2013

          Brian and Travis arrived at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage about 7:20 tonight (11:20 Jacksonville time).  Samantha and Chase arrived on a different flight at about 8:00.  We went to the bus where I had pork and dumplings, my new pea salad recipe, and Georgia Peanut Butter Fudge cake waiting for them.
          I'm so proud of Brian and Samantha.  They both have lost quite a bit of weight and they really look great.  I asked them if the ran up here from Florida.  Everyone is all tucked in bed, ready for their big adventure tomorrow.  I'll let you know how it all goes.
Samantha and Chase coming to the baggage claim
where we were waiting.

Samantha and Brian after taking separate flights
They both look really great.  I'm thrilled they are here.

Brian, Me, Chase (in the background) Travis happy to see his mom.

Until next time,


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 87--July 23, 2013

          This will be a short blog mainly because other than getting my hair done, I did squat today.  Richard got the television working, and I've pressed remote control buttons (we have over 200 channels) until I have cramps in my fingers.  But tomorrow will be house, I mean bus cleaning day, laundry, restocking the supplies for the next round of family coming in Thursday evening.  I'm so excited!!!
          I'm posting the following picture for my adult children.  It is a sight that is very foreign to them, and I'm sure they will want to enlarge it and hang it on the wall.

          I'm never going to make it to heaven this way, but I sure have a lot of fun along the way.  LOL

Until next time,

Day 86--July 22, 2013

          It's 12:30 am here in Alaska and that means it's 4:30 am back in Jacksonville.  Each day, by the time our normal daily activities are over and we can sit down, our family and friends at home have been in bed for hours. 
          Since we left the lower 48 and started our trek across Canada and every since we've been in Alaska, television has been sketchy or non-existent.  We have a dish on the roof of the bus, but it turns out it is too small to acommodate the curvature of the Earth.  So, that means that if we don't have visiting family with us, Richard and I must entertain each other.
          Ha!  Neither of us sing or dance and since we are heading toward 40 years together, we pretty much know each others war stories and how we feel about every subject on the planet.  Last night, our first night alone in about two weeks, Richard rose from the recliner, made the announcement that tomorrow he was going to do something about us not being able to watch television.  He went to bed, leaving me in a state of shock.
           Let me explain why--when DirectTV and Dish first came out, we had to  have one.  Of course, Richard always said it was because of me that he worked so hard to make sure we had television.  Yes, I like having a TV going especially when working because my mind works best with noise going on.  If my surroundings are quiet, my mind drifts to the distant sounds and the next thing you know, I'm looking out the window to see what that far away noise is.  TV drowns all that out and I know where the noise is coming from.  As I said, it's late here, so don't expect me to make too much sense.  LOL
          I can't tell  you how many hours we spent with Richard out moving the satellite and me yelling out the window.  This is pretty much how every conversation went:

Me:  The signal is 45.
Him: 55?
Me: No, now it's dropped to 35.
Him:  Don't tell me until it gets over 75.

Silence for a few minutes.

Him:What's going on?
Me: It's at 45.
Him: Well, tell me that so I know I need to go a little further.
Me: You said not to tell you until it goes over 75.

It was at that time he would usually throw me a dirty look and I'd send him one right back.  Good thing dirty looks can't kill.

Me: It's 75.
Him: Okay, I'll lock it there. 
          He comes into the motor home and slams the door.  The signal drops instantly.  He looks at it and asks by I said it was 75.  I try to tell him it was until he slammed the door.  At which time, he explains that since the dish was not attached to the motorhome, the vibration of a slamming door could not cause it to drop.  At which time, I tell him that I just lied so he would come on in.  BTW, he has NO sense of humor what so ever.  Anyway, this went on every night we were camping for at least 10 years.
          Oh, he tried several other types of receivers, but it was always the same song and dance.  Remember we don't sing or dance, so therefore, it was not a pretty sight.  When we bought the bus we have now (5 or 6 years ago) we had an on-the-go dish.  When I was first introduced to this concept, it was as if the heavens opened up, rays of beautiful sunshine shone all around me and I heard a band of angels sing Shall We Gather At the River.  No special reason, I just happen to love that song.  :-)
          So, last night, when he announced he was going to do something about not being able to watch television, the vivid recollection of years past almost forced me into a fetal position.  Sure enough, this morning, he took off for town and when he came back he had a new dish bigger than the one on the roof.
          I took a tranquilizer and took my position at the bedroom window ready for the familiar exchange which was about to happen.  Two hours later, he stopped long enough to take me to IHOP and as soon as we got back, he was at it again.  After a couple of calls to Dish technical support, we had success.  Problem is-there is still something wrong.  We can get local network channels, but only one of the other channels.  A few hours ago, Richard watched Two and a Half Men on a local channel and then he went to bed, leaving me to watch OWN, the only working channel.  The funny thing is that the only thing on that channel has been hours of Dateline about people murdering their spouses.
          I personally think that is pretty ironic.  LOL
Until the next time,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 85--July 21, 2013

          Richard has two sons from a previous marriage.  My oldest stepson, Robert, from Vallejo, California, flew into Anchorage shortly before Ryan flew out and spent almost a week with us.  Ryan and Robert got to spend a little time together.  Tonight, Robert flies back to San Francisco (where he works for the San Francisco Fire Department), and then he'll go directly back to work in the morning.
Robert and Dad
          We had a really good time visiting and seeing some of the beautiful sights.  He has been on a cruise of the Inner Passage of Alaska, but he agreed that isn't really seeing the REAL Alaska.  I always ask the "kids" (big and little) what their favorite thing was.  Robert's was the tour to the Ididaride (isn't that a clever name).

          Ididaride Dog Sled Tours are run by the Seavey family.  They are three generation Iditarod winners.  In 1973, Dan Seavey (father of the owner of Ididaride) was one of the founders of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome.  He placed third in the first race and fifth in the third race. 

          Dan's son Mitch ran his first Iditarod in 1982 placing 22nd.  In 1995, Mitch ran his second Iditarod and placed 20th.  He has competed in every Iditarod race since.  He won the Iditarod in 2004.  In 2013, Mitch became the oldest to win the Iditarod at age 53.  In 2012, one of Mitch's sons, Dallas won the Iditarod Championship.

          The Seavey Dog Sled Tours run in the summer with wheeled sleds and also in the winter.  This is what I consider a real Alaskan adventure.  It begins with a two-mile dog sled ride. The minute the dogs see the harnesses brought out, they begin to bark and jump around.  The most excited dogs are the ones picked to be harnessed to comfortable wheeled sleds.
Robert in blue shirt and hat on wheeled dog sled
waiting to hear "Mush"

          They told us that most people can’t own mushers because they demand so much attention.  They need to run several times a day, every day.  They are happy to be hooked up and pulling sleds.  The minute the sleds leave the kennel, the dogs not chosen stop barking and lay back down.
          The dogs pull the sleds through the Alaskan wilderness to the base of Resurrection Mountain and along Box Canyon Creek. The guide explains how they train and steer the dogs, and tell stories from the trail.
          Upon return to the kennel, there is a tour of the beautiful kennel facilities, a guest is dressed up as an Iditarod musher, and then you get to cuddle the adorable husky puppies. This tour was chosen as one of Alaska’s Top Twenty Attractions, and is a must-do for all visitors to Alaska.
5-week old husky puppies.  They are so cute.
A Little History of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race:
          The most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing is the 1925 serum race to Nome, also known as the "Great Race of Mercy." A diptheria epidemic threatened Nome, especially the Alaska Native children who had no immunity to the "white man's disease".  The nearest quantity of antitoxin was found to be in Anchorage. Since the two available planes were out of commission and had never been flown in the winter, the governor approved a safer route.
          The 20-pound cylinder of serum was sent by train 298 miles from the southern port of Seward to Nenana where it was passed just before midnight on January 27 to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. The dogs ran in relays, with no dog running over 100 miles.
Robert took this picture of his Dad at a watermill-run grinding
stone where Richard has sharpened his knives every time
we've gone through Moose Pass.  With two more trips still scheduled to be
made, he should have the sharpest knives in the world.  Hey, maybe
I should keep an eye on all those sharp knives.  I do still have to go
through no-man land of Canada.  Yikes!!!
Until next time,






Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 84--July 20, 2013

          This blog has been interrupted by a mosquito, but I am back on the road and having a great time.  When last we met, our son Ryan, our d-i-l Heather, and their son, Brody had just arrived.  I have a lot to tell  you about the places we visited, but since we have three more times to do basically the same activities, I'll spread it out over the next three weeks.
          Some of the things we are doing for all 4 families, but some of the activities are customized for the different tastes of the people in the family.  Ryan, for instance, went out on a 12-hour cruise halibut fishing.  I don't think the other three will be interested in that.  He also went down on the Kenai and Russian Rivers to try his hand at salmon fishing.  They are what they call "between runs" which means very few salmon are in the rivers, but Ryan wanted to try it anyway.  We all rode to the ferry that takes them to the other side of the river where fishermen stand side by side and cast and cast and cast with the hope a big ol' salmon will bite their lures.
          We had Brody and we went back to the bus for a few minutes and picked up Heather from the Hutch B&B, then headed back to the ferry to watch Marlin Perkins in the wild.
          As we pull into the parking lot, we were surprised to see the ferry just docking on our side of the river and it was loaded to the gills with people.  We thought, what the heck, did the fish go home?  As it turns out, a big brown bear with her cub was walking along the edge of the water terrifying the men and women fishing.  Some people stayed on the other side and braved the dangers around them.  We watched for at least 20 minutes as the bear forced the people to climb hills, climb stairs, and drop their stringers of fish to keep from being lunch for the bears.  I tried to take pictures, but all I had was my phone and it wouldn't zoom in close enough.
          Below are some of the pictures we took while Ryan, Heather and Brody were here.  They aren't in any kind of date order and don't have details about the places, but I'll tell you a little about them as the others come for their visits.
Ryan took this picture from the sled he and Heather and
Brody were riding on being pulled by sled dogs.
Ryan and Brody on the path to Exit Glacier
Notice he is scratching mosquitos
Heather and Brody in the kennel of the Ididaride Sled Dog Tour
Ryan and Heather chillin' on the wildlife cruise

Me at three-quarters of a mile up the path at Exit Glacier.  This was the only wide and flat place
on the path.  The rest was narrow and rocky and did I mention very steep.
That is the van you see in the distance.  This is me almost running
to the van after coming down the path at Exit Glacier.
Taken on wildlife cruise
Heather, Brody, Ryan and me
at a rest stop on Turnagain Arms.
Ryan with his haliburt and yellow eye fish.
Ryan and Brody just before daddy went on the
ferry to catch salmon
Ferry crossing the river to bear land
Brody at the Sealife Center where he actually touched
sea urchins and starfish.
Brody at the aquarium watching sea lions swim
Bear in the garbage.  Ryan took this from the balcony
just outside their B&B room
Heather looking a lot better than I did after she
came down the path from the Exit Glacier
Brody's Ranger badge he earned on the wildlife cruise
Papa and Brody cheesing it up for the camera
Do you see a strong resemblance?
Brody in front of some kind of plant that we later found out
had thorns under it that were poison.  We'll sacrafice anything
for a photo opt.  LOL


Brody, Ryan, and Heather eating at a salmon bake on
Fox Island.  A special stop during the wildlife cruise of
Resurrection Bay.  They had prime rib, salmon and crab legs.

          Be sure to check back to learn a little about the places I've mentioned above.  I should be back on a daily posting schedule again.
Until next time,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day 74--July 10, 2013

         Today, I discovered that I am older than I think I am.  There is nothing that will show you how much energy you DON'T have until you have spent the entire day on the move with a five-year old.  Here's what we did today:
1.) Left Anchorage
2.) Stopped at Turnagain Arm where one of the world biggest and fastest tide (Bore Tide) comes in.
3.)  Visited the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center, which consisted of walking a loop of over 1/2 mile to see Alaskan wildlife that had been injured or abandoned by its mother.  I know 1/2 mile doesn't sound like very far, but remember, I'm old.  LOL
4.) Went to Whittier.  A very unique experience.  I've been there several times, but it still blows me away.
5.) By midafternoon we had driven a total of 120 miles and arrived at our campground in Seward where we will be for the next four night.
6.) Richard, Brody, and I crashed for a late afternoon nap.  Ryan and Heather explored the campground.
7.) We went to dinner on the marina in Seward. 
8.)  We did a little bit of driving around to see a few sights.
9.)  We came home and I washed a few dishes, while the rest of the crew took their showers.
10.) Just sat down to write my blog and realized my brain went to sleep a couple of hours ago, and I was just going through the motions of being awake/alive.

          There are several very neat facts about the above places.  I promise to tell about them tomorrow when my eyes will stay open.

Until next time,

Day 73--July 9, 2013

          Today was a big day.  I put a pot roast in the crock pot, made meatballs and spaghetti sauce to freeze for a later day, and made a blueberry cobbler from wild blueberries Gene had given us before we left Fairbanks..  They were frozen, but really good.  Then Richard and I went to the airport and picked up Ryan, Heather, and the BroMan.

Ryan in the red shirt, Heather coming toward us
Brody hiding behind Heather.  Little skunk.  LOL
Brody showing Grandma his new Pound Puppy his
Aunt Tiffany gave him.

          Brody is five years old going on fifty-five.  I'm sure I'll have a few Brodyisms to relay during the next 7 days, but here's one that happened in the past day or two.  Ryan has been telling Brody he has to behave on the plane or they would throw them off.  Later, Ryan saw Brody throwing plastic grocery bags up in the air and watching them float down.  When Ryan asked what he was doing, Brody said, "I think we should take some of these with us in case they throw us off the plane, we can use them as parachutes."
Brody sound asleep with Puppy.  He's such an angel.  :-) 
          It's still daylight here, but it didn't keep him from zonking out.  Grandma is one happy camper.

Until next time.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 71--Jully 7, 2013

          Today was like being back in Jax.  We went to Costco, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.  And it wasn't a run in a pick up a couple of things.  It was 2 buggies at each place and having to eat lunch at an in-house fast food to keep up our strength.  After we left what I thought was the last store, Richard said he was going to run into Best Buy to find "TV Ears."
           We had asked at all the other stores if they sold "TV Ears" but all we got were looks like we had an extra ear of our own struck right in the middle of our foreheads.  But Richard was on a mission.  You see, my dear husband has been stricken with something that has already hit his brothers.  It's called losing his hearing.  Lordy, Lordy, before we left home he had at least 50% of his hearing, but since then he is at about 15% now.  He never hears anything I say the first time I say it.  When he asks, "Huh?"  I raise my voice.  Then he says I don't have to yell.  Unfortunately, I do.  Anyway, television reception has been hit and miss.  So, we've been watching DVDs.
          I spend half my time telling him what the actors said.  My favorite thing he asks is, "Are they speaking English?"
          Anyway, I told him I saw on As Seen On TV this apparatus that let's you hear the television from across the room.  It also said you could hear your neighbors talking while they are in their yard and you are in yours, but I didn't tell Richard that.
          Back at Best Buy, he asked if I wanted to go in, and I begged off and leaned back for a short rest.  He'd only been gone a few seconds when I looked out the windshield and saw a sign for 10 minute parking for big package loading.  I felt like a criminal.  I won't even park in the handicap parking even though Richard has a disable sticker.  If I'm driving, I never park in the handicap even if it is pouring down.  There I was illegally parked.  I kept looking over my shoulder, and all around to see if someone was giving me a dirty look.
          Richard was only gone about 6 minutes.  When he got in the van I told him he was illegally parked.  I pointed to the sign.  10 minutes-Big package pickup.  He said, "I was only gone 6 minutes, and I left my big package parked here." 
         His knot on this head should be cleared up by the time the kids start arriving.
Until next time,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 70--July 6, 2013

          I've been a little under the weather today, which worked out well.  Lyle broke down about 80 miles from us and Richard took off to go help him.  He didn't get back until right around time to eat our evening meal.  I did some writing (very little) and rested most of the day.  I have 3 days left to get supplies packed in and do some cooking ahead so I don't have to cook all the time the kids are here.
        I enjoyed the peace and quiet today.  We are in a very different place.  While in Anchorage, we are staying at a friend's place.  We are parked next to his garage in the bottom of his big, beautiful house.  The garage is made to hold one of his two airplanes which he lands on the airstrip that runs right in front of his house and several other mansions on the strip.  All have planes.
          Today, as I rested inside the bus, out of the cold and rain, I watched some interesting things and modes of transportation go by on the road just beyond the airstrip.  Through the windshield of the bus I watched people on inline skates using ski poles racing down the road.  People on horse back.  Bicycle riders on all types of bikes and some with little covered wagons attached to the back that babies ride in.  And, oh yeah, several planes took off and landed right in front of me.  Cool beans.
           Since I didn't go outside, I didn't take any pictures.  But I did find one I thought was adoreable.

Adoreable kitty.  LOL

Until next time,

Day 69--July 5, 2013

          It's been a chilly, rainy day.  We've moved from Seward back to Anchorage.  We need to stock supplies for the first round of family coming in on Tuesday evening.  Richard had a few errands to run before we pulled out.  We had to stop in Moose Pass to have something done to the van we are pulling.  (More on that later). 
          It was about 5:00 when we got to Beluga Point, a stopping spot on Turnagain Arm.  I was watching for the Bore Tide that comes in there and Richard took a nap.  We ate dinner there, and then pulled back onto the highway to finish our trip to our friend's house in Anchorage.  We had only gone about 4 miles when I heard a siren. 
          You guessed it.  He was behind us, blue lights flashing.  Richard pulled over, got all his papers out and met the trooper at the door.  He told Richard they are very strict with the rule that if you have more than five cars behind you, you must pull over and let them pass.  Richard tried to tell the officer that he'd only pulled out a few miles back and he was doing 53 in a 55 zone.  The officer agreed that Richard was doing 53.  Richard explained he was aware of the law and that he always pulled over when traffic built up behind us. 
          Traffic was bumper to bumper north and southbound.  It was crazy.  There was a tour bus behind us and all the cars were behind him.  Yes, it was all as confusing at it sounds.  The officer told Richard he would run his license and then just give him a warning. 
          I was sitting back at the table, writing the next great American novel and I kept saying to my dear, patient husband, "you can go to court on Monday and complain.  You watch enough COPS to know not to say anything.  With the way things are going for us with the authorities, this could get ugly."  Luckily, when the trooper came back he didn't issue a warning.  He knew he was wrong.  We were moving with the traffic and the steady stream of vehicles that continued to pass us while we were waiting on him never eased up.  The officer literally had to stop traffic so we could get back on the road.
          My new work-in-progress is a murder mystery.  That stop certainly got my creative juices flowing.  I had no trouble putting an end to one of my characters.  LOL
          I have a couple more flower pictures I want to share. 
      This is fireweed.  Summer had a late start this year, so most of the wildflowers aren't in full bloom yet.  Fireweed is my favorite.  As the summer goes on this beautiful flower will continue to grow in massive cluster along the highways and along river banks.  The blooming starts at the bottom of the stalk and continues to bloom until the end of August.  When they blossoms reach the top of the stalks, the native Indians knew summer was over and cold weather was on its way. 
          There is also a plant call Alaskan cotton.  I didn't take this picture, but this is what it looks like.

          Right now, the breeze carries all the white fluff through the air, and it looks like it is snowing.  They are about twice the size of a dandelion when it goes to seed. 
          Along the highway, the part that isn't covered with fireweed, there are long strips of Alaskan Lupines.  I didn't take this picture either, but I want to give you an idea how beautiful they are.  Picture miles and miles of this purple flower and then miles of the pink fireweed.  BTW, they make jelly and ice cream using the fireweed.
Until next time,