Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Good By Valdez


We are leaving Valdez tomorrow, after spending a very relaxing week here. There is not much to this small village, two museums, one of which was about the town before and after the earthquake of 64.
Because the town had been built on very unstable ground, when the ground began shaking, the water front basically liquefied and disappeared into the ocean. Then the tsunami took out some more of the town.  Most of what was left had been heavily damaged and rebuilding in the same area seemed foolish. 
They moved the town about two miles away, and it is built on very solid ground.  What was not moved to the new town was burnt to the ground.  My parents still lived in Alaska when the earthquake hit, and I remember it was days before we knew their condition.  And then only because a post card arrived. The time before all the technology is hard to visualize today.
Chucks fishing did not result in any pictures, matter of fact, he ended up with only one pitiful fish fry dinner, but he enjoyed getting his line wet.  He didn’t try any of the charters, waiting to get to Homer and Seward for that.
We are heading to Chugiak, and my bothers back yard.  Spend a few days there, and we will see what plans we can come up with.  Know that they all have some ideas of things  to do.  Excited to see everyone, it has been way too long.      

Wednesday, June 11, 2014



Chuck got his eye appointment taken care of and we were “on the road again”.  Headed  to Valdez, to get some fishing in.  We have never been to this area and decided that we would never get the chance again.  Even though it caused us to back track a hundred miles it was totally worth it.  We actually thought about stopping at Cooper River and join in a little combat fishing, but realized that we were past that age.  We did this the very first time we came to Alaska in ‘72, and my dad was a great teacher.  In this area you are allowed to snag  salmon, BUT they must be hooked in the mouth. Mission impossible, how fast can you get that hook in the mouth after landing it is the name of the game.  They fish very close and when one get hooked they “holler fish on” and everyone tries to get their lines out of the way. 


The first day out we saw a big bull moose, no pic.  Little horns only, early.

DSC05387Seemed like we had mountains on one side or the other.  Stopped for lunch and our view was overlooking a half dozen lakes. image

We spent the night at a pull out along the road, along with  a few other RV’ers.  Chris and others had left the day before us and were in the area, but they were planning to spend the day at a lake near by, and we decided to go on in to Valdez.  The scenery from there on is was some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

DSC05411The mountains, the snow, around every turn it just got more and more breathtaking.  And then we came to the pass and all the waterfalls running into the river that was flowing right by the road.  DSC05426

Pictures can not begin to show the splendor, but they will have to do.

DSC05430We plan on staying here for a week, it is a very small fishing village, not commercialized in the least.  Not sure if Chuck will be going out on any fishing charters.  They have changed the rules again on halibut, you now are allowed a big one and one weighing no more than 10 pounds.  They say the hard part is getting the little one.  Ten pounds is almost the head and tail.  Today we seen a moose and calf, again no picture.  They don’t seem to want to hang around and pose, camera shy, evidently.  Hopefully the next post will contain pictures of a huge halibut!  To heck with the little one.

Sunday, June 8, 2014




These sure do look like Texas blue bonnets.


We arrived in Watson Lake and got settled in the Downtown campground, which basically was the only one in operation.  Let me tell you with 14 rigs pulling in the laundry room did one fine business.  And they are not cheap, think it would almost be more economically to buy new.  Sign post city can only be experienced by actually seeing it. There are one hecka lot of signs.  Escapee Mark had made one up for the group and we had a blast seeing all our names immortalized.DSC05282         DSC05285

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When we were gathering who should pull in but ……..


they had caught us.  We went back to the campground and spent the night with them, and the next day traveled to Whitehorse.  Most everyone went on the bus to ride the train at Skagway, but having done it before, we decided not to.  Spent some time seeing the town and having dinner the last night at


now this place wasn’t much to look at, but the food was outstanding. From there we took in the Follies. Entertaining, but not worth the admission.  The threesome took off early in the morning and Chuck and I stayed behind.  With my foot giving me all that trouble I feel that I’m more of a party pooper than anything and just don’t want to be a drag on anyone.  So we left with some other fellow travelers and made our way up the road heading for Tok.  The scenery was spectacular,


and every once in a while would see something totally different.  The largest gold pan. 


Burls made into caricatures', sure hate to meet that mosquito!



Spent one night in a lovely park where we all fit together, had a huge campfire,(they furnished fire wood free) in the morning, breakfast outside, where Dan cooked  by telling us women how to do it.  He even got a picture to prove it.

And then there we were here!  Traveling this highway has given me me a totally new found respect for my parents.  They moved to Alaska in 49, made that trip with 3 small kids, on a road that had been built only a few years before, and all their possessions in the car. Can’t even imagine what it was like. Know there is no way on God’s green earth that I could have done it that way today. I complained over not have cell service!  Now the roads are all paved and in really good shape, the only real pain was at the pump.  But the good news is it makes 4 dollars a gallon seem down right cheap. 

DSCN3055We made our way into Tok and settled in a campground and almost trampled each other on our way to the infamous Fast Eddies restaurant for lunner, aka as lunch/dinner.  The fried mushrooms are wonderful, but an order easily feeds 4.  At the campground we came across Dennis and a few others of the Loosey Goosey gang.  They had had a breakdown in their group, so there was a delay before they continued on to Chicken.  Another tourist attraction we are passing on.  On to the


where we seen                   


We are now awaiting our mail to catch up with us and then we will be leaving the area.  Heading down here there is family.  Chuck is anxious to get some fishing in, and also to see everyone.  Have a bother and nieces and nephews still in the area around Palmer, Wasilla and Chugiak.

Friday, May 30, 2014



We have been off the grid since Dawson Creek, and WOW, really miss everything.  If we only had one, but no internet, phone or TV  is like being on a different planet.  So I guess you could say we are stopping to smell the roses, big time.  Heading to Watson Creek the country side was wide open for many a mile, only an occasional ranch.  Lots of red roofs.

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                          And there is the beginning of our journey.

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Have traveled almost 2000 miles just to get here.  We had a very nice get together and a guest speaker from the tourist bureau, who was quite delightful.  We also became officially the Loosey Goosey Gang with the passing out of name badges.  And yes, they were orange.

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                              The Loosey Goosey Gang                              

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                               Tourist Bureau/ Gift Shop

Beaverton had their oversized name sake as you entered the small village.                     alaska trip 016  It was almost bigger than the town.  We were headed to a abandoned landing strip, and campground.  Fortunately it was still there.  Anyone reading this and coming this way it is milepost 217.2.  On the left side going north.  Very nice place, lots of wood for campfires, garbage container, and it is “free” which is the best part.  alaska trip 060 

  • We stayed there 3 nights, first night Dennis started a hobo stew, we all threw in a couple of cans of what ever, and it was down right good.   The next night Escapees Mark fixed his world famous, delicious, mouth watering smoked meatloaf, AND mashed potatoes and gravy.  The rest of us came up with a thing or two and we had a feast.  We also had a couple of guys camping near us and they felt that we should have some moose and caribou steaks to try,as they gave us some packets.  Saving that for another night. We had a great time telling tales and getting to know one another. We especially enjoyed the time as just about every one was a new acquaintance.

 Then we were off to a destination down the road.  And it was like driving through a wildlife preserve.  First we seen bear, lots of bears!

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                              Three cubs and  big momma.

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And then there were sheep!

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There were 5 of these and they were magnificent.

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These two guys were in the middle of the road, and what I called just gave us “the look”, they moved off the road, but at their own pace. 

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There were much more but way too many to post.  We spent the night at a Provincial Park on the banks of Muncho lake.  There was still some ice on the water, but they say the color of the water is amazing.  What we could see was unreal.

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                       Chuck behind our camp site.  From here we were off to Laird Hot Springs.  Still no hook-ups.  Actually the people who live there are totally reliable on generators.  No cell service for any one. Spending 2 nights here.  The campground is a dream.  Huge sites, 24 dollars a night, but that includes the springs which is a 5 dollar person charge.  We actually paid almost 8 dollars a gallon for gas the other day.  Thankfully it didn’t take that much.

There is a hot side and a cooler side to the springs.  I got to enjoy them too, as they had a golf cart pick up for those that were unable to make the walk.  It was about a half mile, but on a nice boardwalk.  Still having problems with the foot.  I’m using inserts, a sleeping boot, exercises, and have a can in the truck that I roll my foot on when we are moving. So far the only thing that seems to work is ….well…a stiff drink.  Everyone says it takes time.  Chuck is having to do double duty, bless his heart.

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Tomorrow we head down the road once again, on to Watson Lake.  Think the plan is to spend a few days there.  Need to do laundry and take on water, and get rid of the used.  There is also the sign post forest and a northern light theater. One store…..  Hope the wi-fi is strong enough to post, but if not, at least it is written.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So Far, So Good


That is about it, we have traveled 800 hundred miles into Canada, and only had one very near miss.  Really thought we had bit the dust, but lady luck smiled and we lived to see another day.  Gas prices are not as big a shock to us, coming from California, diesel is always 4 bucks there, or has been for the last 3 years.  Have not been to the grocery store, we are one of those people who did not know they sold food in Canada.  Hardly left any in the good ole USA for the folks back home. 

We did not go into the Banff, Jasper area.  Had been there before, and wanted to see the other road, but it was not very scenic, just country ranches as far as you could see.


Rochfort Bridge Trestle

Believed to be the second longest wooden railway trestle in the world.

  Then we hit the forests and oil drilling area.  They are really booming.  Places where there are completely new towns that look like they have just sprung up.  Large motels and restaurants. Jobs, jobs and more jobs.

We pulled into Grande Prairie yesterday, and are leaving tomorrow, meeting with the more of the Loosey Goosey gang in Dawson Creek.  The official start of the Alaskan Highway.  Yesterday the weather was wonderful, low 70’s, today not so much.  Windy and cool, at least there are not mosquitos.

Hopefully the next post will be more exciting, we now just seem to be traveling to get some place.  Sure miss having a phone to consult on what & where things and places are.  And the pain in my foot has eased some, at least it is to the point where it is bearable. 

Friday, May 16, 2014



We are in Great Falls, Montana, ready to make the crossing later this week. We met up with 4 couples that we will be traveling with after Dawson Creek, enjoyed indulging with cake and ice cream in honor of Dennis Hills birthday.  They all left yesterday, and we are awaiting the arrival of  a couple who we will travel with to the rendezvous in DC.


Now back to the beginning…we left Jojoba Hills on the 2nd of May, 3 days later than we had planned, but the winds were forecasted to be blowing up to 70 miles in areas we would be driving through.  Being as we were on no time frame it was better to stay in place for a few days.  First night out we spent in Vacaville at the Elks.  Nothing going on, no  meals, so we just vegged.  Next day it was off to Yuba City, where we settled at the Moose.  They have electric and water only, but the price is right, 12 a night or 70 a week.  Used to be 10, but like everything else, went up.  Had hoped to play some bridge with my ole partner, but she had her hip replaced just a day before.  Chuck and I played once, it was a special game that is being played nationwide.  Club wise we did not do anything special. Seen a few friends, spent some time with our son and family, and then it was time to move on.  I’ve been having some pain in the heel of my foot, so tried urgent care, and they got me an appointment with a podiatrist.  He diagnosed it as plantar fasciitis, gave me a shot of cortisone and a boot to wear while sleeping, and wished me luck.  And that seems to be what I will need, as nothing seems to have helped so far.  But who knows maybe I’ll grow to like walking with a nail driving up into my heel, as that is the way to describe the feeling.  Lordy, Lordy I need a complete overhaul.

We stopped and seen friends, Virginia & Earl, who have bought a lovely home in the Sparks area, near Reno.  They are both working like crazy to get it furnished and set up.  And that little dog they have gotten is the cutest  guy, full of mischief, sure he will bring a lot of joy to their lives..  Also got to see Roger, (Sharon was napping) they are loving the area also.  Part of me envy's them, but not ready to make the choice of settling down.

From there it was a two audio book drive to Great Falls.  Think that this trip we will find ourselves in perpetual spring.  Areas of Idaho were down right breath taking.  And the lilacs! 




My very favorite, just beautiful.  But the trees are just starting to leaf out here. Lots and lots of open spaces, thankfully no trouble.  That is always a plus.  


Once we are in Canada we will be relying on free wi-fi, and have our phones turned off.  We are on the original unlimited Verizon internet, so we can not make any changes or additions to our plan with out loosing that.  Actually surprised that we have got to keep it this long.  Should not have said that.  Made a commitment to keeping the blog up better, so will try to post at least twice a week. Even if I can’t post at least I can continually write and post when have internet available.  These should be great memories some day.    

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Yes, it is that time again, hitch-itch setting in big time.  We have so enjoyed our winter in Jojoba Hills this year.  Seems that there was a lot more going on, what with skits, and bands, why we even had a hoe-down, with the board of directors being good sports and getting dunked over and over.  Yep, we had a real dunk tank, and the weather decided that we would have our week of winter, so it was a cool dunk.  And yes that is someone putting ice cubes in the tank!!DSCF1059
All the fun events are raising money for the Founders Day celebration that Jojoba is putting on next year.  Everyone is looking forward to a fun week then. 
Have been working on my gourds, but being the finicky person that I seem to be, not entirely happy with what I accomplished.
We did do some giraffes out of long wiggly gourds.  They turned out quite cute.  These gourds are not found in this area, our “leaders” brought them back from Casa Grande when they went out there for a gourd show.  
We had friends from our sticks & brick life stop in for a weeks visit.  Great seeing them again, and they enjoyed seeing the area.  They usually come down and spend a month in Borrego Springs, at a lovely park, with a golf course.  We took a run over and seen them and can see why they like it.  Being golfers.
Next Chuck’s sister, Anna Mae and BIL, Jim arrived.  We set them up in our little trailer which gave them their own little home.  They were here for almost three weeks, so we did some sight seeing, and they enjoyed the warm weather.  Coming from West Virginia they had plenty of snow this year.
DSC04740Over looking Borrego Springs.
At the Desert Wildlife park in Palm Springs.
Jumping Cholla
The cholla (pronounced choy-a) is perhaps the most feared and hated cacti in the southwest desert. If you brush up against one, you will know why. DSC04817
The wind farms around Palm Springs.  Lots of wind there.
Wild lilacs near the gourd farm outside of Temecula.
A few gourds!!
Chuck, Jim  & Anna Mae
The metal sculptures in Borrego http://www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html 

Flowers at the San Diego botanical gardens
These statues were so interesting, as they were completely covered in cactuses & ivy of all kinds
dancing couple
Flower fields in Carlsbad
Chuck & Anna Mae
When we took our company to San Diego to spend the last few days of their vacation with a childhood friend, Chuck and I decided that we would use the groupon fishing trip that the guys didn't get around to.  We could not have asked for a more beautiful day.  We had a lovely lunch on the waterfront and made our way onto the boat.  We went out for over an hour, seen whales, and dolphins,  Had our own pet sea lion who stayed with us all day.  But fish, not so much.  Neither of us were disappointed though, it was a lovely day.
The sea gulls didn't know that the picking were slim!

Chuck took the truck out and got the oil changed and all those little things,  then he had new tires put on.  Hopefully that will be all that needs to be done.  I've been checking routes and trying to figure out just where we will meet some friends before going into Canada.  Once there we are meeting up with the Loosey Goosey gang in Dawson Creek.   From there we will slowly make our way up to Fairbanks.  Figured we would go there first, then make our way into Denali, where hopefully we will meet up with my brother.  Talked to him and he agreed to make the plans for that.  Then we will make it down to the Anchorage area, where we will be picking up our grandson, Anthony.  He decided to not play All-Stars this summer, but to take advantage of spending a few weeks with us.  Sure makes me happy, miss the little guy, although he is not so little anymore, 15 years old and 6 foot.  How did that happen???
My new motto….
Hope we see you down the road.