Our Lazy Daze Motorhome

Our Lazy Daze Motorhome
2009 Lake Louise

Friday, July 24, 2009

Alaska - Part XII - Prince Rupert to the US Border

Day 64, Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We are traveling today from Hazelton to just past Prince George. Once we got to Prince George, we found a Costco and went in for some food then traveled on down Hwy 97. We found a small campground on the map named Lazy Daze (just like our RV) in Quesnel BC. We decided to give it a try. We arrived at 7:30 PM PT and it was a real mess. It was cluttered and unkept and when we tested the water, it tested over 300 PPM so we didn’t hook up. But the electricity came in handy so we could run the air conditioner. After all, we would only be there one night. We drove 347 miles today. Our odometer reading is now 28,402.0 meaning we have driven a total of 8,000 miles since May 20th.

Day 65, Thursday, July 23, 2009

We didn’t sleep well last night, so we slept in and got a late start, which was not in our plan! We are still having trouble with the time here. Alaska Time is three hours earlier than Central Time. Now that we are in BC, we are in Pacific Time. By the time we get home, we are going to be really off track!!!!

Ed did maintenance on the tires, batteries, and checked the fluids before we left the campground. He found that the right front tire had a broken valve stem extender. He couldn’t air it up and it was five pounds low. We left the campground in search of a tire center and found Fountain Tire in Quesnel, BC. They were amazed that the tire was still holding air because almost the extender had broken off. They had to pull the tire, but had it fixed in a jiffy and we were on our way. One of Oprah’s favorite sayings is “listen to the whispers”. Thank God Ed was listening this morning when he decided to do the maintenance check. We left Quesnel at 10:50 AM PT. We made very good time down to Cache Creek. The roads were good and Ed managed to average about 60 mph. We got gas at Cache Creek and Jeanne took over the driving. We hadn’t even left town when the wind began gusting and the terraine changed from beautiful valley-floor farmland to barren dry treeless hills that only grew sage. The windstorm kept up all the way through Frazer Canyon to Hope. Frazer Canyon is through a gorge, very curvy, up and down long 7% hills, and a two-lane on the side of a mountain!! It took 3-1/2 hours to go 106 miles. We arrived at the border and traffic was horrible. We waited about 45 minutes to get through. We arrived in Sumas, Washington at the Sumas RV Park at 7:20 PM PT. When we stepped out of Tara at Sumas and there it was…the smell of money as we say in Montana…someone very close was fertilizing their fields. We had driven 379 miles today in 8-1/2 hours.

Alaska - Part XI - Ferry - Inside Passage Haines to Prince Rupert

Day 58, Thursday, July 16, 2009

We caught the MV Malaspina ferry over to Juneau at 9:00 AM. This ferry is capable of carrying 499 passengers and 88 vehicles. We saw two lighthouses, lots of whales in the distance, salmon jumping, someone saw sea lions, but we didn’t. The forest ranger onboard did a good job of sharing information regarding shipwrecks and verbal traditions of the area. When we embarked, we found the Mendenhall Lake USFS Campground and set up camp in a tent site which was nicer and had a better view than the RV sites. We were camped in view of the Mendenhall Glacier. It was a beautiful day so we took a short hike, took photos of the forest with moss ground cover, grilled burgers for dinner, and watched the movie, “As Good as it Gets” for the umpteenth time. Once again, Jack Nicholson cracked us up!

Day 59, Friday, July 17, 2009

We started the day by deciding to skip Ketchikan and go straight to Prince Rupert. We are tired and would have to spend almost four more days in Ketchikan. We drove out to the ferry office and changed our tickets. The Shrine of St. Therese was out that way so we stopped in, but it was closed to the public because they were having a retreat there this week-end. We drove into Juneau and stopped at the Coast Guard Dock and then drove up by the Governer’s Mansion and State Capital. We stopped at Fred Meyers for groceries, then drove to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center, watched a video, and took lots of up-close photos of the glacier. It was impressive. We returned to our campground and made dinner. We must be at the ferry dock at 6:00 AM to arrive in Sitka at 12:30 PM. We checked email and the internet told us that Walter Cronkite died today…so sad. He was the biggest news icon. We both remember him from when we were just little, coming in sweaty from catching lightening bugs with our friends. He was reporting on the circular black and white screen. No matter what the news he was reporting, he was like a family member and made us feel safe and secure. Those were truly the good ol’ days.

Day 60, Saturday, July 18, 2009

Because it rained all night, the 5:00 AM alarm was somewhat of an intrusion on our restless night’s sleep. We were at the ferry dock at 6:00 AM (requirement by ferry officials) for our 8:00 AM departure to Sitka on the MV Fairweather. This luxurious ferry is newer and much smaller, but also much faster than the MV Malispina. It goes twice as fast as other ferries in the Inside Passage, up to 38 knots which is ??? miles per hour. So our would-be 9 hour trip to Sitka took only 4.5 hours. Okay by us! As we went through Peril Strait, an area known for lots of wildlife, we had hoped to see whales, sea lions, and maybe eagles, but Ed thought he saw two porpoises. The overcast skies had some impact on visibility so we could have just missed them. We arrived in Sitka and were delighted at this little town. It is very quaint and especially pretty from the McConnell Bridge with all different colored houses and shops along the seashore. There are several marinas all varying from small fishing boats to large luxurious ocean liners. We decided to check out a few of the campgrounds, then we went to the II Level for lunch. Ed has his Penn State cap on so of course, we met some people from State College, Pennsylvania. After lunch we walked through a few stores and museums and then visited the National Park Service “Russian Bishop’s House”. It happened to be a “fee free day” so there was no charge. The tour was incredible. The Park Ranger enthusiastically did an excellent job of explaining the construction and décor of the house and was able to answer all our questions. He even let us climb the very narrow stairs to the attic to show us the construction up there. We decided that it was one of the best tours we had ever taken. We drove out to the “end of the road” and did a drive through of Starrigavin USFS Campground and it worked well for our needs…no hook-ups and $7 per night with our Senior Pass. And… there is a female grizzly with two cubs in the area. May be a photo op!!

Day 61, Sunday, July 19, 2009

Today, we toured the city of Sitka in steady rain. We toured the Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, where they celebrated their 40th anniversary today. It is supported and operated by the US Forest Service and again had a “fee free day”. They displayed Chilkat robes, along with many articles and work implements. There were local Indian artisians looming, working in wood and copper. We visited Totem Trail where totems are strategically placed along a trail in a rain forest. We met a very nice couple from Colorado just as we began raining heavily so we decided to leave. We did a drive by of the St. Michael’s Russian Church and the Russian Cemetery. We were late arriving at the Sheldon Jackson Museum so we only had about 45 minutes to peruse thousands of items from the Alaskan Native culture gathered from 1888 until 1898 and donated by missionary Rev. Dr. Sheldon Jackson. It is Alaska’s oldest continually operating museum. We wish we had more time there. We arrived at the Sitka Ferry Terminal about 7:00 PM and made dinner, watched a movie and waited until mid-night when the ferry arrived to transport us and the RV to Prince Rupert, our last stop on the Alaskan Marine Highway. Finally we boarded the MV Matanuska, found our cabin, quickly unpacked and both were in bed by 1:00 AM. Oh God, I pray the fresh salmon in the RV freezer doesn’t thaw and ruin in the next 36 hours!!

Day 62, Monday, July 20, 2009

This morning we woke around 8:30 AM and took LONG hot showers. In the RV, we take short hot showers. We cleaned our tiny room and went exploring on the ferry. This boat is older and needs some renovation, but there is a full service cafeteria, a solarium with windows all around, a movie theater, and a whole floor of cabins. We stopped in Petersburg and Wrangel for an hour each during the day and Ketchikan during the night.

Day 63, Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We prepared ourselves to leave the ferry this morning, then had lunch in the cafeteria. We arrived into Prince Rupert at 2:30 PM PT, drove through Prince Rupert, got gas and headed up the Yellowhead Hwy toward Prince George. Our drove as far as Hazelton and found the ‘Ksan Indian Village and Campground owned and operated by the Gitxan Indian Tribe. It had nice level sites located in a grassy field on the river. We put a pork roast on the grill and sat outside. We commented how cold and rainy it was every day while we were going down the Inside Passage, but the minute we got off the ferry, the weather turned warm and sunshiny.

Alaska - Part X - Anchor Point to Haines

Day 52, Friday, July 10, 2009

Ed, Jim, and Martha took off to fish for halibut. Halibut fishing all day from a small boat in a rough ocean is not on my bucket list!! Especially when the limit is 2!!! So I stayed at the campground to do laundry, journal, and read. Everyone came back with lots of fish and sea-sick stories. Ed shipped 20 lbs home and the Bergers shipped 34 lbs. Life is good. We had to check-in at Homer on the bear viewing trip to Katmai so we took off for Homer and Emerald Air. We checked in and they recommended a great little restaurant down on the boardwalk named Fresh Catch Café. We had halibut (fish and chips) and it was wonderful. We headed back to the campground to get ready for our bear viewing ride over to Katmai.

Day 53, Saturday, July 11, 2009

Well, I raised the shade this morning and the view of fog took the wind right out of my sails!! I was afraid that the plane ride in Ken’s Otter over to Katmai would be cancelled and so it was. We were to fly over with a family of four from Belgium and Les, the post-mistress from Prudhoe Bay. While we waited for the bad news, we watched and took pictures of two red-necked grebes making a nest. About noon Ken and Chris made the final decision that it was too foggy to fly. They were very accommodating and tried to reschedule us, but our agenda would not allow it. We will come back another year to view the bears. Before we left Homer, we stopped to take pictures of the Salty Dawg Saloon. It was nostalgic. There were one dollar bills hanging on every ceiling and wall surface. As we were leaving Homer, we saw Alex and Brenda Rutchka walking from a distance and stopped to say hello. We left the Kyllonen Campground in Anchor Point a day early because we need to get to Haines by Wednesday to catch the ferry. I called Ron and Carol McNaughton, the camp hosts at Quartz Creek Campground (Cooper Landing) and they gave us a spot in the employee site even though the campground was full. We just can’t stay away! They are such nice people.

Day 54, Sunday, July 12, 2009

Today was a long day of driving. We got up around 8:30 am and got away from the campground around 10:00 am after we checked the air in our tires and in Berger’s RV rental. We headed to Glennallen and they headed to Denali. The Bergers seemed happy to finally be RVing on their own. The drive from Cooper’s Landing to the Tolsona Wilderness Campground (commercial with full-hook-ups) 13 miles this side of Glennallen was beautiful. Fireweed is in bloom and gorgeous along the roadside. The drive was about 290 miles, but took about 7 hours. The Glenn Highway winds around the Matsu Valley and has lots of frost heaves so we were careful. Mosquitoes and biting flies are bad right now, but the saving grace is the site we chose here at Tolsona, number 83. We were very near a babbling creek. We opened the windows and were mesmerized by the sound of the water!! After a light dinner we checked email, wrote post cards, watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes (again) and off to bed.

Day 55, Monday, July 13, 2009

Today is Tracy’s 39th birthday. I always call her at the exact time that she was born…a little tradition we have. Today, I called her early while we were in Tok, the only time we actually had cell service. We left Tolsona Wilderness Campground and got on the Tok Cut-Off to Tok. We arrived about lunch time so we had a halibut sandwich at Fast Eddies. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and picked up our schedule for the ferry and Jeanne took the wheel and headed toward the Yukon. The border crossing was a piece of cake. The Yukon’s roads are the worst in all our travels. The frost heaves are deep and plentiful. We drove to the Cottonwood RV Park on Kluane Lake. We chose a site as far away from the main park as we could so we could use our generator for air conditioning. The temperature topped 80 degrees. The bugs here are also the worst we have seen; mosquitoes, black flies, knats, etc. Ed grilled chicken. We watched a movie while we ate dinner, then turned in.

Day 56, Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This morning, we woke up to a dead truck battery. We didn’t push our light switch completely in so we left the parking lights on. Ed got a jump from the camp host while I checked email at their office. We got away mid-morning and set our sights on Haines. We got gas in Haines Junction, about 50 miles from Cottonwood, then got on the Haines Highway about 150 more miles to Haines, AK. We had to cross the border again, but had no trouble. The ranger had family in Montgomery and we talked about the peaches in Clanton. The drive down to Haines was absolutely gorgeous with huge snow covered mountains on three sides. The fireweed was in full bloom and covered the shoulders and hillsides with pink. The Eagle Preserve is located on the Chilkat River, but the eagles are only in abundance in October and November at the end of the last salmon run. After getting into Haines around 5:30 pm, we drove five more miles out to the ferry terminal to pick up our tickets. We saw several eagles there. After arriving at the Haines Hitch-Up RV Park and settling in, we made phone calls to friends and family. Ed grilled chicken for dinner and we watched TV … yes TV, the first in over 6 weeks … and as usual, there was nothing on.

Day 57, Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walked all over Haines, laundry, washed RV, got stuff together for ferry ride into Juneau.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Alaska - Part IX - Cooper Landing to Anchor Point, Kenai Peninsula

Day 40, Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today, we attended St. John Newmann Catholic Church. Before the service, Father Dick greeted everyone without his robe on. He told us on Friday that he would be teaching on healing and offer the anointing with oil to the sick. It was a very unusual service. The Catholic churches we have attended are usually not as warm as this one. The people were friendly and accepting of the anointing with oil. His homily was exceptionally interesting. Father Dick made a smoked salmon dip for us to enjoy after the service. After we went back to the campsite to change clothes, we all headed off to Soldotna to buy groceries, do laundry and find a hot spot to pay bills. We stopped at McDonalds for dinner and after returning to the campground, we all sat around the campfire until about 11:30 pm.

Day 41, Monday, June 29, 2009

Today, Ed and Hank went fishing again. Hank caught 6 and Ed caught none. We all felt sorry for him because they fished all day. It seems you can be standing next to someone that is catching fish and you won’t. Their grandson will arrive on Thursday and the Bergers will arrive on Saturday so they will make more time for fishing next week. The Sockeye will be running until July 14 and we think the limit will still be 6 each. Winkie and I relaxed all day, caught up on journaling, and birdwatched. I made spaghetti for dinner.

Day 42, Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This morning we vacuum packed Hank’s 6 fish from yesterday’s catch and took them to Hamilton’s Store to freeze. We stopped by the post office to mail postcards and packages to friends and family. We then headed the 125 miles to Homer. After all, we had nothing else to do. Along the way we stopped to take pictures and visited the small town of Ninilchik. There is a Russian Church there. The shop we went into was named “The Francis-Rose”. I was immediately drawn to Charlene, the owner of the shop. She was so happy and full of love. She mentioned that she was raising her 12 year old grandson because her daughter had died in an accident. Her name was Charlene and we were instant friends. We exchanged stories of loss and tears of joy. In some ways, her story of her daughter paralleled our loss of my niece, Faith. I had picked up a jasper bracelet and was about to pay for it when she said, “Let me give it to you as a gift. I want to.” It turned out, she was the gift, not so much the bracelet. We hugged several times before leaving her shop uplifted. It was one of those strange occurrences that only happen a few times in your life. We arrived in Homer around 4:00 pm and drove down the spit, shopped, checked on halibut fishing charters, and checked out Emerald Airlines. By this time, it was almost 6:00 pm. We decided to go down to the dock where the one-engine Otter float plane was located. This is the plane we will be taking on our bear viewing excursion on July 11. As we got to the dock, the people were just returning from bear viewing. They talked about where they had been and what they saw. How excited they were over the plane trip to Katmai NP! One young woman proudly showed me a close shot of a mother grizzly standing on her back legs with two cubs near. We returned to the RV for a dinner of grilled salmon, asparagus, cole slaw and corn bread. Yummy!! We sat around our campfire chatting with Hank, Winkie and Ron, our camp host, until mid-night.

Day 43, Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yesterday, we made plans to ship our salmon home. This morning, someone from UPS sent Hank into a panic when he found out we needed to take the fish to the airport by noon. It was already 10:00 am so we grabbed the fish from the freezer at Hamilton’s store and “raced” to Soldotna. The guys dropped me off at a hot spot so I paid bills, checked email and uploaded to the blog while they took the fish to the shipper. As it turned out, the shipper held the fish in their freezer overnight and will ship them tomorrow for Friday delivery. We were happy that we were able to send home 30 lbs of salmon for $87, that’s close to $3.00 per pound. Not too bad!! When we arrived back at the campground, Ed and I took a bike ride up the road into an upscale log cabin community where the doctors and lawyers live. The homes were beautiful and right on Kenai Lake. We returned for a light supper and watched a chic flick, Steel Magnolias, before retiring!!

Day 44, Thursday, July 2, 2009

Today, we have been at Quartz Creek Campground for two weeks. Long time for us, we usually like to stay on the move. Early this morning, Hank and Winkie left for Anchorage to pick up their 15 year old grandson from the airport. We got a recommendation from Ron, our camp host, to hike up to the falls so we drove the motorhome to the overflow parking area at the Russian River Campground, biked up the hill to the trailhead, and hiked the 3 miles in to the Russian River Falls. It was incredible! Hundreds of salmon were taking turns jumping up the falls. It was hard to capture with our cameras, but what an experience to watch!! Those tired little fish trying to jump up the 6-8 feet and swim against the current to the top of the falls. We trekked back the three miles and felt really blessed that our bike ride back was all downhill!! We had steak for dinner and shared Herb and Nancy’s campfire.

Day 45, Friday, July 3, 2009

We went to Soldotna to do laundry, shopped at Fred Meyers, and stopped on the way back at Gwin’s store for more of their 50% off bargains. When we returned back to the campground, Hank and Winkie had taken Ryan fishing on the Kenai. Hank caught three. We walked over and visited with Herb and Nancy and their friends, Ross and Margie, and went to bed around midnight.

Day 46, Saturday, July 4, 2009

All five of us crammed into Hank’s truck and went to Seward for their big 4th of July Celebration. The Mount Marathon Race is 3.5 miles straight up a 3,022 foot peak overlooking Resurrection Bay. Some slopes are as severe as 60 degrees. The runners check before the race starts, check in at the top, and get down any way they can. The youth only run half way up the mountain. Believe it or not, there was a 7 year old that finished in just over one hour. We watched the women come down the mountain filthy dirty and cut up as they took short-cuts down over rock shears. The men’s race was too late for us so we had lunch at the Catholic Church and then headed back the slow 45 miles to the campground at Cooper Landing. After dinner, we walked over to Herb and Nancy’s site. Hank, Winkie, and Ryan also came over. Ross and Margie, Herb and Nancy’s friends, were there and Margie began sharing that today is the anniversary of Nancy losing her husband, son and his best friend in a car accident several years ago by a drunk driver. As Margie told Nancy’s story, we felt as though we were intruding on a secret personal moment in Nancy’s life, but we also felt blessed that they felt comfortable telling us. Herb and Nancy are two very special people that we had the privilege of meeting and getting to know on this trip. We will definitely stay in touch with them in the years to come. This is what we love about camping, not just here in Alaska, but everywhere…the people are so great!!

Day 47, Sunday, July 5, 2009

We drove to Anchorage to meet Martha and Jim. We went to Sams, Costco, Fred Meyers and several outdoor stores for supplies for them. Their RV rental came equipped with all the utensils and equipment, but they needed food and fishing stuff. Jim finally settled on buying waders with the shoes built in. We are working to make their Alaskan RV experience a nice one. They are growing more accustomed to camping, something they have never done on their own. After all, another couple showed us the ropes and we are returning the favor. We returned to the campground and had dinner around 10:00 pm, way too late for me!!!

Day 48, Monday, July 6, 2009

We had lunch at the Sunrise Café and headed to Gwin’s store where we picked up a few ½ price t-shirts and Jim got a fishing license. In the afternoon, Ed took Jim fishing on the Kenai across the ferry. Neither caught anything, but they had a good time anyway. Jim broke Ed’s rod so Ed let him fish with his. Later, Hank came over and asked us to help him copy his pictures to a CD so we made him several CDs so he could format his card. We sat around the campfire listening to the guy’s fish stories about the big ones that got away. Jim thought it was comical the way everyone got so mad when they lost or foul hooked a fish. We girls listened until either we were bored to death or the wine had kicked in, or all of the above -- and headed to bed.

Day 49, Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hank and Winkie left this morning headed for Denali so Jim and Martha moved into their spot across from us. We drove into Soldotna to return Ed’s broken fishing rod to the Trustworthy Hardware store. We stopped at the St. Elias Brewing Company for lunch. Their pizza was excellent. In the afternoon, Ed and Jim went fishing on the Kenai and Ed caught one so they filleted it and we had ½ of it for dinner. Martha and I just relaxed awhile and then took a bike ride around the campground. She hasn’t ridden a bike in years and had to get readjusted, but then did just fine. After dinner, we sat around the campfire for a while then decided we were all much too tired to socialize and went to bed.

Day 50, Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can you believe that we have been away from home 50 days already? In some ways, it seems like we left only yesterday and in others it seems we’ve been gone a year. This is the longest trip we have made thus far, but hope to do something similar again…but who knows? Today, we planned to take a glacier tour in Seward so we took the rental. Martha was pilot and I was co-pilot. Before we left, they wanted fill up with fresh water but we had trouble getting the tank to take the water. I guess we weren’t holding our mouths just right. We got away a few minutes later than expected for our 11:30 departure but could have made the dock by 11:35. We called ahead and Renown wouldn’t hold the boat 5 minutes for us. Oh well, we did some shopping and sight-seeing around town. We stopped at a small campground just next to the Sealife Center and the host gave us a recommendation for lunch. Ray’s down by the docks was absolutely wonderful. The glassed-in patio was cozy and bright. Everyone had the cod special as recommended; three pieces of lightly battered cod, cole slaw, French fries, and hot bread, and all for only $10 each. Every bite made us happy that we “missed our boat”! Before leaving Seward, we drove up to the Exit Glacier. We walked the .5 miles out to a good viewing area and took pictures. The glacier has receded considerable since before the turn of the century so we were questioning how Al Gore’s thoughts on global warming had much impact back then.

Day 51, Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today was a sad day. After three weeks of heaven on the Kenai Lake, we left our little nest at Quartz Creek Campground in Cooper Landing, along with the wonderful hosts, Ron and Carol McNaughton, and took off for Anchor Point. We stopped in Kenai to watch the dip netting, but it doesn’t start there until tomorrow. Dip netting is something only Alaska residents get to do. They take these huge nets and fish for salmon. There is a limit as to how many they can catch, but it is to sustain them for the winter. Primarily, from what we have seen, most fishing done here is sports fishing for the non-Alaska residents. People fly in from all over the world to fish. While in the small town of Kenai, we visited the Kenai Russian Orthodox Church and got a tour by the priest there. Along the way to Anchor Point, we stopped in Ninilchik and visited the gift shop to see my friend Charlene and then walked up the hill to the Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church. Small world. The priest we visited earlier in Kenai pastured this church for many years before going there. While there, we found the dock where the group will be departing for their halibut fishing tomorrow and picked up a fishing license for Martha. With our detour, we traveled about 150 miles today, arriving at the Kyllonen RV Park about 6:00 pm. Kyllonen is a commercial campground with full hook-ups and wi-fi for $34 per night. They also have a laundry and nice restrooms with showers. We started a campfire and Ed grilled the remainder of the fresh salmon. It was great!! Everyone is looking forward to a great day of halibut fishing tomorrow so we turned in early. It sounds as though this part of the trip has been all about fishing!! But, when the fish are running, one must take advantage! Along with the fishing, there are many diverse areas to visit and sights to see that you can’t see in the lower 48. Our visit to Alaska has definitely been interesting and educational.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Alaska - Part VIII - Cooper Landing, AK

Day 34, Monday, June 22, 2009

Today the weather was rainy, wet and cold. We had lunch before we left for Seward to explore the gift shops and look into the offerings of glacial tours. We stopped at Safeway to look at one of their coupon books. We got back to the CG around 7:30 pm. The guys cooked steak and chicken on the grill. We watched a movie and went to bed at 1:00 am, still twilight.

Day 35, Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We were up at 7:30 am, emptied our tanks and got fresh water. Ed and Hank went fishing in the Kenai and Hank caught 6 fish and Ed caught 4. Jeanne and Winkie headed off to Kenai. We stopped in Soldotna at a small shop to buy birch root baskets that we had seen on a previous trip and picked up groceries at Safeway and miscellaneous items at Fred Meyer. For dinner we made it easy and had fresh salmon dip (from Herb and Nancy) and crackers.

Day 36, Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All four of us went to Soldotna looking for a Food Saver to vacuum pack our fish. We found one at Fred Meyer, but also stopped in at the two thrift stores in town where Hank and Winkie bought a Magic Vac for $25. We stopped at “Town of Living Trees” where a carver was using a chainsaw to make animal statuary, i.e., bears, moose, fish, etc...and this big chair. We bought a couple of handmade baskets and other miscellaneous items. When we returned to the CG we packaged our salmon with our new vacuum packers and put it on ice. For dinner, we marinated and grilled fresh salmon and asparagus. We visited with Tim and Pam and warmed ourselves by their campfire, along with Ron and Carol, our camp hosts.

Day 37, Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ed and Hank went fishing while Jeanne and Winkie went shopping in Seward. We had lunch at the Marina Restaurant. Upon returning we found that both Ed and Hank had caught the limit of 6 fish each. Jeanne bought a wolf’s tooth key ring and t-shirts for the grandkids. We were all totally exhausted and had soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and went to bed early.

Day 38, Friday, June 26, 2009

We slept in, showered, package gifts to mail, vacuum packed our fish from yesterday’s catch, then decided to try to see the Bore Tide and the little town of Hope. Before we left, we dropped into the Post Office and drove up to the little Catholic Church where we would be attending on Sunday. The church was a log cabin in a beautiful mountainous setting with lots of wildflowers. The priest, Father Dick, drove up just as we were about to leave. He was a nice man who looked as though he had been painting. He gave us a tour of the church and grounds then invited us up to the rectory where he was cooking seafood chowder and marinating salmon. He had just finished smoking some salmon and he offered us some. It was so delicious. He gave us a small taste of his homemade fireweed wine and shared his recipe for salmon marinade and we were on our way. He was a jolly Minnesotan retired priest, who comes to Alaska for 2-1/2 months each year as interim pastor of the St. John Neumann Catholic Church, but he also comes to fish. Hank was short on gas so we drove 30 miles to Girdwood to fill up, then headed over to Hope. Hope is at the end of the Hope Highway and is surrounded by Turnagain Arm. It is a cute little town with old Alaskan log cabins that house shops, cafes, and lodging. We asked some folks in Hope were to best view the Bore Tide. A Bore Tide is a wave that forms as a result of a low tide going out meeting the high tide coming in. There are only four locations in the world where you can see this phenomenon. We viewed it from the south side of Turnagain Arm along the Hope Highway from a rock ledge with a guy named “Lightening” from Destin, FL and some friends of his that were in Hope for a wedding. The wave was 2-3 feet high as it swept over Turnagain Arm. We jumped in Hank’s truck and chased it down the highway until we could no longer view it from the road. The tide at Turnagain Arm can vary 40 feet from low tide to high tide. Ed and Jeanne hosted salmon dinner with salad and cornbread.

Day 39, Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today Hank and Eddie went fishing with Tim (ranger for Fish and Wildlife) and his friend Jim. They walked 2-1/2 miles to the Russian River. After catching nothing, they walked back to the Kenai River and fished for a while, but were tired and called about 4:00 for a ride back to the campground. Winkie and Hank hosted dinner of chicken, potatoes, slaw, and corn. Yummmm....