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.