EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Alaska with the Stocks 2009  (Read 106722 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #150 on: July 02, 2009, 06:50:16 PM »
July 1, 2009   Day 40   Homer

   We started our day by visiting the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, a very pretty small museum promoting the preservation of wildlife.  They had a 14-minute film about their mission, a beautiful building with displays about fish and wildlife, as well as a room where we viewed hundreds of kittiwakes nesting on an island in real time through a camera positioned on the island.  We also learned that the real visitors' center in Homer is the Chamber of Commerce.
   Homer does not have a true center of town, like a main street.  The fishing related restaurants and activities are out on the spit, where we decided to celebrate our successful inverter card installation.  We had a delicious dinner at Land's End.  The fresh halibut and salmon were so flavorful and moist, and the dinner came with potatoes/rice pilaf, sourdough bread, asparagus, and soup/salad.  We looked out on two large glaciers and a mountain range, as well as the ocean.  Many boats returned from fishing charters, several hundred kittiwakes flew around and bobbed in the ocean, several bald eagles flew over, and swallows flew under the restaurant's roof to deliver food to babies.
   After dinner we went exploring.  We found two mini-malls and Pioneer Blvd., where there will be a parade on July 4.  We drove north for about 30 minutes on East End Road, saw hay farmers working in their fields, pretty views of the area, and little towns.
   We shopped at our RV park's gift shop.  Their prices were less than we've paid before, and they give 20% off for a sale.  They did have a good selection of items.
   Dean saw someone's Motosat antenna up, and Jeff gave him some ideas, so trying to get our own internet is scheduled for tomorrow.  I think of Ardra's comments, but Dean does not give up easily.

Temperature: 42°F-60°F, chilly wind, sunny  When we are sheltered from the wind, it is wonderfully warm.  Otherwise, we needed coats.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Betty Brewer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4647
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #151 on: July 02, 2009, 09:51:54 PM »
Linda,

When we were in Homer (my all time favorite Alaskan city) I was able to attend a couple of city community theatre plays, (on my own as it was not Russ or Terry's' thing)  The theatre was near the POND.)   Give it a look.  BTW I missed your days of no posting.  My first trip to the Forum each day is to look at your adventure.   Be sure to  visit the Thai restaurant we mentioned in our log.

We took the  day trip to Seldovia from Homer and saw the bear swimming in the water.  It was a fun day but it did involve a bit of walking.
Terry did his halibut fishing charter from Homer and  we ate his fish for months  afterward.  YUM .

I am loving your adventure.

Betty
Betty Brewer

see where we are

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9959
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #152 on: July 02, 2009, 10:41:24 PM »
Quote
I think of Ardra's comments, but Dean does not give up easily.

LOL!  Neither does Jerry.  I know you'll tell us if he succeeds!  ;)

How I love the halibut and salmon up there......

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #153 on: July 05, 2009, 03:22:24 AM »
July 2, 2009   Day 41   Homer

   Dean went to Napa and got cleaner to work on the steps so I can enter/exit the coach more easily.  They currently extend only half-way because of TOTW dirt that got into them.  He has them temporarily extended, but he needs to buy yet another can of cleaner.  TOTW dirt has affected so many things.
   We drove to the library to post because our wifi here is weak.  As we drove into the parking lot, I noticed attractive young ladies who were wearing silky long dresses.  When we set up our computer in the library, we learned that we had to check in with the librarian to be able to access wifi.  As Dean was doing this, I noticed about 16 free computer cubicles, about half of which were being used by more young ladies in long, flowing gowns.  I asked one of them if there were a special occasion that everyone was dressed up for.  She explained that this was the dress of "Old Believers". 
   I asked the librarian, Jolie, if there were any books about Old Believers, and she told me she had taught many of them in her 34-yearlong K-1 & special ed  teaching career here in Homer.  She told many stories of the history of Homer, as well as telling me that the OB's (my abbreviation) had broken off from the Russian Orthodox church, were wonderful people, that they had church services that started at 2:00 A.M. (that's not a typo-it's two hours after midnight!)  Their services last between 8 and 10 hours, and they stand up the whole time.  I was so fascinated that I joined the library ($10) and checked out two books about them.  We left the library two hours later, and Jolie must have talked with me for one hour of that.  In fact, as we were leaving, she came running behind us to add something she thought we'd like to know.  If you visit here, be sure to meet her.  If you can get her talking (not hard to do), you're in for a treat!  There are 4 villages of OBs within 25 miles of Homer.  The more orthodox villages do not allow computers in their homes, so the OBs come into town to use the library's free computers.
   We further explored the spit, tried to buy halibut at the recommended Coal Point Fish Market, and discovered they only had fresh halibut when a commercial ship had come in.  We could buy frozen, but I had that in the RV.  So we came home and had clam chowder.
   I stayed up very late reading my library books and learning about the OB culture.  They consider non-OBs to be "unclean".  They are very hospitable if they invite you to their home (which happens rarely, and only after a prolonged friendship). However, they will serve your food on a paper plate with a plastic fork, or they will have special dishes and utensils that they wash separately and are stored separately for "Americans".  They try to raise as much of their food as possible via greenhouses and gardens.  They have over 200 "fasting days" per year when they don't eat meat, eggs, dairy, fish, or anything that came from an animal.  On the 8 weeks of Lent at Easter and the 6 weeks of Lent at Christmas there are more dietary restrictions, such as not using oil.  And that is current, in practice, today. 

Temperature:  high 50's, sunny
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #154 on: July 05, 2009, 03:29:45 AM »

July 3, 2009   Day 42   Homer

   We started off earlier today to go see the Pratt Museum (buy one/get one in free coupon, total cost $6).  It is a 3-story, museum that is chuck full of information, videos, a video cam set up on Gull Island so you can see kittiwakes nesting and zoom in on any particular area, also a video cam on Kodiak Island by the best waterfall for the bears to catch salmon.  This museum is small, but rich in content.  And it has Katya!
   Our highpoint of our visit to the Pratt was going into the gift shop and meeting Katya, an OB.  Both of her parents are teachers, which is very unusual in this culture.  She has just graduated from high school, has had a back-and-forth education between the village school, extension classes, and the Homer schools.  Her dad is a convert-hence her last name of White instead of a "strong Russian name".  Initially when he converted 25 years ago, he became ultra-OB, having her mother make peanut butter from raw peanuts so no "Americans" had touched the food.  Gradually, he has liberalized.  Katya is going to the University of Alaska in Anchorage in the fall to study pre-med, which is very unusual for an OB.  Her boyfriend is a fisherman.  She expressed dismay that one of her friends, a 13-year-old, is engaged to a 15-year-old boy and will soon be married. Girls are forbidden to ever cut their hair, and Katya has long bangs.  She is debating if she will cut her hair when she goes away to school.  Yet, she considers it a priority to come home every 2 weeks (a 3-hour, one way drive) I wish I could follow her life as she tries to blend two such different cultures.
   We hurried over to the Alaska Islands Oceans Visitor Center & adjoining trail because it was now getting late (and cooler).  The volunteers there are quite knowledgeable, and we had questions.  Big oil tankers come all the way deep into Kachemak Bay to pick up pilots who will guide them into the port of Valdez.  Dean and I both thought, "Why don't they just radio, and the pilot could come out in a small boat?"
   Two trails lead out of the AIOVC, and we chose to take the boardwalk.  It led out into the mud flats where two Sand Hill cranes are raising two of the cutest chicks.  We really enjoyed watching the parents supervise the little ones.  One of the chicks was adventuresome, and the other literally followed in his father's footsteps.  While we were observing, we met a couple from Israel.  We've met lots of people from Germany.  Alaska draws from everywhere.
   By now it was after 6:00, so we decided to use our $5 coupon at the Fresh Sourdough Express Bakery & Cafe.  I had Dungeness crab; Dean had a hamburger on a freshly baked sourdough bun.  We enjoyed our meal, and we were disappointed to see a "For Sale" sign by the register.  Many of the places where we have eaten have been for sale, and we have been told that tourism is down 40-60% this year because of the economy.  On the news, they tell of how many fewer cruise ships are being scheduled for 2010.
   I overheard another customer who was raving about the highlight of his trip at the Exit Glacier, so I'd like to correct my earlier posting.  He got to walk all the way to the glacier and go on the Ice Fields Trail to the Harding Ice Field, which is an enormous ice field that extends from Seward to Homer.  He said it was just amazing.  So, for future travelers who are physically capable, it sounds like it is a "must see".
   We came back to the RV and talked with Reve, our neighbor, who told us about Dry Wash (his coach sparkles) and let us try the California Duster, both of which we will buy.  We learn so much from others.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

BernieD

  • ---
  • Posts: 5822
    • PressurePro
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #155 on: July 05, 2009, 08:48:15 AM »
Linda

Many libraries leave their computers on all the time so you can sit in the parking lot and pick up the wi-fi connection there.

Thanks for bringing back so many memories of our trip.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #156 on: July 06, 2009, 04:12:36 PM »
July 4, 2009   Day 43   Homer, AK

   We started off our day with a visit to the Farmers' Market.  It was small, but we bought a lot!  We got the crispest lettuce I've ever tasted, "green lettuce" (a type of romaine), a photo of two eagles, lots of frozen halibut @ $8/pound to take with us when we leave, and cheddar popcorn.  We sampled their cranberry jelly.  Random people in the crowd were trying to make a human pyramid and were having great fun-a nice community feel.  This was followed by 3 musicians who played lively music.
   I had stayed up late on the 3rd to read another 130+ pages about the Old Believers before we set off for the Samovar Café in Nikolaevsk.  We had heard that having a meal there and listening to Nina, the café owner, would give us a rare glimpse into the Russian OB culture.  However, Katya, the OB at the Pratt, had explained to us that this village is not "true" Old Believer.
    Historically, 5 OB brothers and their families purchased 160 acres in this valley 22 miles outside of Homer in the early 80's.  They loaded up their old trucks with their belongings and left Oregon because they felt there was too much pressure on their children to become "Americanized" (reject the OB ways).  This village was accessible only by dirt road and provided the isolation they craved.  Many other OBs from Oregon followed them over the years. Around 1986 there was a great disagreement over whether to have a priest, which some rejected as not being the OB way of doing things.  So, many of the people left and formed 3 new more conservative villages.  One of these villages is accessible only by ATV and requires going down a steep cliff and crossing a beach.  It is also posted as private property.
   As Dean and I drove into the village (on paved road now), we saw males wearing T-shirts without the woven belt they are always supposed to wear, TV antennas, satellite dishes, and a very ornate Russian-looking church.  We knew that we shouldn't photograph it, so we have no photos of that.
   When we arrived at the café, no one was there, but there was a sign that said to call Nina and she would come right down.  We had been forewarned that she would try to sell you everything on the menu and in the gift shop, but that she was a very interesting character-and she was!  You need to put on your suit of mental armor to deflect all her sales pitches.  Nina came here from Russia in the early 90's, and she was an electrical engineer.  When she came here, she taught Russian K-12 for about 12 years.
   As Russian music played in the background, she tried her best to sell us red, gold, and black lacquered dishes utensils to eat our special meal with.  We had a delightful Russian tea made of fireweed blossoms, black currants, and raspberry leaves with cinnamon sprinkled on top.  Dean and I decided to sample many things by sharing each dish.  We asked for borsch (soup made of beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and celery with a swirl of sour cream and lots of dill floating on top), pirozhki (dumplings filled with cabbage, meat and vegetables or potatoes), pel'meni (Siberian dumplings filled with beef and boiled in chicken broth), and a delicious cream puff (topped with cherries, chocolate, and whipped cream).  With each course came a few minutes of oral history, a teaser, because if you wanted to know more, you should buy her history booklet for $18 (which she dropped down to $15, and I'm sure would have been reduced further if we'd been interested in buying).  In the true OB way, women are submissive, quiet followers.  That is not Nina!  Before we left, she had tried to get us to move our RV to her new "RV park" (a bare dirt lot with 50 amps, FHU, but only $29/night) and to get us to buy an apartment in Thailand, where no matter what ails you, you can throw away all your pills and be in great physical shape.  At the end, she tries to sell you her very expensive, but very delicious tea, with all the profits going to support orphanages in Russia (maybe?).
   We spent a little less than 3 hours there and missed the 4th of July parade.  There were no fireworks because it doesn't get dark enough to see them.
However, we totally enjoyed the day.

High temp-low 60's

Wildlife:  a group of 3 bald eagles flying together (always before we have seen solos) and one long bald eagle, several magpies and kittiwakes
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #157 on: July 06, 2009, 04:15:40 PM »
July 5   Day 44

   "Twas a lazy day of doing chores, listening to TV hoping to find out more about Sarah Palin's resignation, chatting with our neighbor, and Dean working on our Motosat.  He's so stubborn he should have been born in Missouri.  I hope he succeeds.
   Interesting fact for future travelers-many of the gas stations are unmanned, and take credit card only, so don't pass them by thinking they are closed.  Another fact-those who say to fill up when your tank is half-full are right.  But they should add, don't travel by car with bladder more than half-full, because sometimes restrooms are very, very far apart.  (In the RV, you have your own facilities.)

High temp-mid 60's 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #158 on: July 06, 2009, 04:39:04 PM »
in Homer (my all time favorite Alaskan city) I was able to attend a couple of city community theatre plays, (on my own as it was not Russ or Terry's' thing)  The theatre was near the POND.)   Give it a look.  BTW I missed your days of no posting.  My first trip to the Forum each day is to look at your adventure.   Be sure to  visit the Thai restaurant we mentioned in our log.

We took the  day trip to Seldovia from Homer and saw the bear swimming in the water.  It was a fun day but it did involve a bit of walking.
Terry did his halibut fishing charter from Homer and  we ate his fish for months  afterward.  YUM .

Betty, thank you.  I had forgotten about the Thai restaurant, but I will go and get food to-go, as Dean is not gastronomically adventuresome.

As for favorite city, so far mine would be Valdez.  I think our favorites are determined by the experiences we have there, and in Valdez we had the Stan Stephens Cruise, and the highlight of our trip so far, seeing bald eagles fly and pick up fish within feet of where I was sitting.  We really enjoyed the view over the mud flats and seeing the birds fly at all times of day.  But, Homer would be my second/third favorite tied with Seward.  We've been lucky with weather, and we have met so many people.

We went to Pier One Theatre to check is out, but they had a one-man show giving his "musings" on the 3 & 4.  It didn't sound like a good evening.  But...when we went to the Russian village, we bypassed our turnoff.  I think I was probably watching those 3 bald eagles flying together.  It was a nice big sign.  But, just like with the Motosat, Dean didn't give up.  He drove for a LONG WAY  past Anchor Point, where the turnoff was, and on my third, "We need to make a U-turn," we did.  But, I needed to find a restroom, so we stopped by a souvenir shop with moose carvings.  While I used the outhouse, Dean talked with the mother/daughter proprietors.  It turns out that the daughter is in a 6-person musical at Pier One debuting on July 7.  It turns out that is the same night as the new "Star Trek" film, so they expect small audiences.  We thought we'd go support them.

We really looked at Seldovia, which does have ferry service, so I could take my scooter.  But, the ramps are steeply inclined because there is currently more than 17 feet differential between high and low tides.  We picked up a tide chart, and just decided to skip Seldovia as too risky.  Seeing the robust lady next door with her pelvis broken in 2 places has made me much less daring.

I'm glad you are enjoying the log.  I try to give the details that fascinate me without being too wordy--a delicate balance. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

carson

  • ---
  • Posts: 4925
  • memories of yore
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #159 on: July 06, 2009, 04:40:40 PM »
Hi Dean and Linda. Have enjoyed all your reports. Thank you.

Just curious... How many ruples, dineros, $ did you leave behind at the Samovar Café?  ;)

  What an interesting place.

carson FL
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

Ned

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 25574
  • Ned and Lorna are former full time RVers
    • Have you seen Rolling Stock?
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #160 on: July 06, 2009, 05:50:44 PM »
Valdez was one of my favorite stops, tied with the Chena Marina RV Park in Fairbanks where I watched the float planes takeoff and land for a week.  The highlight, of course, was the plane ride over Denali.  Don't miss that.  It should be in the tour book, 2 for one at Talkeetna Air.

Sorry you had to miss Seldovia, the chain saw carvings are something to see.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9959
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #161 on: July 06, 2009, 09:00:47 PM »
Linda, the Samovar and Nina sound like it was quite an evening.  She must be a real character.  I'll bet the food was good.

I'd never heard of the Old Believers and you've done a wonderful job of teaching us about them.  Thank you.  It reminds me of the Mennonites who went to various countries and eventually ended up in Mexico, also because they were told their children had to learn the language of the countries they stopped in along the way.

Up by Soldotna there's a Russian church you can go into and a fascinating church graveyard where the native people combined their old customs with their new Russian/Christian customs to create the most unique graves we've ever seen.  Very bright colors.  I don't recall you visiting and writing about it but forgive me if you did.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 09:06:57 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

railroad

  • Posts: 2
    • Window to the World
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #162 on: July 07, 2009, 01:25:28 AM »
Hi Dean & Linda:

Well we've made it to Fairbanks (actually the zip code is North Pole) but we are in Riverview CG and survived the Top of the World Highway with no damage and not much dust inside the coach. Some bit more in the car but also not damage.
Celebrated the 4th with the Gold Prospectors Assn Annual Picnic and listened to the Band at the Chicken Creek Saloon.

Wildfires in this part of the state are getting pretty bad and the dense smoke is all around us. Fortunately, we have full hook-ups and 50amp so we can survive with the a/c's working. Will have to rethink Denali and may head straight for Homer and backtrack to Denali in August. Reading your comments on the Peninsula with interest.

Enjoying your posts. Will get my own blog back up now that we have internet again.

Safe travels,

Gene & Laurie
Gene & Laurie Zeiner
Full Time - "Hold on Tight To Your Dreams"
2007 Newmar Ventana 40' DP
2008 Honda CRV- Toad

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #163 on: July 07, 2009, 10:41:35 AM »
We visited with Nina at the Samovar in '06.  She liked my beard and insisted on taking a picture of me "dressed".
Payment for the picture was my promise to send her a a printed copy, which I did.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 01:25:11 PM by Lou (onaquest) »
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #164 on: July 07, 2009, 12:36:35 PM »

Just curious... How many ruples, dineros, $ did you leave behind at the Samovar Café?  ;)

  What an interesting place.


Thank you for your kind words, Carson.  The Samovar was an interesting place.  We tried one of everything on the menu (split between us), and that was around $40 + tax + tip (which one of the articles I read said she would tell you how much her tip should be, but she is very savvy and I think she guessed that might not sit well with us), but Dean loved her tea.  I was very resistant to buying it for $20 (I know that I pay $5 for many more servings of a great tea at home), but he wanted it as a Christmas present.  That told me that it was something he REALLY liked, so we got it (after all, as she explained, all profits go to the orphanages in Russia).  AND, if we bought the tea, we could get our pictures taken in Russian garb, and a picture of her.  Out the door, it cost $70.  She's missing her calling.  Instead of teaching the Russian language, she should be teaching salesmen how to sell.  The whole experience was a hoot!  i thought of it as dinner and entertainment.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #165 on: July 07, 2009, 12:46:56 PM »
We visited with Tina at the Samovar in '06.  She liked my beard and insisted on taking a picture of me "dressed".
Payment for the picture was my promise to send her a a printed copy, which I did.

I can't believe she didn't find a way to charge you money for taking your picture, even though she wanted a printed copy.  Nina must have really wanted that picture, or you reminded her of someone back home.  She must have been really tired and off her game that day!  She wanted to charge us for everything, except breathing the cafe's air.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #166 on: July 07, 2009, 01:12:48 PM »

Well we've made it to Fairbanks (actually the zip code is North Pole) but we are in Riverview CG and survived the Top of the World Highway with no damage and not much dust inside the coach. Some bit more in the car but also not damage.

Wildfires in this part of the state are getting pretty bad and the dense smoke is all around us. Fortunately, we have full hookups and 50amp so we can survive with the a/c's working. Will have to rethink Denali and may head straight for Homer and backtrack to Denali in August.

Hi, Gene and Laurie!

I am so glad that you made it over TOTW easily.  Was there recent moisture (sprinkles?) that kept the dust down?  We must have been on it the day before the grader came through.  We were concerned for you.

We've been watching the fires and hoping they are extinguished soon, as our kids may be flying up to Anchorage around July 25, specifically to go to Denali.   Weather here in Homer is PERFECT!  It was 66° yesterday, and it felt like high 70's.  Homer is like Valdez, lots of gorgeous mountains, and I love Grewingk Glacier, which I see constantly.  It's easy to spend extra time in Homer.  We started with 4 days, added 2, added 1, added 1, and when I check out a new idea, we may add 1 more day.  Do eat at the Sourdough Express.  The RV parks are vacant!  When we were on the spit yesterday, i counted 22 RVs at Heritage ($78/night), and they say they have 107 in Trailer Life.  It seemed like there were even more vancant than 85.  Even the Spit CG had view sites available in the afternoon.  But, we are very happy at Oceanview RV Park, with 50 amps, FHU, and 200 TV channels.

It is a long way to come here and backtrack to Fairbanks.  Don't miss Valdez and the Stan Stephens cruise.

Happy trails to you!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #167 on: July 07, 2009, 01:23:13 PM »
 I'll bet the food was good.

Up by Soldotna there's a Russian church you can go into and a fascinating church graveyard where the native people combined their old customs with their new Russian/Christian customs to create the most unique graves we've ever seen.  Very bright colors.  I don't recall you visiting and writing about it but forgive me if you did.

ArdraF

The food at the Samovar was good.

We will check out the Russian church in Soldotna.  We hadn't heard of it before.  We skipped all the towns on the way to Homer, figuring we'd do them all on our way back to Anchorage. 

Don't ever hesitate to give us an idea.  We had skipped the idea of Seldovia, but today I'm checking out using the ferry.  If we take our car on the ferry, I don't have to walk up/down the steep ramp.  I'm going to check the cost.  I had read about the woodcarvings there, but it was only after reading a reply on the Forum, that I rethought going over there.  Keep the ideas, especially those not well-known, coming!

Thank you.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #168 on: July 07, 2009, 01:23:19 PM »
Linda, you are right about her trying to sell everyone everything.  She told us that the only two things not for sale in the place were, her crown and her self.  She was actually an electronics engineer in the Russian Army.

BTW - I didn't know you weren't supposed to photograph their churches so I have some beautiful pictures of it (them).
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

carson

  • ---
  • Posts: 4925
  • memories of yore
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #169 on: July 07, 2009, 01:56:56 PM »
Thanks for replying to my post/question, Dean and Linda..

   I think you got your money's worth; like going to a theater, having a meal and trying to enjoy  the show at the same time; Doesn't always work. I think you'll remember this experience as a  winner..you won't forget it..

  Have fun on the rest of your trip.++

carson FL

Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9959
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #170 on: July 07, 2009, 09:35:02 PM »
Linda,

I "think" it was Soldotna.  Try to verify the town before you go too far north 'cause I think you'll enjoy it.  We also got some very good photos of it and the graves.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

rhmahoney

  • ---
  • Posts: 1405
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #171 on: July 07, 2009, 11:01:56 PM »
The church on the bluff over the old village is Ninilchik.
Green Flash seeker
Country Coach Magna
Datastorm internet satellite dish.D3.Direcway 7000 modem

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #172 on: July 07, 2009, 11:15:30 PM »
Linda,

I "think" it was Soldotna.  Try to verify the town before you go too far north 'cause I think you'll enjoy it.  We also got some very good photos of it and the graves.

ArdraF

There was a beautiful little Russian church in Keani that we went into one day as the priest was just arriving and invited us in.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Jeff

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 9009
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #173 on: July 07, 2009, 11:21:15 PM »
The church on the bluff over the old village is Ninilchik.

This one.

Jeff

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 9009
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #174 on: July 07, 2009, 11:26:18 PM »
There was a beautiful little Russian church in Keani that we went into one day as the priest was just arriving and invited us in.

This one.

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #175 on: July 07, 2009, 11:33:21 PM »
Jeff, it's the second one (only in my photo the little sign is gone off the porch and a Priest is standing there waving us in) ;D

As Russ said, the first one is in Ninilchik.(also beautiful)
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #176 on: July 08, 2009, 02:05:43 AM »
July 6   Day 45    Homer, AK
   
   Dean worked on Motosat until 1:00, re-checking wires and talking with them. It seems that they may have changed the "footprint" slightly, and Dean is to call back tomorrow. 
   We went to the Carl Wynn Nature Center, which includes beautiful viewpoints along Skyline Drive.  Naturalists lead hikes at 10:00 and 2:00.  For hikers, there are many well-marked trails into "the bush".  We used the boardwalk, which was in poor repair and had large holes.
    While we were at Wynn, I saw cow parsnip with a label for the first time.  I had previously read that it has a powerful skin irritant that can cause blisters on your skin if you touch it.  If it is burning, it can cause blisters in the lining of your throat and lungs.  It is a tall plant with white flowers, and it is everywhere!  We are only posting the picture of the cow parsnip (also called “pushke”) so RVForum people will recognize it and stay away from it. 
   Lupine is in full bloom everywhere, and it is tall, a vibrant lavender, and plump. We enjoyed the flora, but not the fauna-lots of mosquitoes and blackflies, so we made a quick exit.  Pictures will be posted tomorrow.
   We gassed up, drove out to the Spit to locate the other fresh fish market we were told about and checked out the Fishing Hole.  We then went to Try My Thai Restaurant.  I noticed that on the sign "Try" was in different style than "My Thai". Brewers and Russ had raved about it, and Dean even agreed to eat there with me. After the first bite, I just knew it wasn't the same!  There were about 8 main dish items, 2 soups, a few sides like cucumbers.  I tried about 2 tbsp. of each, and nothing was really hot-only 2 were at all spicy.  They do have new owners.  They changed the name from My Thai to Try My Thai. That's one problem I think will be encountered even more next year.  Sourdough Express, which Brewers and we have enjoyed, is for sale, as are many businesses.
   Eating out does allow us to meet “real” Alaskans.  We met a couple who live here year-round 5 miles from the road without electricity.  She works in the hospital 3 days a week all year, and he works doing anything/everything from driving heavy machinery to roofing to pouring concrete.  Try My Thai’s owners work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., (14 hours) 6 days a week.  They grow their own fresh spices and bean sprouts all yearlong. They drive into Anchorage (4 hours one way) to buy restaurant supplies. We continue to be amazed by the resourcefulness and hardiness of these Alaskans.

High Temp:  66°F, but it feels much warmer

Wildlife:  1 bald eagle sitting on the mud flat, numerous kittiwakes, 1 red squirrel (I don't count crows and ravens.)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #177 on: July 08, 2009, 12:14:37 PM »
July 7, 2009   Day 46   Homer, AK

   Brunch today was at Sourdough Express because I hadn't tried their seafood chowder, a "must do."  It was good, as was the AhLaska milk shake (child size).  Sourdough Express uses all organic food, and I wanted to see if there was a difference, like in diet food.  It was delicious, and which means it probably had as many calories as non-organic shakes.
   We went to the automatic, brushless car wash and paid $13 for their deluxe wash.  Basic was $10.  They did a good job for being automatic.
   Down the street was an auto supply place where Dean got stair de-gunker and learned that we have hit the weather jackpot.  The parts salesman told him that last summer it rained all summer long.  He would get out his lawnmower, and before he could fire it up, it was raining again.  He says we have had the most consecutive days with sun since they started keeping records.  After half-an-hour, Dean emerged, but we needed still needed to go to NAPA to get a California duster.  People came and went, more people came and went, and I waited...and waited.  Dean had a big smile, as well as the duster, when he came out.  He was like a kid in a candy shop.  He said, because of its remoteness, it had a lot of everything, was very different from NAPAs at home.  I think he would call it a "must see" for men, but ladies, bring a LONG book to read.  We did learn that while some places sell only whole items, NAPA breaks them into component parts to sell, so if you are mechanically inclined, you can replace only the defective part.  We also learned that Canada requires this, but the U. S. doesn't.  NAPA does it everywhere.
   At NAPA, Dean also learned about the outside pressure wash we could use at the car wash, which would allow him to clean out the stairs.  So...back to the car wash to check it out.  It should work.
   It was now time to bid adieu to my Sand Hill crane family, so we went back to the Oceans Visitor Center trail.  They were very far away.  I was able to spot them, but it made us grateful that they had been so up close and personal the first time.  We saw beautiful lavender columbine.  I had never seen it before, and it reminded me of delicate Japanese flowers.
   I had looked at the  Wild Berry Farm store as we went to other venues.  It was very much like an Alaskan version of the Knott's Berry Farm with a lot of Alaskan souvenirs, freshly-made candy and fudge, jellies, and smoked salmon.
   We hopped into the car to go to the Ptarmigan Art Gallery, which is a delightful gallery.  They had premium items, ranging from photography to beautiful wood pieces to jewelry to watercolors.  We didn't buy anything, only because we have been down-sizing, and we have a lack of display space.  We went next door to the Fireweed Gallery, which had a variety of art, but was predominantly jewelry.
   We knew it was getting late, and we hurried out to the spit to get fresh fish.  It wasn't even 7:00, and they were closed!  We stopped at Coal Point Fish Market & Restaurant and picked up a bowl of their seafood chowder to-go.  It had been recommended by our RV neighbor.  It had large chunks of a variety of fish in a brothy cream base with potatoes, bacon, celery, and white pepper.  It was too peppery for me, but I'm not a fan of pepper.  I'd still rate it as very good.

High Temp:  High 60's-Perfectly beautiful day!

Wildlife:  Nada.  People have commented about fewer bald eagles here this year.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #178 on: July 10, 2009, 01:38:28 PM »
July 8      Day 47   Homer, AK

   I wake up each morning and look out the window at a beautiful black-and-white view of Grewingk Glacier and its smaller neighboring glaciers, surrounded by volcanic mountains across a shimmering bay.  The town filled up today with lots of RVs, possibly because there are many fires around Anchorage and Denali, which, according to the news reports, fill the air with unhealthy smoke-filled air.  Today was laundry day, and there were so many people in both the town laundromat and the RV park's laundry that we could only get 3 washers, so we couldn't wash everything concurrently.  This took many hours, so we didn't get to do fun things, except finish reading my library books about the Old Believers, bask in the sun, and love being here.  I am thinking about getting a washer/dryer for the RV.
   We made arrangements to go on the ferry to Seldovia tomorrow. Delicious, moist, fresh halibut ($11/pound) that Dean barbecued on a cedar plank was a real treat.

Interesting facts:  Many residents have "walnut" tires for icy roads in the winter.  Instead of studs, walnut shells are incorporated into the rubber.

A ranger told us that Homer has been really lucky because it has "only" lost 40% of its spruce trees, whereas across the bay they have lost over 80%.

High Temp:  70°F-absolutely gorgeous day!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #179 on: July 10, 2009, 01:45:44 PM »
July 9   Day 48   Our last day in Homer

   Pinch me!  We wake up to ANOTHER fabulous day with the sun shining.  We set off for the ferry to Seldovia, which is ready to LEAVE when we get there.  We had received poor information when I called yesterday, so they went to considerable trouble to allow us to board.  Fortunately, I taken notes and had the name and number of the person I had spoken with (a habit I've developed from dealing with insurance people), and I believe that is the reason they held the boat.  We left the dock about 15 minutes late. I enjoyed talking with a 20-something Alaskan lady passenger and learning of her life.  She lives full-time in Fairbanks, but she and her husband come to their cabin in Seldovia, where they have no running water, but they do have an outhouse.  They "vacation" there for 6 WEEKS each year.  They rely on rain (which they haven't had this year), so they now have to cart in 5-gallon water bottles.  Oh, and the only way to get to their cabin, which is out on a spit, is by boat.  So, they have to buy things in Homer, ferry them over in their SUV, transfer them to a boat, motor to the cabin, and then cart them up the beach.  This is fun? The ferry comes over on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays in the summer.  In the winter, it's just 2 days a week.
   We had a beautiful, smooth trip, and docked in Seldovia a little after noon.  There were large chainsaw carvings as we entered the lazy little town of 300 people.  Our first stop was the visitor center, which was staffed by a 14-yer-old, and had a small museum with really a variety of pretty flowers.  We sauntered through the village to the Tidal Wave Café, where I had the best fish tacos I've ever had.  The halibut was not breaded and was flavorful and moist, and they had added cabbage with a very light dressing.  Dean's burger was good. 
   Seldovia only has 3 souvenir-type stores/galleries, but we enjoyed shopping, looking for more carvings, and talking.  One proprietor was really excited because he had heard that it might hit 70°!  There wasn't much to do, but we really enjoyed our relaxing day (as if we weren't already totally relaxed in Homer).
   We departed Seldovia at 6:00, about 4.5 hours after we arrived.  The trip back was equally calm.  I met a young mother, who had been educated in Seldovia's small school, and who now lived there with her husband, who renovates low-income housing.  Dean and I were surprised that there even was low- income housing.  She was a well-spoken, dyslexic, RSP student, and she had nothing good to say about her education. We pass two groups of otters, just laying on their backs enjoying the day.  They don't dive down as we pass by, just give us a casual glance.
   The ferry people were wonderful.  But, if you are physically capable, I would take the wildlife cruise over to Seldovia, though it does only allow you 1.5 hours in town.  There is currently a 17' difference between high and low tides (which each happen twice a day).  I picked up a tide chart, which is available at the Homer VC and Oceans VC.  I was concerned about how steep the short ramp would be and if I could negotiate it.
   We stopped at the library to return books, and then we stopped at Safeway.  Their prices were high of course, but they had everything I wanted, including something I couldn't even find in Anchorage.  At the Hop-Skip-Jump get-together in Utah, I had learned from Leesa about this wand-type thing made by Scrubbing Bubbles.  It allows you to clean the toilet and then dispose of the cleaning pad in the trash-no yucky toilet brush!  I've checked every grocery, Costco, Wal-Mart since the end of April, and not only did Safeway have it, but they had a second brand made by Clorox.
   Homer is a "just one more day" village.  I wish we could visit our Sand Hill cranes just one more time, but I'm sure new adventures lie ahead.

High Temp:  News on TV say 67°, but it was just perfect.  Dean would tell you I am never warm enough, and even in the evening at 8:00, I am just wearing a blouse-that sounds wrong-I mean, I'm not wearing my sweatshirt.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)