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Author Topic: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure  (Read 38461 times)

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #60 on: June 11, 2014, 06:32:18 PM »
The story with Sam McGee was that Robert Service, the author, after hearing the name of Sam McGee sounded better than what he was using and asked permission from Sam McGee, who was a prospector, and he said yes.  It is totally made up.
June 10, 2014 –Day 21

We are up early, we are so excited for Megan to arrive this afternoon.  We started off at the Beringia Centre.  Very interesting, I had thought when the last ice age occurred that all of the northern hemisphere was under snow/ice.  What we learned was there was a land mass that was part of Russia, Alaska and Yukon that were not totally covered in ice and snow and this area was called Beringia.  When the glacier formed over North America it drew up so much water, the level of the ocean dropped enough to expose dry land connecting Alaska/Yukon to Siberia.  Animals and humans migrated over.  There were Wholly Mammoths, Scimitar cat, Giant Ground Slough, Musk Ox, Yukon horses, Saiga Antelope, who had big noses to help heat the air they breathed.  It was very interesting.
Then we headed next door to the Transportation Museum.  They had everything from snow shoes to moose skin boats to dog sleds and stages coaches.  Pioneer aircraft, railroad items, riverboat and old military vehicles that helped to build the wartime Alaska Highway.  Out front is a full size plane that is centered perfectly and used as a weather vane.  With frequent checks of time on our watches we had about 30 mins to wait for Megan to arrive.  Had a quick sandwich and watched as her plane landed.
Met her at the gate, since they only use 2 gates, rounded up luggage and back to WeBe to feed her a little late lunch.  Took Megan back into town with a stop at the Miles Canyon and the suspension bridge.  Drove up Main Street and back to the SS Klondike for it tour and video.  Wind had really picked up and made it chilly.  Stopped in Klondike Ribs and Salmon for a very delicious meal.  With tummies full and a little time to kill we walked to the Visitor Centre for Meg’s to watch the video there and then walked to Mac’s Fireweed book store.  Browsed and bought a couple of Christmas presents and then went over to the Westmark Hotel for a drink and then the Frantic Follies show.  A vaudeville review with slap stick jokes, but it was fun.  Now it is way past our bedtime so I’ll just say TTFN.


zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #61 on: June 12, 2014, 05:30:08 PM »
You all are having too much fun. I love reading about your adventures. I can't believe you had a radio program from Colorado Springs!!!!! What a hoot.  Tell Megs hi for me.  Next Wed  I have Mason duty. I'm looking forward to coloring. I'll give him hugs and kisses from you.  Love you guys and be safe.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2014, 12:43:43 AM »
June 12, 2014 – Day 23
What a long hard day.  We left Kluane around 9 AM and began what could possibly be the hardest day drive.  Per the Milepost from Burwash Landing, Yukon to Beaver Creek, Yukon was nothing but frost heaves and potholes.  Jim maybe did 40 MPH max with many places that we only did 5-10 MPH for 130+ miles.  It rattled the fillings in my teeth. But I kept on sewing the binding on a quilt. Just don’t ask why my stitches are not even (they haven’t ever been but you didn’t know that).  It was even more difficult to thread a needle with all the swaying and bouncing around.  In total today we drove 252 miles.  We crossed the border and gave up our apples to the broader patrol, dang it.  But not the cookies we got at Buckshot Betty’s. The Border Patrol was very impressed by Megan’s passport. It is a little worn with her back and forth from Australia and her little around the world jaunt last year. The road improved with only a few frost heaves.  Partly cloudy skies all day and a temperature in the low 60’s, I guess.  Still lots of trees and lakes, but we did see a grizzly bear munching on the side of the road.  We snap a few pics.
Pulled into Tok RV Village around 3:45 PM and they had warm cookies at the check in desk and who could walk past a soft chocolate chip cookie (we still had ¾ of our cookies left from Buckshot Betty’s).  Site #810, lots of campsites with small, skinny pines trees in between sites but we do have a forest of trees in front since we are the last row.  Megan and I headed to the grocery store for some more fruit and Megan had to get a bag of Cheetos (they don’t have them in Australia). When we got to the car she was opening the bag and saying “Just a few right now”.  Then to the liquor store for some wine to toast our arrival. Megan and I sit here with dueling computers while Jim has been sitting outside reading.  Megan is acting very strange and keeps getting into her backpack on the cab-over bed and I got to laughing so hard because I thought she had stashed the Cheetos up there.  We were laughing so hard we had tears running down our faces.  I think we need a day off from driving. All kidding aside she is great to travel with.  Better make some Sleepytime tea, so TTFN.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2014, 12:45:27 AM »
I know I am going backwards here but I wanted to put in a pic of the airplane weathervane in Whitehorse.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #64 on: June 13, 2014, 12:53:24 AM »
Megan's Cheetos's fix!!! He He

zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #65 on: June 13, 2014, 10:08:59 AM »
Mick and Jim   your picture is great. Now everyone knows what you look like.  I thought I recognized those boots on Megs. Sneaky little devil!!!  Love the grizzly.
Love you

 

freas11

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #66 on: June 13, 2014, 11:40:54 AM »
I hope meggie asked mason's permission to use his over the cab bunk

lucierenee

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #67 on: June 13, 2014, 06:56:56 PM »
Love your tee shirts of a bear carrying your camper away. 
So glad Megan made it to you all safe and sound.  You all will have so much fun.
Toodles,
Renee

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #68 on: June 13, 2014, 10:40:05 PM »
June 13, 2014 – Day 24
Choice for today was a trip up to Chicken, AK (pop 35-50).  While washing up from breakfast our water source stopped and Jim went up to office and was told that a camper started to drive off with all the water and electricity attached.  A major repair was in order and the guy who did this said he was a pilot and was use to walking around his plane to check that all systems were a go.  I hope I am never on one of his planes. After loading up the cooler with snacks and water we stopped at the Visitor Center here in Tok to check the road conditions.  The nice lady said there were a few frost heaves and some gravel areas, with the last couple of miles into Chicken were dirt/gravel.  Nice drive up, about 80 miles and the roads were as indicated by the lady in the Visitor Center.  Made it by 1 PM and went to The Chicken Creek Café for lunch.  Things were starting to hop in this place as “Chicken Stock” was slated to start around 3 PM. Lots of people with tents, trailers, motorhomes and several people on bicycles to attend the 3 day music festival.  After lunch we went to the Gold Camp RV park/gold panning place (also where Chicken Stock was taking place), panned for gold while listening to a band play and great people watching.  There were people of all ages.  They were set for a great weekend.  Jim was the only successful one gold panning with one small flake of gold.  Bought a few souvenirs, we headed back to Tok.  Saw 4 moose, one was a relative new one. Wanted to take a walk but it started to rain, I guess we will have to have some cheese and crackers with our wine instead.  TTFN

Beeverhoney

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #69 on: June 15, 2014, 08:54:24 PM »
Finally had a chance to read your stories and check out the pics. Glad you all are having such a great time. Lots of memories!!  Roger and I send our love, Annie

pattee8

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #70 on: June 18, 2014, 10:51:10 AM »
Hi all,

Hope the trip continues to be good.  Mick,  just wanted to let you know "Wind's come up".  It has been super muggy here this week and windy!  Renee and I went to McPherson last Friday.  Only 4 or 5 redheads, but some ducks have nested and splashed down in the pool a couple of times - that's been our wildlife sighting this summer.  TaTa

AP

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #71 on: June 18, 2014, 06:49:57 PM »
June 14, 2014 – Day 25
Not much to write about today.  Cool, very wet day.  Megan and I stayed in and read, sewed and napped.  Jim went out to the Little Tok River to try his luck.  The river was high and moving really fast.  Not good for fishing, he didn’t even get a bite.  So back to WeBe he came and he took a nap too.  Megan and I felt like we needed to get out, so we headed to the liquor store and made a purchase.  We are heading to Chitina tomorrow and there isn’t much around there.  The rain stopped briefly and we all headed out for a walk before it started to rain again.  Made a few phone calls, had dinner and watch a movie.  Nice, relaxing day.  TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #72 on: June 18, 2014, 06:52:04 PM »
June 15, 2014 – Day 26
Happy Father’s Day
A really late start today.  Went to put gas and propane in WeBe and the gentleman helping with the propane said our tire looked low, so he and Jim messed with the tire trying to put air in but difficult with the dually wheels on the back of WeBe.  Couldn’t get them filled and so the man called the tire store on the other side of town and he was open and over we went. This tire store also was a gas station and this guy was the only one working and it took about 45 mins total to put air in the tires, so, like I said a really slow start to the day.  We drove 203 miles to the little town of Chitina.  We are at the Wrangell View RV Park.  It is owned by a Native Alaskan Tribe.  It is a little scary to say the least.  Campsites poorly laid out and not enough room to maneuver.  There are only 12 campsites and we thought we were the only ones here but then a full timer came back to his trailer, that we thought was abandoned.  A few people have come in and not been able to level their motorhomes and they just left. But we did see a moose walk about 100 yards from the campsite.  The drive was really hard today, lots of frost heaves coming south on the Tok Cutoff to the Richardson Highway. But beautiful scenery.  The Wrangell range with Mount Drum (12,000+ ft) and Mount Sanford (16,000+ ft). Stopped in the Visitor Center for Wrangell –St Elias National Park and Preserve (got a stamp in my Parks Passport), it is the largest national park in acreage. Mostly Cloudy but a few periods of sun.  Saw a couple more black bears, one being a cub.  Decided we would stay a few nights here, so set up camp, made dinner and went for a short drive down to the Copper River.  Lots of people fishing with dip nets and a few fish wheels were going.  You must be a resident of Alaska to do either of those two types of fishing.
Dip net fishing is where someone is in the flowing water with a huge net and dips it in the water to just scoop up the salmon.  And the fish wheel is like a ferris wheel, but as it turns the baskets go down into the water and if there is a fish it will go into the trough like thing.  The water is very silty and doesn’t make it easy to see fish.
Lost again at cards (Snarf), yuck, I hate losing.  Guess we will call it a night.  I think we will sleep with the shotgun loaded tonight.  TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #73 on: June 18, 2014, 06:53:28 PM »
June 16, 2014 – Day 27   
Well, we survived the night.  Megan has named the resident camper Richard and we have spent some time concocting a story about why he lives in this remote location.  She has grown affectionately towards this young man. We have decide to trade her for 20 Yaks (there is a Yak farm up the road).  We do have fun with her.  And I personally think she has seen or read too many movies or books.  Checked out Liberty Falls this morning on our way for a hike on the Tosonia Trail.  After we applied the 2 tons of insect spray on our persons we set out.  About 10-15 minutes into the hike we came to kind of, sort reminded us of a swamp.  Mosquitoes were so thick we turned around and decided a nice drive would do.  Drove the Old Edgerton Highway, which was a dirt road.  In fact it was a better dirt road than the new paved Edgerton Highway.  Thought we might see wildlife but all we saw was a dog in a driveway.  There were some nice houses tucked back in there.  We came out on the Richardson Highway a few miles north of where you turn off for the Edgerton Highway.  Sat at road construction waiting for the pilot car.  The young lady holding the stop sign was more interested in texting and fiddling with her long hair than anything else.  Decided that we were disappointed in our original hike and thought we would do the short hike up to see Liberty Falls from the top.  Jim said it was 0.3 miles.  So off we went, up and up and up but the water was almost none existent and I questioned if we were going the right way.  Megan charged ahead and went on a recon mission. We slowly made our way up to her and finally saw some falls.  Tonight Jim reads in the Milepost that the Liberty Falls Trails does not give you views of the falls.  I thought we might kill him.  We came back to WeBe and had some lunch and a much deserved nap.  Jim went off to one of the lakes we had seen the night before for some lake fishing.  He caught some rainbow trout and Graylings.  He was in a very good mood when he got back.  I finished a trashy romance novel while Megan was still napping. 
Exciting news, we have another RV in the campground with us and they have stayed!!!! We don’t feel so alone now.  Jim and I did a recon mission after dinner down to the airstrip, a 5-7 min walk from the campsite (this is way we chose this site), because we will be flying tomorrow over to McCarthy/Kennicott for the day.  Not sure how big this plane can be with a small gravel airstrip.  Well, it will be another adventure.  As I finish writing this another truck camper pulled in.  Yeah, more humans.
TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2014, 07:14:27 PM »
Liberty Falls and hiking.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #75 on: June 18, 2014, 07:16:08 PM »
June 17, 2014 – Day 28
What a day!!!! Got up early for our flight to McCarthy.  We were a little early since I got the time wrong but we were ready for a great day.  Started out cool, cloudy and a good chance for rain.  Don was our pilot over to McCarthy.  He and his wife live full time in McCarthy with about 18 other people.  In the summer the population goes to a couple hundred. Very knowledgeable about the area, pointing out rivers and mountains.  The flight was a little bumpy for a 4 seater and I thought Jim was going to have a heart attack with the first good bump.  He doesn’t mind flying just not in small planes.  Landed in McCarthy on another gravel airstrip.  A little confusion as to where we were supposed to go.  Finally we got on a shuttle over to town and the office of Wrangell Air.  They gave us the vouchers we were going to need for the rest of our day.  Wandered around McCarthy, stopped at Ma Johnson’s Hotel and checked it out.  A nice old time hotel, quaint furniture and wonderful pictures of the early 1900’s when the town was booming.  The historical railway depot is the home of the McCarthy-Kennicott Museum.  Some nice artifacts and pictures of the area from the 1906 -1938.  An elderly woman with a walker came into the museum with what appeared to be her daughter.  She was pointing to pictures on the wall and naming other friends and family.  After speaking with her we knew she was born in McCarthy, she was 96 years old and she had come back for a visit.  She was known as one of the Kennicott Kids. They use to hold reunions for them but she is one of the last ones alive.  These towns began with the Kennecott Mines Company to mine for copper.  J P Morgan and Guggenheim funded this adventure and struck rich with the highest concentration of copper, profit was over a $100,000,000 then, in today it would have been well over $3,000,000,000. And yes I know I have spelled Kennicott two differentt ways.  The mining company had a misspelling of the glacier which is Kennicott.  The mining town of Kennicott sits up on the side of Bonanza Ridge above the Kennicott Glacier moraine which is 16 miles long. When we first saw the town we came through the Fourth of July Pass, can you guess what day they did that. The glacier use to be much higher but like most glaciers it is receding.  It looks like the tailings from the mine on top of the glacier but it is a few inches up to a foot of fine sand and dirt which moves down the glacier.  You can see the ice under some of it. There were a few glacial pools of aquamarine blue water. There was a school, mine offices, houses, hospital (had the first x-ray machine in Alaska), and movie theatre.   The mill is 14 stories tall and is one of the largest wooden buildings in North America.  Some of the buildings have been restored to a stabilzed structure but not modernize by the National Parks System. Kennicott Glacier Lodge (fully restored) is a hotel and restaurant, where we had lunch and tea after a very soggy tour of the mill. 
 McCarthy which is 5 miles away was built to provide the miners with more housing, saloons, newspaper and a red light district. Very few families were housed in Kennicott.  Everything is powered by generators as there is no central water, sewer or electric systems today.  There is one road into this area from Chitina. It is 66 miles of washboard road, hence why we flew in.  The summer workers are housed in canvas tents and the water is hand pumped into them with the use of the generators and they feel it is a privilege to work up there in the summer.  There were several we met that were from Ft Collins, Greeley, Nederland, and Boulder, Colorado. What a small world.  The flight home was smoother and Austin had enthusiasm.  He named several glaciers and was excited that Castle Mountain was visible with fresh snow today.  From my vantage point I couldn’t see the bald eagle or the moose as we flew over some of the terrain.
Whew, I am tired and I know I have left out information, it will come to me in the middle of the night. So for now TTFN.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #76 on: June 18, 2014, 07:18:24 PM »
Pics of the Kennicott Glacier with all the sand and dirt.  Yes, there is ice under there. And a pic of the Kennecott Mill that we toured.  14 stories tall.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2014, 07:19:44 PM »
Sorry I didn't get the Liberty Falls picture.  I will try this again.

zigmarie33

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2014, 03:22:00 PM »
The pics are great. Of course Jimbo looks himself!!.  Did you get the yaks for Megs or is she coming back to Denver?  Don't scare the poor girl. We had an awful lighting storm here last nite, it was shaking the house and moved some pictures on the wall. I haven't heard that much thunder before and I'm surprised no one's house was hit including  ours. BE SAFE.  Love you all and Megs I'm looking forward to your return.

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2014, 12:54:28 AM »
June 18, 2014 – Day 29

Cool, cloudy start to the day.  Not a long drive today, just 114 miles but it was a doozy, lots of frost heaves and expansions.  Jim drove much slower than the speed limit of 65 on the Richardson Highway, which is Alaska Highway #4. Low clouds with rain off and on.  Stopped for lunch with an awesome view of Worthington Glacier.  Arrive in Valdez and the Eagles Rest RV Park around 2:30 PM.  The RV Park is a big gravel, pretty level parking lot with hookups.  Nice folks, seems like a lot of campers that are summer residence. Luckily we had an easy time setting up because shortly after we did the rain came down.  Valdez is actually a cool weather rainforest. The water is surrounded by snowcapped peaks, pine trees, alder bushes, ferns, waterfalls and by the streams there is a lot of grasses.  Very pretty. After dinner when the rain stopped we took a drive out to Dayville Road, past the hatchery, Allison Point and finally the Alaska Pipeline terminal.  Several tankers out in the water.  We did drive past the area in Keystone Canyon where the avalanche closed the highway to Valdez and there was a fear the river would dam up and flood the valley.  Now the river has carved a tunnel right through the snow slide. 
Played some Yathzee (Megan got a double Yathzee) and called it good for the day.  TTFN

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2014, 01:17:53 PM »
June 19, 2014 – Day 30

Got up and moving so we could go to the local burger joint that also does breakfast a Limited menu but huge portions.  I asked if I could get a 2 egg omelet and the waitress said everything came as written on the menu, which was a 4 egg omelet.  The pancakes and hash browns were the best.  Still lots of low clouds but no rain so far.  Drove back out to Keystone Canyon to snap a few pics of Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls.  Also found the Goat Trail which is a restored section of the Trans-Alaska Military Packtrain Trail which led to the first glacier-free land route from Valdez to the Interior.  There is also “The Old Railroad Tunnel” with a sign that reads “This tunnel was hand cut into the solid rock of Keystone Canyon and is all that is left of the railroad era when 9 companies fought to take advantage of the short route from the coast to the copper country.  However, a feud interrupted progress.  A gun battle was fought and the tunnel was never finished.” So it is the tunnel that goes to nowhere.  Also drove out to the old site of Valdez.  On Good Friday 1964 an earthquake that measure 9.2 on the Richter scale and was centered in Prince William Sound. A tsunami destroyed the original town site, killing 33 people on the wharf.  After the quake it was determined the town needed to be relocated.  So they moved it 4 miles.  Not much but some plaques to note where building were.  But a few pilings are what is left of the wharf.  Now the big business is the oil and the pipeline.  After our touring this morning we came back to do laundry.  Chatty with some folks that live about 1.5 miles from us in Centennial.  They are doing the basic trip around Alaska but were behind us by a couple of weeks.  Went to the quilt shop and made a purchase.  Now all I need it some time to sew.  Bought some shrimp and scallops, Megan is on recipe duty.  Jim and I went for a nice bike ride.  Valdez has a great paved path.  All you have to do is ride along looking at the beautiful scenery and you never notice how hard you are working.  Then we turned around and into the wind and really had to work at pedaling.  Made dinner and got frustrated with the TV, cable or satellite. In the 2+ years we have owned the coach the TV system has never worked correctly.  I will never by a Jensen product because it is a pile of junk.  Jim was also working on a fire for us.  But after 3 really good dousing with Boy Scout fuel (lighter fuel) it wouldn’t start.  The wood was still too green.  Went up to gas station to buy some more and paid $8.50 for the bundle but it did light and we had our s’mores (Yeah).  Just so everyone knows, gas in Valdez is $4.59 per gal.
 Well, we have a big day tomorrow so I’ll say

 Bridal Veil Falls

jmfreas5

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2014, 02:39:03 PM »
June 20, 2014 – Day 31
Happy Birthday Zoe!  Hope you had a great one.
What a day!!!!!!!!!  The day started out beautiful, sun with a few clouds, little wind, temps in the 50’s.  We headed over to the small boat harbor here in Valdez and boarded the Lu-Lu Belle.  She is a lovely 75 foot yacht that carries up to 55 passengers out to Columbia Glacier.  Capt. Fred built this vessel and spends his summers in Valdez and winters in Port Angeles, WA.  Along with Tosh and Abby, his crew, we set out of the Port of Valdez.  He gave a history of the area, his views on politics and life.  There were about 25 passengers today which made it nice to move around the ship.  We started out spotting sea otters, Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, then on to humpback whales (total of 5), puffins, and orca porpoises.  One of the whales even breached a couple of times, which was awesome to see. You never have your camera ready for some of the really good shots.  So I made a memory instead. Megan did captured it. As we made our way out to Prince William Sound we spotted a fishing boat that was doing a test run for salmon.  So we watched as they put out net and then reeled them back in.  Very interesting, and yes there were mostly pink salmon and a couple of silvers too.  We traded them some brownies for the privilege of watching them so close.  What fun.  I’ve only seen that on Deadliest Catch, on TV.  We had the wife of Wild Bill, one of the captains of the fishing vessel “Cape Caution” in the Berring Sea. In the first group of humpbacks we saw one that breached several times, and another that was flapping their dorsal fins. We travelled by Anderson Waterfall, the largest one we would see for the day.  I love waterfalls, I think of them as romantic.  As we moved on we were joined by a few Dall Porpoises that like to play at the bow (front) of the ship , so we watched them for a bit.  They look like Killer Whales, they are mostly black with a white belly.  We then started to look for Puffins and Capt. Fred drove the bow of the ship into a cave were one puffin was nesting on a rock.  Capt. Fred said in a few weeks all the rock would be filled with nest and eggs.  When we went around the corner it was a large noisy, pushy group of Stellar sea lions.  And they smelled too.  A little further on was a raft of sea otters, Capt. Fred said they could grow to 6 feet long but most average around 4 feet.  He also said that usually a mama with a new otter will keep the baby on her chest until it is able to dive safely. 
Finally we are headed to Columbia Glacier, the second largest tide water glacier.  Since Capt. Fred has been doing these excursions ( began in 1979) the glacier has receded 8.5 miles.  The glacier is 40 miles long and covers about 340 square miles.  Slowly we made our way closer and closer to the glacier.  Capt. Fred had to be careful of the floating icebergs.  The deeper the blue on the ice the denser it is. Several really large icebergs floating and some with boulder size ice on them which occurs when the glacier calves and the chunk hits the water and pops back up on a larger piece of ice.  Unfortunately we didn’t see anything of that size fall today. We were sitting a little less than ¼ mile from the glacier.  The sun was shining bright and all was good with the world. From all the floating ice you hear a snap, crackle and pop sound or a clinking sound, with the glacier you hear what sounds like thunder.  But that thunder sound does not mean there is a section that is immediately going to calve.  You have to remember that glaciers are constantly moving, pushing forward.  Capt. Fred had been told by a glacierologist that the glacier we are seeing today formed from snowflakes that probably fell about the time of the birth of Christ.  What a way to spend your afternoon.  There are several arms of the glacier now that wind down the surrounding Mountains with their alternating bands of light and dark.  If there is a dark band that means the glacier are is moving slower and has time to collect more dirt. All toll we spent about 1 hour in front of the glacier and I could have spent the entire day. It was cool to see the ice floating around made by the underwater currents.  There would be a clear area of water and you turn around 5 mins later and there is ice floating all around. All total we saw a few small falls of ice and a few medium sizes calve but we didn’t see a National Geographic one.  Dang it!  Time to leave and head back to Valdez.  A bit tricky now that so much ice had floated in and around the bay.  Capt. Fred had to go very, very slow and almost stopped a few times because if icebergs in the way.  You have to remember when you see the tip of the iceberg that is only 10% of its size, 90% in below the water line.
Weather started to change, clouds came in and the wind kicked up.  We saw a few sea otters sleeping on icebergs and slowed down to try and get some pics.  They did not cooperate very well. Especially the mama’s with their babies on their chest. Finally made it back to Valdez around 7:45 PM (we left at 11 AM).  Not bad for a tour that advertised 5.5-7 hours long. Went for Chinese food at Fu Kung, yummy good. 
Drove out Airport Rd to check out the Valdez Glacier, but the windy was howling and the rain had begun, so we drove over to Allison Point to look for the mama bear with 4 cubs.  No sight of her and the rain is really coming down, so back to WeBe.  I think it has been one terrific day.  Hope I didn’t bore you too much.  Just to give you a weather update, we have fresh snow on the mountain peaks. TTFN   

ArdraF

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Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2014, 02:46:57 PM »
No you didn't bore us!  Some of us are reliving what we saw there.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Wavery

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  • Fallbrook, California.......... (San Diego County)
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #83 on: June 21, 2014, 03:00:57 PM »
We are loving your posts.......
 ;D
Wayne
Wife, Carolyn...... 5 kids.... 19 grandkids.
1998 33' Winnebago Adventurer ('97 Ford 460 V8, F53 chassis) 33WQ -Banks PowerPak, Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer, Monroe Gas-Magnum RV Shocks
Retired GM Service Manager driving a Ford....What's the world coming too??

zigmarie33

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  • Posts: 18
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #84 on: June 21, 2014, 03:39:19 PM »
Thanks for the call and birthday wishes. Had a good one.  Need some white cake with white icing though!!!. (Are you reading this Renee??) The glacier pics are stunning. Wish I could have been there with you.  Love you

jmfreas5

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  • Posts: 140
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #85 on: June 21, 2014, 09:02:46 PM »
I thought I would post a couple of other pics of glacier cruise.  The one with the other ship gives you a little perspective.

jmfreas5

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  • Posts: 140
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #86 on: June 21, 2014, 11:41:57 PM »
June 21, 2014-Day 32
Quiet, lazy day.  After the over stimulation of yesterday, we need a laid back day.  Jim went over to Allison Point to try to catch some fish but he didn’t have any luck because the salmon aren’t in yet.  So he and Megan went for a nice bike ride this afternoon and I tried to take a nap but the phone rang and I talked with a good friend of ours.  Did some catching up with some family and then Megs and I watched a movie.  It rained off and on for a good part of the day but then the sun came out for a little bit and it felt really good. After dinner Jim and I walked to the Post Office to mail some things.  I went online with the Alaskan Marine highway to see if it might be possible for us to ride it part of the way down the inside passage.  After inputting all the info and clicking “purchase”, it states that our motorhome is too big to reserve online and I have to call them, but they aren’t open on the weekend.  Frustration!!!!!  We will have to try on Monday.  This is just one of the little bumps everyone goes through on a journey such as this.  I can look back on it now, but I a ticked off this morning.
But all will be well, Jim just built a fire and it is s’more time, TTFN.

Henry Wishard

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  • Posts: 376
  • Gone Crazy*** Be Back Soon
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #87 on: June 22, 2014, 12:22:23 PM »
   Love your posts, we were there last year and Valdez was my wife's favorite place. Tell Jim the Salmon fishing is great on the Kenai River where the Russian river flows into it. You don't need a guide there. We stayed at the Princess Lodge RV park and I drove over to the park and walked the boardwalk to the River. See my post on our trip last year for some good fishing reports. Did you guys buy the Alaskan Tour Savers book? We ended up buying 2. Good luck on your trip.
Henry & Margaret Wishard
12625 Lake Vista Dr
Willis, Texas 77318
2017 Tiffin Open Road

2012 Jeep Rubicon

wcarley

  • Posts: 1
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #88 on: June 22, 2014, 01:38:39 PM »
 ;D  Michelle, good to talk to you and 'yes' - I am jealous.   Glad the trip is going well!   We are in full time wedding planning - mode, so things are beginning to come together for big day.   Safe travels, and tell Jim I will accept no more skunked days.  - Bill

jmfreas5

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  • Posts: 140
Re: Our Grand Alasakan Adventure
« Reply #89 on: June 23, 2014, 12:46:41 AM »
Thanks for the info Henry.  We are planning on about 3 weeks on the Kenai Penn, hope to get lots of fishing in then.June 22, 2014 – Day 33

Another uneventful day.  Took our time getting up and out of Valdez this morning.  Megan and I did our shopping at the Safeway before heading out to Glennallen.  We drove 115 miles.  Gas jumped to $4.71 a gal overnight, which was a $0.12 a gal more than yesterday.  This is really blowing the gas budget.  Oh well, it is only money, right?  Partly cloudy and about mid to upper 50’s.  The drive out of Valdez this morning was back through Keystone Canyon, which was beautiful and up Thompson Pass. It was steep and narrow.  The truck lane was exceptionally narrow and a guard rail right on the edge of it.  You take up your half of the 2 lanes going northbound.  Good thing it isn’t usually busy. Beautiful scenery with all the mountains that are snowcapped.  Stopped about Milepost 60, right next to Teikel River for some lunch and Jim fished for a little bit.  He caught 2 Dolly Varden’s, he was happy.  Detoured off of the Richarson Highway at Copper Center and took the Old Richardson Highway. As we came up to the bridge crossing over the Klutina River it was a mass of humanity.  Tough to drive through all those cars, trucks and people trying to fish on the Klutina. Copper Center was looking about as old and tired as when we were there 13 years ago.  Continued on to Glennallen and pulled in the Northern Lights RV Park.  This is another one owned by Native Alaskan’s, but in better shape than Chitina.  Tons of mosquitoes.  I hate unhooking the car and setting up with swarms of mosquitoes, but it must be done and I was faster than usual.  Jim drove back up the Klutina River to check out the fisherman.  He spoke with the Division of Wildlife guy who explained the fisherman were floss fishing and the salmon don’t eat once they enter the fresh water, so it’s not like the salmon are looking to eat the fly.  They were trying to catch red salmon but the technique is kind of like when you floss, there is a lead weight on the line and then a fly with a hook.  The fisherman throw out the fly and hope that a salmon swims past with their mouth open, the line goes into their mouth and catches on their teeth and then pulls the hook toward their mouth. If the hook goes in their mouth they can keep the fish, if the hook catches on the side they have to let the fish go.   Not his kind of fishing.  And the shores were lined up with fisherman, it is craziness.
Megan fixed a wonderful dinner of scallops, asparagus and baked potatoes, yummy.  After reading through emails and updating the checking account we decided to head across the street for some ice cream.  Dang it, they were closed, so we headed to the local IGA and picked up some Ben & Jerry.  I got Stephen Colbert’s American Dreamcone, vanilla ice cream, chocolate covered waffle cone with caramel swirls.  It was just what I needed as I got my butt kick at Snarf again.  I may have to stop playing this game, there isn’t a strategy that is working and I have tried them all.  Oh well the company is the only part that really matters.  I’ll just cry myself to sleep again tonight, not really.  Time to plot tomorrow’s drive up to the BLM land outside of Paxson called Tangle Lakes, so TTFN. 



 

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