Prepping

Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!

Artsy

Well, it has been a fun month traveling with Ruth. Today, I had to say good-bye, for now that is.  I suspect, we will get together down the road some day.  In the meantime, she is catching a train westward and I will head southward once again.

The whole time Ruth traveled with me, she was knitting this crazy blanket – that you see above. I wanted to buy it from her, but we traded instead. She got one of my handwoven towels in trade. Its way too hot to be using that knitted blanket at the moment, but can think of many times in the future that I will greatly appreciate having it.  Then Ruth found out that I love bracelets and necklaces, never owned a beaded one before. So was very pleased and tickled to be given these two, pictured above. I love autumn colors, and this fits it to a tee. They are gorgeous and I said as much to Ruth. So lots of laughter, lots of teasing, and then more laughter is now stashed in our memories of this past month. Thanks Ruth, if you are reading this… really enjoyed our time together, despite the initial challenges (on both of our parts). See you next summer!  I will bring your red Why hat, tahini (if anything left by then), and I can guarantee the chocolate bar will not make it to Alaska… laughing here. Told you, you would forget something…smirking here.  Thanks Ruth!

So I got the handwoven towels off the loom, washed, hemmed & pressed. My very next project is a kit from a Karen Selk workshop I had taken years ago. 100% silk. The biggest yarn is Bombyx silk 30/2 and the smallest is Tussah silk at 120/8… for ye lay person reading that… its makes sewing thread look huge!  Due to its wee size, I need a whole lot of heddles. I have 800 on my loom and I need 1187. So as we speak, they have been ordered and I will hopefully have them in my hot little hands by the end of the week. I am so jazzed about getting this project started. It will be a fun one to weave, but a challenge, like all shadow weaves can be.  Pictures will be posted as I get going on this.

So while waiting for the heddles… more bike riding is in order… and I suspect some much needed spinning will be started.  I am moving within the park I’m at. I found a little landscaped (if deserts can ever be landscaped) area big enough for me and my rig. It is a little closer to my neighbors then I have been doing, but this little patch of landscaped desert has a couple of trees to block the heat of the day. 80ºF needs some shade in my humble opinion.

But first, I am parked at Sanderson Ford Truck in Glendale for the night, with services being done in the morning. I swear by this Ford dealer – they have saved me money in many occasions, and well…just been real good. Besides, its free parking with security, electricity, even water – though the latter is next to impossible to hook up to, so I don’t try. It is worth going out of my way to get my rig into them, so I do it when I am in the vicinity…will sort of in the vicinity.

 

Let’s do it!

Ah life, it continues to be busy in some of the most unexpected ways. My last post, I had spent time at the beach. But I digress a bit… let’s swing back thru the summer here before I move forward.

In June, I met a kindred spirit… we have spent many, many, so many hours talking about everything and anything. We discovered we have mutual friends and it is entirely possible we have crossed paths more than once over the last 40 years. It is uncanny, almost unnerving to encounter such a person, but what a blast!  Now this person, who I shall call “BDS” – who I have not asked permission to post name, images or much else (which I do with anything I post on my blog), has come and gone since June. In fact, has gone again since the first of November. Won’t see BDS for a few months now. That’s ok, we both need our space.

So in early September, went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Oh my, what an unique experience!  Some of the photos posted above, but I have so much more.  One of my highlights was going out on a schooner, a historical schooner at that. Beautiful!!! Absolutely loved being back out on the water. I haven’t done so since the 70’s, so it was as special as one can gets at this time.  The Wooden Boat Festival was just a grand affair and will try to make this an annual affair. Wonderful time!

I introduced BDS to the RV life. BDS had never traveled in a RV. How do you explain this amazing life? You can’t. So I invited BDS for a short trip.  We hit 3 different volcano national parks – not one picture was taken, can you believe it! Well, not without us in the images, so nothing to show.  We also headed down to northern California to the Feather River White Water Festival. Oh my… I learned how to judge a gate in the race, nothing fascinates me more then learning something new about all this. I have never done competitive rafting, little lone do white water rafting to the degree in which we witnessed. This was Class II-III rapids… I was glued to all the action, even tho I did not fully understand what I was seeing. But the helpful rafters, taught me what they were doing, what maneuvers were necessary to what they were called.  Wow!  I want to go, I want to experience this. Think I will have to wait, but a girl can dream.  As for RV travel, BDS was quite simply hooked with the whole concept. We had a blast.  Having always done the driving, it was a neat experience to let BDS drive, until we got to the mountains roads in Lassen Volcano National Park. Egads, I did NOT like the virtual drop off to no man’s land from the passenger seat. It had nothing to do with BDS’s driving skills, my fear of heights just reared its ugly head.  We were up there to see the Super Moon and I flunked.  So have asked for a repeat in the future, to do Lassen again.   So that was an eye-opener. I wonder if I was driving would the road bother me as bad?  I don’t know.   The Crater Lake road from North to South was a scary one and I was driving. So… these things – you either learn to deal with it or not do it.

In the midst of all this fun, I had two different medical board exams for this VA compensation thing. Both came back 0%, not good, not good at all. Then when I thought I was all done with this, I met with a senior representative from the Seattle American Legion office. That changed my perspective in an instant. They found out things I did not know and highly recommend that I go for it.  So my task at hand is to find a doctor to evaluate my various levels of disabilities. Even some of the stuff I would never have dreamed was important, such as scars.  The problem I have encountered now, no doctor will see me (not in this area, Mayo Clinic, etc), I can’t get in for appointments unless I have something to be treated. I have managed to get 2 appointments under false premises. One, he flat out refused to fill out the forms. The 2nd one comes next week. Time will tell.

This leads me to tell you… I am heading out of here in January. So on that note, Merry Christmas everyone.

Summer Hots!

I say Summer Hots, as this summer has been the rage in music, dancing, soaring temperatures and a whole new world of friends.  Love, love the unexpected perks that life throws my way.  It is never boring, can be very distracting, but it is alive in wonder of it all.

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Pete & Brad

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Pole Marina

My 6 week class on East Coast Swing was finished at the end of June. What a hoot!  With that, had the grand opportunity to take a workshop with Ari Levitt, a pro dancer out of Seattle, to fine tune all the moves, plus learn several advance moves. Danced for 3 hours solid that night and my feet were screaming – as my mind said: I have got to get new dance shoes!!!  So I limped out of the workshop, not complaining my feet hurt, just delighted to have taken the workshop. Wow, what an education!  And for those that did not realize people wear special dance shoes… there are, but you can get by with duck tape on comfortable shoes as well. I foolishly bought cheap dance shoes on Amazon… they barely lasted the 6 weeks. All a learning experience.

Music galore in Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, even in Seattle if one wanted to take a boat ride. Port Townsend is overflowing with enough music to keep me happy for a long time. You find music just about anywhere… as I listened to a man playing a cello put on a concert from a park bench one day.  He got some money from me. But there’s the fiddlers, banjos, guitars, etc. all playing what they do best. Then theirs the Concerts on the Dock – wow!  Or Fiddle Tunes at Fort Worden. All kinds of music in the various bars too. And via new friends, I have made contact with a local group that is giving us two free gigs to play at Evergreen Coho SKP, the first one is next Friday, July 17th. This first one they are playing bluegrass and some old time music.  Can’t wait to hear them.

Last night, was the first of 3 dance classes here at Evergreen Coho SKP on East Coast Swing. Taught by Jeff and Carol. We had a great turnout, lots and lots of laughter, all learned they did not have two left feet and could dance. Truly was a special evening by all that attended.  There’s a request for Jeff and Carol to come back to teach Country 2 step… we are going to get a sample of this after our Swing classes, leading up to Coho Days. We are having Buck Ellard for Coho Days… so everyone wants to be ready. Then in August, after Coho Days, they may give us more classes.

Temperatures in Western Washington have been blistering hot. 90ºF or higher is too damn hot for my cats in the RV. So have been forced to figure out my A/C.  I have pretty much converted it into winter mode of dress with the a/c and fan (to blow cold to rear of rig) on. Its dark in here. And my boys do NOT like a/c. In fact, since I got my a/c to cycle on and off, Norm (orange tabby) howls of major discontent. But what am I to do? Let them roast?  Today, clouds moved in and cooled things down, but we are not to the hot part of their summer yet.  Just thankful we have a break from the heat.  So all the Reflectix came down off the windows, opened them up and let the sound of raindrops sooth their souls.  And life goes on.

Just being cute

Are you staying home for a change???

Its hot!

Its hot! Norm is telling me!

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Playing cello

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Beautiful kayak coming in!

Stretch of North Beach

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People flying kites at North Beach

Journey continues

Chilkoot Lake

Chilkoot Lake

Chilkoot Lake

So we took a trip to Chilkoot Lake one more time before I left Haines. Had heard the bears were out early (they were late going into hibernation – crazy winter for the bears too!). But we saw no bears.

View from Oceanside RV Park

Looking at this photo from Oceanside RV Park, seeing how green it is… is hard to believe that this is in February. A land without snow.  Its going to be a bad summer for fires with no snowpack.

View from Picture point

View from Picture point looking toward Skagway

View from Picture Point toward Chilkoot

Its so strange to see no snow folks. It is really strange.

Brigid, Evelyna, Suki (dog) & Cheri

Great friends in front of ferry terminal to see me off.  As they were posing, a lady walked up to Cheri saying “Cheri?”. I did not get the whole conversation as I was laughing with Brigid and Evelyna. But as small worlds happen when you least expect it… the gal knew Cheri from when they were in Anchorage years ago. Love small worlds…  I will see these three down the road.  Evelyna is going to weave me two small rugs for my rig – I am so excited about that!  Cheri won’t weave me a double weave shuttle holder – laughing here, as she wants me to make my own. Ha!  And Brigid is just fascinated by anything weaving… but does not weave. Yet! Great friends.

My ship

It was a great trip south on the ferry.  Totally relaxing. Girls and boys basketball teams were in route to various games between Haines and Ketchikan. After they all left… it was so quiet, it was almost eerie.  Very soothing… watching the beauty before my eyes on each passing mile.  No sightings of whales or swans – still a little early for either.  I was just mesmerized, so relaxed on this trip. Happened to strike up a great conversation with a commercial fisherman out of Petersburg, then met his wife – an amazing basket weaver. Had long conversations with both, lots of laughter, shared contact info and I will see them again down the road.

Head of the line on ferry to Port Townsend

Onward to Port Townsend

If you double click on the above picture. You will see a boat. Behind the boat is a steam/smoke stack. That is just south of the ferry terminal in Port Townsend. Its the Olympic Mountains in background. Very little snowpack. They have the same fears for the approaching summer as Alaskans do.  Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.

Well, the trip was great and on arrival at the Escapees Evergreen Coho RV park – went about the task of putting water in my rig and get this jump started. Well… not so fast. Filled the water tank. Went to purge air from all the faucets – nothing happened. Dang. Oh jeez Melinda, I forgot to turn on the water pump. Silly girl. Did that. Nothing happened. Turned if off. And what do I hear? Water running. Double dang (trust me, that’s being polite). A split second later, water is flowing fast out of the cabinet below my kitchen sink. I scramble trying to find anything to sop up the water. I’m drenched kneeling on the floor trying to unload the cabinet to see what is going on. When they de-winterized my rig in Haines (or perhaps when they winterized it), they tampered with my water filter…somehow. As turning on the water, blew out the bottom of the water filter.  Normally, this is a no brainer task to getting the container out of the bracket to replace the filter. Except this time it will NOT BUDGE.

I gave up that first night. Went for a walk around the park in the dark, came back and went to bed. I was too tired to articulate what I needed to do.  Got up this morning. Again tried to get the thing out of the bracket. Tried tourniquet, tried banging it, tried twisting nothing is budging this darn thing. The bottom just won’t screw back in while in the bracket.  So no water…. talked with a few folks, got a recommendation for Blue Sky Mobile RV – but he doesn’t work weekends. So I’m stuck until Monday. Ho hum…

So I spent the day, doing laundry, unloading my rig into my shed. Trying to call to rent a car – they are not open on weekends either. Tried to remember to grab a towel to go take a shower… was sidetracked all day… gave up on that. Hate being discombobulated… but find myself laughing over this whole darn thing. Welcome back to full timing Melinda. hahahaha. And the journey continues.

Life continues…

Wow! Its past my bedtime, but wanted to try to get some photos onto the blog.  The towels I finished has transformed in front of my eyes. When I first dressed the loom, all three colors – off white, light green and dark green appeared to be one color.  Seriously.  100% organic cotton darkens when exposed to heat – it does not fade.  But I try to hold off exposing it to heat, so that the person I give the towel(s) to can see it change.  This was a fun one to weave.
The green is more of a sage green, not grass green as this photo shows

Yardage after washing, but before cutting apart 

With the towels done, the next task was to remove the loom to my shed for my trip north. Well… the loom had other ideas.  This particular loom folds up, similar to scissors.  I got it into the rig, I should be able to get it out, right?   I could not get it past the door frame.  So had tried to get the strollers/wheels off. At this point, I need help – cause nothing is working.  So called Bernie & Caroline.  Of course, this had us starting from scratch of folding it back up higher with Bernie’s strong arms. Still could not get it out the door.  So in this picture below… Caroline is on the floor under Bernie’s legs – they are working as a team to attempt to get the wheels off. As they puzzled thorough the loom mechanism – I offered to take them to lunch for their attempt to help.  So after 4 1/2 hours, we put the loom back in place and went out to eat.  Crazy stuff.

Bernie & Caroline

So I will have to leave loom in my rig for the winter.  It should be ok, but I really did not want to leave it in the rig.  It is what it is and will just go with it.

I’ve been so very busy here…  really great people here at Evergreen Coho.  I haven’t laughed this hard or this often in eons.  Have thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and am looking forward to returning.
Now back to work, ere sleep.  I’ve got a full day tomorrow… hoping to get it all done. Then have a laid back type of day on Sunday, as I head out on Monday.
Looking ahead to the first of October – all the provincial parks, and majority of RV parks close by the end of September in Canada.  I had hoped some might have been opened… but its not meant to be.  So will have to deal with it like I did when I traveled in April in Canada.  Hopefully, it will be warmer in October then it was in April – but time will tell. But it will be awesome to have the road to myself once again.  More later.

Alive and busy

Sorry, no photos this time. Can’t get them loaded…

I am still at Chimacum’s Escapees Evergreen Coho SKP park.  Initially, just meeting all the people, learning of the happenings, remembering the meetings for leaseholders and going. I haven’t used a clock or watch in 3 years and they expect me to remember all this! Laughing at this new challenge.  Lots going on and have quickly learned I need to set boundaries or I will never get my own stuff done.

So it dawned on me… there is no reason I need to carry the contents of this rig up to Alaska, only to have to haul it inside for the winter, when I could just as easily leave it here at Evergreen Coho. Interesting enough, this was/is far harder to do.  I use what I have with me, do I want to not have it with me?  Oh the questions that prompts.  So far, the only things I will definitely leave behind is my floor loom, outdoor mats and my sun oven.  I’m still working thru that process…

Leaving the loom prompts me to finish weaving off the towels on it.  I want to donate one of them to the NW Lazy Daze GTG auction they are having.  I always try to donate something…  So the task at hand is finding time to weave.  I wish I could upload one of the images, as these are beautiful towels, if I say so myself.  Hopefully in my next post.

Lo and behold… I get this email – “Melinda, are you at Evergreen Coho?” from some friends of mine. I had met Bernie and Caroline at Pahrump’s Escapees park two years ago. We are both from Alaska and we have stayed in touch all these years, but had not seen each other.  So I responded – “Yes, where are you?”  Nothing, for hours, no response.  This is nuts.  So I went walking all over the park, looking for the name pallet they always hang on their rig.  They must be in the park.  They have a 5th wheel but beyond that I have no clue what brand or make it is.  Having walked the almost the entire park,  with just one last row to go. Wa-la! They are here, yippee!!!  But they are not home. Bummer.  So I texted Caroline with my lot number and waited… and waited… and waited.  It turns out, they have been in the park for 4 months and they had visited my rig (parked in both places) several times only to find no one home. Told you I’ve been busy.  They were equally frustrated not connecting with me.   Its been great catching up with all their news. They wanted to surprise me in person, not text or email me. That didn’t work. Laughing here.

After connecting with them, I was doing laundry one day… and another person tapped me on my shoulder – “Hey Melinda!”  oh my goodness, I got a bear hug of a welcome from Bill and his wife Jean – I met them at Benson’s Escapees park sometime in my travels. Bill is a fellow fiber artist – but he weaves with copper, steel and other metals – fascinating stuff.  Absolute joy seeing both of them here.

Speaking of weavers… Have discovered another weaver, a new resident of Evergreen too, and what a delight!  She knows of the art scene in this area, pointers of places to go, guilds to join and who not to join, juried shows, workshops, etc.  Truly exciting to get the scoop on all this.

So that’s it for now.  Just wanted you to know I’m still alive and kicking and having fun too.

Palmer visit…

Before I forget for the umpteenth time…

Recognize this?

Recognize this?  Several of you should …. Ed and Carol have shared there love of this and recently I sent the recipe to them to make a new batch. Does anyone else need this? That is, if you forgot.  Just curious.

Ah Palmer, my former home town.  It was a whirlwind visit this trip… talked with many friends but only able to see two sets.  It is summer after all… the busiest time of the year for all Alaskans.  I parked in the driveway of long time friends and former neighbors (in Adak).  It was a good choice to spend some quality time with these two, but sad too.  They have battled many health issues over the years that is really showing the wear and tear of it all. This is the first time I wondered if they shouldn’t move into senior housing sooner than later.  Phyllis is a master gardener – her flower gardens were her joy for years, now she can barely keep up with it.  John is still showing signs of his stroke from a few years ago, unsteady gait and delayed speech – but one still finds him mowing the lawn, playing in his greenhouse full of veggies.  In a way, they are an inspiration, yet its sad to see this change. So it was a bittersweet stay with them.

The closing on my house was finally done on the 3rd of July!  What a great relief.  Then I promptly went to the bank and paid off my loan on the RV – I now own it free and clear and that… my dear friends… was the best news of the day!

I had tried to leave Palmer before the 4th, but just too many details to tie up before I left and I still had not managed to see my best friend Connie.  I got my second wind, found a spot to park the night and went and had dinner with Connie and her family.   Slab of fresh red salmon, fresh fruit salad, garlic bread and apple pie rounded out a great time with them. Yummy!

Headed out of town on the 4th, turned out to be a wise choice, as there were very few on the road. The following 3 pictures were taken along side of the Glenn Highway, heading out of Palmer.

Along Glenn Hwy between Sutton & Palmer
Another view off of Glenn Hwy between Sutton & Palmer
Matanuska River is almost at flood stage here

Matanuska River is a braided, glacier fed river.  That being said… the glacier is at milepost 125 on Glenn Highway and its one of only a few glaciers that one could walk on.  But looking at it this time, its receding big time.  One would have to go down and see if its still possible.  It was rather unnerving a few years ago to discover the trail in which one is walking on was indeed solid ice – what they call a moraine.

On the 4th, I was invited to park at my realtor’s home up at Milepost 90.  The next few pictures are of her house, critters and her million dollar view of the mountains…

German/Dutch origins in design – lovely home!
female llama

The llamas would have nothing to do with me… laughing here. The male llama watched me constantly though, as the ever present guardian of said homestead.  The llamas keep the wildlife at bay too. My hostess does not use the fiber from these critters, they are her pets.  Fun pets too.

Male llama

The day I arrived offered up this great view… the clouds and rain moved in while there, but felt I was given a brief treasure in this view.  In years past, the sheep would cross from one mountain range to the other in the summer feeding grounds, as where I’m parked is on the side of another mountain range.  Elevation is around 4000 feet above sea level… not sure that’s correct, but you get the drift.

Hay and feed barn for llamas
Beautiful view from my rig
I spent 3 nights at this homestead in the mountains… then onward.  Stopped at Tok for one night, tackled the frost heaves in the rain – not recommended if you can help yourself. Then a night near Haines Junction. Then I hopped onto my favorite highway…the Haines Highway.  Saw 2 black bears and one porcupine on this highway, which brings to a grand total of 5 grizzlies, 2 black bears, 2 porcupines, one caribou and zero moose on this trip…  Where have all the moose gone?

Haines to Palmer

Ooh the things I do… not always smart either.  I had just told John & Linda L. that I had never been able to make Haines to Tok in one day drive.  Add to this, I had warned John & Linda about the frost heaves between Destruction Bay and Tok, as this is well known area of frost heaves – fixed every summer, but they are still there.  One needs to drive S-L-O-W thru the frost heaves.   They had even heard of people with cracked windshields, rigs broken along side the road, etc, etc. So John & Linda are complaining bitterly about the horrific road, they are never coming back, never encountered anything like it…. blah, blah, blah.  So knowing all this… I head out of Haines.

Fresh snow on mountains

Beautiful drive out of Haines on the Haines Highway… it was cloudy, but not rainy.  Saw lots of black bear scat along road, quite a few ground squirrels, chipmunk or two and 2 marmots. Just enjoyed the ride.  Got into Haines Junction – my normal gas station was closed, so went looking for another. I usually top off here vs Destruction Bay. Not fill up, as it was $1.46 per liter.  Good grief, prices are high this year. Haines wasn’t much better at $4.84 per gallon but is cheaper then the Canadian prices.

Made a sandwich, freshen my iced water – even tho it was barely 9:30 in the morning and I had eaten breakfast before I left Haines – a 2 1/2 hour drive from here.
From Haines Junction to Burwash Landing – road was great, surprisingly no frost heaves.  So made good time. I began to wonder where all the frost heaves were, they are always in this stretch of the road, so where are they. The area from Destruction Bay to Burwash Landing is normally the worst of it – it was great! I was really surprised. So where is the mess? Is it still between the customs?  Then lo and behold started seeing where they have patched, then areas of just gravel – all showing that they are indeed working on the road… but still nothing too serious… more gravel patches, longer stretches of gravel with some muddy crud. All in all, its very doable.  Then bam….  ah yes… our beloved frost heaves, NOT!  Nonetheless, I go thru this every year.  When I say slow, I’m not talking about dropping down to 55 mph or even 45 mph, I’m talking about creeping thru the frost heaves at 10 mph or less. Once you learn how to read the road, you can easily get back up to speed in between – but its quite a ride thru this.  John & Linda made a comment they don’t have this problem in Colorado. Well, Colorado does not have permafrost.  Frost heaves are the result of thawing and refreezing of the permafrost – its a big issue in the north country.  This year, to my delight, is the best I’ve seen this stretch of road in eons.  Last year, it was like 80 miles of non-stop frost heaves, this year there are patches of rough road in a few short sections.  Yes, there is gravel sections – a preferred state over frost heaves anytime, trust me.  No pictures, as the experience of making it thru is a missing element.  Each year is different.  
So onward…  I had stopped at one of the rest areas.  Shortly after getting up to speed, this sighting of a large grizzly prompted a full breaking. Dry cat food fell over and I had cat food all across my floor.   But it was worth it to get this shot.

Large grizzly bear eating grasses

I saw one other grizzly bear on this route, but the latter one was too far away to get a photo.  Saw lots of swans too… but no moose, caribou, etc.

I was so distracted, the time just flew by me, and before I knew it I was in Beaver Creek and the Canadian customs.  I knew I wasn’t far from the US customs, time was ok on the clock and with nearly 22 hours of sunshine, I pushed on.  Crazy… I know.  I arrived in Tok, had experienced high winds the last 50 miles into Tok and 11 1/2 hours after leaving Haines. Stupid.  I won’t do that again.  Now I know I can do it, but why???? No sane reason why.  I was a walking exhausted person. Fell into bed 45 minutes after arriving.  I’ve got one dirty RV.  It needs a bath, but I’m not willing to pay $12.00 to use a bucket, a brush and a hose.

Dirty RV

Had an uneventful trip into Palmer from Tok.  It seems all the RV’s headed for Fairbanks instead of coming this way – its a gorgeous trip going to Palmer via the Tok Cut-off to Glennallen and onward.  I will head home via Fairbanks vs retrace this route on the Glenn Hwy. 

On the mountain stretch of road, I saw another Lazy Daze heading the other way and I honked and waved as we passed. Fun to see any other Lazy Daze.
But for now… I’m in Palmer.  I dropped off all my stuff at the cleaners in Palmer (always my first pitstop in town), headed over to Fred Meyers for groceries and wa-la there’s a 24′ grey Lazy Daze parked there.  I decided to check in with my realtor and wait to see if the owners showed up. And they did.  Got to meet John & Patti N. Just the best to meet other Lazy Daze owners.  Then I finished grocery shopping and headed for my long time friends, John & Phyllis, as I’m staying in their driveway.  The view below is taken at 11:33 pm.  Yes, it is that light!!!  Actually, its lighter then that, this is taken from inside my rig out.

Front yard of friend’s home at 11:33 PM

On arrival, closing of the house was July 1st, now its been put off until the 3rd. Apparently, the bank is moving rather slow on this…  so am staying close, visiting and getting some other work done.

Hello from Canada!

Near Clinton, Canada

My pursuit to head north is again in active mode.  My friend Lois was dropped off to me in west Spokane, got her stuff loaded into the rig and off we went.  Took a different path to Hwy 97 in Washington State by taking Rt 2 to Hwy 174 to Hwy 155 in Grand Coulee, onto Hwy 97 in Omak.  Great trip!  It took half the time I had expected to take.  In Oroville, we stopped to eat at a local restaurant and my oh my we had some outstanding pizza… homemade pizza dough, homemade sauces, even homemade chocolate candies… and a ton of signs to laugh and laugh and laugh.  Quite a fun place to eat or try to eat.  I was tempted to have a full blown dinner, but it was just too hot to eat that much, but we sure picked a good place to get a bite to eat.  

Crossing the border was a no brainer, except the conversation on my Christmas cactus.  Since before becoming a full-timer, I had done my research, talked to both Canadian and American agents at the border in relation to that one little old plant. Because it was not a “cactus” it was allowed, until today.  Now I managed to keep it, but with a stern warning. Its the dirt that concerns Canadian agents.  A potential contaminate.  So… now what?   I will figure it out… but not sure at the moment.  Otherwise, absolute no fresh fruits or veggies allowed across the border. Frozen fruits yes.  Basically the same oh same on what is or isn’t allowed.
I took a new alternate path, that I will not follow in the wintery months, I took Hwy 97 to Hwy 97C to Hwy 5 via Merritt up to just west of Kamloops and back onto Hwy 97.  Spent most of the day driving 40 mph going up and down many grades, but what a beautiful stretch of road.  Hwy 5 on the north end was familiar to me as I have done it before, just going a different direction.  Pretty country.
Onward… depending on weather (thunderstorms are forecasted) may or may not make it to Prince George. But if we do, then will head west.  Doubtful I will have access after today, unless I tie into Lois’ hotspot.  I have nothing critical – all can wait until I get up to Haines.  So another brief update for you, as I know many of you are curious on what happened to me.