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.

Seriously bummed

Tonight, I discovered my side door of my Lazy Daze RV is torqued badly, the hinge is bent, and the door itself is warped. Also, found crowbar marks near top of the door, which tore into the weather striping.

I thought I had broken the gasket/weather stripping in the sub zero temperatures we had, but this is far worst.  The only time I have been out of this rig, is this winter, here in Haines. 
Another observation, which will now have to be looked at more closely in the daylight hours. I noticed a ton of white paint sheets/sections that had come from the roof – down onto the windows on down to the ground. Was something taken, damaged on top of the rig?  I won’t know until I can get someone up there or get up there myself.
I’m moving into the rig this next week and it will be colder than normal with this problem. I may have to move into it sooner as I am re-loading it.
Am truly bummed by this.

Two weeks

Two weeks and counting.  Yes indeed, two weeks from today, I shall be boarding the ferry….

In the meantime, I am almost done packing what is to be shipped. Still organizing the rig and trying to see what else I can carry…  the weather has warmed to the mid 40’s and has rained since my last posting. All conducive to getting the job done and in a timely manner. Yippee!

While crossing all the t’s, dotting the i’s around town, I came across a vintage typewriter, of all things. In good working order, they are still using it, can still get ribbons of ink for it. I was so stunned to see it, I took a picture of it to post here.


With the crazy weather, its perfect to finish the last of the tasks required to ship household goods and get ready to leave.  Still hoping for more snow before I leave to go snowshoeing once again, but this week all is to be rain… next week, it won’t matter. I will be ready to play, party and enjoy spending time with my friends.

Gorgeous day!

A huge relief to be done with the shipment to Palmer. I have no clue when it will be delivered, as it is going on standby vs priority… but it is OUT of my house and I am officially done with it.  Can’t describe how happy I am with that task being done, once and for all. Its huge!!!

Mid afternoon – along Chilkoot

So today, awaken to sunshine… honest-to-goodness no clouds in the sky gorgeous, gorgeous sunny day. The blue sky is the bluest of blue in the north country when its cold.  Crystal clear blue. Cold, but breathtakingly beautiful after getting a foot of snow. Yes, I said we got a foot of snow. Our first – love every inch of it.  I was hoping to go snowshoeing, but if lucky will go tomorrow. Today, I had people picking up their purchases, clearing this out of my apartment. Selling a few more odds and ends – such as a bunch of acrylic tubes of paints I found and office supplies. Then delivered other purchased items, visited Mountain Market (a favorite hang out) for a mocha. Got into quite a conversation with a biologist friend we work out with. Picked up a delivery to Wings from Juneau’s U-Haul place I had ordered. And when I got back to my place, we couldn’t get the door to the van open – frozen shut to get the U-haul stuff out of the van. So decided to take a little road trip with the heat on full blast.

What we saw was just stunningly beautiful. My pictures do not do justice to what we experienced.  We decided to see if we could get out to Chilkoot Lake – the road is not maintained in the winter. Usually the only way in is by snow-shoe or skis.  But most of the road was semi-packed snow from others driving out there, so we lucked out. Oh my goodness…

A single swan is in this picture. Too early for swans, but it is at edge of the slushy ice
just below dead center of image.

We haven’t had cold temperatures, so the lake is not frozen. Normally you can ski on this lake in dead of winter – miles out there. Not this year.

Chilkoot Lake

Heavily laden snow branches

Smoking mountains (see the wind blowing at peak?)

There were warning out for today to be quite windy,  but the only wind that has materialized is at the peaks of the local mountains. When it blows, it makes the mountains look like they are smoking.

Low level of water with a low tide and green moss is exposed looking from Chilkoot bridge

Looking back up Chilkoot River from bridge

We saw a few eagles today as well.  It was a great day to go play hooky!  And I’m still playing hooky this evening. No going paperless, no packing boxes… I’m reading a good book.  Its been a great day!

Status update

A touch of color

Well I am duly impressed with what I have accomplished since I arrived in Haines. I was wall to wall, ceiling to floor boxes when I arrived. Barely room to walk a narrow path between bed, bathroom and kitchen.  That was about 10,000 lbs of stuff.  The estimate on my load to leave with is 2,000 lbs and they gave that on the high side.  I know it will be closer to 1,500 or less.  Yippee!!!!   Before I came, my friends at Escapees told me to anticipate still having “stuff”, but to manage to get rid of the bulk of it. That I have done.

This estimate came today.  And further details of what to expect on this move. I’m not doing it thru a moving company. I’m packing it, taking it to the dock and I’m sending my household goods via Alaska Marine Lines, other words on a barge. It will be delivered to Seattle, then must get it across the pond (ere. Puget Sound) to Port Townsend.  All those fine little details will come in due time.  In the meantime….

Just found out Saturday, that my friend Natasha is driving to Wasilla vs flying. What this means is that all the stuff (genealogy books, weaving books, weaving equipment to be sold, etc) that’s heading that way, is going soon – like in 1 week.  So I am scrambling trying to make sure I have pulled it all from my stuff. Surprises still happening… but the bulk is ready to go. And I am now scrambling, more then I was, on going paperless.  I have a fabulous scanner. Its a Fujitsu Scan Snap IX500 – highly recommend this. And its small compact size travels well in the RV. Far superior to the flat bed scanners, altho there is a need for those in certain circumstances.  And when not scanning, am backing up my system on an external hard drive.  Super, non-stop busy.

Am dropping dead into bed at night… can’t even read, my eyelids are so heavy… but it is so worth it. So am hanging in…  vacation is on the horizon. Well, that’s not quite true.. or is it? I will once again be a full-timer and I can’t wait.  I will catch my breath, relax on the ferry trip south.

A couple of weeks ago… I took the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test.  Have you ever taken this? I happen to be the rarest of the 16 personality types.  INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). I laughed, as I knew I was unique… but did not know I was rare!  Laughing here. Actually thought I was a little introverted and extroverted, but guess not.  Very interesting to study this.  See what happens when Melinda gets a little bored with downsizing… knew it was time to change my course in all this.

Haines has heavy rain warning out for Tuesday & Wednesday with high winds on top of that. Warnings about small stream flooding, landslides and mudslides are also posted.  Where is the darn SNOW!!!!

Unique discoveries

Last June, when visiting an old friend in Palmer, Alaska, I learned about a veggie powder drink that one of her clients drank twice a day.  The client’s daughter in Seattle, makes it. She was really jazzed by it.  I bought a packet, which is enough for twice a day drink for one month. Cost $40.  You add it to juice (I do it with Tropicana Orange juice) or water. Or you could make a smoothie with it. Shake it up with juice – it was quite pleasant. My friend in Palmer thought it had a yucky taste, but she only mixed it with water or apple juice – neither of which I would recommend, its alright, but my least favorite.  Ok I figured I would just try it. Quality food in a small packet can’t be all that bad.

What I did not expect was how it smelled when I first opened the packet (a vacuum sealed bag). It smelled like I just walked into a garden.   Lo and behold, I was not hungry thereafter.  A barrel of energy I have not felt in years and my body functions became normal, instead of slow, sluggish crap it had become. And it became a wow, a huge WOW.   I can’t tell you how many times I re-read the ingredients list, thinking there must be some hidden ingredient to make me feel this fantastic..  Then I learned, due to the fact it bypasses the digestive enzymes and goes straight to your blood stream – you get the full benefits of this nutrition.  Double wow.  If you want the ingredients, just ask me.  She is working on a web page and will be starting soon to sell it from there. I will share that when it becomes available.

The instructions recommend the morning and evening drinking of this. Comes with a scoop to measure it. And for lunch you eat a quality lunch.  No dieting here. Eat a hearty lunch.  And drink plenty of water.  Its the best thing for me living on the road… so easy… and so very good.

Then I ran out and to make a long story shorter…. and as I was the first person, outside of the family and friends of the daughter, in getting this… its been a challenge getting it, until now. Or when I did, it was not the same formula.  Jenny (the daughter) has been working or tweaking it for a few years.  I met her in September in Seattle – a delightful gal, but was stunned to hear how old she was. I figured 30’s, not 50’s. She and her Mom in AK have been drinking this stuff for over 2 years – neither have been sick since they started drinking this. Her Mom is 94 years old.  I can’t say enough good about this product.  Am really jazzed by this discovery.

So onward.  I had injured my neck in Zumba a couple of weeks ago – or was it lifting all these books at the apartment… or was it slipping and falling on the ice…  I don’t know, but I was out of commission for a few days. Then winter decided to show itself (finally!!!) in Haines with raining/snowing 3 inches of slush – what a mess! That’s now rock hard ice. My studs/cleats have zero purchase with this ice, so no walking on it. Then it snowed on top of the ice and went into the deep freeze. Today, its misty rain on top of all this… whoa is me.

But today, I went back to Zumba.  I only did 30 minutes and without weights.  I did not want to abuse my shoulders or neck.  I just love this Zumba…  Today tho, was the first time since starting that I really heard the music. Before, it was just trying to do the fast paced steps. I’m hooked.

Small Zumba class in session

So have been seriously distracted with newfound friends, trying to re-focus to get back at the task at hand.  Probably will get my friend Natasha to come back in to push me along. Her significant other hit a moose a few days ago, totaled his truck. Life is constant change around here.

Happy New Year!

New snow on Mt. Ripinski

Haines had a rare day of sunshine yesterday… that is rare for 2014!  Here’s hoping 2015 provides more sunny days. And I hope wherever you might be on the first day of 2015 – bring it in with a smile and cheer to all good things.  

Must say I had a chuckle over the latest weather reports in the Southwest… my dear RV friends are quite frosty down there. You should have come to Haines with me. Its downright balmy up here compared to you.  Stoke up those heaters, line the windows with Reflectix and wrap yourself in a down comforter… try to stay warm.

I, for one, am excited to see how 2015 develops. The last few years out on the road have been amazing and I see no reason why it won’t be even better in 2015.
This downsizing event is still progressing… a bit slower then it was in October & November, but it is by no means at a stalemate.  
Yesterday, I got updated on vaccines. I knew I needed to get a Tetanus – it had been years since I had the last one.  It now comes with Pertussis, Diphtheria and something else. Apparently, adults are infecting the young kids with whooping cough. Sad but true. So its a one time injection and its matched with the Tetanus.  And while I was able, got the Zoster one too. That’s for Shingles. I do NOT want shingles. Seen too many friends go thru hell with shingles.  There’s no guarantee that I still won’t get shingles someday, but apparently with the shot the symptoms won’t be near as severe. Well, I don’t want it at all… so a step toward the positive on that front.
Anyone want and or need quilting fabric?  I found several packets of fabric and no one locally seems interested.  I have not done quilting since the early 1980’s… and no plans to return to it.  If interested, let me know.
That’s about it for now..  Have a merry, ere cheery New Year’s Eve everyone!  See you down the road…


Christmas tree of old

Merry Christmas everyone!!!  Hope this holiday finds you great joys and peace with your friends and family. Lots of laughter as well.  To all my friends on the road… hugs are in order, be safe and start a new tradition.  

My Christmas’s have been unconventional for several years. The challenge arises in finding a new way to experience it. This year, will be spent with long time friends, a different set from the ones I spent with last year in FL. This year its with John & Cheri, right here in Haines.  It will be relatively low key, but that’s just fine with me.  We might venture up the road to go find snow, so we can do some snowshoeing… or we may sit around the wood stove and spin some yarn.
Well, I’ve had two more sales since I last wrote and I am now done with the weekly sales. Competing with bizarres, the holiday sales, etc has not been in my favor as a rule. But I seriously have no complaints.  I still have a couple of more furniture items to sell – sofa table, end table, two bar chairs and could even sell my trundle bed that I’m sleeping on, but may wait on that for a bit. I managed to find a home for my microfiche/microform reader, donated to the local museum. And my Mom’s wheelchair, walker, bedside commode – donated to Haines Hospice! Thrilled to have found someone for those, as this town is over run with donated medical equipment.  I plan to have two more sales – one of office supplies (gads, I have a ton of that stuff) and then one more for my weaving and spinning friends – yes, I’m going to sell off some of my cones of yarn. Shocking, I know… laughing here.  I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel.  My goal was to get down to 1500 pounds or less… I’m close, I’m real close…
And now that I have room to stretch around here… I am re-focusing on going paperless. Then finish putting my big loom back together to weave. I want to get some bigger items made that I can not do on my little floor loom in my rig.  May even make some yardage to make some vests, etc.  That will use up some of the cones of yarn (a weight I don’t need to carry in my rig).  And then need to decide when I leave here…
In the meantime… my new love is Zumba.  Wow!  I’m loving every minute of it.  I had wanted to take dance lessons this winter, never dreamed I’d take up and love Zumba.  My body is still rebelling with itself – you know what the hands are doing vs what your feet are doing, but each session its getting so much easier and I feel awesome!!!  Each hour session flies by… what fun!
So on that note.. have a very merry Christmas!

Tis the season…

A Merry Christmas to one and all!
From warm Haines, Alaska
My first garage sale was a success, but could have been better from what I was told, as many did not hear about it.  The next happens tomorrow.  I found a ton of quilting supplies, templates, fabric in a trunk, plus a ton of counted cross-stitch stuff – long forgotten by me.  All will find a new home soon, I hope. Today, I sold to one of my neighbors – my Mom’s bedside table. Unexpected treat.
Since the major part of the unpacking is done, I’ve been getting restless. The itch to move on and get back on the road has been really strong.  What to do?  Well, Melinda has grown two left feet and one very uncoordinated body… laughing here… I’ve started doing Zumba.  Have you tried it?  They tell me I will get the routine down after 2-3 visits, right now I’m just a foolish woman. Still laughing here.  But I think I will really like it.  I’m starting out with just two days a week, but its available 5 days a week around here, actually 6 if one counts the toning one (they use weights).  One session has cured the itch to move on for the moment.
As it is, I had promised my RV friends I would be back out in January. Well… I don’t think that will happen.  So won’t make it to Quartzside for sure.  Darn, would love to see everyone once again, but maybe next year.  Morro Bay is still a possibility, but the selling of stuff has got to pick up significantly for that to happen. Time will tell on that.  Sounds like Morro Bay will be a huge event this time around, may be too big for me. Heck, it even sounds too big for Larry & Renee. Hope they get alot of help.
Winter is evading Haines… we have had mostly rain, that freezes at night, so everything is icy in morning, then it rains again.  I am learning how to walk on studs, that is studs/cleats for my boots. They don’t like open grid stairways or ramps – a challenge I haven’t figured out yet, so I take them on and off, frequently when I go out.  But it sure makes walking on ice so much simpler.
With no winter, it has made treks to my RV a breeze. So I have been concentrating on re-loading it, especially now that I’ve unpacked all the boxes. Can’t put liquids or food out yet, but the whole process is running smoothly. Have been surprised that the Damp-rid I have hanging in my rig to keep the moisture level down, haven’t frozen. The rig does very well in these temps, especially with no heat source going.
So on this note… Have a Merry Christmas, if I don’t get back on here before then.

And all that jazz..

Not talking music folks, altho I have been listening to quality music on Pandora One these last few weeks.  I’m jazzed by all that is going good in my life right now..

Where to start.  I’ve been selling stuff right and left. One of those buyers volunteered to come in and help me unpack boxes and folks this super woman, as I like to call her… well its amazing how far I have come in this process with her help.  All boxes are now gone to the recycle center.  All boxes.  Its shocking.  She loves to do this kind of thing and she did not want to be paid. Not paid, are you sure, I asked? She just grinned at me.  We can talk and laugh all day and work. Its truly been fun.  So I set up a bartering system with her. She’s getting married in July and setting up their log home to be a B&B.  Love to barter, so its been a win-win situation for both of us.  I can’t believe how lucky to have found her.  A good friend from here forward.

In my apartment, I am able to close off to the rest of the apartment from this one bedroom which has access to outside. We have transformed this space.  Its now contains only sale items. And the sale starts Saturday. I am so jazzed that this is happening now. The word has spread in town already. Those that have bought stuff already, have been calling.  But I will only do 2 hours every Saturday. Time will tell how it will all pan out, but I’m excited. Its starts this Saturday.

Our first snow – today!

Thanksgiving came and went…  had a blast on turkey day.  I joined the “strays” gathering.  Strays in that anyone that did not have a place to go for Thanksgiving was included. All walks of life came. The place was packed. A handful of folks had just arrived on the ferry, half the medical clinic showed up who worked that day, to folks like me.  It was fascinating to say the least. Great conversations and the potluck of food – gads it was amazing.  Besides turkey and all the trimmings, I had the fabulous chance to eat some red salmon that had been stuffed with blueberries. Oh my goodness! It was outstanding!  Lucky for all of us, we eventually remember each others names, as they continuously kept repeating who was there with each newcomer.  Fun day was had by all.

My dear friend, Cheri, on her trip south to see her father in AZ, stopped in at Chimacum at the Escapees RV park to retrieve my hiking poles from my shed. Didn’t think about needing them to snowshoe, so now we just need snow. This winter is forecasted to be warmer than normal and wetter than normal. So what in the heck will that mean, I don’t know.  Today tho, its finally snowed.  This is nothing, but it sure is nice to see. And its still snowing as I write this.

Life is good.