Rumple strips

Prior to leaving on my present road trip, I decided to re-acquaint myself with my weaving equipment, get the looms ‘dressed’ and ready to go for when I get back.  Well, its been 7 years since I’ve seen my big loom, trying to find the parts, get it together, etc has presented more of a challenge than I had expected, but found enough to put a warp on. Alas, I decided to put on my Horoscope Color project.  Years ago, I had my horoscope read by a fellow weaver. Its based on the planets, houses, and the colors that is associated with each of those planets and houses based on my birthdate.  Wildly random order of Bamboo yarn – was a super challenge to follow. My good friend Cheri read the precise order of the colors as I added the yarn to each 2 inch section (upper left corner).  It took us over 6 hours to get this onto the sectional beam. Whew!  But wow, its absolutely gorgeous!!!

Once it was beamed, I let this all sit, as I was packing for my road trip. With Cheri’s intense curiosity (probably equal to mine), she threaded the heddles for me as I zoned out in a chair from packing that day.  Can’t wait to get out on the road but I am beat!  Then Cheri & I threw a pansy color and an emerald blue color strands of yarn across to see which one to actually weave with.  So many of my friends wanted the purple pansy, but it was too large of yarn, as they company sent the wrong size yarn. But will use it in the future when I get the correct sizing.    As you can see in the bottom 3rd picture, I wove with emerald blue yarn.  This will be a quick weave as its in plain weave, any other pattern would be lost in all that color. And that loom will now have to wait until I get back.

The little floor loom, only one 2 inch section got dressed before I left.  I am putting on a variegated green and white cotton yarns on for kitchen towels.  This will be a technical challenging weave structure of Shadow Weave, I love working on these as you can get a 3D affect. Alas, it will also have to wait until I get back.

So I am off on a Fall trip. Its a quickie compared to my other journeys. This road trip has challenged me in ways that make an unhappy camper out of me, as I have had to depend on a/c due to high 90’s as well as up to 108ºF, therefore RV parks… Other then getting a/c they offer me nothing and I lose money.  I’ve become such a cheapskate, I guess.  So where are the Fall temperatures…you know warm days and cool nights?  I found a cool night (42º) last night up off of Highway 30 in Idaho – that was a quality night of sleep, but it was the only night in this past week.  Egads Mother Nature!  At least the further east I go the less smokey it is.   That picture on the bottom right corner, was taken from my rig at the Mountain Home RV park in Mountain Home, Idaho. The 2nd best RV park I have ever been in. The first was Nellis AFB back in 2011. Both parks are manicured to a T, level paved spots, well organized electrical, water and septic and both cheap, spotless showers too.  Well, cheap for this trip… as I have had to pay up to $55 for one night in a roughed in pit-run RV park. Horrible place.

Soon, I will be connecting with friends, wishing for cooler days and despite my grumpiness on the hot temperatures, it is so good to be back out on the road.

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.

MV Taku trip to Haines

Leaving soggy, non-stop rainy place in Port Edward was a wonderful relief. So headed to Prince Rupert – only about 16 clicks from Port Edward.  I checked into the Alaska ferry terminal on October 6th, got measured, tickets, custom declaration form, cats tickets.  And its not raining!!! Wow!  So once done with this, went and parked on the street overlooking the port. I was the only one there that early.  As it turned out for such a late time of the season, there were only 20 vehicles heading north out of Prince Rupert.  

Its always a little confusing to me when I do the ferry.  You are given times when one will load, etc, except that the times are Canadian or are they Alaskan times?  You think you get a handle on this… but it trips everyone up.  The ferry is on Alaskan time, not Canadian time, the terminal is Canadian time.  Fine and dandy you say.  Well… depending on whether they are on summer schedule or on winter schedule – you need to know when to be at customs and ready to go.  I was told they would come get us at 1 am – to double check all paperwork is completed, etc and to get into place at the terminal. One o’clock came and went… nothing.  Two o’clock came and went… About three o’clock – folks started showing up at the terminal. Can’t see if ferry is in from my angle. The few folks that had parked with me on the street, but had not checked in informed me they (Canadian ferry people) would not be coming up to us, but we need to go down there. Uh?  That’s never happened before. Ok. Wake up, head down and park in a lane for customs. And wait. And wait… nearly 5:30 in the morning, customs shows up and we finally make our way thru. Told which lane to park in for loading. Do so and wait… and wait… and wait.  Its a quarter to 7 in the morning that I finally get loaded onto the ferry oh wait, is that a quarter to 6?  The ferry left 15 minutes later. Gads!

Our route north

I crashed, went to bed once I made it to my berth on the ferry. Did this for two reasons… see the schedule above… that 6 hours between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan… other then the last hour, it is wide open water, not protected by the islands.  Big rollers…. I prefer to sleep thru that….  and second reason… I needed solid block of sleep. Its exhausting doing hurry up and wait stuff.


Once again, Ketchikan was sunny for me.  This being one of the rainiest places on earth, I bring them sunshine each time I pass thru..  a good omen.

Note how smooth the water is

The trip north – the waters were so smooth one would have thought we were on a lake versus the ocean.  So took this late afternoon shot as we approached the narrows to show you how smooth the water and our trip north was.  In the Fall, this is downright rare site to behold.  As it is, the day after – special winter warnings were issued all up and down the Inside passage.  I couldn’t have been more lucky.  It can be a wild ride when its stormy.

Looking out from ferry at Sitka

I was parked at edge of ferry, this was the view out behind my rig.  Beautiful day in Sitka, I would have normally gotten off and gone exploring, but I had not spent time with my boys since Ketchikan, so I spent time with them.

Ferry just unloaded
My rig

After Sitka, the next place I had acknowledged was at Hoonah. It was night, but the moon made it so very special to be out on the water with the surrounding mountains.  Gosh, it was just gorgeous, but my pictures did not do justice to what I was enjoying.  Then, I did not awake until we were leaving Juneau, so missed seeing Auke Bay, etc.  As it was, the weather turned sour.  All one could see was fog and water.  As we got closer to Haines the wind picked up and it was snowing… yes, it was indeed snowing.  Got off the ferry and the snow turned to rain.

Got quite a welcome from my friends… my amazing friends.  They managed to move the entire contents of my storage unit into my apartment before I got there.  I can’t see my apartment for all the stuff, but its big!  Wow!   I got the boys moved into the place… play time.  Let them explore while I went and topped off propane, gas, got pink anti-freeze and started unloading my stuff out of the rig. Problem with unloading the rig – there’s no place to put it into the apartment that’s packed to the rafters. But I got to start somewhere…  I got the rig winterized too in the midst of all this.

So I am almost done removing all liquids, foodstuff, toiletries, clothes from the rig.  I have doggedly pursued this as the weather is changing daily now, getting colder…  I think I will master the last of this tomorrow.  I am fortunate that I can park my rig behind this apartment complex, within view of my apartment no less.  I will try to get photos for my next posting.

In my short time here, I have unpacked, separated out, put away – 7 china packs, 8 mirror packs.  I say separated out as what I know I absolute do not want and will be sold or thrown away is pulled out immediately.   I have even pulled out my favorite storage containers and have put them into my rig to get them out of the apartment.  I now need to make a run to recycle center to rid myself of all the empty and flatten boxes and white paper, so I can continue with the task at hand.  So no more unpacking until that is done. So the big chore is to set up the kitchen – where to put things, I don’t know what to do with all this space!!!

And the boys… Tucker is frustrated in a funny way. In the rig, all he has to do to keep track of some bird or squirrel is to run to another window. Well, he does not get the same result at the apartment.  But overall, the boys recognize our stuff, lots to check out, play hide and seek.  They are so busy… but for some reason, they think my twin size bed is their bed and there is no room for 3 of us in that little bed. I already miss my bed over the cab… 

Timing of it all

Storm clouds

Well, it pays to follow the forecast at this time of the year.  Today, the sun came out for about 3 hours – glorious 60ºF – got rugs shook, swept out the rig, washed the floor, dumped tanks, refilled water. Then boom… the rains returned. Today and tomorrow morning is the last of the “balmy” weather.  So, I’m heading west.  Frozen precipitation is forecast for here tomorrow night.  In fact, its forecast for this whole next week in this region, including up in Haines. Bummer.  So am heading for Prince Rupert tomorrow morning.  There forecast is moderating temperatures around 40-50ºF and rain. Quite doable.

Not sure if I will have wifi in Prince Rupert – usually not until I’m on the ferry and the ferry is in an American port.  So may not be able to post until after the 9th of October. But time will tell on that.

The river and changing landscape

This is a picture behind my rig here at Fort Telkwa… its really a pretty little place.  The wind came thru last night and all these leaves are now floating down the river.  Bare boring trees now.

I want to share a little recipe I picked up in my travels this past year.  Its called “3-2-1 cake”. Ingredients are:  Mix dry – 1 box of your favorite cake mix and 1 box of Angel Food cake mix together and store in airtight container.   So using one coffee mug, add 3 tablespoons of the dry cake mix, 2 teaspoons of water. Stir well. and cook 1 minute in microwave. Wa-la you have one individual size cake.   You can add ice cream or any other goodie to this if you so wish.


Somewhere along Highway 16 BC

It was a wise decision to move north when I did… escaping 80+ temps to 60’s was a delight to behold.  The drive north was beautiful sunshine type of weather.  I stopped in Clinton on my way up to see if my old standby was still open.  The owners had sold the campground and plan to hit the road full time in their Class A.  I stayed there three times this year – 2 of which were freebies, including this last one. They handed over the keys to the place two days after I left them.  They were the only campground open the entire route from Washington State to Prince Rupert in the off season – I made good friends with them over the years.  Not sure what I will do in the future, if I do this route again. Great people!!!

As I headed on up and thru Prince George the days got cooler and nights got downright frosty. Love it!  The constant changes of Fall colors waxed and waned thru the hills and valleys. The traffic had slowed considerably from the summer hectic schedules. Now all I saw were British Columbians & Alaskan RVer’s heading south – in droves… and trucks hauling logs. Otherwise, it was just me and my two cats heading north.  Love Fall trips on the open road… its the fundamental part of me, I quickly succumb to nature, embrace it and find immense peace.  Not at all sure how to describe the affect on me, but I’ve always loved Fall. If I wasn’t driving, I’d be hiking the trails… Think crisp days, cold nights, changing colors, fallen leaves and a shared mug of hot chocolate over a camp fire… and Melinda is in her element.  Gosh I have missed this!!!  I’m a 4 season gal and this has been missing these last few years.  No more, I will seek it out from now on…

Per happenstance, the place I decided to park, to get acclimated, turns out to be a fly fisherman’s haven.  I did not know this until arrival.  I’m at Fort Telkwa, British Columbia and the fish are biting!!!   Its been 2 years since I stayed at this campground that hugs the shores of the Bulkley River.  They are the only campground open between Prince George and Prince Rupert right now, as all the others have closed for the season, such as Provincial parks all close September 15th in BC.  Its a great place to hang one’s hat. But I did not expect to find a campground full of fly fisherman – good grief!  But what a joy!  There are a ton of Italians, British Columbians, even a few from England who had plotted and planned there stay at this time at Fort Telkwa to fish. Most stay between 4-6 weeks here. I had no idea.  Tons of 10 lb weight (in metric tho) rods, lots of fly tying going on under spot lights in evenings, you can feel the excitement thru the whole campground.   I discovered I still know some italian, was able to translate a conversation for a couple.  It was quite rusty italian, but it worked. 
I am paying attention to the weather now, more then I had been.  Cold rains have moved in…  I’m not sure of my timing on leaving here.  Do I stay or do I get to Prince Rupert?  Prince Rupert would give me more even temperatures due to coastal weather.  Forecast for here has the temps dropping into the 40-50’s in the days with nights in the 30-40’s – with mixed frozen precipitation coming up this next week.  Oh the fickle weather of Fall…  I’m tempted to just hang until October 5th or 6th.  Time will tell tho…
My ferry ride from Prince Rupert is October 7th with my arrival in Haines on the 9th of October. The apartment became available September 15th and my friends Cheri & Joan have done the walk thru, have found and scheduled some guys to move my storage items into the apartment before I get there. I am duly impressed and very thankful for my friends help.  So when I get there, I need to transfer the cats, unload what I need to from the rig, go top off propane, then get my rig winterized.  I’m allowed to park my rig free behind the apartment for the winter.  Of course, the weather is colder there then here… let’s hope it holds off until I can get the rig parked and done.  Can’t do anything about it, it is what it is – will deal with it.  
Then the work begins… I have been scouring Craigslist for that region – to see what’s being sold, what they are asking for said items and dabbled a bit on Ebay for other stuff.  I might post images of some of the stuff here on my blog – if interested.  I’m up for the challenge to get it done… bring it on!

Heading north, again

Forest next to my lot at Chimacum

A brief post. I’m heading north today.  Cats are friends once again, so time to move on. The weather is so fickle in the north country at this time of the year – it can be warm or cold.  Having sat thru 80+º here in Oroville and hearing that its in the 40’s in Haines, I decided to move north to get acclimated.

It will take me a few days to get to my hibernation/acclimation spot, which is not far from Smithers, BC.  Hopefully, I can stay there until I move on into Prince Rupert.  Right now, temps are hanging in the 60’s there, but is projected to drop into the 40’s this next week.  They have already had a hard freeze in that area.  Fickle is the name of the game and a good spot to park it.

More later.


The Northwest Lazy Daze get together  – what a hoot!   4 days at Confluence State Park in Wenatchee, Washington, a beautiful park, was a blast seeing everyone. Some new, some old.  This is a great park to bicycle, hike, explore or kick back to enjoy.  There was an auction on two nights vs one this time, they had so much offered up, including 2 of my towels… Yes… indeed, some really great stuff, including some real funny ones. Such as the sock one – what a hoot!!!  All proceeds go to support this great group.  I don’t know exactly what they made, but both Leonard and Bill seemed pleased.

Just a few of the Lazy Daze that gathered

The Pavilion 

More Lazy Daze

We learned of a neat way to start a fire. Learned it from our own Pyro/magician man… Ready?  Take a snack size bag of Fritos, open it, put kindling over it. Light with match. Wa-la – fire is started.  Who would have thought Fritos was a fire starter?  A new one for all of us.

Larry, our Pyro man

A surprise showed up at our group site the night before we left.  It was a 1987 Lazy Daze with a popup, not entirely sure of the year.  But you catch the drift.  John the owner of said rig, lives in Wenatchee and he was surprised to see so many Lazy Daze in town – so dropped on by.  Sorry, I did not get a picture of his rig, thought I did, but it didn’t show up in my pictures.

It was a fun, fun time by all…

Travel back to lower 48

Looking across bay at Haines

Wow! Its been awhile since I’ve posted. Sorry about that.   I’ve been in Washington a week now. My traveling companions and I headed straight to Panorama Point Park (National Forest CP), north of Concrete, Washington to see Jimbo, who is the Camp Host this summer. Beautiful park!

Guess what they see across the Chilkoot River?

My traveling companions? You wonder.  Two couples who traveled together up to Alaska for the summer, as they came thru Haines on there way out, we connected briefly to set plans, then I met them in Teslin, Canada a few days later to travel south with them.  John & Linda had there trip detailed plotted and planned out from start, so I just kicked backed and enjoyed the trip out. Seriously folks, what a joy! They are far removed from my whimsical style of traveling, but I learned alot on how they travel – got alot of great pointers, and I didn’t have to worry about where to stop for the night either, etc. I was on vacation, in a way, and it was a delight.  And that was for the trip down the Cassiar Highway, a very remote place to travel.  Beautiful, beautiful place.  Things changed up a bit when we hit semi-civilization…

My camp at Boya Provincial Park

And our next campground.. at Kinaskan Lake Provincial Park:

And then onward to Stewart/Hyder:
Bear Glacier on way down to Stewart, Canada

Momma & baby

When we made it to Highway 16, the differences between our traveling styles showed themselves. When I need to shop for food, etc – its done when I stop for the night or on a non-traveling day, not when on the road. Its the way I learned from my fellow full timers.  So when we stopped in Smithers at a Safeway store for them to pick up a “few things” as they were out of food – I never dreamed I would still be there 2 hours later.  If I had known, I would have left them and traveled on to our next campground. Then the 4 of them informed me they needed to stop in Prince George to go Walmart and Costco shopping the next day. Later in the day JC told me he & ZC needed 3-4 hours to do this and they would then take 2 extra days before entering the States again. Whoa…  its another travel day, not a shopping day for me. At that point, I informed John & Linda that I would meet them in Washington. So we parted ways… 

As it turned out… they were only a hour and a half behind me that day – obviously JC did not need 3-4 hours to shop. But I had no idea… and the next day… we apparently arrived at the border crossing within an hour of each other. – therefore they did not stay an extra day in Canada. Go figure! They headed straight to Panorama park, I stopped to get email.  Despite it all, I really enjoyed traveling with them. The conversations around the campfire at night or over the CB radio were most entertaining. Lots of chuckles.  Although, I think traveling with a set schedule is hard, therefore another full timer would be a better choice if I ever go this route.  But what a fun trip, all in all.  Thanks John & Linda, JC & ZC for letting me tag along on your adventure.
Panorama Point National Forest Campground – awesome place!  Only 2 negatives… not enough sun to power the solar, due to heavy tree canopy and the other campers. They are partiers…  But I stayed an extra 3 nights after my friends departed.  Of those days… the first was noisy with the campers as they drank the night away and laughed themselves silly in the day swimming in Baker Lake. I really did not mind it. The last day – I had the campground to myself. Pure joy!  Even Jimbo wasn’t around.  
My spot at Panorama Point

Baker Lake

So what to do… let see, I could not work on my loom – its too dark to see colors, threads and such. Had zero connectivity to the outside world. Had no desire to take a hike. So I picked up my Kindle and started reading. I haven’t read a book in over 2 years and I found myself so totally engrossed with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” that nothing else existed. Oh my!  I have since read the trilogy. Awesome!

When I realized my solar just wasn’t being recharged, I decided to leave a day earlier. I parked the night at a KOA near Concrete, WA – $22/night campground. Who has ever seen a KOA that cheap!!! It was a Thousand Trails campground too. Beautiful place, but $22? But only one night, dumped tanks, refilled water and I headed for Anacortes.  I had an appointment at Frontier Ford for my rig – oil & filter change, fluids checked, etc.  Then onto Whidbey Island’s Fort Ebey State Park to stay the night, then hopped on the ferry to Port Townsend the next day.  And I have planted myself at Escapees Evergreen Coho SKP here in Chimacum.
I had a great opportunity yesterday to meet a gal who has followed my blog from the start. What a blast! We will get together again next Tuesday…she’s going to show me around the area. My boys loved her! Thanks Ilse for taking the leap. 

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.