May 21, 2003 - Mineral Creek Canyon
was the warmest one yet - in a sweat shirt and light wind jacket
I was perfectly comfortable. I visited a couple of tour guides to
see if they would trade office services for a glacier tour, but
no luck there as it's still too early in the season for them to
need help. A nice lady did tell me about a little known road through
Mineral Creek Canyon, so I took the car up there. It was a beautiful
rustic drive with an even more rustic road, so I was about to turn
back after a few miles when I encountered snow covering the bridge.
A local couple and another guy in a 4 wheel drive came by and we
stopped and talked by the side of the road for a while. Turns out
the guy has been working here for a couple of years, but he is from
Houston. He's the 4th person I've met from Texas since I've been
here. When I stopped at the store before taking off to the canyon,
I was admiring the eagles again when another picture-taking woman
joined me. She and her husband (Chuck and Kalyn) are Escapee full-timers
from Texas, also! I told them I was going up the canyon and they
said they'd drive up there in their Jeep after they put up their
Houston guy I met on the road (Richard) offered me a ride in the
4-wheel drive so I could see the rest of the 10 mile road, so I
used my psychic powers to see if he was an ax murderer or something,
and decided to take the chance. My judgment turned out to be good
and the road was worth the risk, it was so beautiful. The canyon
was filled with icy waterfalls that ended in huge snowbanks, but
spring was creeping up the mountain bringing bright green colors
with it. The road was really narrow and rough and in places just
enough had been cleared to drive through a 10 foot high bank of
snow on either side. There were gurgling streams that we hiked a
little bit around and kept a watch out for black bears that were
said to be in the area.
the way back, we came across a pickup truck driven by local teenagers
who asked if we wanted to see the bear they shot on the side of
the road. The poor thing was dead in the back of the truck and it
just broke my heart to see its glassy eyes and bloody fur. You might
know the only person to see a bear that day was one who wanted to
destroy it, take its life, not just admire it and take its picture.
we saw the other couple from Texas, Chuck & Kalyn, in their
Jeep. They said they'd seen my car at the side of the road and were
looking for me to make sure I hadn't gotten eaten by a bear. I was
so touched by their concern and asked them to come visit me later
that evening. They came by and wanted to see the sea otters, but
they weren't being cooperative that night. We had a great visit,
though, and they're going to be in Kenai and Homer during the time
that I'm there, also, so I'm glad I'll be running into them again.
May 22, 2003 - Bald Eagle Day
morning as I was having my coffee by the water, I felt a presence
unlike the seagulls I'm used to. I looked up and soaring not far
above my head was a bald eagle! Those bright white heads and tails
are instantly recognizable and always so exciting to see. He had
such a commanding aura and it was amusing to watch the seagulls
dogging him because I guess he was too close for comfort to a nest
or something. Then, here comes another one! It looked like they
kinda greeted each other in mid air before going separate ways.
I even got a picture of one flying over my home. Then I looked around
toward the office and could see about 6 of them flying around and
I grabbed the binoculars and camera and took off for the short walk
there. It was an amazing sight, for sure! Compared to the frantic
flapping of the seagulls' wings, their flight is just so smooth,
graceful and effortless.
in the day I walked down by the wharf while my flat tire was being
fixed. There were at least a dozen of them flying around by the
end of the harbor and I just sat there with my binoculars spying
on and admiring them for almost an hour.
only this beautiful day convinced me to stay here another week,
but Kathy (one of the owners here) told me they were going to be
one of the booking agents for the best glacier wildlife cruise in
the area and her employees were getting to go on one for free. She's
calling me her RV customer consultant and is taking me with them!
How cool, huh?
May 23, 2003 - Allison Point
morning I had coffee on a fishing boat, the C Hardy. Its captain,
Dick, had been introduced to me by Richard. He and his partner,
Carl, actually live in Phoenix and Arkansas, respectively, but spend
the summers here running fishing charters. I enjoyed visiting with
them and meeting the other captains who dropped by for a morning
then took a drive out to Allison Point, on the other side of the
bay. I wanted to see if I could find my house and take a picture
of it from that side of the water. I noticed then that my camera
was making funny noises and showed an error message on the screen,
but it appeared to still be taking pictures. I stopped at another
museum that is loaded with local artifacts, but it was just too
perfectly pretty a day to be inside, so decided I'd save that for
a rainy day. I could not believe the difference in the same scenery
I saw just a week ago. I guess because of the long light days, the
greenery just explodes all at once it seems.
I got back to the house, I saw an SUV with Texas plates driving
through the parking lot, so I flagged them down and we sat outside
and visited bayside for almost 2 hours pointing out eagles flying
by. Woody & Genie are from Waco, but they have recently started
full-timing also. They've been staying at a state campground, but
they're coming here for a couple of days starting tomorrow and they're
also going to join me on the Lu-Lu Belle cruise on Sunday. If I
ever thought I'd be lonesome on the road by myself, boy, was I wrong!
May 24, 2003 - Problem solving day
I downloaded the pictures I took yesterday, I realized they were
worthless and helplessly out of focus. I reached HP on the telephone,
and they said that error message 108 was "unresolvable"
and I'd have to send the camera in for repair, which would take
about 6-8 weeks. I explained that I was on a once-in-a-lifetime
Alaska vacation and couldn't she understand that was just not an
acceptable solution? She suggested buying another camera in the
meantime, but I told her that was beyond-budget for sure and since
I had all the extra accessories, etc. for this kind, the chances
were I'd never find one in this tiny Alaskan town. She truly sympathized
and finally agreed to send me a new camera by FedEx that I will
receive by Tuesday. Tell me that wasn't an angel and a miracle all
wrapped in one!
had decided I would postpone going on the cruise because I knew
it would be frustrating not being able to take pictures. But Woody
& Genie came up with another solution. They would take the digital
pictures with their camera and I could download them on my computer.
Actually, it was an unbelievable stroke of synchronicity - their
computer crapped out and just would not come on this morning, so
they could not download the pics they had in their camera, and would
soon run out of room and not be able to take any more. Since I have
a CD burner, I am able to download their pics on my hard drive,
burn them on a CD so that they can have them when their computer
is fixed, so it's a win-win situation both ways. Funny and wonderful
how that happens sometimes.
the problem solving still took up the rest of my day. When I talked
to my mom, she told me I had been getting notices from my RV insurance
company that my insurance would lapse soon due to non-payment. Since
I had paid it in full before leaving Portland, I knew there was
some kind of error, but I could not reach them by telephone on the
weekend (when I have free minutes of course), so I composed a letter
for email and documentation purposes.
bank also screwed up and began charging me monthly fees that are
not supposed to be part of the deal, so I'm sending them a letter
also. These little glitches that are part of life are certainly
a lot more difficult to handle when you have irregular cell phone
service (that's giving me battery problems, also!) and expensive
internet connections. Oh, well, that's part of life on the road,
been cloudy and rainy all day, however, so it made it a little easier
to stay inside. I sure hope it clears up for the cruise tomorrow,
though. This is the first day of rain in the whole week I've been
here and the locals say that I've been pretty lucky in that regard.
I'm a glutton for good luck, though, so I still hope for clear skies
May 25, 2003 - Lu-Lu Belle Glacier Cruise
my prayers were answered in more ways than one. It was perfect cruising
weather - sunny with just enough white puffy clouds ringing the
mountains to make the view even more varied and interesting. Of
course, it was quite chilly and windy on the water, but I brought
enough clothes to stay reasonably warm, anyway. My four Texas comrades
joined me for the day and that just made it all the more fun. Today
was Woody and Genie's 47th wedding anniversary! Chuck & Kalyn
have been married 18 years - those two couples are almost enough
to bolster my faith in marriage! Not enough to convince me that
I could ever live in such a small space with another human being,
though. I am amazed at how well they handle it - they're still all
lovey-dovey and touchy-feely. Even when I found out Chuck &
Kalyn are "bogus" Texans - only registered their RV in
Livingston for better tax treatment as full-timers - they are such
cool people, I couldn't hold that against them. :-)
was really a Texan hoot & a holler to find out that of the total
20 or so passengers, 14 of us were Texans! There was a large Mexican
family on board who were from San Antonio and they said when they
left there last week, the temperature was in the mid 90's - that
made the glacier breezes seem more bearable, for sure. We took a
group picture in front of the iceberg-laden waters in front of the
was the season's maiden voyage of the Lu-Lu Belle, the aptly named
"Limousine of Prince William Sound." Because Captain Fred
wasn't tired of tourists yet, he spent the entire day on the water
showing us the Columbia Glacier, cruising through uniquely ice-blue
iceberg waters, locating sea otters, sea lions, whales, and taking
us in for close-ups of beautiful sea caves and waterfall dotted
shorelines. A real treat was seeing a bald eagle sitting regally
on top of an iceberg in the middle of the ocean.
its plush atmosphere of teak, mahogany and oriental rugs, the Lu-Lu
Belle means cruising in style, for sure. Because I had shared a
promo piece I wrote for Sea Otter RV Park which included info on
their cruise, and because I had lassoed my 4 Texas friends to join
me as paying passengers, they gifted me not only with the comp cruise,
but a DVD recording of it. Captain Fred and his beautiful wife Megan
are Seattle natives who live on the boat during the winter in Seattle,
and spend the summer working here hosting the glacier/wildlife cruise.
I've really enjoyed meeting and spending some time with these great
people and hearing their interesting stories.
strange thing was that my camera even decided to work on the cruise,
so I took almost 70 pictures besides the ones I got from Woody &
Genie's efforts. When we got back into the harbor, the skies had
turned gray again and it rained the rest of the night. Genie graciously
invited me to eat a fantastic dinner she had the crock pot prepare
while we were gone, and that was the grand finale to a grand day.
By then, it was 10:30 at night and I was so exhausted, all I could
do was thank God for the clear sailing we had all day and the great
new friends I had to share it with.
29, 2003 - Preparing to leave Valdez
I sit here looking at this incredible view and watching the sun
move across the sky (that's as close as you get to a sunset here)
I fall in love all over again with Valdez. This really was an inspired
choice for my first major stop in Alaska. Yesterday I walked a trail
by the water called Dock Point Trail. I can't tell you how many
pictures I've taken of the mountains ringing this harbor - every
day they look different and every vantage point gives a different
but equally beautiful perspective.
owners and staff here at Sea Otter have truly gone above and beyond
the call of duty in making my stay a great one. Besides letting
me park lengthwise so that I am engulfed by the view, they have
all been so friendly and helpful with anything I've needed a hand
with. It's such a shame that the park will no longer exist in another
5-6 years. The lease from the city expires then and the plan is
to turn this into more harbor space for the hundreds of boats on
the waiting list to dock here.
received my replacement camera today and hope this one doesn't develop
the same "unresolveable" problem. Although it seemed to
have resolved itself somehow, as it had begun working on its own
after a full day of being broken, so who knows? I still chose to
take the new camera, of course.
I'll be taking off as soon as I'm ready in the morning and will
take a couple of days to get to Anchorage, where I'll stay at least
a couple of days. It turns out an old friend from Austin is visiting
his sister there during the next couple of weeks, so I'm going to
visit them. Woody and Genie left here yesterday and will be there,
also, so I look forward to meeting up with them again. I'm going
to spend my time in Anchorage at Ship Creek Landing, a less expensive
park than the one I had planned on for July. That will give me a
chance to check it out and see if it would be an acceptable alternative.
It's closer to downtown, but the railroad tracks look pretty close
to it, also, so the preview will be enlightening.
30, 2003 - From Valdez to Glenallen
woke several times last night listening to the driving rain on my
roof. I made up my mind to stay another day if it continued because
no way was I going to brave Thompson's Pass in the pouring rain.
I had built up a dread of that pass when I went down its long white
face on the way to Valdez. The clouds melded in with the snow on
the ground and I didn't like the feeling of not being able to see
anything but white except for the road right ahead - it was too
disorienting. When I got to the bottom, still having to use my brakes
even though in second gear, I began right then to dread the climb
back up because it looked so steep and went on for so long. It was
definitely the longest, steepest climb I've encountered in my two
years on the road. Every time I'd think about it I'd get a little
sick feeling in my stomach and had visions of me slipping down it
God it was another case of me dreading something that didn't deserve
the worry and fear I inflicted upon myself. By the time I was ready
to leave at 10:00 this morning, the clouds had parted and it was
another beautiful day in Alaska.
had promised the owner of the Lu-Lu Belle that I would drop off
some of their brochures at the Worthington Glacier visitors center
near the Pass and I am so glad I had that assignment because I probably
would not have stopped there again. The center been closed when
I came through 2 weeks ago, but I had stopped then and thought I
had seen the glacier. Wrong - this time the weather was clear and
I was able to walk the trail that I hadn't even seen before (it
was probably covered with snow like everything else then - just
2 short weeks ago.) There were nice little benches on the side of
the trail where you could sit and contemplate the ancient glacier
and the shimmering pond that reflected it.
could not believe how many people on bicycles I saw on that road
- some obviously going cross-country because they were trailing
their little tents and bundles behind them. Even a couple of weeks
ago, I saw a few going across the desolate part of BC and the Yukon
and gave thanks again that I get to travel in such comfort and style
with such relative safety.
wildflowers have just started blooming and I saw lupines lining
the road in places. They look so much like the Texas bluebonnets
that I know must be pretty there this time of year, also.
it was like a new drive even though the first 100 miles was the
same road I had been down in getting to Valdez. It was great when
I took the turn at Glenallen to be on a road I had never been on
before, though. I still get these waves of amazement that I am actually
in Alaska. I got to thinking of a part of the glacier cruise I had
forgotten to write about before. A friend of Woody's had died recently
and his widow asked them to spread the ashes in the waters of Alaska
because that had been a longtime fantasy of his. I asked them why
he had never taken the trip and they said because his wife didn't
want to come to someplace so cold. I wonder if she now regrets her
part in preventing him from fulfilling that dream of his. It was
moving to see Woody entrust his friend to the sea and it strengthened
my joy in being alive and able to see the things I am so blessed
only drove 150 miles today and it's only another 150 miles to Anchorage,
but Woody advised to cut the trip in half because the second part
is full of construction delays and bumpy roads. I was glad to follow
that advice because there was one 10 mile stretch where the road
hugged a mountainside with a rather large drop down the other side.
There was only one lane and traffic had to be led by a pilot car.
It did my heart good to see so many women handling huge road machinery
and we cheerily waved to one another.
now in a park near Glenallen and when I checked in I met some nice
people from California that have been coming here for 18 years.
I'm going to have dinner with them and swap travel tales. I'm so
glad RVers are such open and friendly people - it lets me have company
when I want it and alone time when I go home - the best of both
3, 2003 - Leaving Anchorage
the past month in the wilderness of the Yukon and then in small-town
Valdez, Anchorage really seemed like a big city when I first arrived
here - it was exciting just driving on a smooth paved four lane
highway coming into town. And it was interesting the contrast between
how the mountains look from an uncrowded roadway than how they look
from a city full of buildings.
nice as it's been to have a choice of more than two stores to shop
in, I can already tell Anchorage is not where I would want to spend
the bulk of my time in Alaska. As Keala and I discussed after she
arrived in Oahu, it's like thinking you've seen Hawaii after seeing
only Honolulu. The difference between Oahu and Maui is the same
as the difference between Valdez and Anchorage - almost like two
different planets - definitely two extremely different experiences
of the same state.
was also good to catch up with my Texas compadres: Woody & Genie
and Chuck & Kalyn. I knew Woody and Genie were here, but it
was a nice surprise resulting in a nice visit with Chuck and Kalyn
once we discovered they were at the same park also. They all left
a couple of days ago, but they're headed in the same direction I
am, so no doubt we'll meet up again.
really did enjoy seeing John and Anthony at his sister's house on
Sunday. I got to meet a bunch of really cool people and hear their
stories about how they came to live in Alaska. They threw a great
party with outrageous amounts of delicious food and I really had
a blast. However, I can honestly say as much as I've loved the scenery
and the people here, there's no way I could spend one winter here,
much less live here. The best way I can describe it is that it's
just way too isolated a feel for me here.
writing that, I thought how strange that I never felt that way living
in Maui for over 3 years. Hawaii is certainly as far removed with
fewer options on getting there, as well as having a lot less space.
I remember hearing of people having "island fever" there
who just couldn't get over an almost claustrophobic feel to being
in that small a space completely surrounded by water. I never experienced
that, but I believe I would here for some reason. So it's not the
amount of the space, but the feeling of isolation that gets to me
here. Maybe it's because towns are so far apart. Maybe also because
Maui feels warm, tame and gentle compared to cold, wild and rustic
- I suppose comparisions aren't necessary anyway, but still interesting
to play with. I'm having a blast with all the new experiences this
different type of trip has provided me. It's different not having
to work - it's different traveling totally by myself - I'm living
in a completely different landscape than anything I've ever experienced
before - and at this point different feels good. If life is about
change and growth, then doing something different must be part of
that process, so at least I feel like I'm accomplishing that.
to small town Alaska experience again tomorrow - I'm looking forward
to that! I think Woody and Genie are in Cooper Landing, which is
on my way to Kenai so I may end up only going 150 miles tomorrow,
which is just fine with me. I know there are longer drives in my
near-enough future, so going slow sounds good about now.
4, 2003 - Russian River National Forest Campground
decided I wanted to be able to boondock whenever possible, so I
decided to bite the financial bullet and buy new house batteries.
Even though I had been checking the water level on the ones I had,
one of the cells went dry and would no longer hold a charge. I'm
glad I found out when I was in Anchorage where I was able to get
2 golfcart type batteries, and one more worry removed is a good
thing. Whew! And I can testify from experience that if you happen
to need batteries while in Anchorage, I highly recommend Battery
Specialists - and tell Mike I said hi!
River is a great park. There are posted warnings everywhere about
the presence of bears here and to make noise when you're on the
trails, etc. The literature says basically bears are pretty shy
and don't generally seek confrontations with humans, unless surprised
or if you come between a mom and her cub. Even though I've been
disappointed that I haven't seen all the bears on the road that
others have said they've seen, I really wouldn't want to see one
unless I'm in the safety of my house looking out the window, so
I haven't ventured far on foot. But these surroundings just look
ripe for bears, so I hope to see one maybe in the morning with my
coffee. This is just such a nice spot, I may explore it a little
bit more tomorrow. One nice thing about such parks is that checkout
is not until 2:00 and I don't have far to go tomorrow, so can leave
late or even decide to stay another night.
pretty deserted here with just a few of the spots taken, but it
feels safe and nice and I'm not even afraid - or at least not very
much. I walked around a little as I moved spots to get closer to
the sound of the water and now the birds are chirping and I bet
I sleep good tonight. I feel like I've scored a victory by breaking
through some of the limitations I had placed on myself due to fear
lately, and that always makes me feel pretty good.
5, 2003 - Rainy Russian River
this must be a miraculous day. It's raining and I'm not griping
about it. I could hear the rain on the roof all night long and it
hasn't let up. But I'm enjoying this deserted spot in the middle
of this beautiful forest so much that I don't much care about leaving
anyway. It's so very peaceful and quiet here with beautiful woodsy
views through every window, a huge level parking spot and I have
plenty of every type of fuel necessary to stay as long as I want
to. There are nice walking trails down to the river and if the rain
lets up, I'd like to explore around here a bit, anyway. Besides,
even though it was only 2 miles off the main road, it was a tight
winding enough road for me not to care for driving it in the rain
if given a choice. Who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow,
but I have allotted the entire month of June to exploring this peninsula,
so I have lots of time. Mom doesn't arrive into Anchorage until
the 19th, so there are lots of options for staying down here longer
if I want to.
thrilled that my new batteries kept a charge all night, even while
running the heater, so I feel a lot more confident about my renewed
ability to dry camp. The generator started right up this morning
and I ran it for about two hours to keep it happy, but I'm glad
to be able to turn it off because it's so noisy. I still keep hoping
I'll see a bear or moose from my window - this sure looks like the
kind of spot for that possibility. There are beautiful birds like
I've never seen before and I even though I can't identify them with
my bird encyclopedia, I still enjoy their nameless beautiful sights
I went to pay for my second day, I met one of the camp hosts, Carol.
We hit it off like old friends right away and ended up hiking the
afternoon together. Later she came by "doing her rounds"
and dropped off some homemade goodies - what a great new friend!
I gotta get in shape to keep up with this woman, though. She's 8
years older than me and I had to keep telling her to slow down and
let me catch my breath. She said she just loves to walk and hike
but her husband doesn't, and she was just as happy to have a walking
companion as I was. Both of us were a little disappointed we didn't
see any bears, even though we did see some fresh organic evidence
of their passing (bear crap).
since I have somebody fun to play with, I might just stay another
day or so. Again, I just love having these kind of options! It's
so great to be able to just follow my whims of the moment - to go
and stay as I choose and just let heart and intuition lead my next
move. Being able to live this kind of free life even for just a
summer is such a gift!
6, 2003 - Kenai's Mouth
morning, while I was having my first cup of coffee at the picnic
table overlooking the mountains and river, Carol came by and brought
me some homemade banana bread. That was a most welcome breakfast
treat and along with it came an invitation to go with her to explore
the campground a bit on our bikes.
it was great to get to meet some of her friends from the area. Two
women from the northeast are here with their husbands for the summer
volunteering with the Stream Watch branch of the National Forest
Service here. We admired Ron's handiwork on the squirrel feeder
he had made, then we took off hiking again.
wanted to show me the mouth of the river where the Kenai and the
Russian Rivers come together. It was so interesting to see the vividly
different colors of each - the Kenai has that cool blue glacier
water look and the Russian is more clear, reflecting the deep green
growth and brown rocks beneath it. She pointed out a few of the
red salmon that are just now starting to arrive in the area. She
said in another couple of weeks this area would just be a madhouse
of fishermen lining the shores, with bears in abundance then, competing
for the mass of salmon spawning upstream.
showed me the Russian River ferry, basically a small metal basket
thing which is operated by an overhand pulley system. They ferry
fishermen the short distance to the river's opposite banks where
they ready their lines to cast precisely at one minute past
midnight on the 15th when the fishing season officially opens.
They are not picked up again until the next crossing at 6:00
the next morning, hopefully with their limit. I'm told that
Alaskan fishing laws are the most complex and unintelligible
anywhere, so good luck in figuring out what limit you might
was glad to be able to see these beautiful rivers and this great
national forest park while they're quiet before the explosion of
fishing season. I will definitely come back through here on my way
back to Anchorage to see Carol again and see the changes a month
think Carol's more disappointed than I am that we haven't seen any
bears since I've been here. She knows how much I want to see one,
but preferably in a very non-threatening situation. After our walk,
we drove through Cooper Landing, which took about 3 blinks, then
out to a local fancy lodge along a very scenic drive and setting
with beautiful mountain views. On the way we saw a moose on the
side of the road and I was thrilled - this was the second one I
saw but the first one I could see really well since Carol was driving
and I was able to get a pretty good picture of it.
just realized recently that the 4 moose I thought I saw on the BC
road here and wrote about are actually caribou. I had heard caribou
are actually reindeer and I didn't picture them so big, so I thought
what I had seen must be moose. It wasn't until I showed the picture
to a local of the "moose" I had seen, that I informed
that moose are even bigger.
today getting to see an actual for-real moose just munching grass
on the side of the road right down the street from my house, I understood
the difference. He didn't have the big antlers, but he was one big
honking moose! Carol even turned around and we went back to get
the picture. He had moved a little when we stopped, but was still
visible until we had to move with the traffic. So that was exciting,
but seeing a bear in the wild is definitely my holy grail mission
now. I may try to do the barter thing again in Kenai to do one of
those bear flightsee tours to Kodiak Island or Katmai. It worked
getting me on the Lu-Lu Belle in Valdez, so it's worth a try.
it's been so nice at this park for the past 3 nights - it's gorgeous,
I've had a great time with a new friend and I'm looking forward
to seeing more of this area's beauty as I move south to Kenai tomorrow.
It was so nice of Carol to make me one of her allowed guests on
my last night here, as I especially like free rent. My new batteries
are performing beautifully and I've decided I really like staying
in parks like this and am so glad that option is open to me again.
was all ready to hit the road today, but when Carol came by at 1:00,
she invited me to the picnic the forest service was throwing for
the camp hosts and volunteers. So I had a yummy lunch and met a
bunch of other neat people. It's getting to be a real joke (although
not really funny to me) that everybody talks about all the animals
they've seen - bears walking through the campground, mamma moose
with brand new babies strolling around - and I'm the only one not
spotting them! Carol is determined to show me a bear, so she talked
me into staying another night at half price so we can go bike riding
later on and see what we can see.
I've really enjoyed her and her husband, Ron - what a great couple!
It's so wonderful to make such instant and great friendships that
I hope to maintain thanks to the wonder of email and cell phones.
of the miracle of this journey for me has been the lessons I have
learned from the people I've been blessed to meet. So often we take
it as fact that the people who come into our lives come simply by
happenstance, by "accident." One of the basic tenets of
metaphysics says there are no accidents and that everything happens
for a purpose. God knows that since I talk to rocks and believe
mountains are alive, it is no surprise that I believe strongly that
every single person I meet, especially in this type of journey,
carries with them a gift for me and vice versa. I've had the term
"inspiration" come up so much in the way people describe
their reaction to what I'm doing. But all along the way, that's
exactly what I've gotten from the people I've met along the road.
Just in Alaska alone:
and Genie being married for 47 years and still obviously in love
- what an inspiration for me, a charter member of the Cynical About
Lasting Love Ever Being Possible Club. Plus just the way they took
me under their wings and kept me informed of road conditions and
other useful info as they paved the way - truly joyful people to
& Kalyn loving their traveling lifestyle and each other - I
just instantly felt comfortable with them like I'd known them for
years. They're the best kind of friends - the kind that make me
laugh - especially with Chuck's ever-so-accurate portrayals of some
of the lesser-known attractions that Alaska provides.
nearly died laughing at what he wrote in his update about our Anchorage
now find ourselves enjoying the wonder and grandeur of Anchorage,
Alaska and, more specifically, the Ship Creek RV Park. Nestled on
the fringe of the industrial district and overlooking the Alaska
railroad right of way, it is a definite stop for anyone visiting
the area in an RV. Throughout the day we have jumbo jets flying
overhead and slowing above our campsite so we can enjoy the roar
of gigantic jet engines. You mix this with the sound and vibration
caused by the Alaska RR trains running through our backyard interspersed
with the high pitched prop whine of float planes which buzz us at
about 200 feet, then all it takes is the sputter and choking of
the antique riding lawnmower they maintain our campground with to
complete this picture of total harmony with nature
This is the side of Alaska that is never mentioned in any of the
travel brochures. :-)
he includes a picture of his rig with the train running behind it
- what a sad but true and hilarious portrayal of this convenient
but uninspiring RV park in downtown Anchorage!
his comment about eating buffalo burger:
bite out of either of these tasty treats leads you to wonder why
the hell we hunted these critters at all, much less to the brink
been great fun to run into them along the road and no doubt we'll
meet again. As big as Alaska is, we "Texans" can't seem
to miss each other out here.
then my last encounter with Carol - what an inspiration she is! I
guess since I've been feeling my age lately, she served as an amazing
example of how in shape you can be if you make the effort. She took
away my ability to continue my copout attitude that it's only natural
to just stop doing some of the things that are getting a little more
physically uncomfortable as I age. I could not keep up with her and
I wanna be just like her when I grow up. What great people - what