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Updated: 2018-03-08T09:10:51.939-06:00

 



SELDOVIA DAYS

2016-08-01T18:43:47.013-05:00

We have been having such a pleasant time visiting the Alaska kids!  I haven't been so relaxed in a long time, and wonder of wonders, I am sleeping at night!  Must be the quiet, the fresh air, the stress free life we are having up here.  Beats living next to a 4 lane highway, that's for sure!Rush hour in SeldoviaSo we went fishing the other day.  We set a long line with about 30 octopus baited  hooks hanging from it, and let it set for several hours.  We then went back to check it and hopefully pull in some halibut. This is Captain Chris, our son Ernie and Chris pulling in the line No halibut, just starfish!But who cares when this is the scenery! We hung around the Boardwalk We went to the playground at the little park We had a beach picnic with all the awesome people up here We hid in the tall grasses and fireweed We walked around and looked at the pretty flowers and gardensAmy and I picked raspberries and the 2 1/2 year old berry kid ate berries!Yes, we are having a wonderful time.  The weather has been cloudy and rainy for the most part, but the climate, the scenery and the people are just as awesome as can be!  [...]



3 Comments

2016-07-27T18:57:00.392-05:00

NORTH TO ALASKA Wow!  It has been almost 2 years since I wrote a blog post!  I guess Facebook has pretty much taken over!  However, I have some friends and family that aren't on Facebook, and I wanted to share some photos with them, so this is the easiest way to do that.  Bear with me....I don't remember how to do many things I used to do daily, but we will give it a try.This past Sunday we flew to Alaska for a few days to visit Chris, Amy, and grandson Nils.  We arrived in their  little village yesterday about dinner time after an uneventful flight, drive down the Seward and Sterling Highways, and ride on the Alaska Marine Highway system ferry.  The weather has been rainy and cloudy, but we had no problems or safety issues, for which we are thankful.This morning we went for a walk around this little sleepy village, and I snapped a few photos with my phone because I forgot my camera! I didn't have to walk far to snap this first picture.  It is the scene directly out the door of the cabin where we are staying.  This was about 6am, not a creature was stirring, and not a ripple spoiled the mirror surface on the slough.  There was not a sound.  Even the chattering seagulls hadn't awakened yet.We walked down the old Seldovia Boardwalk which was almost totally destroyed in the earthquate of 65.  Looking back you can see our starting point, the darker blue cabin in the middle. Yes, we are on stilts that are in the water when the tide comes in, so there is water under the cabin and the boardwalk.  A flower display along the boardwalk.A collection of teapots holds plants in this garden. I think the colorful poppies just might be my favorite of the beautiful flowers here.    A pretty centerpiece on the picnic table in the little park in the middle of the village.This was taken at Inside Beach where I was attempting to get a phone signal.  No such luck!  On the far horizon to the right behind the tree covered hill, is Homer, on the other side of Kachemak Bay.  We stayed in Homer on Monday night, in this B&B pictured below.  Our hostess, Debbie, grows fabulous flowers, don't you think?Now I will attempt to push the publish button and see if it still works!  I am really just fumbling my way through this, trying to remember something I did for 8 years!  If it works, I'll see you again soon![...]



REMEMBER LAST YEAR?

2014-09-13T20:03:20.682-05:00

Do you remember this time last year?  I had been busy for weeks, filling two freezers with tomatoes, beans, broccoli, peppers, applesauce, etc.
Well, it's a good thing I filled them so full last fall, as this year has not been nearly as productive.  The garden did not produce like it did last year, and we left for a whole month during the peak of the harvest.  The tomatoes will be fine for spaghetti sauce and chili, the beans are still great in the soups, and the peppers can still flavor the sauces.  I did get some apples and have made some apple sauce, I've done some freezer pickles, and I have pears and nectarines coming.  Otherwise, it's been an off year for the freezer foods.



HOME

2014-09-08T09:32:25.750-05:00

We arrived home at noon yesterday, just in time for Ernie to hook the TV back up and turn on the Vikings game, while I unloaded the car and put away the stuff, clean the frig, went to get groceries, and fill the Berkey with fresh water!  I was really tired last night after not sleeping well the whole week driving home, so after a nice hot shower I went to bed before 10.  And someone's alarm clock went off at 1:30, waking me from the first good sleep in a month!  Fortunately I was able to go back to sleep and I feel refreshed this morning,Thought I'd post a bunch of random photos from the wedding weekend.  It was so much fun! At the rehearsal, the groom and groomsmen were a fashion show of colorful Grateful Dead shirts! Bridesmaid granddaughter Kjirsten and groomsmen grandson Adam, two of the groom Aaron's siblings.Daughter Kari and son-in-law Mike put on a fabulous groom's dinner.....Mike grilled well over a hundred kabobs!Granddogs Cooper, Marley and Ziggy on the morning of the wedding.  Looks like they had a rough night!Mike cooking pancakes and eggs for the wedding day breakfast.The whole wedding party, including all 5 flowergirls and the 2 ringbearers.The girls of the wedding party with beautiful granddaughter Kjirsten holding flowergirl Maggie, 11 months, with flowergirl Abby, 2 years, in front of her.  The colors were a soft champagne color with the two maids of honor in shades of a soft pink and a darker rose/ burgundy color.  The men had a soft sage green color for their ties.  It was a lovely color combination.  The flowergirl's dresses were also an off white/champagne/ color. Miss Abby was fascinated by her flowers.  She especially liked the ivory roses, and she traced the circular pattern of the petals with her fingers, over and over and over. Miss Maggie carried her bottle, not flowers!   This is one of the baby ringbearers!  They were so cute in their suspenders and black pants and white shirts! Two of the other flowergirls.  Aren't they precious? The bride and groom with his family.  From the left they are: Ben, Anna, Mike, our beautiful daughter Kari, Callie, Aaron, Adam, Kjirsten, Katie, and Kjirsten's husband Ryan, and the two princesses, Abby and Maggie.  Katie's husband Clayton was still on the way up when the photos were taken.  Bummer that he isn't on this awesome family photo!  The video guy, our grandson Caleb.The female portion of the wedding party, minus Miss Abby who was sitting with her daddy at this point. The vows.  I am so happy this awesome couple chose to make Christ the focal point of their wedding day! Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Fletcher! The first dance. So in love. Completely worn out after all that hard work being a flowergirl!  She was a blur all evening at the dance, whirling and twirling in her pretty dress!  She was still going strong when we left the dance!It was a fun, family and love filled day.  Thank you God for the gift of a beautiful day, wonderful family and the love that this newly married couple share![...]



THE WEDDING

2014-09-07T08:20:35.742-05:00

We are still at the motel.  Yesterday we enjoyed the wedding of our oldest grandson, Aaron, and his sweetie, Callie.  I'll post a few pictures later, but for your viewing pleasure this morning, I give you the Great Grand Princess, Flowergirl Abby!





IT'S BEEN A BLUR......

2014-09-03T21:38:39.289-05:00

No, I haven't forgotten you.  It's just taking me awhile to accept the fact that I'm again going to be almost 4000 miles away from my youngest grandson.  It's been rough.  The roads, the weather, and my attitude....all rough.  But, I have decided that I need to focus on my oldest grandson's wedding on Saturday rather than on leaving the youngest grandson in Alaska.  I love you dearly Nils, but this weekend belongs to Aaron and Callie.Tok to Whitehorse on Sunday.  Whitehorse to Fort Nelson on Monday.  Fort Nelson to Whitecourt on Tuesday.  And Whitecourt to Saskatoon today.  I know it means nothing to you, but it is a blur to me.  We had rough roads, construction, and rain until today.  We had long days, many miles, and arrived late each night.  Today we arrived at a decent hour, and I had time to enjoy cooking and eating our dinner for a change.However, I do believe that the scenery is more spectacular on the return trip than on the trip up.  Same road, same mountains, but different views.  I'll post a few pictures, but remember; all were taken through a wet dirty windshield, at 55-65 MPH.  No quality in the photos, that's for sure!  But it was beautiful!The Garmin is saying to drive 587 miles on the same road to your destination! I love when you can see miles ahead and see the road curving off into the horizon.  Even in the rain. At the Watson Lake gas station.  The flowers here are spectacular.   Not too many department stores are so decorated!  The whole boulevard is decorated with lovely flowers and flags. There were a lot of different clouds in the past couple of days.  Nice even when there wasn't any sunshine.Saw the big guy along the road.  And probably another 100 or so were traveling along the highway with him.We did have a few peeks of sunshine. Excuse me!  I want to cross the road right here in front of you!  Plenty of gravel again.And we played the 'follow the pilot car' a few times. See how they have the road cleared along the highway for safety for us and the animals who may decide to cross.  Many trucks. These behemoths really scare me.  They are 3 sections of trailer, and the logs are seemingly just piled on top of each other.  I am so afraid that they will roll off and squash the little Prius.  And me! Today we traveled the whole day on 4 lane highways through lots of farmland.   Thank you Milepost!  Once again you have seen us through!  This is the 5th copy of this book we've purchased as a travel companion along the highways of the north.  It's pretty accurate....listing most all of the gas stations, motels, restaurants, rest stops, pull offs, trash cans, and outhouses along the highway.  There are milepost signs along the highway that correspond with the listings in the book so it's easy to see where you are at all times.  So many places have closed since our first trip up the road in 1992 that it's necessary to buy a new book each time if you want to know for sure where your next gas or potty break is going to be!Tomorrow, God willing, we will be in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Hope to connect with our son there, even if it's only for a few minutes to hug the grandkid, Sammy!  Then Friday morning it's off to the retreat where the big wedding is taking place this weekend.  It's been a long, but good trip![...]



FALL HAS ARRIVED IN THE YUKON

2014-08-31T22:24:19.426-05:00

I believe it was in the upper 30's when we got up this morning, and was just a bit over 40 when we left.  The fall chill is definitely in the air.  We spent the night in Tok, and had a rough night.  A circuit must have blown in our room, and Ernie's breathing machine didn't run.  Neither of us slept after 2 am, him because he didn't have his machine, me because he would drop off to sleep, snore, wake up, thrash around, and drop off and snore again, etc, etc, etc.  We are both tired and a bit short tonight. Over 200 hundred of the miles we drove today were frost heaves and construction.  This is definitely the worst stretch of road on the whole highway.We stopped for gas at the Alaska/Yukon border station, and there he was.....Okay, ready?  All together now.  "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.........Quoth the raven,  "nevermore." "Yes, the Yukon is larger than life.  It is a huge, sparsely populated, wild, beautiful province, and I love it!Don''t love the construction, though.It is a way of life up here, I guess!There is color in the hills.There is new snow on the top of the hills.The flats were all yellow mixed in the green spruce.And this was probably the most beautiful spot of the day.  Lake Kluane with the bright yellow, gold and orange along the shore.Do you see the two bikers along the right side?  I think these were just day riders, but we have seen many riders who are obviously doing the whole highway.  They are loaded down with gear and are very slim and trim and are peddling up and down the hills like no body's business.Another pretty spot of bright yellow in the midst of the green spruce.And then comes the weird display in Haines Junction.  Animals of the Yukon are seemingly jumping out of a cone of cement.  This is the 10th time I've seen it, and I still fail to understand!More frost heaves close to Whitehorse.  And rain.  And clouds.And here I am, cooking supper in the alley behind the hotel.  Chicken and potatoes and carrots.  And I am pooped.  With no sleep last night, I think my hot shower in about 7 minutes is going to knock me out! Tomorrow is our longest mileage day....over 600 miles.  See you then![...]



AND WE'RE OFF TO THE WEDDING!

2014-08-30T23:33:37.094-05:00

Next Saturday we need to be at our oldest grandson's wedding in Minnesota.  Aaron and Callie are being married at a camp, kind of between St. Cloud and Minneapolis, and we need to be there!  Actually, we need to be there the day before to make potato salad for the reception.  So, we are off!And what a beautiful day to travel.  There were tears yesterday leaving Nils.  Then today leaving Anchorage it kind of cements it....we're on our way out of here.  We stayed at the AFB last night, and were out of there bright and early this morning as we wanted to stop at Ernie's youngest brother and wife's place about a half hour out of Anchorage on the road we needed to go on anyhow.The secnery heading up the mountain to their place was awesome! Stopped by this pretty little stream that was tumbling down the mountainside.  Finally arrived at Gary and Joy's place. What a beautiful place it is! With views like this outside their windows!And then we said goodbye to them and headed north and east, up the Glenn and Richardson Highways towards the Alaska Highway which we would pick up at Tok, our destination for the night. The views heading this direction are nothing short of awesome!  Around every corner and over every hill there is another beautiful scene. The colors sure have changed in the two weeks since we came the other direction on this highway!  Fall is here! Beautiful...Love the change of seasons... And the first snows on the tops of the peaks. Beauty everywhere you look. And we are now at Tok on the first night on our trip back home.  We pray for good weather, and safe travel, and look forward to seeing everyone at the wedding in a week![...]



AND THE CLICK OF THE CAMERA WAS HEARD IN THE PRIUS

2014-08-29T23:36:28.474-05:00

Late yesterday afternoon we had to say goodbye to the grandprince and drive back on to the AMHS ferry and head back to Homer, and then start the trip home.  Oh, I hated to leave this little guy!  He is a treasure for sure.  I hope the kids will be able to come to Minnesota before too long so we can see him again before he forgets us!  We will remember this past week and a half for a long time.  And I do have a few pictures! Bye Nils!  I love you dearly!Bye Chris and Amy, too.  Thanks for letting us hang out with Nils everyday.  Love you too!  We pulled out of the harbor in the rain..And it was raining when we got to Homer.....I think these houses on the Spit look like birdhouses.  This morning we left Kenai in the rain.It was cloudy and rainy, and then the sun would come out and wed have blue skies.  The foliage is such a lush green.Look at those lovely green hills.  And more rain and clouds.And sun and blue sky. Then very dark gloomy looking clouds. Then sunshine and blue skies.  Then we saw a bit of color appearing.And it turned into a beautiful rainbow right over Girdwood Valley where Chris and Amy used to live! Soon we were almost to Anchorage, and we had lovely blue skies again.  We were able to get a few groceries for the trip back, I washed 3 loads of clothes, and made supper and cleaned up dishes.  I am now officially done for the day and I am going to shower and go to bed early.  Travel day tomorrow, you know!Good night![...]



A PICNIC!

2014-08-27T01:07:36.679-05:00

Warning before you even start.....heavy photo overload!  (If I can get them to post!)We decided today would be a good day for a beach picnic. We are heading out of the harbor. Stella, too! And no, I am not happy to be stuffed into this wind suit and a life preserver!  That is Mt. Iliamna way across Cook inlet.And here is a big ole sea otter playing out in the kelp beds.  We're almost there, Nils! Starting a fire on the beach. Log seating provided by the sea! The baked potatoes and burgers are cooking and Nils is napping.It was a good meal!Almost back home after a fun afternoon.  It was a very pleasant, peaceful, relaxing picnic.  Thank you Chris and Amy for taking us on this adventure today![...]



HIGH TIDE - LOW TIDE

2014-08-26T15:46:05.190-05:00

Would you rather walk up the ramp at high tide or low tide?





DESTINATION!

2014-08-21T13:58:10.165-05:00

We are in Seldovia, but have no phone nor internet signal at our lodging, so we have to come up to the Sea Otter community Center to use their internet signal.  And yesterday I did get a temporary phone signal when we were up at our son's place....he is almost within sight of Homer, so the signal comes through a little bit. Let's see.  What pictures should I post.  I have plenty! Leaving Homer, heading to Seldovia. The city dock in Seldovia. The harbor in the evening.Beautiful, still water and perfect mirror reflection. Two houses on the old historic boardwalk. We saw many beautiful flowers on our walk about town yesterday morning. A pretty sight on the boardwalk. A coffee shop and houses along the slough. These folks are friends of our kids. Ernie said he'd buy me this place.[...]



HOMER

2014-08-18T23:37:21.143-05:00

Spied this sign today out on the Spit...thought it clever!

 And it's always fun to see this place!
 The famous Kenai River
 with a salmon rolling.
And our final destination is across Ketchemak Bay...tomorrow we see the grandkiddo!!!
So exited!



THE SEWARD AND STERLING HIGHWAYS

2014-08-17T23:47:27.868-05:00

The drive from Anchorage to Kenai, along the Seward and Sterling highways, is one of the most beautiful roads I've ever been on.  We've driven it in early summer, mid summer, late summer, fall, and winter, and each trip is more beautiful than the last.  Today's drive was in the rain and fog, and yes, it was still beautiful!
 This one is for you, Lynn!  It's just beyond Girdwood.
 Isn't it beautiful?
 Even when you can't see much at all, it's pretty.
The fog stayed off the roadway and just clung to the mountains and valleys.
And when we got checked in to our motel, the sun came out.  We picked up a few groceries and drove around a little bit, had a glass of wine with our pork chop, and now Ernie is already snoring.

Only about 36 hours until I get to see our little sweetie!  Can't wait!



SOME OF THIS AND SOME OF THAT

2014-08-15T23:33:58.749-05:00

It wasn't even 7 when Ernie decided to head out this morning.  We stopped at a grocery store and it wasn't even open yet!  But the Starbucks was and the Americano was delish.Today we saw some of this and some of that. Lots of that. But quite a bit of this, too.  Actually quite a bit of thisand this.  But then more of that.And that.  But wasn't this beautiful?And this?  And this? And we saw more ugly that.And that.  Plenty of miles of that.But in the end it was totally worth it because about 3:30 this afternoon we saw this!!!We are in Tok, Alaska for the night.  Tomorrow is Anchorage for a night, then down towards Homer.  Getting closer Nils!  Get ready for grandma's hugs and kisses![...]



FINDING BIGOOT ON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY

2014-08-13T22:39:36.156-05:00

It wasn't long after we got on the road this morning that the scenery began to change.  The wheat and canola fields soon gave way to the beautiful green forests, but we did sit at a construction hold up for a few minutes which gave me a chance to take a picture of one last farm scene.  The the excitement builds as we leave Alberta and cross into British Columbia and approach milemarker 0 in Dawson Creek, the beginning of the famous Alaska Highway, over 1700 miles from home.We stopped for lunch in the parking lot and the obligatory photo under the sign.Way up here the radio stations are practically nonexistent, so for entertainment along the way we are listening to CD's.  So far we have been serenaded by Greg Brown, Jerry Garcia, Iris DeMent, Gilllian Welch,  Peter Ostroushko, John, Paul, George and Ringo, and Marty Robbins.  Oh, and our very own Divers!  Soon we entered the hills....the big hills....the Northern Rocky mountains. Some stretches, especially where we were slowed by construction, had very heavy traffic, and many, many big trucks hauling pipes, oil, gas, machinery, and even a house! The greens are so green!  Except where the spruce beetle has killed the spruce trees.  Then they are a rusty brown.  Do you see those mountains coming up in the distance?  Excuse the buggy shots through the windshield.  We didn't stop for such minor things as photos! And this one is for grandson Ben!  We found him!  We found Bigfoot!  This spot was called Sasquatch Crossing. The fireweed is lining the highway on both sides....making for a very pretty drive.  However, it looks like the fireweed is pretty well spent, which means winter is coming soon!We are in Fort Nelson where it was 81 when we arrived at 4:30 this afternoon.  The car thermometer hit 84 at one point this afternoon.  It was a long day and I am ready for the shower and then bed, only to get up early and go even further tomorrow, hopefully landing in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory tomorrow night.  We have some beautiful scenery to go through tomorrow.Good night and God bless.[...]



WHEAT AND OIL AND TRAINS

2014-08-12T21:41:47.517-05:00

The sun was shining brightly as we made our way West and North today.  The morning was spent driving through the main crops of Saskatchewan, wheat and other grains, and canola.  Some spots offered a patchwork of fields, the ever present yellow of canola, light tan of barley, more golden tan of wheat, and many shades of the greens and browns of the other crops.  As the land changed from flat to more rolling hills, we saw many cattle farms.  They soon gave way to the other main crop of this part of Canada, oil.  We saw many farms with multiple oil tanks and pumps on them.  We saw many places where they were drilling for oil.  And the highway was crowded with trucks hauling pumps, parts, pipes, and this contraption shown below.  We don't know exactly what it was, but it was some part of an oil operation.  It was so huge that the traffic was blocked....it took both lanes of the highway and as it drove slowly down the road it held up a couple of miles of heavy traffic behind it. Lunch today was at a highway rest stop....actually it was a truck stop.  We just used their parking lot and built our sandwich! It was a day for interesting things on the highway.  A few miles down the road after lunch, we came upon a truck and trailer loaded with this helicopter! And then we arrived in Edmonton.  We thought we remembered that the highway went around the edge of the city, but nope, it went through the city.  It's a huge city.  It has lots of oil related businesses and buildings.  And of course it has the Edmonton Oilers.  And it has Wayne Gretzky Drive. And it has many signs for the West Edmonton Mall.  No, we did not stop.  Been there before, never need to go there again!  It's huge! Edmonton also has lots of trains.  And train tracks.  And these double decker train cars.   And when we arrived at our motel we found that we have our own train track, about 80 yards away from our room.  One train already came by, and it wasn't bad, so I'm not too worried.  Who am I kidding?  I wear ear plugs at night, so I'm not worried at all! Again we used our fancy new stove to cook our supper.  We opted for a decent meal tonight, and I fixed lemon peppered chicken thighs, buttered arborio rice, and carrots with maple syrup and dill.  And it was good.  So was the glass of malbec. Tomorrow we will arrive at mile 0 of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek.  We are scheduled to go up the road a good piece after getting on the real road to Alaska, and will put in about 550 miles tomorrow, God willing.  The exciting part is that the really beautiful scenery is about to begin!  Stay tuned![...]



WE LEFT THE COUNTRY

2014-08-11T20:46:29.168-05:00

Greetings from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  We arrived at our destination after 619 miles.  It was another good day of travel.  Sunshine the whole day, good roads, minimal traffic, and good scenery.

We entered Canada at about 12:45, and then pulled off the side of the highway to make a sandwich for lunch.
 There were many farms that were growing more of these oil wells than they were of crops.
This is a fracking operation.
The pretty yellow fields are canola.  The sky was a pretty blue, the clouds white, and with the yellow flowers it made a pretty scene.  Pay no attention to the glare from the shot through the windshield.
This is one of the beautiful sunflower fields of North Dakota.  I wanted to stop and get closer, but you know how it goes.....miles to go before we stop!

Looking back at the day, I think we drove through a loaf of multi grain/seed bread! We saw beautiful fields of wheat, barley, flax, soy beans, canola and sunflowers!  And maybe others that we didn't recognize!  We also passed by the first organic research farm in Canada!  I found that interesting....organic research!  Go Canada!

And now it's shower time and early to bed after a supper of tomato soup and pretzels.  Num num.



NORTH DAKOTA

2014-08-10T20:53:05.618-05:00

Well, the first day was a very pleasant drive and we made the first 365 miles in good time. The weather was great except for about 45 minutes of rain.
I hope we got rain back home too, as we are very dry.  The scenery in Minnesota was as usual; lush green trees, beautifully groomed fields of waving corn and beans, pretty lakes, rolling hills, and colorful flowers decorating the ditches along the roadway.  The scenery after we hit North Dakota was.....
....well, it was North Dakota.  Utility poles instead of trees, rolled bales in the ditches, and flat land as far as the eye can see.  But, we checked into our motel and then picked up our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, Sam for a little visit and an early supper, so it was worth it . 

We have over 600 miles to do tomorrow, so I won't be staying up late to check out the supermoon tonight, as much as I'd like to.  Our next stop is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

We are one day closer to Alaska!



NORTH TO ALASKA!

2014-08-10T05:57:42.309-05:00

The day has finally come and we are packed and ready to hit the road, going North to Alaska!  Not in search of gold nuggets as in the Johnny Horton song, but to see our own little precious gem, our youngest grandson.  Get ready for some lovin' Nils, Grandma is on her way!



NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR TRIP....

2014-08-09T08:54:45.321-05:00

This post has nothing to do with our trip, which will begin in about 20 hours, but this is what I am thinking about today.  Daddy died in 1982 and Mom in 2008, but I will celebrate for them today.  This would have been their 72nd anniversary.  Have you ever seen such a beautiful dress or bouquet?  Or bride?




AND SO IT BEGINS

2014-07-30T08:56:32.222-05:00

.....the organizing, the thinking, the deciding, the packing....it takes me a long time to get ready to go on the road for a month.  This is the fifth time we have driven the highway, and I am more excited this time than any of the other times.  The first road trip was exciting because it was the first trip.  The second trip was over the top because we had just retired, had a new to us truck and trailer, and two excited grandsons with us.  The third trip was special because we thought it would be the last time driving up.  Then we bought a Prius and decided to see how the trip would be without a camper to stay in and what kind of mileage would we get.  (averaged 54 MPG, thank you very much!)  and drove up for the fourth time.  And now we are doing it again!  Only this time we have an 8 month old grandbaby waiting at the other end!  The most exciting trip of all!

People think we are crazy.  Friends always tell us that we could fly and be in Anchorage in five hours.  Yes, we could.  And it would be easy to rent a car for the remaining 250 miles to our kids' place.  But we would miss the journey!  We have driven it often enough that we now know what is over the next mountain and around the next bend.  We anticipate the unbelievable beauty we will see in the next 100 or 1000 miles.  We look forward to the spot in the road where the fireweed is so prolific.  We remember the time we saw the bear on the hillside or in the ditch along the road.  We have the memories of staying in this or that campground, shopping in the little grocery store next to the gas station, and taking an evening walk in the little village.  Yet each and every time, we are awed anew by the incredible beauty of God's amazing creation.

So I have the food box started, and already have started gathering food items.  We don't eat out, but cook our three meals each day, so it takes some planning to find easy to prepare items that don't take up a lot of room.  The first item in the box is a huge jar of coffee beans.  We have oatmeal, rice and gluten free pasta in quart jars.  I have a couple of cans of chicken and of tomatoes.  I found  ready to heat up packages of lentils and chili sauce that can mix with a bit of burger for a quick chili supper.  Nuts and dried apricots for snacking or to add to the oatmeal, and coconut oil, peanut butter, and some spices have been packed.  Today we will round up the backpacking stove and clean it and make sure it's working.  I'll get out the tiny set of pots and the little cast iron skillet.  We also bring a little grill to cook meat on.  The last morning we pack the cooler with eggs, a little meat and cheese, almond milk, fruits and veggies, and the Britta water pitcher because I can't justify hauling along along the Big Berkey!  Today I'll bake a few loaves of bread to freeze for lunch sandwiches.

Our preparations are on the way.  Hope yours are too!



NORTH TO ALASKA AGAIN!

2014-07-28T10:25:49.694-05:00

Surprise!  It's me!  I have blogged our last 4 trips to Alaska, so I figured I had best do this one too.  After all, we are traveling different roads for the first portion of our trip, so I will have new photos to post.  And those of you who know me well, know that I do post a lot of photos.  I don't know if I'll have anyone following along, but maybe if I connect to Facebook someone will come along.

We will be on the road in two weeks, stopping first in Grand Forks to visit grandson Sammy and his parents.  Then it's North to Alaska to see youngest grandson Nils and his parents.  Getting excited!  Are you?



ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

2013-02-02T07:16:53.992-06:00

1653 - New Amsterdam, now known as New York City, was incorporated.

1863 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens used a pseudonym for the first time. He is better remembered by the pseudonym which is Mark Twain.

 1887 - The beginning of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA.

 1892 - William Painter patented the crown-cork bottle cap.

 1945 - U.S. President Roosevelt  and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill left for a summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

 1962 - The 8th and 9th planets aligned for the first time in 400 years.

 1971 - Christopher was born!


Happy birthday Chris!  I love you to the moon and back!  Hugs to you and Amy, and to granddog, Stella.



ANNA'S TABLE TOPPER

2013-02-01T09:30:54.534-06:00

My granddaughter spent an afternoon with me in my sewing room recently.  I gave her a charm pack of  one of my all time favorite fabric lines, Frolic, by Sandy Gervais, and told her to lay them out in either a square or a rectangle.  When she had them just the way she wanted them, with no help from me, I told her I'd sew them together into a table topper for her to give to her mom.  She argued with me, saying she wanted to give it to her 20 year old college student cousin, Caleb, who has an apartment across the street from where she lives, but who is probably not really into table toppers!  I am still trying to convince her that her mom would like it.  It was a quick throw together project, and it comes complete with wavy lines instead of straight lines, but that's okay.  I think Anna will be happy when I bring it to her today.  Then we'll find out whether her mom gets it for her oak kitchen table, or whether Caleb gets it for his small table that probably doubles as a study desk, kitchen counter, and storage area. 
And I did get all the gray spool ends on the blocks of thread for my Spools wall hanging.  Now I'll get at the sashing today, after I do some laundry, dust some furniture, mop some floors, and get some groceries.  And it is still  minus 19 wind chill, with an actual temperature of minus 7, but the sun is shining and it looks warmer than that.  We have 20 above predicted for tomorrow, and 32 for Tuesday.  Hip hip hooray!