Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 50

Home again, home again, jiggety jig. We are all together again, home in Lynden. The reason we have not updated the blog after day 41 was that in all the places we were, there was no cell service for most of it. If there was internet service, it was either really slow, or there were restrictions on uploading, or else time restrictions. So it was better just to wait til we got home.

During that time of no blogging, we traveled through Beaver Creek, Yukon, Haines Junction, Yukon, back to Whitehorse, and to Junction 37, where the forest fires were. We waited 24 hours to be escorted through the fires - that was quite amazing! Finally we got to Hyder, AK and unfortunately, with a low fish count, we didn't get to see any grizzlies. We did see black bears. From Hyder, we shot down to 100 Mile House (B.C.) to where the trailer's brakes and bearing were to be checked, and to fix the motor for the bunk beds. BUT - about 51 miles north of there, we had a major blowout. It caused quite a bit of damage to the trailer (not to mention the tire). Now we are home, after spending much of the day at the trailer repair place.

For anyone who is interested in numbers, we were gone 50 days, and traveled 7,531 miles. Too soon to tell the cost - although very expensive. There were so many unplanned events in this trip, it has been amazing. We thank all who have followed this blog - for your thoughts, for your prayers, for being interested.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 41

Something that we didn't post about yesterday was seeing Tok Alaska's biggest gold nugget. The size of this nugget is 4.5 pounds and was all solid gold. In 1983 the price for this was offered at over 200,000 dollars.

Today (day 41)- After sleeping in for a bit we left Beaver Creek heading toward Haines Junction. As we were driving for about an hour we saw several people pulled over and it turns out there was a large grizzly bear. We couldn't get very good pictures of it because it wasn't showing his face.
On our way to Haines Junction we stopped at this small town called Burwash. In Burwash they had the worlds largest gold pan.
We arrived in Haines Junction at about 2:45pm and it was a great disappointment. First of all thanks to the inadament object Susan our GPS and google maps... We got lost... On a gravel road with no turn around's. We tried using this small patch of sod dust and bark to turn around and even though it was not very smart or safe our father mastered this almost impossible turn... Infact he turned so well that we just turned in a full circle and turned back to the same direction we were going.
We ended up finding a turn around place a little farther down the road in some type of yard with tall weeds, Matt had to walk ahead heroically to make sure there were no steep hills, death defying cliffs.. or pot holes. Thankfully with Matt's heroic walk there was nothing bad and we were able to turn around safely!
Second of all. The RV park, if you can call it that, was a dump. We are at a loss of words of how miserable it looked. The bright and wonderful side of this town was that was a nice catholic church that we wanted to attend but turns out since we weren't staying there we couldn't.

We also saw a cute squirrel scamper up a tree in Haines Junction Visitors center.

After Realizing what a disaster Haines Junction really was we decided to keep on moving and we ended up staying in Whitehorse where we are currently spending the night.

Day 40

We left Data Junction. Our next stop will be Beaver Creek, Yukon. The was not too bad, we hit a lot of road construction. And of course heaves. We got into Beaver Creek about 5PM.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days 38 & 39

Day 38 We spent the day on Prince William Sound. We were on a Glacier & Wildlife Tour with Stan Stephens Cruises. The water was calm and the sky's were gray and foggy.
That day the fishermen who fished for salmon had 14 hours to get as much as they can. Here is what they do. They have big nets and the fish can either swim under them or jump over them but the fish are really dumb and end up swimming right into them. then the 2 boats meet up and they reel in the net.

Along the 9 hour cruise we saw many animals... Again... We saw fat sea lions, and cute little sea otters. And we saw a rare moment of them hanging out together on an ice berg.

We went to 2 glaciers. The Columbia glacier and the Mears glacier. The Columbia glacier was so dense in the ice field that we couldn't drive the boat through to go see the actually glacier.

Mears glacier was different. We got to put the boat within a quarter mile of the glacier. We got to see some calving. Matt got a BRILLIANT picture sequence of a piece of ice falling off the glacier and splashing into the ocean.

We were gonna go see some bears feeding on salmon but NO!. Dad decided to take a job and "fix" someones computer. Turns out the computer wouldn't boot up anymore and had to rebuild the computer.... Staying up til 2:30 I personally think he learned his lesson about taking jobs late at night INSTEAD of spending time with his wonderful kids.

Day 39. After waking up early to finish the computer... Aside from getting paid. He got a large chunk of smoked salmon. Thankfully Matt and Jordon got a nice nights sleep and got to sleep in because dad had to keep working on this computer. He finally finished and we got on the road at about 10:45am. We are now in Delta Junction and are going to officially finish the Alaskan Highway soon. Tomorrow we will be going into Canada FINALLY! and going toward home. Less than 2 Weeks thankfully!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 37 Valdez, AK

Well the day started over phone call with Jennifer and Doctors. This hold thing with Elizabeth is very confusing to say the least. Cooked french toast for breakfast. after clean up we did Laundry. Very exciting HA HA. Took Matthew to the local doctor, he has strep-throat.

Tomorrow we will go on an other day cruise. Pictures will come after trip.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Days 34, 35, 36

Day 34 We just hung around the trailer. Went out for breakfast because the trailer was cold because we ran out of LP gas whoops. It cost me $58.00 for 14.1 gallons. WOW that's a lot.

Day 35 We left Seward, AK and was suppose to stop for the night in Palmer, AK, but decided to drive on to Valdez, AK 430 miles. The ride was good and roads pretty flat. Below are some pictures of the way in to Valdez.

Day 36 We got up to guess what? Yes More rain and gray skies. This is the rainiest vacation ever for us. We Went to the Valdez Museum, what a town to have endured such hardship in the 1964 earthquake. The earthquake was the number one highest on earthquake on the richter scale in North America at a 9.2. The highest one is 9.5 in Chile. It took them 3 years to prepare the new grounds where they planned to build the new town 5 miles away. you can still see parts of the old town, and parts of the pylons of the pier of what is left of it. They burned all the houses and buildings down.

After checking out the old town we decided to go see this place where people say there is a bear and some cubs feeding, but after several passes of driving back and forth we didn't see any bears. But we did get to see where the pipe line ends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 33 Seward Kenai Fjords National Park Tour

Today we woke up to a beautiful morning.
The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

We left the trailer at about 8:25am to go to the marina for our day cruise.
The boat we rode on was called the "Kenai Star".
Just after setting sail at 10am we saw our first animal. It was a sea otter.

The whole 9hrs had a lot of beautiful scenery.

Shortly after, we saw our first whale. turns out that it was a mom whale with her calf and the calf seemed excited to see us and put on a great show for us.

The Cruise included an all you can eat prime rib, and salmon feast. It was delicious. Plus all you can eat desert, they had carrot cake, brownies, and jello.

One of the main things on the cruise was to see glaciers and specifically Aialik Glacier. Aialik Glacier is right on the water and you could watch it "calve", which is where chunks of ice break off and crash into the water and makes really loud noises. This specific glacier is nine tenths of a mile wide and 4 miles long.

Some of the other wild life we saw were in order: Puffins, Seagulls, Sea Lions, Porpoise,More whales

On our way back we saw something that most Alaskans havent heard about yet. Some whales either came up from somewhere else or started a new habit 3 days ago and its called "bubble net fishing". What it is, is where a group of whales get together and started circling around a group of fish acting as a net of bubbles and then they each take turns going through the net to eat the fish.

For more accurate information here is an article we found to help explain it: Bubble net fishing