Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Narrows . . .

We only live a days drive away from Zion, but we have never taken the time to explore any of the parks in Utah, because we were always on our way up to Montana to visit family.  Last year our son took our camper and toured the Grand Canyon and then went around the north side to end up finally in Watchman campground in Zion.  What a beautiful place.  We went back there with them the beginning of November before I had to have my foot operated on.  The last epic hike of the year.  It was so beautiful there and not too crowded.  From the sounds of things, we were lucky.  I guess it is crowded there a lot.  I don't think I would like to be there in the summer; it just looks hot.  I don't do heat well.  Guess that's why we leave the desert and go north every summer.  We hiked up the Narrows about 5 miles.  It was beautiful and we plan to go back there again.  I follow a blog "Oh the Places We Go" and they hike like crazy.  They posted a lot of their Utah hikes and I will be looking them up when we go back.  At the moment I can only sit here with my bandaged foot up and dream and plan.

On another hike, we found petroglyphs.  The rangers finally gave up the location, but they didn't want to.

The last hike until next year.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The end of the Alaskan Highway . . .

Just before we left on vacation, we happened upon a jeep and bought it.  Jay had mentioned that he would like one to tow behind the truck and low and behold, a good deal just happened to land in our laps.  Needless to say, the entire trip every time I saw a jeep, I would ask if that is like ours.  I truly didn't know because we had it for a few days before we left.  This isn't the one we bought, but this is how we thought we had to pack to drive across Canada and Alaska, not so much.  There are gas stations and civilization outposts everywhere.  

If this was me, I would have had some veggies growing up here.

Our models, Judy and Buddy.  We had to stop here for reindeer sausage and other types of meat
you can't find in the lower 48.

This is the outside of the meat store.  It is a big processing plant.

The Alaska state bird.  Guess who the jokesters are on this trip?

Road signs you don't see too many other places.

We took this trip backwards.  This is the end of the Alaskan Highway.

One thing I love about traveling north for the summer are all of the flowers. There are big balls of flowers hanging off of patios and store fronts everywhere.  We have had such a drought in California for such a long time, it's nice to see green and flowers.

I miss my garden at our old house.

The flowers and garden are in front of an old farmstead in Delta Junction.  Loved reading about and seeing all of the old stuff.

After we left here, we continued on to North Pole to visit my cousin.  More on that later.

Thought I would have finished this by now . . .

We have been home, gone back up 395 to Bishop, sprained my ankle and waiting to have surgery on my other foot next week.  With all of that, I truly thought I would have finished my Alaska trip by now.  Whoops, so I am just going to put up some pics with highlights.  When we finished going to Chicken we stayed in an RV park outside of Denali.  It was raining and a muddy mess in the park, but being a Desert Rat, I loved the green and rain.
Saw "The Mountain" several times peeking in and out of the clouds

Then we went to North Pole and met up with my cousin and finally met her family for the first time ever.  Her kids are full blown adults with babies! Well, we only met one of her kids, the others were at college and at work.

When we left North Pole and Denali, (Denali was after North Pole) we headed to the Kenai Pennisula and stayed at Homer, Seward and Valdez.  I loved it there.  It is what I picture when I think of Alaska.  When we go back, we are going straight there.  We fished for halibut and salmon and caught our limit.

I caught the bass!

There is a food truck next to the brewery that delivers the oysters when you order them.  Jay was mad because he had to share with me.  The other ladies don't like oysters.

The only wildlife we kept seeing were Elks.

Transportation in McCarthy
Brady was too hot and sat down in 50 degree water!
The boys had to stop here, one of their fav shows

Combat fishing at midnight in Soldotna

We had a great time.  Came home through Montana to visit my brother, biked the Hiawatha Bike Trail, met up with the kids near Tahoe, saw our sister-in-law in Reno and eventually made it home.  It was a great retirement trip!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Back in the USA at a BLM

We are back home now. It's Labor Day weekend and we are finally getting caught up on all of the chores that didn't get done this summer.  I didn't know I had so many people reading my blog while we were gone.  So I am going to continue with our travels through my journal and pictures.  Basically I get to go on the trip again and download more pictures because I have decent Internet.  They have it in Alaska, but it's sketchy and it takes forever for pictures to download.  Anyway, buckle your seat belts and let's go to down the road.

One of the nice things about turning 62, (for Jay) is the senior pass you can buy for the national park system.  Most places you camp, you get 50% off.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a lot of basic dry camping spots that are pretty cheap to free and if you have a senior pass, you usually only pay half price.  The Milepost has one such campground that is outside of Chicken, so we decided to stay there for the night.  Buddy and I were super excited to be camping for $5 a night.  The only downside was that there was a warning of mosquitoes.  It was really pretty and it did have a ton of mosquitoes.  They didn't bother Buddy, he chews tobacco, or me too much, but the rest of the group basically stayed inside their RV's looking out.  

Forty Mile BLM campground  

There is a beaver lodge there, but you can't really see it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Top of the World HIghway and Chicken, Alaska

We have heard about the Top of the World Hiway and about how bad the condition of the road is.  It is a gravel road for the most part, but not as bad as we expected it to be.  In fact once you pass through the border crossing you have a piece of very nicely paved hiway.
 Things you learn on the road that you never knew:  Alaska has it's own time zone.  The next step over is the International Date Line.
 Jay kept saying that he now knows where Montana gets its puffy clouds.  They float over from Alaska.  They are just beautiful.  The guys are kinda cute too.
 It truly feels like you are on top of the world and can see forever.
 Of course you have to stop in Chicken, Alaska which looks like three different establishments.
 We went to the funkiest looking one first.
 How appropriate.
 They have these "stick your head here" pieces of artwork all over Alaska, so you've just gotta do it.
 Woodstock, Palmstock, Chickenstock, of course.

 This is the place from Top of the World to here that you see people looking for gold everywhere.

 And off we go again!