Tailgates and Other Stuff…..

Last time I was here I complained about having the winter time blahs.  I didn’t mention I also came down with a good case of car fever.  Spring like weather or maybe just a little sunshine cures the blahs, but the only known cure for car fever is, shall we say, expensive.  You can’t let an illness like that go untreated so I blew the budget.

I didn’t just run out and buy something, I did a lot of research and assessed my wants and needs, ignoring the fact that I didn’t need a new car, I reached a compromise.  I wanted a new SUV with lots of bells and whistles.  I had a perfectly good SUV, a perfectly good pickup and an old fun to drive Jeep.

A one person household really doesn’t need three vehicles. I seldom haul anything bigger than a sack of groceries and I have a trailer or two for the occasional big load; the pickup was the odd man out.  I really don’t need that old Jeep but did I mention it is really fun to drive.

I found a good home for the SUV and traded the pickup for a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with lots of bells and whistles.  I am now a one person two Jeep household, I know one of them is a real Jeep, the other one needs to live with me a while and pass a few tests.  It has only been here about three weeks but I believe it has found a home and can proudly wear the Jeep nameplates.

I am a little nervous about life without a pickup; I have had one for the past 45 or 50 years and it is just kind of understood that a redneck needs a pickup.  So far I haven’t missed the pickup.  I wish I could say the same for the tailgate, I have already needed that thing two or three times.

If I would have included the tailgate in my assessment I probably would still be a three vehicle household.  Tailgates do so much more than just keep things from falling out of the back.  I needed to clean the mud off some shoes, I always sat on the tailgate and did that.  The next day I needed to change from some muddy boots to clean shoes: I missed that tailgate again.

Those two little incidents started the wheels turning.  I always do my chainsaw and weedeater maintenance on the tailgate, over the years I have used and abused tailgates for untold numbers of projects.

I have spent many pleasant hours sitting on the tailgate with good friends or maybe just casual acquaintances, swapping stories and enjoying life.  I have even spent some time there alone reflecting on the past and envisioning great things for the future.

I have heard, the perfect redneck summer evening is to get a six pack, sit on the tailgate with your significant other and watch the bug zapper.  I never did that but many years ago we had a bug zapper.

I never considered removing the tailgate from any of my pickups.  I won’t tell the entire story but I knew about a cantankerous boss that didn’t have a tailgate in his pickup, he also had a safe with wheels on it.  He had two real smart eighteen year old employees.  He sent those guys in his pickup without a tailgate to get the safe with wheels.  It was a long time ago but I still remember one way to bust open a safe.

I think I will add a tailgate to my possessions and it will be attached to a pickup; probably just an old clunker.

Did you ever lose your keys, wallet or purse, or maybe the family pet?  Remember the search and the feeling of accomplishment and relief when you found the lost thing?  Finding what you lost isn’t always a happy occasion.

EXAMPLE:  I don’t know if I mentioned it but a year or so ago I lost a significant amount of weight (OK, I bragged about it to the point of being ridiculous).  Well I have found all that weight I lost and I am not happy about it; guess I’ll just have to find a little willpower and lose it again.  I promise I won’t brag this time and just maybe I will be smart enough not to find it.

For the past week or so I have had the lyrics (actually the title) of an old Kris Kristofferson song on my mind.

“Lovin’ You Was Easier than Anything I’ll ever do again”

5-25-’47 to 1-22-’12

Love you babe, still miss you every day.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Random Redefined…….

When I was a kid one of the songs we listened to at 1520 or 930 on the AM dial was Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran; at the time I not only liked the sound but I understood and could relate to the lyrics. As I have matured (sounds better than, gotten old) the lyrics no longer apply and the seasons have changed, I get through the good old summertime ok; the cold grey days of winter are sometimes difficult. By definition I prefer blahs to blues. Merriam-Webster defines blues as a feeling of sadness or depression; blah is defined as a feeling of boredom, lethargy, or general dissatisfaction.

A whole paragraph just to say I have a bad case of the wintertime blahs.

It has been a while since I have been here, oh I have had some thoughts I wanted to share but as I approached the keyboard it just didn’t happen. I could blame this new keyboard, if I could just remember what I did with the old one . . . no that’s not it, it’s gotta be the wintertime blahs.

The last time I was here was the night before Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and Christmas are behind us and we are a few days into ’15. Very briefly, we had some quality family time and I believe “they” were right it does get a little easier each year. Please accept a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Our extended family experienced the worst kind of tragedy a couple days before Christmas. “Rest in Peace” Shereatta Tarbox. Gus you remain in my prayers.

One of the things I have done to help me through the long winter nights is attend Oklahoma Sooner (men and women) basketball games. We have had season tickets for the past 20 or 25 years and have spent a lot of fun evenings at the Lloyd Noble Center. They always have some kind of halftime entertainment, sometimes it is a couple fifth grade ball teams scrimmaging or maybe a group of 5 to 12 year-old cheerleader wannabes. Most of the time it is some form of professional act; yesterday and today it was 5 young men from Seattle WA. These guys jumped rope, let me just say they did it with a great deal of precision and gusto.

As I watched these guys, I thought how fun that would be for maybe a couple years. To hit a different town or arena every weekend and put on a show for the fans. Some of my favorites or some that I remember are: Red Panda, the Chinese lady, she rides a unicycle and catches bowls on her head (it is more entertaining and exciting than it sounds). Sharyl’s favorite was the quick change lady. They sometimes have Frisbee chasing dogs or guys jumping on trampolines. All those people were very good at their specialty.

I think the only thing preventing me from doing something like that is, I don’t have a talent. I can’t ride a unicycle, it takes me 15 minutes to put on my socks, and the only thing my dogs ever chased was cars or chickens. Any form of physical activity that requires speed, balance or coordination is out of the question. If they only wanted a grumpy old man to just show up and make sarcastic remarks.

I had another subject I was going to bore you with but this one is getting a bit long and if I work at it I can probably make a complete post with that other thought.

Thanks for reading what I write and the prayers are still appreciated.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

I Thought I Broke It!!!!

Last time I was here I mentioned spending a lot of time with my doctor.  He and I have been somewhat concerned about my blood pressure, he assured me it would be in my best interest if I shaved 40 to 60 points off the top side and 30 to 40 off the bottom.  We had gotten in a habit of discussing this bi-weekly.  I don’t know if he gave up or was just tired of seeing me every other Wednesday but we took a couple months break.  I go back in January; I promised to lose some weight and to closely monitor the BP at home.

The weight loss part of the agreement isn’t going well at all, I think I have gained about four pounds since I saw him last. Thanksgiving and Christmas are about the only things between now and that next appointment; the odds aren’t in my favor.  Maybe, with a continued effort and just a little luck, I will only be about ten pounds heavier when I see him again.  He won’t be happy but he probably won’t be surprised.

Per the agreement, I have monitored my BP very closely.  I check it at least once each day unless I forget and some days I check it several times.  I have one of those fancy home units; all I have to do is put it around my arm and push a button.  It pumps up and slowly releases the pressure then alarms sound and lights flash and I read the numbers on the screen.

Today, I thought the little machine had malfunctioned.  The pressure released but there were no sirens or flashing lights. I glanced at the thing these numbers were there.

BP

It didn’t look like my numbers but there were numbers, then I remembered, if the numbers are low enough it doesn’t do the bell and whistle thing.  Probably just a temporary thing, but I feel good tonight and I may not check it again for a few days, just assume . . .

I spent some time last week with a book on nutrition, exercise and dietary supplements.  Actually the guy that wrote the book was the same guy that had the supplements for sale.  About half the book was about diet and exercise and the other half was about how great his dietary supplements were.  I hope he sells lots of supplements because he will never make it as a writer.

If I followed his recommendations my diet would consist of raw vegetables, and I would do more calisthenics than I did in basic training in 1963.  He went so far as to insist you completely eliminate, not only the obvious, sugars, fried stuff, etc. but also to totally give up all dairy products and foods containing dairy, about the only cheat he found acceptable was to occasionally cook the vegetables.

As soon as I finished the book I did one big push up out of my chair, went to the kitchen and got some cheese and crackers for a little midnight snack.  I am actually using some of his supplements and kind of like them but I will never know about the diet.

I thought tomorrow was Thanksgiving, I just glanced at the clock, it is already Thanksgiving.  I have been known to get deep down in the heart and share some serious thoughts and personal feelings when I do these holiday things.  I am not going to go there tonight; I have accepted the fact that Thanksgiving will always remind me of a difficult time in my life; I am also reminded of the many things I am thankful for.  A new one this year, I am thankful I don’t live in Ferguson, Missouri.

Wishing you and yours a great Thanksgiving.

Please consider a donation to the cancer research organization of your choice.

Keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Joe Has Been Here !!!!

I know, I’ve been gone a while.  I didn’t plan to be, it just kind of happened.  I have had a visitor in my home, I never saw him but I just know he was here; I could feel his presence.

A few of you may remember him but most of you, I am positive, never heard of him.

joe-_jbtfsplk (1)

Allow me to introduce Joe Btfsplk, the proper pronunciation is to extend the tongue between the lips and blow.  He was a product of Al Capp’s imagination and appeared from time to time in the Li’l Abner comic strip.  Nothing good ever happened when Joe was around, he jinxed everything and everyone he came in contact with.

Yes, I could have written about the untimely car repairs but I didn’t have the talent to make that interesting or entertaining.

I could have told you that I have spent more time with my doctor than I have with the wait staff at my favorite restaurant and I eat out a lot.  I think we have those issues headed in the right direction.

I could have written about the Roto Rooter guys visiting during the height of an intestinal disorder, and their estimate somewhere north of 5K to really fix the problem.

I could have shared the details of the two hour drive home from the lake with the severe kidney infection.  Just a simple “thank you” for not sharing will suffice.

I could have given you a detailed report on the death of my trusty old computer: the one I blogged on for almost six years.  I sure miss that old tear, coffee, coke stained keyboard.

Bill Gates has brought us a long way from the cee colon backslash (C :\) days to this stuff he calls Windows 8.1.  I think it will be ok but there is a learning curve, and those curves get more treacherous the older I get.

I even splurged and bought a 24 inch monitor.  I remember when TVs were only about half that big.

I could ramble some more about the “if it can go wrong it will” stuff but I think you get the idea.

When old men can’t think of anything else to talk about they talk about the weather (god this new keyboard is noisy), so I will talk a little bit about the weather.

Oklahoma provides an abundance of conversation worthy weather; ranging from triple digit heat to wind to tornados and an occasional blizzard. Oklahoma also provides us with an abundance of absolutely gorgeous fall days; my favorite season.

Recently I took advantage of one of those days and drove the open air Jeep in to town to do some errands. As I was leaving my neighborhood I looked up to admire the cloudless blue sky.  I saw two buzzards high above the trees, wings spread effortlessly gliding and they appeared to be enjoying the view and the day.

As I made my rounds in town I became a little frustrated with the heavy traffic, I had to wait for one long train and it seemed like I caught every traffic light red.  While waiting for some of those lights to turn green I looked up at that blue sky and thought of those buzzards, they didn’t have traffic or traffic lights.

When you drive an open air Jeep and you shop a little bit you kind of need to stay with the vehicle for theft prevention, so I stopped at Del Rancho for lunch.  I don’t even need to check the menu, I just automatically order the Steak Sandwich Supreme with Onion Rings and lots of ketchup.  As I munched on the healthy and wholesome lunch, I continued to look at the sky and again I thought about those buzzards and I guess I was just a little bit jealous.

I looked skyward as I approached my neighborhood, all I saw was clear blue sky, about the same time I noticed a foul but distinct odor, yes I smelled a skunk and over on the right shoulder I saw my two buzzards.  I still had the pleasant taste of Steak Sandwich Supreme in my mouth and those buzzards were having skunk for lunch.

Life is filled with tradeoffs; I decided the traffic really wasn’t that bad.

It feels good to be back, I missed you guys.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Baseball Anyone???

Seventeen years ago on a rainy August evening at The Ballpark in Arlington; Maw Maw, Paw Paw and two adorable little blond headed five year-olds were ready for our first major league baseball experience.  Our seats were front row but way out in left field.  Out there with Rusty Greer; Bobby Witt was on the mound and some kid they called Pudge was behind the plate.  In the visitor’s dugout were the mighty Yankees.

In the top of the first inning the young Yankee shortstop only in his second full major league season stepped in the batter’s box; his uniform number was 2, the name JETER above the 2 in block letters.

Conner said with confidence “Maw Maw, he’s good” Cale agreed.  No one told them he was good, they came to that conclusion based on what they saw on TV and from reading the sports page every day.  The guys learned to read and picked up their basic math skills from the sports page before they started school.

Last night at Yankee Stadium in the bottom of the 9th number 2 stepped in the box; the score was tied there was a runner on 2nd base.  Jeter hit a clean single to right field, the run scored, Yankees Win. A fitting end to a great career, it was his last appearance before the home fans at Yankee Stadium.

I think Conner and his Maw Maw watched the game and Conner probably looked at her, smiled, and said “remember a long time ago I told you he was good”.

I have never been a Yankees fan, in fact when I was a kid I hated me some Yankees, I outgrew the hate but never became a fan.  Over the years I became a Derek Jeter fan.  In my opinion number 2 is a class act.

To Derek: You have been good for the game, baseball will miss you.  Enjoy whatever is next.

To Conner: Your time here was too short to build the following of the Yankees #2, but those of us fortunate enough to know you still love you and miss you every day.  Give your Maw Maw a hug for me.

Thanks for listening, keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Last of the Pics; I Promise

Just a few more pics and I won’t mention Alaska again; unless I go there again.

I think the longer we were gone the fewer pictures I took or maybe the quality just declined.

We start tonight in Fairbanks.

Our ride north of the Arctic Circle to Coldfoot and Wiseman

Our ride north of the Arctic Circle to Coldfoot and Wiseman

A good look at the Yukon river

A good look at the Yukon river

Yes, it is the Alaska Pipeline near Coldfoot

Yes, it is the Alaska Pipeline near Coldfoot

About as peaceful as it gets; Wiseman, Alaska

About as peaceful as it gets; Wiseman, Alaska

Some more Wiseman

Some more Wiseman

They wanted to name the place Ptarmigan, no one knew how to spell it. They just called it Chicken

They wanted to name the place Ptarmigan, no one knew how to spell it. They just called it Chicken

Near Chicken

Near Chicken

A mostly gravel but worth it beautiful  180 mile drive

A mostly gravel but worth it beautiful 180 mile drive

Fixed a flat (almost) at this little self serve in Chicken

Fixed a flat (almost) at this little self serve in Chicken

A typical view along the "Top of the World"

A typical view along the “Top of the World”

Our hotel in Dawson City, Yukon Yerritory

Our hotel in Dawson City, Yukon Yerritory

Sunset on the Yukon River at 11:05 pm

Sunset on the Yukon River at 11:05 pm

Looking down on Dawson City and the Yukon

Looking down on Dawson City and the Yukon

The next three are of Emerald Lake between Whitehorse, YT and Skagway AK; it had to be the “Oh My God” look at that view of the entire trip.

7006 (Small)

7005 (Small)

7015 (Large)

These three are just outside Skagway; near the abandoned gold rush town of Dyea.

7066 (Small)

7029 (Small)

7063 (Small)

On our way to Sitka

On our way to Sitka

A little of the Russian heritage in Sitka

A little of the Russian heritage in Sitka

Another look at Sitka

Another look at Sitka

Chasing Salmon, we saw a lot of these guys

Chasing Salmon, we saw a lot of these guys

One more look over the stern

One more look over the stern

The sun sets on a great trip.

The sun sets on a great trip.

Thanks for riding along; I hope I didn’t bore you too much.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Just a Few More Pics…….

Allow me to bore you with a few more pictures of our 49th and the Yukon Territory. I promise I’m going to put his Alaska deal to bed soon and write about something else or don’t write. At least if I do it this way you don’t have to be nice and pretend to pay attention and enjoy the things.

I think we were running around the Gulf of Alaska on that tour boat when I quit last time. We will continue from there.

Ah, a Humpback finally got in range of the 300mm telephoto.

Ah, a Humpback finally got in range of the 300mm telephoto.

More Humpback, these guys put on quite a show.  I probably have 40 pics kind of like this one.

More Humpback, these guys put on quite a show. I probably have 40 pics kind of like this one.

Probably the highlight of the day.  Three pods of Orcas, about 30 of them, traveling together.

Probably the highlight of the day. Three pods of Orcas, about 30 of them, traveling together.

Another of about a million shots of the pretty stuff

Another of about a million shots of the pretty stuff

Harbor Seals, living the good life.

Harbor Seals, living the good life.

Just some more glacier

Just some more glacier

One of my favorites

One of my favorites

See the pretty little Puffin

See the pretty little Puffin

The Harbor at Seward

The Harbor at Seward

We said good bye to Seward and went north to Talkeetna and Denali.

Our ride for 27 miles down the Chulitna river

Our ride for 27 miles down the Chulitna river

A good look at McKinley from my seat in the raft

A good look at McKinley from my seat in the raft

The big guy "McKinley" or "Denali" if you prefer says goodnight

The big guy “McKinley” or “Denali” if you prefer says goodnight

A '53 Dehavilland Beaver, our ride to a glacier on McKinley

A ’53 Dehavilland Beaver, our ride to a glacier on McKinley

On our way there

On our way there

More on our way there

More on our way there

Patty, on the glacier

Patty, on the glacier

On the way back

On the way back

Welcome to Denali

Welcome to Denali

Our ride.  It was clean when we started.

Our ride. It was clean when we started.

The pic doesn't do it justice.

The pic doesn’t do it justice.

Look Ma, no guard rail.

Look Ma, no guard rail.

More scenery

More scenery

Don't need to tell you.  It's a mama moose

Don’t need to tell you. It’s a mama moose

Just a pretty little lake deep in Denali

Just a pretty little lake deep in Denali

It had character and the food was good, that's all you need.

It had character and the food was good, that’s all you need.

A mama and her babies.  I know, but I was shooting a 300mm out a bus window.

A mama and her babies. I know, but I was shooting a 300mm out a bus window.

A little farther down the road.  Papa bear

A little farther down the road. Papa bear

Good bye Denali, It was fun.

Good bye Denali, It was fun.

I still have about 25 or so but i am going to quit tonight, I’ll do the rest of them in a day or two.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

I Said I Would

The last time I was here I said I would put something together and post some pictures in a few days. I guess in my world 17 or 18 is a few.
I could tell you I’ve been busy or I’ve been sick or any number of other excuses. I really have been sick but Doc thinks he can get my BP back down to an acceptable level and tonight the ring finger on my left hand is throbbing like a son of a gun, darn crowbar. Fact is I just haven’t been in a writing mood and I just finished screwing with the pictures a couple days ago.
I will bore you with a few stats before we see the pics. I used four different cameras and snapped a shutter on the north side of 1700 times. I don’t need to tell you a lot of them were garbage; however the first scrub left me with 895 keepers. I tightened the limits and still wound up with over 200 suitable for “show and tell”.
I think WordPress (my blog host) would pull the plug if I tried to share all of them with you so I scrubbed again. I think I have just over seventy to share.
I have them in kind of a sequence to correspond with our trip. I will try to put a little info with each pic.

Hwy 101 north of Coos Bay, OR

Hwy 101 north of Coos Bay, OR

A great lunch stop at some little town in Oregon

A great lunch stop at some little town in Oregon

Our ride from Bellingham to Ketchikan

Our ride from Bellingham to Ketchikan

Some prefer camping on the boat; we preferred not to camp.

Some prefer camping on the boat; we preferred not to camp.

Always need a little duct tape

Always need a little duct tape

Dinner aboard the Columbia

Dinner aboard the Columbia

Lighthouse along the inside passage

Lighthouse along the inside passage

A shopping area in Ketchikan.

A shopping area in Ketchikan.

One of many Totem Poles in Ketchikan.

One of many Totem Poles in Ketchikan.

I am the short one.

I am the short one.

The Mendenhall glacier in Juneau

The Mendenhall glacier in Juneau

Somewhere between Juneau and Whittier

Somewhere between Juneau and Whittier

Flowers outside the museum in Anchorage

Flowers outside the museum in Anchorage

Locals Salmon fishing in Shipp Creek just outside our hotel in Anchorage.

Locals Salmon fishing in Shipp Creek just outside our hotel in Anchorage.

View of Cook Inlet from our hotel in Homer

View of Cook Inlet from our hotel in Homer

The harbor on the Homer Spit

The harbor on the Homer Spit

Our ride for a great day out of Seward

Our ride for a great day out of Seward

Near Seward (I just like the pic)

Near Seward (I just like the pic)

Patty and some glacier; I don't remember it's name.

Patty and some glacier; I don’t remember it’s name.

Near Seward

Near Seward

I'm at a loss for words

I’m at a loss for words

Sea Lions posing for the tourists

Sea Lions posing for the tourists

Just one I like

Just one I like

Another glacier shot

Another glacier shot

Another one I like

Another one I like

I am going to quit tonight, I think i am about 1/3 through. I will see how this works; if they do OK I will try to run some more tomorrow.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

I Know, It’s Been A While…….

I know; we haven’t talked in a while. In fact we were way up north in Dawson City, YT last time I pounded the keyboard if you want to call that thing on an iPad a keyboard.

Tonight I am in the comfort of my cluttered and messy home pounding my favorite old keyboard.

The trip was very educational; one of the insignificant things I learned is that I don’t write very well when I am on the road. I guess I don’t write very well here either but it is more fun and relaxing here.

We enjoyed Dawson; it was just a fun place to hang out. We were a little bit south and a month or so late for the true midnight sun but it was light enough to snap this pic a few minutes after 11:00 PM.
Picture 394 (Small)

Alright I can do pics again.

Our hotel in Dawson
Picture 374 (Small)

I guess we kind of started the long journey home from there; our next planned stop was 332 miles south at Whitehorse, YT. We had an unscheduled stop about an hour south of Dawson.

Remember that tire problem we had in Chicken; we got to unload about half our stuff and change that thing right there beside the road. The first one I’ve changed beside the road in probably twenty years. I got the tire problem taken care of in Whitehorse.

I promised a pic of the service station in Chicken where I almost got the thing fixed a few days earlier; here is that pic.

IMG_0320 (Small)
We did a little site seeing in the rain in Whitehorse but it was mainly just a necessary overnight stop.

Our next overnight stop was Skagway. We weren’t anxious to start that 109 mile drive. Along the way several people had told us we should have gone to Haines instead of Skagway. When we planned the trip we really just kind of flipped a coin between the two and picked Skagway. We were pleasantly surprised; the drive was absolutely beautiful.

We stopped in a little place called Carcross, short for Caribou crossing. We met some very interesting and friendly people in the Visitors Center and also in some of the shops. Carcross, YT will go on my list of favorite places and not just for this trip but for all time.

This pic is of Emerald Lake, a few miles north of Carcross, trust me, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

100_0611 (Small)

Skagway proved to be the least favorite place we visited during the entire trip. The only thing we found worthy of a positive comment is a very good seafood restaurant. The place was way too commercial; it was mostly jewelry stores and souvenir shops preying on the cruise ship visitors.

We spent about 30 minutes in town and headed to the country. We spent several hours exploring the back roads and trails in and around Dyea. Dyea was a thriving town during the early gold rush days, the railroad didn’t go there; Dyea didn’t survive.
At one point on our way to Dyea the altimeter on the GPS showed 23 ft. below sea level. We had a good day.

We left Skagway about 9:00PM Monday night aboard the Columbia; we were on our way back to the lower 48. We rode the Marine Highway four nights and three days arriving in Bellingham, WA Friday morning.

The ferry stopped several places along the way. Some of the stops were only for an hour or so and some of them were at midnight or two in the morning. We were in Sitka and Ketchikan for three or four hours in the afternoon, we seized the opportunity to get off the boat for a little while and enjoyed both places.

Upon leaving Bellingham our goal was to get home Sunday. We got a few hours sleep in Butte, MT and Limon, CO and I left Patty and her stuff at her house Sunday about 8:00PM and I came to my house.

Before I quit tonight I will bore you with a few quick stats. We were gone 35 days; we slept in 20 different beds. We put 7,480 miles on the old Chrysler and rode the ferries about 2500 miles if I did the math right.

I have my pics out of the cameras, phone an iPad. I still need to sort and edit them; if I can find 15 or 20 good ones out of the few hundred I took I will try to put something together and post it in a few days.

It was a great run and I can cross another one off the bucket list.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Still No Pics. . . .

I wrote this last night but couldn’t get it to upload. It may look a little strange but I will fill in some gaps and add a little of today’s activity.

We are in Dawson City, Yukon Territory tonight. It is raining a little, I have good WiFi but to be honest I was too tired or maybe lazy to get the laptop out of the car.

I think we had just got to Fairbanks when we last talked. We really enjoyed our time there.

Monday we took a flight up to Coldfoot, a little place on the Dalton Highway, about 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Since we were in the neighborhood we caught a van driven by one of, those kids I talked about last time, this one a University of Georgia student from Atlanta. A very personable and knowledgeable young lady spending her summer living in a tent and explaining the far north to old geezers like me.

She drove us thirteen miles up the road to Wiseman. A small village with only thirteen residents. Their claim to fame: they are permanent residents, they don’t go south when the snow flies. Jack, one of the residents, gave us an excellent presentation on the history and lifestyle of Wiseman.

The flight, much to my surprise, was very scenic. I don’t know why, but I was expecting to see a bunch of frozen tundra. I think that starts another hundred or two miles up the road.

Tuesday was a rainy day in Fairbanks. Patty has this unique ability to find a museum on rainy days. She did good this time; we spent most of the day in the Museum Of The North on the campus of The University of Alaska Fairbanks. I don’t know if I should be concerned or proud, but I am beginning to enjoy the museum visits. Never too old to grow.

Last night we were in Tok, Ak; it is just a small town on the Alaska Highway. We just needed an overnight stop and that is about all Tok has to offer. The motel did provide a presentation by Hugh Neff, a musher, he has competed in the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest for several years, winning the Quest one time. Patty may correct me on this, she pays more attention to those things than I do. He gave an interesting and informative presentation.

I made a mental note at Tok. Don’t stay at a motel / RV park combo; those RV folk get up real early and are kind of noisy.

To say the run from Tok to Dawson was scenic and interesting would be an understatement on both counts. The only things between the two are Chicken, AK and a shared U. S. And Canadian customs facility in the middle of nowhere.

We were expecting asphalt roads with some stretches of gravel. We found mostly gravel with a little asphalt. We drove the Taylor highway the first sixty miles to Chicken and The Top Of the World highway the final 120 miles from Chicken to Dawson.

The view was really kind of breathtaking almost the entire route. I really can’t confirm that for the last twenty or so miles, all we saw was dense fog and rain. Also, they need more gravel on the road, it was pretty muddy.

We arrived in Dawson via a free ferry ride across the Yukon river. The streets in Dawson could also use a little more gravel, they are pretty muddy. Maybe some sunshine tomorrow.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Chicken is not a good place to have a flat. They sell a lot of T shirts and other stuff, they have two or three cafés but they don’t fix flats. They did have an air hose and the souvenir shop sold those seven dollar tire plug kits for $29.95. Got her fixed good enough for that 120 mile run and we didn’t have to unload the car and put the spare on. It may be flat tomorrow but I think they fix flats here.

Update: Patty had a picture of the service station where I did the self help tire repair. Darned WiFi the pic just won’t work. It is worth a look I will get it in someday.

They fix flats here in Dawson but the guy that does them is on a service call and won’t be back until noon tomorrow; he is probably gone to Chicken to fix a flat.

Update continued: We had a slow, relaxing but good day in Dawson. I will remember it as the neat little town with boardwalks, no curbs and no pavement except for the highway from Whitehorse.

We took a guided walking tour of the town. Our guide, Justin, is another of those, here because he wants to be guys. He did an excellent job and seemed to enjoy himself.

Dawson sits at the junction of the Klondike and Yukon rivers and dates back the the discovery of gold in 1896.

Thanks for listening, I kind of needed to unwind a little tonight. Maybe some pics in a day or two.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave and Patty