Friday, August 16, 2019

Blog

Blogger has been great for all these years, but now there is a technical glitch and they won't take the posts.  We're creating a new blog on a different host.  Here is a link to it:  https://steveandjudystravels.com/

 We're going to populate the new blog with all the posts beginning January 1, 2019.  In the meantime, all my posts start out as a daily trip report email.  If you would like to receive them directly, send me an email at spt@TheTaylorCompany.net and I’ll put you on the list.

Steve

Thursday

 

I added the Chiswell Islands to the map.

 

Kenai Peninsula

 

Then we headed off to Anchorage.  Every once in a while, on a trip this long, we have to stop at civilization and get groceries, replacement parts, haircuts, and pizza.  A one-night stay here takes care of that.

 

Anchorage area

 

Here’s a thing.

It’s a restaurant called “the Bridge”, and it literally is, a bridge across Ship Creek.

 

Next stop, parts unknown to us.  Glenallen.

 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday

We’re back in Whittier; this time for more than a day trip.

 

Kenai Peninsula

 

We got a room with a view.

(I might have overused that phrase, but I can’t help myself.)  Dry camping.  No facilities.  No problem.

 

Saturday

We’re back in Whittier; this time for more than a day trip.

 

Kenai Peninsula

 

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

08-07 test

 

 

We had that plan to go east through Houston, then north.  Now we’re getting notices from the state parks we had reservations at, that the parks that direction are closed due to the severe weather flooding.  Our decision to go west just got validated.

 

Now we’re at Abilene State Park.

The Great Alaska Trip map

 

Tucked into our forest campsite.

 

 

3,778 miles to Fairbanks.

 

And one of these things is not like the other

 

 

 

We’ve picked off two more counties!

 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tuesday


There is a spot here on the spit called the Fishing Hole.  A lot of people fish it.  We were told the Dept of Fish and Game stocked it.  We took one look and concluded this made no sense!  The Fishing Hole fills and empties twice a day with the tides.  What sense would it make to stock it if all the fish just flushed right out?

Then a thought (a few days later).  Salmon.  Did Fish and Game stock the fishing pond every year with salmon minnows, or better yet fertilized eggs from the hatchery?  Did those eggs hatch and/or those minnows go grow in the ocean for years, then return home to spawn in a fishing hole?  Deceived salmon with no hope of spawning.  Every day, fishermen lining the edges of the channel leading in and out of the Fishing Hole catching them.

The aurora borealis was here.  Special conditions made it visible this far south.  But only while it’s dark.  There’s the first challenge.  It doesn’t get kind of dark until midnight.  It was to be a two-day event.  We heard about it after the first night.  We saw pictures of the northern lights the night before taken from Homer.  So up we stayed the next night.  I made it until 12:30.  Judy made it until 2:00.  Nothing.  I even got an aurora finder app for the phone so we’d know all we could about when it would be where.  Turns out the days are not listed by local location, they’re listed by Greenwich Mean Time.  When we think it’s going to show up on Tuesday, that was Tuesday Greenwich Mean Time, and that Tuesday is already gone.  It’s Tuesday here, but it’s Wednesday there, which is the day after the aurora borealis was visible here.

We play homing pigeon.  Judy drops me off a few miles from the house and I find my way home.  Next thing she’ll probably want me to wear a blindfold until she releases me.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday

Maybe Alaska is exactly like Hawaii, except in Hawaii there is no snow and cold to chase a person south.

There is something about Alaska that is troubling me though.  Alaska honors Daylight Savings Time.  All summer long, we're going to bed while the sun is still up and waking up the next morning with the sun high on the horizon.  What's the point?  What is there to save when it's daylight all the time anyway!?  You'd think they would reverse the concept and save some of that summer daylight for the winter months when they really need it.

Our Colorado granddaughter, Taylor, is off on an adventure.  She flew to London and spent her birthday touring museums.  Then she got on a train to Aberdeen, Scotland,

… where she met up with the professor leading the dig Taylor is going to be working on for the next two weeks.  They're excavating a bronze-age village.

And another anniversary.  Fourteen years ago today, we bought the 2005 Beaver Monterey Motorhome that is still serving us so well.

A drive in the Jeep on the beach during low tide at Anchor Point.

The Anchor River flowing to the sea.


And all us this will be under ocean after the 20-foot tide claims it.

Meanwhile, Henry is a happy boy.


(The volcano in the background, on the other side of the Cook Inlet, is the one Judy and I flew around just a few weeks back.)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Wednesday

Seward is ridiculous! The rain stopped and the clouds lifted a little.
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The mountains and glaciers are right here in front of us!
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Friday, July 12, 2019

Wait!

I just googled Whittier, Alaska. Only 100 people live there. It gets 154 inches of rain a year. It gets 249 inches of snow! OMG. No wonder only 100 people live there. I wonder if it's the same 100 people every year or do they have to find new ones after every winter.

The RV Park we're in is advertised as the "safest RV Park in Anchorage". We can tell it's safe because every few minutes, day and night, a security vehicle cruises past with lights flashing. I just went out and locked the outside cabinet doors for the first time in fifteen years.

One more musk ox picture.
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There'll be radio silence all day tomorrow. We're off on an unplugged adventure.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Wednesday

I've been thinking...

How do nocturnal predators survive an Alaskan summer?

And a mystery solved. Some names I struggle to recall. For some reason, Foretravel, a brand of motorhome, is one of those. Not only can't I normally recall the name, I get sent off the wrong direction by my brain and can't find my way back from there, I'm just stuck with the word Uni-bomber. Why on earth, would the term Uni-bomber burst forth in my head while I'm looking at a motorhome? Eventually I get to the right name, Foretravel, but for years the strange diversion to Uni-bomber has been a mystery. Foretravels all have a unique number tattooed on the back of the rig. The number never starts with "U" though, so that's not it.

Well, mystery solved as we were camped with a caravan of eighteen Foretravels. There was a classic Foretravel in the group.
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There, stenciled on the side of the motorhome, was the model description. It says Unihome! That's how I got to Uni-bomber! "Uni" stuck all those years ago. That has to be the link!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday

Housekeeping day. Rest-up, clean-up, and stock-up. We're moving on tomorrow morning.

We finally got a cool-down and some rain. We piled on our new raingear and went for a walk on Chickadee Trail so we could test-drive it.
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It all works!

See this next to the car?
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This is not dog poop!
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No worries though. We're prepared.
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I figure Judy will be easy to outrun. Before I go though, I'm going to spray her all over with bear spray so she'll taste terrible when the bear catches her!

Friday

 

Birch Hill, a nordic ski center.  That made for nice summertime walking trails.  One section was set up as a frisbee golf course.

 

Efficient.  I don’t think those two uses will conflict.

 

The hole for disc golf is defined by a chainstar.  Hit the chains with the frisbee and they suck all the momentum out of it and it falls into the tray.

 

I’ve never played frisbee golf so I thought it would be interesting to take a look.  We ended up walking every hole through the forest and I started playing them in my head.  Most were par 3.  There were four par 4s.  I could see the setup and throws that needed to be made.  I left too long a putt for one and bogeyed the hole.  One I birdied.  Overall, par.  I’d have to say I played one fine round of golf for my first try ever.  Next time I’ll have to try it with a disc!

 

Brown Creeper.

 

They can be hard to pick out against the bark.

 

They fly down to the base of a tree then quietly work their way up until it’s time to fly down to the base of the next tree.  It’s easier when they silhouette against the sky behind.

 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sunday

Good road headed west. Straight and smooth.
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Got to drive 65. That lasted until Delta Junction (the end of the Alaska Highway).

The road got a little rough and winding from there to Fairbanks, but no problem. We're impressed with the number of roadside pullouts that are open to overnight stops.
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Just like in Canada.

And here we are, at the end of the day, in Fairbanks!

The Great 2019 Alaska Trip map<https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gQhkqA-_uK5oVdT-VaiK8uk1VaXOqsGQ&ll=57.34268898268604%2C-100.42129583011854&z=3>

No miles to go!

We're now as far north as Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. If we went as far south from our house as we've gone north, we'd be in southern Argentina, south of Australia and South Africa.

Sunset, 12:46am, tomorrow. (It will be up again before 3am.)

Now, only 4,219 miles to get home to Sandpipers!

Monday, June 10, 2019


Blogspot is being terrible again. It's hardly letting any posts through. If you've been following, and you'd like to receive the daily updates daily, just let me know. I'll put you on the direct email list.  My email is spt@thetaylorcompany.net.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Oh Canada!

 

We’re in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, just south of Calgary.  No hurries; we’re going to layover for a few days and savor full hookups.

 

The Great 2019 Alaska Trip map

 

No trouble at the border; only five cars ahead of us, and the border agent only asked us about five questions.  We drove through cold, wind, and rain to get here but no troubles.  It’s still cold and rainy tonight, the temperature will drop into the thirties, but we expect warmer weather tomorrow.

 

Sunset tonight 9:45.  Last light 10:30.

 

3,232 kilometers to Fairbanks.  (That translates to 2,006 miles.)

 

If I sound a little different tonight, it’s because I’m thinking and speaking in kilometers and liters.

 

 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Way up north!

 

…to Wheatland, Wyoming.

 

The windshield view of Eastern Wyoming.

 

The Great Alaska Trip map

 

A visit with Marge.

 

And we’re on our way again tomorrow.  2,897 miles to Fairbanks.

 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

4,219, 500, 56, 138 update

 

Now it’s June, and we’re still at 3,037 miles to Fairbanks (but not for much longer).

 

166 birds remaining to get to 500 for the year.  At the rate of one new bird a day, that’s a 48 bird cushion.  Or, we could continue at one a day and take the last six weeks of the year off.  Or, we could log three quarters of a bird per day and finish at our target.

 

24 continuing education hours to go.

 

And 115 counties in which to report a bird to have all 254 counties in Texas!

 

An all-day family gathering at Becky and Brian’s today.

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Blogspot


Blogspot is being terrible again. It's hardly letting any posts through. If you've been following, and you'd like to receive the daily updates daily, just let me know. I'll put you on the direct list.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

An American avocet

 

 

…and a gazillion phalaropes.

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It’s not supposed to be like this

 

 

We're still three thousand miles from Fairbanks and it's snowing already!

 

 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Check it out

 

 

Long pants!  It’s a cool day in Colorado and I thought it would be a good idea to see if I actually could wear long pants.  It was a challenge, but I made it through the entire day.  I still hope that there aren’t that many cold days in Alaska though…

 

Another picture of dinner at Becky’s, because this time Taylor was there too.

 

The head count is off by one, but it’s always off by at least that much at Becky and Brian’s.

 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

St Vrain State Park


Here at St Vrain.


  
For a fine time at Becky and Brian’s. 


 

Friday, May 17, 2019

It was a dark and stormy night



Not really; but it was raining by the time we got to the Front Range.

Afternoon thunderstorm.  Crashes and booms.  Hail too.  The last loudest lightning strike had a very “clangy” reverberation to it.  We think it hit one of the metal picnic table shelters.

We’re settled in at St Vrain State Park.  We can visit Becky and family from here.

3,037 miles to Fairbanks.

Dinner with John B. and Kip.

Here is the spot we left at Jackson Lake State Park.



And the morning light.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

That was a lot of days of consecutive travel

 

So we stayed for two nights at Jackson Lake State Park and cooled it.

 

Internet still sketchy; we’ll see when this goes out.  We’ll call the Colorado rough roads, and intermittent internet, our practice for the Canada and Alaska parts of this trip.

 

Still 3,063 miles to Fairbanks.

 

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Welcome to Colorado

 

Land of handkerchiefs and Claritin.  We got here just in time for hay fever season.  First trees, then grasses.  And it’s almost time to get the humidifier out.  The humidity is down in the teens.

 

Jackson Lake State Park.

The Great Alaska Trip map

 

3,063 miles to Fairbanks.

 

Limited internet; can’t send campsite photos.

 

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The first bad road this entire trip

 

Starting right at the state line as we crossed into Colorado from Kansas.  Eastern Colorado isn’t getting enough love (or money) from the state.

 

Limon, CO.  There is a new RV Park in town.  It doesn’t even look like an RV Park on Google Maps yet.

 

The Great Alaska Trip map

 

3,145 miles to Fairbanks.

 

Character.

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Highway 83

 

Highway 83 has been very good to us.  We’ve been on it almost all the way so far.  Not like the freeway at all.  It slows down and goes through every small town.  Just like the old days.

 

It is one of the longest highways in America.  It goes 1,894 miles from the Canadian border above Westhope, ND to Brownsville, TX.  We’ve driven most every part of it on one trip or another.  (In fact, on Google Maps, it goes all the way up to Swan River in Manitoba, but we haven’t driven that part.)  We’re going to leave it soon when we turn left on Interstate 70 just above Oakley.

 

Tonight we’re at Lake Scott State Park.

 

This is the warmest sunniest day we’ve had so far this trip.

 

The Great Alaska Trip map

 

3,343 miles to Fairbanks.  This driving to Alaska thing is easy.  In 530 miles, we’ll be a third of the way there!

 

Canada geese and kids.