Thursday, May 27, 2010

We arrived safely in Alaska at Raymond and Teresita’s apartment. It finished out great! Somehow, they have created ambiance that is both comfortable and genteel. The snowshoes, bonker and photos of black bear show a touch of Alaska. The ice left their lake last week and the trees started to leaf out.

Teresita gave me the most wonderful meal for my birthday! I requested salmon so she fixed baked salmon as the entree. There was fresh asparagus and a medley of vegetables. Even the multigrain bread was homemade. Pictured is the wonderful chocolate cake that she made from scratch. (No one but my mother has made a cake from scratch for my birthday.)

Terry bought me that dozen roses and gave me the gold nugget and a pair of earrings from Jade City. Raymond and Teresita gave me a traveling bag and a live flowering plant.

Teresita is an avid gardener. She has planted flowers in window boxes and made a mini flower garden on her deck that overlooks the lake. Her vegetable garden is enclosed in railroad ties. If her cabbages grow as large as those in nearby Palmer, she won’t have room in her garden space for them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild Animals and Birds

Wild animals were quite plentiful on our trip through Canada. From Kitwanga to the border of the USA, we saw 24 black bear, 7 caribou, 5 moose, 2 porcupines, 1 fox, 1 wolf, 3 and several rabbits. In the bird family, we saw 3 pair of nesting swans plus eagles, herons, snipes, and Canadian geese.

Three times horses ran along the RV without riders, or harnesses. I don’t think they were wild but just thought the grass was greener on the other side of the highway.

In the distance we saw about a dozen wild goats by Little Atlin Lake and a dozen or so wild sheep by Kluane Lake. We could see legs and they moved so they were alive but they were too far away to distinguish what was front and what was hindsight.

We smelled skunk but didn’t stop to investigate. The beaver that we photographed in 2008 were not in residense anymore but we saw several dens and dams that beavers built.

When we crossed into Hyder, Alaska, we didn’t see bears since the adult salmon haven’t moved from the ocean into the creeks but we did see small hatchling salmon swimming in the creeks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yukon and Alaska Photos

Since Terry downloaded more photos that I have taken on our trip, I now have the sunset photo from Little Atlin Lake in the Yukon. It was taken at 12:01am on May 17. Yes, I had to get up to take the picture. I awakened again at 3:45 am to full daylight. Yes, we were far enough north that you go to bed in daylight and awaken in daylight.

You would almost think that our towed Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV, had preceded us through the bridge but this is another car pictured on this bridge in Teslin in the Yukon.

The roads were patched but very uneven in the Yukon. We hoped for better roads in Alaska but a few feet from the border we met this scene. Yes, Terry had to drive the RV and our toad through this soft mess.

The road that was in construction for 4 years by the Matanuska Glacier is finished and beautiful. This photo of the bluish glacier shows that it is receding fast and leaving the charcoal murrain.

The “big five” animals that you see in the north are Elk, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Moose and Caribou. We didn’t see any elk or grizzlies on this trip but here are photos of the three of the “big five” wild animals that we saw on the trip.
Remember that if you double click on the bottom left of a photo, it will get larger.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Visit with Uncle Don

Do you remember Uncle Don from my first RV book, “RV Chuckles and Chuckholes – The Confessions of Happy Campers?” He is the long time RVer who we met in Quartzsite each year and is now living in an apartment in Oregon. It was good to visit with him on the day after we left Nevada.

Even though my hair was cut too short and Don’s was too long, I wanted a picture. Don told Terry to keep the lens protector on the camera but he took Uncle Don’s picture anyway.

It was good to hear him say, “You kids have fun.”

We traveled in many places where we saw snow topped mountains. Some had melted snow that became waterfalls with fast moving milky silt water flowing into creeks, rivers and lakes. Some lakes still had melting ice in them. We saw glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia that are receding leaving charcoal gray murrains.
The wild animals are in the next blog.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gold Fever

We drove through the traffic in Las Vegas and didn’t stop overnight until we saw a sign for Miller’s Rest stop. Another sign said that RV’s were welcome to stay overnight. Surprise! The temperature was 95 in Arizona and got down to the early 40’s that night.

Terry had signed up for the Escapees Prospectors and Metal Detector’s Event so we stayed at the RV Park in Mill City, Nevada for five days. (Terry said that he wanted me to have a gold nugget.)

We saw old friends and met new ones at happy hour each night as we discussed activities for the rest of the week. Terry didn’t want to go to the dry washing event so he and Glenn (Griz) Anderson spent a day prospecting for gold. (Griz has spent 50 years in the US including Alaska and in Australia prospecting for gold.) Terry’s metal detector didn’t hear the minute particles of gold so he didn’t find any but Griz had four tiny pieces.

The next day we went on a tour of the Florida Canyon Mining Company where they find about 1.4 ounces of gold per each load of dirt. The trouble was that each load was 150 tons. (The dump truck’s tires were so big that they reached the top of the van in which we were riding. We were told that the tires cost $20,000 each.) The gold they found was in such small size that many times it was microscopic.

Jason Hirt, a geologist from the mine who lived at the campground, took us on a 4-wheel trip into the mountains on Wednesday. We found fossils plus green, lavender and clear fluorite crystals, and cinnabar semi- precious stones. Jason also had found root beer colored agates in Nevada that he allowed us to clean up from the dirt and keep.

Thursday was the coin hunt. I spent an hour with my detector and found over three dollars and tokens which gave me a key ring with a measuring tape in it and potatoes.

Friday Terry went out to spring valley where the group did dry washing, dredging, sluicing, and metal detecting. No, Terry didn’t bring any gold home.

Unfortunately, Terry can’t download his pictures since my computer can’t handle the size of his photos and Terry’s computer needs a new hard drive.

Besides playing in dirt, we enjoyed the food. We had snacks at happy hour, a potluck and a catered dinner by Dusti. I also enjoyed talking with the other women and had free lessons in charcoal and watercolor painting by a professional artist in town.

The last event was a Bonanza Drawing. There were about six gifts for 35 to 40 people. Terry got some Nevada silver leaf in a little container. Then they put the names back in the drawing for the 1.3 gram gold nugget donated by the Reno Prospectors Supply. Terry won! He gave me the nugget for my May birthday!