Things Not Covered

Well first off we are headed home it is official. The ferry left port last night. We had one more shot at the northern lights but, they did not cooperate. I did however see some stars. Today I slept because open seas do not agree with me. Tomorrow should be a little easier as we will start hugging the coast so there will be land on each side.

Now, I want to share some of the things I did not share from summer vacation. The first is I have lost my cribbage mojo. I taught Roy cribbage on our summer trip in 2017. I have to say he won a few every once in awhile. He just sometimes couldn’t beg borrow or steal any points. I am not sure when it happened but it did. Roy can now pull a double double run out of his bum and skunk me almost everytime . It’s funny that the shoe is on the other foot. We didn’t play alot this year but we did play on the nights we had no OTA (over the air) channels. I do enjoy the now rare occurance when I can beat him

Some of the nights were filled with trying to figure out what movie we want to play for the rally in October. The choices were Rocky Horror Picture Show, Blazing Saddles, and Little Shop of Horrors. All I can say is feed me. I had seen Blazing Saddles years ago Roy had never seen it. He loved the humor but we realized not quite right for our crowd. Rocky Horror requires a lot of crowd participation. We both came to the conclusion that Little Shop of Horrors fits the group better.

Food this trip has been a mix of cooking in the trailer and eating out. That old saying when in Rome. The first food we looked forward to having again was Copper River Red Salmon at Sheep Mountain Lodge. In my opinion, Red and King Salmon are awesome but Copper River Red Salmon are the bomb diggity. This restaurant always has it on the menu and we planned the trip so we had it twice.

This brings me to the food on the Kenai. They are known for seafood, crab, halibut, cod, clams, shalots, oysters and some salmon. All from Kajamack Bay or the Cook inlet. The spit offers these at small restaurants. Roy said he had the best clams ever from one of these places. It also was very easy to get the scooter and chair in. I had my first halibut of the trip in Homer. We had more halibut fresh off the boat given to us by one of our camping neighbors.

The best ice cream at least according to Milepost was right next door to one of the places we camped. Roy said his hard packed black cherry ice cream was the best he ever had. It even had a small ice cube in it. I had the soft serve twist cones which they had different twist flavors. I couldn’t bring myself to try pineapple and vanilla but did try raspberry and vanilla.

When we were in Nenana we found one of the best home cooking restaurants. Roughwoods Inn, Kari is the owner and chief cook and bottle washer. She is open til 6pm every night except for Tuesday, family emergencies, and roadkill. Let me explain the roadkill comment. In that part of Alaska if the troopers know of a recent fresh roadkill they donate it to local people. This is one thing you have to get when it is fresh. (No, she does not feed it to her customers.) We both loved the fresh halibutand chips, hand battered and fried from fish caught in Alaska. She had Roy at the fact that she grills her chicken fried steaks and I was won over by her Philly Cheese steak. Although the halibut was hard to get by.

The farmer’s market in Fairbanks helped keep my salad for lunch streak going. I also got my fill of fresh garlic (keeps mosquitos away). Roy was able to get fresh mushrooms for his own crack an egg. This market also kept us in good homemade bakegoods.

I was able after 30 years of being with this man of mine to find something that he can not do I do not know who else can do it either. It all started with a facebook post, that said if a cop stops me for a DUI and asks me to say the alphabet backwards I will get in the car. I asked you can’t do that. He said he never thought of it and no, he can’t. I proceeded to show him. I am not sure he was impressed.

I need to make one comment about people from Wisconsin; when you meet one you immediately become family. Roy and I hung with some on the ferry. He basically got a crash course on Wisconsin tradition, right down to quarters and bar dice.

There are other things that happened that I am sure I will remember once I sit down and look through the pictures. Speaking of pictures I am still putting together the baby bald eagle growth journey.

Someone did what Roy couldn’t.

People who know me know that I’m not thrilled with the thought of a helicopter ride.  In fact I think it has been said over my dead body.  This couple I met changed everything (No he or she do not own or fly helicopters.)  She just took her first helicopter ride to begin a new chapter of live.  It wasn’t the fact that she did her first helicopter ride that changed my mind it was what happened afterwards that changed my mind.

Some back story first.  Three months ago Roy and I embarked on an adventure, so did a few other people.  I know this because waiting to board the ferry I had to be a social butterfly, riding around finding out where people are from and where they are headed, and if they are coming back.  This is when I met John and Jean and their dog.  This was a couple who seemed like any normal 40ish  couple. What attracted me to them was the trailer they had behind the ‘truck camper’  (I use the term loosely)  Pick up truck with a shell on top.  This trailer held everything including a kitchen sink.  I asked what their adventure was.

I saw that they were excited and a little unsure and questioning because  they were heading off the grid  for the summer to build a cabin on land they bought in the middle of nowhere Alaska.  They would return on the same ferry we were on in September.  (Inside I thought, if you don’t get eaten by a bear.)   The trip up was about five days so it is a small ship and  we chatted many times each time I felt they were thinking if this was the right decision for them.  They seemed well prepared with supplies and stuff.  I was impressed with the research they had put into it.  I will be honest I was concerned and thought of them often over the summer.  Fast forward to September 5th and the waiting line to board the ferry.  No trailer, they left everything they brought with them at the cabin.  John comes up and says hi.  I have to say I was relieved they made it out.  He was more sturdy and hairier then when he left and had a differant air about him I wanted to know more.

Catching up and listening to both of them has given me a new outlook on things.  It is amazing how these two blossomed  the courage, strength and determination you can now see in them.  In Jean retelling how she hand peeled the bark from the trees that John cut and delimbed mind you only using a chainsaw and she using her hands and some tools to strip the logs for the cabin.  I could tell that it was a joint effort that made the bond between them stronger.  I am sure it wasn’t all getting along I mean three months with just one other person for the majority of the time and no modern ammenties could wear on you.

Roy and I were lucky enough to see the photos and hear how the three months were spent.  Here is where the helicopter comes in.  Involved in getting to the property there was a bush plane ride a helicopter ride and some ATV transportation.  Remember I said over my dead body I would do a helicopter ride.  Jean was also a little afraid to go in a helicopter.  So she is describing holding the dog’s leash, her cell phone to try and take pictures (she said she got a few) then still trying to look at the scenery.  She got through the  ride by just thinking of the majestic landscape.  So when I get my all terrain chair I will take thaty helicopter ride to visit.

I am impressed how much they completed this summer.  A one room cabin with a door large enough to fit an ATV in.  Her poo path for compost and a little garden.  Cooking on a wood stove and making homemade bread.  Their efforts reminds me that sometime issolation and depending on yourself can give you the strength you need to move on.

Clear SKIES

Yes, it did happen. We have had almost two weeks of clouds and rain at night. I was starting to give up hope of seeing the Auroras this trip. I looked at the forecast for possible lights it looked promising. (Just like 5 times before) The next thing was to find out if it was cloudy or not. I found an app for that windy the clouds were not overhead. Time to pack and go outside I look up and see stars and what looks like a small green cloud. I will give you a clue stars don’t shine through clouds. I knew the lights were coming out. We had plans of driving off the base to a spot northeast of town plans changed. The lights were out and did not want to drive for an hour. We went right down the road from the camper and set up the camera. After a few pictures we noticed that a tree was blocking some of the light so, we changed locations.

The next location had an added bonus of a beaver dragging a tree to his lodge. It was cute but made me paranoid of every noise I heard when I was outside. I was imagining that a beaver was right next to me with every sound I heard.

bigger than him

I took a few more pictures here and decided to head back to where it all started for the night. The whole show lasted about two hours and the lights were gone.

Enjoy the slideshow.