Alaska Trip Blog for June 2009
Start Of The Trip

June 4 Thursday
Connie went with her folks to the Doctors' before we left. The appointment was at 10:00 AM so it 
made for a late start by the time she got home. But she needed to do that. It was a nice dry trip
to Salmon. We arrived at our lot and the old camper's tarp was lifted on one corner but otherwise
good shape. It was nice and quiet until the neighbors dogs started barking right next to the truck
at 4:30 AM in the morning. Lots of birds and bunnies around. We decided the quail were Gambel's 
Quail and we hadn't checked that one off in the bird book before. We have California Quail at home.

June 5 Friday
It rained all night and I got up early and hiked to the top of the sagebrush hill behind the place.
I forgot how much bentonite sticks to your boots after a rain. They were a mess when I got back.
Drove from our Salmon lot to downtown to find someone to witness our wills. Parked across the 
street from Jock Slavin's office. While waiting for his office to open at 9:00 AM, I walked down 
the street to visit with Dick Cannon, the new owner of Jack's Barber Shop. We had skied 
together at Lost Trail a long time ago and had a nice 30 min conversation about Salmon and the 
Boise area. When I got back to Jocks office he was there along with Roberta and Meridee 
Overacker. I asked to return a favor for witnessing all his wills in the past. He looked them over 
and  we and they signed and witnessed the wills. We were lucky because they were taking off to 
Okahoma City the next day. We then went to the Salmon post office to mail the wills home. Met 
and talked with Don Shafer and the postmaster gal we were familiar with from the past. Jim 
Burch was working in the post office sorting mail and we spoke with him.  Called Marnie to let 
her know we were mailing the wills home and to put them in the safe. 
Headed to Libby, MT. Darby is getting very touristy. Had lunch at Victor Park and Ride. Turned 
on Reserve street in Missoula and was surprised at how ridiculous the traffic is. Decided to go to 
Walmart to get milk and the little bolts for my laptop holder. A lot of construction on Highway 93, 
north of the freeway. Followed 200 to Thompson Falls and got diesel there for $2.34/gal. 
Mileage was 14+. Called Terry Andreassen to let him know we would be there by 6PM.  
Followed Bull River short cut to Libby. Arrived at dealership before 6 and met with Terry and his 
son Ryan. Had a beer and followed him home 3.4 miles north of Libby on the Kootenai River. 
Met with Carole and they decided to take us out to dinner at the River Bend. Sat out on the deck 
when we got back and then moved inside to catch up on old times. 

June 6 Saturday
Carole fixed breakfast for everyone and Terry left for work at 9AM. We went to town to get 
Canadian money at the bank but they didn't have any. Left for Eureka, to the north, following the 
lake behind Libby Dam. Beautiful scenery along the lake. Looking for a bank along the way and 
found one in Eureka, Glacier Bank of Eureka. The exchanged our money for Canadian money 
and explained loonies and toonies to us. We ate lunch off the road near an old lumber mill and 
Stillwell Lake.  At the west entrance to Glacier, the sign said Going-To-The-Sun-Road was not 
open yet so we went the southern route. At the east entrance to the park we went under the 
entrance gate and decide to stop at the Glacier Lodge. Lots of snow and not much of a view of 
the mountains. Magnificent lodge and snow was still falling off the roof onto the road. Drove the 
highway to St. Mary with almost as good of views as in the park. Got in to the park with our 
Senior Pass and went to the visitors center for about all of 5 minutes. Left and headed to Babb. 
Turned toward Waterton Park on the Chief Mountain International Highway. We had our 
passports and paperwork ready when we arrived at the border. I had to declare my shotgun and 
pay $25 but the rest of the stuff went way better than expected. They didn't even look in the 
camper or look at my shotgun. We headed for a camping spot and found the Belly River 
Campground not very far past the border. There are several inches of snow and it was snowing 
until dark.

June 7 Sun
It got down to 33 deg last night. Drained the gray water, and got an early start toward Waterton.
The road was bare but there was fresh snow everywhere. Most of the mountains were covered 
with clouds and fog. One place had sun shining and I stopped to take pictures. We went through 
the gate to the park at 7: 10 AM shortly after opening. It was $7.80 a piece or $15.60 to get into 
Waterton. She told us the visitor's center did not open til 9 AM, so we took our time getting in. A 
lake had birds, probably swallows, flying along the water and picking something up periodically. 
We pulled into a pullout to study the birds and never did conclude exactly what they were. We 
saw several other birds which we had not seen before and saw yellow birds which were some 
kind of warbler. A drive downtown was thick with deer alongside the road. Stopped at the Falls 
and watched one buck on his hind legs eating leaves from a tree. Drove past the big RV Park on 
the south end of town trying to find where Marnie got her butt wet. With no mountains to see we 
went to the visitors center. At the visitor's center, a couple before us had a big Peterbilt truck 
pulling a triple axel Fifth wheel and the tractor was hauling a Jeep. Quite the outfit. They were 
also headed to Alaska but were staying at a timeshare in Banff. The ranger gal at the center 
was very knowledgably with a great sense of humor. She was handing out camping guides and 
recommending places to stay to the couple before us and we said we were going to Alaska also. 
She waited on two elderly women after us that said they wanted to go to the place where the 
picture of the Prince Of Wales Hotel was taken. The ranger said, "They would need a 
helicopter". There were a few places to see the hotel around town, but nothing like the picture in 
the brochure. The drive to Banff was mostly across very green prairie and spots of trees. We 
drove on Highway 22 and were amazed at how good the highway was. Better grades than an 
interstate and much smoother. We went through about three towns in a row before we hit 
Canada Highway No. 1. It's their version of our interstate. In some places were three lanes on 
each side. The whole world seemed headed to Banff at Nascar speeds.  We stopped in 
Canmore for diesel fuel at a Shell station. It was $.799 per liter and the attendant pumped the 
fuel. Got the usual 14 mpg. After turning off at Banff we headed to Tunnel Mountain 
Campgrounds. There are three separate areas offering different services. We wanted a view of 
the mountains so we had to get the one providing electricity. It was right on the end, very open 
with a view of Mt. Rundle. After checking out our spot, we drove downtown. Very crowded and 
busy with shoppers up and down the streets. Drove across Bow River to the Fairmont Banff 
Springs Hotel. Parked in the public parking and the machine took our looney and tooney ($3 ) 
and didn't give us a receipt. Toured the hotel and went through some shops. Then drove to Bow 
River falls and a loop drive around the golf course. Only saw a couple of elk. We drove the 
Tunnel Mountain Drive back to the campground and fixed supper. With the electricity option we 
ran the electric portable heater for heat. The temp was in the low forties. Still very much winter 
here. Hope it's warmer in Alaska. Planned the trip for tomorrow on a bypass highway to Lake 
Louise and on to Jasper. We have until 4:00 PM tomorrow to get to Jasper before our pass 

June 8 Monday
Slept hard last night. Took a hot shower at the campground facility because I could. Left the 
campground shortly after 8 AM knowing we would have to wait for the Bow River Highway to 
open at 9 AM. Turns out it's a voluntary thing and most people were just driving through before 
9. The views of the mountains were covered in clouds and fog but were still sureal in size. 
That's the longest stretch of almost vertical faces I can ever remember seeing. We stopped at 
Johnston Creek and took the trail to the Lower Falls. A fair amount of the trail is suspended over 
the water with a bridgelike construction and drilled into the mountainside. The tread is a 
concrete conglomerate laid on there in pieces.  At the falls, a bridge goes across and you stoop 
over in a tunnel to a landing by the falls. You don't stay there long because the spray from the 
falls is in the air and covers your glasses pretty quick. Cool hike. We found more falls to visit 
through out the day. Next stop was the Columbia Icefields and the Visitor Center. Lots of people 
and I drove down to the bottom of the glacier and climbed to the edge of the glacier. They had it 
fenced off 50' from the glacier. I wanted to touch it. Shortly after leaving the Icefields, we ran
into some bighorn sheep rams, the bachelor club. I could tell by the way they were acting they were 
ready to bang heads, and they did several times. We hung around following them up and down 
the highway taking entirely too many pictures. We stopped at two more falls along the way. One 
was Athabasta Falls which Connie remembered from the first time we visited the park. She said 
it vibrated the ground and this one did, I thought. There is supposed to be more volume of water 
over that falls than any other in Canada. We started looking for campsites in our brochures and 
realized the majority of the cheap ones were not open. We drove past Jasper and camped on 
the north side of town, about 7 miles out, on the Snaring River. A lot of water in that glacial 
colored stream but the sun was shining. I cleaned my boots from the muddy Salmon hike in the 
river and drank a beer alongside the babbling brook. This water should put me to sleep tonight.

June 9 Tuesday
The sun was shining and we could finally see the mountains. We headed back to Jasper to see 
the sites. Parked at Jasper Park Lodge and walked through the lodge and grounds. Then 
headed to downtown to find the library, buy milk and bananas, and walk through some stores. 
The library opened at l0:00 AM and charged $2.50 per 30 minutes to use the internet. We were 
looking for free. Ma got 2 sets of earrings, one copper, the other jade. Bought a calendar and I 
got a bighorn sheep pin. Looked through the visitor's center which wasn't much. The mountains 
surrounding town were sure "purdy". Gased up in Hinton and got propane. There was a cariboo 
santuary along the highway but we didn't see any. Saw moose, white-tails, elk today. Drove to 
on to Grande Cache which is a big climb to a bench overlooking the mountains and then drop 
back down to the river. Strange. Then drove on to Grande Prairie. The highway is a big swath 
through the trees and over rolling hills. Some grades must be 9% plus. We managed to bypass 
much of Grande Praire which is a town of 80,000 people. I bought got in a wreck when I went 
through the intersection on a blinking green arrow. Lots of cars honking at me on that one. The 
highway west out of town must be straight for 50 miles. Maximum speed was ll0 kph. They don't 
use "speed limit" but rather "maximum speed" on their signs. Decided to stay at a municipal 
campground in Hythe. There was no one to take money and the spaces were not numbered. It's 
a beautiful green spot and has a regular train caboose for the rest rooms and shower. Kind of 
cool. Tried to start the water heater and finally figured out the gas wasn't working since we filled 
the propane bottle. After 30 minutes of fiddeling I finally got the gas to working in the stove and 
then the frig followed by the water heater. Amazing how everything works when it has gas. 
We're leaving Alberta and headed to Dawson Creek, BC in the morning for the official start of 
the Alaskan Highway. Milepost "0" is there and a supposedly a great museum.

June 10 Wednesday
We arrived to Dawson Creek bright and early to beat the crowd. Went downtown to the new 
Milepost 0 at the intersection of two streets. The time zone changed to Pacific when we crossed 
into BC so we were to early for the Visitor's Center to open. It was 7:00 AM instead of 8:00 AM. 
We took our pictures of the intersection and after I set up the tripod on the street corner, got in a 
couple of them. At the Visitor's Center,  we tried to get the WiFi going at get on the internet to 
see our e-mail. I could get a strong signal, but couldn't log on. After we went inside and looked 
through the store and museum, we talked to the lady in charge and she said it was free and to 
just log on. We bought books on the Alaska Highway, Yukon, and a hat and pins. We decided I 
was too close and moved the truck farther away for a better signal and got right on. We met 
some people from Michigan outside before we were taking off who were in a slide-up camper 
and pulling a little trailer. He said he had a freezer in there to take fish back home. We were 
headed on the same route, so we figured we would be leapfrogging back and forth. Destination 
today was to get to Fort Nelson and hang around. Nothing much in between but miles of road. 
After visiting the Visitor's Center in Fort Nelson, we found out the road was closed up by Coal 
and Smith River because of fires anyway. Bought new windsheild wipers at the local store and 
drove around town for a while. We parked on the street with all the other trucks and workers for 
a noisy night of sleep.

June 11 Thursday
It rained last night. We visited the local old museum because a bronze statue of the 
Chadwick Ram (largest stone sheep in the world) was there. She said the road had been 
opened and closed for a week because of the fire. Bought a Fort Nelson pin for my new 
Milepost 0 Alaska Highway hat. The oil and gas industry is alive and well around here. 
Saw a bumper sticker to that effect in the gas station. Filled up diesel fuel at the west end 
and noticed the traffic was going through and did not see the flashing road closed sign 
ahead. So we proceeded behind the early crowd. It was fairly open country to start with 
and we were to climb to the highest point on the Alaska Highway, Summit Lake Pass. 
Connie was reading about stone sheep and caribou being close to the road along the 
way. I haven't see either one in the wild. Sure enough we came upon a lone cow trying to 
cross the road. She had been running or something was running her. She wouldn't cross 
in front of us but finally crossed behind us. We strained our eyes at all the places we 
were supposed to look for sheep. Stopped on top and ran into Jim and Denise from 
Michigan again. They elected to drive many more hours and spent the night on top of the 
summit in a provincial park. Nice spot. We leap frogged with them several more times. 
Stopped at a huge alluvial fan that had signs for being a sheep viewing place. One 
couple said they heard there was sheep up the creek not very far. Got on my hiking boots 
and took off. Decided they must be on top of the mountain. Could see a couple in the 
binoculars up in the clouds. Came back to the truck to see if I could find them in the 
spotting scope. Nope. Connie said there were places on down the road listed in the 
Milepost book for sheep. Sure enough around the next corner was a ram feeding on the 
salt in the road. Yippee. Sheep and caribou in the same morning. Further down the road 
were "Watch Out for Buffalo" signs. Saw some big old bulls. Saw four black bears along 
the road. Three were black in color and one was pretty brown. Next we spotted a nice 
looking grizzly bear along the highway right-of-way eating dandilions. Wow, quite a day 
for critters. Stopped at the Liard Campground and Hot Springs area to look around. Quite 
the facility. You have to hike along a boardwalk to the Hot Springs and they have signs 
along the way to watch out for bears, moose etc. There was a sign for a fish that lives in 
the hot spring pools called a lake chub. We then headed for Watson Lake and the Yukon 
border. We actually touched the border, according to my GPS, and dropped back into 
BC. There was a make-shift sign advertising but no official sign yet. We stopped and read 
the sign about Contact Creek where the two army engineer battions met to complete the 
south part of the Alaska Highway. On the other side of the highway was a road to a 
pullout leading down to the creek.  I decided to spend the night here. Very hot, 80 
degrees, and lots of mosquitos but I can hear the water and the truck noise on the 
highway is above us. First stop tomorrow will be the official "Welcome to Yukon" sign. 
Hard to believe.                                                                                                               

June 12 Friday
Took forever to get to the official Yukon sign as they make sure after you cross back and 
forth across the BC/YK border half a dozen times that your in Yukon to stay before they 
put up the sign. Saw several bears before we got to the sign. You could see them running 
across the highway and one jumped barriers on both sides of the road near a creek. We 
arrived at Watson Lake and proceeded to the Sign Post Forest. After looking through 
some of the rows and rows of signs we ran across two couples from New Mexico that 
asked if we would take their pictures. They had spent the night preparing a sign with their 
names and date on it. I asked if anyone could put up signs and they said yes. Got my drill 
and some screws and three Idaho license plates to put up. They were Jamey's old 
expired plate "U4IA", my old "SURVEYR' plate, and a "2L 496" from Salmon. So if 
anybody in my family in the years to come make it threw Watson Lake they have 
something to search for. As you come in from the east side, you go under a boat buoy 
hanging from an arch and go about 3 or 4 rows to a big 2' diameter rock. Our plates are 
just to the south of the rock about twenty feet. I have a picture of the GPS position for 
future generations to use. We headed for Whitehorse and saw Brooks Brook sign along 
the way. There were some sections of gravel road that I had heard about. I've noticed all 
along that all the commerial big rigs (l8 wheelers) have a big pipe grill moose catcher 
welded to the front of their rigs. Mother decided we should stay in a private campground 
to fill up water, empty black and gray water. The High Country had free WI-FI so we 
headed for their place. We were behind a string of RV's checking in. I went to the office to 
see if anything was left and they had a couple of small ones left. Good thing we were 
traveling small. It was a very nice place, with a gift shop, showers, and laundry facilities.  
We took advantage of two of the three. The e-mail worked when we first logged on, then 
slowed down to a crawl. Even the next morning it was very slow, so we didn't fight that 
battle. Thought we might look at traveling part way to Dawson City as we are way ahead 
of schedule.

June 13 Saturday
Left our High Country RV Park this morning and headed downtown Whitehorse for 
sightseeing, groceries, and visit places to check off on the Yukon Passport. If you get 
enough places stamped in your book you are eligible for a drawing for gold. Saw the SS 
Klondike sternwheeler, which was in really good shape. Stopped at the visitor's center 
and I saw a 15 minute film on the Yukon. Located Wal-mart at the other end of town for 
some bread, bananas and milk. Looked for Lava soap which they didn't have. Strange 
store. We went to the Super Grocery Store down the street. Beer is at the liquor store. 
Found a couple more places to check off in our book, and headed to Faro, YK (It is a 
considerable side trip off the Klondike Highway.). We leave the Alaska Highway here and 
head to Dawson City on the Klondike Highway. There were lots of lakes along the way 
and we stopped at Fox Lake Campground for lunch. There was supposed to be an elk 
herd of 50-100 along the highway that is protected. It's the only elk herd in the Yukon. We 
also stopped at a roadside sign that said there was plume agate to be found a quarter to 
a third of a mile up the gravel road. We hiked to the end of the road and looked in the 
creek but no agates. I hiked further up the mountain following a nice switchback trail and 
finally gave up. Took some pictures overlooking the valley. At Carrucks we turned to go 
up the Campbell Highway towards the small mining town of Faro. There was supposed to 
be all kinds of viewing of Fannin's sheep just above the town. Connie was reading the 
milepost and it said we hit gravel road at 11 km and sure enough we did. We turned 
around and found a gravel pit off the road to stay in. While eating dinner a fox walked by 
outside. Cool. We plan to stay in Dawson City for two nights to take in all the sites.

June 14 Sunday
We took off from the gravel pit we stayed at to finish the leg to Dawson City. The road 
was more what I expected, the closer we got to Dawson. It started out to be fabulous but 
eventually turned in to all frost heaves and some gravel stretches. We decided on 
Bonanza Gold RV Park as a place to stay for a couple of nights. Spendy but 
accomplished what we needed. We headed downtown to get some stamps for our Yukon 
Gold Passport Book. Went to Robert Service and Jack Londons' house. Went inside the 
monster Adminstrative Building which used to be their version of state capitol before it 
was moved to Whitehorse. Parked at the visitors center and walked through a bunch of 
stores. Connie was not impressed with the old gold mining town but she liked the radio 
station they played. Saw the George Black ferry in operation taking 3 vehicles across the 
river. One was a motor home pulling a car. It's part of the highway system and is free. 
Connects to the Top Of The World Highway through Chicken to Tok. Will do some more 
sightseeing and housekeeping duties tomorrow.

June 15 Monday
Today is for laundary, garbage, fill the water tank, empty the black/gray tanks, and 
walking around downtown. I don't think it ever gets dark here. I have a fleece blanket 
over my window by the bed that just stays there all the time to help block the light out. All 
the windows and blinds are closed and it's still like the middle of the day. I have been up 
at all hours of the night and it is still light out. Land of the midnight sun. After a half a day 
doing laundary and $15 later, we finally headed downtown for some shopping. Nothing 
too exciting. Then we decided to drive up Bonanza Creek to see the gold mining dredge 
and to the free gold panning area. This is where the Klondike Gold Rush all started and 
all those crazy people left civilization for Skagway and made the trek up the Klondike 
Pass to Whitehorse then on up to Dawson City. According to the books, there was 
around a 30% success rate. Of the 100,000 people that started up here only 30,000 
actually made it to here. By the time the majority of them reached here that land was 
already staked and claimed. None of them were prepared for the Yukon winter. The 
"average" temperature for the month of January here is –30 degrees F. I got to see 
another interesting aspect of mining in the Klondike that I hadn't though of. They had to 
melt the permafrost in order to mine or dredge the land. The most amazing thing for me 
was to actually see that layer of permafrost. We walked down by the creek along normal 
looking ground and just before the creek it got mushy and dropped off to the gravel. I 
turned around and there was a layer of solid ice just under the top soil. I had to feel it to 
make sure it was ice. You could see it all along the creek bottom in that same layer. They 
tried many ways to melt the ice with steam, fires, but had the most success with injecting 
cold water underground. They actually have maps for melt points in the dredging 
operations. We made it to the gold panning around and got out our gold panning kit we 
bought before we left.  Connie put on her hat and the mosquito net over the hat. She 
rolled up her pantlegs. With shovel in hand, she dug from the creek enough for two of us 
to pan.  After several hours of putting possible gold flakes in our little bottle, I took a close 
look at them with my magnifier and decided only one of them was real. I hate to make my 
living gold panning. After the creek sightseeing, we drove back to town to drive on the 
dome road to the top of the local mountain. Quite a view of the Yukon River, the Klondike 
River, and Dawson City. You can also see the ferry and the Top Of The World Highway 
we will be going on tomorrow. We then drove to town to take in Diamond Tooth Gerties 
Follies Show. It's a full fledged gambling casino with everything like it was in the 1890's. 
The piano player was straight out of the movies. I tried one of the Yukon beers and 
Connie put some money in the slot machines. It opened at 7PM and we got there shortly 
after 7. The show didn't start until 8 something. There wasn't much of a crowd at first 
when we sat down to get a seat for the show but it filled up fast. A local gal and her 
parents sat down with us. She is the local version of a school secretary and has been in 
Dawson for 19 years. She was very out going and filled us in on all the local questions we 
had. Yes, they build all the houses up on blocks because the town is setting on 
permafrost. She lived outside of town close to the Yukon River and said she has one side 
of her house she had to jack up and down depending on the time of the year. We 
watched the follies show which was local talent and they we pretty darn good. When we 
got back to the RV park to hook up for the night someone was in our spot. After checking 
in with the lady, she said that happens a couple of times a year and it happened to us. 
Oh well, she had another spot for us. Took a picture at 11PM and it was like broad 

June 16 Tuesday

I checked the GPS that gives the sunrise and sunset times for this location, last night. I 
think it said the sun goes down at 12:45 AM and rises at 3: 15 AM. Today is shower day 
for Connie, pay the bills hopefully, last minute shopping downtown, then on to the ferry 
and Alaska here we come. We had fun shopping around town again. Stopped at the first 
grocery store and they didn't have Cool Whip so we went to the other one. They had 
some in the back. Bought a box of Kleenex for my running noise. Stop at a little shop that 
said they had the best gold prices in town. The guy was a character and rambled on. He 
had some gold nuggets with the eye already attached. We asked him if this was real 
gold, how did they get that eye on. Somewhere in the story I heard something was 
heated to 2000 degrees. He showed us a picture of where they mined everyday. Said 
they had a certificate of authenticity for the nugget and a warranty for the necklace. 
Anyway, Connie needed a chunk of real gold and its quite purdy. He charged us less that 
the marked price, threw in the necklace, and didn't charge us sales tax. I think it's a good 
deal. When we headed down to the catch the ferry there was a long line. So we came 
back to the museum and I watch 3 fifteen minute movies about sternwheelers, gold 
mining, and the history of Dawson. Went back out and the line was just as long. Got in 
line anyway and got on the second boat to the other side. Strange sitting in your vehicle 
and moving across the river. Trip takes about fifteen minutes at most. So we are across 
the Yukon and headed on Top Of The World Highway. It climbs from 1000 feet elevation 
to less than 4000. It does stay on top and was above timberline in a few places. Had 
lunch at the 40 Mile Herd sign. A herd of barren-ground caribou used to migrate from 
Fairbanks to Dawson. They numbered around 528,000 in the 1920's and were depleted 
to a few thousand in the 70's. They are now on the rebound but still are at only 5% of 
what they once were. I could see why the road is closed in the winter as there were still 
major snowbanks. It opens in June and closes by September or October. The next stop 
was to get across the border to the US. I made the mistake of taking a picture of an 
Alaska sign as I was approaching the stopping place at the border. In the picture were 
two border offficers sitting in their chairs and I had to delete the picture. They don't allow 
pictures of officers. He was pretty nice and friendly. He asked about any guns I have and 
I showed him all the Canadian paperwork for my shotgun. Went very smoothly. I asked 
him if being stuck out here was rookie duty or good duty. He said very desirable and 
good duty. He was on duty for 2 months. With the road open about 4 months someone 
else must do the other 2 months. There was a nice Welcome To Alaska sign down the 
road and we stopped to take pictures there. Finally back to miles, gallons, degrees F and 
American money.  We arrived at the first Town of Chicken, AK place called Goldpanner. 
Looked through the store and inquired what it would cost to camp. It was a very new, well 
built place. Quite nice. We went to the next Town of Chicken and drove through. We then 
ended up at the Old Town of Chicken. It had the oldest stores but the most reasonably 
priced stuff. It had the old town look with a store, bar and café. Walked through the bar 
and had to lower my head in quite a few places because of all the baseball caps hanging 
down. The sign at the store said they don't know how many caps are in there. The floor 
was not level and it was uphill to the pool table. Pool table looked fairly level. Connie 
bought a coffee mug and salad forks at the store. They have no flush toilets, electricity or 
public water. Took a picture of the post office and of a moose on the way out. We are 
back on paved road again and found a spot in a gravel pit for the night. Headed to Tok 
tomorrow, then to Delta Junction the end of the Alaska Highway.

June 17 Wednesday
The road got progressively worse this morning as we mosied along the Taylor Highway 
towards Tok. Finally some of the frost heaves, gravel, pretty bad spots that I had been 
expecting. Just have to go slow. Some of the signs talk about the caribou migration 
through this area in the fall. They say it used to be the largest migration of caribou in the 
world. We about wore our eyes out looking for critters and didn't see anything but a 
bunny.  When we reached the Alaska Highway again, the traffic sure picked up. We were 
meeting everyone that stayed on the highway from Whitehorse and not go on the TOTW 
Highway. Tok was pretty nice town with one of the 6 Public Land Information Centers in 
Alaska. You can even make reservations for ferries from there. The gift shop across the 
street was probably the best we have seen so far and prices very good. They had the 
wolves chasing the dall sheep display and I took several pictures of that. It kind of defies 
gravity. The sheep is supported by the hind leg, the dark wolf by his middle, and the light 
wolf from a front paw. Pretty cool. Ma found a few things she liked there. Next stop was 
Delta Junction and the official end of the Alaska Highway. Got pictures of that and the 
giant mosquitos. The gift shop was very nice. I got my I Drove the Alaska Highway 
Certificate signed and my last pin for the hat. It's pretty heavy from the weight of the pins. 
We had to go get filled up on propane and they charged $4.05 a gallon. Diesel was $3.89 
per gallon. At least we're away from that liters, kilometers, degrees C for a while. 
Changed the setting on my dashboard GPS to MPH, stuff I can understand. We decided 
to park at the Information Center for the night with 2 others Lance Campers from Canada.
Called Rich Bonwell, an old surveyor friend of mine from way back, and he lives in 
Fairbanks. We'll see them tomorrow night. He used to survey with Darrel Maher in St. 
Maries, Idaho and was the IALS President two before me. It's raining tonight. We hit that 
long drive across the top perfectly, just after it rained in Dawson and just before it rained 
here. It would have been a muddy mess and we wouldn't have been able to see 

June 18 Thursday
We spent the night at the parking lot of the Delta Junction Visitors Center alongside two 
canadians. They also had Lance Campers so it was Lance Row. They wanted to talk so 
bad that I had to just walk away to stop the conversation. Sometimes they still followed 
me around. We filled up on propane at the station down the road for $4.05 a gallon. We 
paid $2.89 when we left Meridian. We made our way towards Fairbanks and looked at a 
few sights along the way. They kept saying in the brochures that this area is the biggest 
agriculture area in the state of Alaska, yet we couldn't see much of that for the trees. So 
we decided to take a side trip to see this so called farm ground in all the trees. That didn't 
show us much. Finally we decided to stop at Rika's House, which was a working farm 
and highway stop or roadhouse on their way from Valdez to Fairbanks. The place had a 
lot of buildings, one for every purpose. She raised about every animal, crop, and flower 
possible. She would hire the miners to help with the maintence and operation of the 
place. In turn they got their grubstake to back to mining. The Alaska pipeline across the 
river was visible from here. We looked through several of the buildings that had original 
equipment on display. I liked the Gas Iron the best. When we got back out on the 
highway, we stopped at the bridge and took several pictures of the pipeline crossing the 
Tanana River. That thing is so braced it can withstand an earthquake.  We followed the 
Tanana River to Fairbanks and it is spread across a mile in some places. Its what is 
called a braided stream. Next stop was at Santaland in North Pole, Alaska. We got a card 
from Santa to send to Brooks from the North Pole. Connie got her picture taken with 
Santa. He knew Meridian had Dairy Days and Emmett had a Cherry Festival. Next stop 
was Fairbanks and we saw a Fred Meyer on the yellow map from North Pole, on the west 
end of town. We needed 3 or 4 things and were amazed at the prices. A lot of things 
were about the same as home. Most parking spaces have an outlet post to plug in your 
outfit while your shopping. We coordinated with Rich on staying at his place and having 
dinner at 6PM. We then went to the University of Alaska Museum which was on the 
recommend to see list. It has the largest collection of gold in the State of Alaska and we 
saw a movie on the aurora borealis. That took most of the afternoon. We plugged in 
Rich's address into the GPS and it took us to his house on the northeast side of town. 
Like everything around there, lots and lots of trees but very little view. We had a great 
time with Rich and Peg catching up on travels and old times. We parked in their driveway 
that night.

June 19 Friday,
Rich gave us some things to see. We drove north some to a viewpoint for the Alaska 
Pipeline. You could get right next to it at that point. I like how the whole line could move 
left or right, back and forth, or up and down. Quite the engineering feat. We drove further 
north to the old Steese highway and past Dredge No. 8. We didn't stop to see. When this 
road came out we proceeded to the Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed in the rig. It's been 
3500 miles. They had me in their database from Idaho. A $100 later and we were out of 
there. Next stop was Creamer's Wildlife Refuse for bird watching. We walked several of 
the paths around the old farm. It used to be a dairy farm and the State bought it when 
they retired. The next stop was the Musk Ox Farm. Met some people from Boise. We 
went back to Fred Meyer for that King Crab they had on sale and they were all out from 
yesterday. We bought two legs anyway, a sockeye salmon fillet, and two halibut steaks 
on sale. We going to eat better here than on the Oregon Coast. Decided we better find a 
campground to dump and use Wi-Fi. We stopped at River's Edge RV Park and they had 
room for us. It was filled up and there was a waiting line at the entrance. When we pulled 
in to our spot we notice two 1B plates from Idaho across from us. It turned out to be two 
retired Idaho Power engineers that used to make trips to Salmon. We compared notes on 
the places we'd been and they were just a day ahead of us in all the spots we had stayed 
at. Their heading on almost exactly the same route the rest of the way. Amazing. We 
have another place to see tomorrow called Pioneer Park which should take a couple of 
hours. Then were headed south toward Denali Park. Hope to finally get my pictures and 
blog posted to my website, sometime tonight.

June 20 Saturday
We left the River's Edge RV Park for Pioneer Park. We walked around and it was quite 
interesting with the original old cabins all moved to one spot. It was there on town but 
nothing was open that early. The highway south out of Fairbanks climbs to the top of a 
long ridge and goes along the ridge for many miles. It finally drops down to river level at 
Nenanna. We stopped to see what was in this town. A huge wood pole tripod was next to 
the visitor's center and I had to see what that was for. This town is the official site for 
when the frozen Tannana River melts. There is a big prize for the closest time that the 
tripod, which is setting on the frozen river, falls through and trips the clock. For them that 
signifies the start of spring. There also was another smaller tripod across the street that I 
had to take a look at. There was an indian fish trap which is run by the water. Next to all 
this was a log cabin gift shop. We went in and had the greatest conversation with the 
owner. She was a character. Came to Nenanna from Wisconsin and never went back. 
She told us how she bought this property from a guy who said he would never sell it. She 
took a bottle of his booze of choice to his place and after a long evening she bought the 
place. She now owns 7 businesses in town. Who knows, she's probably mayor too. She 
had her own design of clothes and has recorded 3 cd's.  I liked her jacket. It looked fairly 
water proof and had Alaska on the front with a huskey and a dog team embroidered on 
the back. We proceeded to a turnout to try to see Mt. McKinnly in the distance but the 
clouds were hiding it. Went through all the congestion at the mouth of Denai National 
Park and into the park. We saw a film and decided on the 11 hour bus trip to Wonder 
Lake in the park. Supposed to see lots of animals and the mountain if visible. We also 
decided to camp in the park and use our senior pass for a discount. So its costing $11 a 
night for a spot to camp. We paid for two nights at that rate. We'll be really close to catch 
the bus in the morning and have a place to come back to after a long day. Also, 
depending on when Marnie and Chad arrive, a place for them to camp. It has room for 
two vehicles. After we found our camping spot, we drove as far as the public is allowed to 
go into the park to Savage River. We did see 3 bull caribou in the river bottom and took 
some pictures. Made it back and fixed collosall king crab with wine for supper. We getting 
this fixing and eating of crab of various kinds down pat. The butter cups with melted 
butter just really work great.

June 21 Sunday
It is the summer soltice today, the longest day of the year.  The board at the visitor's 
center says sunrise is 3:33 am and sunset is 12:22 am.  They say 20 hrs and 46 minutes 
of daylight. We catch the bus to Wonder Lake. It's 80 miles in and 80 miles out in one 
day. We barely get out on the road and run into 5 bull moose out from the road. At 
Milepost 9 were supposed to see the mountain if its visible and isn't surrounded by 
clouds. Well, just past there the mountain came into view. Wow. The bus driver, who has  
been in the area a long time and been working for the Park Service for some 15 years, 
says the chances of seeing the mountain is officially around 30%. His experience it is 
closer to 10% in the summertime. So we really lucked out today. We saw the mountain 
many more times along the way, but would not see it at Wonder Lake, the end of our trip 
and the closest point to the mountain. There was some more wildlife but not much. We 
saw caribou, dall sheep, and grizzly bear with 2 cubs in the distance. Did not get to see 
any wolves because the pups are too small for them to be out. They were born in May 
and are not old enough to get out. Consequently the parents do not come out either. 
There were some spectacular rivers and mountains to see. The road over Polychrome 
Pass was very narrow, steep, and single lane. We actually met another bus on one of the 
curves. Wonder Lake was full of mosquitoes so no one wanted to stay too long. Connie 
got out her mosquito head net for that venture. When we got back we called Marnie to 
see if they had landed at the airport and were on their way up. They were 4 hours out and 
headed this way. They can camp here tonight. We have spaces for two. They finally 
arrived around 9PM in their red rented car. We visited for awhile to catch them up on 
what they will see on the Wonder Lake Trip and what they saw driving up here. They're 
signed up for 3 days camping at the lake and are supposed to ride the camper bus in. 
After some 8% blueberry beer they set up their tent and we're really to call it a day 
around 11PM. We joked about it still being bright light out.

June 22 Monday
It was time to get up when Chad fired up his gas stove which sounds like a 727 jet getting 
ready to taxi on the runway. They got all their stuff packed into their backpacks for the 
campout at the lake and the rest of the stuff in their car. They had less than an hour to 
get all checked in, parked, and catch the bus. We decided to go to a learning center as 
one last thing at Denali that we hadn't seen and we meet them going in the opposite 
direction. Pretty soon the phone rang with a request to pick them up at the long term 
parking lot south of the campground. Good thing we stuck around. Got them picked up 
and delivered to the bus pickup area. They get to ride in the regular shuttle bus instead of 
the camper bus, which means they'll get the narrated tour on the way up. Told Chad to sit 
on the left side of the bus and they ran to catch their bus. We continued to the learning 
center and the host was telling several people what wonderful things wolves are. I just 
had to interject that they sometimes kill for sport and that Idaho has about 900 wolves 
roaming around. She got quiet and one lady said she had never herd of that. Time to 
leave and head south. Turned at Cantwell where Jamey and I had been before. Tried to 
take some pictures of the railroad, airstrip, and town that we saw when it was covered 
with snow. We then decided to drive up the Denali Highway which is a 130 mile gravel 
road short cut across the middle of the state. I wanted to get a feel for what the country 
was like. We made it 25-30 miles in and had lunch at a high spot. Saw a moose go 
running across a meadow to go along with the two we saw by the road coming in. I didn't 
want to drive all the way through because the fuel level would have been close and I 
didn't want to miss seeing Talkeetna. So we drove most of the way back and camped at 
a river float put-in on the Nenana River. It's rained the whole time we've been here and 
hope the weather for the kids is much better over there. Maybe it will set up a midnight 
viewing of Denali. They say Denali is nocturnal and only comes out at night and hides 
during the day.

June 23 Tuesday
We saw a cow and two yearling moose on the way out this morning heading back to the 
highway. It rained all night and was pouring this morning. Hope the kids aren't totally 
soaked and can wait it out for a glimpse of "The Mountain". With the clouds so low and 
raining, there is no way to see any of the mountains from the two view spots in the State 
Denali Park. When Jamey and I were here before, I could use a pipe pointed at the top of 
the mountain at the south view point to see where McKinley is supposed to be. They 
developed a huge area now for tourist bus parking at the view point. You have to walk 
between a half and a quarter of a mile to look through the two view finder pipes that were 
previously along side the road. Progress and tourists. We couldn't believe the number of 
tour buses we met and were trying to pass us on the highway. They appear to be 
connected to the cruise ship with names like Holland-America, Princess, etc. So evidently 
they are taken all the passengers on extended land trips as part of the cruise package. 
We were talking about the dead end trip to Talkeena, that it would not be possible for the 
tour buses to go there and get turned around. Boy, were we wrong. There is a super 
highway now with paved bikes paths all along the 15 mile stretch that ends in town. Gone 
are all the trailer stores and small businesses that give it the charm. It is now a full 
fledged tourist trap with brand new stores and gift shops. They have a big new post 
office. Some of the old buildings downtown remain but are all gift shops or aviation offices 
for plane trips to McKinley. The Fairview Inn is still the same and we walked in to look 
around. I watched an hour film of the life of Don Sheldon, the famous bush pilot. We got 
out of there and all the people and headed back to the highway. We were going to go on 
the Hatcher Road loop but decided with a wet road and no visibility that would be 
worthless. We made a side trip to the Iditarod Headquarters and looked through the place 
and watch a film on the mushers covering some of the 2009 race. Wanted to buy 
everything in the store but walked out with nothing. Next destination was Fred Meyer in 
Wasilla for nanners and milk. Got a phone book and looked up a phone number so I 
could call my surveyor friend in Palmer to see how he was doing and maybe visit with 
them.  He was in Valdez for the whole summer at a RV Park. We said we would stop and 
see them on our way through Valdez. That will be fun. We decided we better find a spot 
for the night and found our way to Big Bear RV Park. We can start to see mountains all 
around us now that the rain stopped. We should be in mountains for the next couple of 
weeks. Snow on almost all of them. Cool. As I'm sitting at the table in the camper, I think 
Eklutna Lake is to the right of the mountain I am looking at. We may visit there, tomorrow 
and see where the kids will be pedalling and paddeling along the lake.

June 24, Wednesday
Today was wash the sheets, bed and clothes day. After all that we headed to Palmer. I 
wanted to take a picture of the bar Jamey and I visited when we were here before. 
Klondike Mike's it's called now. We had a close call in there when I wore a hat behind the 
bar while trying to make a phone call. We were supposed to buy the whole bar a round of 
drinks for that Alaska tradition. We escaped in a hurry and headed out of town to Big 
Lake. The story was confirmed there in that bar. Anyway the bar is still there, in fact there 
are three in a row. Connie and I visited the museum across the railroad tracks and asked 
about Hatcher Pass road. You could go to the mine but not all the way through. Won't 
open until July. The road to the mine was steep but the scenery was gorgeous. It 
reminded us of what the Alps would look like. Then we headed toward Anchorage with an 
eight mile side trip to Lake Eklutna. That road was steep and narrow and couldn't see 
much until we reached the end of the road at the lake. This is the lake Marnie and Chad 
are going to pedal and paddle. We headed to Anchorage and after getting way off track 
found a public parking lot, so we could walk around. Visited a bunch of stores and the 
visitor's center. We then decided to go to a bird refuge and see if camping was allowed. 
Nope. I wanted to drive south toward the mountains and we found a pulloff with a 
beautiful view. The tide was rolling in. That was fun to watch. When it's a high negative 
tide you will get to see the so called Bore Tide with the wall of water. This one was pretty 
minor with no real wall of water. But it moves in at about l5 miles an hour. Took some 
pictures and called it a day.

June 25, Thursday
Today we decided to hit some points on the way back to Anchorage that we missed driving out. 
We stopped at quite a developed site at Bird Point. (Robin got a hold of us and told us how to 
get to her house) We were looking for beluga whales but most of the people there were 
concentrating across the road for Dall Sheep. We didn't see any. Shortly after we left there was 
a ewe and lamb sheep right alongside the highway. No real place to pull off to take pictures. 
Next stop was the Potter Marsh Bird Refuge again. We stopped at the pulloff we had seen going 
out on the highway. We watched a mother gull feeding it's chick and 2 arctic terns with their 
chick. Next stop was at the developed boardwalk.  This time I took the tripod and spotting 
scope. We spent a long time there. While talking to a couple from Colorado, we all spotted a 
pacific loon. We got to check off another one in the bird book. They also have a place where 
salmon are seen passing through 3 culverts into the marsh, but we didn't see any. They just 
pass through the marsh on their way to the creeks to spawn. We finished driving into Anchorage 
to about the same area as yesterday. Connie had to hit all the stores she missed the day before. 
After we had enough of that we headed to Ship Creek to view the salmon going through the 
dam and watch all the fisherman. Near the bridge we saw one salmon that was caught. A Native 
lady struck up a conversation with me. She had her fishing rod all taped together and needed 
help cutting all the tape off. So I got out my dull buck knife and cut on all the tape. Then we had 
to cut the line to get it untangled. She said she was retired now. A plane flew into her village and 
there was a big settlement. She shared stories about fishing in the village with nets when she 
was a little girl and catching many salmon. Today she was trying with rod and reel. She guessed 
the salmon that was caught below us at 25 lb. That would've been my guess too. We worked 
our way to the dam and saw some salmon swimming below. The looked red and almost purple 
in the water. After leaving there, we worked our way to Robin's place. It's a big yellow house in a 
culdesac just south of the airport and Kincaid Park. Not too far from the ocean. Evidently she 
had to take back one of the houses that they built in their subdivision. It's for sale at $1,337,900. 
Haven't been inside yet, but it looks big from the outside.

June 26 Friday
The house is 7,000 sq ft and the upstairs is not quite finished. They live in what we would 
call the basement. They call it the mother-in-law space. It has windows, kitchen, 
everthing that a house would have. It had plently of room for them. We made a stop at 
Fred Meyer on the way out of town. This time we decided to add beer to the list. In 
Alaska you buy beer in a separate place from the grocery store. Its attached to the store 
but separated. I had heard from a park person about Alaskan White. She liked that better 
than the Alaskan Amber Ale. So we picked up some White to see if I like it. On our way 
south we stopped at Portage Glacier. We got into the film, which they charge to see now, 
with my Federal Senior Pass for free. I knew from reading in the books you couldn't 
actually see the glacier anymore from the visitors center area. I remember seeing it in the 
86 trip and not seeing much in the 92 trip. The gal at the center said when they built that 
fancy visitor's center, Portage Glacier was predicted to be visible until the year 2025. It 
supposedly disappeared right after they finished the center. We drove across the bridge 
and through a small tunnel to get a view of the glacier from the other side. We could see 
a small part of it there. We continued down the road toward Seward. I had seen a picture 
in the Moellers book "RVing in Alaska" that showed them camped right on Resurrection 
Bay and looking at the snow covered mountains in downtown Seward. That's where I 
wanted to camp. We found a spot and the tent camping area is next to us for Marnie and 
Chad when they show up. We didn't hear from Marnie until around 6:30 PM about the 
glacier and whale viewing tour. We decided on the long Kenai Fjords tour and called 
Robin to book it for us. I guess the outfit she works for owns the company and she can 
get a 30% discount. We also want to get to the Sea Life Center for a couple hours 
sometime and go up to Exit Glacier on our way out. We'll head to Soldotna when we 
leave here.

June 27 Saturday
We checked in to Kenai Fjords to see which tour we wanted to go on. Graciers and 
whales was what we were after. The group decision was to go on the National Park Tour 
which was 8.5 hr. They furnished lunch and an all you can eat salmon dinner buffet on 
Fox Island. The boat was bigger so Connie wouldn't be as likely to get seasick. It was a 
double decker called the Tanaina. Very nice and new looking. We noticed all their boats 
were in top shape and clean looking. Our captain was very entertaining, a great speaker, 
and extremely knowledgable about everything. Marnie and I both commented on how he 
would speak nice and slow and very clearly so everyone on board could understand. We 
didn't depart until after l0 AM but with the beautiful mountains all around who cares. We 
saw about all the wildlife you could see on this trip. One of the humpback whales came 
right under the ship. The porposes were swimming alongside. We stopped at Three Hole 
Point to take pictures through the rocks.  We visited the tidewater Aialik Glacier in the 
Kenai Fjords National Park and watch the calving (pieces of the glacier falling into the 
ocean) of the glacier from a quarter of a mile. I think we were closer than that at times. 
The wind was blowing us around but the captain tried to shut off the engines most of the 
time so we could hear the crashing sound. But he had to also keep us in position. We got 
close a to a group of sea otters swimming on their back. Saw more puffins, both tufted 
and horned than I thought I would see. This area is home to a huge number of the 
nesting birds of the pacific northwest. I think we saw them all. The steller sea lions have 
lost 80% of their population in the last 40 years so seeing them is getting to be more rare. 
I'm guessing the only thing we didn't get to see on Connie's checklist was the orchas 
(killer whales). The all you can eat buffet was quite good and Chad finally got filled up. 
That boy can sure eat. It was late when we got back and Marnie and Chad decided to 
stay over in their tent camping area and we decided to check in to Stoney Creek 
campground because they were full service. We found the place just north of town and 
decided we were so low on propane we better go back to fill up, which we did. Then it 
was back to the campground for the night. The office was closed so we settle up in the 
morning. Tomorrow's agenda was to see the Sea Life Center and visit Exit Glacier. Then 
it is on to Robin's "compound" as she calls it. It's three acres just back from the Kenai 
River with an easement and dock on the river. She said the noise from the boat and 
fishing traffic is quite loud so being back from the river helps with the noise. I guess they 
have acquired another three acres next to this parcel, also. She described it as being at 
the end of a road so it sounds like paradise to me. I'm anxious to see it and set up a 
place to day trip out of. Also, heard from my old surveyor friend, Sam Best. He is out of 
the hospital from hip surgery and can take visitors on Monday. I used to travel all over the 
west, including Alaska and Hawaii, when I was Idaho's WestFed delegate and see these 
two Alaska surveyors, Sam and Bud. It's good to hear they're both surviving and I can't 
wait to see them both.

June 28, Sunday
I couldn't get the refrigerator started after we filled up with propane, so when we plugged 
in,  we switched to electric on the frig. That worked for overnight. We headed back to 
Seward to meet the kids at the Sea Life Center, which is really a research center. It was 
$20 to get in (a little less with our AARP discount). We probably spent 3 hours there and 
in the bird section probably an hour alone. You could watch the birds flying around and 
swimming. You could also see them through the glass underwater swimming. They had 
both the horned puffin and the tufted puffin, my favorite. We saw the video cams on the 
stellar sea lions that we had passed out on the cruise the day before. You can control two 
of them from your seat in the center. And as our captain from the cruise liked to say, 
"there is a gift shop at the end of your visit to any center in Alaska, it's Alaska state law."
We headed to Exit Glacier with plans to hike up the glacier. When we got there, we had 
lunch and decided we better head to Soldotna and Robin's before they left to go back to 
Anchorage to work. We drove through Soldotna and followed directions to Robin's. I 
didn't even recognize the town. It has grown so much and changed. There is a four lane 
road through town and across the bridge. The first thing you see in town is the new big 
Fred Meyer with a full parking lot. We've been told it's the largest store of all the Fred 
Meyer's. We drove on the KB highway for a ways and zig-zag to the north and east to the 
west side of the Kenai. Its at the end of the lane. It one of the few lots that has a meadow. 
The house is still under construction (its all knotty pine doors and trim) but the separate 
kitchen and bunkhouse are done. There is a great screened-in canopy that we put our 
lawn chairs in. I think we've used them twice on the trip so far. Almost not worth the effort 
to bring them. It's good to finally be here and have a place to stay and day-trip out of.  
After we get the refrigerator going again, I might just take the camper off so we can drive 
around in just the truck. The kids will be here later tonight, but in the Alaska humor, it 
won't be dark. Robin said they have seen moose in the meadow. When you see moose 
around, the bears won't be around as much. We have to be careful of any garbage or 
anything that smells. They can't even have bird feeders around, because of the bears. 
Seems pretty quiet so far.

June 29, Monday
Marnie was very happy that she had a bed in the bunkhouse and didn't have to worry 
about the bears. She still is behind on her sleep. We have a car to drive all of around in 
by using Chad and Marnie's rental car. They had to clean out the living room and kitchen 
of the car first. We eventually decided to head north today and see that part of the area. 
We first went across the Kenai River to the visitor's center in the town of Kenai which is 
about l0 miles from Soldotna. I asked how to get to Scout Park and down to the beach. 
We drove to Scout Park, which is an overlook for the mouth of the Kenai River and the 
ocean, to look for beluga whales. The tide was going out. So we drove back and down to 
the beach to look around. We found lots of rocks on the beach and spent quite a bit of 
time walking up and down looking at the rocks. They are different than what we find on 
the Oregon coast. I guess we'll find a spot in the camper to haul them back to Idaho.
On up the road was the small town Nilkiski which was mostly oil refineries and oil related 
businesses. At the Captain Cook campground, which is the end of the road,  there was 
some picnic tables and beach access. We had lunch there and got to view the mountains 
and volcanos across the Cook Inlet. We went back to the compound on some different 
roads and ended up at the "Y" in Soldotna. Fred Meyer is just across the street so we 
stocked up on some items for meals at the compound. On our way back across the 
bridge we stopped at the visitor's center. It has access to the river and Les Anderson's 
world record King Salmon on display. Near the entrance is a wooden statue of Les with 
his famous king salmon which I had to have my picture taken. When we walked on the 
public boardwalk down on the Kenai River we ran across a guy filleting his salmon. 
Turned out to be the Idaho people we saw in Fairbanks. He caught 6 reds and was 
finishing up on the last one. They were camping at Peterson Lake in a dry camp area. He 
said he planned on being there until they filled their built-in freezer. He said it would hold 
a l50 lbs of fish. When we got back we fired up the BBQ to cook the red salmon Robin left 
us and the red salmon we bought in Fairbanks. Chad and Connie did the cooking while 
Marnie and I talked and drank beer. Cooked enough salmon for another meal. I 
downloaded Chad's pictures to my external hard drive for an extra backup and also put 
them and our pictures on his thumb drive. Got to see his pictures of Denali, Seward, the 
hike to the top of Mt. Marathon, and the hike to the top of Exit Glacier. Tomorrow we'll 
head south toward Homer and maybe line up a halibut fishing trip.

June 30, Tuesday
We packed a lunch, left for Homer and points in between. The fog was laying so low no 
mountains were visible. We stopped at the Anchor Point sign for a group picture.  The 
sign now says "Anchor Point, AK North America's Most Westerly Highway Point". They launch the 
fishing boats from there with what they call tractors. Looks to me like a couple of old 
logging skidders with an adjustable trailer hitch. The guy I talked to that was waiting for 
customers to show up said he can launch here and be in the fish in l0 minutes. He can 
get three trips a day. If he launches at Homer he has drive all the way up here anyway to 
fish for halibut. So we looked at the fishing prospects a little differently. We stopped at the 
Homer overlook to look at the signs and see if we could see any mountains across the 
bay. They were starting to appear with some fog still hanging. We drove to the end of the 
spit and turned around at Land's End Motel. It was hard to find a parking spot with all the 
people on the spit. We looked through some stores and fish booking places. A couple 
with their kids were hanging up their 2 halibut a piece limit for a total of 8 fish. They went 
on a small private boat and loved it. We took their picture. The Salty Dawg Saloon is one 
of the more famous landmarks on the spit, because it looks somewhat like a lighthouse. 
Chad and I both bought shirts and I bought a hat. So then we had to go inside to have a 
beer in this place. It's covered inside with $l.00 bills on the ceiling and on the walls. Chad 
got a marker and we marked up a dollar bill to hang on the ceiling. He stood on a bar 
stool so he could reach the ceiling. Another item in Alaska for future generations of 
Couch's to find. There was an area on the lower walls with life saving rings that people 
can also put money on that went to some charity. Each week they clean the money off 
the rings.  Some weeks they said they get as much as $3,000. I had one of the beers 
they brewed in Homer, called Country Ale. They use reusable 20 oz bottles. I took one as 
a souvenir. On the way back to Robin's we stopped at the Rod and Real Fishing place 
north of Anchor Point to check on halibut fishing trip. We decided on a 6 hr trip on 
Thursday. Because of the tides we have to leave here at 3:00 am to be there by 4:l5 am. 
Before we got to the compound we stopped at took a couple of pictures of a moose calf 
eating alongside the road.  When we got back here we had the rest of the red salmon 
and we washed and looked at our rocks we picked up on the beach. Guess they'll have 
to be hauled back to Idaho in the truck. The neighbors came by with cookies and reindeer 
sausage. They said they have a resident cow moose who usually has a calf each year on 
their place. They say the moose like to be around people because of the bears. Chad 
tried out the hammock without falling out. He was joined by Marnie.