Saturday, July 2, 2016

North to Alaska

Day 42, Wednesday, July 20
Home Again, Home Again,
Jiggety Jig
 Wildlife in Montana differed from that in Alaska and Canada!
 Happy feller
 The one that didn't get away
 We passed through some Montana small towns
 en route to ....
North Dakota
This is what western North Dakota looks like--
 oil wells
and storage tanks
 All that before we ever got to Williston.  We wanted
to visit Bob's Aunt Phyllis, but she wasn't home,
so we left a note :-)
 Phil wasn't there either, so we went to.....
 to visit Bob's Uncle Conrad
Cousins Larry and Karen and their son Sam joined us--
and fed us so we wouldn't drive through the storm that
was going through Minot! Thanks!
By the time we got to ....the storm was gone, 
and this is what we saw on the way to

 Between Rugby and the farm, we saw
 the sky in all
 its glory
 turning the corner south of the farm....
Welcome Home!

Day 41, Tuesday, July 19
Back to "the lower 48"
Calgary's Deerfoot Casino lets people camp in their parking lot!
This reminded me of The Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz"
Canola is just blooming in southern Alberta
This bridge in Lethbridge, Alberta, is one mile long
and 300 feet high.  It is the largest in the world.
Lethbridge's river is really named "Oldman"
Entry to a Provincial Park famous for rock formations
and a friendly T-Rex
Last town in Alberta before the US border.
I think the babies here are called "Coutties" :-)

These were the only indications that we were entering
the "Welcome" sign past the border! The
customs agent got a kick out of our bobblehead Pope!
Welcome to Montana
Shelby is on US Highway 2 which
also runs through Rugby, ND
The Amtrak from Rugby to Whitefish, MT, where we have
gone skiing for years, goes through Shelby, Havre, and Malta
James Hill founder of the railroad
Didn't see the buffalo jump
Campground in Malta.....
No, they do not speak Italian here! :-)
Day 40, Monday, July 18
Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary
View from the camper when we woke up Monday 
 Then we headed to Lake Louise
 When we were here in 1990, the glacier was all the way
down to the water--and there were very few people here
 The Chateau has grown and another hotel has been built
 You can see how far the glacier has receded
 God's creation and creature--can you see the chipmunk?
 One of these peaks is called Pope's Peak!
Lake Louise
 We drove through Banff en route to Calgary.  Jasper and
Banff are pretty much "tourist towns," so we didn't
spend much time in either place
 Moose under construction
 Banff had every restaurant and shop imaginable!
 Leaving the mountains
 Tunnels connected two sides of the National Park
 Cement plant--Hal and Diane said that there used to
be a mountain behind it--now it is cement
 This was the top of a church that was destroyed, 
so they saved it and built an underground garage below it
 Park at the Board of Education
 Ski jumps at the Olympic Park
 Calgary Tower
 Traffic along the river
 Well, we were supposed to meet cousin Hal at the Deerfoot Casino,
but we followed the map to the "Casino" sign, and it was 
the wrong casino!  This is when we finally found each other! :-)
 Visiting on Hal and Diane's deck
 They took us to dinner at the White Spot restaurant
 The food was great; the company awesome
 We stopped at a historic site--a Cockshutt plow
Two Dianes at the confluence of two rivers :-)
Day 39, Sunday, July 17
Prince George to Columbia Icefields
Started out at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Prince George
Mt. Robson--blurry bear
Leaving British Columbia; entering Alberta and a new time zone
Everything in Canada is in English and French
 En route to the Columbia Ice Field
 Can't resist the mountains and rivers
Downtown Jasper--we just drove through town,
but we did find an ice cream shop "Scoops and Loops" :-)
Jasper totem
 Columbian Icefield
Icefield Center and hotel
 Athabasca Glacier--where it was in 1908.  When we were 
here with the kids in 1990, there were more markers,
and the kids stood by the one from the year they were born.
1982 was the most recent marker we could find, but you can 
see how much it has receded since then. Glacier is on the left,
but it was higher than the gravel mound on the right in 1982.

 Ice--looks like a turtle
 Pope Francis attracted the attention of a family with five
children...they had their picture taken with him, too
Waterfall en route to finding a place to stay
Started driving toward Lake Louise in the rain and 
decided to find a place to stay--my only requirement
was a, we ended up in a campground
with a porta potty, but we survived. 

Day 38, Saturday, July 16
Prince Rupert to Prince George
The ferry docked at 1 a.m., so we headed to the 
campground up the road.
I discovered these flowers in the morning
 The campers next to ours needed a "striker,"
so Bob gave them one of ours.
 First stop on Saturday was at Kitwanga for fuel.
Some people who were on our ferry were there, too
They were on motorcycles and 
were heading to Stewart to fish
This is for my Smith cousins! :-)
We saw some vehicles stopped along the road,
and this bear was what they had spotted
OMG, did we take a wrong turn?
 The little surprises along the road are the most fun.
I tried to make it work, but....
 I guess this was for "the one that got away!"

 Sadly, Bob spotted this along the road, too
 The people here said that the highway department
would take care of the bear.  I thought it was a baby,
but Bob thought it might be the mother.
 They must serve beans here!

 We have traveled from the Geographical Center of North America
(Rugby, ND) to another Geographical Center!!!
 A river on every trip
 and a mountain around every corner
 I don't know if BC has a southern capital
This camp was right along Highway 16
Day 37, Friday, July 15
More Ferry Stops
 The ferry stopped at Petersburg at 6 a.m., but 
we did not get off then.  Around 10 a.m., 
we stopped at Wrangell.
 The owner of this shop is a hunter, and he had
all kinds of pelts and clothing made from them.
 We were in Ketchikan for about an hour from 5 to 6 p.m.
This creation was in front of the University.
They don't "swab" the decks like olden days!
Pressure washers apparently replaced the mop.
Day 36, Thursday, July 14
Ferry from Skagway to Prince Rupert, BC
 The ferry was leaving at 7:15 a.m., 
but we had to be there at 5:15 :-(
 Inside the terminal
 Leaving Alaska (not quite--the ferry made several stops
The small boat on the left is the Matanuska ferry
 This Disney cruise ship pulled in next to us
 One stop was in Haines, so we got off to explore,
and to say that we had been to Haines!
 First in line on the ferry!
 At Juneau, we found an ice cream shop
 Lots of Russian and Native names
 Juneau rocks 
This was for those entering the country, but we were leaving!
Day 35, Wednesday, July 13
More Skagway
Today we went to the Jewell Gardens
and Glassblowing
 We watched two artists create 

 There are five glassblowing artists at the gardens
this year.  The young men we watched were very
good about explaining each step in the process
 and also told us some history of glassblowing
 This one's got a big head :-)
 Glass and flowers were all around
 Not sure if this one has a name--shovels?
 A little train ran around the village
 My favorite--yellow, of course
 I didn't know that roses and begonias were related
Pope Francis takes time to smell the roses (or begonias?)
We went to Liarsville for a salmon bake, 
 listened to this man play "an old saw" (literally),
a jew's harp, and a button accordion
 met some characters, 
 enjoyed the melodrama, and panned for gold (again).
Still haven't made enough to live on! :-)
The word, Skaguay, means wind that makes the water ripple.
We experienced two very windy days and one very calm day!
Day 34, Tuesday, July 12
Our afternoon trip was a ride up the mountain
on the White Pass and Yukon train
 Skagway is at sea level; the train took us to the summit
2,865 feet up the mountain.  The flags represent the US,
Alaska, British Columbia, The Yukon, and Canada
 We could see our train going around the curves
 Bridal Veil Falls cascades 6,000 feet from the glaciers
and Mt. Cleveland and Mt. Clifford
 The black cross marks the resting place of
two miners killed in a blasting accident on
August 3, 1898. They were buried under a
100-ton granite rock.

 Lake at the summit
 The original miners' trail along the rocky mountain
 The Skagway River
 US/Canadian border
 Buchanan Rock 849 ft. was painted by the Buchanan Boys
Tour Group brought from Detroit each year to visit 
Skagway from 1920-1930
 Original railroad trestle
 Harding Glacier named for the US President
 Pope Francis at the Summit

We took a morning tour of the city 
and then went to a musical production
about the gold rush.
 Arctic Brotherhood was formed to contrast 
with the wild ways of the miners.  The building
is made of driftwood from the hills around town
 When the ships come in, the population bursts.
About a million visitors come to Skagway from May to October
Sarah Palin lived in this house until she was about eight
 Probably the best Internet service...but you have to pay
 "Quickie" tours cost $10 for 20 minutes :-)
 Jeff "Soapy" Smith was an early con man.
He sold soap to residents by challenging them to
find the bars wrapped in money.  After three people found
money, the "soap rush" was on, but Soapy and his
three friends disappeared after that! 
 Soapy died in a duel with an honest man. He was buried
outside the city limits because the good guys didn't want
him in their cemetery.
 Actual site of the duel
 Snow plow for clearing the tracks in front of the steam engine
 Waterfall above the cemetery
 Days of '98 was the story of Soapy Smith
The cast had three or four performances every day!
Day 33, Monday, July 11
Whitehorse to Skagway
We stopped for lunch at the Cliffside restaurant

View of the river from our table
Can you see the suspension bridge in the background?
Bridge walk
We met these guys along the walk :-)

A calm day and a perfect reflection on the water
Where two roads and two rivers meet
Another little church
Makes the camper look great!
Bridge made with wooden slats
We moost be leaving town
No water in these falls

Can you see the steep ramp in the background?
Before we left Whitehorse, we toured the SS Klondike
Day 32, Sunday, July 10
Beaver Creek to Whitehorse 
I hope you are looking at your maps!
Beat (bay-at), the owner of the Beaver Creek RV Park, motel,
and resort besides a fixit shop and other property.  He is
showing us the Catholic church that was built from an 
old military quonset.  The priest comes when he can, but
Beat said about six or seven people come to church.
Bear Creek resort--the best wildlife exhibit we have seen...
When Beat bought the complex, Holland America wanted 
to sell the wildlife to Denali, but found out they could not
take the items across the border from Yukon to Alaska. 
 They had motel rooms ready for 180 people
The cruise people left everything in the buildings.
A little town between Beaver Creek
and Haines Junction.  It also has a church built
from an old Army quonset.
 This bear was just moseying along the ditch finding food
The bear did not seem to care that we were taking pics!
(Obviously not a "care bear" :-)
Pink Fireweed is the Yukon Province flower
Bob spotted this sign between Beaver Creek Haines Junction..
not sure if Wanda has relatives in the Yukon!
Father Morriset built three Catholic churches
from old WWII Army quonsets to serve the people
in the Yukon Territory. They were in  Beaver Creek, 
Burwash Landing, anHaines Junction
Mass schedules were haphazard depending upon the
weather and availability of a priest.  The people in 
Beaver Creek told us they had Mass only three times
last summer!
In the process of trying to get to church on Sunday, we stopped
in Haines Junction and talked to two ladies who were sitting in a
car in front of the church.  The priest had just left for Burwash. 
One of the ladies had a Spanish accent, so I asked her (Monica Blas Parent)
 where she had lived before coming to The Yukon.  She said, "Peru."  
I asked,"Chimbote?" because we have a priest friend from ND who has
served a Mission there for over 40 years.  She said, "Yes!" and she
knew Father Jack (Padre Juanito) Davis from Devils Lake, ND!
So, we took pictures and I emailed them to Father Jack.
Small world!
Inside the Haines Junction church
Rocky artwork at the Junction
Caribou Moss
We made it to the Whitehorse campground
Flowers all over the Northwest were awesome!
Day 31, Saturday, July 9
Fairbanks to Beaver Creek
Some stops en route to Canada were Tok (sounds like poke)
and Delta Junction....the end of the Alaska Highway
The highway was built in 1942 to enable troops and 
military support to get to Alaska during WW II.  It
was originally called the ALCAN because it was a 
cooperative effort between Alaska (then a territory of the US)
and Canada.  It was not opened to the public until after the war.
 Delta Junction was also where the pipeline turned to 
go south to Valdez
 Crossing a vehicle bridge and viewing the 
pipeline crossing the river, too
 Never got tired of the mountains, clouds, and views
 As we approached the Alaska-Canada border, 
we saw lots of signs
We were leaving Alaska, but actually missed the
welcome sign because we entered the state on a ferry boat
I thought this was pretty cool
Crossing the borders was somewhat "stressful"
because we did not know what the agents would
look for or take away.  People told us that they had
their campers inspected, food taken away, etc.  So
far, so good for us.  We were asked about weapons 
and ammunition, but that was about all....
Never dreamed that some day I would visit the Yukon
We stayed at the RV Park here on Saturday night.
The owner showed us the grounds which were actually
part of a resort built by the Holland America cruise line.  It included a
motel, dormitory, bar, wildlife museum, dance hall,
and the RV park and office.  I think he said they had rooms
for 180 people and the cruises would bring people up
by the busload to experience the ALCAN highway.

 These two clocks were in the RV park store
Day 30, Friday, July 8
Fox, Chena, North Pole, and Fairbanks
 We found the pump house on Thursday, and the owner
just happened to be there.  He told us that the building housed
a system that pumped water from the river 400 feet 
uphill to be used for the gold dredging process
 The owner bought the property in the 70s and realized that
everything in Fairbanks was expensive.  He opened an
affordable restaurant which is now very popular
in the community
The riverboat, some kayaks, a jet skier, and a motor boat
passed by while we were eating
mmmm....which one is best?
 After swimming, we went to The North Pole
 We met Santa! (and bought some fudge)
 Then we visited Dasher and Dancer and Prancer
 and Vixen...  Comet
and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen
Rudolph was taking a nap in the barn :-)
Bob and a giant Santa
We opted out of these.... 
 for this..and were both surprised that there were
some "too" hot spots in the hot springs
 Bob enjoyed the "shower"
 The day began with a lesson about dredging for gold
Sign by the train station
We had entertainment before the train took off
 Our guide took us for a train ride around the mining area
and explained the process
 He said that when he was a kid, the land was level up 
to the hills in the background
 You can see the level of the hill behind the mine
 My "fortune" did not pan out--Bob and I each
had about three dollars worth of "gold dust"
 Bob has a safe like this in an old barn at home
Day 29, Thursday, July 7
Opened in 2009, this is probably the Fairbanks
community's best kept secret.
All but three cars in the museum were in working order.
This car cost the museum $475,000!!!
Every era of cars also had the costumes of the age.
We beat the crowd to the all-you-can-eat buffet! Awesome.
Uncle George Smith used to tell us, "You should be on 
the stage..There's one leaving in five minutes." :-)
 The theater was in Pioneer Park which has a 
museum, playground, dinner buffet, air 
museum, and a paddle wheel boat.
The actors portrayed some history in a comical production.
 On our morning tour of Fairbanks, we traveled through
the city, went to two museums--one at The University of 
Alaska, saw the Alaska Pipeline, an art exhibit, 
decorated steam pipes, and some unusual fences.

Art deco chair
Uses for extra antlers
 Metal sculpture
 Blue Babe was found intact with the skin and some fur
still attached.  
Babe is 36,000 years old
 Now I know what to do with all the old skis in our garage!
 Instead of tearing down the log house, they just built behind it.
 The city buildings are all heated by steam, 
but the vents were ugly, so they let the
artists make them beautiful!
 Marilyn was definitely "steamy"
 Pioneer statue with the first Catholic church in the background
 The last operating steamboat: 1933-54
 When Bob worked for 3M, his division developed the coating
for the Alaska pipeline.  We saw part of the 800 miles in two
different locations in Fairbanks.  The aboveground pipe could
not be buried because of the permafrost.
 "Pigs" used to clean the pipe: old on left, newer on right.
They were named because they "squealed" when they worked
The pipe is 48 inches in diameter
 The oldest bar in Fairbanks is the Mecca--
good place for a pilgrimage?
The University of Alaska
Day 28, Wednesday, July 6
Denali and Fairbanks
 We took a seven-hour Wilderness Tundra tour 
of Denali National Park
 Not all gulls are at the sea
Squirrels are everywhere in the park
 Fuzzy Wuzzy the only grizzly we got close enough to get a pic
 Caribou (no coffee)  wanted to lead the bus
 He looks shaggy because he still has his winter coat
 Water actually comes from several sources to these silty beds
 An old bridge across a gorge
 One of the glaciers in the park
 Note the bus at the top waiting for us to pass on the inside...
this road was pretty scary
 No, we weren't hungry...took this for Jimmy
who had met the owners at a conference
 We crossed the winding Nenana River several times
en route to Fairbanks
Our park in Fairbanks
Day 27, Tuesday, July 5
Anchorage to Talkeetna to Denali
 We went  to Talkeetna because Bob was supposed to 
fly around the top of Denali, but the flight was canceled
because it was too cloudy and raining
 Maybe next time....
 Lots of flights were canceled
 We found a coffee/crepe shop and a unique bike rack in town
 The old train depot and some old machinery
 Supposedly an ice cream maker, but it didn't work
 Ancient tour bus
 This train still runs from Seward to Fairbanks
 A scary steep gorge above the Nenana River
 Road construction.....everywhere
Found it....
 Bus stop at Denali National Park
Day 26, Monday, July 4
The Top of the World
 We flew from Anchorage to Barrow on the 4th of July.
The plane was supposed to stop at Prudhoe Bay, but
the fog was too thick. After an unsuccessful attempt,
the pilot took us directly to Barrow.

On the way to Barrow, we spotted the 
top of Denali from 30,000 feet
 Wiley and Will were killed in a plane crash at Barrow.
 Airport paved roads in Barrow because
of the permafrost
Airport had to remove your shoes upon entering
 Northernmost city in the US
 Welcome in Inupiat language
 Many welcomes
 They are happy to have visitors
 Bob stuck his foot in the Arctic Ocean

 I was brave enough to stick my finger in the ocean
 Whale bones
 There is a bullet in this skull (above the large circle),
 but it is not what killed the whale
 Bridge crossing an inlet
 We saw some cultural dances
And tried some cultural dances
 The government is present....everywhere

 These girls competed for "Miss Top of the World"
at the city fair; the one on the left won.
 Billy, our guide, said that his grandmother made 
this robe from a variety of animal skins..
We saw them in a store for $2,400!
 Freshly killed sea lions
 A woman from Florida saw the high school kids playing 
football on a gravel field, so she donated money to have
artificial turf installed.  The team plays in Barrow until 
the end of September and then go to southern Alaska
cities to play the rest of the season
 Our tour started at the hotel in town.
 Someone taped a Green Bay sign on the pole
 Summer beach homes with "palm trees" made of poles 
and baleen "leaves"
 The only gas station in Barrow. Gas was $6.59; diesel was $7.59.
A gallon of milk in the grocery store was over $10.00
 Distance Early Warning site
 Bob, Billy (guide), and Lennie (driver)
Bob as close as he could get "to the point" 
(Point Barrow..the actual top of the world!)
 Heading back to Anchorage on Alaska Air
 On the way back to Anchorage we got some awesome
shots of Denali from the plane
Day 25, Sunday, July 3
Running around Anchorage
 We started the day on a red trolley tour.
The tour guide was a retired English and Drama teacher
who had a lot of stories to tell.
 This high school was built after the 1964 earthquake.
The guide told us that on the day of the quake, the
boys were supposed to have a basketball game at 5 p.m., 
but five Catholic mothers complained to the principal
because it was Good Friday and they wanted their 
kids to be able to go to church.  So, the game was
postponed until the next day. The earthquake started
at 5:27 and the school was reduced to rubble.
 This guy "moosied" across the road in front of our trolley.
 City Hall
Some residents built underground homes after the quake.  
Flowers bloomed everywhere.
 We went to the Anchorage Museum and
then headed to the Street Fair where
we found a booth serving lamb, rice, and salad!
The cooks were from Turkey.
 Bob found someone who wouldn't talk to him!
I thought Stewie was pretty cute :-)
We stopped to see the train depot.  The tour guide 
told us the contraption at the front of the train
was there to keep the "meese" from wrecking the train.
They called it "the moose gooser."
We made a trial run to the airport to make sure
we could find it when we flew to Pt. Barrow on the 4th
 The Air Museum was next door.  The bush pilots had
planes with big tires, so they could land on snow or ice
 Some pretty old planes
 This 737 was customized for the oil executives
 I liked the colors
It took us two days to get to church. 
We started looking for it on Saturday,
drove around in circles, and finally found 
it a half hour after Mass had started. 
So, we marked the route on the map
and got to church on time on Sunday.
Day 24, Saturday, July 2
Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla
 On the way back from Wasilla, we stopped at 
The Native Heritage Center. We learned about traditional
dances and games and about survival tactics in Alaska

Sled dogs have raced from Anchorage to Nome for almost 50 years
 The early sleds had steel runners; later hard plastic was used
 Joe Redington started using the dogsleds to
carry medicine to remote areas and to
rescue lost or injured people
 Honoring the memory of mushers
 The dogs were rarin' to go
 Exiting the HQ
Saw this sign along the road to Palmer
We came here to learn about the colonization experiment in 1935
The soil is very fertile and there is lots of sunlight to produce giants
My garden never looked like this
 Might try these perennials
Day 23, Friday, July 1
Seward to Alyeska to Anchorage
The day began in Seward and ended in Anchorage.
In Seward we went to two movies: One about the 
earthquake in 1964, and the other about the Iditarod.
 We found the old Seward train depot. It is now a restaurant!
 Arturo Wada was one of the original natives to do the Iditarod
Dan Seavey was one of the organizers of the first
Iditarod race.  His sons did the race and one of them won.
 The SeaLife is the research arm of life in the sea
 Ophelia was created by high school students
using "junk" found in the sea
 We saw lots of orange-footed puffins 
This rockfish looked so sad.
We drove to see the Exit Glacier when we exited Seward
We hoped to park the camper here, but
because of the holiday fair, overnight camping was 
not allowed
So we took the tram to the top of the mountain
 The hotel grounds were beautiful
 Turnagain Arm and us at the top.  The the "arm" was
named after Captain Cook kept looking for a waterway 
around the world.  When he got to Alaska, he kept sailing
into fjords that ended and he had to turn around and 
find another route.  The last time was when he sailed down
this waterway and said, "I guess I have to turn again."
 Just when you think you have seen it all,
you find this scene....
 Most of the ski runs here were XX (super difficult)
On the way to Anchorage, we passed the train from Seward.
We are now in Anchorage for a few days!
Day 22, Thursday, June 30
 Whittier and Seward
We were on The Spirit of Adventure
 The road to Seward was encircled by mountains
 We stopped to see where they found gold in 1895
 We arrived in Seward in time to hop a
boat to see the glaciers...this is Holgate glacier, part of
the Harding Ice Field... we also enjoyed
the prime rib and salmon dinner they served on the boat
This is part of the "rock island line" in the bay
 Kayakers are transported out to sea by a ship,
and they do their thing before being shipped back to shore
 This Orca was too fast for my camera
 The humpback whales put on a good show, too
 Sea lions like to sunbathe
 The rocks were covered with birds
We were greeted back to shore by a bald eagle
Light at the end of the tunnel
Entering the tunnel--two miles cut into the mountain
 Whittier port from the ship
The Kennicott landed at Whittier and we waited an hour 
to go through the tunnel in the mountain
Day 21, Wednesday, June 29
 We had a layover in Yakutat, so we went for a walk...
and found Fat Grandma's general store.
We had capuccino and homemade chocolate chip cookies!
 The gas station 
 A real post office :-)
 Love the sign on the General Store
 A park with some old rail cars
Day 20, Tuesday, June 28
On the Kennicott to Whittier
View from the boat
Our cabin--a luxury compared to the camper :-)
Day 19, Monday, June 27
Juneau Fishing!
 Before the trip....Bob fished; I went back to the
campground to edit pictures and clean the camper
 Moore fishing charters left from Andrew's Marina--
I bet Andrew didn't even know he had a marina :-)
 Fisherman's Bend was on Auke Bay
 They were allowed only one fish
Bob caught this 10-12 pounder just for the halibut!
 Happy camper..uh fisher
This must be what they mean by "bagging a fish" 
Day 18, Sunday, June 26th
 The Mendenhall Glacier was up the road from our campsite
 In 1994 it receded the length of two football fields.
The geologists expected that to happen in 2020!
Glacier ice..The pope touched it!
The cable car to Mt. Roberts was in the middle of town
 View from the top
Eagle's nest--huge 
 Lady Baltimore was injured, so she 
will spend the rest of her life in this cage on Mt. Roberts
The Gastineau Channel connects Douglas Island with Juneau.
At one time they were in contention to be the capital city.
"Juneau" who won?
Day 17, Saturday, June 25
 It rained all day Saturday, so we hit the "indoor" places
 This hatchery released more than
a hundred twenty million salmon yearly.
They returned in five years to spawn
because they imprint their location. 
I think there's one jumping in the far corner

 The ladder
 I wasn't quick enough to "catch" these jumping
 We went to the State Museum and the City Museum
Carl Ben Eielson was born in North Dakota
 Bob worked for 3M with the coating of the Alaska pipeline
A copy of the check for the purchase of Alaska...
the original is in the Smithsonian
 This came from a lighthouse
The pipeline
We discovered this art while roaming around 
Saturday morning--this would be a great kid project!

At the end of the day, we found St. Paul's for 5:30 mass
Juneau to Sitka
Friday, June 24
 We flew from Juneau on Alaska Seaplanes airline
The view leaving Juneau
We flew over lots of mountains
 The mountain tops stuck out over the clouds
 Our first stop was at Kake
The Kake airport was two small buildings and an outhouse!
The village of Kake has about 500 residents
 The man in the jumpseat was the owner of the company.
He gave us a ride into Sitka from the airport
and a tour of the town.  He dropped us off in time to 
see the Russian dancers.  Thanks, Mike!
 The dancers were all women volunteers,
some taking the role of men
Three bus loads of people from a cruise ship
came to the performance, too

When we visited with this dancer, 
her sister was visiting and took our picture..
turns out they were born in Sandusky, Ohio! :-)
 After the dance performance, we walked through
the Russian Orthodox cemetery which was
spread throughout the woods. My photos are taken from
the back side of the crosses.
 A young man who was digging a grave explained that
the wooden foot plank on the cross was slanted 
because the criminal on the right of Jesus asked for
forgiveness, so he went to Heaven; the other prisoner
was angry and not repentent, and he went down to Hell!
Joe Black's sister Monica met us at the Westmark coffee shop
and gave us "tips" about where to eat and what to see
 St. Michael Russian Orthodox Church
was the first Orthodox church in Alaska
 Site of Seward's "Folly"
 Everyone thought Seward was crazy 
until furs, gold, and oil boomed in the new territory!
Alaska becomes a state!
 We watched a young man carve a canoe
Day 15, Thursday, June 23
Icebergs and Glaciers
 We took the Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier all-day tour
on Thursday.  Before boarding the Captain Cook, we were
greeted by Patsy Ann. This memorial was created to honor
the dog who greeted every ship that came into Juneau.  She
always knew when a ship was nearby, 
even before it came into the harbor.
We saw hundreds of icebergs, large and small. No 
picture can capture the beauty, but here are a few...
 We lucked out because the tide was low that day,
so we saw more of the icebergs than on a high tide day
 They really were blue

 The boat went right up to the wall between the falls
Approaching the Sawyer Glacier

Can you see the face in the glacier? I think it's Sawyer!
 On the way back to shore, we saw Orcas,
 a lot of sea lions sunning themselves,
 and some awesome rock formations
We also met a young mother from Virginia who said
her best friend was Maggie Miller's niece Joanne
Day 13-14 T-W June 21-22,
Ketchikan to Juneau
 We arrived in Juneau on Wednesday afternoon
 The RV Park is between the city and the Mendenhall glacier
 Someone told us they had seen a bear in the driveway that morning
 Our campsite was surrounded by blueberry bushes--
no wonder they have bears!
One way to keep the bears away from the garbage!!
Bob is making plans for the next leg of our trip
Our camp at Ketchikan was a fishing base for "real" anglers
On Tuesday evening we boarded the Matanuska for Juneau 
On Wednesday morning we got up at 3:30 a.m. to watch
the ship pass through "the narrows" en route to Juneau
 We had a cabin on the Matanuska
On the way to the narrows, we met the Kennicott
which we will take from Juneau to Whittier
Day 12 Monday, June 20, 2016
First stop on Monday was the Saxman Totem Village
Some of these poles are very old
The story.....When Seward came to Alaska,
he came in a Lincoln.  The people held a potlatch
dinner for him.  Traditionally, the next time the guest
returns, he must host a potlatch meal.  Seward never came
back.  The natives were angry, so they made a totem of shame
and put Lincoln on top because Seward's car was a Lincoln.
We watched a video and experienced a cultural dance show
The dancers ranged in age from two to 80
We took dancing lessons :-)
The carving center is a home to artists.  This man made 
a box with one seam--called a bended box--and folded it into shape
After the totem park, we went to a logging show/competition
These men are "log-rolling" trying to knock the other guy off
Sitka was the narrator.  This logger also creates sculptures
The competition was between the USA on the left
and Canada on the right.  We watched chopping, target
practice, sawing, log rolling, and climbing
Canada won the pole climbing contest
and had the higher total to win the competition
He was beary nice--maybe because I had a guardian
The locals collected rain water in bins to use in their homes
This Orange Hawkweed is pretty but an invasive weed
Day 11 Sunday, June 19, 2016
Three cruise ships arrived in Ketchikan before we did
 We walked down Creek Street
 Bob took a picture of the waterfall
 Dolly's house was quaint
 Hello, Dolly!
 The men's bathroom
 Dolly told us that the flowers on the shower curtain
were made from silk condoms--she knew they wouldn't
work for any other reason :-)
 We took a tour of Potlatch Park and learned
about totems and clan houses
 Every totem has a story
 Pretty, but dangerous..
Purple foxglove can cause increased blood pressure
 View from the deck at our campground
Clover Pass campground
View from the deck
Day 10 Saturday, June 18, 2016
On board the Columbia
 View from the deck of the boat
 Our cabin--bathroom and shower on the right
 Not everyone had a cabin- some slept on cots,
and some slept in tents
Day 9 Friday, June 17, 2016
Bellingham and the Columbia
 We explored Bellingham before our ship came in
The original city hall is now a museum
Loggers rested before taking
the final blow
 A complicated clock mechanism
 The original wood has been restored
 The "Lighthouse" art gallery was near the museum
 Neon art by local artists.  This one is made of
yarn-crocheted doilies
 We watched a video of the artists explaining their creations
 The sun and the horizon
 View from the top
We had ice cream with Jack.
The locals thought he was one of the city founders.
Concrete silos
 were used years ago 
 The DEA had a drug-sniffing dog to check 
the vehicles before loading the ferry
 Sitka's new fire truck was on our ferry
 Bellingham Marine Terminal
We are on board the Columbia
Day 8 Thursday, June 16, 2016
Vancouver to Bellingham, WA
 Before we left, Bob discovered some fishermen's traps
along the river by our campground
 Our camp was on Native American land, so they were
the only ones allowed to fish at that spot.  The
man in pink is a worker from the campground
 View of the river en route to the USA
 Going the right direction
Traffic jam at the Pacific border

 Last chance to buy duty-free goodies
 Welcome back
Pope Francis blessed this park
Day 7, Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Vancouver and Vancouver Island
En route to the port to go to Vancouver Island
The bus picked us up at 8:30 a.m. and we 
didn't get back to the campground until 10:00 p.m.
 A Trump Tower in the city of Vancouver--
appropriately twisted like its namesake
 Cars waiting to load onto the ferry
Heading toward Victoria on Vancouver Island
 Our first stop was at The Butchart Gardens
It reminded me of how the Peace Garden used to look
 Monkey puzzle tree
 Begonias of all colors
 My mother's favorite flowers were camelias
 Bob with the main entrance in the background
The giant chess board was at the entry to the garden
My favorite-the Mellow Yellow rose
 Coming in second....
 Can you figure out what time we were there?
The Cove within the garden
 Fountain in the Sunken Garden
 Italian Garden
 Japanese Garden
This mountain lion was "growing"
The merry-go-round had more adults than kids riding.
The animals included lions and tigers and bears--oh my!
The Sunken Garden
 Our ferry boat took us to a port near Victoria,
the capital of British Columbia
 The carillon was our meeting place
 Lake Patricia was named for the daughter of Queen Victoria
 Not sure if this was a work of art or a sundial--
maybe both?
The Parliament building with Queen Victoria in front
 Bob went on an oyster hunt
He found what he was looking for...
 Floating homes along the dock were painted in bright colors
This one belongs to someone named "Bob"
These otters wanted to be fed
 Not sure if the sea gull was looking for food
 Water taxi--looks like yellow cab
 This bus (not ours) was for the Hippo tours
Our ship came in--a 90 minute ride back to the mainland
Day 6, Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Seattle to Vancouver, BC
We stopped in Granite Falls to visit Bob's cousin,
David and Marilyn Welk
We spent a couple of hours reminiscing,
drinking coffee, eating goodies, 
and trying to convince them to come to Texas
Crossing into Canada-"eh"
Apparently two border crossings exist--
this one was the Peace Arch on US 99
We headed to West Vancouver, BC
Cool bridge on route 15
 Bridg-ing the gap

The Capilano RV Park was on First Nation Land
 and was also under a bridge!

We took Sara's advice and went to the
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Yep, we crossed the bridge--both ways

 It is 450 feet long
It seemed longer at first, but was only 450 feet long!
At the other end, we checked out the trees and flowers
 Nice to find something older than we are :-)
Douglas Fir 
This moss surrounded the trunk
I think these are Astilbe--False spiraea
 Another "oldie" 
Western Red Cedar
 Then we climbed the "Treetops"
 View from the top
 Support structure

After eating some Canadian chocolate, 
we ventured onto the Cliff Walk
Do we really want to do this?

 Looking back
 The trees grew toward the sun
 Looking down
 Holding up "Stonehenge"
Erosion exhibit..50 years, 25 years..15 years
Water wheel at the end of the Cliff Walk
 We thought about taking the gondola ride 
up Grouse Mountain, but it was foggy at the top

Day 5, Monday, June 13, 2016
Coeur d'Alene to Seattle
Going up....
No prison here!
This mountain summit disappeared into the clouds
He has! :-)

 We stopped at the Columbia River overlook

 Beautiful river

Flowers at the Columbia--Scotsman's purse 

Flowers on the rocks

Shrub along the Columbia
Crossing the river

Wind farm on the mountain
Heading to Washington

Blasting zone through the pass

Mile high traffic jam on I 90

We had dinner with John, Marissa, and Ian
Bob and John enjoyed the oysters!

Ian said he would show me where he sleeps, 
and I showed him where we sleep in the camper

Did Ian take this picture?

Day 4, Bozeman to Coeur d'Alene
Sunday, June 12, 2016
We had planned to go to Mass in Missoula,
but at 8:30, Bob said, "Check out Deer Lodge,"
so we found this church that is smaller than 
our church at Knox!

First time I have ever seen an "Exit 0"

Crossing the Bitterroot Mountains

This really makes me feel a lot safer in the mountains

I wonder if this pass is open any other days?

 View from the mountain pass--looked like black plates below

Wolf Lodge Campgraound in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Day 3, Saturday, June 11, 2016
Yellowstone National Park to Bozeman, MT

 Gibbon Falls--an 84 ft. drop
 The Gibbon River

 The first geysers we saw
Porcelain Geyser Basin here was my favorite

Hundreds of geysers at the Porcelain Basin

Hot water bubbling through the surface

Cupid Spring

 The basin was white and steamy

Porcelain Basin

 I thought this was the prettiest place

We thought we'd beat the traffic to Old Faithful,
but we were at a standstill here for 45 minutes

When traffic started moving, we discovered
the reason for the slowdown--more bison!

 We arrived at Old Faithful around 10 a.m.,
 just in time to see it "do its thing" :-)

 My camera is set on Central Time, the park is on Mountain Time

Two old faithfuls :-)

Geezer and Geyser :-)

 As we walked to the Visitor Center,
we saw a bison grazing near the geyser,
so I took a pic of the two bison (again!)

 We watched two short videos here that explained
the phenomena in the park

 This clock showed the time of the next eruption

 We stayed to watch the 12 noon eruption
Bob thought this one was better than the 10:00 

After leaving Old Faithful, we headed 
to the Midway Geyser Basin which encompassed
the Excelsior Geyser Crater and the Grand Prismatic
Spring with colorful bacterial mats and thermophiles 

The waterfall from the crater 

Algae create the beautiful colors

The water was bubbly blue in the crater

 Can you see the foamy blue bubbles?

more bubbles

 The Grand Prismatic Spring

This spring has sprung

 These bacterial mats were awesome

 The bacterial mats were like modern paintings

 Bob and bacterial mats

 Opal Pool

 Turquoise Pool

Grand Prismatic Spring and mats

 Our final stop in the park was in Firehole Canyon

 The rocks contain evidence of lava

The Firehole waterfall 

 Bob at the Firehole river overlook

Bob and Pope Francis climbing the Firehole cliffs

Diane at the overlook

Firehole Falls

Bob and Pope Francis at the Firehole River

We saw only the West loops....awesome

 Heading to our next campground

Sunrise campground in Bozeman, MT

Day 2, Friday, June 10, 2016
Medora to Gardiner, Montana

I sang along.....

No sand at this beach!

Snow on the mountain

Two bison at the Livingston, MT, museum

Early park transportation

The Alaska Adventure
June 9, 2016-?

Day 1,Wolford to Medora
Our home for the next few weeks

 My favorite part of the drive--
crossing between Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea

 After the pitchfork fondue

 This elk wanted to see the musical, too!

 We saw only half of the show because of approaching storms

 This tree was in front of the camper the next morning

Another view of our camper and the tree branch