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 October 2017

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PostSubject: October 2017   Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:18 pm

October 2017

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:28 pm


Fall arrived today. It only got up to the 60s. Pretty and clear though. Donnie decided do a third cutting on the lower field, so he spent the afternoon in the lower field. The humidity is so low, the hay should dry pretty fast.

RICK:
So then what happened?? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:50 am

Happy October everyone. I can't believe it is October already. BRRRR it is chilly this morning. 38 degrees.
We had to fire up our little A/C units to the heat cycle yesterday. They seem to be working well. The house is warm and the big furnace isn't running.

Going to be a quiet week here. Once it warms up today I'll be finishing the trim I didn't get painted on Saturday. Just boring house stuff all week until my annual doctor visit on Friday. I did get my flu shot on Thursday at good old CVS. The girl said to me "oh I see you have to get the heavy duty shot cause you are old." Good thing I am not offended by my age and I like her. I said "yes, and I'll be even older next Saturday, everyone laughed.
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:18 pm

August 16 … day six

Today began with “luggage out at 7:30AM” followed by breakfast and aboard the coach by 8:45 for a short drive and visit at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The DK Guide to Alaska says this about the museum: “Packed with natural history, cultural and geological displays, the old wing is worth a visit. The architecturally inspiring new wing is designed to represent mountain ridges, ice, the aurora, and the tail flukes of a sounding whale. Exhibits include a mummified Ice Age bison, Inuit carvings, and native costumes.”

I’m disappointed that I’m unable to find a website that really shows much of anything inside this building. It IS a unique structure and has many different displays on the inside as you would expect in most any museum. When you get to this web site of photos, scroll past the first block of pictures and you’ll begin to see some of the displays inside … just wish there were more. It really was a good place to “visit and see” : https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=university+alaska+museum+of+the+north&id=6BD0C8DC6B15087A09B4DFD4A056C0D3BE5F7A06&FORM=IARRTH

Merry Christmas!! … from North Pole, Alaska. This stop on our drive is “pure touristy” but it was a good rest stop and place to stretch our legs. I barely got inside and turned around to go back outside … way too many people crowded in this place for me. It did provide an opportunity for a “group picture” made by Wanda’s husband, Ron. Visit this website and learn more about the North Pole and the Santa Clause House: http://www.santaclaushouse.com/about.asp

It was a long day of riding on the Alaskan Highway. This road was built in 1942 as part of the wartime actions to connect the Territory of Alaska with the lower 48 states. There have been some additional sections added since the original was built and the current official mileage today is 1422 miles. We even experienced some unpaved miles and ever present “orange barrels and road construction”. Wikipedia gives us almost too much info about the history and construction of this famed road: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_Highway and here you’ll find plenty of modern day pictures of this famed highway: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=alaska+highway&qpvt=alaskan+highway . If you’ll take the time to read this, its someone’s accounting (realistic) of a modern day trip on the famed highway in a rental RV: http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-alcan-highway-road-trip-20150702-htmlstory.html

Remember our seeing and learning about the Alaskan Pipeline? We saw it again when it crossed the Tanana River. This is just a portion of a website I copied that applies most directly to this subject: “


Long Description:
The span between the tower is 1,200 feet and this bridge is the second longest of the 13 major bridges along the 800 mile pipeline length. A suspension bridge was used at this site due to the cost and danger of other crossing techniques. A more traditional truss bridge would have required footings to be place directly in the river with a strong current and would have been more costly to construct and maintain. Due to the strong current it was determined that burying the pipeline under the river as used for other river crossings would not be safe as the scouring action of the river could uncover the pipe and expose it to the rocks moved by the river when in flood stage.

The bridge employs for 2-3/4 inch cables in each of its main cables and wind cables of 2 5/8 inch diameter on each side. The bridge employs nearly 25,000 feet of cable in its construction.

Due to the soil conditions along the Tanana River the towers and anchors are set on pilings driver 68 feet in depth into the ground. The towers each rest on 32 piles and the main cable anchors rest on 81 piles. More than 18,000 feet of pilings were used in the construction.

The bridge is designed to withstand a magnitude 7.5 scale earthquake and also to withstand a wind speed in excess of 100 mph.

About 155 pipeline miles south another suspension bridge spanning the Tazlina River is about 600 feet longer and is the longest bridge on the pipeline.
“ In this collection of pictures you only really need to see the first block of photos. The very first photo has the highway bridge (we were on that highway) and the pipeline bridge off to the left: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tanana+river+pipeline+bridge&qpvt=tanana+river+pipeline+bridge

Further down the road, we stopped at the Visitor Center for Delta Junction, Alaska for a short rest stop. It was very windy and therefore cool, but Carol and I had an ice cream cone from an adjoining shop. Scroll down and see if you can find a pic of the life size “juvenile” Alaskan mosquitoes: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=visitor+center+delta+junction+alaska&qpvt=visitor+center+delta+junction+alaska

A few miles further down the road was our destination for the night … The Golden Bear Motel in the town of Tok. It was by far our most humble lodging of the trip, but was very clean and comfortable. We got there ahead of the “yellow group” and this place was able to accommodate both tour buses in a very efficient manner. Our dinner this evening was not fancy but was served buffet style and really quite tasty and filling. Holiday tours had arranged for an evening program by a local dog musher … Hugh Neff … who educated us more on the day to day lifestyle he lives. He even had a couple or his retirees with him who wandered the assembly room looking for friendly pats, ear rubs, and back scratches. He had a dog sled with him and showed us the construction of it. As he spoke, images of dogs and sleds played on the screen. Meet Hugh Neff : http://iditarod.com/race/2014/mushers/102-Hugh-Neff/ and read here how fortunate he is to even be alive: https://www.adn.com/iditarod/article/iditarod-rescuer-recounts-finding-frozen-emotional-hugh-neff/2014/03/21/ The yellow group heard the program while we ate dinner and then we “switched”.

Its been a lot of driving today along the Alaskan Highway. Carol was able to mail home some heavy stuff so our carry-on luggage would still be light enough to carry. Good nite!!
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:52 pm

Boy, it's windy as he ll today in the mtns...it's fall up here with wonderful colors and 58 degrees. It's going down to 38 tonight. No snow yet.

Thanks for documenting your trip, Rick. We love it.

It's soup night for us.............and garlic bread.

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:02 pm

Forgot:

ou don't have to like Opera to enjoy this.

FOLKS, SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE. IT IS ONLY 4 MINUTES.


Patrizio Buanne and Amira Willighagen perform
"O Sole Mio".

This little lady is only 11 years of age.

Amira Willighagen ~ Live in Concert ~ O Sole Mio - YouTube

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:05 am


RICK:
Interesting stuff. I remember a fellow high school girl whose main claim to fame was her family's driving trip to Alaska on that highway. She said it was 2000 miles of dirt road. This was in 1971, so I have no idea if she was exaggerating or not. They wore out their vehicle, though, before they got back to KY.

GRAYMARE:
It's a bit cool here, too. We almost had a frost last night, but it is warmer tonight. I am not looking forward to winter. tongue

TRUDY:
ROFL Extra heavy duty shot.... lol!

CB:
What are you up to? You've been kind of quiet....

ELLEN:
Are you cold enough? We need some rain here, the leaves are going to turn brown instead of colors if we don't get some rain. It was a beautiful, blue sky day here today. The hay is drying nicely.

I had a lesson on Ivan and Areion today. I did okay. Areion was in a forgiving mood and I even backed her thru an "L" without stepping over the poles. Ivan tends to anticipate me and I had more trouble keeping him from zooming backward thru the "L" instead of slowly doing it. We finally got there, though. I worked yesterday with Areion about standing for me at the mounting block (without actually getting on her) and today she stood like a statue while I did get on her. Nice horsey.
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:14 am

Nope. Not cold here. It was nearly 80° today, and will be tomorrow too. Very mild week, although they are predicting some rain in the next few days. We could use some.
I mowed the grass today, but mostly to chop up the cottonwood leaves that have fallen. I did the yards at the bottom of the hill while Travis did the ones between the houses and street. He was nice enough to bring his blower and clear out a few of the leaves that had blown into my sidewalk. He also found a hole in the yard that I didn't know was there - left from the sewer installation. I'll have to get a bag of topsoil to fill that in.
Tomorrow is sewing software day in Fort Wayne, along with a trip to Sam's. Exciting, huh.

Big prayers for Las Vegas and all the people who were hurt and for the families of those that didn't survive.
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:13 pm

August 17 … day seven

This day turned out to be a long day … of riding and riding and riding … with 400 miles of the Alaskan Highway and very little to see except plain wilderness.

We started with orders (from last evening) to have our luggage outside by 6:30AM … eat breakfast … and be boarding the coach by 7:30AM. Our destination was Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (Canada). We did have a few rest stops along the way but it nevertheless was a long, tiring day. There were no motels or hotels along the way and (very few camp grounds either) thus there was no way the trip could have been broken up with an overnight stay.

Our local TV personality / celebrity … Wanda … is a professional news anchor and she took the mic each morning to give us a news report from “back home”. It was quite a challenge for her, because nobody wanted to “bad news” while on vacation. She really had to search for some good items, which occasionally meant she was talking about the weather and how HOT NC was while we were enjoying cool 60F temperatures. Wanda is really a fun and lovely lady and I think we all enjoyed her presence on this tour. Her hubby, Ron … well … he’s just a fun guy also and very quick with a quip.

We had about a 30 minute rest stop at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center … it was right on the highway and convenient. Here you’ll find some photos of the center and a few scenic views:
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tetlin+national+wildlife+refuge+visitor+center&qpvt=tetlin+national+wildlife+refuge+visitor+center As you can tell, the building was new and attractive.

Proceeding on for a short distnce, we stopped very briefly for any that wanted a photo op at the Alaskan / Canadian border. There was a granite bench with a line engraved that was the actual border line. This was suitable for sitting or standing on with one foot in each country. I think several folk took advantage of that for photos. Just a couple or so miles down the road, we stopped again and turned in Customs Forms we had filled out and showed our passports. This was also the time to reset our watches to Pacific Time.

The following is a list of “Alaska Facts that Diane shared with us to keep us occupied and entertained during the long ride:

– Long-time Alaskans are called SOURDOUGHS, while people from the outside are called CHEECHAKOS. We were not told how long a new resident has to be in Alaska before they are considered as “sourdoughs”, but apparently it is years according to Larry!!

– Alaska has the easternmost place in the US as the western end of the Aleutian Islands crosses the Date line.

– Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the US and also has ½ of the glaciers in the world.

– Of course in comparison to the other states, Alaska is a giant. It is 425 times the size of Rhode Island, 12 times larger than North Carolina, and some 5 times the square miles of Texas. Alaska is 1/5th the size of the lower 48.

– The Alaskan Highway has 133 bridges and 8000 culverts and is constantly under construction because of being built on permafrost, which breaks up the surface of the road.

– A thirteen year old boy designed the state flag, which is of the Big Dipper constellation with the two stars forming the end of the cup pointing to the (slightly larger) North Star.

We drove by Kluane Lake and Larry / Diane pointed out that this was once a very large lake (the Yukon’s largest) but was now in danger of disappearing. The lake is fed by the Slims River, which is fed by the runoff from a glacier. Apparently now the glacier has retreated (a results of global warming??) to the point where its melt is now going south towards the Pacific instead of north in Kluane Lake and on to the Bering Sea. What we saw of the lake bed was a vast area of dried lake bed with dust blowing. What a devastating sight … the Yukon’s largest lake is in danger of disappearing. These are some “pretty pictures” of a visitor center and the lake: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=kluane+national+park+visitor+center&qpvt=kluane+national+park+visitor+center

Our arrival at the Westmark Hotel in Whitehorse was around 7:00PM. Carol writes: “The color of this hotel is as unusual as its layout. It has had numerous additions through the years, but it was comfortable and quiet (after the small kids in the next room settled). We ate in the hotel dining room for $35Canadian...” Whitehorse became the Yukon capital in 1953. Prior to that, it had been in Dawson City. I give you this just for the overall picture of this town. Population is in the 30K range and it is a pretty town with the river down the middle:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/yukon-territory/whitehorse

Tomorrow will be a short day as we head out toward Skagway. Luggage out by 7:30 and boarding by 8:45AM . G’ Nite!!
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:07 pm

Still at moonlight Kathys in Utah, been raining so much, porch building has been slow, but with 3 of us gals
 cookin, meals have been delish! 
Will head back to idaho and pack up and head for az, there is snow on all the mountains around us, i do not want to get snowed in, i ready to bask in the sun....
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:07 pm

August 18 … day eight

Carol writes: “Bags out at 7:30AM – left at 8:45AM after a great breakfast. Today was a very short (88) mileage day, but we packed a lot of great places into it. Fascinating pre-history … gorgeous scenery … deserts and mountains … canyons and pristine lakes … an historic train ride … see what I mean by PACKED ?! Plus I did a load of laundry at the hotel in Skagway for $2.50.”

After a good breakfast, I went for a short stroll to find a TIM HORTON’S for my second cup of coffee. I’ve heard so much over the years about Tim’s coffee being so good and I just had to try it while I had the chance. It WAS good coffee !! A bag of Tim Bits came out with me also. This treat is equivalent to Krispy Kreme doughnut holes!!

We hardly got settled on the coach when we arrived at our first stop of the day … the Beringia Interpretive Centre. This was a very interesting, and informative stop that told about and displayed pre-history. One of the brochures states: “ One of the highlights of the Centre is a reconstruction of the Bluefish Caves where carbon dating suggests humans were in the Yukon 24,000 years ago, some 10,000 years earlier than previously thought. If so, this would be the oldest archeological site in North America.”


Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
Whitehorse
Imagine a world where the vast steppe stretches unbroken as far as the eye can see. Envision a place where predators of staggering proportions compete with human hunters for food in a cold, dry, treeless expanse. Explore the mysteries of that world within the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre and watch Beringia come alive.
This multimedia exposition features life-size exhibits of ice age animals, interactive exhibits and dioramas depicting the unique landscape, flora and fauna of Beringia. Highlights of the centre include a full-size cast of the largest woolly mammoth ever recovered in North America and a reconstruction of the Bluefish Caves archaeological site, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Yukon. The centre also features the Yukon Horse exhibit. This display contains the 26,000-year-old remains of the most complete and best preserved specimen of a mummified extinct large mammal ever found in Canada.
There was a 30 minute (??) movie shown prior to being permitted to explore the indoor displays of reconstructed artifacts. Both the “yellow” and “red” tour groups were here at the same time and we (reds) went outside first to see and learn some stuff that could not be readily shown inside.

What is an atlatl (pronounced as “attle attle”? This clever device allowed our ancient ancestors to throw a spear much farther, which then allowed them to hunt huge prey from a safer distance. “An atlatl is essentially a stick with a handle on one end and a hook or socket that engages a light spear on the other. The flipping motion propels a spear much faster and farther than by hand alone.” Those of us that wanted were given a chance to demonstrate their new skills / abilities. If you (the reader) were depending on me and my atlatl skills to provide a bison for dinner … well … I strongly suggest you go to your favorite super market and buy a roast!! This is an ancient, but effective tool found just about the world over: http://waa.basketmakeratlatl.com/?page_id=177 There doesn’t seem to be a “set pattern” for this tool as you can see: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=atlatl&qpvt=atlatl

After our outside activity, the yellow and red groups exchanged places and we got to see the inside displays.

We made a brief overlook stop at Emerald Lake : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Lake_(Yukon) You’ll find a lot more pictures of this beautiful, colorful lake in this website. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=emerald+lake+yukon+territory&qpvt=emerald+lake+yukon+territory&FORM=IARRSM

In my humble opinion, our next stop … for an included lunch … was a bit “touristy”, but really turned out to be fun and informative as well as serving a good meal. This would be the. Caribou Crossing / Carcross Trading Post. It also is obviously a regular stop for all manner of tour coaches as well as other tourist traveling through. See this site … and the video … for a glimpse of what was there. The pup-dogs could be heard all over the grounds!! There were several very good displays about Alaskan life as well as a good meal. Our meal was served cafeteria style and was a large piece of barbeque chicken and cole slaw as well as one half of a baked potato… and a delicious Alaskan doughnut. Iced tea or coffee were offered for beverage. http://www.cariboucrossing.ca/

Carol writes: “the sounds of the sled dogs and puppies drew me to their end of the property. I don’t know how old the puppies were, but they were absolutely adorable. Nearby, the crew was in the process of harnessing adult dogs to the wheeled “sled” for visitors to ride ($$). The dogs were so anxious to run, many were jumping straight up and down; their harnesses wouldn’t let them go forward.”

The little town of Carcross was our last stop before our train ride and was a neat little village / community with a lot of artists’ shops … plus … Diane had arranged for us to have a FREE ICE CREAM CONE!! (I had strawberry!!) Carol wanted to wander around and I was tired so we got separated. I’m sure she had chocolate without even asking!! This wikipedia will tell you more about the history and significance of this small town: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcross and you can scroll through the photos here for scenes around the area. Note please the ice cream shop where you entered and then exited through the store. I guess they wanted to give everybody an “excuse” to do some shopping LOL!! : http://www.yukoncommunities.yk.ca/carcross

ALLLL – A-BOARRRRD!! for the White Pass & YUKON Scenic Railway that would carry us along a 28 mile scenic route to Skagway!! This was one of the featured activities on this tour that we really wanted to see and experience. This historic narrow-gauge railway was constructed in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush. The railroad features comfortable, vintage parlor cars and truly incredible scenery. We were able to see some gorgeous panoramas of majestic mountains, deep gorges and some waterfalls. Again, I was impressed with the obvious construction difficulties that had been encountered and conquered through the solid rock terrain. Fortunately this was a slow moving train and we were able to see a lot.
Unfortunately, there were some clouds and fog that prevented us from seeing some more distant views and glaciers. There was a live commentator on speakers and that kept us entertained and informed about what we were seeing. We even had a stop for passport checks when we crossed back into the USA. This wikipedia will give you plenty of background information about this storied railway’s history. Please take a few minutes to at least skim over it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Pass_and_Yukon_Route Carol writes: “On ‘my balcony’, I chatted for quite awhile with one of the conductors. Before he went ‘back to work’, he reached in his pocket and gave me a WP & YR pin! How nice!” .There are many photos here of the scenery and area. Just don’t get lost!! : https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=whitehorse+yukon+scenic+railway&qpvt=whitehorse+yukon+scenic+railway

As far as I was concerned, we arrived in Skagway, Alaska too soon. I would have enjoyed another leisurely train ride! I don’t know how long the road trip was, but Larry met us with the coach to carry us to the Westmark Inn in Skagway. He would meet us again in the morning to carry us down to the ship docks. Carol was able to do some laundry and it was … believe it or not … actually CHEAP!! Only $1.50 for a load of wash and $1.00 for 45 minutes of dryer time. She had packed (at home) laundry detergent and one dryer sheet as well as a roll of quarters for just such an occasion. We were now set for the remainder of the trip.

Author unknown: “A journey is the beginning of one thing … and the end of something else. It’s the road which leads you away from home … and the path which brings you back to where you belong. You will encounter many adventures along the way and each one will mould you into the person you will become.” Even though we would officially say goodbye to Larry in the morning, many of us took this time to express our thanks and regards to him for a job well done. He has done an excellent job of tending to our comfort and has been the consummate coach driver. I’d be honored to ride the road with him again. When I read the above quote, my thoughts turned to Larry the driver and I include this quotation in his honor.

See you tomorrow!!

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:46 am

Good morning, world. My little section of it is rainy today.
This is the second weekend in October, which means the launch ramps will be busy as people pull their boats and pontoons for the winter. The marinas will be busy winterizing all those boats and pontoons; some people do their own. There are some die hard fishermen who won't pull their boats until there is ice.
We have already pulled out our jet skis, and Travis' inboard.
The leaves are still mostly green, but starting to change color.
The geese are gathering and practicing flying. Their formations are still a bit loose, but are gradually tightening into the traditional V.
The cats and squirrels are just beginning to build winter coats, but not thick ones yet.
Grass only needs to be mowed about every three weeks, but the mower does a good job of cleaning up the few leaves off the yard.
It's fall.

Rick, was fall starting to show when you were in Alaska?
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:45 pm

RICK:
I would like to see that museum with the wooly mammoth display. Believe it or not, there used to be wooly mammoths and mastodons here in SW Virginia!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltville_(archaeological_site)

I have been past that town a million times and still haven't seen the museum... Rolling Eyes I need to do that. They have wooly mammoth events there.


ELLEN: sunny sunny
It is still sunny and warmer here today. We are baling hay in the lower field, the third cutting. We aren't going to get a lot, but every bale helps. Donnie is baling as I type, as soon as he is done, I will be down there loading it up and bringing it to the barn or garage. I don't think we have decided that yet.

The latest hurricane or tropical storm, or whatever it is, is supposed to bring us 2 to 3 inches of rain on Sunday thru Tuesday. We can use it. The ground is really dry and dusty, the grass is getting a little crunchy in some spots. The rain will bring the leaves down and we can do our last mowing job of the year in the yard.

Ooops. Donnie is back, gotta go haul hay.....

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:44 pm

August 19 … day nine

We were up at 7:00, but had a lot of time before we had to take the coach to the ship docks and board the MS VOLENDAM. We ate breakfast at a small cafe called the Sweet Tooth that was a couple blocks away from the hotel. The weather was cool, but pleasant and the brisk walk helped stimulate my (ahem!!) appetite. This place was nothing fancy at all, but served its purpose nicely and seemed to be a place that “locals” enjoyed. Be sure to give it a moment for the “18 pictures” to load and you’ll see what it was like: https://www.yelp.com/biz/sweet-tooth-cafe-skagway.

Carol and our friends did a brief shopping excursion and also visited the Skagway Centennial Statue. I think you’ll find this interesting: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM8WEF_Skagway_Centennial_Statue_Skagway_Alaska Unfortunately, I’d begun sniffling and coughing some in the preceding days and I went back to the hotel to stay out of weather and rest a bit before we had to load the coach and depart for the ship.

Part of Carol’s exploring was to see a stream with lots of salmon in it. She writes this about the Salmon: “Adult Pacific Salmon return to their birth streams to spawn after 2 – 3 years at sea. In this stream, Chinook come in early summer, Pink in mid-summer, Coho in the fall. Spawning occurs within days or a few weeks after entering fresh water. All Pacific salmon die soon after spawning; their decaying bodies return nutrients to streams and lakes and provide ready meals for eagles, ravens, and other scavengers.”

We boarded the coach for the short drive to the ship MS VOLENDAM. (As an aside, tomorrow was Larry’s birthday and Diane had passed around a card yesterday for us all to sign, and we sang the Happy Birthday Song to “dear Larry”. He put on his head set and thanked us all for the gesture … I think he really appreciated it. ) We were right on time and said our thanks and goodbyes to Larry … he took time to shake each hand.

Our boarding time was 11:00 AM and we were right on time. A n ID card was issued for each passenger and we were to use this card for exit and re-entry as well as a “credit card” while on board. When the card was scanned, the computer pulled up an identifying photo to properly ID each person.

Our cabin was on the lowest deck starboad (right side) with our friends in the next cabin to us. This was a great spot just around the corner from the aft (rear) elevators. Most of the places we went to on the ship seemed to be towards the aft of the ship. Another advantage for being on the low deck is that any wave action would be felt less. Since we were going to be sailing the “inside passage”, we were already naturally protected from much ocean action.

After the crew brought us our luggage, we went to explore the ship a bit to familiarize ourselves with it. The lido cafe was of special interest to me. We grabbed some lunch and while Carol and our friends explored the ship more, I returned to our cabin and went to bed … dang head cold and sore throat!!

We had a mandatory safety drill in the afternoon, and I returned to bed. Diane had us all meet in the main dining room for dinner each night. This was not a requirement, but all 46 of us complied with her request. Dinners were very good and we had some choice about the entrees as well as desserts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Volendam I’m not really satisfied with the web sites, but this will show you plenty of the exterior of the ship. If you’ll scroll down to the first line of “small pictures” and then scroll left to right, you’ll find some interior photos. We were in a “cabin” and not a “suite”: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=ms+volendam&id=0732FAD0F662B8E559BF55CBA7DB0AA79BBD2447&FORM=IARRTH

After dinner, I was back in bed by 7:30PM and was not aware of the ship leaving port at 9:00PM. I “hope” to see you tomorrow as I plan on staying in bed.

Good night.
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Ellen E

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:28 pm

This afternoon was a neighborhood get-together. The host neighbor loves to fish and had fileted and frozen most of what he caught during the summer. He fried about 20 pound of fish. That was a LOT of fish. It was good, and I got to bring a little package of it home. There were 17 of us who ate too much and then sat and visited for another 3 hours. For a fall afternoon, it was very warm but there was wind to keep us comfortable - other than for the bees who seem to think this is their favorite time of year. We swatted at bees and kept on going.
The host neighbors have a Bassethound and a pig. The pig thinks she's a dog. She even wags her tail like a dog. I've never been around a pet pig, but this one is not at all objectionable. She likes to be petted while she noses around in the grass for little morsels that might have been dropped.
"A good time was had by all." Smile
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:16 pm

Headed for idaho, pack up, and head for az.  Hit snow showers on way home, time to go south.
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Rick Angell

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:32 pm

August 20 … day ten

Carol writes: “I heard the engine start at 9:00PM and was aware the ship was moving. While we slept, she cruised down the Lynn Canal and up into the beginning of Glacier Bay National Park, where a Park Ranger (2??) boarded the ship from a tender. She gave a “ranger talk” 7 – 7:30 in the Crow’s Nest at the front of Deck 9 and then did a running commentary on the P.A. system about what we were seeing all day.”

From the AAA Tour Book: “Glacier Bay, 65 miles long and 2.5 – 10 miles wide, was filled with ice 5,000 feet thick until 200 years ago. The tide water glaciers flow from the Fairweather Mtns. Into fjord-like inlets.”

This wikipedia site gives us some history about this national park:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Bay_National_Park_and_Preserve When I finally woke up and looked out the window, I was able to see some of the ice wall from the glaciers. Here you’ll find some stunning photos of this beautiful area. Be sure to also click on the button / icons just above the pictures for even more close up photos. They really are stunning:
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=glacier+bay+national+park+and+preserve&qpvt=glacier+bay+national+park+and+preserve

Although she did not see any of the glaciers actually breaking off (calving), she tells me she heard a number of sharp cracks. She writes: “ The captain kept the ship here for an hour to gives us a chance to see a “calf”. “Calving” is when a large chunk of ice breaks off from the glacier’s face and falls into the water. We heard “rifle cracks” and thunderous booms, but did not see a calving take place. “Traffic” in the Bay is limited to small boats and mid-sized cruise ships, like the Volendam.” Check this series of short videos for some “action” like we did NOT see: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lamplugh+glacier&qpvt=lamplugh+glacier&FORM=VDRE

Tonight was “Gala Dinner” (used to be Formal Night). Ladies wore dresses and the gents wore a dress shirt with tie. We all had a delicious steak and lobster tail with veggies and a great dessert. Fortunately I was “recovered” enough from being in bed all day to enjoy this fine meal. I think I might actually live!! After dinner, Carol and our friends went to see a magic show and I returned to our cabin and went to bed.

Even though this day’s narrative is short in length, it was actually quite a full day of sight seeing from the decks … even through the rain and inclement weather.

Tomorrow will come soon enough and hopefully will be a better day for me.

Good night ….
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Whew! Busy weekend. Nice neighborhood party yesterday. Then today was Little Miss Scarlett's 6th birthday party. 7 little girls who think screaming is the most fun thing in the world, jumping around in a bounce house. Very Happy They all agree that Shopkins toys are just the ideal present.
Then, off with two neighbor couples to celebrate one of their birthdays. I drove all of us to one of our favorite restaurants, and then back to my house for dessert. I made Pioneer Woman's chocolate devils and homemade ice cream. The chocolate devils are an easy but very fancy looking dessert. To my relief, that was a nice success.
Tomorrow, I'll be ready to have a leisurely morning. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:14 am

Rick, we were in a bay outside of anchorage in 78 and saw calving....it is neat to see, and makes quite an unforgettable noise. Your trip sounds great, hope u feel better.

We cane across the snake river, malad gorge, and came this close#@$! To being whipped into the bridge....man that wind was howling up that gorge. There were wrecks from the wind there a lil later, and a few years ago a semi was blown over the bridge into the river below. Sad.  Harry had to pull hard left, then a penske moving truck got blown into our lane, cut us off and had to slam the brakes....i lost dishes on that one! Flew out the cupboard doors...we could hear them crashing. 


We have decided no more driving in the wind....thats it.
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:10 pm

August 21 … day eleven

We were up in time to be eating breakfast in the Lido Cafe and watch the scenery pass as the ship eased into the harbor at Ketchikan at 10:00 AM. This was to be just a day time mooring and would leave at 5:30PM. We did have time to get off and see a bit of Ketchikan.

This small town sure has a number of interesting sights to see … for a “price”. Almost greeting us when we got off was a statue called “The Rock”. This actually is a very informative piece of art about the history and settlement of Alaska. From the writing of Patricia Jordan from West Coast Living: “A Tlingit woman sits with her drum and sings her song of KetchiKan. She sings of how loggers harvested the trees, miners mined the gold, fishermen dared the sea for salmon and halibut, and pilots braved the sky to carry people beyond the reach of roads. The pioneer woman arrives to find opportunity in this new land. Atop The Rock stands Chief Johnson, who greeted the travelers arriving on the ships from Seattle and San Francisco. He offered them trinkets for sale, thus beginning a cultural exchange that continues today. Ketchikan was founded by the vision and heroic efforts of these pioneers.” You will find this quote and some closeup pictures of this statue here along with other photos of this town. Please let the photos cycle through: https://westcoastlivingcanada.com/2013/04/06/ketchikan-welcomes-you/

The town / city of Ketchikan itself is Alaska’s 4th largest city. Originally a Tlingit fishing camp, the natives called this place “kitschk-hin” which means “thundering eagle wings creek”. Non-native settlers, drawn to the mild climate and rich resources, took over the area in 1885, opened numerous fish canneries, and relocated the Tlingits to nearby Saxman Village. Lumber / pulp mills opened to provide timber for companies supplying goods to the miners during the Gold Rush. After these businesses closed in the 1990’s, Ketchikan became dependent on tourism and is a major stop for ships cruising the “Inside Passage.” The 2010 census recorded the population at 8,050 residents.

Carol and our friend did some shopping in town and returned to the ship for lunch. I had stayed in our cabin resting. We had a trolley tour to catch at 1:00PM that all four of us had signed up for. This was a city tour via the trolley and was $30 per person and was about an hour and half or so long. I would not have been able to have walked that much even though the town is quite small.

We were greeted by Lindsey who was our driver and guide for this tour. She certainly was lively in talking about Ketchikan as she pointed out certain buildings and gave us a humorous running commentary about their significance. She took us to the Saxman Village and explained a lot about totem poles and their significance.

Saxman Village … a Tlingit Indian village … was established in 1894 and is named for a school teacher, Samuel Saxman. He was one of three men lost in December 1886 while scouting for a new location for people of Tongas and Cape Fox villages. There are totems here comprising the world’s largest collection, including poles moved from Pennock, Tongass, and village islands and from old Cape Fox Village at Kirk Point. Many are poles restored under Federal Works Project directed by the US Forest Service beginning in 1939. Lindsey explained to us that even though the totems looked scary, they really told a story of historic significance.

As an example, there in the park were three totems erected that had an eagle on top with wings spread. Each of these totems was facing a different direction. According to a legend, three small boys were lost and the three eagles are looking for them in three directions. One searched the land, one the air, and one the sea.

Colors were made from charcoal, copper, iron oxide and other natural components. I was surprised to learn that the “cedar” poles rot from the inside out, but can be saved by hollowing out the center and putting another tree inside. There was a totem being restored that we could see up close … some parts and pieces were held together by wooden pegs. There was an elderly native artisan there working carefully on one totem inside the building. It was fascinating (and heart warming) to see the care he took while working on the restoration project … truly a labor of love. This will give you some more facts about the park: http://www.experienceketchikan.com/native-american-totem-poles-5.html and here you’ll find more photos of the totem park. See if you can find the man wearing a top hat … there really is one! As an aside, totems do not represent the dead, but rather emphasize the living: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=saxman+totem+park&qpvt=saxman+totem+park There was of course the obligatory “gift shop”. I do NOT enjoy crowds of people in tight confines so I kept to myself outside while Carol made the rounds inside … she purchased a post card!

When Carol had returned to the ship before lunch, she had packaged up some fabric (quilter gal that she is!), souvenirs, and a sweatshirt in a large microfiber envelope she had brought from home. This is another part of traveling in one small bag – mail stuff home so you don’t have to crowd your bag. She writes: “After lunch and the trolley tour, I took the package to the P.O. / FedEx / UPS place that was just a couple blocks from the ship, only to find it was no longer there! I knew there was another P.O. quite some distance along the the harbor and asked a local which bus I needed. The “green” bus drove on every single street in Ketchikan and after 30 minutes dropped me off at the the right place in fairly heavy rain. After handing over the package, I asked the P.O. clerk if it was possible to get a cab, and she said she could give me her phone so I could call one. The woman in line behind me asked where I needed to go and said she would be glad to take me in her car!! She let me out at Tongas Trading Company right next to the ship and she would not let me pay her. I guess it will be a “pay it forward”. There really are nice people everywhere.” She made it back in time before the ship sailed again around 5:30PM.

Dinner was again in the main dining room and our group enjoyed sharing stories of the day in Ketchikan.

What will tomorrow bring ….??
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:04 pm


RICK:
Trip's going well! Sounds like a lot of fun. I love doing touristy stuff!

CB:
Snow and wind. Ewwww...... Stay safe!

ELLEN:
Your neighborhood has the best parties! :dance: I can't believe Scarlet is already 6 years old.



We had a busy weekend. We got up 44 bales of hay on Friday, pretty hay! We were fairly zombied out on Saturday, but we took Shadow, the collie, to be microchipped at an event Tractor Supply was holding. That went quick and easy and only cost $19. including a lifetime registration. We also moved a load of hay from off the trailer into the barn.
Sunday we worked on Zippy's feet and did our grocery shopping. In the evening I was going to post here, but rain from the now tropical storm Nate shut down my internet connection.

We had a huge downpour last night during the hurricane's passing through. It flooded the pony side of the barn.

Donnie woke up at 1 a.m. from the sound of the rain and went down to the barn to try to open the drainage ditch that had gotten blocked. I woke up at 2 a.m. and realized he was not in the house. I could see him shoveling water out of the barn by headlamp. I went down to help and we got back in the house at 3 a.m. I didn't get back to sleep until at least 4 a.m. It took me three hours this morning to clean out the barn alone. What a mess. Donnie said there was 4 inches of water in the back of the ponies' stall. They were all standing in the front where it wasn't as deep. I did get in a nice nap in the afternoon, Donnie didn't, he had to go to work. They have a nice clean stall now. It was nicely dry this evening and I re-bedded it with new sawdust.

The rain was over by morning and left the area faster than they said it would. That's one good thing, anyway. We needed some rain, it was just a little fast.
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Graymare

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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:01 pm

Boy, what a storm ARK. Glad you got your hay in. Now for the mud.......ugh.

CB, do you have your horses along?...........boy, that must have been scary.

Glad you had fun ELLEN.

Rick, next chapter....................

God bless.


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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:04 pm

Not on that trip, GM.  When we leave to go south, they will be with us, unless someone zooms in and buys them at last minute
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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:10 pm

August 22 … day twelve

I pretty much stayed in our cabin resting, sleeping, and reading. This was just a day of cruising toward the end of the cruise at Vancouver, B.C.

Carol writes: “ My day in a nutshell – from my journal was a day at sea. Our group met at 9:00 in the Crow’s Nest for an hour-long meeting about disembarkation (getting off the ship). Bags needed to be outside your room by midnight (not ours because we had carry-ons) and tagged with the lime green Group 2 tag in addition to the red Holiday tag that had been there from Day one. We were to meet in the theater on Deck 4 forward at 8:00 the next morning with our passports and room key card. After the meeting, I stopped in the Photo Gallery and bought the pic that was taken when we first boarded the ship. The one of us at the Gala Dinner was not very good so I didn’t buy it, and the ones someone took with my camera were blurry, so I don’t have any from that night. Next stop was the main desk to pay for any extras on board ($136). Next was some downtime in the Explorer’s Lounge on Deck 5 Aft with my iPod and my new book that I had gotten in Ketchikan. I called our friend Patty, met her in the Photo Shop so she could find her pix, then started packing before lunch. Rick and I went to the Crow’s Nest to “whale watch” but he soon went back to the room. (He and Ron were both sick along with ¼ to ½ of our group.) Whale Watch, Game Show, and Sunset described later.”

Carol also has in her scrapbook some quotations that are meaningful …

“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely ‘un-happen’” … E. deBono

“Life is too short to put off what makes you happy.” … anon.

“You will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” … Dr. Seuss

“If you want to keep your memories you first have to live them” … “Take care of all your memories for you can not relive them.” … Bob Dylan … “but you can revisit them whenever you want.” … Carol Angell

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” … Eudora Welty

A photograph “is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” Actually this was about memory, but I wanted to change it to photos … and this is why I journal with photos … Carol

Carol spent a lot of time watching for whales and other sea life, but unfortunately did not see much more than a dorsal fin of an orca. She also saw some dolphins but not with her camera. There are a couple lines from John Denver’s song “I Want To Live” that she hoped would come true: “ … have you gazed out on the ocean, seen the breaching of a whale? Have you watched the dolphins frolic in the foam?”

After dinner again in the main dining room, we went to the theater with another couple for a quiz program. Carol hoped it would be about geography, but it turned out to be “Where on Earth”. This program was like the Jeopardy program on television. Carol was “volunteered” to go up on stage with another member of our group. The questions were mostly about animals – where they lived – what they sound like – and were True / False or multiple choice. They got a bottle of wine, but it would have had to be finished tonight and none of us wanted it. It was given to a family of heavy drinkers in our group.

After the entertaining show, I returned to our cabin and Carol went out on deck to watch a beautiful sunset show that she describes as lasting over 50 minutes. “ Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.” … Richard Paul Evans

“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset.” … anon

“At sunset, Nature is painting for us … day after day … pictures of infinite beauty.” … John Ruskin

I wish I could show you some of Carol’s photos, but here you’ll find some photos very much like what she saw. I have googled “sunset photos inner passage Alaska” and this is what came up: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sunset+photos+inner+passage+alaska&qpvt=sunset+photos+inner+passage+alaska

We both turned in a bit early tonight … I still wasn’t feeling all that well and Carol was pushing herself hard and obviously coming down with “something” from all the coughing she was doing.

See you tomorrow when we dock in Vancouver … Good night!






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PostSubject: Re: October 2017   Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:01 pm

Today was a bit of a whirlwind day, but a good one. My hair was at least two weeks past needing a trim, so I took off early this morning, drove three hours, picked up my cousin who lives very close to the gal who does my hair. We visited with her for the length of my cut, then went to lunch at a place just a few miles away. Lunch was good as was evidenced by the stains on the front of my shirt.
I was planning to stop and visit the people who used to be my neighbors on the way home. The stained shirt just wasn't going to cut it, so we made a quick trip to K-Mart where I got a cheap new shirt.
Cousin and I shot the breeze for a while. Then, I headed to friends' house, and had supper with them. I wasn't the least bit hungry after the lunch I'd eaten, but I ate anyway. I am FULL.
It was a rather long day, but I enjoyed all of it.
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