Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Susan’s Travelogue Part VIII

July 25, 2011

[This is a series of blogposts for my friend Susan. I have left all her misspellings included, since they add to the charm of the travel log. I have removed any writing of a personal nature. These writings were given in email form. I offered to post them for her for all her friends on Facebook and others who may have missed her emails because of overactive spam filters. To comment on her log, please go to her Facebook page and comment there. Susan doesn’t have access to comments here on my blog. Sorry.]

The Eighth edition

July 13th 2011
It does not seem like Dave & have been gone 6 weeks.  (and it does not seem too long-so far)  I thought Dave and I would have been irritated with each other by now living in a 23ft trailer but I should have had more faith in our 18 years if marriage and two years of living in sin.
For those of you that don’t already know, the Viewfinder trailer has a queen size bed in the bedroom/rear of the trailer. The room is only 14 inches longer (at the bottom of the bed) than the bed with 24 inches on each side then there are walls. The kitchen is centered on one side and has a small fridge, 3 burner propain stove with an oven that is 18 inches wide with 6 inches of oven space in which to bake.  Cookies bake ok and muffins but don’t think small turkey don’t even think whole baking chicken unless you cut it into pieces.  The sink is double (36×20) but the only drain board is a cutting board that fits over one of two 18×20 sinks.
The couch is accross from the kitchen and can sit three average people if you don’t mind touching elbows. We found extra storage under the couch by removing the kick board under the seats.  Some of you would ask “why more storage space since we have the truck bed covered with a high canopy?”  I will tell you about the truck it is full of; a freezer; generator; fishing stuff; extra gas, tires (one for the truck and one for the trailer), light bulbs for various outside plastic covered lights on both the truck and trailer and a (folded) net covered tent to sit in if the mosquetos are bad.
We did not have room for the 16 foot car top boat and the parts that go with it. (motor, gas cans, oars, seats, cover/ top etc)   Oh, so what is under the couch? (tools, first Aid kit, and games to entertain us)
Also for entertainment, the built in TV/CD/DVD  player is at the end of the couch at a 45 degree angle to the only seating though if our old eyes were up to the distance we could easily watch from bed.
  The bathroom is spacious and is in the “V” nose of the trailer.  Yes “V” shaped front rather than a flat nosed front.  The bathroom is about 3 steps from the mid seat on the couch and the bed is about the same distance the other way from the same seat.  I can sit on the couch, open the fridge and eat on a small collapsible table (in front of the couch) at the same time and not  get up from the couch. Likewise Dave can take off his slippers on the far end of the couch and neatly toss his slippers to his side of the bed with out effort and with deadly accuracy. (I don’t like it much when I am still in the bed and I let Dave know that…with a smile.
The couch is on a small slide which collapses into the center of the trailer and leaves a narrow walking isle when traveling and is useful when needing to fix a quick lunch on the road. At that time I can almost sit on the couch to fix lunch….almost!
So far we are pretty careful not to cause an argument or miss-understandings as there would be no where for one of us go to lick our wounds or hide for a while.   In light of that ..we ask each other if the other needs the bathroom for any urgent nature callings, before we go in to the only room with a toilet.  So far we have had no collisions and no disagreements on the three step voyage to and from the bathroom.
Dave try’s to be quiet in the mornings when he gets up between 3 or 4 am.  If he makes it to 4:30 am he feels like he is sleeping in.  One morning at about 3:30 I heard a sound kind of like a small rodent in a cereal box of rocks. Neither of us can remember what he was looking for at 3 in the morning … by rummaging thru drawers in the very small central kitchen, but the sound went on for what seemed like hours.  I did remind him later (in a nice friendly voice) that he usually try’s to be quiet when I am sleeping and I smiled again as I remind him that he missed the mark that morning. That is the man dearly love…Dave just gets driven/highly focused sometimes!!!

Most mornings Dave is my alarm clock and when he gets tired of being alone he takes the three steps from the couch to the bottom of the bed and leans on me feet.  First he is gentle then he escalates to playing with my toes through the blankets.  By then my eyes are fluttering and he asks if I want  him to fix me hot chocolate with marshmallows.  When I respond “yes” he quickly heats up the water and makes the hot chocolate.  If I am still in bed when he is finished he proclaims “your hot chocolate is getting cold.”. If I don’t respond correctly by getting up or at least giving it a good effort at this point he plays with my toes again until he has my full attention.

At night when, Dave’s head is nodding off and his chin is dipping towards his chest I,  finally agree to go to bed. (about 9 pm or 10 if the everlasting sun has fooled him)  Dave is the first in bed and is soon off to sleep usually after a good night kiss. As soon as I hear his gentle snore I put the ipod Namo earbud into my ear to listen to a audio book. This deters my chatter as he attempts to sleep and I can get relaxed.  The problem is that I fall to sleep and the book is still playing in my strange and dizzy dreams.
Today when I went to town to do laundry I looked up ahead and saw cars stopped. They were not stopping for a light.  I was confused…then I saw a large brown hairy head poking out between the two lanes going towards Homer AK.  I thought maybe it was a large dog in the bed of a truck 4 cars ahead of me.   Then I realized that it was too big to be a dog and too tall to be a stuffed/taxidermied moose in the truck bed.  Then when the head stepped out from behind a car with all four feet, very long legs and proceeded across a four lanes busy city street. I was shocked to see a full grown (live) Moose… calmly/slowly walking across the busy (but stopped) four lane highway.  I started to look for one of our 4 Cameras and the only one on hand was my iPhone.
By the time I turned it on and found the program, got situated to point it at where I last saw the Moose, it had moved into a Wells Fargo bank Parking lot.  I had to think quickly.  So I turned the lumbersome 4 wheel drive extended cab truck into the parking lot, not noticing the one way sign that was not going my way.  The moose was  better prepared than I as she chose the driveway with the sign “enter here”.
I tried again to snap a shot  but this moose was too fast for me.  Then I got really excited.  There, right next to the large calm hairy moose was two slightly hairy but adorable baby moose/s?  Their long spindlly legs helped them to follow at moms moderate speed.  The three of them then lumbered into a parking lot of a motel.  By then I was only (dizzy-out of state) vehicle following the moose.  I got a couple shots before the small nature family found refuge by turning their backs/butts on me and walking into the parking lot of the police station.
Did I tell you that I could not find my drivers license yesterday?  Well , I decided not to follow the alaska wild life into the local police domain as I was driving with out my licence.
Soldotna Alaska is exciting in so many ways.  At the Laundramat they had showers, wifi, ice-cream and lots of tables like a cafe.  I learned a very important lesson today besides the use of front load washers and driers. Drivers licences Wash very nicely but small tissue packs do not wash so well.
Dave, Roy(his local resident/hunting/freightliner friend) and I went fishing in the Soldotna River yesterday and today for a total of 2 hours.  No fish yet but we only stay one hour if we don’t start catching or see others catching fish.
When “Reds” run you only have to put your bare hook (which is a little more than an inch long) with no bate out in the current a couple times and the salmon runs into the hook with thier mouth wide open. Then you set the Hook by a quick straight up pull.  People say the fish will not eat once in the river so the fishing is a matter of hooking them in the mouth when they are not looking.  We can have three “reds” per-day each.  (Sockeye Salmon)
Dave and Roy are out in a boat fishing with local friends of Roy’s.  Dave bought a King salmon tag good for 24 hours so the last half of yesterday and the first half of today they are trying to fill the tag.
Well, this is long enough so I will send it now…please understand that my phone does not have a very good spell check.
Love Susan and Dave
On the cusp of catching fish.
[from the ‘editor’: Susan, I’m loving the (mis)spelling. No need to apologize or feel bad about it. :D]

Susan’s Travelogue Part VII

July 25, 2011

[This is a series of blogposts for my friend Susan. I have left all her misspellings included, since they add to the charm of the travel log. I have removed any writing of a personal nature. These writings were given in email form. I offered to post them for her for all her friends on Facebook and others who may have missed her emails because of overactive spam filters. To comment on her log, please go to her Facebook page and comment there. Susan doesn’t have access to comments here on my blog. Sorry.]

The Seventh Edition of the Great Alaska Adventure

Seventh Edition…..

July, 6th 2011

Well, the scientific test asking the question “Will a dizzy person get dizzier if she rides/bounces in a quad for 4 hours on a dirt road with large slushy muddy holes?”  The answer is….There is no evidence to show that this type of (crazy) activity will increase dizziness or decrease hearing.  Your/our prayers were heard and I am still a little dizzy/deaf, but not dizzier/deafer.

The ride in the quad with Dave driving and me as side kick was fun.  The mud was plentiful and if we had been on smaller individual quads we would have been mud from foot to at least our knees…not counting splashes to the upper torso, face and arms. The result of a single quad  ride for me might have been to have me face down in a mud hole and who knows what the dizzy/deaf results would be.  The side by side quad had a plastic windshield and a self bailing floor (THANK YOU FOR INVENTION OF SUCH THINGS).  The mud would come in around the windshield and over the side and pool on the floor which had holes for drainage.  We saw no animals; they are smart to stay away from loud unruly machines as there is hunting year round by subsistence hunters who live in Alaska 6 months or more to become residents.  The quads were not in Denali but in a section that paralleled with the park.  After about 2 hours of quading through deeply wooded (thought very short trees and bushes compared to Oregon) we stopped at a clearing and had a campfire cooked meal of hamburgers and  hot dogs  with chips and pop.  The people were from all over the world and to numerous to mention, we returned the 2 hour trip a bit wiser about the mud holes to be encountered the second time on the way back.

It was a fun day but so tiring.  We got home at 10 pm and went to bed pretty quickly before we could argue about who was most tired.  (Note that Dave is staying up later and later as the lack of darkness has him confused as to when he should get tired/go to bed).  We woke in the morning and sat around trying to recover from our active late night.  We went early to the Bus trip 66 mile trip into Denali park and used the information given by other campers to make a good decision about the cost and length of the bus trip into Denali.  We found that taking the buses driven by the park service would cost 1/4 the price and just as good as or better than the vender service at $139 each.  We reserved the time we wanted to leave.  You could get off and on the bus as the busses were on a schedule of about once every 30 minutes and  traversed the park stopping for anyone who flags them down (if the bus has room).  When I say you can get off and on when you want… here is anexample.  You see an interesting trail and ask the bus driver to stop and let you off.  You hike the trail and come back to the road to flag down the next bus that comes along.  If the bus has two seats then you can hop on.

We saw moose, caribou, ptarmigan, snowshoe hairs and several grizzly bears, one with two grizzly cubs.  The bus would stop whenever we saw an animal and we would take pictures while the guide talked about the park/Alaska history and all the animals.  The landscape was striking and the day was sunny and bright.  We were told that only a few days each month are clear enough to see all of Mt McKinney.  We were lucky on that account.  Maybe we paid our dues by enduring many mostly rainy days in the last 5 weeks of travel. 

The 8 hours bus tour was a bit long but it was great not to have to drive and to have the bus driver/guide tell stories and explain the history of the park.  He named the mountains and rivers and told stories of people for whom they were named.  Did you know that some of the rivers that are fed by the Glaciers are called “Braided Rivers” because they have small separate weaving sections that cross over each other like braids?  The mountains are so different from one another.  Some are black and some are pointed, some are like a pile of rocks that seem to be piled to a point, which show  evidence of lots of slides, others are sculpted like someone chizzeled the crags all going the same direction like wet hair on a dog.  These look like the receding glacier has scraped the mountain and left these fingers/tentacles of mountain and the water released by the ancient ice continued to etch a deaper more intrecate designs.  Other mountains have a little snow and yet others are painted by a half a dozen colores ranging from grays to browns and blacks.  Some have trees and others bushes and some have little or no green on them at all.

We were going to leave the next day but were so tired that we could only get irritated at each other over a late dinner.  I suggested staying one more night and Dave was quick to agree.  The next day was a slow day of rest and going to town one more time to send e-mails (that did not go through to most of the people on my list) and a little more shopping. (every day is a good day for shopping….I found bone buttons and small crystal thunder eggs that were cut in half and would make a pendant on a chain) Dave found a knife maker who uses various ancient bones, some from extinct animals to use on handles of large and small curved and straight well honed knives.  Dave bought two and was smiling like a kid with a new toy. The when I got back to the truck Dave secretly purchased bone etched ear rings with small moose decorations.  (What a sweet guy) I keep finding rocks, some to take to Marin a friend in Damasucs and some from the ground/camp ground for me to tumble in my rock tumbler at home to see if they will look pretty and some from the store as they are already pretty.

Now we are to camping near Wasilla.  The name comes from an Alaskan Indian Chief.  Wasilla is just before Palmer which we will go through tomorrow (then  on to pass through Anchorage) on the way to Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula.  It should take about 3.5-4 hours of driving. Dave has a friend that lives in Soldotna and we hope to start fishing for halibut, salmon and other interesting fish with the friends help.   Wish us luck as we have a freezer in the back of the truck which plugs into electricity each night to keep our beef/pork/bacon/chicken frozen on the trip here and we hope it will freeze the fish, clams etc to transport home.

One very interesting thing that we did not think about before we left on our trip is the people we would meet from all over the world.  We have met people from Holland, Germany, Australia, Canada, New York, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Illinois, and the list goes on.  Tonight we heard a knock at our trailor door and two men asked where in Oregon were we from?  It turns our they were from Hermiston and know Rueben Gettman who is our neighbor and who worked with Dave for many years at Frieghtliner.  Larry owned the barbar shop and fruniture store in Hermiston and knows the Gettman’s.   

We moved from Denali to Wasilla the night of the 9th of July.  Today July the 10th, Dave and I went to the Musk ox Farm and the Reindeer Farm and took tours.  They were both interesting.  We saw the two afore mentioned animals, adults male and female and others starting as young as one month old.  We also saw a Bison (up close and personal – through the fence) which is the name of the Buffalo type of animal that is common in the North American area.  The real Buffallo’s are from Africa and Bison are only from our continent.  We saw moose and Elk as well.  I have been looking at really interesting carvings on/in antlers and horns and I purchased a reindeer antler so that I can try to carve on one.  Wish me luck and happy carving.  We got to pet and feed many of the animals that we saw today then see displays of fur, yarn, pelts, antlers and horns.  I learned the difference between an Antlers and a Horns.  Antlers grow inside a velvet/fur casing that feeds the Antler with life giving blood while the antler grows and then the “velvet” falls off.   The Antlers grows and after the season it falls off and the animal grows another one the next season.  A horn is like a bone, fed by the body/blood from the inside of the horn and is a life time growth and does not come off unless broken.

The two places we went today were ½ price thanks to our good NEW friends Ted and Janet who thought they were going home early and gave us their Entertainment Book for Alaska.  We hoped to use the ATV coupon when we were at Denali but the tour we wanted did not come with a coupon. 

Well, buy for now….we drive to Soldotna tomorrow.

Dave and Susan….from the land of nearly 24 hours of light…..everyday……all night.

Susan’s Travelogue Part VI

July 25, 2011

[This is a series of blogposts for my friend Susan. I have left all her misspellings included, since they add to the charm of the travel log. I have removed any writing of a personal nature. These writings were given in email form. I offered to post them for her for all her friends on Facebook and others who may have missed her emails because of overactive spam filters. To comment on her log, please go to her Facebook page and comment there. Susan doesn’t have access to comments here on my blog. Sorry.]

July 4th 2011

It is now July and the rain was coming down reindeer and moose.  (You know cats and dogs in the lower 48…..Up here they call the lower 48 “The Southern America”)  Dave and I have done several things that were more fun even when hiding from the rain.  We saw a scientific news reel about the Aurora Borealis and how it comes to be. The natives thought the lights were their ancestors communicating with them.   You might say “why are Susan and Dave going to movies when they could look up in the sky and see the Northern Lights?”  Well here are three facts for the price of one.  The dark time in Alaska at this time of year is so short….and more like dusk than dark so there is no time for the Northern Lights to happen.  Second fact…there is no fireworks shows either because of the lack of light.  The sun sets at about 12:29 am and the sun rise is about 3:11 am.  The time between sun rise which is the moment that the sun shows above the horizon and the moment it touches the horizon is the time of sunset.  So that is why there is not much dark time and the darkness is more like dusk.

Oh, what makes the Northern Lights?  You might be familiar with neon lights?  Well there are different gasses in the glass tubs and when electricity is sent through the tube then the different gasses give off different colors.  Well, the Sun of our solar system is the electricity maker and it has these storms that cause solar flares which send electricity our way.  When it hits the atmosphere of the earth it touches different gasses and makes different colors.  The green, blue and gold colors are common and the red is the least common and they only show up in the dark hours and most often at midnight.  The best months to see the lights are September and March.  We will be home by the end of August so we won’t see these beautiful ungelating light shows.

The other fun thing we did was go to the Pioneer Village while here in Fairbanks.  It is a big with free entre and they take the older homes that need to be moved due to improvements/freeways etc and bring them to the park and make a village.  Each house has a plaque that tells when and where it was built and by whom. Some of these old buildings house merchants/artists who show their art and sell it to people who wander through.  Some have ice cream and others have carved bone or antlers or wood for sale.  The log homes with sod on the roof are the most interesting.  You look up and see grass and even little trees growing on the roof.  They say that it protects the roof from rain and insolates the house in the winter from the cold.

The Gold mine tour was really fun.  You get on a train which takes you into past showing you several types of gold mining equipment and an old log cabin that was used by a minor.  They explain the equipment and show you how it works.  Then the train goes into a mine.  YES into a tunnel that is set up to be like a mine.  A minor is there to explain how they do the work and where the bed rock starts.  He explains the type of gold that is found here and how they get it out.  Then the train stops at a large slues box and the owner of the mine….a women wearing three large gold nuggets (one on each ear and one hanging from a necklace)….tell us the story of her gold mining experience.  She explains and then shows us how the slues box works.  Then she has four young men take some fine gravel out of the first few feet of the slues and they use the gold pan to separate the sand and gold.  Each young man has gold in there pan when they finish.   



Wow, we had gold fever and could not wait to find our fortune.  The next thing they do give us a “poke” which is a cute small bag full of sand, gravel and hopefully gold.  Then take us to a row of (warm) water filled 10 foot long sink like bins.  They give us a gold pan, a bottle to put our gold in and show us how to do the work of a gold miner. Well, many minutes later and with some help from many gold helpers, we have a little bit of gold in each of our pans.  We pick up the gold with a dry finger…if we can get one dry.  Then wipe the tiny flecks into the gold bottle and shake it to make sure it is still there.   We followed the masses of people and took our little bottles in to have them weighed by the authentically dressed young people who are the gold helpers.  People seemed to have between $5 worth and $45 worth.  I got the 5 and had $20.  Well then they go about trying to sell you a necklace to hold you’re newly found gold.  They will put it in a small glass container for about $70 and through in the chain.  Dave and I skipped that part.  The commercial look and feel of the whole tour was evident but it was interesting and fun….other than waiting in line.

On the train there was a local singer with a guitar who said he opened for Willie Nelson when Willie came to Fairbanks way back in.????? I forget when.  He was a good singer and he sang some of the Willie songs as we waited for the train to load on both the ends of the trip.  He sold his CD’s in the big gift shop.  His jokes were fun and he and the Lady gold mine owner were quick to stop and talk with folks and answer questions.  The owner let you hold one of her large gold nuggets and was dressed the part in a pair of jean, a plaid flannel shirt and boots.  In the store they let you pick up a larger nugget that was worth $60,000.  A person watched it constantly.  The nuggets are less than 2% of all the gold that is found. 

On the 5th of July Dave and I moved on to Denali Park.  We were sad to leave our new friends Ted and Janet as they had other plans and we were going different directions at this point in our trip.  The RV Park on the base was really nice even though they were trying to get it up and running after it was closed for a few years.  We met some nice people who were the camp hosts and felt safe as were on the base and it was well guarded.

The drive to Denali was about 3 hours and all sunny.  Wow the sun is with us for the day and when we drove up to the Grizzly RV Park a man asked if we brought the sun with us from Oregon.  We said that the rain has been following us but maybe the sun finally caught up today.  The first thing Dave and I did after set ting up of the RV, having lunch and a beer was to look at the tours.  We were not ready to pay almost $900 for the two of us to fly over the top of Mt McKinley so we opted to take a 4 hour ATV tour tomorrow, July 6th.  Now, those of you that have been following my dizzy person are probably asking is she better.  Well, the answer is yes but it is still a bit dizzy.  The hearing is mostly back in the left ear but the ringing is still loud.  I will wear a sea sick patch and try to enjoy the swishy world as it bounces by.  Please say a prayer with me that the trip does not make it worse.  I will report in the next /Seventh Edition.

So bye for now from Dave and Susan in Denali Park Alaska.

Susan’s Travelogue Part V

July 25, 2011

[This is a series of blogposts for my friend Susan. I have left all her misspellings included, since they add to the charm of the travel log. I have removed any writing of a personal nature. These writings were given in email form. I offered to post them for her for all her friends on Facebook and others who may have missed her emails because of overactive spam filters. To comment on her log, please go to her Facebook page and comment there. Susan doesn’t have access to comments here on my blog. Sorry.]

June 30, 2011


We left Dawson City on the morning of Saturday June 25th and took the ferry over the Yukon River at about 7 am before the rush.  (The Klondike River flows into the Yukon just before Dawson City) We did not have to wait as the ferry held our truck and trailer, another truck with small trailer and a class C motor home with room for a car but no one took that space.  A few minutes after we shoved off we  landed  on the other side.  The ferry took us to a graveled spot that was kept flat by as bulldozer which was part of the ferry crew.  We took the short paved road to the long-very long graveled road and forward we went on the “Top of the world Highway” to Chicken and  then Tok Alaska.  It would be going about 200 miles to Tok but the Garmin GPS told us we would not arrive until after 6 pm.  As we advanced on the road and found that the pot holes and rough road meant that we could only do 16 miles an hour, we figured the Garman must be right.  It was depressing to think it would be evening before we would finish this bumpy, gravel road and arrive at the Camping area.   We were sure that It was going to be a very long day.

Then the Garmin changed and said it would be more like 9 pm before we would arrive.  The trees went on forever and they averaged about 12-14 feet tall.  Short pine trees for Oregon standards but still mostly pine trees with a few that looked like Aspin or maybe small Alder trees.  There were no wild animals to see on or near the road as we snaked our way along a road that was two lanes wide counting both directions.  The road would go along the ridge of the hill and then go around another ridge and you could look ahead and see the same road going along the next mountain ridge.  There were no roads crossing the one we were on and no gas stations or homes.  The only thing that broke up the expanse of the road and trees was an occasional gravel wayside. 

There was one motor home ahead of us but they pulled off  on a wayside and then the only other folks we saw were two motorcycles that passed us before we got to the border crossing.  We all waited at the boarder because it did not open until 8 am (which was a time zone change-one hour back on the clock).  Once the boarder opened we followed the motor cycles and after a few questions by the border guards we were on our way again. The road on the Alaska/US side only got worse and continued to be very bumpy at times.  If you did not slow down when you hit a hole the shaking was enough to cause us to feel pretty beat up.  Sometimes the holes were not easy to see and we were jolted into slowing down.

We drove until about 11 am when we arrived at a large bend in the road and stopped at the town of Chicken to get gas and stretch our legs.  The gas station was also a gift shop and we took a little time to look around.  There were lots of  T-shirts and small chicken things.  It is said that this very small and remote town was named Chicken because the folks wanted to call it ptarmigan but could not agree on how to spell it so they choose the name of a bird that they could spell   There was a trailer type building near the gas station with a large sign that said “Halibut” and we checked it out for an early lunch.  It was not open and the gas station attendant told us that the lady that runs the place, in the summer feeds the minor’s breakfast very early and then she goes to take a nap and returns at noon to serve lunch.  A 1/3 lb Salmon burger was $15.95, a 1/3 pound buffalo burger was $14.95 and 2 reindeer bratwurst $10.95.  A half pound Wild Salmon Fillet was $21.95 and they had something that they called a “Complete Chicken Dinner” for $1.50.  Who knows exactly what that would be….we guess it would be a hardboiled egg.

We asked about the road between Chicken and Tok and they said it gets better a few miles after Chicken.  We crossed our fingers and double checked the Garmin.  We did find the road to be better but the Garmin must have been all shook up because it said things like “turn at the next tractor road on the left” and “turn left here” when there was no road except the one we were on.  I think the Garmin had a concussion.

About 1:30 pm we were seeing signs of civilization.  There were a couple gas stations and a sign that said 15 miles to Tok.  We arrived in Tok and settled into a Very Nice trailer park.  We pulled out our chairs and sat in the first sun we have seen in days.  About 4 hours later our friends Janet and Ted rolled in and parked near us.  The trailer park had free bluegrass music in the recreation hall and we stumbled over and sat down.  It was two young people (violin and banjo) and a seasoned guitar player who wrote some of the songs and told stories between songs about Alaska.  He told us there are no snakes, cockroaches, flees or ticks in Alaska but we found that they make up for them in mosquitoes.  We left the music hall in the pouring rain and fell into bed thinking that we would check with the Alaska Ferry system to see how much it would cost to ferry from Whitaker to Bellingham Washington on the way home.  We wanted to miss the bumps on the way home as we here beat up by the bumps on the way to Tok and there is no better choice of roads.

We stayed two days in Tok to see if we could heal our bruises and find /buy some of the stuff we had lost on the road.  Dave found that our sewer pipe storage tub had opened up on the Top of the World Highway and we left several connections and a hose for the wild life to play with somewhere on the winding hill top road.

June 27th we left for Fairbanks Alaska and only were on the road for about 3 and a half hours and it was so easy that we got to the North Pole and finally mailed the post cards to Mia and Katelyn two of our grand children. Santa was busy but we did get a picture of the cabin/post office with real growing sod on the roof.  Our friends Janet and Ted met us in Fairbanks and invited us to stay on the Army base at the Campground.  I did not know there was such a thing but it w as nice and pretty inexpensive.  We decided to stay about a week and see Fairbanks.  There are a bunch of things to see if the rain would give us a chance.   I will tell you about the sights in the next installment. 

The strange working of the Garmin on the top of the world Highway is still a mystery.  Maybe it was a concussion or maybe the person who programmed it was the one with a fuzzy brain.  (my dizzy head is better but not well as of today) We may never know the reason it was so far off on its calculations and the instructions.  We thank God that we did not take the instructions and left turn on the Tracker road or we might have never arrived in Tok let alone arrived at 9 pm at night.  To the Garmin’s credit, it had not been that far off or even wrong before this strange occurrence.  It is usually very calm and correct even when we take off in a different direction and the Garmin has to say “Recalculating…make a safe U turn…..”  We figure that Ms Garmin will be a truly mentally unstable by the time we get home in august.

Love   David and Susan 

Somewhere on the Wienwright Army Base in Fairbanks Alaska. (where Leonard Grill called us on the cell phone today during a moment of sunshine….

Amber and His Friend, Peekaboo – A Story About True Friendship

July 21, 2011

Amber is our 14 yr old cat. Well, we know he’s a cat; he has his doubts. I know he hates cats. I’ve seen him escape the house and attack any and all cats he encounters.

Now, this isn’t the usual ‘cat fight’; he truly goes for the throat and gut. I’ve pulled him off other cats.

On the flip side, he loves our dogs, and gets into grooming contests with them. He also loves to play Chase the Kitty. (He’ll streak through the room with the dogs, sometimes leaping over them. While in the air, he’ll tap them with a paw, just to make sure he’s got their attention. Then off they all go. It’s noisy, fast, and fun!)

One of the habits he’s gotten into is running around at night, playing with whatever he can. He’ll dig around in the little paper bins we have at our desks, pull out a scrap of paper, and play soccer with it. I’ll find the strangest things in the strangest places sometimes.

One night, in May, he was making so much racket that I had to get up and see what was up. He was playing soccer with some paper, under the dining room table. I turned on the light, and gave him heck for making so much noise. He just looked at me, like I had the tv on ‘pause’; his eyes dilated hugely. (I knew he’d be right back at it, just as soon as I turned out the light.)

He was.

And he was LOUD about it…. he was making a HUGE, DEEP merowh noise, one I’d never heard before. At this point all the doglets were barking; they wanted to be part of the fun.

On came the lights again. (Did I bother to mention that this was about 3am?)

I opened my mouth to give him heck again, when what did I see but something strange in his jaws?? It had a tail. And eyes. And wasn’t moving.

It was a mouse; one of those little cute deermice. IN MY HOUSE. No wonder he was having so much fun…

I watched him. (I knew I didn’t, 1. want to touch the mouse, and 2. take it from him.) He watched me. The mouse didn’t move. I thought, Surely, it’s dead.

He put it down. IT RAN. Right behind the paint cans that were there.

And here’s where it gets interesting.

The mouse went to the right side, behind the can. And waited. Amber when to the right side, in front of the can. And waited.

The mouse went to the left side, behind the can. And waited. Amber when to the left side, in front of the can. And waited.

Rinse. Repeat. Again. Again.

I watched this happen, at least 10 times. Then I moved the can, just a little.

The mouse dashed out. And Amber gently picked it up in his jaws. Took it into the kitchen. Put it down. Played in that room. Then they changed back to the dining room. (Yes, he carried it there.)

Then, it ran downstairs. I thought, Well, that’s that. The Mouse is in the House.

Nope.  He was back upstairs with the mouse in an hour.

James was in New York City during that week. When he came home, I told him the story. He waited that night, and when it happened again, he caught the mouse.

And put him in an aquarium (no water, for you folks who worry about such things.) And I had to name him. After all, this may not have been the ‘original’ mouse; but we needed a name for Amber’s BFF. Here’s his picture. I named him Peekaboo.


James took him across the little creek beside our property, figuring he’s still alive, but now in a different country (for a mouse) and wouldn’t be back.

Hah! His wife came looking for him the following night.

Two weeks later, the kids came out. These were small enough that Amber didn’t think of them as friends, but instead, (finally), as maybe a snack. I came out at the now-familiar soccer noises and weird, deep cat howls to find him licking the back half of a young mouse. (As in, there was no front half. No blood either.) He seemed VERY confused.

So, we bought a mouse trap, the kind that traps them live, not kills them. Haven’t caught any. Neither has Amber. We’re all wondering if Peekaboo is done with his playdates.