Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day 21-23 Alaska Adventure.

Day 21- I guess I left off here. We left Valdez after stocking up on groceries, fuel and propane. You have to do that when you can. We got an early start so that we could stop at the Worthington Glacier. We passed it by on our way into Valdez and said that we needed to stop on the way out. That glacier is near the road and you can hike up to it.

It's not a large glacier like the Columbia but it is a glacier. That is ice under the dirt and rock. So we hiked to it and after watching the calving of the Columbia glacier we really didn't want to stand underneath it.

We were inspired by some Asian tourists that we watched all day on the cruise. Everytime they were taking their picture in front of something they would point, like you couldn't see it behind them. So we had a little fun. After that we headed north to Fairbanks. Delta Junction is at the end of the Alaskan Highway. Selfie spot!
Lots of scenery in between Valdez and Fairbanks.
Mt. Blackburn. A 16,000 foot mountain. That was our lunch view for the day.
We followed alongside this range for many miles. I don't remember the name of it though and I am too lazy to look it up. Maybe I should have a micro recorder going as we drive by these things. I know i said it before but the scenery is always changing.
This is the Rainbow Mountains. Very different looking and out of place. We were on the Richardson Highway which parallels the Alaskan pipeline. So we had many views of that.

And it is a major crime to tamper with that. Amazing piece of engineering in its own right. The pipeline is free floating and just rests on the supports because of earthquakes. It's made to move around. We also saw the most amount of moose in this area also.
Getting pictures of them was another thing. 2 came bounding out of the ditch and we almost had 2 moose hood ornaments. We got to our campground. Another Alaska State Park. Donnelly Creek.
We went for a little walk to stretch our legs and saw some storms across the valley.

I liked the looks of those pictures and would have been really happy with those. Later on I walked back out there with my camera and captured these next few photos. I like to call them my quintessence  of life borrowing from one of my favorite movies, "Walter Mitty".

I was not even taking pictures in black and white. Here's a picture of a Moose with his lobster.
And a picture of our Journey.
Critter count- 7 Moose.

Day 22- It was a short drive to Fairbanks. But before Fairbanks you go through North Pole Alaska. So we had to stop. Lisa did some negotiating with Santa to convince him how good she was. I kept telling him how naughty she was. So we will see at Christmas.
I guess by the looks on their faces she convinced him how nice she was. Only I know different. We got to Fairbanks and pulled into Wal-mart. I needed a prescription filled and we needed groceries. Good thing we did because as we were sitting in Camp Wal-mart I noticed water dripping from the underside of the camper. Sure enough there was a leak under the sink. Now our sink moves in and out with the slide so the flexible hose they put there just wore out from the bending. Well Lowes was next to Wallyworld so I went to get parts. 
Everything under the sink here in this part of the slide has to be flexible to move in and out with the slide. I saw where it was leaking and made my cut of the hose at that point.
I had to purchase this tool. These are not cheap but I hope to get other uses out of it in the future if something else breaks. So I spliced the hoses back together and then crimped it.
Put everything back together and then leak checked it. No leaks and I am glad it happened when we were in civilization, otherwise we would be leaking for a long time.
Like I always say, "it is always something." At least this was kind of minor and we were near stores. We are in Fairbanks and they just had the summer solstice, meaning the longest day of the year. I think it was like 22 hours of daylight. Which isn't really the case here. It does not get pitch black at all for a long time because as the sun sets in the west, it is also coming up in the east.
This is a picture of us at camp Wal-mart around 5 in the evening. It was overcast and cloudy that day and we just decided to stay after I had fixed our leak.
This was a picture Lisa took out of her window at 2 in the morning. See, they have the lights on for safety. So we now go through a new ritual we call the darkening. We try to get it as dark as we can so we can get some sleep.

Lisa starts putting towels over all of the windows after she has closed all of the shades.
We have a skylight right over our bed. That was a challenge. It comes with a pretty good night shade but we discovered that a map of Iowa also helps. 
We even had to recycle our aluminum hats for some of the smaller windows. So we have it as dark as we can get it. One night in camp wal-mart was enough. That was our first time staying at a Wal-mart. It may be our last. Who knows. 

Day 23- We wanted to strike it rich at the gold mines so we drove out to Gold Dredge Number 8. Very interesting to learn about the hardships these people went through in hopes of hitting the mother lode. You board a small train that takes you to the dredge.
They talk about what was involved, how it worked and what it took to mine like that. Another piece of amazing engineering.

It was pretty much a strip mine. That machine could tear up some dirt. They let us have a chance at panning for gold. I always wanted to try it.
Lisa counting her riches and how she was going to spend it.
I was Mr. Serious. I have never had this much gold in my hands, ever. I was not going to lose it.

See all of the gold in my pan. It's the little sparkly stuff at the top. Well we didn't strike it rich. We put both of our gold together and they weigh it for you so you know what you have. Together we had $28 worth. 

So we put it in a magnet which cost us $25 and we have a cool little souviner. The tour lasts for a couple of hours and it was fun. Bucket list item crossed off. 

There is a state park in Fairbanks called Chena River Rec Area. So we went there. The view was better.
But we learned that we were under the flightpath of all of the planes landing and taking off. Plus our neighbors were some crack heads or something. The f bombs were flying like crazy. I was waiting for some gun fire. We didn't want another night of that so we decided to get out of Fairbanks and head to the Chena Hot Springs about 60 miles away. It was a good choice. We looked at the hot springs, decided that there was nobody in there we wanted to bathe with and then stopped a fishing pond for the night.

That was our spot and that was our view. Not long after being there we watched a mother moose and her two calves feed in the lake for about an hour.

It was $5 to camp there overnight. Well worth it. 

Critter count-Lots of Moose.

"Glady's, what's in Denali? Donuts I hope!"


  1. That's a lot of meeses! What did Lisa do to convince Santa that she is a good girl, we all know better than that!

    1. I'm not sure. Does she need to put in a good word for Barb?

  2. Nice you could fix the sink. The mountains are spectacular! Cute kitties. How fun to be on/near the glacier.

    1. Thanks to all. Trip of a lifetime. Can't wait to read your adventure.