Friday, August 31, 2012

ALASKA 2012 - DAYS 6 & 7

Okay, I know I haven't been online.  Here's why.  Wednesday we were scheduled to stay in Hyder, however he had not gotten a confirmation to his email registration.  Guess what?  No room.  In fact, no room in all of Hyder.  Just drive an hour up the road and you'll find a room.  Guess what?  No room.  Just drive another hour up the road and you'll find a room.  Guess what?  No room.  Just drive another hour up the road and you'll find a room.  Guess what?  No room.  But maybe the pub next door that has rooms above it has a room.  Ernie went in and asked.  Yup a room, with a single bed.  He must have looked extremely tired, because after all, it was 10:30 at night and we had been on the road since 7 am, because the lady said just a minute.  They had a room that they just have redone.  She said the TV doesn't work yet, but you can have the room if you want.  Yes, please.  Thank you very much.  Who cares about TV when you've been driving forever.  We only wanted a bed!  And it was a comfy one!

Then the next night, Thursday night, we were in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and while there was internet, my computer would not connect to it.  So, I just had a breakdown.  After no phone, no texting, no blogs, no facebook, and no news about Princess Abby, I just had a total breakdown.   Sometimes you just have to do it. 

Anyhow, here are a few random photos from the huge amount that I shot out of the dusty, rain splattered Prius windshield.

Lots of construction.
Lots of logging trucks.
A VW covered in flowers.  The towns up here have a lot of flowers.  With so much sunlight all summer, the flowers are beautiful.
In British Columbia before the pretty part of the road!
Lots of stop or slow signs.
Wet, foggy roads.
Here is the sign to mark Highway 37 where we head north, up the Cassier Highway.
The first one we saw.
Narrow wooden bridge bed.
A glacier on the road into Stewart and Hyder.
Lush, green mountains, with lots of waterfalls.  However, no sunshine!
We went to Fish Creek to see if there were any griz feeding on the salmon.  Found salmon, no griz.
The second one.
Long road.
The third one.  After this guy I quit snapping pictures as we lost count!
The next morning started out foggy with low handing clouds in the valley over the lake.
But the sun did come out.
We met a caravan of campers, probably a dozen at least.
You travel through many areas that have burned at some point in the past.
And soon you come to the Yukon.  We love the Yukon.
Heading west out of Nugget City, you see miles of names created out of light colored rocks dotting the dirt on the side of the road.
Apparently Will carried some red and blue spray paint with him!  These names go on for miles.
Yes, it is a long road.
See the foliage is beginning to change color?
She was a very friendly construction flagwoman!
It is a very, very long road!  I have some beautiful pictures from today's drive through the Yukon to Tok, Alaska, but I'll have to wait to post them until tomorrow.  We will be in Anchorage tomorrow night.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ALASKA 2012 - DAY 5

This was a long day.  Really long.  We drove only 476 miles, but it seemed like 876.  I am totally worn out.  Might be because I haven't slept well at all so far.  But then, what's new?  I never do.  So, I am going to put up some photos of the totally different types of scenery we saw today between Bellingham, WA and Prince George, BC, and not say much.  But I wanted to show you what I saw, and marveled at, and totally enjoyed today.
Leaving Bellingham, we drove through a quiet little agricultural community.  The sun was having a hard time shining through, but it was beautiful nonetheless. 

Soon we came to the Canadian border, and I am happy to report that I had my passport.  Thank goodness!

It remained cloudy and foggy

but still very beautiful.

Right after we hit Hwy 1, the sun came out and the scenery changed.

The mountains were not as rugged, and were covered in evergreen trees.

As the sky turned a beautiful blue, the hills became bare.

The shadows of the clouds, and the different colors of fields, made for a lovely picture.

There were a lot of grass lands, some cattle, hay fields, a few orchards, vegetable gardens, and even some corn.

And we arrived in Prince George in the rain.  The motel is fine....kind of a mom and pop, but fairly modern, and clean.  It has a microwave, so we made a carton of potato soup and added some cubed ham.  Now I am going to watch a little of the convention, check the weather channel for news on the hurricane, and then hit the sack.

Hope to come to you from Hyder, Alaska tomorrow night.  Sleep well.  I wish I would!

Monday, August 27, 2012

ALASKA 2012 - DAY 4


We left Fairchild AFB in Spokane at 6:42 am, and drove directly across the road and down the street one block to the base Starbucks. 

I was completely blown away by the scenery of the first half of our trip today.  As we headed west and then south, to Yakima, I was totally surprised by the desert appearance of the area.  I had always pictured the whole state of Washington as one big evergreen forest.  After all, isn't the motto the evergreen state? 

As we neared Yakima, we found orchards.  Apples.  Peaches.  Grapes. 

The whole area would be brown desert, and then on a little hillside would be a lovely green oasis.  An orchard of apples or grapes. 

I also found another place I could probably afford to buy, but it would be too far from my great granddaughter!

Way off in the distance, about 100 miles, is the mountain.  Mt. Rainier.  We never got a better shot of the mountain, I'm sorry to say.  I was looking forward to seeing her from another angle, but it was not to be.

As we got closer to Yakima, we began to see these fields of strange climbing plants.  It finally dawned on me.  Hops!  So with the many thousands of acres of hops gardens, hops orchards, hops fields, or what ever you want to call them, and the equally thousands of acres of grape orchards, or vineyards, I think our supply of beer and wine is secure. 

And now for a little family history.  This is the grave of Ernie's uncle, Milo Fore.  He is buried in a Yakima cemetery called Terrace Heights.

In this shot, his grave is close to the tiny pink dot of flowers in the center of the photo.

Also in this cemetery is an aunt, Agnus, called Peggy.

This is Anniebelle, Ernie's grandmother, and mother to the others mentioned in this post. 

There is a canal that runs through the cemetery, and Agnus is buried on one side, the grave right in the middle of the upper half, and her mother, Anniebelle, is buried in the grave on the other side of the canal,  right next to Ernie's leg on this photo.

Then over to the east side of the cemetery is the military section. 

In the first row, right below this flag, is the grave of James, another uncle.

We were really impressed with this cemetery.  It is very well kept, very organized, and absolutely beautiful.

We then drove across the city to this cemetery.

The area around it wasn't the best, but once we entered, it was also very beautiful.

And in the veterans section we found the grave of Roy Fore, another uncle.

His grave is the third one to the right from the corner of the memorial.

The staff at both of these places were very helpful.  With all the records on computer, it was a simple task for them to look things up and mark them on maps for us, and we had no problems finding the graves.

We left Yakima about noon, and after we had found our highway and climbed a little hill, we had lunch at a rest stop that had signs warning about the rattlesnakes.  I was nervous, as anyone who knows me well will understand.  I hate snakes.

A bit further on was another viewpoint, and we stopped for photos.  Notice that the air is still a bit hazy.

More apple orchards.  This is a fairly newly planted field.  They weren't picking apples yet, but things were being readied.  We saw thousands of boxes piled near the orchards, ready for the fruit to be packed in them and shipped to the far corners of the world.

Now we began to see the scenery that I associate with Washington. 

The mountains are completely covered with evergreen trees.

This is what I came to see!

And I got a chuckle out of this milk truck that we passed.  The sign reads:  drinkamugamilkameal.

And this is what I have been waiting for.  The highway sign that says North!  We finally turned north, and will continue going north until junction 37 at the end of the Cassier Highway where we join the Alaska Highway just west of Watson Lake.  We then turn west again to head to Tok Alaska.

It was another long day.  We drove 433 miles, and got 51.5 mpg.  We filled up with gas last night, and haven't bought any since.  All we spent for the day, until we arrived at our motel in Bellingham (I know....we changed the itinerary a bit) was $5.25 for 3 cups of coffee.  Two were mine.  Yes they were.