My last posting we had went to Denali for the day and from there we headed to Talkeetna. Our plan was to take a flight up to land on Mt. McKinley on the glacier, but it wasn't meant to be I guess because the morning we were to go up the weather was so overcast & a really low cloud cover so they were not going to make landings up on it. So we cancelled those plans and went down the road to MAHAYS Jet boat. We took that out to Devils Canyon. This was a 6 hr. tour that took you out with the chance of maybe seeing wildlife. All we saw was a couple bald eagles. When we got to the highlight of the tour, Devils Canyon things got exciting. These are white water rapids which no one has ever rafted through because it is too dangerous. The pictures do not show what we really experienced, but it was fun. He held the boat at a rolling standstill (the only way I can describe it)
while we all took pictures, then with a true skill turned the boat around and got a round of applause from the passengers.
This is what it looked like the morning we were to fly up & land on the glacier
The Jet Boat Tour
From Talkeetna we headed to Anchorage going through Wasilla & Palmer and a few more really small towns. In Anchorage we checked out the airport so Sheila could see it, then we just went to the down town and walked around looking through the tourists trap stores. These were a couple of Kodak moment shots down town
We left Anchorage and headed south down the Seward Highway. Lots of beautiful mountain shots. There are lots of pull offs for photo shoots and if it isn't posted "no camping" you can dry camp for the night, which we have done so far about half the time we have been out. It has worked out pretty well with not having to pay for a campspot every night. We have a generator in our TC, so we can get by not having to plug in somewhere every night. I have kept track of all our expenses and if it were not for having to FEED the truck we would have a pretty cheap trip going.!!
It was windy today !
We made a short stop in the town of Girdwood & Whittier. You have to go through a 1 lane tunnel to get to Whittier, and the times of passage are timed. One lane of traffic from one side all goes through, then there is a stop light and when yours turns green it is that sides turn. Different but the only way they could do it. The tunnel was only put in in 2000 & until they were like Juneau, you could only get in by boat or airplane. Oh and did I mention that that same tunnel has a working train track in it. While we were sitting there waiting out turn, a train did come through.
Our next stop was the little community of Hope. When Kent & I had visited it in 2006 there was no problem getting in or out, but the day we stopped in this time they were having a very well attended 5k run. We had to park about a half mile & walk in. The race was just getting over but now they were handing out awards. It is also a very popular fishing lake so there were all kinds of people fishing. They even have a board where you can hang up your fish and take a picture. I ask this boy if I could take his picture.
The next destination was Homer. We did not visit Homer on our last visit so we were definitely going to make it one of our stops. We got to the town of Homer the next morning. We drove through it. There are some stores and a few restaurants, but you need to go on out on the peninsula that they call Homer spit. That is where the action is. That is where all the fishing expeditions you
ever would want to take are located. Homer boasts that they are the Halibut capital of the world, and with the crews coming back in with there "trophies" it looks like it.
This big one weighed in at 115 lbs
It took this kid about 20 seconds to fillet the fish. They fillet the fish for the guys that caught them then you need to get them sent home.
We needed to head back north to Tok & then back down the Alaskan Highway. Nothing sure was improved from when we were on it a few weeks ago. In fact we got on some places that were almost like the Top of the World Highway that I absolutely hated. We were warned by the video series that we have been following to expect to get a cracked windshield. He said to just go out before you leave home and crack your windshield so you don't have to worry when it will happen. We almost made it. Not knowing when the road would ever get better, it happened about 1/2 hr. before we got to the better roads. It happened around Haines Junction a semi came flying down the road at us and a big rock came flying. We were not happy!
We made it to Haines and then we left the truck there and took a fast ferry (for people only) over to Skagway. We knew what it was going to be there. The cruise ships were in and all kinds of people were at the shops. We ate at the Red Onion Saloon. Dave & Cheryl our friends told us we needed to take the upstairs tour so we did! Very interesting ! Like my red & black garter. lol
Now instead of spending our day fighting the crowds, we booked a WhitePass & Yukon train tour. That was very enjoyable and the sights were spectacular. If you ever get a chance take the train. Our ferry ride took us back to Haines that evening. We booked the car ferry to take us to Juneau for Sunday evening, but we changed that to Saturday evening cause there is just not that much to do in Haines. The little hammer museum that we would have liked to go through was closed on Saturday and we were sure not going to stay till Monday to see it.
Oh I forgot to mention that on our way to Haines we saw a grizzly bear along the road eating berries. There were a bunch of cars stopped on the road when we came around the corner, and we have learned that when there are cars stopped on the road there is an animal somewhere.
I know I know --what is he doing so close to the bear. I didn't even encourage him. They tell you to make yourself look bigger than you are so guess he thought he'd try it !! Kept telling him he'd never out run the bear. He kept his truck door open just in case !! And with his luck do ya think he should have tried this ?
While in Haines we did see a Brown bear with her cub & this was just down the road from the campground we stayed in that night.
This is out the back door of our TC at the campground
We took the car ferry to Juneau Saturday night. It was a 4 1/2 hr. trip over. It is amazing how they get all the vehicles loaded on that ship.
You are packed together like saridines
Sheila & I went out on the deck. Just for a quick in & out. It was cold & windy out there.
Kent took his turn outside
Today we Took a whale watching tour & we actually saw about 5 humpback whales. Got some good pictures but just got a glimpse of the tail.
Then Kent saw a sign for the Mendenhall Glacier so he got us to it and there were all kinds of tour buses there, but we found a place to park and walked around. There was even a black bear in the wild there catching salmon. It was all pretty neat out there. It was even free !
Sheila will be leaving us on Thursday and we will move on. She has got to stay with us almost 3 weeks. It has went fast, and we have done a lot, but there is still so much to see. She feels pretty confident that she & Darren could make a trip up here on their own. FLYING not driving of course.
Until Next time
Kent & Martha