Sheila came to visit us on July 14 and we had lots on our agenda to do, but the time came she had to leave and go back to reality. She got to spend 18 days with us, and we sure enjoyed having her. Even though we were traveling in a TC I think we did really well with 3 bodies. We all needed to do our duties and we did. Everyone had to take their turn to do whatever and it all worked out. She did say the first thing she was going to do is take a nice LONG hot shower. We have a shower, but when you're not hooked up to water you must limit your usage when it is pumping from the tank, so you don't stand & let the water run. Even with 3 people using water we were able to dry camp without facilities for 3 days and we could have gone 4. The biggest thing without utilities to us is keeping all the devices charged using the truck as the charging station. It kept Sheila busy in the front seat keeping all the chargers straight ** 3 phones, cameras, movie cameras, dvd player, but she kept them all straight and we didn't lose a cord. It only cost us $33 for lodging in Juneau for 4 days. We stayed at an rv park the first night then dry camped the next 3.
One of the things we did while she was here was geocache. Here are some pictures of our finds.
I was the official photo taker UNTIL I finally found one
We certainly had fun geocaching & Sheila is all versed up on how to make a bug travel from cache to cache. She found a travel bug here in Alaska but wanted to take it back to Indiana to place it so there is something about you can have a bug VISIT a cache but you don't have to place it until you get it where you're wanting to take it. I don't understand all that but it is fun looking for them with friends, family or ourselves.
We took the Alaskan Highway Ferry from Haines to Juneau. We spent 4 days in Juneau because we didn't have time to ferry to Wrangell (we didn't think) and see the bears. Turns out Alaskan Air does fly out of Wrangell which is hard to believe cause there is NOTHING here in Wrangell except the tours, and seeing the bears feed on the salmon per the dvd we are following, was one of the things I really wanted to do. So anyway back to Juneau. We visited a salmon hatchery & it was really interesting. It is NOT a fish farm where they raise them by giving them steroids and growth hormones as she pointed out. The hatchery incubates the eggs for quite awhile then they are tiny looking minnows (?) and keep them until they grow to about18 inches or so which is about 8 or 9 months, then they are released out in the water to feed and grow naturally, then they come back to that hatchery and complete their process in a few years. When I wanted to know the difference from what they do, to what a fish farm does, she showed me the minnow size at 7 months but a fish farm puts all the growth hormones in them and makes them grow really fast so at 7 months they are about 12 to 15 inches big with no nutrients to us when we eat them. Really interesting. John & Linda make sure you go to the Hatchery if you get the chance.
These salmon are about 7 months old
I don't know how old these are but they are getting ready to release them to the ocean.
So word of caution Don't buy if it says they are farmed fish.
We took Sheila to the airport in Juneau. Was sad to see her go but we had a good visit.
After Sheila was off we booked a ferry for the next afternoon leaving Juneau to head for Wrangell, which is still on the inside passage. After leaving Juneau and before porting in Petersburg (where some passengers got off ) We had the most fabulous whale show right outside the boat. There were whale everywhere & for about 1/2 hour we got the show of a lifetime. Now I know I already told you about the tour we took to watch the whales and we did see 5 or 6, but there must have been 20 or 30 that we actually saw but who knows what was beneath the waters !! It was so exciting! We got a few on snapshot but we got a lot on the movie camera. We watched it last night on the movie camera and we must have got at least 20 tail flips....
While watching the whales the sun was setting
Yesterday we finally got to go to see the bears. We arrived here on Friday morning but the tour was booked until Sunday. They only have so many permits per day they can have, and you have to have a permit to view the bears. The tour is on a very nice jet boat (Alaskan Waters Tours) that takes you about 35 miles out to an island that the bear are very wild. They are not caged in any way. There is a boardwalk that you have to walk back into the island on and the bear are on that boardwalk at times and they were yesterday, so we had to stop and the rangers had to shoo them off the boardwalk before we could continue. It was a big brown grizzly. They all carry guns and bear spray. You cannot even go to the bathroom in the outhouse out there without a ranger explaining the procedure. The bear path passes right in front of the outhouse and they don't want you coming out of the outhouse and hitting a bear SO There is a little round hole cut in the door at the top and when you are finished you have to put your fingers through it to signal you are done, then they give you a sign yes or no to come out. If a bear is on the path of course it is a definite NO ! Very interesting....
We did see bear and it was fun. They say at times the stream is loaded with them. They are there catching salmon. We were out there watching for 3 hours. Time went fast and then it was over. We are taking the ferry tonight (Monday) out of Wrangell to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. From there we will drive the rest of British Columbia to the lower 48. We will be on the ferry for about 16 hours so we decided to get a cabin and get some sleep. It was only $88. So for today we will try to find SOMETHING to do, WHAT I don't know since there is NOTHING to do. Saturday we walked downtown from the RV park. It was about a mile. We already did the 3 stores they have but we will find something.
A few pictures of Wrangell
This building is made from semi trailers and a vinyl enclosure top
Lots of Indian heritage everywhere in Alaska
A price we HAVE NOT paid and hope to not have to pay
Our new way of life schedule **lol
There are so many mountains with names that I could never remember, BUT this one is named Elephant Nose and I think I can remember this one!
These were some views from outside our camper at the pull off where we stayed in Juneau. Ships coming in and the bottom the ship was leaving the night before. We were talking to a waiter at a restaurant right downtown by the docks, & he said the ships have to pay a $40,000 docking fee and they MUST be out of port by 11:00pm or they have to pay a $3,000 penalty per minute !
This was another of the Mendenhall Glacier
I guess that's it for now, hope you enjoy the pictures.
Until next time
Kent & Martha