Archive for August, 2013

Pay By The Minute Phone

I am free from having a phone contract. I’ve gone pre-pay. Just when it seems most people are wanting a smart phone, I’ve gone the opposite route. Anyone else doing the same?

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Already?

I was just at Costco. They are already selling Halloween costumes and Christmas ornaments.

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Hail in August

Having a hail storm. Think I’ll make some coffee and get a book out.
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Bandon, OR

Last Thanksgiving we went to Bandon (on OR coast – see photo album from last year), and I walked for hours on the monolith strewn beach, listening to the waves crash. Bandon quickly rose to the top of my Places To Move To When/If We Left Bend.

We went back this week and besides the wonderful beach sensations, realized the town didn’t have much more to offer. But check out those photos!

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Coquille River Lighthouse

Coquille River Lighthouse

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Hammock that my MIL just gave us, a book, and GIANT goldfish crackers.

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Sahalie Falls

About an hour from Bend. The yellow at the edge of the spray is a rainbow.

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While Ralph was gone…

I decided to paint the inside of our garage. What a difference!

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Alaska Photos

We parked in an Anchorage parking garage. This was our van clearance! Sure was freaky.

We parked in an Anchorage parking garage. This was our van clearance! Sure was freaky.

Costco's in Canada have poutine!

Costco’s in Canada have poutine!

Downtown Haines.

Downtown Haines.

Buffalo herd between Ft Nelson, BC and Watson Lake, YT. That's our side view mirror.

Buffalo herd between Ft Nelson, BC and Watson Lake, YT. That’s our side view mirror.

Denali - Snake River. Caribou.

Denali – Snake River. Caribou.

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage. This was the only point you could see the water.

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage. This was the only point you could see the water.

Beluga [whale] Point near Anchorage.

Beluga [whale] Point near Anchorage.

Drive to Hope. Photo doesn't do this justice.

Drive to Hope. Photo doesn’t do this justice.

Everywhere there's water, there's free PFDs for people to use.

Everywhere there’s water, there’s free PFDs for people to use.

Can you see the Jesus in the red circle? This is a packet of C&H sugar.

Can you see the Jesus in the red circle? This is a packet of C&H sugar.

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Ralph got a single speed bike at Anchorage REI. If he changes it into a fixie, I hope he doesn’t tell me!

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Seward, Alaska Photos

Exit Glacier, near Seward.

Exit Glacier, near Seward.

Downtown Seward.

Downtown Seward.

Seward aquarium.

Seward aquarium.

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Homer, Alaska Photos

On the way into Homer.

On the way into Homer.

View from the spit.

View from the spit.

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My Thoughts on Alaska

Fairbanks – was here for a week during summer solstice 5 yrs ago. If anyone is interested in my thoughts let me know and I’ll PM those to you.

Denali – you can only drive or take the FREE shuttle the first 15 miles, to the Savage River. 5 yrs ago I did the 2 mile loop at Savage River with my niece and we had the place to ourselves. This time there were people everywhere. We got the last spot in the parking lot and when we were leaving there were several cars in line waiting for spots to open up. People were everywhere. However, we did see a caribou with huge un-symmetrical antlers munching by the river.

Wasilla – we stopped at the Target, and from everything I’ve read from the past few years – and it’s a lot – I would have thought it would be White Trash City. It wasn’t. (As an Equal Opportunity Basher, 5 yrs ago I was also in Hope, Arkansas and stopped in a small grocery store. I bought some grapefruit. The young male cashier didn’t know what they were.)

Anchorage – Tony Knowles Coastal Trail – We rented bikes to do this 11 mi ride to Kincaid Park. Coastal should be removed from the name, becuz to me, it implies that one can actually see the water/coast along the path. We took a different path back and stopped at the appropriately named Tasty Freeze. Eat at Spenard Roadhouse. Order the hamburger with the bacon jam. Nix the sweet potato tots. Eat also at the Moose’s Tooth Brewpub. Order the Soy (asian) Salad and the turkey sandwich.

Hope – do drive the 16 miles. Very pretty view points. Eat at Titos (which burned down in 1999 and the community of 150 re-built it). Ralph had a reindeer sausage sub which he said was very good.

About 50 Miles north of Seward, (80 miles from Anchorage) Ralph says there is NO way Hawaii is prettier than this. He’s right (at least Hawaii in December).

Seward – Exit Glacier National Park. There are easy, easier and not so easy hikes to The Glacier. Recomm them all. Lots of great FREE places to camp along the river. Excellent camping spots downtown right next to Resurrection Bay.

Kenai – Have heard so much about the Kenai peninsula thought wed make the effort to check out the town, population 7,000. Had a hard time finding the historic old town, which has two 120+ yr old Russian churches. Once found, all I can say is Oh My. The historic old town is really these 2 cool looking old churches surrounded by dumpy apartments. Lots of dumpy apartments. That’s it. The town does have a Walmart, and lots of “for hire” signs. Fishing is its major industry.

Homer. Was really looking forward to Homer. The view of the mountains on the other side of the bay is fantastic. In the fog/mist/clouds, each mountain looks like a photo that had been triple exposed, which makes me want to see them on a sunny day…is there really 2 – 4 mountains behind each one, layered so that the shortest one is in front? The rest of the town was just: eh. The downtown area wasn’t what a typical dt area looks like – buildings right next to each other where you can walk around from store to store. These are historic structures where the entire building is surrounded [open] for parking, open space, then the next building with surrounding parking. We aren’t shoppers, but do like walking around window shopping and just seeing what the stores are. I read so much about The Spit and looked at various photos. I read that the thing to do is to walk the spit. From the photos it looked non commercial – just the pristine-ish land, that brings one back to nature by walking it and tide pooling. In reality, it is all commercial. Fishing boat excursions/fishermen kiosk shacks + shops/restaurants + RV camp grounds + old and abandoned boats/trailers (junk yard). The walking is walking from shop to shop, and along the stony beach at low tide. They really could clean up the junk yard part of the spit and put in walking paths or just have nature. There’s great potential.

Glennallen Highway [The Glenn] is 4 hours. Very pretty, but besides getting across the state, I think most sight seekers drive this in order to see Matanuska Glacier, which is visable about 100 miles from anchorage…but only for just a few miles. $20 and you can walk on it.

We took the ferry from Haines to Skagway. 1 hour on the ferry vs hours driving. When we got to Skagway there were FOUR cruise ships.

Go see Bennett Dam [which supplies 25% of BC’s electricity] instead of going thru industrial Dawson City and Fort St. John. AND it’s also a shorter drive.

Fort St. John – I’ve heard so much about this town due to it being an oil and gas hub. Went thru expecting it to be more rough and tumble, but it looked like any other 20,000 person town. I guess the R & T days are over.

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