Archive for May, 2004

Peoria Pundit

May 31, 2004 - 1:38 pm 1 Comment

Hey all,

At Bill Dennis’s request, this entry is to let you know that the Peoria Pundit weblog is alive and well, but has changed addresses. He was having some hosting problems, with which I can certainly sympathize, being a refugee from the debacle that was Featureprice.

Alaska Day 7

May 26, 2004 - 6:12 am 1 Comment

Denali National Park

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline

“Well this stretch of road’s been pretty boring.”
“Yeah, we haven’t seen anything except for some…”

“Trees” is what I meant to say, but what came out was “Bears!!”

We started out this morning by going to the Talkeetna Roadhouse for breakfast. For $7.50 they give you about 3 eggs, a mound of home fries, a slab of home-made bread, and 2 thick slices of peppered bacon. Since sourdough is a sort of religion up here, I ordered a side of a small mixed berry sourdough pancake to taste. It ended up being around 12 inches in diameter, larger around than the plate.

After we waddled out of there, we started down the road to Fairbanks to see what the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline looks like. It transfers hot oil from the northern coast of Alaska down 800 miles of pipe, half of which is above-ground to avoid melting the permafrost, to the port of Valdez on the Prince William Sound (near which the tanker Valdez famously ran aground and befouled a thousand miles of coastline). Fairbanks is about a 270 mile drive from Talkeetna, so we were looking at a good deal of driving. We got on the road about noonish and spent the first hour not realizing that we had gotten the nifty FM transmitter thingie for the iPod and had been sitting in silence. Just as I was realizing this, the conversation above took place. As I was idly answering, I looked to the side of the road and saw a mama brown bear and her three cubs sitting right there. I was floored. We turned the car around and I started taking pictures. Hub slowly pulled alongside of them and had his hand resting on the steering wheel when he braked. Causing him to honk the horn. HONK. Mama bear decided that was an excellent time to saunter back into the brush. I got some vaguely bear-like pictures of the cubs. I know what they are anyway. The honking became a running joke for the rest of the day, at least to me, the only one in the car who found it quite so funny. “Hey look, there might be a moose over there, better honk at it so I can take its picture!” “Hey look, there’s a big fat black dog alongside the road, looks a little like a bear, perhaps you should honk.”

It got very quiet in the car a few times. Especially when we passed Monderosa Rd., and I mentioned that it’s where they filmed that western TV show, Monanza. And when we passed the “Nooutlet Road” and I mentioned that “nooutlet” is an ancient Eskimo word for “Dead End”. No, hub seemed a little lacking in the humor department today. That’s ok, I laughed and laughed and laughed.

On the way north we passed the turnoff for the Denali Highway, the 130 mile gravel road running east and west. We stopped in the gas station right nearby and asked the clerk if he’d heard anything about the road conditions lately – he said his cousin drove it the other day and it was passable, but you can’t go over 30 mph. Since it was rainy and foggy and visibility was limited, we figured we would miss out on some of the splendid views anyway, so we just drove far enough to see the gravel part and take a picture of the sign saying how it was unmaintained between October and May.

Heading further north we entered the Denali National Park and decided to head into the park proper for as far as we could go with the car. After 15 miles they don’t let car traffic in, in order to minimize impact on the local flora and fauna. There’s a sense of community amongst the park visitors – we drove up on a bunch of people looking into a field with binoculars; one guy came over and said there was a moose and calf down there and showed us where to look. We pulled into the parking lot just before the checkpoint and got out to stretch our legs. There was this really pretty tor just above us and I wandered down the trail for a bit to take a picture from another angle, but the trail was so nice I ended up just going. We probably went around a mile down, next to the river, spotting some Dall sheep on the mountain across the way. We played around in the tundra turf, which is made of sphagnum and peat moss and is springy, like walking on a trampoline. On the way back, we saw a group of people watching something else and noticed that it was a red fox trotting down the river’s edge. As we watched, the fox squatted down to take a pee and an angry seagull started dive-bombing it. I think the seagull had some family nested nearby, and he was determined to get that predator out of his turf. They and we went our separate ways, and we got back into the car and left the park. It’s fabulous there and I wish we had more time to explore. Next time I’d like to stay at one of the lodges in or right by the park.

Moving on we were making excellent time to Fairbanks. So excellent, in fact, that John Law pulled hub over to congratulate him and give him a certificate of high speed.

We headed right to the pipeline viewpoint and it was every bit worth the drive. The pipeline is not bolted into anything; it rests on big teflon pads that slide back and forth on the supports if there is ground movement. Alaska had one of the largest recorded earthquakes in history in the 1960s. There was a display with a “pig”, a device that they send down the pipe in order to clean the bore and report any problems. People had marked on the pipeline supports where they had rested on various dates, and some had moved 4 inches or more. I took a ton of pictures in the rain, and we went into Fairbanks to have dinner at The Pump House. The steamed clams were meh; the seafood chowder was very good, though not as good as Roy’s the other day; and my halibut florentine was nice but a bit greasy. The sourdough bread though – that was to die for. Best sourdough I’ve had so far.

After dinner we headed back to a mostly uneventful trip home. It didn’t get dark enough to wish for bright lights until around 12:30 am. Hub’s contact was bothering him so I drove the last 100 miles home: a very rare event in our family. I can count on one hand the times he’s let me drive him someplace. I had a difficult time getting used to the scale of things; the terrain reminded me of the road between Austin and Giddings, with hills and turns and pine trees on the sides, but the spruce trees here are at least twice as tall as the pines I’m used to, and I kept misjudging how sharp the curves were going to be, slowing down far too much for gentle curves that I thought were major. I’m glad I wasn’t the other way around and thinking that the curves were gentle when they weren’t – any Alaskans reading this, be mindful if you go to East Texas that the curves there are murder!

We got back to the hotel around 1:45 am, tired but accomplished. We have nothing to do tomorrow but pack and get on the plane.

Alaska Day 6

May 25, 2004 - 1:53 am Comments Off on Alaska Day 6

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would go to base camp at Mt. McKinley.

The morning dawned dry and clearing, and we woke to the sounds of planes flying out of the Talkeetna airport every few minutes. I looked out the windows and saw mountains. It was shaping up to be a nice day, and I called Talkeetna Air Taxi to make reservations for us to do McKinley flightseeing. (Note: I’m calling it McKinley because that’s what everyone’s familiar with. Apparently there is some movement to get the name changed back to the original “Denali”, but although I was being politically sensitive and calling it Denali, everyone I ran across said McKinley.) They had an opening for a 1.5 hour tour and a glacier landing at 2:30, so I booked it and we spent the time waiting by walking around the hotel grounds and grabbing some lunch. I amused myself taking pictures of the Alaska version of bluebonnet, a lupin which is purple and bigger than the bluebonnet is. I doped hub up to get him on the plane, so he was pretty calm about it once it took effect. We got to the airport and waited.. and waited.. and waited.. all the while watching the mountain climbers around us making final preparations for going up the mountain. There were two groups near us – one Japanese and one Czech(?). One of the Czech guys had a big box of powdered milk and was drinking from it. Getting up his energy? I dunno.

Finally at 2:30 the pilot came over and got us and we headed for the little Cessna. There was a group of 6 of us. Hub and I took the middle seats under the wings because they were supposed to move the least. We buttoned up and started off, with our GPS to mark our route. We headed towards the mountains and saw all sorts of glaciers with deep blue pools on top and huge crevasses leading down into the interior. Eventually we got to McKinley and flew over the base camp on the glacier at 7200 feet where the climbers are set down to start out the trek to the 20,000 foot summit. It was a tiny town of tents, little specks of people, and an airplane, all set on the blinding snow of the glacier. The pilot learned that the point where we were going to land had some weather moving in, so he told us he was going to do something a little unusual and land us at base camp. He set down the skis on the plane with two thunks and we started a sharp descent into the narrow valley. The landing was like a rollercoaster; it wasn’t a smooth, flat, paved surface but a patch of snow, and we felt it. We got out and looked around at all the flurry of activity around us – mountaineers scurrying around everywhere. I overheard one of them say, “Um, why do those people from the plane have no gear?” (“Cause we’re sane, dude, and aren’t going to climb up this monster on foot.”)

I found it highly ironic that one group had brought up some stuff in a box labeled “Iceberg lettuce”.

After tromping around on the snow for about 20 minutes, we got back in and took off. Hub fell asleep. I dunno how. As we were on the way back, we saw the weather rolling in from the southeast. The pilot said we got really lucky and made it just in time. I think they stopped doing the trips for the day right after ours. It was a little bumpy, but I’ve been in worse turbulence on a big passenger plane.

The GPS said we got up to around 12,000 feet and were going around 120-130 MPH.

When we got back, we headed into town and did some shopping, then came back to the hotel while I was on hold with the ISP for 1.5 hours because the login stopped working, then headed down to the hotel restaurant for our anniversary dinner. Which was really uninspired. And overpriced.

So tomorrow we may go to Fairbanks, or brave the Denali highway, a 130 mile stretch of unpaved road that’s just opened back up for the summer. Either way it’s bound to be a good bit of driving.

Alaska Day 5

May 24, 2004 - 12:17 am Comments Off on Alaska Day 5

A very quiet birthday. All we did today was drive from Cooper Landing up to Talkeetna, which took around 3 hours. We stopped in Anchorage on the way to grab some lunch and get an FM transmitter for the iPod. The weather changed around midnight last night and it’s been steadily raining, which means that the beautiful view of Denali that should be visible through our room’s picture windows is just clouds. It’s still pretty around here. We went into town for dinner to the Talkeetna Roadhouse, but they don’t do dinner, just soup. We had potato leek soup with home-made wheat bread, and it was damned tasty. Then we walked over to the grocery store to get cokes and paid $6.99 for a twelve pack. And $4.99 for a bag of Cheetos. I could just die.

We’ve got a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom and a basket full of bath goo and it’s just calling my name. I may try to assuage the sinus gods with a hot bath. When we get back home I’m afraid I’m going to have to go in and have some highly unpleasant thing done to myself, since a month with a sinus infection is just no bloody fun.

Tomorrow’s supposed to be rainy also, so we might drive up to Fairbanks to take pictures of the pipeline.

Alaska Day 4

May 23, 2004 - 3:18 am 1 Comment

Today was kind of a free day and we didn’t have any plan as to what to do. We ended up deciding to go to Seward. After showering and dressing, we headed out around noonish and got into town around an hour later. We were starved and stopped at Roy’s Waterfront for lunch. Holy WOW, y’all, if you’re ever in Seward you have to eat at this place. I had the seafood chowder and about fell over, it was so good. Next were fresh local clams steamed with white wine and garlic and served with sourdough bread that our waiter gave us free (it was supposed to be $2), then fresh salmon lightly breaded with dijon and panko crumbs and baked. Absolutely the best meal I’ve had in Alaska so far. The waiter was really friendly and gave us some tips on how to cook the cheek meat from the halibut I got (saute, don’t grill, since it will fall apart if grilled).

Then we wandered around town for a couple of hours doing some souvenir shopping. I got a halibut charm for my bracelet, plus some neato bubble wands for the kids, some t-shirts, and other sundries. There really wasn’t much to Seward, home of Jewel Kilchner, and after stopping into the hardware store to get some zip-ties to repair the flapping pieces of the rental cal (we sounded like a train as we went down the highway) we headed out. I thought the Ididaride thing might be fun – it’s a tour run by a family who has competed and won the Iditarod for several years – but once there realized that it sounded pretty boring, like a lame cruise ship tour for less adventurous people. We passed on the $44/person 90 minute tour and headed over to Exit Glacier instead.

As we got there we pulled over to the ranger station tollbooth to pay our entry fee but realized it wasn’t staffed yet. I think they open on June 1. There were lots of people in the parking lot though, so we headed in and then spent around 15 minutes getting partially down the trail then having to head back to the car for things we forgot. After trips 1) to get the camera batteries, 2) no not those batteries, that’s an old one, get the other ones, 3) oops, let’s mark the glacier on the GPS and while you’re at it, can you please get the binoculars?, we headed down the 0.6 mile trail to the glacier. Around 75% of the trail was about 4 inches deep in snow and around 90% of the trail was about 2 inches deep in moose poop. I was impressed with the first couple of mounds of moose poop and took a picture, then realized that the moose poop was everywhere and pervasive and pretty icky. Where it landed in the snow it melted big holes, and people had walked in it and spread it all through the snow which was then a light brown poop shade.

The loop trail for the overlook and the 7.7 mile roundtrip trail to the Harding Icefield were both blocked off with tapes so we went to the only open one to the huge moraine plain beneath the glacier. Moraine is basically glacier poop. For some reason I have poop on the brain today. Anyway, moraine is the gravel that the glacier picks up as it forms and leaves behind as it recedes. The land slowly reclaims area to grow plants from this gravel – first with moss, then flowers, then grasses, shrubs, and eventually trees. They can date when a glacier receded from a particular point by the surrounding vegetation. Something else that’s interesting is that glaciers look blue, even though they aren’t. Most of the spectrum is reflected from the glacier, but blue is too short to get through the ice.

On the way back up to the car, we saw that the trail to the overlook loop wasn’t roped off at the far end, so we headed up to look around. Later we discovered that it’s a one way trail and we really weren’t supposed to be up there, but the rangers weren’t around to holler at us. We had seen a guy who looked remarkably like Jon Cryer who came from that direction and he told us we should do it while we could. Climbing about 550 feet in .7 miles, we got to the top and were treated to an incredible view of the vast glacier, moraine plain, and surrounding mountains.

After taking a bajillion pictures, we headed through the rest of the loop while hub worried about bears. The reason the trail was closed was because it hadn’t been cleared and repaired for the summer season yet, which we discovered when we came across a washed out wooden bridge. Since my knee is giving me fits still, I wasn’t exactly able to cross the stream in any sort of dry manner, and plopped into water that was about 10 inches deep. Unfortunately my boots are only 8 inches tall. Glacier runoff is cold, FYI. My nose was running like a firehose and my main objective was Kleenex.

We left and headed up to an outfit called IRBI Knives to check out their custom-made knives and Ulus (a sort of Eskimo mezzaluna). The sign said they closed at 5 usually, but the open sign was still lit at 6 so we walked in. Indeed they were open and we spent a long time looking at the knives and speaking with one of the owners, a fifth generation (at least) Alaskan. They had handles made from everything from wood to antler to Alaskan coral to fossilized walrus penis (oosick, like “oooh, sick”). I ended up buying an Ulu which had a reddish cast on the handle, since it was made from an antler of an elk (I think) which was in velvet. They made the blades from chainsaw guides and leaf springs, and Damascus steel from a variety of interesting material like steel cables. They will custom make a blade for you if you sketch it out, and will make the handle out of just about anything except caribou, which is apparently not sturdy enough. If anything ever goes wrong with the blade or handle they will fix it as long as any member of the family is still making knives. A custom knife around the size that hub’s looking for is around $200. We’re thinking about collecting some mesquite from the ranch and sending it up for a handle. I gave the owner my Visa to pay for my Ulu and she undercharged me for it because she said we were nice. I had thought the friendliest people on earth were in Costa Rica, but they have some real competition in Alaska.

Eventually we headed down the road and back to Sackett’s for dinner. My prime rib sandwich was quite tasty and I enjoyed the live band. It beats the Kenai Princess hands-down for food… the Princess has overpriced, underflavored crap. We discussed our game plan for the rest of the visit – we want to see the Trans-Alaskan pipeline, flight-see in Denali, and I’ve yet to see a bear. We’re pondering going down the Denali highway which just recently re-opened for the season and is unpaved. Technically we are not supposed to do that in our rental car, but after the excursion we made in Hawaii to the green sand beach that one time, a little gravel road should be a piece of cake.

Tomorrow we’re off to Talkeetna for the next three nights. The rain is supposed to start this evening, so flight-seeing is iffy. We may stop in Anchorage to get an FM transmitter for the iPod, since there are just about no radio stations outside of Anchorage. The ones in town are pretty good though, but if we’re going to spend all day tooling around in the car, we need something, and hub doesn’t want me to sing for 10 hours straight for some reason.

Hopefully the phone lines are a little better in Talkeetna. Since there’s no GSM cell service where we are, we can’t do a net connection with the mobile phones and have to dial in to an 800 number for access (at $6/hour!). We’re lucky to get a 19.2 connection (which we share between our two laptops) and it’s frozen about 75% of the time we’re connected.

Alaska Day Three

May 22, 2004 - 3:02 am Comments Off on Alaska Day Three

Sportfishing is a lot like hunting – when the adrenaline is pumping you don’t notice things that are going to hurt later. I brought in a 62 inch long halibut today – 122 lbs. It took me about 15 minutes to reel it in and during the process I bruised the tops of my thighs all to hell with the back of the rod.

We got up at 5 this morning and picked up out $9 sack lunches from the hotel. This $9 buys you a sandwich, apple, chips, and small package of Oreos. (Whoops, wait, hold on, I just had to pause to kill a mosquito approximately the size of a sparrow) One of the stores in Whittier has a 12 pack of Diet Coke priced at a reasonable $8.00, but we waited until we got to Cooper Landing and picked one up at a bargain $6.50.

We got to the tunnel right as they opened at 6:30 and realized that the parking lot attendant wasn’t there that early, so a guy offered to give them our money when they came in. He did. I swear I’ve never met nicer people. The little grocery at the harbor was closed as well, but last night the owner told us to knock and he would open for us to sell us some ice. Also last night we went to the hotel gift shop at 10:15 because the Open sign was there, but they actually closed at 10:00. The lady was apologetic and said to come on in and look around anyway. Tonight we ran into our acquaintances from Troutfitters at Sackett’s Grill (wonderful food, amazing crabcakes) and they congratulated us on our halibut catch.

So back to the story. There were 6 of us on the boat, plus the captain – us, another couple, and the captain’s father and his friend. We headed out and spent about 2.5 hours getting to the edge of Prince William Sound. I had thought we would stay within the Sound while fishing which would have been ideal for Hub and his seasickness problems, since it’s more like a giant lake. However, we ended up going out of the Sound and into the Gulf of Alaska. Bad news – Hub alternated yarking up his toes and miserably huddled over sleeping to escape the urge to yark. He spent a good 6 hours like this. He swears he will never go on the ocean again. He had taken 2.5 Bonine yesterday and 1.5 this morning, as well as had an electronic Relief Band turned up so high his fingers were involuntarily twitching.

After a couple of hours of nothing, I felt my line get hit hard. I gave it a few minutes, then started reeling it in. Halibut are bottom feeders, so we had to put our bait on the ocean floor, some 250 feet below us. This meant that reeling anything in took a good long time. Eventually I got him up and the captain hit him with the bang-stick after an unfortunate incident with the safety being on. Jab, jab, why isn’t this thing working? Ohhhhhhh…

A few hours later I got hub to reel in a fish, thinking it would get his mind off his woes. It was around 20 lbs, I think, and all told we netted around 55 lbs of halibut. The yield is about 40% of the body weight. The men were pretty disgusted that they were shown up by the “girls” – the other woman on the boat got a 54″ halibut, 77 lbs. One of the men, a congenial older guy named Ed who has done just about anything and everything in his life and had the stories to prove it, had been slagging on Texas all morning; how it can fit into Alaska a couple of times. I told him that not only did he get out-fished by a girl, he got out-fished by a TEXAS girl. Later he was giving me grief for napping on the way in… but I told him it was hard work reeling in those big fish. I admit it, I was pretty full of myself. That’s the biggest one that our captain had brought back so far this year – the next biggest was 110 lbs. He cut out the ear bones and gave them to me as a souvenir.

I also got to see porpoises swimming and a whale breaching at last. I got a picture of the whale but it’s way far off and pretty grainy. I end the day (still light at midnight) bruised, sore, and beet-red sunburned on my face and hands (my ears are purple, for cry-eye-eye) but happy in the knowledge that we will be eating halibut for a long, long time.

Tomorrow we sleep in!

Alaska Day 2

May 21, 2004 - 2:55 am Comments Off on Alaska Day 2

Woke up around 9 this morning. I’d stayed up late last night trying to see if it was ever going to get dark. By 12:30 I realized that it would not. I was so hoping to see some aurora, too. Oh well. Just means that I will have to come back another time to see it.

The state is so beautiful that it becomes passe. Look, a tall stately mountain with a waterfall of ice suspended on it, surrounded by lush green birch trees, and a moose walking under it. *yawn* I think that if I lived here I would have to visit what we call “Civilization” quite often in order to realize that what is here is so special.

And the people here are outstanding. I’ve never met a nicer group of people. It’s almost like by being here, you’re a member of a club that you never knew existed, and everyone who sees you is happy to talk to you or help you out in some way. Today we realized around 8:00 PM that we didn’t have our fishing licenses yet, and we couldn’t find anything in the area that was still open who sold them. We saw a van with a Longhorn sticker pull into a “Troutfitters” outfit, and so we followed them in to ask if they knew where we could get a license. Wait there just one minute, they said, we haven’t opened for the summer yet but I think my aunt has that stuff in her place somewhere. Let me run over and grab it for you. And she did, while we talked to the other van drivers. They had bought it from some “crazed hippie” in Austin a few years ago and drove it up to Alaska. It’d been sitting dead for a couple of seasons and they got it running this afternoon, just in time to run across us, admiring the Longhorns sticker on the front of the beast and Hookin’ Horns at them (they looked confused). It was like the fates smiled on us, and sent us that really nice bunch of people who took time from what they were doing to help us out so we could go fishing tomorrow. Like I said, outstanding. With no ulterior motive, no “What’s in it for me?” attitude (actually, an extra $20 was in it for them, I hope they were able to upgrade from the Pabst Blue Ribbon for the night). We promised that if we were going to go back out and freshwater fish that we would call them first. And I recommend them for anyone looking to freshwater fish in the Kenai area: Alaska Troutfitters, PO Box 579, Cooper Landing, AK 99572 (907) 595-1212. Even though we didn’t go fishing with them (yet), they went the extra mile to help us out. Good people.

We went on the 26 Glaciers Cruise out of Whittier this morning and it was great. The food was not much to write home about, so I won’t. But you don’t do that stuff for the food, you do it for the view, and view we got aplenty – otters, bird rookeries, icebergs, major glacier calving (and the damned videocamera putzed out 3 minutes before the big pillar fell, too). The Sound is gorgeous.

One thing I have noticed is a definite warp in my concept of scale. Everything here is so big – mountains, trees, rivers, etc. that it all looks to be on a normal scale – until you start wondering about the treeline on the mountains and realizing that a man standing next to that tiny little tree way up there would be dwarfed, and that small-looking mountain is really 13,000 feet tall. When Surprise Glacier sent a hunk of ice into the fjord, the resulting wave from the small-looking chunk was enough to rock the 135 person capacity catamaran for a good 5 minutes.

Wild stuff. We met our captain for tomorrow’s halibut fishing and he’s very nice. I think tomorrow should be a fun day, full of fish. And it’s hub’s birthday, so I hope for his sake that he won’t be seasick. He’s so nervous about it. So horribly worked up that he… well, he’s passed out on the couch, so he’s better than he says he is. Heh.

I can’t wait to get to a faster connection so I can upload more of these pictures. Here are a couple:

Flying over a glacier

A soon-to-be mama moose who ambled by at dinnertime.

Alaska, Day 1

May 20, 2004 - 2:05 am Comments Off on Alaska, Day 1

It’s 10:45 in the evening. It’s just starting to get dusk here in Cooper Landing, Alaska. Our trip started this morning in Austin when our plane left at 9:40, connected through Houston, and ended up in Anchorage at 4:30 Alaska time, which is 7:30 Austin time. We drove two hours south into the Kenai peninsula to the Kenai Princess Lodge in Cooper Landing. Along the way we hit Turnagain Arm at the exact right moment as the tide was coming in. While we watched, the great expanse of mud flats filled up with a rush of water until you couldn’t see any of the bottom. They say that if you get stuck in the quicksand-like mud, you can drown within an hour if the time comes in, and I believe it. It was amazing.

Further down the road we saw a “Moose Xing” sign and I exclaimed that I wanted to see a moose. Not 5 minutes later, we rounded a corner and saw that the car in front of us had to slow and nearly swerve to avoid a moose crossing the highway. Later on, as we ate dinner on the balcony of the restaurant at the hotel, a pregnant moose cow walked past underneath us.

When we got near to the lodge we started noticing the locals – one kid dressed in his swimsuit and mullet, walking down the road after a swim. Is he nuts? It’s only sixty degrees outside. Another boy didn’t even glance up as we drove past; he was too busy whipping it out to pee on the road. We were a little nervous as to what the place had in store for us. Then we saw a fence that was marked every 10 feet with signs saying “Shooting area – do not enter”. Turns out we are less than 1/2 mile from a gun range that’s open to the public until 9pm. All we need to do is find a place that sells 9mm and we’re there, baby. I will get to shoot my new XD9.

At dinner I had an excellent local beer called “Moose’s Tooth”. I immediately started craving more but they floated the keg, so I had to try another.

What a beautiful day to fly in on – 60 degrees, sunny, dry, slight breeze. So our car smells a little like smoke and the salmon aren’t running yet. I don’t care. I may just sit on our deck and look at the mountains all day long. Friday morning we have to be in line to get through the Whittier tunnel by 6:30 in the morning. I’m not sure what we’re going to do tomorrow. If it’s nice, maybe we can get a sightseeing cruise in Prince William Sound. We shall see.

My daughter is concerned that we might not have a bed to sleep in where we are, so I promised her we would take lots of pictures and show them to her.
I will post them here later.