Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Rescued from the Wilderness--Dog and Moose

Trapper Creek, Alaska
Trapper Creek RV Park

By the time we returned home, I was way too tired to write about our adventures for yesterday.

Well, it was almost a relax day.  There wasn't anything going on until our 6:30 pm wilderness excursion.  

I forgot that we did do laundry in the morning.  While we were doing laundry I noticed a missing dog flyer in the laundry.  The dog was 11 years old and deaf.  There was a photo of the dog.  I can't imagine losing one up here in the wilderness.


Since we only played three games of rummy cube the day before yesterday, we didn't give Carlena a chance to win. Yesterday we took the game up and played on the patio.


From the patio you can see Denali (Mt. McKinley) when the clouds cleared out.  We were told that there is a pull out 3 miles down the road, that is great for photo shots.

Harry drove everyone up the road to the South Denali Park overlook.




As always the photos aren't the same as being there.







There was a path that went up into the forest and a very steep climb.










Most people wouldn't hike up the hill, there was only one other couple there.  





Besides the better views from this point, there weren't people playing with their phones or kids screamings.  It was nice and quiet.




Another beautiful day, and beautiful views.  I think Boo even enjoyed being up there.





There were benches but I think these were for people who tired on the climb up, not for people coming down to straighten their socks.




Carol had told me on Facebook to try the steak sandwiches at the cafe here.  We decided to go up and try their food before we left to go to Talkeetna for the cruise.  Thanks, Carol for the recommendation.


We arrived a little early for our jet boat adventure so we walked across the street and walked through the gift shops.  


We boarded the bus a bit early but it looked like everyone was there.  It was clouding up quickly and the wind started blowing a little.  

Bill and I took a jet boat ride on the Snake River one time and it was so cold the toilet froze solid.  I was hoping this wouldn't be the same kind of experience.


The boat was full, there wasn't an empty seat.  We all had to take an aisle seat.








It rained lightly, but the sky was cloudy.  Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and handled the boat very well.


Weatherwise it wasn't great, but the experience was.  At least we were dry if we stayed inside the boat.






We were told about all five varieties of salmon and how they spawn.  We were shown the creeks were the fish laid their eggs.





There were a lot of eagles spotted but I didn't get any photos.  Harry got some awesome photos and he'll post them on their blog--Red, White and Boo.






As our tour guide was telling us how people homesteaded without utilities or roads, along came the flag train.  People can flag the train down when they need to get to civilization.  Of course it only runs once a month in the winter and four or five times in the summer.


This homestead had 75 yards next to the home before the ice jams took away that land.





We stopped at a replica of Alaska life and had about a 1/4 mile hike.  Notice our tour guide is armed with a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun.  She told us she had extra ammo and was a good shot.  If you've been listening to the news you've probably heard about all the bear attacks.  She also told us moose are worse than bears.  

The rain was a slow light drizzle but it was nice that they had umbrellas for everyone.  They must be used to a lot rain in this area.





The natives stayed here when they were fishing. 







This deep hole is where they smoked the fish.







I can't believe we were walking through those woods and we didn't apply mosquito spray.  We've been so lucky so far, but I'm sure we'll be needing some before we leave Alaska.  



The owner of the jet boat company actually homesteaded.  These were the trapper cabins he recreated that he used in the winter.





These bear traps are illegal today, but are allowed for demonstration purposes only.






I wouldn't crawl in that small doorway.








At least Bill would so I could see what was in there.








The vegetation on the roof insulates it when it is covered with snow.






Our tour guide had told us about two baby moose that he rescued when the mother was killed by a train.  The moose were drowning in the water.  The moose were saved and transported to Anchorage until they were able to be released into the wild.  

As we got back onto the boat, he announced that the other boat just rescued a dog that was hung up on a bank. He showed us a picture of it.   It was deaf and had a collar.  They called the name on the collar and the women was crying she was so happy.  It seems the dog got away on June 11.  It was the one we had seen the flyer on earlier in the day.  She was leaving immediately from Anchorage to pick up her dog.  

By the time we got home, we were exhausted.  Now that I've told you about yesterday, I'll wait until tomorrow to tell you about today.  

I checked the weather for Talkeetna today and it was forecasted to be cloudy and rain.  At 2 pm it was calling for 60% chance of rain, wind and cloudy.  

Turtle Safely......









Sunday, June 25, 2017

Drive to Trapper Creek

Trapper Creek, Alaska
Trapper Creek RV Park

  

I had to take a couple more photos of the mountains before we left Palmer. 







I'm sure you're tired of seeing scenery photos, but I'm not tired of taking them.





Boo came over for her morning visit.  I'm not sure how long she was sitting on our top step waiting for us.  I looked out and saw Harry in shorts packing up.  

We arrived at our destination, and it was only 10 am.  Of course, check in was at 2 pm.  The park personnel weren't even here yet.  

We pulled the rigs around the back side near the airport.  Yes, this park has an airport.  

I got out the rummy game and we all played rummy on the picnic table until Leroy arrived.  As we were standing outside, we saw Anne and Briggs go by and they blew their horn.  


It didn't take long to get backed in and set up.  We actually have 50 amp full hook ups.  It's a good thing as our water was almost depleted and our holding tanks were pretty full.  


Once we were set up we decided to drive to Talkeetna.  It's only about 3 miles away as the crow flies.  Unfortunately, its 30 miles if you don't have a boat.


The town was full of bused in tourists from the cruise lines and Denali.  They could care less about anyone but themselves.  They would walk right out in front of the truck.

We got the only available parking space in front of Mahay's.  We booked the wilderness excursion tour for 6:30 tomorrow.  Using our tour saver book, we either spent $75 that we didn't need too, or we saved $75 on the get one free with purchase coupon.  I'll let you know tomorrow whether we saved the $75 or not.

When we arrived here, we paid for two days.  We all immediately liked this place even though we had to back in.  The people here are so nice.  I love this pavilion that is convenient for every site. Did I mention they also have a small cafe with an ice cream store?  The other reason Carlena and I picked this place is we need to do laundry and it has a very nice one.  

I found another reason to extend our stay, but I'll wait to tell you about it at a later time. 

Oh yes, we can see Denali from here but I didn't have my camera out. 

Turtle Safely........



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Men in Skirts

Palmer, Alaska
Elk's Lodge


The reason we decided to extend our stay at the Elk's was so we could attend the 36th Annual Scottish Highland Games held in Palmer at the Alaska State Fair Grounds.


We've never attended an event like this before so we weren't sure what to expect.  

Harry, Carlena, Bill and I piled into Harry's truck and Marsha and Glenn followed us to the fairgrounds. 


There were the usual vendor displays and I believe somewhere on the TV ads, they said there were 65 of them.



I was surprised that so many people were dressed in Scottish attire. Even small children were dressed in Scottish attire.


There was dancing and music everywhere.  The audience was clapping to these cloggers.  They made me tired just watching them.  They didn't just do one dance, they did many back to back with no resting in between.


The opening ceremonies were great and sounded very different with the bagpipes playing the Star Spangled Banner.





Notice all the different plaids representing the different clans.  







I've never heard that many bagpipes playing at the same time.  







There was an entirely different kind of food vendors than what you find at most festivals.








These kids did not want to put their head in the guillotine.







Have you seen this man on the sports channel before?









It's a good thing Bill was wearing his Loosey Goosey shirt.  There were so many people at least you could find him in a crowd in that orange.



The games were for all ages.  Kids had an easier version of the adult ones.







Teams all had the same plaid kilts.  Some were completely dressed in Scottish attire while others may have omitted the socks, or their sgian dubh (Scottish dirk). 


The games were great.  Luckily there were bleachers to sit on because the games lasted a long time.

Unfortunately, there were other great things going on at the same time.  There was Scotch tasting, Tall Tales and Shortbread Competition to name a few.  


In one huge field there were four events going on at the same time.






The Caber Toss was by far the most difficult looking game.  






"The caber is a wooden pole, usually from 16 to 21 feet in length and from 100 to 160 pounds in weight.  The caber is stood on its light end.  The competitor must then lift the caber without any assistance, and balance it against his shoulder.  He is then allowed to run forward, stop, and throw.  The object is to turn the caber end over end, and have it fall straight away from the competitor.  The light end, being held, is thrown upwards.  The heavy end will hit the ground, and in a successful throw, the light end will travel in an arc up and over, and fall straight away from the thrower."  

Now if you think that description sounds complicated you should watch someone pick up a 16 foot pole weighing 100 pounds and just keeping upright while attempting to throw it in the air.  

There was the challenge stone which the current record is 13 feet 8 1/2 inches held by someone in Gilbert, AZ.

The WOB or weight over the bar was our second favorite event.  There's a 56 pound square weight with a handle.  You stand by a pole vault type apparatus with the bar behind you and swing this weight up and backwards over the bar.  The world record was broken today with a throw over 19 feet.  

There was also a salmon toss and farmers walk that we missed.  The Scottish hammers toss had a light and heavy event.  I noticed special shoes that had big long spikes that were used.  

Each event had professional and amateur events.  Men and women also had separate events.


  

This is a Scottish Highland Cow otherwise known as a Coo.




There were so many different kinds of food that we were having a hard time selecting one.  There were picnic tables, but it was difficult to find a place to sit.  

Guess what is across the street from the fairgrounds?  We decided to go to the Noisy Goose again and sit down to a meal and then return to the fairgrounds.  


When we returned we did find dessert.  This was gourmet ice cream that you selected either vanilla or chocolate dipping and then what you wanted on top of that.  This was chocolate with almonds.


This women was in the birds of prey exhibit.  There were other birds such owls and crows.  One type of owl is a snowbird that flies south for the winter.  The crow would take dollar bills as donations and put them in a container. 

The Games opened at 8 am and closing ceremonies were at 6 pm followed by the AnGry Brians Concert which concluded at 9 pm.  

There was a lot of walking and standing but as tired as we were, it was well worth it.   These old bodies just wouldn't make it until closing.

Thank you Glenn and Marsha for telling us about this event.

When we came back to the Elk's there was another event.


We're wearing a sweatshirt today and these people are in the lake.







I'm not sure what the name of the event was, but all these special needs people were being treated to jet ski rides, pontoon boat rides, canoe and kayak rides.  



Even someone in a wheelchair could enjoy this event. 






We sat outside at the picnic table with the maps and Milepost book and plotted a course for tomorrow.  Harry and Carlena are the greatest travel companions.  

Turtle Safely...........