Saturday, May 20, 2017

Juneau Last Day Sat 20 May

We are still prepping for our next adventure which will be 6 days of boon docking.  We’re not even sure where a couple of those nights will be.  We are landing at Skagway about 1 PM Sunday and then we will go over Dyea National Park for at least 1 night.  Monday (22nd) we’re off the grid probably until Saturday 27 May.  I will do a blog for each day and will publish them next Saturday.  Blah, blah…….

We went to Fred Meier for the last time here in  Juneau.  Bread, milk and meat.  We got fish from Texas with us.  It just ended up that way.  Plus we got snacks………

Oh yea.  Yesterday started with heavy showers then just went on to rain and heavy off and on all day/night.  Raincoat time it was.

Today, Saturday, same ole, same ole…. heavy rain sometimes just rain.  Shower rain are no more.

We got up and ate breakfast.  Then I noticed all around our overhead area was wet.  So that was first on the list to see what’s up with that.DSC_0002

So we took down the mattress that was pretty wet.DSC_0003

Talk about moving stuff around.  This is real far from looking normal.DSC_0004

It appears that condensation on the front window has been dripping on and in the mattress.

We got stuff airing out and went onto the laundry.  How many people can say while they were doing their laundry a bear came by the building.  DSC_0014He was dumpster diving.  He flipped that lid over like it was paper.DSC_0011

“You looking at me!”DSC_0008

Here’s a worker in the laundry shooing him away.  He wasn’t a baby bear either as you can tell.  He looked like he went to a lot of pot lucks (dumpsters). DSC_0012

While this was going an Eagle was swooping around us.  Pictures were hard to take with him flying around us.DSC_0017

Then we had a squawking raven making fun of us.  Damn their a big bird.DSC_0019

Carol got the laundry done.  She said it was about $25 for four loads.

I went to the self wash RV bay but it had about 3-4 inches of water in the bay itself.  I didn’t have my boots on so it didn’t get done. No bears.

We then went to Fred Meyer’s for food items and refilled our inventory.  Only the necessities like s'mores, etc.  No bears.

Then it was to the harbor master to get our tickets for early ferry departure tomorrow morning.  No problem.  No bears.

Back to our site it was.  It wasn’t raining until about an hour later and it cut loose again.  The park had a sign up that there was a bear in the area.

We’re drying out the mattress and area.  No wood soft spots or even water marks.  Since it’s raining we’re watching for any little trickles.  None so far.  I think maybe the condensation on the covered window might have been the cause.  The window has no drainage for the condensation.  Plus one small piece of window frame is wet.  When I get it dry I’ll put a little silicone sealer on it.  I guess we will keep the curtains open and keep a fan on it when possible also.

So we are in the process of relocation items that were in the overhead area to the rear of the camper underneath.  I try to keep the heavy things centered or to the driver side for balance.   

Friday, May 19, 2017

Juneau Nutin Day Friday 19 May

Today was to get a few things done for our next adventure.  Frist was LP.  We went to AmeriGas.  They didn’t have anyone there to hook up LP.  That’s a terrible business practice not to provide service for an LP company.  They weren’t really over joyed to begin with it seemed like.

I went on down the road and found a gas station that would hook up LP to a camper.  She knew what she was doing and I was only 40 years  to late for her.  Oh yea, LP was $3.30 a gallon and I took 4 gallons.

Next was the Post Office.  We pulled up at 10:30 AM.  They had a sign in the window that said, CLOSED OUT TO LUNCH 11 AM to 1 PM.  That was kinda funny.

Next was the cheapest gas here in Juneau.  Gas was running about $3.21-$3.39 a gallon.  My Gas Buddy said just next to the US Post Office.  Yep, serve yourself 100%.  It was $3.12 a gallon and I filled up.  I will probably top off the tank Sunday AM on the way to the ferry dock.  It’s a 24/7 no attendant station.

We went back to our camp site and said not to do anything the rest of the day.  I we did nothing…

Retirement is doing nothing more when you want if she lets you.

See ya……..

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Juneau Trip Facts Thurs May 18

We woke up to drizzle/rain.  Hey, that’s called normal around here in Juneau.  It’s been sunny since Tuesday I think.  Since today is gonna be a stay at home day, it don’t matter.  Might put out the awning to give it a wash from the pine needles/dust we’ve collected at other places.

OK, some numbers.  Sex ………………….  Carol said I couldn’t put that on the blog so I lined it out.  Since Livingston, TX we have gone 3,700 miles on land.  Getting around 9 mpg. Let’s see, that's been since 8 April.  By sea I don’t know.  We’ve been on the ferry for about 23 hours total.  We’ve waited in line (required check in time) for the ferry about 7 hours total.  Been in 4 ports.  Not inspected at all anywhere.  Getting to a dump or filling the water tank, LP tank – no problem.  Finding a place to spend the night – no problem.  Gas no problem.  Food no problem.  Used/using a lot of paper products (plates, towels, toilet, etc.) and we burn them usually.  We wear a lot of layered (3-4) clothes at times.  To get to anything in the camper something must be moved.  Always put something back where it should be in the camper or you will lose it.  Got the leveling of the camper down pretty good with those orange leveling  blocks.

Things breaking or broke.  I broke the three dash 12 volt sockets one at a time trying to use the 12v air compressor.  Not a fuse!? – still broke.  No CB or GPS now.  Drawers – broke two latches – still broke.  Yea bungee cords.  Spilled water in the inverter – haven’t turned it on & will wait a few more days before testing.  My pair of shoes came apart when wet – threw away and went to the back up pair.  Wind caught the camper door and broke 2 cable wires that hold the door from opening too far – still broke. Our old food sealer machine broke.  Got a new one in the lower 48 states.

Things we have not used yet and hope not to.  Fire extinguisher, spare tire and bear spray.  In that order!

Things we’re glad we brought.  Money, LP heater,  binoculars (8X35), boots, rain gear, tea, soup, kindle, DVD’s, extra  heavy blankets and more.

Would we do the Inside Passage again.  We’re glad we did it.  We really enjoyed the different ports and the ride itself.  Something different next time.  Really enjoyed being out in the wilderness away from the small towns.  Priorities change for sure.  If you don’t like fishing you’re in for an awakening out here.  Fishing is KING.

Memorable – setting at Safeway’s parking lot on the waterfront and seeing two whales go by (in the water – duh).  Meeting locals about the area especially the Tlingit (pronounced Klink its) who are native Alaskans.  They’re known for their totem poles.  Seeing whales, Eagles, sea lions from our campsite.  Riding the ferry through the Wrangell Narrows.

Yes, the camper is dirty on the outside but not muddy looking at all.  Carol keeps the inside real clean.  The cat is tracking her kitty litter everywhere to include Carol’s side of the bed.

Money spent…….yes…….Love that Visa…

So, doing this blog is what I do sometimes during down time and having internet.

Retirement is trying to remember the things I should do.

See ya when we see ya……..

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Juneau Mendenhall Wed May 17

Same site for us….DSC_0001

Today was go and find the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and we did.  Just follow the tour buses.DSC_0002DSC_0003DSC_0006DSC_0008

In the visitor center itself it was a mad house.  A lot of rudeness too.  I don’t like these tourist mad houses at all.  There must have been over 10 tour buses.  No thanks.  We can see the glacier and lake from our campground!DSC_0007

From their we went and rode around town where we were the only tourist.  We went into a so called mall.  It was half full of stores.  The other half was for lease of course. 

I went into a Sportman’s Store.  It’s like a Cabela’s.  They had a pretty nice hoodie medium jacket for $70.  Wait, it’s been reduced and reduced and reduced again to $21.  I bought it!  It was probably worth $30 or so.  What the hell.

We were hungry and guess who else was there.  Papa John’s Pizza.  We thought about it and said yes.  We got two medium for $20 and went back to our camper.  We had pizza for lunch, dinner and snack.  It was really good.  We watched Godfather II.  Then the night before we watched Godfather I.  Tomorrow night we will watch Godfather III. 

Oh yea.  We also got a 6 pack of Alaskan Beer – Big Mountain Pale Ale.  We drank a half of one and poured it out.  It sucked.  Mark now has a 5 pack for his birthday.

People have asked about our heating system.  Here’s a picture of it but we do not run it where it sets of course.  You can see the LP connection next to the bottom drawer.  It uses no electricity of course and the usage of LP is small.  Yes, it’s big and keeps us very warm in use.  It’s off during sleep time.DSC_0009

It gets daylight about 3:30 AM or so.  It get’s dark about 10 PM or so.  It’s kinda easy for us to get use to it being this is our 6th trip up here.

The rest of the day we rested.  We've done a lot of walking the last couple of days and my hips have said, “no more.”

We decided tomorrow will be another rest day for us (me).  That’s what Nurse Crachett decided.

Hey Butch and Kathy, Ed & Sandy said they can meet you in Great Falls like 2014 on the 30th.  “Get your motor running”. Isn’t their a song with that?

Retirement is feeling older too!

See ya when we see ya……

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Juneau Zip Line Tuesday May 16

Well, we will just get to it, Carol on the zip line.

First was a boat ride over to the island where the zip line was. DSCN1599DSCN1600

Next was gearing up and a safety class.DSCN1603DSCN1604


The camera is not tilted at all.  The hill was this steep.DSCN1614

This old truck could climb just about anything in front of it.  The guides didn’t know anything about it other than it does anything.DSCN1617DSCN1620DSCN1624

Carol didn’t do just one or two zip lines.  She did nine, yes nine zip lines, NINE!  And enjoyed everyone more and more.  She’s got the bug.  She wants to do more.DSCN1630

I don’t think the bottle has soda in it.DSCN1634

Now back to this morning.  While waiting for our boat I saw a new looking unattended knapsack next to a small public trash can.  Homeland Security office was nearby  and I went and told them.  The two officers looked at each other (like oh shit) and immediately came outside and saw it.  One officer went over by it (3 feet) and then walked away from it.  He started asking nearby tourists about it with negative answers.  We left.  I didn’t want to be anywhere around it.  When we got back from the zip line about 4 hours later the knapsack was gone and all appeared to be back to normal.  It must have been a false alarm.  It just didn’t look normal is why I reported it.  Ain’t that what we are suppose to do?

Retirement is continuing to be watchful.

See ya when we see ya……

Monday, May 15, 2017

Juneau USFS Monday May 15

We arrived in Juneau at 4 AM Monday via ferry after an 8 hour red eye special.  It wasn’t very comfortable at all.  We slept on the floor like some other people (much younger).  Floors are harder when your older.  We survived. 

Next was to Mendenhall US Forest Service (USFS) campground.  We get there at 4:30 AM and the gates are all locked up.  We sat at the gates.  About 7:3o AM some locals told us that in the past the USFS campground don’t open until Memorial Day weekend.  Oh no.  Tanks are filled and out of water just about.  Plus we are two grouches by now after the night on the ferry floor.  I started calling numbers and just got recordings of course.  About 8 AM we walked the campground and met the host.  He explained that this year they were going to open early and today was the day but not until 3 PM.  So, we are kinda of lucky, the campground will be open toady for the start of the season.  Also, all sites must be reserved on line, no drive ups what so ever.  We didn’t know that either.  That’s a major change.

With that knowledge I went on line and made reservations for today along with 5 more days.  This USFS has some full hook ups and we paid $148 for 6 nights (FHU).  That’s damn good considering where we are at.

Now what?  We need to kill about 5 hours.  We went to a McDonalds we saw earlier and had breakfast.  Yes, McDonalds. Same ole, same ole. 

Now what again?  So, we went to Walmart.  The building was closed and big locked gates all around.  Couldn’t even get into their lot.  I looked them up on line and they closed Feb 5 this year.  Something about the store didn’t fit into their future plans.  Fred Myer (like Walmart + more) just down the road seemed not to have any trouble fitting in.  Busy, busy.  We got a killer sandwich  ($7) from their deli and split it and had leftovers.

We went through our Coupon Tour Saver book and found a couple of things we liked.  One was a Zipline offer.  We called them and reserved for tomorrow (Tues) after Carol agreed to do it.  Can’t wait for those pictures of her screaming all the way……

It’s that 3 PM time and we went back to the campground and it was open.  We went in and got to our site, hooked up with no problems.  Yea…..

Since the sun was out and it was about 60 degrees we aired and dried out the camper and us too!  Longgggggggggggg hot showers.

Today ended up not being too shabby after all.

  These pics are from our campground but not our site.  Here’s Mendenhall Glacier….. DSC_0001

The green in the lower portion of the picture is a part of a forest.  That gives you an idea how big this glacier really is.DSC_0004

Retirement - you will still have rough days.

See ya when we see ya…..

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Leaving Petersburg Mother’s Day May 14

We’re still out in our last camper site in Wilson’s Creek Area.  It drizzled off and on today and the Eagles did return.  There were 4 Eagles around us again.  One was very close again.

Can you see him out our side window?DSC_0013-001

What about now?DSC_0014-001

and now?DSC_0011-001

I walked around the camper and trees and got this shot along with many others.DSC_0010-001It was a little windy so it might have been drying it’s feathers.

Since it was Mother’s Day, Mom Carol decided to cook dinner setting down.DSC_0016-001

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mother’s.

Our check in for our next ferry adventure is 7:30 PM.  That’s one hour before departure.  Then we arrive Juneau at 4 AM.  We do take blankets, a little food and wear warm clothes on the ride.  It’s not really that bad.  This ferry is one we haven’t rode on yet.  Hey, it’s an adventure.

Retirement is an adventure too.

See ya when we see ya……..

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Petersburg Eagles Saturday May 13

Today we decided to go in to the town of Petersburg.  We’re about 26 miles out from town.  The road was real good and the speed limit was 50 mph.  We got to town about 11 AM and noticed a laundry on main street.  We (Carol) decided to do the laundry.  Later we walked the city.  That took about 15 minutes.  We spent more time in the IGA grocery store than anywhere.  We got eggs for .99 cents a carton.  The owner/manager gave me some cooked hamburger bites to try.  He said he was trying some new spices.  He said he would make some hamburger patties tomorrow.  I will be back for sure.  Upstairs was like a department store but small.  They had clothing, furniture, and that kind of stuff that was real high in price but the quality was there for sure. 

Their make shift eateries were small and usually had four tables.  The servers usually looked like the dish washer and owners.  Prices were high usually in the $15-20 for a sandwich.  No thanks.  We had egg salad sandwiches.

We left later in the day with no place for sure to go.  We drove all the way to the end of the island.  It was about 30 some miles with nothing special at the end.  We turned around and went back North.  We saw another hidden campground and went in.  It’s called Wilson Creek Area.  Don’t know if it was city, state or US Forest Svc.  It was free.  No hook ups of course but the views………. As we were pulling in we had 5 Eagles greet us.

This one was having a bad hair day.  It’s a juvenile – no white head or white tale.  This guy was about 30-40 feet from us.  He was watching us.DSC_0070

The Eagles were around because of a big dead fish they found and they fought over the fish.  It was two mature and three youngins.DSC_0009DSC_0080DSC_0006

Then they left.  I think I scared them off. I was bigger.DSC_0021

Oh yea, our site.  Nobody here nor did anybody drive through.  Not raining either.DSC_0050DSC_0071

We have maxed out on seeing Eagles now.

Tomorrow evening we leave for Juneau.  It’s about an 8 hour ferry ride in the middle of the night.  We get to Juneau at 4 AM.  That will be an adventure.

Retirement is full of adventures.

See ya when we see ya.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!!!!!! May 12

Yep, 69 years old.  Camping here at the water’s edge of the Wrangell Strait on an adventure of riding Alaska’s Inside Passage Ferry.  Experiencing small towns of Alaska and their back woods/islands.   Doing the Inside Passage of Alaska at the corner’s edge of being off the real grid.

I woke up because of the light.  It was 4:30 AM.  I went back to bed after I got this picture of the tide that was way out.


We got up about 8 AM and turned on the heat and checked our voltage.  We’re at 12.10.  I went ahead and started the generator.  We ran it for about 1 hour.

It’s drizzling this morning.  You know we are in a rain forest basically and it didn’t really drizzle or rain the last two days.  So, drizzle now is good.DSC_0002

So today we saw two whales for almost two hours out in front of our camp site in the Wrangell strait.  Further out in the middle out there.  Too far for pics but the binoculars (7X35) were great.  Ever so often the whales were doing the thing where they come out of the water head first, twist and then fall back.  They came out of the water about 5-7 feet.  We could hear them use their blow holes real good too.

We also saw two sea lions close to shore for a short while.  Just putting around they were.

We also saw two Eagles flying around.  That's not unusual out here.  Then each one dove into the water and caught fish.  That was a first for us.  Never saw an Eagle dive into the water to fish.  Usually their eating old fish guts washed ashore.

Who needs boat tours.  We just look out from our camp site.

It was a pretty dog on good birthday for me.  I don’t think I will forget this one.

What’s next?  Probably go into Petersburg tomorrow and do the tourist lookie lou thing.

We have no electronics.  I will run all these blogs with dates when we go into town so this blog won’t be out of order.  You will have to read backyards I guess.

Retirement hell, I should have gone to Alaska.

See ya when we see ya…

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Petersburg Thursday Move It… May 11

I got up about 7:30 AM.  It was 43 degrees outside and 51 inside.  I turned on the portable LP heater and got things warmed up.  DSC_0003-001

Our voltage was 12.4 which is OK.  The sun was out with a clear sky at the moment but not helping our solar charge due to the trees. 

Carol got up a little later and fixed us a nice egg/sausage/cheese breakfast.  This beats going into Petersburg 20 miles and paying $16 for this and a $2.50 cup of coffee.  It is expensive.DSC_0002-001

This was pretty too….DSC_0009-001

I figured it was time to break the Honda motorcycle off its perch and let it fly. DSC_0013-001 Well, after about 20-25 minutes of kicking the starter, it started.  Whew, that was a lot.  It got warmed up and out I went as dressed, no gloves, did have a sea cap, no helmet and face shield, just went.  I went south on Metkof Rd another 4.5 miles at 30 mph to Sumner Strait Campground.   It too was free and I liked it.

Went back and told Carol.  She said lets go and we did.  Our new site…..DSC_0019-001

At our site on the Wrangell Strait…DSC_0014-001

Over our roof….DSC_0043-001


Saw several eagles……here’s one.DSC_0020-001

Saw a sea otter but he wouldn’t get close enough for a good picture.

Low tide now ……water comes up to about two feet from them logs.  I would estimate a height of 9-10 feet of water higher at high tide.  In other words, at where the shoreline is now, the water would be over my head if I was standing there.  Carol said, “let’s see!”.DSC_0028-001

Then towards 8:30 PM three Sandhill Cranes came in and landed in the water.  I scared them and they went to the tree.  DSC_0046-001

Goofy looking bird in a tree for sure.  Best pic at this distance - - far…..DSC_0048-001

Some other pics……DSC_0029DSC_0038-001DSC_0040-001

Retirement is working hard until you retire again and again and again……

See ya when we see ya……..