We decided to take our friends, Christina and Maria, camping. Christina had been camping growing up, but Maria had never been.
Christina and I decided to go to Codorus State Park because Maria was doing “Go York” which is program the library has in the summer to get people to check out the local parks. Then you find the marker and get a rubbing. There were several in and near the park so we headed on over.
David and I decided to go camping over Memorial Day weekend. I found us a campsite in one of the state forests, Buchannan. We left at 12:30 thinking we would be there in a couple of hours. We had put the forest in google maps and headed out.
At 1:30 we hit Maryland and at 3:18 we were in Pennsylvania again. Thinking we were almost to the campsite we drove all the way through the forest. NO CAMPSITE! We had noticed a place by a trailhead that had brochures so we headed back there to get one.
After looking at the brochure we noticed that there are like 5 different places that are part of the forest. Who would think when you put it in it is going to take you to the farthest away and you need to be at the closest one.
Then from the tiny map I notice there is a name of a road, which I had thought was a creek when I reserved the spot, I put that into google. Low and behold it was there and we were 3 hours away. We finally arrived at 6:30.
This was our maiden voyage with Merida, Winnebago Brave. Well that is what we have named her. She is just what we wanted. Merida is just the right size for David, Harrison and me, 29 feet.
David drove me to rehab so we could head right over to the kids to head out when it was over. I jumped out and got my rehab over with. I went back to the motorhome and David informed me we were over heating. We tried to find an auto parts store but nothing was close. David opened the hood and we could see the hose that was cracked. David and I reverted to our Alaska ways. I told him I have duct tape in the RV and water. David let it cool down before he could apply the duct tape. We didn’t have a funnel to get the water into the radiator, so David went into the store to see if they had one. He came out with a plastic cup. I had a pitcher we could use to pour the water into from the 5 gallon jug. We were then off to the kids house. Dan had David go pick up the hose. Then Dan replaced it. Thank goodness that boy loves cranking a wrench.
We finally go off around 4:30pm on Thursday April 1.
Well I have been doing all kind of things around the house to keep busy. We have been having some nice weather, so David and I took advantage of it. David takes very good care of the lawn. We have found one big difference is that it needs to be mowed once a week. In Alaska it was every two weeks to a month depending on the rain. I have been working in the flower bed and trying to put a garden in. It is a lot of fun planting all the different flowers and there are so many more things I can grow in the garden here.
Today I am bringing myself to actually write about my best friend, Alice, who I lost on Sunday. Alice was my 102 lb. Lab/ Catahoula leopard dog who at 11 1/2 years old left this world.
Alice never wanted anything but to be by me. She loved me unconditionally. She was the best girl. She never left my side when we were hiking or the campsite while camping. When David and I would pick berries or spruce tips she would just lay and watch us, move as we moved and never left my side. We were walking with her through a park one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass. Scared Alice to death and she went running for camp. Another time we were going to hike the trail to Five Fingers on the Yukon River in Canada. There were steep, long steps down to the trail. Alice got down about half way turned and said that is enough, ran back to the van. Trying to get her across a bridge over the Yukon River in Miles Canyon near Whitehose was really something. David pushed and I pulled. Once across she was fine and we went for a nice walk. Coming back we just thought this is going to be fun. She tricked us though and walked right across.
Alice was such a chicken. People would be afraid of her because she was big. They would hear her deep bark not knowing that she was hiding in the bedroom barking at them. She was a great protector if she could hide behind you. She was afraid of kitchens, bathrooms and floors without carpet. Oh yes, stairs can be scary too. In fact any change can be scary.
Alice helped me through my late husband’s, Baggy, 13 months of illness and his death. When the paramedics were on the way to our home I put her outside. As they worked on Baggy in the living room by the window she quietly watched. When it was time for them to take Baggy away, as they zipped the bag she started to bark and did so until they drove off. She was the one that helped me make it through this.
Alice moved with me from Texas to Washington to Alaska. Then our last move to York, Pennsylvania. She was a great traveler.
She was so good with the twin granddaughters. I used to laugh because every time Dan brought them over she would have to smell them and make sure they were the right ones, I guess. As they grew she would sit patiently until they finished eating so she could clean up their mess. If she did get tired of them she would just get up and go into the bedroom.
When we would get ready to go somewhere and Alice couldn’t go we could tell her, “No, Alice you have to stay.” Then she would mope off to her moping corner in our room. David said she reminded him of Eeyore.
Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of Alice falling against the wall next to my side of the bed. She then slipped down the wall and was laying down. I thought that was weird but she seemed to settle down. I went back to sleep for a while. I got up around 6 and went to start my morning routine, which the first thing was to let Alice out. She always follows me right to the door as soon as we are up. She didn’t follow. A little later she tried to get up and couldn’t. Her whole back end didn’t work.
We looked up vets online and found one that opened at 7:30. I called and they could get her in at 10. The next problem was how to get her in the back of our car. Luckily, we have a Subaru Outback so the backend opens up. But how would we get this 102 lb dog up the hill and into the car. Our son in law, Dan, and his Dad, Jim, came to help. I got her on a sheet and we brought in the girls’ wagon. We go her into the wagon, up the hill and into the car without stressing her out.
The vet couldn’t find anything really bad on the x-rays. Some arthritis but who of us don’t have that in our backs. I am thinking now it was a stroke. The vet says it could be. She says we could try a steroid shot and that if it helped we would be able to tell by Sunday. I agreed to let her have the shot, hoping it will help. We took her back home.
By now she has not been to the bathroom since Thursday night. David and I put a rolled towel under her to hold up her backend. We took her out but she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t pick up her tail and her legs just dragged behind her.
Saturday night wasn’t a good night for Alice. Sunday morning there was no change what so ever. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I made the decision I had to make. The vet opened at 10. We were there with Alice when they opened. They got us in right away. They were so wonderful to us. Alice left this world knowing how loved she was. We were with her until the end.
I love you, Alice. I will never forget you and all you did for me. I hope you are sitting at Baggy’s side now watching over me.
As soon as we got service when we were leaving McCarthy our friends called and asked if we wanting to go camping in Homer. We figured we could kill two birds with one stone. We had promised our little friend, Silas, when we were in Ajo, AZ visiting them that we would walk along the beach in Homer with him while he was visiting his father. So we got home on Sunday and left again on Friday for Homer.
We decided to go to McCarthy for 4th of July. I took tons of photos and somehow managed to loose most of them. So there won’t be many on this blog.
We headed to McCarthy in our camper. I had not been there since 1980. David had never been there. Our kids and granddaughters were meeting us there.
Boy was I surprised when we got there. Where we had camped back in May of 1980 was now a campground. It was still just a big gravel area along the Kennicott River. We found a camping spot, you just park where you want. You can’t get the big RV’s down the road to McCarthy. The hand trolley that used to take you across the river has been replaced by a footbridge. The people of McCarthy no longer had to wait until spring to drive across the Kennicott River because they have a private bridge now.
We arrived a day early from the rest of our party, so we could find us a good campsite. We found one right on the river and parked so we could save a space for the rest of us. There is only one other camper on the other end of the area we were camping in. As we got out of our truck and were walking to the back I notice that the person at the other campsite is walking over. All of a sudden she says, “I knew it was you. I saw those legs getting out of the truck and I thought those look like Cindy’s legs. Then I saw that long grey hair and I knew it was you.” It was only David’s niece, Laura and her two kids, Mattie and Hannah. We had no idea that she was there. Now our family camping trip got even bigger.
We spent 4th of July in McCarthy. We went to the pancake breakfast and then to the parade. Our twin granddaughter’s were in the parade because Daddy made a cool stroller that goes easily across rough terrain. He put bushwheels, airplane tires, on the stroller. Everyone was taking photos of it.
It was a booming place when the Kennicott mine was going strong because alcoholic beverages and prostitution were forbidden in Kennecott.
It is also known for the murders of 1983 when a man shot 6 of the 22 residents while they waited for the mail plane to land. There is more about this on Discovery Channel’s Alaska’s Ice Cold Killer episode “Frozen Terror”.
There was also a TV series on Discovery Channel called “Edge of Alaska”
This poor little town has a lot of bad things happen to it but it just keeps on going.
The next day we went up to Kennicott mine. It was a ghost mine when I was here in 1980. When they closed the mine they just left everything there. The whole mine was deteriorating. In June of 1998, the National Park Service acquired many of the significant buildings and lands of the historic mining town of Kennicott. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1986, Kennicott is considered the best remaining example of early 20th Century copper mining.
Saturday, October 20th, was our second anniversary. David tells me last week, “I have a 3 day weekend. Do you want to go camping for our anniversary? ” I reply, “Hell Yes!” Please excuse my language but I was that excited.
We usually have snow by now and the camping is over for the year. The weather has been so nice we decided to head out. David wanted to talk to a blacksmith in Palmer about a fire tool he wanted him to make. We found his place but he was gone for the day. We decided to drive around to look for some place to have a nice dinner on Saturday night. Continue reading “A Day That Won’t Be Forgotten”