Keeping Busy

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.

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The Loss of My Best Friend

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Camping on the Spit

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.

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Ghost Town

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.

Checkout more about McCarthy here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthy,_Alaska

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”

https://eztvseries.net/tv/63462/edge-of-alaska

Then there was the story about the Pilgrims. Who were thought to be this big family who moved out to some land outside of McCarthy who were quaint and charming until the truth came out.

https://www.outsideonline.com/1928141/papa-pilgrims-progress-dark-tale-alaskan-frontiersman

https://www.adn.com/projects/article/hale-clan-details-abuse-hand-their-father-papa-pilgrim/2013/07/12/

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.

https://www.nps.gov/wrst/learn/historyculture/kennecott-mines-national-historic-landmark.htm

I wish I wouldn’t have lost my photos but life goes on. I guess this means I need to go back.

Hope you enjoyed the history lesson.

Thanks for stopping by!

Camping in Seward, Alaska

We were going to Seward last weekend but it was flooded.  We made it this weekend and I finally got all my photos uploaded.

Friday when we got there it was stormy.

We camped on Resurrection Bay. Continue reading “Camping in Seward, Alaska”

A Day That Won’t Be Forgotten

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”

Knik River

Hoping it isn’t the last camping trip for the year. The weather has been so nice we are still camping.  We are not taking the camper off of the truck yet. I will be gone for a couple of weeks but we are hoping that me may be able to get a couple more trips in before the snow when I get back.  We are having an Indian Summer and really enjoying it.

We loaded up as soon as David and Dusty got home from work and off we went.  Heather, Dan and the babies were meeting us at Knik River.

When we arrived at Knik River we found a place to camp.  I was sitting watching David get the campfire ready to start and noticed all the beautiful colors in the mountains.

We enjoyed watching the planes fly over and could see the bridge that the kids had to cross to get to us.

The kids arrived just as the sun was going down. Continue reading “Knik River”

The Flat Ole Hippies Are Off Again

Our friends, the Crewdsons, asked us to go to the Alaska State Fair on Saturday.  We had never been before.

We saw all kinds of things, like little trees, plants that looked like mammoth, tractor pulls, and the record-breaking pumpkin weighing at 1471lbs.

Continue reading “The Flat Ole Hippies Are Off Again”

Labor Day Camping

This is the last three day weekend before we have to take the camper off the truck for the year.  We will probably get another camping trip in for sure but not sure after that.

We had a great time with the kids and granddaughters.

We were good and ate our Keto pancakes.DSC_0348

Continue reading “Labor Day Camping”

Bertha One of the Butt Sisters

Who remembers this song? Troglodytes sung by The Jimmy Castor Bunch released in 1972 which was the year before I graduated high school . Guess I just told you my age but who cares it is just a number.  Well back to this song. You should check out this you tube

This blog is not about a song but about camping at Bertha Creek in Alaska for the weekend. We used to drive past this campground every time we went to Anchorage from Sterling. My late husband, Charlie, would start singing this song as we passed by Bertha Creek.  David, alive husband, and I do the same thing. We even named our truck Bertha. We decided that we were going camping there.  So when I picked up the grandkids from Sterling we drove through and Charlie even picked us out a campsite.  Oh yea, that is Charlie II, the grandson, not Charlie the dead husband.

Friday morning came and we all piled in the truck, three adults, two kids and one big dog. We headed out to Bertha Creek. We got up into Turnagain Pass we knew it wasn’t far now.  We saw the sign.! DSC_0176

Yea, we are here! Oh no, so are other people. There was no one here on Monday. As we made our way through the park, fingers crossed, we look for our perfect camping spot. We come around the bend and there it is, empty. We pull in to one side, so Heather and Dan can pull in next to us later tonight. Dusty sets up the tent for him and the kids.DSC_0129

Now it is time to head down to checkout the creek. To our surprise when we get down there we find a small waterfall.

Grandma and Grandpa took pictures of things like her feet,

grandpa even got his foot in there once, and grandma took pictures of the creek and Dusty playing with the kids there.

We all headed back for some lunch.  I found this cool picture to take there.

Yes a sap was taking a photo of sap. The next question; is it better to be a sap or a root?

I’m not sure. What do you think?

Well David and I decided to take a walk down some trails we had seen on the way in. We walked up to the fee area, this is Federal so it is only $14 a night and $7 if you have your gold pass which we have. DSC_0149

Bear country! Oh, no! I always get a kick out of these signs because I think all of Alaska is bear country.  When they are walking through the subdivisions all the time in Anchorage, the largest city in the state, wouldn’t you say it is all bear country.

David decided to check out the pump and see if it was still working and it was. We then continued on with our walk.

Yes, we found Bertha Creek. This is where it empties into this river whose name no one seems to know.  I will find out some how.

We then headed back to camp and sat by the fire for a while with a beer. Dusty and the kids came back from their walk. They told us about a bench up on top of the hill by our camp with a great view. We went there the next morning.

Everybody brought back a little firewood.  We sure didn’t want to run out because how could we drink our beer without a fire.

Anyway they also told us about another trail on the other side of the highway.  They said they saw some people panning for gold, well they had sluice boxes. I guess you would say they were looking for gold. We all thought that would be fun to do after lunch. So as we were eating one of the kids goes come look at these worms.  Reighly  already had a pet green worm she named catty but it had got away. It fell off her finger.  We all go to have a look and this is what we saw.

We watch them all weekend as they slowly eat away the leaf.

Now our next adventure across the road and up the trail. First we stop at this bridge that goes nowhere. You can smell the creosote, so you know it is new. You cross the bridge and see a road for maybe 100 ft then nothing. Oh well the mystery road I guess or should I say bridge.

Across the highway we go. The first thing we come across is this cool firepit.DSC_0178

The gold miners were all gone, so we had the whole area to ourselves which was nice. We all went exploring.

As we are walking on the trail we saw blueberries. David and I decided to come back the next morning and pick some while the kids were asleep. We got up and went picking on Sunday. Alice got a little bored. She doesn’t think standing in one area for a while is hiking.  I guess she doesn’t know the difference in hiking and picking.DSC_0219

Well we thought it was worth getting rained on. The Picking Was Good!

While we were there we got some nice mushrooms photos.  Never thought I would be looking for mushrooms for a photo op.

We also got some nice flower photos.

The rain stopped before we left, so the tent got to dry out before it got packed up. We packed up and headed home.DSC_0130

Good-Bye Bertha Creek.DSC_0223

I guess I should let everyone know that the Flat Ole Hippies couldn’t come with us because they had other plans.  Hopefully, they can come with us next weekend. We are planning to go to Seward if all goes well.

Thanks for reading!