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!

How Come Relaxing Makes You Tired?

I don’t understand how I can have a relaxing weekend out camping.  I slept great and went for a nice walk. I sat by the campfire and played games at the table.  It was such a nice, quiet weekend.  We got home and the boys helped me unpack the camper which was not hard because I have it set up for the summer now. I came upstairs and sat down to work on my pictures when I fell asleep and didn’t wake up for 4 hours.  By then it was after 8.  We stayed up a while longer then went to bed to read.  That is my excuse for not blogging yesterday.

Today I finally just got the photos done from the camping trip.  Which was on my list, so I checked it off.  I am liking this list thing because I seem to be getting a lot more done.  There are several things I didn’t get done today, so they will move on to tomorrow.

I hope you enjoy the photos of our camping trip to Kings River, Alaska.  We will be going back here in the fall to pick berries. There are lots of 4 wheeler trails if you have one.  People are always out there riding.  There a quiet a few that just come for the day.  This isn’t a regular campground like with outhouses and conveniences. It is just where people have camping for years.  In the fall it isn’t only good for berries, it is also good for hunting. With all the 4 wheeler trails they can get back in there and get a moose.

 

Of course, my chicken dog, Alice, was with us.  She loves camping.  She will get into the water a little and she loves going on hikes.  One thing she does that I think is funny she always pees in the water. Alice, shocked us when the dogs from another campsite came over to visit and she didn’t run.  She actually let them smell her and she smelt thing.  I believe they became friends.  When Bogart got there, he kept trying to go make friends and we would call him back when he started sneaking off.  He did get away with it a couple of times. Alice would let us know by barking every time he would start working is way out of the camp.  It was pretty funny her telling on him.

Today was my weigh in day.  I lost 1.2lbs. That was good because I think the beers may have been a little over my carb intake should have been.  At least I lost and I still feel good about this diet.  I made us lettuce taco’s tonight and we like it.

Well I am off for today.  Hope everyone has a good night.

 

Day 5 in Iceland

This was going to be our last road trip of our vacation.  I decided we needed to go to another geothermal bath.  I knew I had read about one so I located it and marked our route on the map.  This time I didn’t have to find back roads because that is what you had to take to get there.  I packed us a lunch and had in may mind this nice private place to enjoy our last soak.

we took about a two hour drive down gravel roads some of which are called F roads, which weren’t as bad as some we have driven down in Alaska, not sure what the F stands for.  You can imagine though we did have fun with it.  We were saying things like I will drive down any F-ing road I want.  We finally reached Fjallabak Nature Reserve where the hot bath is supposed to be that we are going to.  Off we go to drive down another F-ing road.

Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The Nature reserve is 47.000 hectares and is over 500 meters above sea level. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes.

https://www.nat.is/travelguideeng/fjallabak_nature_reserve.htm

 

 

I have to say that on our road trip so far we had only a couple of cars that passed us.  Then we hit the top of a hill and around the corner there were several other cars stopped to take photos.  We did the same and while we were there even more cars came and stopped.  I am starting to thing these people had the same idea I had about getting away from the people and having a nice soak.

 

We made it too Landmannalaugar in the Highland.  I was in for a big surprise when we got there.  The place was packed.  There were cars and buses all over the place.  I was thinking it was a whole river that you could use but it was just a small spot where the hot water mixes with the cold.

Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.

https://www.extremeiceland.is/en/destinations/landmannalaugar

This makes it sound so romantic.  I wouldn’t call it that because to get the warm water you have to be in the area where the river runs into the small pond. This is the point that everyone gathers.  It was a beautiful setting though.

When we got there the first thing I had to do was hit the toilet.  It was becoming urgent.  We got to the bathroom and we saw a sign that you have to get a day pass to use it.  After paying our 500 Krona or $4.68 and getting our wrist bands I could have some relief.  We enjoyed our picnic lunch outside at a picnic table, a first for us because we had been eating on the road.  You could eat inside a clear plastic, covered area.  We then noticed that if you wanted to shower after your soak you had to get a ticket to scan which was another 500 Krona.  We decided we were going to go for that too, so our free soak cost us a total of 1000 Krona or $9.36.  We changed and headed for the bath down the wooden walkway.

At the end of the walkway was a platform where you can leave your things while in the pool. Some of the people were changing out there, so if you want to save the 1000Krona you can do without the toilet and shower.  We climbed down the few stairs to the water which was very clear, cold and had a gravel bottom. If you have tender feet like David you may want to wear water shoes.  The water was about thigh deep.  it is just a short walk to the where the warm water flows into the cold pool.   We sat amongst the people who were from many different countries.  We enjoyed listening to the many languages.  As people leave you move closer to where the hot water pours into the cold.  You can feel when the heat comes up from the ground because the stream will get hotter.  I have to admit that the scenery is beautiful.  This is not one of our favorite hot baths but it was unique and well worth going to.

Landmannalaugar (the people’s pools) is a geothermal paradise, replete with rainbow-colored rhyolite mountains and bubbling hot springs, where wispy plumes of steam rise off the volcanically heated waters. It has been a resting place for travelers for many centuries and Icelandic people have traditionally used it as a stop off point when they cross the highlands, which is where its name originates from.nt countries.  It was fun listening to all the different languages. As people leave you move closer to the hot stream.  We enjoyed it but we would not call it the best one we had ever been too.  It was the cheapest though.

 

There were  some beautiful flowers and some cute little birds in the creeks.

After our shower we headed home a different way.  The way we came home was quicker but I could see why they recommend a 4X4.  There were a couple of water crossings but nothing bad.  I do imagine that in the spring it can get really bad.  I now see why there are so many trucks with the big tires on them now.  They must spend time in the highlands.

 

It started raining on us again on the way home.  We got up in the clouds as we climbed over the mountains back to civilization.  We stopped in Selfoss to get to get some supper and headed back to the apartment to call it a night.

 

Day 4 South Coast of Iceland

We decided to go look at the south coast of Iceland.  Of course, we didn’t get to do the whole thing because of time.  We headed out on this beautiful sunny day, our first, to find a nice sandy beach to walk on.  We didn’t find any sandy beaches but we found volcanic beaches which were still just as amazing.

First stop before we even got into the car I wanted to get photos of these pretty flowers. I had been looking at them and today I took the time to smell the flowers.

Then off we went on our next road trip.  If you haven’t notice we try to take all the back roads.

Our first stop was a nice lake.  I had to take photos of some the hills that surrounded us because lines in the rocks are amazing.

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We went looking for a lighthouse which meant driving down this old dirt road and never found it.  What we did find though was well worth the trip because I had never seen so many sea birds nesting in the cliffs before.  Iceland claim to have more birds nesting in their cliffs than anywhere else.

 

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Off we went to find another lighthouse.  This one we did find and a church, which are all over this country.  Most of them seem to be built pretty much the same and a lot are on people’s farms.  Also, I just could not get over how such tiny flowers can grow in all the lava rocks.

Our next stop was at the end point of the greatest lava flow on earth since the end of the last Ice Age.

Then we found another lighthouse and a road to the beach.

We saw all these white birds in a field, which we think are some kind of goose due to all the honking.  I also finally got a couple photos of the Icelandic horses, which are the size of a pony.

We decided we should probably start heading back.  So we stopped to take a picture of one last river flowing into the ocean and off we went home.

 

We of course found a road we had not been on yet.  We were following along the bottom of Lake Pringvallavatn.

Before we hit the main road we found a dirt road we had not taken.  As we rounded a bend we saw in the distance steam coming up from a valley.  As we got closer we noticed it was a geothermal plant.  It was pumping hot water down to the cities and towns.  The pipeline was quite interesting compared to the one in Alaska that we are used to.  We followed the pipeline most of the way back to town.

On our way back to town the traffic was the worst we had seen.  Everyone must have had our idea and left town for the day or the weekend and were going home.

We decided to leave the car at the apartment and walk downtown to find something to eat.  We came upon a huge screen showing the world cup and people were sitting or standing watching it.  I guess they are really into soccer over here.

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We then headed to the Micro Bar because we had met the manager at one of the breweries we visited.  It was well worth the stop.  They have 14 taps and had about 5 pages of fine print bottle beers.

We also made a new friend there named Tobias from Sweden. Hopefully, he will bring his family to Alaska some time.  He did say it was on his bucket list.IMG_1037

Then off to dinner.  I wanted to eat something truly Icelandic, Tobias recommended a tapa bar right by us.  They had Icelandic food tapas, puffin, whale, lamb, lobster, blue ling, and char.  Some of the food looked so good when it came to the table we started eating before I got a photo.  Sorry about that.  I do think that the food was probably a little more fancy than the normal Icelander would cook it but it was delicious.

After we ate we started our walk home.  I took a photo of this building across the street because I just thought it was cute.  Then along came a mother and her two kids crossing the street.  They walked with us a way.

 

We stopped at a store because I still had not had any dried fish.  I am wondering how it compares to our squaw candy.  I will let you know when I have tried it.

There was this interesting van we kept walking by, so we decided to take some photos of it.

 

Another wonderful day in Iceland has come to an end now.  Wonder what our adventures will bring tomorrow.

 

Pavia

We arrived in Pavia and the chorus went to do a short rehearsal and sound check.  I went and checked out the castle gardens.  Looked like pretty new castle to me.  I didn’t bother to go in but enjoyed the shade of the gardens because once again it was very hot.  David tell me that I can’t complain about the heat until it reaches 80.  Well I got to complain everyday.