A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park who is a Newbery Medalist for A Single Shard.  This book is based on a true story.

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

This was a wonderful book that I think is good for children to read.  They can see how life is in some countries with luck they will learn to appreciate what they have.  The story is about two children who the main thing in their life is survival. You read what they have to do to get water and food to survive.  I think it is good for people to see that this still goes on today.  It is a must read so you can find out how Salva’s life intersects with Nya’s.

If you are interested in this book just click on the link above.

Thanks for stopping by.

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 Did Turnagain Arm, Alaska Get Its Name

Turnagain Arm is a waterway into the northwestern part of the Gulf of Alaska. It is one of two narrow branches at the north end of Cook Inlet, the other being Knik Arm. Turnagain is subject to climate extremes and large tide ranges.

Turnagain Arm was named by William Bligh of HMS Bounty fame. Bligh served as Cook’s Sailing Master on his 3rd and final voyage, the aim of which was discovery of the Northwest Passage. Upon reaching the head of Cook Inlet in 1778, Bligh was of the opinion that both Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm were the mouths of rivers and not the opening to the Northwest Passage. Under Cook’s orders Bligh organized a party to travel up Knik Arm, which quickly returned to report Knik Arm indeed led only to a river.
Afterwards a second party was dispatched up Turnagain Arm and it too returned to report only a river lay ahead. As a result of this frustration the second body of water was given the disingenuous name “Turn Again”. Early maps label Turnagain Arm as the “Turnagain River”.

Enough of the history of Turnagain Arm and back to why I am writing this.  I was driving to Sterling yesterday, which is about a 2 1/2 hour trip, to pick up Dusty’s kids for a visit. I was just making a quick run down grab the kids and come back.  Not a big deal because I used to live in Sterling and have made this day trip many times.  The winter time used to get a little dicey but the roads are a lot better now. I had to stop though because driving along the Arm the clouds were amazing.  Actually, the kids and I kept remarking on how wonderful they were all the way back to Anchorage. Going over the pass it was really great.  We even checked out where we are going camping next weekend, Bertha Creek. Well here are a some photos I took.

 

Turnagain Arm is always different. I can never seems to take enough photos of it.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE PHOTOS OF MY BEAUTIFUL STATE!

 

 

Girdwood Forest Fair and Camping

Alice got in her truck and was ready to go camping.  The poor thing didn’t get to go into the Girdwood Forest Fair.  That was okay though because all the people would have scared her.

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Our plan for the first camping trip was to go to the Girdwood Forest Fair first. We got up in the morning and finished packing the camper. We didn’t want to get there too early because they close the road for the parade. We parked at Alyeska Resort Daylodge and took the shuttle to the fair. There were a lot more people than I had expected to be there. I guess since our summer is so short everyone goes to anything that is outside. It was a nice day yesterday, but even if it was raining they would have all been there.

There were stages all over with different things going on.  Lots of vendors trying to sell their wares. Lots of food vendors doing the same thing. We went in the beer garden for a beer but when we found out we had to pay $8.00 for a cup and then $6.00 to fill it up,  we thought that was too high and figured that would fill a growler up at the Girdwood Brewery.

I did think it was cool that they had a baby nursing place set up for the mothers and to change their little ones.

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We caught the shuttle back to our truck and off we went to Girdwood Brewery.  There Alice could come out with us in beer garden.  We all had a beer and filled two growlers up with some of their nice brew.

 

After our beer it was off to find a good camping place.

 

We found a place on the old highway road to camp.  It was between the railroad tracks and the highway.  I know you are thinking that’s going to be loud, but it wasn’t bad at all. The highway was on the other side of this pond we camped by, so the traffic noise was not bad.  The train was kind of cool except when they honked their horns when they went by.

Heather and Dan showed up with the girls.  Katharine and Rebecca had never been camping before, so we were all excited to see how they liked it. They really did like it.  Katharine loves the trees.  Rebecca was going to check everything out.  They thought the fire was pretty cool. There was another couple parked not far from us.  They kind of just stayed to theirselves except when they came to see the girls and talk to the dogs.  We were all at our own campsite and we had a fire going when all of a sudden a cop droves up, turned around and stopped.  The cop got out of the car as we noticed the K-9 on his car.  We were thinking he wasn’t there to tell us we couldn’t have a campfire, so we waited.  He then let his dog out.  We noticed he had something in his mouth, looked like a toy.  Then the cop took the toy and threw it into the pond for the dog to fetch.  The dog was having a blast. When he was done playing with his dog he put him back in the car, rolled his window down and told to have a good evening.  We all thought that was a cool cop.    Then it got to be bedtime and Mom and Dad got their beautiful little girls ready for bed. They took their bottles and decided it was full of caffeine or sugar because they decided it was party time. Well first Dusty drifted off to his tent.  Grandma and Grandpa headed to their camper to play a little crib. Then Heather came in to fix the girls bottles again saying goodnight to us.  We saw them out walking the girls as we fell asleep.

 

Then in the morning we woke up first and I made some coffee.  Then Dan popped in for a cup and told us the girls didn’t go to bed until 12:30.  Next Heather came in dragging.  They went and fed the babies while I cooked breakfast of oatmeal and fruit Heather had brought.  After everyone woke up things were fun.

 

After breakfast we decided to pack up because the wind was picking up and we felt a few drops.  We all had a good time eating hot dogs cooked on the open fire while drinking a few good beers.

After one last look around our campsite, Alice got a couple more drinks from the pond and we left for home.

We had only gone a few miles when we could see that there was a line of cars backed way up the highway. It took us an hour to get 4 miles.  When we stopped I called Heather because they had left before us.  They didn’t make it through either and were a couple of miles ahead of us.  They finally made it to Bird Creek Campground and told us there had been some kind of accident.  When we finally got there it was all cleaned up and traffic was going back to normal.  I sure hope no one was hurt.

 

 

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.