Friday, August 8, 2014

Alaska # 25

Sorry I left you all hanging, wondering if I ever got back to Haines from Juneau. Well, I have had very poor internet service since then as I travelled back to the lower 48.  However, I did get back to Anacortes, WA, and will try to catch up on the trip.
The reason I got back from Juneau safely was because Anna took control and made me behave on the boat. She fed me some salmon chowder and kept me out of trouble. Nothing like a full stomach.
The big event on the return trip was whale watching. Our Captain had learned where the Humpback whales were hanging out that evening and he found them. Using a hydraphone, I was able to listen to the lead whale give a signal to the other 11 whales who were circling the fish and they all surfaced at the same time to grab their dinner. It was amazing to see 12 whales all surface at the same time. What a sight to see.
I will write more later.
Warmest regards, Gus

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alaska #24 Juneau

After I arrived in Juneau yesterday (see #23), I boarded a bus to go downtown. On the bus, I learned some of the history of Juneau and learned to talk like a native. I now refer to "the road," "the bridge," and "the canal." 
After watching cousins Jim and Pat eat crab legs for lunch, I got to wander into some of the shops on Main Street. I looked at diamonds, emeralds, etc., and found everything to be out of my price range. I had hoped to buy a nice ring for Tedi (Tedi and I met in Jasper--See post #3) but just couldn't afford a nice one.
Later in the afternoon, I re-boarded the bus and visited Mendenhall Glacier (See photo). I saw a nice movie and another presentation about how the glacier is receding. It has receded about 2.5 miles since the mid-1700s.
From the glacier, it was back to the Fjordland Express, our 85' catamaran, for the return trip to Haines.
I have a feeling Captian Glen is going to be watching me very carefully on this trip.
Warmest regards, Gus

Alaska # 23 Fjordland Express

Yesterday I was on the Fjordland Express on the way from Haines, AK, to Juneau when Captain Glen Jacobson turned away and I took control of the boat. We got to Juneau safely and I had a great time. I will tell you more about the trip in the next posting.
Warmest regards, Gus

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alaska # 22 Tok to Kluane Lake

 Yesterday we drove from Tok, AK, to Destruction Day, Yukon (Kluane Lake). The top picture shows some of the construction on the Alaska Highway in Yukon Territory. This was one of the better parts of the construction area. It took seven hours to drive 224 miles.
The botton picture is one of the rewards of traveling the highway--a grizzly bear walked out onto the highway right in front of the motor home. He decided to go back to the side of the road and watch us pass by.
Warmest regards, Gus

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Alaska # 21 Alyeska Pipeline

 After panning for gold yesterday, I visited The Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). I am sitting on one of the thousands of supports for the 800-mile pipeline which has carried over 16 billion barrels of oil since it was completed in 1977.
Currently, the pipeline carries about 500,000 barrels/day, which is about 1/4 of capacity.
The support I am sitting on is designed to move so that heat, cold and even earthquakes will not damage the sturcture.
Even though the actual pipe is 48" in diameter, in the lower picture I am inspecting a sample of the welding which was done on the pipeline. Since the pipeline was designed to last 30 years, I guess the welders did a good job.
Warmest regards, Gus

Alaska # 20 Panning or Gold

 Yesterday I went to Gold Dredge #8 near Fairbanks and panned for gold. My assistant (left) was very helpful and in the botton picture--if you look very carefully in the lower left area of the pan--you can see the $12.00 worth of gold I (we) successfully panned.
I sure am glad I don't have to do this for a living.
They had a $75,000.00 gold nugget for me to hold. I don't know why I was being watched so closely!!
Warmest regards, Gus


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alaska #19 (North Pole)

Yesterday I went to North Pole, Alaska (about 10 miles from Fairbanks) and met Santa Claus and some of his helpers. I told him I have been good--I think he believed me-- and he promised to bring some presents to me on Christmas.
Cousins Jim and Pat visited the local Elks Lodge #1551 and had lunch while meeting some of the local people. The lodge is the "fartherest north" lodge.
Warmest regards, Gus